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Chinese Recipes

04 March 2008

Chocolate Banana Springrolls: fit for a King


If Elvis was still alive, I think that chocolate banana spring rolls would be his midnight snack of choice. They're sweet, extremely delicious and deep-fried (all prerequisites for Elvis' snacks ).

These ones were perhaps a little petite for The King: he'd have probably stuffed a bunch of bananas and a block of chocolate into entire sheets of the poor, bulging spring roll skins. He likely would have also tried to squeeze in a jar of peanut butter for good measure.  I, on the other hand, feeling guilty for my 4 o'clock deep-fried dessert, was a little more restrained.

You need not feel too guilty, though. Despite the deep-frying, these crunchy little treats aren't at all oily . The trick to this is to use sunflower oil at a really high temperature so that they're in and out in a less than a minute. Sunflower oil is also excellent when frying at high temperatures as it doesn't burn easily.


The snap-frying gives the rolls just enough time to melt the chocolate and warm the banana. The result is a wonderful combination of textures: little crispy cases of warm, soft 'banocolate' (my new word for banana & chocolate).

Continue reading "Chocolate Banana Springrolls: fit for a King" »

05 July 2007

Szechuan Eggplant and Pork Mince Hot Pot


I first had this delicious dish at a Szechuan restaurant in Vancouver. It was baked in an earthenware hot pot and served sizzling and steaming. The dish consisted of perfectly cooked egg noodles (not too soft) baked with mince pork, eggplant and a mixture of spicy and flavoursome sauces. It was mouthwatering and a wonderful way to eat eggplant.

For this recipe, I tend to use the long, purple Chinese eggplants as they hold together better in the cooking process and draw in the complex mixture of flavours of this dish. Usually when cooking eggplants, you are told to  'degorge' them which means to extract their bitterness by covering them in salt for 20 minutes or so. I have never actually done this however I mostly use eggplant in Asian recipes so perhaps the strong flavours mask their bitterness.

The Szechuan Eggplant and Pork Mince Hot Pot perfectly balances the hot, sour, sweet and salty flavors and makes use of ginger, garlic and the key ingredient; chili bean paste. I use the Lee Kum Lee Brand. I also added a little roasted chili paste as well but this is optional. We like a bit of extra spice in this household.

The following recipe has a few steps to it but it is certainly worth the effort.

Continue reading "Szechuan Eggplant and Pork Mince Hot Pot" »

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