Back on familiar territory now… this is what I grew up eating almost every other day when I lived with my parents. My dad, the sweetheart that he is, would always make me my “favorite” dish as often as he could. And he interpreted “favorite” to mean anything I said I liked. Everything became a “favorite” (salmon, garlic shrimp, rack of lamb, plain Chinese buns, almost anything cooked with thai basil) until I’ve had so much of it, the mere thought of it would turn my stomach.

After I moved out, I missed these dishes the most, so after many nights over at my parents’ place just watching them cook (they don’t believe in writing recipes down, and could never give me exact measurements even if I begged for them) I finally mastered some version of it. Seriously, the easiest things I could’ve ever taken forever to learn.

Steamed Fish

  • fish (I’m sorry I have no idea what this type is called, but you can basically do this with anything)
  • 1 scallion, chopped into short strands
  • 2 thin slices of ginger, also chopped into short strands
  • chinese cooking wine
  • soy sauce

In a steamer, heat up a bit of water until boiling. Meanwhile, salt the fish, cover it with the scallion and ginger, and pour a bit of cooking wine and a tiny bit of sauce sauce on top. Place in steamer and for a fish that was about 1.5″ at its thickest, it took about 14 minutes. In my opinion, the fresher the fish, the more likely I’d shorten the time, sometimes it takes only 10-12 minutes. This one was an old old fish. Yes. It is both old in fish age and old in freezer age.

Chinese Broccoli

  • chinese broccoli (I use 4 stalks for one portion, but I could just as easily eat a whole broccoli tree. Do they grow on trees?)
  • chinese cooking wine
  • sugar
  • salt

Is this simple or what? Seriously, that is all you need. The only catch is that the broccoli with the thicker stalks, which are “older” (and in my opinion, more fun to eat, I love to crunch on them) need to be peeled. So, peel the stalks and soak it. Heat up oil in a pan, and add the thickest parts first. Sautee until bright green then add the leafy parts. When everything is bright green, add salt, a tiny bit of sugar (this makes a nice delicious difference), and some cooking wine. Cooking wine has a subtle flavor, so I like to either add a bit more so I can taste it, or use it as a finish towards the end. I am not an alcoholic.