June and July on Table

Hello, August!

This is a collection on a monthly basis, introducing some of the dishes and lovely dishes I cook, eat and meet in everyday life.

Summer is a great season as there are so many fresh fruits, melons and dark leafy greens outside on the market. That’s why it is a season that I love and hate. Cooking has been a tough task for me in summer due to the hot weather. Classic Chinese cooking includes lots of stir-frying over high fire in front of the stove. So basically we are enjoying lots of Chinese style cold dishes (equal to salad in western cuisines). I would like to start with Szechuan peppercorn oil, which is extremely great for summer salad.

The best harvest time of fresh green Szechuan peppercorn is July.Fresh green Szechuan peppercorn oil(known as 麻油) in Szechuan area. It is only popular in Szechuan cuisine and quite hard to find even in other areas in China.  We use it in lots of Szechuan style salad. Unlike common red Szechuan peppers, green peppers are quite hard to preserve. This is one of the creative way to store the aroma in the oil.

Fresh green Szechuan peppercorn

Fresh green Szechuan peppercorn in our back yard

 fresh Szechuan peppercorn oil

Making fresh green peppercorn oil

The second exciting thing about summer is the freshly Szechuan style pickled Chinese long beans (泡豇豆). I love it so much especially when fried with minced pork belly.

june on table

I even wrap this as a filling in steamed buns with my daughter and other family member. It is a enjoying activity. My little daughter even takes dough as her most favorite tool now.


Sweet potato leaves (红薯叶). It can be extremely delicious when stir fry with garlic and oil.

garlic sweet potato leaves

Another great summer vegetable is the loofah (丝瓜).  It might be familiar with your guys in the forms of loofah soap. But the fruit itself is quite delicious with a slightly sweet taste.Following is stir fried loofah with minced garlic, one of the most popular way to cook fresh loofah. But it also tastes great in soups with egg drops.

june on table-4

stir fried loofah

Summer’s favorite–salted duck egg. Those in the photo is my mom’s pickled salted duck egg. She kept some snow water during the big snow in last year.

salted eggs

Chives are tenderest in summer. I made lots of dishes using Chinese chive like this pan-fried tofu with Chinese chive, as they are in the best season.

pork and chive dumplings

And lots of cold salad– seaweed and lotus root salad and long beans salad, tofu salad.

daily dishes in june

A lighter mouthwatering chicken in summer.

daily dishes in june

And a lots of tofu besides the two posted ones: cold tofu salad and pan-fried tofu with chive. This is my mother’s in law’s twice cooked tofu.

daily dishes in june

And always popular tomato and egg stir fry. It is a very basic dish that every Chinese housewife can cook. However a successful tomato and egg stir fry has lots of standard. The dish should be juicy and the egg should be tender and fluffily.

I have a wonderful group of partner as my little daughter loves tomatoes while my husband crave scrambled egg.

june on table-5

A simple layered salt and pepper scallion pancake with salted duck egg.

june on table-6

And my favorite roasted fish with mushrooms, tomatoes and pickled long beans. Fish is in the middle layer.

roasted tomatoes_

If you are interested in any recipe or special Chinese ingredient, please let me know.

Happy cooking in summer and see you in August.


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