Monday, August 17, 2015

Guyanese-style Fried Rice

This is one of my favorite go-to dishes when cooking for a large crowd, especially family gatherings. Fried rice and chow mein are a must have at most West Indian events.  It feeds many and goes a long way.  Fried rice is quite versatile as well; there are so many ways to change it up.  My mom adds different vegetables and a combination of proteins depending on what she has on hand.  

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Fried shrimp + Spicy guava sauce

My husband and I had a couple of friends over the other day for a late lunch.  They are seafood lovers so I decided to make a shrimp dish for an appetizer.  This is my favorite way to fry shrimp, it comes out crisp and delicate every time. The batter is light and flaky with the right amount of crunch. I hadn't made this dish in a while mainly because it tastes best when served hot and we just can't eat it all in one sitting, so it was a great option for company.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Guyanese-style Chow Mein

Chow mein is a popular noodle dish in Guyanese cuisine and is given to us by the Guyanese people of Chinese descent.  Chinese cuisine has an important place in Guyanese food culture as there are many wonderful ingredients and products that we use to make our food, our food.  Over time we have adjusted flavors and sourced local ingredients to make it our own unique fusion.  There's nothing else that tastes like a Guyanese-Chinese fried rice or chow mein, it just has its own special flavor.  I suppose what makes this chow mein Guyanese-style is the inclusion of bora beans and five spice.  I haven't seen too many non-Guyanese chow mein recipes that include these two ingredients. If you have any more insight on this topic, please feel free to comment below. 

Chow mein is versatile in its ingredients and diverse in where it can be served.  Whenever my family had any sort of gathering, this was one of our go-to dishes.  We would order one large tray of fried rice and chow mein from a local Guyanese-Chinese restaurant then cook all the meats on the side.  Like rice, noodles can feed many and it goes a long way.  Everyone has their own version of chow mein and the ingredients vary based on what you have on hand.  My mom would change up the vegetables and meat in the dish, but for her, some ingredients were a must; sesame oil, soy sauce, ginger, bora, and Chinese five spice powder.  It really created some foundational flavors for the dish.  One of my complaints when buying chow mein from a roti shop is that the noodles are never seasoned. They tend to taste bland, while the meat and vegetables carry all the flavor.  In my version which is really my mom's version, the noodles are seasoned prior to pan-frying with the vegetables and meat.