Chicken and Jiu Cai Stir-Fry (Flowering Chives)

I am back! Second trimester is here and I am feeling more alive. I have really missed blogging but no matter how much I wanted to blog I just had no energy these last few months. I didn’t have too bad of a time morning sickness wise but for weeks all I wanted to eat was avocado toast (you really can’t get the Californian out of me) and as much as I think avocado toast is the best thing ever spreading fresh avocados on toast isn’t really a recipe so not really blog worthy. But while I haven’t had energy to blog I have been compiling an amazing list of recipes that I want to share with you.

Today’s recipe has me so excited I almost feel like I am shaking. Now why on earth would a recipe excite me this much, well let me explain. I have probably mentioned before that I grew up in Hong Kong and we spend about 8 months in Nanning, China. While we were there we were introduced to some incredible local dishes and ingredients that outside of that area we never saw again, including a vegetable that looked like the vines of a pumpkin. One of our favourite dishes included a long thin green with a slight flowered head, we were told they were garlic greens. I have served for what feels like forever for this ingredient. No Chinese restaurant that I went to seemed to have ever heard of it and as time went by I started to forget about it. But the other day we went to our favourite Chinese supermarket and there in the veggies were jui cai, or flowering chives. I got so excited I tried to explain to Chris how amazing this find was but he said I was so excited I wasn’t really making any sense.

I am not even positive if these are the exact vegetable that we had but boy does it look, smell and taste like it so surely it must be, right? I cook Chinese meals all the time, some of them are dishes I remember for Hong Kong or inspired by China and sometimes they are inspired from dishes I had in the US or here. But this is the first time I made something that smelled so much like Nanning for a second I could actually close my eyes and see images of it in my head. This dish blew my mind because it was the closest authentic taste of the food from that area of China that I have had since I left 14 years ago.

Chicken and Jiu Cai Stir-Fry

100g (3.5 oz) Jiu Cai (flowering chives), chopped into 1 1/2-inch lengths
500g (1 lb) chicken pieces, diced
80mL (1/3 c.) water
1 garlic clove, minced
For marinade:
2 Tbsp rice wine
1 Tbsp oyster sauce
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp white pepper
1 Tbsp cornstarch
Adapted from Pig Pig’s Corner

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Martin Yan’s Beef Chow Fun #SundaySupper

This week for Sunday Supper we are honouring chefs who have inspired us. I am so excited to be sharing with you not only my favourite Chinese dish but from the chef who inspired me to want to learn how to cook, Martin Yan. When I was seven we lived in Hong Kong and Martin Yan had a cooking show Yan Can Cook. I LOVED the show. He had this chant he would call out at the end of the show, “If Yan can cook so can you” and I would shout it out with him. Even thinking about it now brings back a flood of wonderful memories. He was so passionate about every dish he prepared and his skill with the knife was one that to this day I stand in awe of. I wanted to be a chef because of Martin Yan so I am so proud to be serving up one of his recipes. I am not sure if I would have done Master Chef Yan proud with my attempt but we really enjoyed it. It would have been a lot easier if my wok was larger. Must tell Santa I want a larger wok.

Beef Chow Fun

250g (1/2 lb) dried wide rice noodles
3 Tbsp dark soy sauce
2 tsp dry sherry or Chinese rice wine
1 tsp cornstarch
250g (1/2 lb) flank steak, thinly sliced across the grain
118mL (1/2 c.) beef broth
2 tsp oyster sauce
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 medium onion, sliced
3 green onions, cut into 1-inch pieces
recipe from Martin Yan

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