EC&I 831

My digital project is to introduce Chinese eight famous cuisines and practice one dish’s cooking for each cuisine. This is not only a digital teaching program but also a digital learning program for me, as I have found so many new things during this process.

First of all, the process of blogging itself made me learn a lot in how to use various technologies such as pictures, links and videos to explain a program clearly. Although adding links to every possible knowledge point is a hard job, I’m proud I didn’t be lazy to give up doing it. Furthermore, I’ve learned how to find and use properly licensed pictures in my blogs. This is a big achievement for me, as we never contacted the concept of copyright online in China before.

Each of my blog is divided into two parts: introduction to the cuisine’s history, local culture, and feature, plus my own practice for cooking one dish. The first challenge was the introduction part, as I had no more ideas except for knowing these eight names and taking them in resteraunts. I looked through all the resource I could search online and learned so much from those resources. More helpful, I greatly enjoyed the convenience of the connecting the knowledge in my blogs with useful sources outside instantly to help others learn quickly.

Trying to cook the dishes by myself was from the inspiration of “Makey Makey”. To be honest, I was not good at cooking at all. In China, I even often ate fast food during and after work for avoiding cooking. To cook these famous dishes is undoubtedly a great challenge for me, as I thought they were too complicated to be cooked at home. In the beginning I had made full preparation to show my unsuccessful work. However, the idea “making” always encouraged me to step out and try. It was not an easy process, as I needed to cook and take photos for every step. Even more, they were just the beginning. I need to choose idea pictures, edit their frames, sizes, and layout, and write detailed steps according to my practice. I was pleasant to find that I was doing better in every new blog. I could add make watermark and grid the pictures, from individual operation to batch operation, and my explaining capacity has been improved now. Everything asked me to learn step by step. I didn’t imagine how they cost my time before as I always thought they were easy to learn, but everything was different when I do by myself. Now I have a great feeling of achievement about my fast growth in technology through making and learning.

Through these blogs I’m glad that several people left comments to express they will try to cook these dishes according to my demonstration. In fact most Chinese recipes are very complicated to be followed and easily make people lose interests to learn them. That’s why I thought cooking these dishes were so difficult. However, digital resources were able to let me compare various recipes of the same dish in a short time. I usually chose the most essential steps in all the recipes, to summarize the simplest process. My practice tells me that the flavors of the dishes cooked by these essential processes are as good as the ones I tasted in Chinese restaurants. This is also a valuable learning experience for me, as we often face the problem that there are too much different sources for the same thing. It’s necessary to compare their common points and summarize the most reasonable points for us.

I think the most impressive experience for me in this digital project is sharing. I’m grateful that so many people have contributed lots of wonderful sources online. For example, when I’m trying to search for a typical food, place or culture I want to introduce in one cuisine, there are numerous pictures and videos I can use all the time. That’s amazing! Thanks those generous people who share their experience and memory with us strangers. Their sharing stimulates my learning and enhances my blog’s readability. Therefore, this project is also my learning diary from other people who support open education. After taking Sue’s extra session, I was hesitated about the ways of using my own pictures in blogging. In fact I have learned how to add watermark and I felt so proud of this new skill. However, Alec’s introduction on open education and the importance of sharing confirmed my resolution of sharing all my pictures to everyone without mark. After this class I will share them via Flickr.

In a word, this class is awesome for me to arm myself with more and more technology skills and constant passion to learn. I’m so pleasant to set up a network through this program with my classmates and instructor. Jason even invited me to join in his themed potluck party. After this class, I hope I could keep on communicating with everyone with question or any issue. Under the sunshine of open education, I will never stop learning.

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Xiang (Hunan) Cuisine comes from Hunan province, Southeast of China. It is named a fertile “land of fish and rice” because of the nice temperate weather and good location with lots of lakes including a Chinese famous lake Dongting Lake. This province is famous in China because it is the hometown of Chairman Mao, the first leader of People’s Republic of China. According to archaeological excavations, Hunan people began to cook since Neolithic Era. Xiang Cuisine was originated from the Spring and Autumn Annals and Warring States period (722 BC-403 BC), and had been formed since Han Dynasty (206BC-220AD). In Chuci, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chu_Ci a Chinese famous poet Qu yuan (343–278 BC) wrote two poems to record this cuisine. Xiang Cuisine developed in Qin (221-206BC) and Han Dynasty (206BC-220AD), as well as Tang (618-907AD)and Song Dynasty (960-1279), and achieved prosperous in Ming Dynasty(1368-1644) and Qing Dynasty (1644-1912). Xiang Cuisine has spicy flavour with fresh hot pepper and chopped pepper, focusing on every aspect of a dish including colour, smell, taste, and shape. Different from Chuan Cuisine which also includes the taste of Zanthoxylum americanum, Xiang Cuisine is purely spicy and sour.

Picture by Cacahuate, amendments by Peter Fitzgerald and ClausHansen, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, 2.5 Generic, 2.0 Generic and 1.0 Generic.

Picture by Cacahuate, amendments by Peter Fitzgerald and ClausHansen, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, 2.5 Generic, 2.0 Generic and 1.0 Generic.


Hu Nan Province Phoenix Town
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Picture by Teresa Qin License Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic

Introduction to Xiang Cuisine

Xiang cuisine also pays attention to dish utensils since ancient time (from the Spring and Autumn Annals and Warring States period (722 BC-403 BC)), including Pottery, bronze, iron, and lacquer.
Lacquer Found in a Tomb of Han Dynasty in Changsha City, Hunan Province
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Picture by drs2biz License Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic

One of the most famous Xiang dishes is Fish Head with Chopped Chili, which is very popular in the restaurants everywhere in China.
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Picture by Christopher, License Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic

Today we will learn a dish named “Farmer Style Pork”. It is very easy to cook but very delicious.
Ingredients:
Pork with fat (500g),hot pepper (200g),green onion (100g), caraway (30g), sugar (1 teaspoon), soy sauce (1 tablespoon), cooking wine (1 tablespoon), vinegar (several drops), sesame oil (3ml), olive oil (5 ml).
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Step 1: Slice the meat, hot peppers, green onion to pieces, chop caraway.
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Step 2: Lay out the pork slices on the bottom of the pan, and use middle fire (level 4) slowly fry the pork to golden colour.
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Step 3: Turn over the pork slices and fry the other side to golden colour. Get them out.
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Step 4: Add the olive oil and sesame oil, and fry the hot peppers and green onion for 3 minutes.
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Step 5: Put the pork into the pan again and turn the fire to high. When there is a good smell gets out, immediately add cooking wine, soy sauce, sesame oil,caraway and vinegar drops in turn.
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Tips: The pork must have fat on it. You can add less pepper if you don’t like spicy food. As the pork’s fat has its own oil, it’s not necessary to use too much oil. BTW, you can use any oil instead of olive oil and sesame oil, with a slight different flavour.

HUI (HUIZHOU) CUISINE

Even most Chinese people misunderstand that Hui Cuisine is from Anhui province. However, it isn’t. Real Hui Cuisine means Huizhou Cuisine. Huizhou is a historical region in Southeast China. It includes Huangshan City and Jixi County of Anhui province, and Wuyuan County of Jiangxi province. This region has a famous mountain Huangshan (in English means Yellow mountain), and the most beautiful county in China. With two province’s geographic environment and two kinds of climatic transition zone, Huizhou has a moderate climate with ample rainfall, which results in rich products. Therefore, Hui Cuisine has various raw materials to be used.

Picture by Cacahuate, amendments by Peter Fitzgerald and ClausHansen, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, 2.5 Generic, 2.0 Generic and 1.0 Generic.

Picture by Cacahuate, amendments by Peter Fitzgerald and ClausHansen, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, 2.5 Generic, 2.0 Generic and 1.0 Generic.


Hui style architecture
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Picture by Rolf Müller, license GNU Free Documentation License Version 1.2
Wuyuan County
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Picture by manginwu License Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic
Huangshan Cloud
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Picture by Tom Thai License Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic

Hui Cuisine has a close relationship with Hui merchants, a famous businessmen group In ancient China, originated from Jin Dynasty (265–420), developed in Tang Dynasty (618-907AD), and Song Dynasty (960-1279), being prosperous till Qing Dynasty (1644-1912). These merchants promoted Hui culture and cuisine everywhere in China with their business. Hui Cuisine was originated from Tang and Song, flourished in Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1912) dynasties, then continued development after that. Hui Cuisine pays a great attention to health, focusing on natural to food cultivation. Similar with Su Cuisine, Hui Cuisine also use more stewing, steaming, or simmer [boil] than frying. The flavour is tending to be Crisp, tender, fragrant, and fresh.
Here are two videos for introducing the history and relationship between Hui cuisine and Hui merchants.

As most formal Hui Cuisine must use rare raw material specially produced locally, we have to learn an informal dish (pastry) with the easily purchased material, shrimp.

Ingredients:
Shrimp meat (200g), water (50ml), egg white (2 eggs’), green leaves’ vegetable (100g), salt (3.5g), ground pork (100g), cooking wine (15ml), sesame oil (10g), dry starch (5g), chicken soup (200g).
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Step 1: Mix 2.5g salt, water, cooking wine with half amount of shrimp meat (100g) and the ground pork, then add the egg’s white to mix, finally add some dry starch. Grind them into fine mixture.
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Step 2: Grind another half shrimp meat (100g), 100g vegetable and 1g salt to fine mixture.
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Step 3: Use a plate with flat bottom, brush sesame oil o bottom. Put a layer of pork and shrimp mixture with 1cm thickness, and then put another layer of shrimp and vegetable mixture with 1cm thickness on this first layer.
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Step 4: Put the last layer of pork and shrimp mixture with 1cm thickness on the top. Steam the plate with a cover for 20 minutes with high fire.
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Step 5: Cut the steamed shrimp cake into pieces.
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Tips: The ground pork should better be the pork with some fat. You can use any oil instead of sesame oil for different taste. Various source can be taken together with this shrimp cake.

Zhe (Zhejiang) Cuisine comes from Zhejiang province, east of China, border upon Shanghai. Because Zhejiang is located by East-sea, there are much sea food in Zhe cuisine. In Zhejiang, there also are many rivers and lakes, providing abundant freshwater food.

Picture by Cacahuate, amendments by Peter Fitzgerald and ClausHansen, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, 2.5 Generic, 2.0 Generic and 1.0 Generic.

Picture by Cacahuate, amendments by Peter Fitzgerald and ClausHansen, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, 2.5 Generic, 2.0 Generic and 1.0 Generic.

Zhe cuisine has a long history, originated from Hemudu culture (5,000BC-4,500BC), recorded by Huangdi Neijing (476-221 BC) and Records of the Grand Historian (109 to 91 BC). It was developed in Spring and Autumn period (771-476 BC) and Southern and Northern Dynasties (420-589). Till Southern Song (1127–1279), Zhe cuisine was totally flourishing as the capital of this dynasty was Hangzhou, a very famous city in Zhejiang. As Zhejiang is close to Fujian province, Zhe Cuisine has similar light flavour like Min Cuisine, with more elaborate cooking methods. Therefore, most Zhe dishes look very elegant like an artwork.

West_Lake_-_Hangzhou,_China
Picture by Louisa Salazar license under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported.

Hangzhou, the capital city of Zhejiang province, is a very beautiful city. There is a proverb saying: “Up above there is heaven; down below there are Suzhou and Hangzhou.” It means Hangzhou, the capital of Zhejiang province, is a very rich and comfortable city, By the way, Suzhou is the famous city in Jiangsu which is introduced in Su (Jiangsu) Cuisine https://liufeivip.wordpress.com/2013/11/29/su-jiangsu-cuisine/. Here is the introduction video of Hangzhou city and Zhe cuisine in Hangzhou, including a famous Zhe dish “Dongpo Pork”’s story.

Today we will learn to cook one of the most famous dish “Dongpo Pork”, which was related with a famous scholar Su Shi in Song Dynasty (960–1279).

Ingredients:
Pork with fat(600g), cooking wine (40ml), soy sauce(40ml), white sugar(4 teaspoons), ginger(30g),green onion(60g),bay leaf(6 pieces).
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Step 1: Cut the meat to small blocks.
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Step 2: Put the blocks into boiled water for 3 minutes.
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Step 3: Use a steaming pot, and lay out the ginger and scallion slices on the steaming plate.
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Step 4: Lay out the pork blocks with the fat side down, and put bay leaf and the left scallion.
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Step 5: sprinkle 20 ml cooking wine ,20 ml soy sauce and 2 teaspoons sugar on the pork blocks, then use low (level 2) fire to cook the pork with a cover for 30 minutes.
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Step 6: Turn over all the pork blocks, then sprinkle another 20 ml cooking wine, 20 ml soy sauce and 2 teaspoons sugar on the pork blocks, then use low(level 2) fire cook the pork with a cover for 30 minutes.
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Step 7: Move the meat to a terrine, and put the terrine into a boiler with water in its bottom, then use middle(level 5) fire to steam for 30 minutes.
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Finished:
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Tips: Step 5 and Step 6 don’t need to add water in the bottom of the pot. The cooking wine is better to use the yellow-coloured cooking wine as I listed in the picture. This cooking wine can be purchased in Superstore.

MIN (FUJIAN) CUISINE

Picture by Cacahuate, amendments by Peter Fitzgerald and ClausHansen, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, 2.5 Generic, 2.0 Generic and 1.0 Generic.

Picture by Cacahuate, amendments by Peter Fitzgerald and ClausHansen, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, 2.5 Generic, 2.0 Generic and 1.0 Generic.

Min cuisine comes from Fujian province, Southeast of China, and Min is the ancient name of Fujian province. This cruisine is mixed by Han nationality culture and Min Yue culture, and the expatriates also took back southeast Asian culture. Min cruisine started from Six Dynasties (220 or 222–589), and came into being during Five Dynasties(937-978). The typical flavour is light but tasteful, soft and tender. Fujian province is located besides sea and mountains, so there are lots of seafood and woodland food in Min cuisine. For example, the famous fish ball.

Lianjiang Fish ball in Fuzhou, Fujian
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Picture by Spamlian License Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

Another famous Min dish is Buddha Jumps Over the Wall, which is made by over 30 ingredients. The name comes from a legend that once upon a time, a respectable Buddhist monk of Tang Dynasty(618-907AD), whose name was Xuanquan was going to visit South Shaolin temple. When he reached Fuzhou, the capital of Fujian province, he lived in a small hotel. At dinner time, a rich neighbor of the hotel had a party, and cooked a dish with a very goo smell. Xuanquan could not bear and forgot his vow to be a vegetarian. He leapt over a wall to taste the dish and abandoned Buddhist practice for many years. This dish was named the Buddha Jumps over the wall and improved by a restaurant in Fuzhou city, Fujian province in Qing Dynasty (1644-1912), and became the most famous dish in Min cuisine.

Today, we will learn a famous Min cuisine named ‘sour mustard beef’, which tasted savory, sweet and sour. It would stimulate the appetite.

Ingredients:
Beef (300g), pickled sour mustard(150g), cooking wine (25ml), oil(30ml), soy sauce (15ml), salt (1/4 teaspoon), scallion (15g), ginger(15g), garlic (5g), white sugar (2 teaspoons), starch (1 tablespoons),green pepper(one).
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Step 1: Slice the beef, mix with cooking wine, starch and soy sauce, and leave them there half an hour.
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Step 2: Cleaning the pickled sour mustard and dip it in clean water for half an hour.
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Step 3: slie and chop pickled sour mustard, scallion, ginger, garlic, green pepper as picture.
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Step 4: Use middle fire fry pickled sour mustard slices to dry and give out good smell(about 10 minutes), then put them on a dish.
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Step 5: Turn the fire to high and pour 15ml oil to the pan. Wait till the oil becomes hot, put the beef into the pan and stir-fry to just change color, then get the beef out.
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Step 6: Turn the fire to middle and pour another 15ml oil to the pan, fry scallion, ginger, garlic to golden color.
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Step 7: Turn the fire to high then put the green pepper, pickled sour mustard, beef, white sugar and salt to the pan one by one, and stir-fry together about 5 minutes.
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Step 8: Get everything out of the pan and put them on a dish.
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Tips:
The pickled sour mustard can be purchased in Superstore. Western pickled cabbage is also ok. It should be better to check how salty the pickled sour mustard in advance to measure the amount of soy sauce and salt.


Thanks Xi Chen who shared us such a wonderful tool Powtoon for creating a cartoon-style presentation. I spent a long time to search and think a more wonderful tool for me, but I failed. Powtoon is exactly the tool which can express my ideas and my words in a fresh way. I like it!

To be honest, it’s not an easy job for me, a person who never stepped out of my old life style before, to learn quite a new tool and make something through it. It really took a long time for me to make these cartoons, although they look still quite simple. However, this is another valuable learning process. I appreciate it and will always keep this beautiful memory.

As I mentioned in the video, I need a great courage to input my voice in English here. In fact I didn’t do that even in Chinese. That’s a magic transformation for me! This transformation is successfully achieved by attending to EC &I 831. In the future, I hope I can step further to change and improve.

Hope you enjoy my video!

Su (Jiangsu) Cuisine

Su Cuisine (or Jiangsu Cuisine), comes from Jiangsu province, east of China along the coast. Close to Shangdong (Lu Cuisine), Su Cuisine is also tending to emphasize the fresh flavour of the raw material. It’s very interesting that there is a famous Su dish named “fish inside lamb”. Which has the same reference for Chinese character “fresh” (鲜-“fish” on left side and “lamb” on right side) but opposite cooking ways with the famous Lu dish “lamb inside the fish”. This “fish inside lamb” is said to be created by a fairy named Peng Zu who lived in Jiangsu province in Xia Dynasty (2070-1600 BCE). Wikipedia has some explanation for Peng Zu as following http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peng_Zu but it is seriously different with the most popular Chinese sayings. Here is Chinese description to say that Peng Zu was rewarded Peng city (Xuzhou as its modern name) in Jiangsu province, and died in Wuyi Mountains, Fujian province. Anyway Su cuisine has its mysterious magnetism with such an old legend and history.

Picture by Cacahuate, amendments by Peter Fitzgerald and ClausHansen, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, 2.5 Generic, 2.0 Generic and 1.0 Generic.

Picture by Cacahuate, amendments by Peter Fitzgerald and ClausHansen, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, 2.5 Generic, 2.0 Generic and 1.0 Generic.


Suzhou, A Typical City in Jiangsu Province

Su Cuisine was formally originated from Southern and Northern Dynasties (420-589), and flourished in Ming Dynasty(1368-1644) and Qing Dynasty (1644-1912). Different from Lu Cuisine, Su Cuisine has sugary flavour in salty flavour. The cooking method is usually stewing, steam, simmer [boil] in a covered pot over a slow fire. Therefore you’d better have a pan with a cover to cook Su cuisine.

Su Cuisine has 4 branches: Huaiyang, Suxi, Xuhai, and Jinling. The most famous branch is Huaiyang Cuisine, which is introduced as following:

Today, we will learn a famous Su cuisine named “Lion’s Head”. This dish has been famous since the Sui Dynasty (581–618 AD). When Emperor Yang of Sui visited Yangzhou city in Jiangsu, local famous cooker made 4 dishes for him: Sweet and Sour Mandarin Fish, golden shrimp cake, Ivory chicken strips and Sunflower chopped meat. Till Tang Dynasty (618-907AD), the name Sunflower chopped meat was changed to “Lion’s Head” as the latter name was more vivid to represent the dish’s appearance. Lion’s Head has 3 different cooking ways: stew, steam and braise in soy sauce. Today I’ll cook it in the last way. In this way, the colour of the “Lion’s Head” is red because of the soy sauce, so it is also named “Red Lion’s Head”, distinguishing from stewed or steamed lion’s Head, which is in white colour.

Refer to the 1st recipe of braise in soy sauce Lion’s Head in Baidu Baike.

Ingredients:
Ground pork (500g), brassica, 2 eggs, cooking wine (15ml), oil(30ml), soy sauce (2 tablespoons), salt (1/4 teaspoon), scallion (20g), ginger(15g), garlic (5g), white sugar (2 teaspoons), starch (2 tablespoons), water (1and 1/2cups).
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Step 1:
Chop the scallion, ginger and garlic. Get the eggs out.
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Step 2:
Stir the eggs, and pour it into the ground pork, mixing with chopped scallion, ginger and garlic, as well as cooking wine and salt. Stir the mixing stuff (always clockwise).
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Step 3:
Use hands or spoon to make pork balls (around 4cm diameter for each).
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Step 4:
Turn on the fire to middle, and put 30ml oil into the pan. When the oil begins to warm, turn the oil to low and put the pork balls into the pan.
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Step 5:
Fry the pork balls till they turn colour on one side, then turn over to another side, till four sides turn colour. Fish the pork balls out and strain the oil off.
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Step 6:
Put the pork balls into the pan with a cover, with sugar, water and soy sauce. Use middle fire to boil them, then turn the fire into low and cover the pan to stew 30-40minutes.
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Step 7:
Use high fire to boil some water and sink the rape into the boiled water.
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Step 8:
Fish the brassica out and decorate around the cooked pork balls.
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Tips:
If you can mince the pork by yourself, it should be better as the raw material as the pork particle should better not be too tiny (3mm diameter). If you have time to use the lowest fire to stew 1 hour, the flavour should be better. Besides brassica, you can also use other vegetable to decorate this dish.