Taiwanese Pickled Tomatoes

Last week I went to a wedding banquet at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Taipei and they served this simply lovely cold tomato appetizer. It was 89 degrees outside …  this was very refreshing indeed for a hot summer day!  A fellow guest gave me her recipe for it. I went home and tried it.  It was very easy and I must say pickling really improves the flavor of the tomatoes!

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dried plum
Dried Plums

1 cup of cherry tomatoes (washed and drained)
2/3 cup of water
2 tsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp dried plum (話梅) (about 4 whole dried plums)
1 cup of rice vinegar
3 small and fresh mint leaves (optional)

  1. Using a sharp knife, make a plus (+) score on the side of each tomato.
  2. Fill a pot half way with water and 1/3 cup of vinegar and bring to a boil.
  3. Put the tomatoes into the pot of hot water and let them sit for 5 seconds.
  4. Drain the water, remove the skins of the tomatoes and leave them in the refrigerator to chill.
  5. In a separate pot, heat up 1/3 cup of water, rice vinegar, brown sugar and dried plums and simmer for 5 minutes.
  6. Allow the liquid to chill, then place the tomatoes in the liquid, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least half a day.

Note:  I wanted to keep the tomato skins on, so I skipped steps 2,3 and 4

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Fried Small Fish with Peanuts

It’s been one year since I moved to Taiwan. In a previous post, I promised I will write about my food adventures in Taiwan. Taiwanese cuisine is many things. It’s not just the ubiquitous beef noodle, or the fried oyster omelet, or the sweet and vinegary three cup chicken. It is also the sweetest mango shaved ice, the refreshing pearl milk tea and many more regional specialties.

One of my first meals in Taipei was at a restaurant that served classic Taiwanese food. The food was very good and the dishes were delicious. I loved this fried, small fish with peanuts best. It was good to eat alone or with rice or porridge. It was addictive! When I came across these small fish sold fresh at the local market, I just had to buy them to experiment how to make this dish at home.

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Ingredients
80 g (3 oz) tiny white fish
50 g (3.5 oz) peanuts
6 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 red chili, sliced into small slivers
1 stalk spring onion, chopped into small pieces
3 cloves garlic, chopped roughly
1 tsp rice wine
Pinch salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp sugar (optional)

Method

1. Heat 4 tbsp oil in a frying pan, and stir fry the fish for a few minutes, until it is cooked. Remove and drain.
2. Heat the frying pan, add about 2 tablespoons of the oil and stir fry the chili, garlic and rice wine for a minute. Add the fish, peanuts, salt, pepper and sugar (optional) and stir fry for 5 minutes.