When it comes to BBQ, what Asian people have in mind is quite different from American style BBQ.  We prefer to grill skewed meat over hot and smooth flames coming out from burning charcoal.  People gather around the table where the meat is being grilled drinking, talking, laughing and waiting for the meat to be ready.  That is how we do BBQ O(∩_∩)O~

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I grow Jerusalem artichokes every year.  Well, to be more accurate, they pretty much raise themselves over the years.  All I did was to plant two young plants in the field which was a gift from a loving close friend.  They grew like crazy and I harvested a lot of Jerusalem artichokes the first year.  That encouraged me to grow them every year after that.

 Besides, they are perfect for pickling. Jerusalem artichokes are very crunchy when pickled.  And they have a mild flavor so that they go well with most other pickled vegetables.  I did Sichuan style pickles with my home grown Jerusalem artichokes first year. (it was posted here: https://www.yankitchen.com/english-blog/sichuan-style-pickled-jerusalem-artichoke)

I harvest more Jerusalem artichokes than ever this year.  After sharing them with friends and families, I still have a lot left.  Besides Sichuan style pickling this year, I also try sweet and sour flavor.  You know what?  They are a hit too!

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Passion fruit has beautiful name in China.  We call it “fruit with a hundred fragrances”.  It is true.  Passion fruit deserves that name.  When you closely smell a passion fruit, you can pick up the scents from pineapple, mango, pomegranate, strawberry, lychee…and dozens of other tropical fruits.

It is indeed an amazing and delicious fruit.  Besides eating it with a spoon, I also love making all kinds of drinks with it.    I posted “Iced Tea with Passion Fruit and Berries ” before.  And we are making passion fruit and lemon water today. 

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Recently I have been more enthusiastic about pork ribs than before. 

Asian grocery stores in Houston area are very customer-friendly.  They sell pre-cut pork ribs in the shape of long thin strips so that you don’t have to go through all the trouble to cut them yourself.  They also help to custom cut the meat of your choice.  Such a life saver! O(∩_∩)O~

I always bring back a few rib strips from my trip to Asian grocery stores.  What I am cooking today is short pork ribs braised in soy sauce. Yum!

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We love blue crabs too, as much as people in Louisiana and Maryland if no more.  The most popular way to cook blue crabs in United States is to boil them with spices, potatoes, and other seafood.  When done, buckets of crabs and seafood are unloaded onto a table in front of customers.  All you have to do is to crack them open and eat!

But the way we eat them is slightly different from American people.  We value and enjoy the crab roe more than crab meat itself.  Most of time, only female crabs are among best sellers when it comes to seafood.

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After smoking ducks, chickens, ribs and beef briskets, I finally move on to sausages!  The electric smoker is truly a great addition to my kitchen O(∩_∩)O~

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Wechat is a widely popular social network apps in China and some other Asian countries, all due to its super powerful influences in messages texting, social media and mobile payment all combined together. That is right, try to imagine what it is like when Instagrm, facebook, tweeter, and paypal all merge into one single apps. Now get the idea?

Yankitchen now is on Wechat too! Search “味道Yankitchen“, or simply extract QR code from the following photos, and follow us on Wechat!

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It is September already.  Fall and cool air have not arrived at Houston yet.  It is still very hot and humid outside, like we are still in the middle of a super long summer.

However, fresh produces sold on the market are beginning to show the signs of fall.  New crop of peanuts are in season now.  Oh gee, I can’t describe how much I love these young peanuts recently dug up from underground.

A lot of people love boiled peanuts.  But not so many have tried young peanuts.  They are a bit less crunchy than the regular ones, but they are packed with such a sweet, refreshing, nutty, and earthy flavor. 

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Pickled vegetables have been a long time tradition in my hometown in China.  Most vegetables thrive in summer but hard to find in other seasons, so that our ancestors developed such a way to preserve excessive vegetables for later use.  Actually similar vegetable pickling techniques have been used in many places all over the world, with minor differences in the process and ingredients. 

Most southern Chinese families keep one or more pickling jars in the kitchen.  These pickling jars are different from all we can see on grocery markets in the States.  There are deep V shape edges on the top of the jars where water would be added to keep the whole jar aid-tight. 

I have been looked over everywhere to such a pickling jar in America but came up with none.  So I brought back one from a trip back to China a couple years ago. 

Pickling ingredients and methods vary from area to area too.  I mostly do Sichuan style pickling which involves lots of peppers, Sichuan peppercorns and other Asian spices.   

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Dumplings, also known as jiaozi, are one of the very traditional Chinese soul foods.  They are made with thinly hand rolled dough and all kinds of different fillings from pork, to beef, chicken, fish, shrimp, tofu, vegetables… you name it. 

In old times when people work in kitchen without food processor or stand mixer, making dumplings was labor intensive work which required collaborative help of the most family members.  There was a lot of kneading, chopping, dicing, rolling, and wrapping work involved.  I still remember the time when I was very young and all of us sitting around a large table making dumplings together. For that very reason, dumplings used to be festival food.  People couldn’t afford regular daily consumption of dumplings. 

But now things have changed quite a lot.  Dumplings are popular and have become our daily food.  We serve dumplings as breakfast, lunch or dinner.  They prevail in daily life as well as celebrating festivals too. 

I still love making dumplings at home.  It reminds me of the good old times living within a large warm and loving family.

Dumplings can be boiled, steamed or pan fried.  The one I am making this time is pan fried pork dumplings with mushrooms and bamboo shoots.  Yum!

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