…At The Grindstones

{May 11, 2010}   Hot and Sour Soup

Success, A for Awesome. I made Hot and Sour Soup from scratch and it turned out pretty great! The only things I would change would be the heat that I cooked it with (less).. which I think would have helped with the color and adding the egg.. and not burning myself as much hehe.

I took the recipe mainly from Hiu of Expert Village:

He posted small videos breaking down step by step the preparation of Chinese hot and sour soup – the only video I had seen – or series of videos I guess- that really broke it down for newbies. So I gave it a whirl..

I went to my favorite place to shop for ingredients and take in the sights…

I’m not used to using so many kinds of sauce!

Black vinegar, Dark and Light Soy Sauce, Chili Bean Sauce, Cooking Wine, Olive oil, Salt, Sichuan Pepper, Turbinado Sugar, Cornstarch..

Then I chopped like a madwoman..

Blanched what needed blanching…including the super amazing bamboo A..


And then set it up to put everything all together. My main mistake was that the wok was way too hot when I started. Caused some problems with the ginger, egg, chili bean sauce and colour of soup.. And er.. I burned myself some..

And added all of the ingredients for the big finish!!!

And it wasn’t spicy enough for me so I added some chili-garlic sauce to serve and chopped green onions.. et.. VOILA!

I’m just heating up the last of it now..saved the A till until the end… Hope you enjoyed my food-venture!


Ps. Reminded me of Hot and Sour Peasant Soup (F the Shrimp!) Skip to :50 or so if you don’t know what I’m talking about from the Birdcage 🙂

{May 10, 2010}   Pork Foo Pie

After a long day of wandering today through bookstores and cookware shops I found myself in Kensington Market, peckish but not for a full meal. I had heard tell of a place called Wanda’s Pie in the Sky, which sold pie and other things. I was there last week and had tried a cupcake which wasn’t so great.. but I didn’t want to give up on them just yet, so I called up some folks and we went on down to try what they were known for.. on the mother of all days- Mother’s day.

I was surprised there was any pie left…

But there it was, cold and alone… it spoke to me…

Was I seeing things?

So we had it cut up…


The verdict: It was fairly tasty, and pretty tall- lots of tasty coconut cream and real whipping cream. I’m not a fan of desserts usually, I had a black tea to wash it down, “Wanda’s Breakfast” – would have been nice to know what brand it really was… oh here’s the thing- with pie I like a thicker crust on the bottom because, for as long as I can remember I’ve preferred the crust to the goo. Maybe because we always want what we can’t or shouldn’t have and butter and I don’t always get along.. so the crispier thin crust, to me, was a disappointment…but I heard positive things- the verdict was- it’s a great idea, to have a pie with your friends in a nice ‘hood on a decent little patio…but not the best pie we’d ever had…

On the way to catch transit, I found myself back in China town, a popular stop for me on the weekends for me.. and I was super tempted to pick up some Beef Foo Young at my favorite restaurant.. but instead I remembered that I had some ingredients left over from the Hot and Sour Soup so I whipped up a Pork Foo Young and it turned out amazingly- here’s what it looked like:

I tossed a half tablespoon of olive oil in the frying pan on medium heat, and added  a small handful of thinly sliced white onions, the same of some bean spouts and a pinch of chili garlic sauce.  I used 3 eggs, scrambled em and added a teaspoon each of soysauce and black vinegar. Then, over top of the onions and sprouts I put a pinch of water to stir up the chili sauce and placed a few pieces of thinly sliced pork over top, and about 1/8th of a cup or a small handful of chopped green onions… poured the eggs over top. Once there seemed to be a decent layer cooked on the bottom I scrambled the contents of the pan and let it brown on one side, flipped it and turned the heat off. By the time I had the plates out and table set it was ready.

I know I left out a few traditional ingredients but they beauty of it is it’s fast, easy and uses up any veggies or meat bit leftovers that you might have in the fridge.. and it’s so good altogether that you never have any leftover.


et cetera