Posts Tagged 'abalone'

Holy Abalone!

 Boy do I have a treat for you today. Ok, actually it was more of a treat for me, but I’d like to share my experience with you so that if you’re ever in Vancouver and looking for an authentic Chinese restaurant to try, then you no longer need to look any further. If you’ve been reading my last couple of posts, you’ll know that we have some guests visiting from Vietnam, so my parents wanted to take them to Grand Honour Restaurant in Vancouver, BC. The last time we visited, a friend brought us there and we loved it so much we wanted to take our guests. 

Grand Honour Restaurant specializes in shark’s fin, bird’s nest, and abalone, three very popular delicacies in Chinese cuisine. There were ten adults and three children so we ordered the ten people abalone set meal.

Some dried abalone in their display case out in the front entrance.

We started off with this cold platter. On the left rolled up in rose like blossoms we have smoked salmon. In the middle we have jellyfish. On the right we have eel.

On the top and bottom of the platter were these tofu skin enveloped around some chopped up shiitake mushrooms.

Next came the shark’s fin soup. Rather than the usual huge bowl placed in the middle to divide amongst everyone, every person was served their own individual bowl. As you can tell, these bowls were not your normal rice bowl size.

To be honest, I’m not a huge fan of shark’s fin as I find it rather bland and overrated.

There were also large chunks of crab meat. Red vinegar is added to the soup to help take away the fish taste.

Next came the star of the meal, the abalone. Once again, everyone had their own individual bowl of abalone.

These suckers were almost the size of my palm 😛

For those who have never eaten abalone, here’s what the inside of one looks like, all meat.

Next came the deep fried pigeons. Yup, I said pigeons. If you like Chinese barbecued duck, you’ll like these. I find them a bit too gamey for my liking…..

….but K seems to disagree.

The next dish was a stir fried enoki and shiitake mushrooms atop snow pea tendrils.

I’m sorry, I don’t know exactly what the ingredients of this next dish were, but I know there were veggies, fish, mushrooms, and ham. What kind of ham, what kind of mushrooms and so forth, I couldn’t tell you 😦 I can tell you it was another delicious dish though.

Next came some rice and seafood pan-fried and then beautifully steamed in this lotus leaf to infuse the flavors from the leaf. Trust me, by the time we got to this dish, everybody was pretty much full.

But there was still one more dish for the meal, a plate of yi mien. This and the rice were practically left untouched, that’s how big the dishes were.

Then finally a taro root, red bean, coconut milk dessert.

Everything from the cold platter to the last spoonful of my dessert was stellar! There wasn’t one thing that I could complain about. The plates were huge, the food was delicious, the service was great, and there was more than enough food for everyone. We even had leftovers. This isn’t a very large restaurant, but with a packed house like this, you’d expect the food to be nothing less than divine. 

Make sure to make a reservation if you decide to give this restaurant a try. Just a little warning though, there is a restaurant called Grand Honour Hot Pot Restaurant that is actually just across the street. So make sure you’re reserving your table at the right restaurant. We almost made the mistake of reserving at the wrong restaurant.

Before I leave, I’d like to ask a favor of you. If you have the time, I’d love it if you could drop by a dear bloggie friend’s blog and put in some supporting words for her. This bloggie friend is Monet from anecdotes and apple cores. Her nephew, baby Ryan fell into the pool just recently and almost drowned. He is now holding onto dear life in the hospital. If you do not have the time to drop by her blog, as I understand we all lead very busy lives, please take a minute or two to say a prayer for Baby Ryan and his family through these difficult times. Thank you in advance.

I leave you with that for this week. Thank you for reading. I hope you all have a great weekend. Until next time, friends and family 😀

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Are You feeling Crabby? – CSN Stores Giveaway

Hi everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. It was Dad’s birthday a while back but we were not able to celebrate with him as they had a wedding to attend and we had a wedding to attend. Finally we were able to celebrate with him last week and someone was feeling rather crabby (no, not in a bad way, but more like, “I want some crabby in my tummy” way). So I loaded up all 4 kids 😉 and off we went to T&T Supermarket.

We picked out 6 crabs, one for each person.

Some water spinach and baby bok choy.

Mom made some fish maw soup. In this recipe they used shredded chicken but we like to use shredded crab meat.

This is a popular soup when you go to Chinese restaurants and order a set meal. The fish maw is quite spongy in texture. I’m not a big fan of it cause honestly, I can’t stand the texture. I usually spoon them out and just drink the soup.

Be sure to give the crab a good scrub before you cook them.

Scrub a dub dub, in (not) my tub :-(.

I made mine and Dad’s fave, water spinach with fermented tofu/bean curd sauce. You can find the recipe here.

I also made abalone with dried scallops and mushrooms atop baby bok choy. You can find my recipe here. Except in that recipe I used snow pea tendrils. Yes, I know, I have to get organized and put up a recipes page.

We steamed our crabs and made our usual dipping sauce, which is a mixture of chopped garlic, Chinese red vinegar, and Chinese rice vinegar. Another great dipping sauce for steamed crab or other seafood would be fresh lime or lemon juice and salt and pepper.

Waiting for the other three crabs to finish steaming.

And “sake fan”. In Chinese that’s what we say at the dinner table before starting a meal.

My brother and sister in-law joined us as well but they didn’t want to be in the picture.

Cheers Dad!

K wanted in on the action too :-D.

What’s a birthday without gifts right? Well I’m happy to say that a representative from CSN Stores contacted me and asked if I wanted to choose a product to keep for free and do a review for them, or host a giveaway on my blog. I figured, what better way to say thank you to my readers and show how much I appreciate you all dropping in to stalk read my blog, than to have a giveaway? So the kind people at CSN Stores is giving me the opportunity to giveaway a $40 gift certificate to one of my lucky readers. Aww shucks, thanks CSN Stores!

So do you have a baby or kids in your house? How about a student or a pet? No matter what you have and who you live with, this store has everything for everyone. Even if you’re just looking for some housewares or home decor, this is your one stop shop. Here’s how you can enter:

Mandatory:

  • Leave me a comment telling me what you would be interested in buying at CSN Stores.

For extra entries you can:

  • tweet about this giveaway and include “@lynnchenrocks AKA luvtoeat” in your tweet and come back to leave me a comment telling me you did so.
  • link to this giveaway somewhere on your blog and come back to leave me a comment (plus your link) telling me you did so..
  • comment and tell me what’s your favorite way to eat/cook crab.

When you enter your comments, please be sure to enter an email where I can reach you at when you win. The email will only be visible to me and will not show up in your comment. If I am unable to reach you through email within 72 hours after announcing the winner, I will have to choose another winner. The giveaway will end Tuesday August 3rd at 11:00 pm standard mountain time. Thank you for entering, and best of luck to everyone! Until next time friends and family :-D.

Abalone with Dried Scallops and Mushrooms atop Snow Pea Tendrils

Hello again all! Hope everyone is doing well. I know, I know, this isn’t abalone. I promise, that will come very shortly right after I poof up my chest, strut proud, and show off my weekend’s baking skills. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to brag. If you know me outside of the blogosphere, or if you’ve been following this blog, you’ll know I SUCK at baking. So whenever I attempt to bake something and it does turn out right, I need to soak up all the glory. This a wonderful, simple (cause I only do simple when it comes to baking) vegan recipe that I got from Stella’s blog @ The Witchy Kitchen. I present to you Vegan Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Tart.

As usual, her picture looks 20 times better, but this was heaven in my mouth, I kid you not! I had two pieces (couldn’t stop at just one), K and L both shared a big piece, and the hubby had two bites. Now that’s actually saying a lot cause he’s not a sweets kind of person. He’ll either not have any at all or just have one bite, but two bites, that’s when I strut proud ;-). Oh, I almost forgot to mention that I used almond butter instead of peanut butter as I’m allergic. Now some of you may be wondering, if you suck at baking then why do you still do it? All for this adorable face here. I may suck at baking but I don’t want to deprive my children of the fun in baking, so I try, I try VERY hard :-D.

One of my friends actually said to me, “It’s ok LeeQs, where you suck at baking, you make up for it in your cooking.” Hmmm….I’ll take that as a compliment? Anyways, let’s not concentrate too much on how much I SUCK at baking and let me steer you towards my brighter side shall we? This dish is my all time favorite dish to make and eat, more the latter though ;-).

Abalone with Dried Scallops and Mushrooms atop Snow Pea Tendrils.

Ingredients:

  • 5-10 dried scallops 
  • 10 abalone (about 2 per person)
  • 12 dried mushrooms
  • 7 cups of water (divided into 3, 2, and 2 cups)

Sauce ingredients:

  • 3 Tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 Tbsp chicken broth powder
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 3 tsp cornstarch
  • 3/4 cups water

 Place dreied scallops, abalone, and mushrooms in three separate bowls.

Add 2 cups of water into the bowl with the scallops and soak overnight.

They will look like this once finished soaking. Do not discard the water!

Add 2 cups of water into the abalone bowl and soak overnight.

They will look like this once finished soaking. Do not discard the water!

Add 3 cups of water into the bowl with the mushrooms. Place them stems down and soak overnight.

They will look like this once finished soaking. Do not discard the water!

Even after soaking overnight, a small part of the bottom of the mushroom stems will still be hard. Take a pair of scissors and cut off that tough part of the stem. I also like to separate the whole stem from the mushroom as I don’t like eating the stem. I keep the stems for the hubby. I know, I’m wierd. I also like to flip the mushrooms over and soak for another half an hour to make sure the whole mushroom is completely soaked. There will be black residue in the bottom of the bowl. When pouring the water from the mushroom into your pot, try not to pour any of that residue in.

Dump all of the abalone, abalone water, mushrooms, mushroom water, and scallop water into a pot to boil. Turn heat to high untill water starts to boil, then bring heat back down to medium just keeping the water at a simmer.

While that’s simmering, shred the scallops.

Dump the scallops into the pot. Turn heat back up to high. Once water starts to boil, bring heat back down to medium always keeping the water just at a  simmer.

Now add all the sauce ingredients into a bowl and mix until a smooth consistency has been achieved.

Pour the sauce into the pot. Turn the heat back up to high while stirring constantly. Once the sauce starts to boil and thicken, bring the heat back down between medium and medium-low. Cover the lid and allow the sauce to just simmer for at least 2 hours while checking on the sauce and stirring it every half an hour to make sure it is not sticking to the bottom of the pot. The abalone needs at least two hours to cook, soften, and release it’s flavors into the sauce. This dish takes a lot of time to cook but I assure you, it is all worth the wait.

Just 15 minutes before the sauce is done, stir fry or boil your vegetables and plate.

The finished sauce.

Pour the sauce over the vegetables and enjoy!

I leave you with that today. Any of you as incompetent in baking as me? What are your reasons for learning to bake? I hope you all have a fabulous week! Until next time friends and family.


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