Monday, January 2, 2012

Exploring the Asian cuisine ... last adventure of 2011

To help celebrate the new year we decided to have dinner at the Nine Dragon Chinese restaurant in Epcot Center - Orlando, FL. Upon arrival, you know that you are not in Kansas anymore and that Toto is no where to be found.  At first glance, you can tell that this restaurant was built with extreme attention to details. The outside features of the building transport your mind to a remote place in China and the inside was equally incredible with all its oriental decor and artifacts.

We were offered appetizers and this presented an opportunity to try their Pot Stickers. These ever popular Chinese dumplings are well-loved by people in the world.  Pot Stickers are bits of ground pork with shredded vegetables (usually cabbage) pan-fried and steamed. I don’t know how to say “oh my goodness” in Chinese but these little suckers were amazing! They were served with a Cilantro-Soy dipping sauce, making these Chinese dumplings the perfect way to start our dinner. The recipe follows.

Cilantro-Soy Dipping Sauce


1 1/2 tbs of coriander seeds
5 tbs soy sauce
1 1/4 tsp white wine vinegar
3/4 tsp sugar
finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves


Toast the coriander seeds in a heavy skillet on medium heat until they are golden in color.  Make sure you stir them to avoid burning them. Mix the seeds with the soy sauce, white wine vinegar and sugar in a container. Stir until sugar is completely dissolved. Serve in individual dipping bowls and sprinkle a few fresh cilantro leaves into the sauce.


For the entree, I had the Honey Sesame Chicken (my favorite) with sticky rice. Call me boring but why mess up the last  "dinner of the year"?  The meal was great!

We had a good time enjoying dinner together and soon enough it was time for dessert. I love dessert more than anything else. However, I don’t ever order dessert when eating Chinese. When we were given the dessert choices I was about to say "No thanks," until I heard something that sounded very interesting. I had to order the “Caramel-Ginger” Ice cream, no doubt about it. It is one of those desserts that you are not sure about, but the more you eat the more you fall in love with it. It was great!

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Celebrate life as often as possible. Having a great dinner with loved ones is one way  to do so. It does not matter if you eat Chinese, Italian, Mexican, etc. The important thing is to create memorable moments that your family and friends will treasure for life.

Happy 2012!

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