Food Blog Samuel Chu

Mexico

This week I went to Mexico. A country with a long history. People have settled in Mexico 10000 years ago. Before the 16th century, the people of Mexico are mostly from the Mayan or Aztec cultures. In 1518, a Spanish expedition discovered it. 3 years later, Hernan Cortes lead 500 Spanish Conquistadors and conquered Mexico, creating New Spain. Mexico was under Spanish rule for hundreds of years until 1821 when it finally gained independence. Mexican food are very similar to Spanish food since there is a very strong Spanish influence due to the 300 years of colonisation.

Those two photos are the recipes for the fillings. To make the burritos, apply the refried beans paste on the burritos, then add the beef fillings, put some grated cheese then fold it into a parcel. After that apply more cheese on the surface and make sure all parts are stuck together. If it doesn't stick, use some olive oil to stick it. Then put into the oven for 3 to 4 minutes.

Vietnam

Vietnam is situated in South East Asia in the Indochina region. Vietnam has a lot of foreign influence since it was colonised and occupied many times by foreign powers including France and China. The South of Vietnam also has a lot of Western influence from America. Therefore Vietnamese food has a lot of influence but kept a lot of original features. For example using traditional and local ingredients and making their food slightly spicy.

Vietnamese Goi Cuon

Gui Cuon is a sort of Vietnamese burrito with prawns and supposed to be served with drip sauce.
drip sauce
Goi Cuon

This is the recipe of the Vietnamese Gui Cuon. After finishing, do the exact same thing as burritos except for the oil bit. Add drip sauce and it is ready to be served.

It might be a bit spicy when you eat it when you put the drip sauce on top.

Japan

Japan is an island nation in North East Asia. One of the most famous food from Japan is sushi. The first type of sushi, known today as nare-zushi. It was actually first made in South East Asia and not in Japan. This type of sushi has salted fish wrapped in fermented rice for months. The fermented rice prevented the fish from spoiling. After a few months, the fermented rice was removed and the fish was consumed. This was the most important source of protein for the Japanese in ancient times. Later, in the Muromachi Period in Japan (1336-1573) , vinegar was added to improve the taste and better preservation. Then people discovered they did not need the fermentation process so in the 17th century, people near Osaka developed modern sushi. The first mention of sushi in English is in 1873 where it was included in a Japanese-English dictionary and appeared in the Oxford English Dictionary in 1893.

I know it looks really appealing

How to make sushi

First get whatever ingredients you want. Make sure you cut them into matchsticks or little cubes (except for the seafood). Then you spread a piece of seaweed on bamboo and add rice. The rice would stick to the seaweed so use water to make it less sticky. Spread the rice out along the piece of seaweed. Then add in all the ingredients. After that roll it up with the bamboo.and wait for five minutes. After five minutes use a wet knife to chop the roll into individual sushi. Enjoy!

Reflection

Making the sushi is very easy at first but then when you start rolling up the sushi. That bit is very hard. Trying to cut the sushi into equal pieces and then make it stay together is very hard. This is what made my sushi very very ugly.

Greece

Greece is a country situated in Balkan peninsula in Southern Europe on the Mediterranean coast. Greece is a country with thousands of years of history. Greek food follow the healthy Mediterranean diet with cheese, basil and olives.

I know it looks bad but....

Do it like normal bread to make the dough. Then start to use a rolling pin to make them as flat and round as possible. Put them one by one into a frying pan with a little bit of oil. Remember to flip them over from time to time. After that, get them out and put whatever you like on it. Enjoy!!

Reflection

When we rolled the dough into a circle, it wasn't really a circle and we messed up really badly so it doesn't look like the real thing at all.

Indian Curry with Chinese Wonton Fushion

I know, they are more like hot pockets

India

India is one of the most ancient countries in the world. It is a subcontinent that crashed into what we now call Asia 40 to 50 million years ago, creating what is now the Himalayan Mountains. Curry also originated on the subcontinent, when people mixed different spices and herbs to create what we now know as curry. Archaeological finds from Pakistan (part of the Indian subcontinent) show that people on that subcontinent were already consuming curry as early as 2600 BCE. It got to the rest of the world in the 16th century when the Portuguese established a trading post on the West coast of India and shipped curry to Europe and America.

China (wonton)

China dominates what we know know as East Asia. Being one of the oldest countries in the world, many Chinese food are really old. Wonton originated in Northern China and according to some sources Wonton shops already appeared in China during the Tang (618 AD to 907 AD) and the Song Dynasties (960 AD to 1279 AD). It might have originated much earlier though. It started off as a snack for the Imperial Family but later everyone started consuming them. It is like dumplings with soup and since dumplings are that popular, wontons quickly became popular with everyone else.

2 tomatoes

A quarter of a red pepper

A quarter of a green pepper

One onion

A glove of garlic and some ginger

Get everything you need for making regular curry

Get some wonton wrappers

Preparation

Crush the garlic and grate the ginger

Method

Dice the tomatoes, peppers and the onion

Put a little bit of oil into a saucepan and put some water in

Boil the water and add the ingredients of making curry

Add the peppers

After a few minutes add the onion and tomatoes

Then add the ginger and garlic

After everything is cooked, get wonton wrappers and make them wet

Get a baking tray and pour curry into each of them

Put the baking tray into the the oven to bake for 2 minutes

Enjoy!!!!

My own recipe

China

China is a large country in East Asia and one of the oldest countries in the world. Evert single region has unique cuisine and customs. Spring roll is consumed all over China and was believed to originate in China as well. It first appeared in Southern China during the Eastern Jin Dynasty (265 AD to 420 AD) when people made cakes and loaded vegetables in them to celebrate the first day of Spring (Lunar New Year) giving the name Spring Cakes. During the Tang Dynasty (618 AD to 907 AD), the silk road was re-established so spices, onion and garlic from Central Asia reached China. People used them to make the Spring Cakes spicier and more flavour was added. Later during the Ming (1368 AD to 1644 AD) and Qing (1644 AD to 1912 AD) people made rolls instead of cakes and giving the name Spring Rolls

Recipe

For the pork and marinade:

8 ounces finely shredded pork loin

¼ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon sesame oil

1 teaspoon Shaoxing wine

½ teaspoon cornstarch

¼ teaspoon white pepper

To assemble the filling:

2 tablespoons oil

1 clove garlic, minced

10 dried black or shiitake mushrooms, soaked until softened and thinly sliced

2 medium carrots, julienned (about 1 cup)

1 cup bamboo shoots, julienned (fresh is preferred, but canned is fine too)

1 small napa cabbage, julienned (about 6 cups)

1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine

2 tablespoons light soy sauce

1 teaspoon sesame oil

½ teaspoon salt or to taste

white pepper, to taste

¼ teaspoon sugar

2 tablespoons cornstarch, dissolved in 2 tablespoons cold water

For wrapping:

1 package 8" square spring roll wrappers (this recipe makes about 20 spring rolls)

1 tablespoon cornstarch, dissolved in 1 tablespoon boiling water for sealing the spring rolls

Canola, peanut or vegetable oil, for frying

Instructions

Mix the pork with the marinade ingredients and set aside for about 30 minutes. In the meantime, prepare the rest of the ingredients. Cut all of the vegetables to approximately the same size. You want everything the same size so each ingredient blends together.

Brown the pork over high heat in 2 tablespoons of oil, and add the garlic, mushrooms and carrots. Stir fry for 30 seconds, and add the bamboo shoots, napa cabbage, and Shaoxing wine. Continue stir-frying for a minute. Adjust the heat to simmer the mixture, as the napa cabbage will release a lot of moisture.

Stir in the soy sauce, sesame oil, salt, white pepper, and sugar. At this time, you have the option of adding ¼ cup of the decanted water from soaking the dried mushrooms. It strengthens the mushroom flavor, so this is purely according to your personal preference. You may also have to simmer the filling longer to reduce the additional liquid.

Continue simmering the filling for another 3 minutes--until the napa cabbage is completely wilted--and stir in the corn starch slurry to thicken. How much slurry you add depends upon the wetness of the filling (this varies if your cabbage had more moisture or if you did add the optional mushroom water), but there should be no standing liquid at all.

Transfer the filling to a large shallow bowl, and let cool. Place into the refrigerator to cool further—at least one hour. It’s best to start with a cold filling for easier wrapping. The key to wrapping spring rolls is making sure that they’re tight, yet not overstuffed. It's best to use fresh spring roll wrappers if you can, as freezing the wrappers can result in the spring roll skin being a bit too damp.

Place the wrapper on a flat surface so that a corner is facing toward you. Use about two spoonfuls of the mixture per spring roll, and spoon it about 2 inches from the corner that is closest to you. Roll it over once, and, like you’re making a burrito, fold over both sides. Continue rolling it into a cigar shape. With your fingers, brush a bit of the cornstarch water onto the corner of the wrapper that is farthest from you to seal it.

In case you’re wondering, we did try egg wash instead of the cornstarch mixture to seal the spring roll but the egg wash "stains" the spring roll, so it's best to use the cornstarch mixture.

Place each roll on a tray. This recipe makes about 18-20 spring rolls. You can also freeze these spring rolls on the tray overnight, and transfer them to a zip-lock bag when they are completely frozen for future use. We usually fry some fresh and freeze the rest, unless we are hosting a party, in which case, these go like hot cakes!

To fry the spring rolls, fill a small pot (which requires less oil) with oil until it’s 2 to 3 inches deep. Heat the oil slowly over medium heat until it reaches 325 degrees. Gently add the spring rolls one at a time, frying in small batches. Carefully roll them in the oil so they cook evenly until golden brown and transfer them to a plate lined with paper towels.

Reflection for the whole blog

It was quite good and easy with finding the information but during the practical, I failed many dishes or made them look super horrible. I found the Greek Flatbread quite hard since I can't really get the dough into a circle. The Indian curry and Chinese wonton fusion was the only that went according the the plan.

Created By
Samuel CHU
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