Hobby: Nutrition and Black Bean Curd
Hobby In the past ten years, cooking has become one of my favorite hobbies. I have had many experiences that are worth writing about. My husband and I love to eat, cook and dine out. We have enjoyed different cooking activities that have brought us a lot of pleasure, and up to this day we still engage in cooking. We love to explore different kinds of cooking styles because we love to eat different types of food. The most popular cuisines that we have cooked the most are Chinese, Italian and American food. Also, we experiment in different cooking styles and trying Japanese, French, Mexican, Thai, and Mediterranean food as well.
My husband and his friends formed a gourmet club a few years ago. Each couple that joined the club loves to eat and cook. So every weekend, a couple will pick up a theme and invite their friends to their house to have a nice dinner. Usually I will cook Chinese food for our guests. China is a big country; there are about 56 regional styles of food in China. Each region has it own cuisine due to varying weather conditions, environment, tastes and products (web. ) For example, Cantonese food is well known in America; Cantonese food specialized in seafood and Dim Sun.
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If you go to a Cantonese style restaurant, you will see a big fish tank with live fish and seafood in every restaurant. Customers can select the fresh seafood and fish that they like on the spot. The chef will cook your selection in any style that you want. The most popular cooking styles for fresh seafood are: steaming, sauteing, stir-frying and boiling. Two other cooking styles that I want to introduce are those from the provinces of Si Chuang and Hu Nan. These cuisines feature very spicy, sour, sweet, and salty dishes. If you can’t handle the heat, please stay away.
The most famous dishes from that region that American people are familiar with are: GongBao Chicken, Ma Po Tofu and Fish in Chili Bean sauce. One interesting idea that comes from cooking is that we can learn about different culture and history as we cook their cuisines. Since China’s history dates back 5000 years, so do the styles of cooking. Today’s Chinese cuisines are blending traditional and modern techniques representing that very long history. I love spicy food. One of the Chinese cuisines that I mentioned above comes rom the province of Si Chuan. Si Chuang province is the mountain district in the center of China and its food is famous for its hot and spicy dishes, and one of my favorites dishes is Ma Bo Tofu. Taste, color and smell are the three most distinctive features for Chinese cooking. My secret to cooking this dish is how to control the spices. First, I will separate all the spices in three levels: mild spicy, medium spicy and very spicy. My husband loves spicy but he does not like it when the hot spicy numbs his tongue because he wants to taste the food.
Every time I cook my Si Chuang dishes, I have to be very careful with how much spice I should put in because I do not want him to “cry”. Secondly, I have to prepare several main ingredients: a piece of soft Tofu, few black bean curd, two sponge of hot chili and half pound of mince pork meat, and a little bit of green onions for the final touch. After I get all ready, I will start cooking my famous Si Chuang Dish, Ma Po Tofu. Cooking a delicious and testy Mo Po Tofu is not easy. I did learn some tricks from my mother. I start by putting some virgin olive oil in a hot pan.
While the pan is getting hot, I mix hot chili sauce and mince pork together, and then I cut a piece of Tofu into a little tiny square shape. I have to do all these steps in a very short period of time because I do not want the oil to burn. At the same time, I have been soaking the black bean curd with warm water in a little serving bowl. After I finish all the preparations, it’s time to cook. I put the mixture of pork and chili sauce into the pan. First, saute them for just two minutes and takes them out very quickly and put on a serving plate.
Meanwhile, I will warm up the pan with a little bit of olive oil again, put a little square tofu into the pan, and then cover it for 3 minutes. The reason I have to cover the Tofu while it’s cooking is because Tofu is a very delicate ingredient and I do not want to overcook it. The last step is to softly pour the hot chili mince meat on top of the Tofu, and then decorated with a few strips black bean curd with tiny chopped green onions. The whole process to cook this dish actually only takes six to seven minutes. It seems very easy to cook yet you have to be quick and know how.
I assume that if a person loves spicy food, he will love my recommendation. Please do not forget that I just mentioned earlier, you can control how much spice you use to suit your taste. The beauty of this dish is that the Tofu will melt in your mouth while you are eating them, and it is both tasty and very healthy. Tofu contains lots of protein and it is the main source of protein for vegetarian diet. The final step is the presentation for this dish. A good dish contains smell, color coordination, taste and presentation. So I will use a beautiful China plate to present it.
The first step, I will put a piece of green lettuce on the button of the plate, and then serve with some beautiful little squares of Tofu with red hot chili mince meat on the top. For the final touch the black bean curd and green onions are placed. At this point, you should be able to smell and taste my Ma Po Tofu now. Do you feel too spicy? To enjoy this dish you must use the sense of sight, touch, smell and taste. Cooking is my passion and also requires lots of knowledge. In recent years, eating health and cooking healthy food is a big topic for American society.
American people love fast food. The fast food culture has been merging into the American society for a long period of time . That is why we have the biggest fast food industry in the world. On a recently television program it was stated that McDonald’s golden arch icon is a more popular symbol than the cross of Christian faith. The results of this unhealthy diet are many health problems. A lot of adults in America have high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke and heart disease. These diseases can be direct traced back to their unhealthy diet and life style.
The fast pace of life and work are so busy, parents no longer have the time to cook for their children or themselves. Fast food is taking up a large and large part of the family food budget due to convince. Now seems cooking as become a luxury because it takes so much time. Every night, parents will go to McDonald’s, Burger King, or Jack in the Box to buy some greasy chicken, burgers and fries for their family. What are the results? We have obese kids because junk food has become too large a percentage of their diet.
It is so sad to see our kids suffer from the diseases of the obesity. So let’s go back to cooking for our families. I will say that if everybody pays lots of attention to their health, this is will help our society to change its vision of the fast food industry. Everyone wants to live longer and healthier. No one wants to suffer the diseases that obesity can cause. So be your family’s guard and teach your kids and their friends to eat healthy and nutritious food. You can also teach your kids how to cook, how to pick the good ingrains and create a health meal.
At the same time, explain to your kids why foods are either healthy or unhealthy. So that, in the future they can evaluate for themselves and make the right decision in the future. Our effects now will pay off in the future for the health of our families. Cooking health meals for my family is relaxing, fun and an enjoyable activity for me. I love it. I want my family to eat healthy meals every day. Actually, my dream is to learn how to cook different types of cuisine. Especially learn how to cook Italian and French food. I think it will be a fun thing to do.