My Recipe

Stir-fried Green Bean with Shrimp

Ingredients:

18 oz fresh green bean
10 oz frozen medium shell-on shrimp
1/2 oz (2 Tbsp) dried medium shrimp
2 oz Sichuan preserved vegetable (榨菜)
1½ tsp ginger (minced)
2 stalks green onion (chopped)
1 Tbsp chili soybean (辣豆瓣)

Shrimp Marinade:

1/8 tsp salt
dash Sichuan ground pepper
1/2 tsp cornstarch

Seasoning:

1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp chicken broth mix
1/8 tsp Sichuan ground pepper
2 tsp White vinegar
1 tsp cooking wine
2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp chili oil
4 Tbsp water
3/4 tsp cornstarch

Method:

  1. Thaw frozen shrimp in refrigerator overnight or in a colander under running cold tap water. Peel shrimp and devein, if any. Mix shrimp with 1 Tbsp cornstarch. Immediately rinse off cornstarch with running cold tap water. Dry shrimp with paper towel. Add shrimp marinade. Refrigerate if desired.
  2. Rinse and soak dried shrimp in warm water for about 30 minutes. Remove and finely chop. Discard water.
  3. Rinse and dry green bean. Trim off ends and cut each bean into 1½-inch pieces.
  4. Rinse Sichuan preserved vegetable, if desired. Drain and finely chop.
  5. Mix seasoning ingredients and set aside.
  6. Heat wok and add 4 Tbsp oil. Toss shrimp in hot oil until colour turns pink but not cooked through. Remove and drain.
  7. Pour off oil (reserve) with 1 Tbsp remaining in wok. Stir-fry green bean for 30 seconds. Add 4 Tbsp water and 1/8 tsp salt. Cover and cook for about 3 minutes or until tender crisp. Remove.
  8. Rinse and dry wok if required. Heat wok and add 1 Tbsp of the reserved oil. Sauté ginger until fragrant. Add reconstituted shrimp and Sichuan preserved vegetable, stir-fry for 1 minute. Return shrimp and green bean to wok. Add chili soybean. Toss to combine. Add seasoning ingredients and green onion. Toss until sauce reboils and thickens. Remove and serve hot.

Nutrition value for 1/6 portion of recipe:

Calorie 165, Fat 8 g, Carbohydrate 9 g, Fibre 3 g, Sugar 5 g, Cholesterol 104 mg, Sodium 925 mg, Protein 15 g.


What’s for Lunch?

Sichuan Dan Dan Noodles Set Lunch for Two

The Menu

Spicy Boiled Pork Slices

Organic Shanghai Bok Choy

Steamed Soup Dumplings

Dan Dan Noodles (2 bowls)

Deep-fried Pumpkin Cake

What Are the Benefits of Ginger?

Ginger is a herb that is used as a spice and also for its therapeutic qualities. The underground stem (rhizome) can be used fresh, powdered, dried, or as an oil or juice. Ginger is part of the Zingiberaceae family, as are cardamom, turmeric and galangal.

According to the National Library of Medicine, part of the NIH (National Institutes of Health), ginger is widely used throughout the world for treating loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting after surgery, nausea resulting from cancer treatment, flatulence, stomach upset, colic, morning sickness and motion sickness.

Some people find ginger helps them with the symptoms of upper respiratory tract infection, bronchitis, cough, menstrual cramps, arthritis and muscle pain.

In some parts of the world, ginger juice is applied to the skin to treat burns.

Ginger is also used as a flavoring by the food and drinks industry, as a spice and flavoring in cooking, and for fragrance in soaps and cosmetics.

Ginger contains a chemical that is used as an ingredient in antacid, laxative and anti-gas medications.

According to Kew Gardens, England’s horticultural royal center of excellence, ginger has a long history of usage in South Asia, both in fresh and dried form.

History of ginger

Ginger is widely used throughout the world for treating loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, flatulence, stomach upset, colic, morning sickness and motion sickness.

The University of Maryland Medical Center writes that ginger has been used in China for over 2,000 years to help digestion and treat diarrhea, nausea and stomach upsets.

The Mahabharata (circa 4th century BC), one of the two major Sanskrit epics of ancient India, describes a stewed meat meal which includes ginger. Ginger has also been a key plant in Ayurvedic medicine, a system of traditional medicine native to the Indian subcontinent.

Approximately 2000 years ago, ginger was exported from India to the Roman empire, where it became valued for its therapeutic as well as culinary properties.

Ginger continued to be traded in Europe after the fall of the Roman empire, where its supply was controlled by Arab traders for hundreds of years. During medieval times it became a popular ingredient in sweets.

During the 13th and 14th centuries ginger and black pepper were commonly traded spices. By the sixteenth century one pound in weight of ginger in England would cost the equivalent of one sheep.

Therapeutic benefits

Below are examples of some scientific studies on ginger and its current or potential uses in medical treatment.

Inflammation of the colon

A study carried out at the University of Michigan Medical School found that Ginger Root Supplement administered to volunteer participants reduced inflammation markers in the colon within a month.

The study was published in the journal Cancer Prevention Research.

Experts say that inflammation of the colon is a precursor to colon cancer. Co-researcher Suzanna M. Zick, N.D., M.P.H., explained that by reducing inflammation in the colon a person reduces their risk of developing colon cancer.

Zick said “We need to apply the same rigor to the sorts of questions about the effect of ginger root that we apply to other clinical trial research. Interest in this is only going to increase as people look for ways to prevent cancer that are nontoxic, and improve their quality of life in a cost-effective way.”

Muscle pain caused by exercise

A study involving 74 volunteers carried out at the University of Georgia found that daily ginger supplementation reduced exercise-induced muscle pain by 25%.

Patrick O’Connor, a professor in the College of Education’s department of kinesiology, and colleagues carried out two studies on the effects of 11 days of raw and heat-treated ginger supplementation on exercise-induced muscle pain.

The volunteers consumed the ginger supplements for 11 consecutive days. On the 8th day they performed 18 extensions of the elbow flexors with a heavy weight. The aim was to induce moderate muscle injury to the arm. Each participant’s arm function, inflammation, and pain levels were assessed before exercise and three days afterwards.

The researchers noted that the pain-reducing effect was not enhanced by heat-treating the ginger.

The study was published in The Journal of Pain.

Nausea caused by chemotherapy

Ginger supplements administered alongside anti-vomiting medications can reduce chemotherapy-induced nausea symptoms by 40%, a PhaseII/III study carried out at the University of Rochester Medical Center found.

Lead researcher, Dr Julie Ryan, presented the study findings at the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting in Orlando, Florida, in 2009.

Dr. Ryan explained that about 70% of cancer patients who receive chemotherapy experience nausea and vomiting. The vomiting is usually easy to control with effective medications. However, the nausea tends to linger.

Dr. Ryan said “By taking the ginger prior to chemotherapy treatment, the National Cancer Institute-funded study suggests its earlier absorption into the body may have anti-inflammatory properties.”

Ovarian cancer

A study found that exposing ovarian cancer cells to a solution of ginger powder resulted in their death in every single test.

The cancer cells either died as a result of apoptosis (they committed suicide) or autophagy (they digested/attacked themselves).

The researchers, from the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center added that the ginger solution also prevented the cancer cells from building up resistance to cancer treatment.

The study findings were presented at the American Association for Cancer Research annual meeting in Washington D.C., 2006.

Asthma symptoms

A team at Columbia University carried out a study to determine what effects adding specific components of ginger to asthma medications might have on asthma symptoms.

Team leader, Elizabeth Townsend, PhD, explained “In our study, we demonstrated that purified components of ginger can work synergistically with β-agonists to relax ASM (airway smooth muscle).”

The scientists took ASM tissue samples and exposed them to acetylcholine, a compound that causes bronchoconstriction (narrowing of the airways).

They then mixed the β-agonist isoproterenol (asthma medication) with three different components of ginger:

  • 6-gingerol
  • 8-gingerol
  • 6-shogaol.

Contracted ASM tissue samples were exposed to each of the three mixtures as well as isoproterenol on its own.

The team found that ASM tissues exposed to isoproterenol combined with the purified ginger components exhibited greater relaxation than those treated with just isoproterenol.

Ginger component 6-shogaol had the greatest impact in enhancing the effects of isoproterenol.

Dr. Townsend said “Taken together, these data show that ginger constituents 6-gingerol, 8-gingerol and 6-shogaol act synergistically with the β-agonist in relaxing ASM, indicating that these compounds may provide additional relief of asthma symptoms when used in combination with β-agonists. By understanding the mechanisms by which these ginger compounds affect the airway, we can explore the use of these therapeutics in alleviating asthma symptoms.”

The study findings were presented at the American Thoracic Society International Conference 2013 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Liver damage caused by acetaminophen

Acetaminophen, known more commonly as “Tylenol” in the USA and “paracetamol” elsewhere, is a popular painkiller and antipyretic (reduces fever). However, acetaminophen is also associated with a higher risk of chemically-driven liver damage (hepatotoxicity), especially among patients with liver disorders.

Scientists at the National Research Centre in Egypt wanted to determine whether ginger pretreatment might reduce the incidence of acetaminophen-induced liver damage in rats.

The researchers wrote in the Journal of Dietary Supplements4 “Our results demonstrated that ginger can prevent hepatic injuries, alleviating oxidative stress in a manner comparable to that of vitamin E. Combination therapy of ginger and acetaminophen is recommended especially in cases with hepatic (liver) disorders or when high doses of acetaminophen are required.”

blood pressure (hypertension)

A study reported in the journal Pharmaceutical Biology found that cassumunar ginger extract was more effective than prazosin hydrochloride in reducing blood pressure in hypertensive laboratory rats.

The researchers, from Chiang Mai University in Thailand wrote “The cassumunar ginger extract exhibited the maximum decrease of mean arterial blood pressure at 39.83 ± 3.92%, which was 3.54-times that of prazosin hydrochloride.”

Dysmenorrhea (painful menstruation)

Ginger can help reduce the symptoms of pain in primary dysmenorrhea (period pains), researchers from the Islamic Azad University in Iran reported in the Journal of Pakistan Medical Association.

Seventy female students were divided into two groups:

  • The ginger group – they took capsules containing ginger
  • The placebo group – participants took capsules containing placebo.

The participants took their capsules for three days at the beginning of their menstruation cycles.

The researchers found that the 82.85% of the women taking the ginger capsules reported improvements in pain symptoms compared to 47.05% of those on placebo.

Migraines

There is some evidence to suggest that ginger powder may help relieve migraine symptoms.

A study performed at the VALI-e-ASR Hospital in Iran and published in the journal Phytotherapy Research7 found that ginger powder is as effective in treating common migraine symptoms as sumatriptan. Sumatriptan is a common medication for migraine treatment (Imitrex, Treximet, Imigran, Imigran).

The double-blind, randomized clinical trial involved 100 participants. They all suffered form acute migraine without aura. They were randomly selected to receive either sumatriptan or ginger powder.

The study authors concluded “Efficacy of ginger powder and sumatriptan were similar. Clinical adverse effects of ginger powder were less than sumatriptan. Patients’ satisfaction and willingness to continue did not differ. The effectiveness of ginger powder in the treatment of common migraine attacks is statistically comparable to sumatriptan. Ginger also poses a better side effect profile than sumatriptan.”

Risks and precautions

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, the use of herbs can interact with other herbs or medications.

Therefore it’s important to talk to your doctor before taking ginger.

You should not take ginger if you suffer from a bleeding disorder or take blood-thinning medications (such as warfarin or aspirin).

Side effects of consuming ginger are rare, but may include:

  • Heartburn
  • Stomach upset
  • Mouth irritation.

Source: Medical News Today

Chinese-style Duck Eggs and Pork Salad

Ingredients

1 large ripe tomato, roughly chopped
1/3 cup white sugar
3 small perfect leaves iceberg lettuce
1 salted duck egg
1 fresh duck egg
1 cup vegetable oil
200 g roasted pork, cut into 5 cm x 2 cm slices
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup fish sauce
7 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon green shallot julienne
1 large red chili, finely sliced on the diagonal
1 small red chili, finely sliced
small pinch ground white pepper
small pinch Sichuan pepper

Method

  1. Spread tomato evenly on a plate and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of the sugar. Cover and refrigerate for 3 hour to cure and sweeten.
  2. Soak lettuce leaves in cold water for 20 minutes; drain well and set aside, covered, in the refrigerator.
  3. Bring a pot of water to the boil, add both eggs and boil for 9 minutes. Drain, refresh in cold water and peel. Cut the salted egg into wedges and reserve the fresh egg for later use.
  4. Heat oil in a hot wok until the surface seems to shimmer slightly, and fry the cooled pork pieces until crispy. Remove from the oil and drain well on kitchen paper.
  5. Carefully pour off the oil and wipe out the wok. Combine water and remaining sugar in the wok over high heat, stir to dissolve the sugar then simmer, without stirring, until mixture is caramelised. Add fried pork and fish sauce and simmer, stirring constantly, for about 4 minutes or until the pork is completely caramelised and the flavour is a balance of salty and sweet. Stir in the lime juice.
  6. Arrange lettuce leaf ‘cups’ on a platter, and sprinkle tomato mixture over them. Arrange salted egg wedges over tomatoes. Place pieces of hot pork over the salad and, using a ladle, carefully drizzle the hot caramel sauce over the pork. Lastly, cut the reserved egg in half and place on top of the salad, then sprinkle with green shallot julienne, combined chillies, white pepper and the Sichuan pepper.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Kylie Kwong


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