An innovation? An innovator? It is a pioneer!

Today, I am cheerful to say I am gonna share an innovation related to the culinary industry.It is Modernist Cuisine.

Modernist Cuisine

Modernist Cuisine is an innovative idea released by Nathan Myhrvold that used for writing editing a cooking book.It is an encyclopedia and a guide to the science of contemporary cooking.

The Debut

Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking, is a 2011 cookbook by Nathan Myhrvold, Chris Young and Maxime Bilet. .Its six volumes cover history and fundamentals, techniques and equipment, animals and plants, ingredients and preparation, plated dish recipes and a kitchen manual containing brief information on useful topics.

 

Illustration 

In the book,  You can see these of visual illustration that  readers can be easy to learn and understand some specific skills of culinary and  these detail . It is effective to explain some complicated knowledge well.Also, it makes the info. of the book attractive that the readers will be excited to read the book,and enjoy the whole reading process.

Achievement

 

Modernist Cuisine has become a  new ideology to write cooking books.It is the combination  of art and science. It is involved with the modern technology that it has gone beyond the limit which conventional cooking books have.

Award

At the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards 2010, the book was named “the most important cookbook of the first ten years of the 21st century” and was introduced into the group’s hall of fame.Containing 2,438 pages and weighing in at 23.7 kilograms (52 lb),the book has been described as the “cookbook to end all cookbooks.”

Reflection

Cooking is an art, but like all art, doing it well requires knowing something about the techniques and materials involved. Cooking is also largely empirical, but there are some theoretical insights from science that really help. We don’t have to guess haphazardly at cooking times, for example: by applying the equations of heat transport, we can estimate them pretty accurately. The book includes several that help readers do this . Once you understand an area, such as emulsions, you can focus your experiments to find out, say, which emulsifiers work best and at what concentrations  in a given situation.So science informs us and lets us cook while knowing what we are doing, but it is not a replacement for the skills of a chef and for some degree of experimentation. Each bit of scientific insight greatly increases the efficiency of the experiments, however. And when people understand the science, that actually gets the creative juices going and gives them more freedom to explore new techniques and new applications of existing techniques. So by using Modernist techniques, you get more control, and that allows you to be more artistic, not less!

Review

 

I’m a visual person, I like nice looking things. Not necessarily utilizing them, but just looking at them. I realized this when I got my motorcycle. Sure, riding was fun, but I was more impressed at times by the aesthetic of the vehicle. I wanted to bring it indoors and display it as work of art.Now watching ‘Masterchef’ and other cooking shows made me realize that I love food in the same way as well: not eating but just looking. The prep, the skill, the plating, it’s a visual feast.So,Modernist Cuisine hits all my visual obsessions: infographics, cutaways, food and slow motion imagery.

 

 

References

A Conversation with Nathan Myhrvold

 

Trying to be a Vegetarian

For this week,  I am gonna experience something special that I will have vegan diets for the whole week. Meanwhile,  I will keep recording what I feel during the process.At the end of this week, I will share what I’ll have changed and the reflection.

Vegan Diet

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 A Self-creating Recipe

Pan-fried Rice Noodle

 

Ingredients

Rice Noodle 200g

Vegan XO Sauce 50g

Mushroom 4pc

Deep Fried Tobu 100g

Dried Black Fungus 10g

Cabbage 200g

Carrot 100g

Celery 100g

Grape Seed Oil 3 tbsp.

Red Vinegar 1/2 tsp.

Natural sea salt 1 tsp.

White Pepper 1/2 tsp.

Pure Sesame Oil 1 tsp.

Soy Sauce 2 tbsp.

Procedure:

  1. Soak the black fungus and rice noodle in water for 10min.Slice the mushroom,cabbage,carrot,deep fried tofu and black fungus. Dice celery.
  2. sweat the sliced ingredients with grape seed oil in a frying pan before braise them  with a small amount of water.
  3. Add the soft rice noodle and saute for 3 min.Continue adding soy sauce, red vinegar,sea salt, pepper and celery. Cook for  5 min,meanwhile constantly fold all ingredients with a wooden spoon.
  4. Add sesame oil and vegan XO sauce before serving

     

    PS. XO sauce is a spicy seafood sauce that originated from Hong Kong.It is commonly used most in southern Chinese regions like Guangdong province.Typical ingredients of XO sauce include dried scallop, red chili pepper, Jinhua ham, dried shrimp, garlic and canola oil.Some other recipes also call for salted cured fish and diced onion.However, here they substitute the original XO sauce with the vegan XO sauce. It is made of mushroom stem , minced ginger, chopped red chili,chili oil,soy sauce,salt and white pepper.

 

Vegan Menu

July 17,2016(first day)

Breakfast- WeetBix with kiwi & strawberries

Lunch-Vegan Sushi

Dinner-Spanakopita

 

July 18(day2)

Breakfast – Chocolate Banana Smoothie

Lunch – Avocado on Toast

Dinner – Crispy Not ‘Chicken’ with Mash
crispy20chicke

July 19(day3)

Breakfast – Muesli with Soy Milk and Yoghurt

Lunch – Leek Potato and Lentil soup

Dinner – Vegan Pizza

July 20(day4)

Breakfast – Pancakes with berries

Lunch – Cauliflower and Sweetcorn soup

Dinner – Spaghetti Bolognese

July 21(day5)

Breakfast – Breakfast Wrap

Lunch- Antipasto Pasta Salad

Dinner – Fried Rice

July 22(day6)

Breakfast – Green Smoothie

Lunch – Bombay Potato Pitas

Dinner – Enchiladas and Guacamole

July 23(last day)

Breakfast – Fruit salad

Lunch – Falafel & Hommus wrap

Dinner – Mushroom filo parcels

Experience Summary 

In the early week,I was interested in having vegan dishes, and I realized the vegan diet could be as abundant as the normal diet. As you see , my dishes were colorful and appetizing.Also, they weren’t less favorable than the diet with meat.However, I was sort of tired of the vegan dishes since day4.I missed the pork, beef and chicken,especially my most favourite food – Chinese Barbeque Pork, but I could not stop having vegan food.I hoped I could go through the week faster.

 Reflection

It is an incredible experience I ever have.After the diet,I realize I got a little change in my body conditions.I lost weight by 1 kg ,and my skin became better (fewer pimples I have) than the diet before.However, I am unlikely to be a vegetarian in my whole life. The main reason, I can’t get rid of meat that I am used to having meant each meal, and meat is a favorable ingredient that plays a character in each single dish.

Chef’s advice 

Vegan diet is ordinary in Canada, and it is rising around the world . Most and most people start concerning the vegan diet that being vegetarians can get better health condition. It is so potential that vegan diet can develop a kind of major diet. This can be a business chance in the culinary industry. Therefore, it is time to major vegan diet now ,and vegan chefs should be competitive and successful in future. Nowadays, there are even some famous vegan chefs which have already got super succeed in our careers. There are uncountable culinary blogs  which are promoting the vegan diet from the Internet.
References:
http://www.vegkitchen.com/nutrition/oldways-vegetarian-vegan-diet-pyramid/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XO_sauce
http://www.onegreenplanet.org/vegan-food/10-rockstar-vegan-chefs-in-america/
http://www.culinarynutrition.com/top-50-vegan-blogs/

Visiting to a Farmer Market

This week,I got to learn about the sustainable farming in Toronto,so I went to the weekly farm market in St.Lawrence North. However, it is being renovated ,so I got to the temporary market site,which is located the south of the main market building.

There, I looked for vendors who were local farmers. For the objectives, I would like to their background , biography ,philosophy and experience. As a cook , it is significant to understand the food supply and the environmental friendly farming.

Today, I found a vendor who was selling olive products. It was Acropolis Organics1323532394_acropolis

They majorly sell the olive products which made of the organic olives harvested their family farm on the island of Crete.

Acropolis Organics

Background:

Acropolis Organics is owned by the Tsiriotakis family who origin from Greece .They dedicate to operate an olive oil production.  From tending fields and hand-picking olives, to first-cold-pressing the crop and packaging the bottles: every step of olive oil production is handled with meticulous attention to detail.

Harvesting:

They provide hand-picked, first-cold-pressed, unfiltered olive oil . While commercial manufacturers often “blend” olive oils, they grow and press their olives without the use of pesticides or chemicals using a single variety of koroneiki olives. These olives are renowned for their superior oil and are never mixed. The result is pure, simple and divine.

Biography:

Panagiotis Tsiriotakis ,who is the owner of Acropolis Organics brought the family tradition of olive oil making to the Canadian market in 2003 when he founded Acropolis Organics. Born in Toronto, Canada, Tsiriotakis returned with his parents to their native village of Vouves, Crete at the age of nine. Over the next 20 years he learned the ins and outs of the olive oil business: from picking to production to promotion. After completing a degree in business and marketing from London Guildhall University, Tsiriotakis came back to Toronto to share his prized family olive oil with North America.

Philosophy:

Their family understands the benefit of olive oil .Therefore, they dedicate to promote olive oil to the public. Also, their persist in harvest olive without any pesticide and  farm chemical. This keeps their products organic and most wholesome for customers. According to the vendor said,  olive  is rich in vitamin E, oleic acid and other antioxidants, scientists are just discovering what Cretans have always known: olive oil is a key ingredient of good health and long life. Regular intake of this olive oil benefits human body by reducing the risk of heart disease and cancer , controlling diabetes , improving gastrointestinal health and losing weight.

StLawrenceSOUTHCollageOlive oilmaxresdefault

My Experience:

Overall, I learnt a lot of new knowledge which I hadn’t known.In the market, I only saw the vendor who is a food producer in the farm market . He made me interested in the benefits of olive.However, If I had a chance, I would rather go to the farm estate and directly interview the farmers.That was supposed to be more close to comprehend the fact of olive. Anyway, this was a great experience for me to develop my chef’s philosophy.

Reference:
http://www.acropolisorganics.com/home

 

A New Beginning

It is so cheerful that moving to a new semester and coming back to school. This is such a  new era for me, and I am expecting to learn more new things, make new colleague and build a skill set for my future career. Today ,I will start blogging again as well as continuing my culinary Journey.Let’s get started.

This week, We were gonna explored a local market to make a research for meat and game  The explored place I chose:

 

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St.Lawrence Market

photo keys :

Brief Intro. for the Market:

St. Lawrence Market is located  in Toronto(old Toronto district).  Also, It is a historical building that it was renewed to be a modern market.It used to be the city hall of Toronto. Nowadays, It is a major public market.In April 2012,It was named the world’s best food market by National Geographic.

Walking into the market, I was attracted a kind of special meat product.

 

Peameal Bacon (also known as Canadian Bacon).

Peameal Bacon is one of world famous meat product from Canada. It is so ‘canadian’.Be a foreigner in Toronto, I am quite interested in the bacon that why it could be a representative  of Canadian Cuisine.

Concise Background for the pork which Peameal Bacon make of:

Pork is one of the oldest forms of livestock, originally domesticated in 6000 BC in West Asia.Modern pigs are breed from wild boars. It is the most commonly consumed meat worldwide. However, Muslim and Jewish religions forbid the believers eating pork. In Canada, Toronto was called Hog Town because the William Davies Company was the second largest pork processor on North America. Generally, pork can be purchased as fresh meat or cured meat. Cured meat is a product which was invented for lasing through winter. Peameal Bacon is a type of cure product cut from lean boneless pork loin.The pork loin is trimmed fine, wet cured, and rolled in peameal. Traditionally, it covered in crushed dried yellow peas,but now it has been commonly with cornmeal since the end of World War II. So, it can be called as Cornmeal Bacon. For its origin, it is believed that  William Davies who immigrated  from English Canada. Also, people is credit Peameal bacon refer  to Back Bacon and it is a unique form of Back Bacon. By the way, William Davies established William Davies Company and ran his business as the largest pork packer in the British Empire.

The Best Possible Way to Utilize the product

Peameal Bacon is proper for the use of making  sandwich .

Here is a persuasive example:

Carousel Bakery

This is a famous bakery at St. Lawrence Market which serve the delicious Peameal Bacon sandwich.

Here is my sandwich.

peameal-6

It is a signature dish of  St. Lawrence Market. Also,It is one of the most iconic dish in Toronto.

Discuss cooking methods:

Peameal Bacon is suitable to be Brined and roasted or sliced and pan fried or grilled.

 

For the Carousel Bakery’s sandwich ,it was full of flavor The egg and melty cheese paired well with the bacon! The Peameal Bacon was tender, crisp and full of meaty flavor. It was grilled in medium-sized slices until the centre is slightly rare and the cornmeal coating and external fat turns crisp.Overall, grilling is the best friend with Peameal Bacon if you wanna taste as Delicious as the Carousel Bakery’s sandwich.

A Referenced Recipe:

INGREDIENTS

8 slices of rye bread

1 Tbsp honey Dijon mustard (15 ml)

2 Tbsp butter, softened (30 ml)

12 ½ oz slices of peameal bacon

4 Tbsp maple syrup (60 ml)

1 tsp lemon juice (5 ml)

1 Tbsp vegetable oil (15 ml)

4 1 oz slices of sharp 5 year-old cheddar cheese

DIRECTIONS

1. In a large non-stick skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add peameal bacon slices and cook for ½ minute on one side. Turn over and cook on the other side.

2. In a small bowl combine the maple syrup and lemon juice and add to cooking bacon. Turn slices over and allow each side to get caramelized. Allow the slices to cook until liquid evaporates. Remove from heat and set aside until needed.

3. Butter 8 slices of rye bread. Lay slices of bread with buttered side down on a flat surface. Spread honey Dijon mustard on four of the slices.

4. Top the four other slices with one slice of cheddar cheese and 3 slices of the maple glazed peameal bacon. Cover with other slice of bread, buttered side out.

5. Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat. Place two sandwiches and grill until golden brown and the cheese has melted.

6. When cooked take sandwiches off the heat and cut diagonally.
Reference:

http://www.foodnetwork.ca/recipe/peameal-and-cheddar-sandwich/5725/#VFop43AsFB3GCcTe.99

 

 

 

 

 

A memorable soup from my hometown

For this week, I was learning quite a few theories for making a stock,a broth and even a soup. Hence , I was just inspired after taking a series of lessons about them.Today, I am gonna present a particular soup from my hometown,  Hong Kong.It is Shark Fin Soup.

The story

Before staring blogging,I have an overriding point to tell you guys;It is  an imitation for the soup.This is a background story below. For the Chinese convention, Shark Fin Soup is a one of most expensive cuisines,and generally, when people hold Chinese wedding banquets,it is a important dish to show the ceremonies profuse and rich .Also,it is such a  gorgeous symbol  that  the hosts have good taste.However, the process of making Shark Fin Soup is quite inhuman because fishermen fish sharks for obtaining fins.They want the fin parts only,so they throw the sharks back into oceans after the obtainment.It means the sharks would be dead painfully.Furthermore, the process make the number of sharks decreasing ripely around the world,so the cost inflation takes place for the shark fin industry.As a result, people started making the imitation of Shark Fin Soup by substituting other ingredients for fins. Nowadays, it has been one of most  popular street snacks in Hong Kong because of its deliciousness and inexpensive price.

The Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 50 gm skinless chicken breast
  • 50 gm lean pork, shredded
  • 20 gm Chinese black mushroom, soaked at least 4 hours until soften
  • 30 gm cellophane noodles(粉絲or called “glass noodles”)
  • 8-10 pieces of dried black fungus (黑木耳 or called “cloud ear” 雲耳or “wood ear” 木耳.)
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups unsalted chicken broth
  • 2 cups water

Seasoning:

  • 1 Tbsp dark soy sauce
  • a dash of sesame oil
  • white pepper, to taste
  • salt, to taste

Thickening:

  • 2 Tbsp water chestnut flour
  • 4 Tbsp water

Method:

  1. Soak black mushrooms, dried black fungus and cellophane noodles separately until soften and drain well. Remove the hard stems of black mushrooms (you can save the stems to cook other Chinese soups if you like), cut into small strips. Trim the dried black fungus. Section cellophane noodles. Set aside.
  2. Shred chicken breast and pork into thin strips.
  3. Bring chicken broth and water to the boil. Add chicken, pork, black mushroom, dried black fungus and cook for a while until all ingredients are cooked through and softened. Add cellophane noodles and seasoning. Add salt to taste. When it boils again, stir in thickening and beaten egg, mix well. Remove from heat. Use a small bowl to serve!

Works cited:Christine’s recipe blog

Retrieved From:http://en.christinesrecipes.com/2008/11/imitation-shark-fin-soup.html#comment-form

 

The procedure

 

1.Soat black mushrooms and blcak fungus until they become soft.drain the water and cut the black mushroom stems and cut in to small strips.

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2.In this case,I did get any cellophane noodles,so I substituted cellophane noodles with a package of instant imitating fins.

 

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3.chicken breast and pork into thin strips,assemble with other ingredients.whisk a egg  , stir chestnut flour with a small amount of water and reserve them

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4.Bring chicken broth and water to a boil, add ingredients into the boiling liquid.simmer it until all are tender.Add the egg and  chestnut flour mixture.Remove from the heat, stir it until glazed and season .

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5. Ready to serve

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The review

For the tasting, when I had a bite ,the first sense of tongue is smooth glazed as well as gravy.Also,I got umami in palate and felt satisfied per bite because of having the rich volume of ingredients.By the way, it always pairs with  Sesame oil, red vinegar, white pepper or chill oil as Hong Kong people do.It depend on individuals’s favors.

During the making process ,I  got a  problem about heat controlling . As everyone knows, the heat controlling  is an ordinary skill for cooking any kind of dishes,especially the soup making.the simmering method is highly required to make any soup.Sometimes,I  over-heated the soup ,so the doneness of ingredients would not be evenly.However,it has been kept in my mind and use the simmering method to make any soup. In  that case, I made this soup twice.In the first time, I destroyed my soup since I was not proficient to do heat controlling.However,in the second time, I got a unsuccessful experience,it just remaindered me  to concentrate on heat controlling.As a result, I succeeded and got my great product.

 

 

The Preserved Kumquat

Today, I’m gonna share a conventional preserved food or drink  from my hometown,it is a preserved kumquat.While I was growing up ,my mun always made a jar of preserved kumquat and waited for someone having  flu with sore throat and cough .It could ease the illness and make flu patients  get over quicker.

preserved_kumquats

Actually, it is a kind of informal medicine and prescription to treat people with colds.Also, there is no official reference to make it ,so there are  various recipe with different styles.Now, I got one of these methods to show  up below.

The recipe of the Preserved Kumquat

Ingredients:

1200 g of Kumquat

Approximately 1000 g of salt

preserved_kumquats_2

Method:

1.On day 1,wash all kumquats with cold water and rinse them (Reminder:leave the skins on because bacteria will breed in the part without skins.)let them dry with wind.preserved_kumquats_4

2.On day 2,place the kumquats on a trap,pour  a proper  amount of salt to cover them evenly,preserve them for 1 week in a dry environmentpreserved_kumquats_3

3.During the preservation, you can check them with chopsticks and if find out some spoil, remove the spoil ones from the tray

4.After a week, get a jar (make sure the jar is thoroughly dry.)Remove the used salt from  the kumquats and pour a small amount of new salt into the jar to cover the underneath of the jar.Place a few kumquats on the salt and cover them with the same mount of salt.Repeat the process until the jar has been filled.

preserved_kumquats_6

5.A week later,remove all the used salt from the jar,and reserve the kumquats into a new jar with new salt.Pour the salt and cover the kumquats as well as you did last week.In this time, make sure the kumquats is covered thoroughly.Cover the jar with a lip closely. Mark the preservation’s date.Last the preservation process at least 6 months or more.

The length of preservation’s time is optional depend on different individuals .It might 1 year ,2 years ,5 years and even more than 10 years.Someone believe the longer time the kumquat preserves ,the stronger effect of treatment it gets.

The overriding thing for the preservation is the kumquats are easy to get spoil during the process because of humidity.Therefore, they are supposed to be stored in dry environments ,and the jars should be absolutely dry.In my own experience, the preservation was given up  due to  spoil kumquats.

The usage of the kumquat

Get a preserve kumquat from the jar,mashed it and mix up with hot water.Also honey and limo are great combination with the drink.

The Tasting

Normally,the drink is quite salty because of salt is a kind of remedy to treat sore throat and cough.However, if you add some honey and limo,it will be  a bit sweet with citrus aroma.

That combination is a golden match for me.When I get sick with sore throat ,I certainly have a drink and it actually makes me recover faster.

Reference:http://www.meatlovessalt.com/2014/03/preserved-salted-kumquats/

Fruit Hunter – Exploring in the St. Lawrence Market

In this week, I had a mission to explore fruit as a fruit Hunter,so I went to the  St. Lawrence Market and found a kind of fruit with unique shape, Dragon-fruit.keauhou-farmer-s-market

The picture taken in the market

When I was walking around in the market,I saw it with half an eye because it was so weird and colorful  that I was attracted  meanwhile.In North America, it is a kind of exotic fruit ,and it is not typical  for Canadian’ diets,but we sometimes can find it in markets and fruit supply stories with a somewhat expensive price.Otherwise, in my hometown, we can get it with a good deal in summer time because of the rich supply of dragon-fruit .

dragon-fruit

The picture from Internet

Dragon-fruit is a well-known name around the world,and its academic name is Pitahaya. It refers to fruit of the genus Stenocereus or  fruit of the genus Hylocereus. There is a argument between both that they are common in some aspects .

images

The picture from Internet

At the earliest time,Pitahaya originated from Mexico,and it spread  to other parts of central America.Also,in the Age of Discovery,European brought it from New World to Europe,even to Asia .Nowadays, it has been  cultivated in East Asian, South Asian and Southeast Asian countries such as Cambodia, Thailand, China, Malaysia, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Indonesia, and more recently Bangladesh. They are also found in Okinawa, Hawaii, Israel, northern Australia, southern China and in Cyprus.By the way, dragon-fruit

is suitable to cultivate in tropical area ,such as the counties above.

 

images (1)

The picture from Internet

The taste of Dragon-fruit is gradual that when I have a bite,it tastes very bland like a melon or kiwifruit. Soon,I get somewhat mild sweetness.Overall,it bring me  appetite with  fresh aroma and palate.

images (2)

The picture from Internet

I came across a recipe of dragon-fruit,and I’d like to share with you guys.

COCONUT PINEAPPLE & PITAYA (DRAGON FRUIT) PANCAKES

img_1960-copypp_w739_h492

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/4 cup Kodiak Power Cakes Mix
  • 2 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup Vanilla Muscle Egg (egg whites) (www.muscleegg.com)
  • 2 tablespoons shredded coconut (unsweetened)
  • 1/3 cup So Delicious unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 30 drops Coconut Sweet Leaf Stevia Drops
  • 1/2 packet Pitaya Plus Smoothie Pack (** TOPPING **)
  • 10 drops Vanilla Sweet Leaf Stevia (** TOPPING **)
  • 1/4 cup pineapple juice (** TOPPING **)
  • 2-4 tablespoons maple syrup (** TOPPING **)
  • 1 tablespoon shredded coconut (** TOPPING **)
  • 1 kiwi (sliced) (** TOPPING **)
  • 4-5 raspberries (** TOPPING **)

DIRECTIONS

1.Place pancakes ingredients in a medium sized bowl and mix until well combined.

2 .Preheat a large skillet or pan under medium low heat, spray with non stick spray or coat with coconut oil.
3. Cook pancakes 2-3 minutes per side until golden brown.
4. For topping, mix Pitaya Plus with pineapple juice and stevia drops. Add more of less pineapple juice depending on how thin you want it. Top pancakes and add fruit, shredded coconut, and nuts if desired.
Reference:http://corinanielsen.com/livefit/2014/06/29/coconut-pineapple-pitaya-dragon-fruit-pancakes/

I appreciate that Dragon-fruit is a such wonderful ingredient that it can be used in various ways,such as making  salad and dessert. Also, it can be a main dish ;i knew that when I was travelling in  Vietnam even though I have not show here. As I see, dragon-fruit is multi-role as an appetizer or a main dish or a dessert.