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Restaurant Critic & Food Blogger
Finally updated Asian Video Recipes and felt that the hostess is the most important personality in any video recipe. Ci Ci Li is our choice for hosting her own Asian Video Recipes. She is always smiling , easy to learn from and her instructions are simple. We hope you enjoy them as much as we did. Here's a sample of her work:
Now is the time to be adventurous and take a EATING TOUR to my favorite restaurants that offer authentic Chinese Food.
The place I'm talking about is called Chop Stix in Rosedale. It's a restaurant that is quite large hidden behind and industrial park but offers the best Dim Sum (Chinese brunch) from the hours of 11AM to 3 PM. Once the word got out about this place in the Asian community, it was a big hit. The weekends are packed but I suggest we go on a Thursday, less people more room to relax. What is Dim Sum?, well f you ever went to Spain and tried Tapas, its along the same lines. Small bite size morsels of either stem, fried or baked goodies. Shrimp, beef, chicken all created with a rice base wrapper, mini spareribs with a light black bean sauce steamed but aromatic, shrimp folded in a transparent rice based dough steamed perfectly, or a roast pork bun baked or steam with diced roast pork and onions in a hoisin sauce 'along with lots of interesting tasting items like fresh roast duck, fried pork belly to name a few.
Unfortunately I am based in Maryland, so any Marylander's interested, please email me. The cost is
$ 20/per person for 2 wonderfully delicious hours, plus its family style eating. You'll get to meet me Chef Woo Can. It's a hops skip and a jump off of Pulaski Highway around 65th Street. The more people the more opportunity to try a number of great dishes. Oh, by the way, there is this Chicken Pan Fried Noodle Dish or Seafood Pan fried noodle dish that is just delicious!
Send me an email. website is www.chefwoocan.com
It's salad season. Let's see, get a head of lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, radishes, red onions, mushrooms, carrots and tossed with your favorite dressing. Hmmm, let's take it one more step, let me introduce you to Vietnamese Summer Noodle Salad. In Vietnam, the people offer a salad staple that is popular year round during the hot season. The salad is refreshing like all salads are, but the flavor, Hmmm one of a kind. Simple, refreshing flavor. You say what are the ingredients. Ok, you start off with your favorite protein source, whether that be chicken, beef, shrimp or pork. Should be marinated with some fish sauce (highly pungent and salty) but balanced with some brown sugar and a dash of vinegar and water of equal portion for about 30 minutes. For the noodles, there is the regular egg based lo mein noodles which will not be used for this recipe. There is a rice based noodle, very thin tubular shape called Mai Fun. The noodles come packed dried. Need to soak in warm water and you'll notice it absorbs alot of water and becomes pliable. Ok the veggie ingredients, you choice of fresh bean sprouts. Bean Sprouts are must be firm and crispy. The demand in American stores is growing but sometimes when its not selling the bean sprouts cannot be bagged for a long time and then the start to turn brownish, Purchase a pkg that reflects bright white sprouts and feel crunchy, Fresh Herbs: cilantro, (wash it thorughly). Southeast Asian loves to use fresh cilantro and mint (wash thorughly). Cucumber is very popular and is very soothing and cooling to the mouth, shredded carrots and shredded onions add additional crunch, you can add hot pepper flakes for a little zing. Ok slice up the cucumber and meats, Boil water and drop in the mai fun for about 10 seconds (Because the noodles are so thin, they cook quickly) and pull out and rinse under cold water to prevent further cooking of the mai fun, then drain thoroughly. The sauce, ok the same sauce used for the marinade, even portion of fish sauce, even portion of brown sugar and vinegar based on your taste and even amount of water. The water acts to dilute the strong flavors to a more milder stage
Assembly: There are 2 options; Get a decorated bowl, pile high the mai fun like a volcano structure, the add all the ingredients and add met last. Toss the sauce over the entire creation and serve. OR combine all ingredients together is a separate bowl and then pile it high in the decorated bowl or platter. Either way it will look delicious, and every enticing to your palate Chill in refrigerator and your family will simply love it! at www.chefwoocan.com. This dish will be featured very soon at Asian Cafe, Fallston Md.
The warm weather is here. To hot to have a typical Asian meal that is heavy and weighs on your stomach. In Southeast Asian where the weather is always hot and humid, the Vietnamese people have been successful with producing light fare, easy, refreshing and delicious.
Introducing the Vietnamese sandwich called Banh Mi, a sandwich vastly different from the typical American sandwich. There are so many versions, but I prefer to use a Hoagie bun or subway roll. If you really want to get authentic, the French baguette is used.
This may seem a little different but I try to hollow out the extra bread, why? it better to grip the whole sandwich without anything falling out. The typical meat is pork but Chinese roast pork is better. It's been marinaded already. Lay a couple of slices in the roll, spread some mayo on one side of bun with a squeeze of Sriracha hot chili sauce to give a slight kick, Add shredded pickled daikon and carrots, cilantro, slices of cucumber, a version of the oil and vinegar used is (mixture of brown sugar, fish sauce and vinegar) and you have a delicious fresh sandwich with a unique flavor and healthy too!. The beauty of this sandwich is yo can be so creative, add fresh bean sprouts, red onions, jalepeno peppers, mint leaves, or switch from pork to marinated chicken and beef or even shrimp. Simple sandwich for those warm days in Summer.
Unfortunately, the only establishments that offer these sandwiches are Vietnamese restaurants, and they aren't even guaranteed to carry them. Hasn't been given alot of press. But here at Chef Woo Can
Asian Cafe in Fallston, MD will be offering these sandwich very soon at www.chefwoocan.com!
The malls, the place where you could get about anything you wanted, be it food, clothes, shoes anything. The main stay of these establishments were the anchor stores to support the traffic to the malls. The JCPenney's, Sears, Macy's Kohl's etc..........
Well, unfortunately this to will be an ancient dinosaur. Th anchors stores are facing their own financial crisis. They became to complacent with the way of doing business. The montra may have been, if its not broken, why fix it. Not taking into consideration the changing generation and how they like to see things, These same stores were the success of retail back in the day but now they've become boring and uninteresting.
The younger generation want a hands on approach to things. I saw the apple store in a mall and they were packed to the gills. Their concept brought the traffic in, and maybe some bought an apple product but at least some went in for curiosity but just think of i, a great way to promote their products and hopefully a second visit they'll buy.
The decline of the anchor stores and ultimately the decline and maybe collapse of the Mall as we remember it.
But don't fear!, there is always hope. Allow the malls to be a haven for new foods from around the world, convert storefront to small cafe style eating establishments, offer portable kiosk on main floor in the middle to small business entrepreneurs offering home made items or exotic foods, offer food exhibits, cooking classes, health seminars but do not allow the big food fast food to come in. It will be the same old food. Nothing will change. They would discount competition because of name recognition. No No No.
Include grocery stores or large established ethnic supermarkets like H Mart (Korean Supermarket in Catonsville, MD) offering fresh vegetables, fruits and fresh seafood.
Kids center for entertainment or cooking classes for kids can be created. They are our future, so why not teach them or gt them involved in eating healthy and cooking healthy.
The mall would be an adventure to see whats new in food trends, take home a delicious meal for lunch or dinner.
There is now a Japanese fast food that uses a conveyor to present various foods, you look and just grab it.
Everyone loves to eat RIGHT! How can it not be a win win situation for the property management team, the merchants getting pedestrian traffic, reasonable prices and most importantly, fresh food.
The criteria can be set to price meals no more than 10 bucks.
Think of how much small biz merchants would save versus opening their own brick and mortar store. Huge savings.
But you'll know the Mcdonalds of the world will try to invade by offering larger leases with huge square footage. But do we really want that?
I hit the wine store and selected wines that traditionally complement spicy foods. I chose fruit-forward, low alcohol wines, with low tannins and minimal oak, that are best served chilled. I invited over some friends and prepared a spread of spicy Asian-inspired dishes, serving them alongside our wine selections.
1. Riesling: This is considered the classic pairing with spicy food because of the varietal's intense fruit concentration and natural acidity, often complemented with sweetness. I chose two slightly sweet versions from Germany, where it is the country's most widely planted grape variety.
After tasting these wines as a group, we agreed unanimously that the Dr. L Riesling was the standout pairing. Although the St. Urbans-Hof Riesling showed better fruit concentration, it was the balance of sweetness and acidity that set the Dr. L apart when pairing with spicy Asian cuisine.
Wines have been around for centuries in every part of the world, so why not add a wine list when eating your favorite Asian cuisine. Chef Woo Can will pair various whites and reds so you'll experience the fabulous enhanced flavors of your gourmet Asian meal.
Tonight, I will present my first wine selection with a number of dishes that will pair well. at www.chefwoocan.com
I mentioned earlier that I developed a rapport with Ben the owner of Asian cafe and I offered my services to him to increase sales and customer traffic. His location is adjacent to Italian Sensation in Fallston, MD
The first thing he wanted to mention to me was that he is a cook. His background in business is basic life experience of living and learning sometimes the hard way.
One of the major issues was the lease contract. Currently reviewing all clauses but Ben may not have known what he was signing the lease.
Consult a legal representative when dealing with a potential landlord. The work negotiating a lease will always payoff in the end.
Be the customer walking in to order a dish. What do I want to see? Minimize selection, so much to choose from. What are they known for?
Spring & Summer warm weather. Consider seasonal dishes