If you’ve spent any considerable time exploring Chinese food in LA, there’s a good chance you’ve been to the Phoenix chain of Hong Kong cafe-style restaurants, with locations scattered around Alhambra, Arcadia, Monterey Park, Rowland Heights, San Gabriel and even South Pasadena.  And while Phoenix is probably better known for their delicious tapioca drinks and mango rolls, one of my favorite items on the menu is the spicy salt chicken wings: some of the best - if not the best - chicken wings I’ve ever had.These are not your typical soy sauce-basted wings, nor are they sweetly glazed like the wings you might get at, say, KyoChon; these are salty with a hint of fire, the skin lightly blasted into a crispy veneer, the meat inside hot and tender.Sometimes if I’ve had a rough day or happen to think “I’ve been eating too healthy lately, maybe I should balance it out by consuming three days’ worth of my dietary salt intake,” I’ll swing by Phoenix and get an order of these to go.  The feeling of biting into that first crunchy, chili-kissed wing makes the trip totally worth it.

If you’ve spent any considerable time exploring Chinese food in LA, there’s a good chance you’ve been to the Phoenix chain of Hong Kong cafe-style restaurants, with locations scattered around Alhambra, Arcadia, Monterey Park, Rowland Heights, San Gabriel and even South Pasadena.  And while Phoenix is probably better known for their delicious tapioca drinks and mango rolls, one of my favorite items on the menu is the spicy salt chicken wings: some of the best - if not the best - chicken wings I’ve ever had.

These are not your typical soy sauce-basted wings, nor are they sweetly glazed like the wings you might get at, say, KyoChon; these are salty with a hint of fire, the skin lightly blasted into a crispy veneer, the meat inside hot and tender.

Sometimes if I’ve had a rough day or happen to think “I’ve been eating too healthy lately, maybe I should balance it out by consuming three days’ worth of my dietary salt intake,” I’ll swing by Phoenix and get an order of these to go.  The feeling of biting into that first crunchy, chili-kissed wing makes the trip totally worth it.

We’ve done our part to spread the good word about Savoy before, but could not resist doing another mention since Mike had never been.  He’s had Hainan Chicken Rice in Singapore and Hong Kong and Malaysia - apparently the chicken rice in Singapore is “godly”… OK thanks Mike tell me again after you’ve bought my plane ticket - and even he couldn’t help nodding repeatedly and mumbling “This is really good.  This is really good.”  Judging by how fast he scarfed his plate down, maybe that was an understatement.

Anyway, for those of us who don’t have the luxury of eating Hainan Chicken Rice around the world, or even for those of us who do but would rather just pop down to Valley Blvd., Savoy is THE destination for this dish.  The interplay between the chicken, the dark soy sauce, chili sauce and ginger and of course the rice itself is phenomenal.  As we’ve said before, where Savoy really pulls ahead of the other local restaurants that serve this dish is with regard to the warm, savory chicken stock-infused rice.  I also always pay the extra couple bucks for the dark meat version.

There’s usually a wait, especially on weekends, but it’s worth it and the turnover rate is high anyway.  For some reason, people can’t seem to eat this thing slowly.

Cold Sesame Noodles

1 lb. Chinese egg noodles
1 tbsp vegetable or peanut oil
5 tbsp sesame paste
3 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp minced fresh red chili
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp minced fresh garlic
3 green onions, finely chopped
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and julienned
Fresh chopped cilantro and grated carrots (optional)

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Hey are you guys going to the 626 Night Market?  The first of three summer night markets is happening this weekend, Sat 4pm-12am and Sun 4pm-10pm.  Hope to see you there!http://www.626nightmarket.comhttp://www.626nightmarket.com/blog/https://www.facebook.com/626NightMarket

Hey are you guys going to the 626 Night Market?  The first of three summer night markets is happening this weekend, Sat 4pm-12am and Sun 4pm-10pm.  

Hope to see you there!

http://www.626nightmarket.com
http://www.626nightmarket.com/blog/
https://www.facebook.com/626NightMarket

Loved making this one.  In EPISODE 31, Sarah wonders about the meaning of writing down a wish even if it never comes true, and makes cold sesame noodles, a Sichuan favorite for hot, sticky summer days.

Check out the 626 NIGHT MARKET on June 8-9, July 6-7 and August 3-4, 2013:
http://www.626nightmarket.com
http://www.626nightmarket.com/blog/
https://www.facebook.com/626NightMarket

Here’s a look at EPISODE 31, coming up next…

Here’s a look at EPISODE 31, coming up next…

Stir-Fried Crab

image

2 Dungeness crabs (live)
8-10 green onions, cut into 1 1/2 to 2 inch pieces
3-4 inches ginger, sliced into 1 inch pieces
5-7 cloves garlic, chopped
3-4 tbsp corn starch (or other thickener such as tapioca starch or arrowroot powder)
1/4 cup chicken broth
2 tbsp oyster sauce
1/2 tbsp sesame oil
2-3 tbsp Shaoxing rice wine
Cooking oil

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It’s hard to believe we’ve done THIRTY episodes!  In this episode of R3K, Mike stir-fries crab with green onions and ginger while recalling what happened last year at the night market… and thinking about what he might do differently this time around.

Check out the 626 NIGHT MARKET on June 8-9, July 6-7 and August 3-4, 2013:
http://www.626nightmarket.com
http://www.626nightmarket.com/blog/
https://www.facebook.com/626NightMarket

EPISODE 30 is on its way.  Don’t sleep on us!

EPISODE 30 is on its way.  Don’t sleep on us!

Wrote a guest blog entry for the upcoming 626 Night Market called “10 Things We Love About The 626.”  You can probably guess at least one of them!

Wrote a guest blog entry for the upcoming 626 Night Market called “10 Things We Love About The 626.”  You can probably guess at least one of them!

Chao Shou



Wonton wrappers (about two packages)

Filling:
1 lb ground pork
1 egg, beaten
1 inch ginger
1/4 cup chicken stock
1 tbsp Shaoxing rice wine
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tsp salt
1/4 tbsp pepper

Sauce:
2 tbsp chili oil
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp chicken stock
1 tsp ground Sichuan pepper
1 clove garlic, finely minced
2 green onions, finely sliced

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In EPISODE 29, Erin explores the meaning of friendship as she preps for this year’s 626 Night Market and cooks chao shou, literally translated to “folded hands,” a delicious style of wontons from Sichuan province.

Check out the 626 NIGHT MARKET on June 8-9, July 6-7 and August 3-4, 2013:
http://www.626nightmarket.com
http://www.626nightmarket.com/blog/
https://www.facebook.com/626NightMarket

EPISODE 29 is ready to go.  Stay tuned!

EPISODE 29 is ready to go.  Stay tuned!

Located on Garfield just above Garvey in Monterey Park, Yunkun Garden (it apparently used to be called Yun Chuan Garden, which is how it’s still listed on Yelp) is one of the rare restaurants specializing in the cuisine of Yunnan province.  In addition to the two large seating areas of the restaurant, there’s a counter full of pre-cooked foods that people swarm over, but the best dishes are to be ordered from the menu.

Their most popular dish is probably the guo qiao mi xian, which translates to “crossing the bridge noodles.”  Or as they’re called on the menu, the “Yunnan House Special Rice Noodle Soup.”  It’s a huge bowl of hot chicken soup and rice noodles, to which the server will add slices of chicken, ham and vegetables.  You can separate the soup into smaller bowls to share, which is what we did here.

Also delicious is the somewhat unfortunately translated “water-boiled fish.”  It’s a giant, spicy concoction hailing from neighboring Sichuan province, full of freshwater fish in an oily stew of broth, chilies and Sichuan peppercorns.  The version you’ll get here is enough to feed two [relatively slender] Asians with plenty of leftovers.

After Yunkun Garden, you will probably be full, unless you did something wrong.  But if you don’t want to go home yet!.. and decide to grab shaved ice somewhere, try Salju Dessert, up Garfield and just west on Valley.  We were reminded that no matter how full you are, there is ALWAYS room for shaved ice.  We got strawberry flavored ice, which was perfectly sweet, with mochi (in my opinion, the best goes-with-anything shaved ice or frozen yogurt topping) and gummy bears.

The gummy bears were Erin’s idea.  :/

Li River = Whoa.

My Modern Met showcases some amazing photography from the Li River in China.  Not strictly food-related, unless you count the fishermen.  But gorgeous.