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May 2012
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July 2012

Sweet chili sauce

Sweet chili sauce

 Sweet chili sauce, I think the sweet in it's name always pushed me away.  I like my sauces savory.  They can be hot, but I expect savory. 

Then Jennifer (Lin Shaohong) my favorite cultural ambassador, brought me some zongzi and said they were best served warm with sweet chili sauce.  That was the end of my ignorance. It is sweet, savory and spicy.  Those Thai cooks really know food.

Over the past week I have had it with crab, on a salad, marinated oysters in it and mixed it with tofu as a hearty dip for daikon radishes.  I think this may have changed my life, or at least my eating habits.

1/2 cup Rice Wine Vinegar
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup water
3 tbsp Fish Sauce
2 red chili peppers, minced or 1/2 tbsp dried crushed chili #InSummer
3 cloves garlic, minced (have also used 1/2 tbsp Garlic Ginger Salt) #InSummer
1 1/2 tapioca flour (sago) dissolved in 3 tbsp cool water

In a sauce pan combine everything but the tapioca flour. Bring to a rolling boil.
Reduce heat to medium and let boil for 10 minutes, or until the liquid is reduced by half. Reduce heat to low and add the tapioca flour mixture. Stir to incorporate and continue stirring occasionally until the sauce thickens.

A delicious marinade or sauce for chicken, fish, and seafood, or as a dip with things like tempura and eggrolls.


More salatious sauces:


Photo Credit:  Julie Cecchini



BBQ Corn on the Cob

image from

One of the most surprising things for me to see in China was corn. I have read that it officially came to Asia from the Americas during the "Colombian Exchange" of 1492.  However there is some evidence maize was being grown here prior to that year.

In fact the Chinese have a love affair with corn.  There are corn vendors here like you see hot dogs vendor in New York.  You can get corn juice, tea, and ice pops.  So far my favorite way to enjoy it has been from the BBQ stands that set up all over Jimei at night.  Their preparation is simple; soak BBQ corn on the cob from Chinacorn, stick it on a skewer, brush it generously with oil and sprinkle with seasoning.  As the grill marks the ears, the sugars in the kernels begin to caramelize.  In my opinion it is a far superior to our old stand by steamed corn. 

  • 6 ears corn    
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil   
  • 2 tbsp your favorite spices, I would choose our Dill Salt
  • Skewers

Preheat in outdoor grill for high heat and lightly oil grate. Peel back corn husks and remove silk. Soak Corn in water for a couple minutes. 

Insert a skewer into each ear of corn.  Place them on the grill and brush all sides with oil.  Sprinkle generously with Dill Salt. Grill for approximately 10 min, turning occasionally, until corn is tender and you start to see grill marks.

If you are crazy for corn:

Photo Credit:  Julie Cecchini