Thursday, June 21, 2012

What's for dinner? Bacon Wrapped Chicken Breasts with Bok Choy 白菜填塞的培根雞胸肉


Once again, I'm posting a photo that I grabbed from the Internet. I forgot to take a picture of the finished product after I cooked it…I must have been too hungry!

Chicken stuffed with Spinach and cheese



4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2~3 cups bok choy 
[or spinach]
4 cloves garlic, minced 
4 oz. light cream cheese [or ricotta]
⅓ cup parmesan cheese
4 slices bacon
1 tablespoon oil

Italian seasoning


Remove the leaves from the bok choy.

You can use the stems in a salad, or with a dip as an appetizer.


Add oil to the pan and cook the garlic until fragrant.

Add the bok choy leaves and cook until limp.

Set aside to cool.

Slice the chicken breasts along one side and open like a book.

Place the breasts between wax paper or plastic wrap and pound to ¼ inch thickness.

Add the cream cheese and parmesan cheese to the bok choy and garlic.


Spoon some of the mixture into the center of each open chicken breast.

Roll up the filled breasts, then sprinkle with Italian seasoning.

Wrap a bacon strip around each breast.



Cook at 175°C (350°F) for 25~35 minutes or until done.

I served it with rice and salad. Yum!




Recipe is from

What's for dinner? Eggplant with Chinese Chives 紫茄韭菜

I took this image from the Internet because my photo at the end isn't so good. It tasted great, though.

eggplant with jiucai

紫茄韭菜 (Zi Qie Jiu Cai) Purple Eggplant & Chinese Chives

Chinese chives—also called garlic chives—are a common ingredient in Chinese cooking.

Let's cook!

Click on images to enlarge


3 cups eggplant
¾ cup Chinese chives
3 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons oil
¼ cup water
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1½ tablespoons soy sauce paste
½ tablespoon black vinegar

Cut the eggplant into long sections, then each section into slices.

Slice the Chinese chives into pieces; mince the garlic.

Add oil to the pan.

Stir-fry the garlic and light-colored parts of the Chinese chives until fragrant.

Add eggplant and stir lightly.

Add the water, cover, and lightly boil until the eggplant is tender.


Add the soy sauce and soy sauce paste. Add the darker parts of the Chinese chives. Stir gently and evenly.

Drizzle the black vinegar along the rim of the pan and mix in when serving.


This was actually the first dish I made from my newly acquired Taiwanese cookbook, before the Chicken with Silver Sprouts. I'm sure I'll make it again because I just love eggplant cooked this way and served over rice.

This recipe is from The Best-loved Everyday Dishes: Mastering the Culinary Art in One Cookbook by Cecilia Hong Baiyang.
最想學會的家常菜:從小菜到主食一次學透透 作者:洪白陽 (CC老師) 來的.

Monday, June 18, 2012

What's for dinner? Chicken with Silver Sprouts 銀芽雞柳

A student found out that I've been wanting to learn how to cook more Taiwanese style food, and was kind enough to give me a bilingual cookbook. Tonight I prepared Yin Ya Ji Liu — Fried Chicken Strips with Silver Sprouts.

Click on photos to enlarge


2 egg whites
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon rice wine
1 tablespoon sesame oil





Meat & Veggies
4 skinless boneless chicken breasts
1½ cups bean sprouts
1 bell pepper (I used ½ yellow and ½ red to make it colorful)
2 green onions
5 garlic cloves
(Optional: Add a chopped red chili if you'd like some kick to it)

½ cup chicken broth
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
pepper to taste
¾ cup sweet potato flour (or any light breading)

Note: I'll get 3 meals from just this, so if you add rice I'm sure it could serve 4.


Cut the chicken into strips.

Prepare the marinade: Whisk the egg whites, then add the salt, garlic powder, rice wine, and sesame oil.



Let the chicken marinate while you prepare the vegetables.

Snap the ends off the bean sprouts.

The "silver sprouts" in this dish's name refers to the bean sprouts after the ends have been removed.

Mince the garlic and slice the peppers and green onions into strips.

Remove the chicken from the marinade and coat with the sweet potato flour.

Fry the chicken strips in the oil of your choice until golden.

Remove and drain.

By the way, here's what my little kitchen looks like while I'm cooking.

I'm constantly washing dishes while I cook, both to make room and because I don't really have that much cookware. I've had only one frying pan since 2008; so far, that's been enough.

Prepare the seasonings: Mix the chicken broth, salt, pepper, sugar, and sesame oil.

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil and stir fry the garlic and green onion until fragrant.


Mix in the sprouts and bell pepper (and red chili if you've opted for that).

Add the seasonings. Stir to coat the vegetables.

Add the chicken and stir quickly and briefly.

Dinner's done!




This recipe is from The Best-loved Everyday Dishes: Mastering the Culinary Art in One Cookbook by Cecilia Hong Baiyang.
這個食譜是從最想學會的家常菜:從小菜到主食一次學透透 作者:洪白陽 (CC老師) 來的.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

A pleasant surprise

After that rant in my last entry, I need to balance the scales and relate an experience that gave me a warm fuzzy feeling.

While waiting in the HSBC lobby, I could hear the various employees who were handling my transaction speaking with each other. They continually referred to me as 客人 "guest/customer." Not once did I hear myself referred to as 外國人 "foreigner" as is typical.

This is such an unusual occurrence that it deserved a positive blog entry.

alien arcLook, I know I'm a foreigner. I realize that I look different than 99% of the homogenous society here, and I understand that the easiest way to identify me in a crowd is to refer to me as a foreigner. But sometimes it grates on my nerves. It's as if that's the only way to describe me, as if that term sums up who I am. 

What about "That guy in the blue shirt" or "That man sitting near the window" or even "That handsome devil with the come-hither eyes"?

So, thank you HSBC employees, for recognizing that the big-nosed foreigner waiting in your lobby is more than a hirsute barbarian; he's a potential customer and fellow human being.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

I'm not too impressed with Taiwan's technology today

I'm just blowing off steam.

before googleThis morning I tried to check airline ticket prices for a trip to the US next February. I was able to find flight information and pricing on the US carriers without a problem. However, Taiwanese airlines EVA and China Air do not have online ticket information or reservation capabilities for flights more than six months in advance. Wh-what?!

Also, last Thursday I opened a regular savings account at HSBC. I was told that the Taoyuan Branch would have to send the paperwork to their main office in Taipei for processing. It's now been a week and my account is still not opened. I guess they sent the documents by pack mule?

Isn't this the age of the Internet and instant communication?