Chinese red oil (红油, or the equivalent, Japanese raiyu らい油) is a critical ingredient in any number of Sichuanese dishes, including sesame noodles, or husband-wife boiled beef slices. It’s great with black vinegar, as a dumpling sauce. And it’s versatile enough to use with other kinds of cuisine as a spicy condiment. It’s a beautiful ruby red color, and has a fantastic toasty aroma. You can buy it, if you like, but it’s ridiculously simple to make. It might look intimidatingly fiery, but the flavour is a mellow, slow heat (even if you use spicy chili flakes).
— Brad, Ulli
brad, chinese, japanese, oil, sichuan, simple, ulli, vegan, vegetarian
We’re only allowed to make braised pork belly twice a year. After all, you can only fly so close to the sun, before you fall to earth. It’s glorious. Chunks of unctuous meat layered with tender fat, simmering in a sweet-and-savoury-sauce, until they come to sticky, slippery, soft perfection; bathed in a “sauce” of glistening oil.
— Ulli and Thomas
braise, chinese, five-spice, pork belly, simple, thomas, ulli
Black vinegar cabbage is ridiculously simple, and ridiculously good. It’s little more than cabbage, vinegar and oil — but the texture of the tender-cooked leaves and fragrance of the vinegar combine to make a mouth watering side dish. We get it almost every time we go to a Chinese restaurant, and make it almost every time we cook Chinese food.
— Thomas and Ulli
cabbage, chinese, hunnanese, simple, thomas, ulli, vegan, vegetarian