The Namesake

I am writing a food blog! This is a big change for my home “cooking career.” I’ve enjoyed fine food and cooking all my life. I’ve cooked for and entertained my family and friends for years. Up till now that’s how I view my cooking for the most part: as entertainment. I’ve never really considered writing about cooking. That is until recently when Kim Foster, who is a very dear friend, an accomplished writer, and is a long time blogger, suggested I share my cooking experiences with others. And so here I am writing about my life long passion for food.

First Post Collage

I’m often asked what my favorite cuisine is when someone first engages me in discussing food. I always find that to be an unusually difficult question to answer. The truth is I love all kinds of food: from Austrian to Zanzibarian, from fast food to French bistro, and from street vendors to fine dining. However, having a Chinese background and growing up in Singapore, where food has been elevated to a religious status, I am most acquainted with the various styles of Chinese cooking. That is why I decided to write about Chinese cooking, specifically Chinese home cooking.

I love the comfort of Chinese home cooking made from simple ingredients and cooked with simple techniques. Many of these dishes are not commonly available in Chinese restaurants because they are considered too common. This is true in Asia as well as in America. (Although restaurants specializing in “Si Fang Cai” (私房菜) or home style cooking, have become a new trend in China in the last few years.) This type of Chinese home cooking is what I’d like to share with you. One particular dish called “Hong Shao Rou” (紅燒肉), or literally translated as “Red Cooked Pork,” is one of my favorite. This dish is served regularly when I was growing up, and I continue to make it here at home in America. It has become a signature dish in my Chinese cooking repertoire.

Red cooking is the basis of many Chinese home cooking. It is a term used for braising different kinds of food with garlic, dark soy sauce, rice wine and sugar. This technique can be used for pork, chicken, fish, tofu and many other ingredients. The phrase “red cook” comes from the fact that these dishes result in a shiny bright brown sauce appearing almost red. It is one of the most versatile techniques in Chinese cooking. And I’ve decided to name my blog for this technique to emphasize its flexibility and adaptability.

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6 Comments

  1. Michele
    Posted June 6, 2008 at 12:59 am | Permalink

    I am so glad you decided to share your love of experience with food. I lived (and ate) in Hong Kong for many years and wish I could understand, much less cook many of the my favorite dishes. I admire your willingness to follow your passion, first by cooking in a professional kitchen and now with your blog. I look forward to seeing some vegetarian dishes (hint, hint)!

  2. Posted January 17, 2009 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    Reading your story about your namesake gave me goose bumps. Your passion for food & the way you enjoy it sounds just like me. Never let any one talked you into opening a restraunt. Then it is not any fun.I was planning on making red cooked pork. I only had rice vinegar which I was going to subsitute for rice wine. But after reading your story it inspired me to go out on the coldest day of the year just to buy some rice wine!!I am an American of Italian descent & would love to share my Italian recipes with you. Happy cooking

  3. Mark
    Posted January 22, 2009 at 1:11 am | Permalink

    Thank you so much for sharing your story and recipes! MY wife is from China and I am always trying to find authentic food she might miss back home. Even in San Francisco there are not many chinese restaurants with such dishes.

    I can’t wait to read more!

  4. Madeline
    Posted July 21, 2010 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    Hi! I came accross your site MOCA’s Dumpling Night promotion. Just added your site to my RSS. Looking forward to hearing of your cooking adventures. Cheers!

  5. Posted January 22, 2012 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

    I’ve come across your site just this past week, but I’ve already learned a lot and tried some of the techniques you illustrate!

    • Posted January 23, 2012 at 1:47 am | Permalink

      Thank you for your comments and I am very pleased that you were able to learn good Chinese cooking techniques. Keep cooking Chinese!

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