If you’ve eaten Asian food there’s a good chance you’ve had 5 spice powder (wǔxiāng fěn, 五香粉, Pong Palo). Especially if you’ve had dishes with fatty meats, braised dishes or many stir-fried noodle dishes. It offers a deep, rich flavor that helps cut through the fat and I’ve heard it said “it brings harmony to chaos”. (Sadly I don’t remember where I heard the reference.)
I LOVE DIM SUM (點心, 点心, diǎnxīn, dímsām)! I love it so much in fact that over the years I’ve learned to make quite a few of my favorite dim sum dishes, and make them pretty regularly. (A few times a month if I’m being honest.) I love how the simplest of ingredients can turn into something so complex and mouthwatering that people will drive for hours, spending hundreds of dollars for a meal of it! Not only is dim sum delicious, it’s also a wonderful way to bring friends, family and even strangers together in a way that is sadly missing in today’s fast-paced world.
My family loves Asian food, and one of our favorites is Chinese-inspired egg rolls. Pork, chicken, or shrimp, yes please! More times than I can count, I’d come home and my mom and I would spend a whole night rolling egg rolls. Looking back, we’d end up eating almost as many as we’d roll, but hey, memories right? Hehe!
Growing up we didn’t have a lot of money. So my family was always looking for a way to stretch a buck. One way we did that was by growing a portion of our meats and vegetables. The times we did buy meats at the stores were normally the cheaper cuts, or when the store would have a sale. One of the things I remember my mom cooking is pig’s trotters. Or as we call them in North Florida, pig’s feet. I remember my younger brother and I thought they were gross. Being kids we’d always start laughing about stinky old feet until mom would get mad and tell us “it’s just bacon with extra fat”. Thinking back now she had us believing most of the pig was bacon. The cooking methods were always one of 2 ways. Either boiled in a pot of collard/mustard greens or rice; or pickled. (95% of the time they were boiled in our house.)
The mouth tingling heat from the chilies combined with the amazing aroma of fermented garlic makes a wonderful addition to anything from braised meats to hot pot; salad dressings to BBQ. This affordable, easy to make flavor packed fermented gem is a must have for any Asian food lover(s)!