0:00 – Introduction
0:42 – Grandmother Vegetable
3:04 – Shredded Pork & Eggs
6:05 – Braised Tofu Puffs
8:09 – Other Hunanese dishes to eat with rice?


So first up, sourcing. This sort of stuff *should* be available to you at your local Chinese supermarket, but unfortunately online this was all I could: https://www.amazon.com/TUDOU-LaXiaodong-Grandmas-Xiangxi-Appetizer/dp/B09BR5MLS3/

Prohibitively expensive, I know. The ‘similar product’ I listed from Weee is here, but know that we’ve never tried this product ourselves. It could be quite heavily seasoned, so do season by taste if using: https://www.sayweee.com/en/product/JXJ-Meal-Partner-Spicy-Pickles/39207

For the edamame, frozen would also work brilliantly.

* Aromatics: Garlic, 2 cloves, minced; Ginger, 1 cm, minced
* Fresh chili peppers, 6 (preferably serranos, but use what’s local to you), sliced
* Grandmother vegetable (外婆菜), 125g
* Soy sauce (生抽), 1 tsp
* Peeled edamame (毛豆), 150g
* Seasoning for the edamame: salt, 1/4 tsp; sugar, 1/4 tsp; white pepper powder, 1/8 tsp; MSG (味精) ~1/16 tsp


If using edamame, first give it a blanch. If using frozen edamame, a quick two minutes to heat it up should be enough; if using fresh edamame, give it at least seven minutes for it to cook through.

For the stir fry, first longyau with about a tablespoon of oil, then fry the aromatics over a low flame. Once fragrant, ~30 seconds, add in the fresh chili peppers. Continue to fry for another ~30 seconds.

Up the flame to high, and add the grandmother vegetable. You want to toast out the sourness of the chilis, which takes a bit, ~2-3 minutes of stir-frying. Once it’s no longer sour tasting, swirl in the soy sauce.

If adding the edamame, add it. Swap the flame to medium, fry for another minute. Season and mix.


This one *is* our ‘western supermarket friendly’ dish of the three, so a few notes.

First, I know we borderline cheated with the green garlic at the end, as it’s not usually supermarket available. Like I said in the video, feel free to sub for scallion.

Same deal with the chilis – you want two hot chilis, and six medium chilis. Bird’s eye would be phenomenal for the first bit, and serranos for the second. That said, if you want to work from a combination of habaneros for your hot and jalapenos for your medium… go for it.

Lastly, we season with MSG. MSG is western supermarket available under the brand ‘Accent’.

* Eggs, 3
* Seasoning for the eggs: salt, 1/4 tsp
* Aromatics: Garlic, 2 cloves, minced; Ginger, 1 cm, minced; Hot chilis – we used Heaven Facing (朝天椒) – 2; sliced
* Soy sauce (生抽), 1 tsp
* Fresh chili peppers, 6 (preferably serranos, but use what’s local), sliced
* Seasoning: salt, 1/4 tsp; sugar, 1/4 tsp; white pepper powder, 1/8 tsp; MSG (味精), ~1/16 tsp
* Green garlic (蒜苗) -or- scallions (葱), 20g, cut into 1 inch sections


Longyau with ~3 tbsp of oil, then over a high flame fry the eggs. Let them quickly puff up, then after about one minute, cut them apart and flip. Let them cook for another minute on the other side, then break them up into about once inch chunks. Fry for a minute or two until the pieces are blistered, then season with salt. Reserve.

Longyau with another ~2 tbsp of oil, then over a high flame add in the shredded pork. Cook 2-3 minutes, only mixing every 30 seconds or so, in order to let the pork brown. Then scooch the pork up the side of the wok, add in another tablespoon of oil, and swap the flame to low. Add in the aromatics, fry until fragrant (~30 seconds), recombine with the pork. Add in the egg. Quick mix, then pour the soy sauce around the sides of the wok.

Add in the chili peppers. Quick fry, then season. Add in the green garlic/scallion. Quick mix.


Hunan Chopped Chilis are not available online, but should be available at most Chinese supermarkets. Guizhou Zaolajiao (“Pickled Chili”) would be a great sub: https://www.yamibuy.com/en/p/laoganma-pickled-chili-750g/1021045731

* Tofu puffs (油豆腐), 200g
* Aromatics: Garlic, 2 cloves, minced; Ginger, 1 cm, minced
* Hunan Chopped Chili -or- Guizhou “Pickled Chili” -or- Sambal Oelek, 1 tbsp
* Chili powder, 1/2 tbsp
* Fresh chili peppers, 6, sliced (2 used near the start, 4 near the end)
* Liaojiu, a.k.a. Shaoxing wine (料酒/绍酒), 1 tbsp
* Soy sauce (生抽), 1 tsp
* Dark soy sauce (老抽), 1/2 tsp
* Water, 1/4 cup
* Seasoning: salt, 1/4 tsp; sugar, 1/4 tsp; white pepper powder, 1/8 tsp; MSG (味精), ~1/16 tsp
* Green garlic (蒜苗) -or- scallions (葱), 20g, cut into 1 inch sections
Blanch the tofu puffs for two minutes, then run under cool water & squeeze out the excess liquid. Fry ala 7:41 (apologies, ran out of space here)
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Outro Music: คิดถึงคุณจัง by ธานินทร์ อินทรเทพ
Found via My Analog Journal (great channel): https://youtu.be/GHaL5H-VYRg


45 thoughts on “3 chili-laced stir fries to devour over rice.”

  1. Hey guys, a few notes:

    1. As we always do with these, I feel like I need to make a quick note on our translation of “xiafan cai” (下饭菜) as ‘over rice dishes’. Some other recipe writers – e.g. Fuschia Dunlop – translate xiafan cai as “send the rice down dishes”, given that the literal meaning is that these are dishes that are very delicious with rice. We’ve always been big believers that translations should sound reasonably natural in the target language though, and “send the rice down” has always sounded super awkward to me. In English, there’s already cultural context for stuff that’s served ‘over rice’, so that’s what we went with. We’ve gotten criticism of this translation in the past, which I do understand (‘gaijiao’ – 盖浇 – is much closer translation for something being over rice/noodles/etc), so we’ve tried to use the term ‘rice killer’ a bit more in these videos as of late. Given that it’s sort of become a series though, we’ve decided to keep the moniker ‘over rice’… as true to the name, these are also dishes that are delicious over rice.

    2. On that note though, I probably should’ve gone with a different translation for “Grandmother Vegetable”. ‘Grandma’s Pickles’ would likely sound a lot more natural in English. I guess I just think ‘Grandmother Vegetable’ sounds a lot more… fun? But maybe I’m starting to internalize Chinglish words a bit too much. Maybe one day we’ll have to do a recipe video for German type sexual harassment… (context: http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/~bgzimmer/germantype.jpg )

    3. If you would like to make the Grandmother Vegetable with pork mince, use about 150g of pork and marinate with the standard marinade (1/4 tsp salt, ½ tsp sugar, ¼ tsp soy sauce, ½ tsp liaojiu a.k.a. Shaoxing wine, ½ tsp cornstarch, ~1 tsp of oil to coat). Stir fry the pork over a high flame until cooked through, then remove. Add when you would be adding the edamame.

    4. Again, for the chilis, we used a combination of Heaven Facing Chilis (朝天椒) and Erjingtiao (二荆条, a.k.a. ‘two vixen chilis’) because those are what’s local to us. If you want to use habaneros for your hot chili and jalapeno for your medium chili, go for it (though you’d probably want to cut it to one or even half of a habanero).

    5. The reason the tofu puffs need to be blanched for exactly two minutes is in order to balance (1) softening them up and (2) removing the grassy taste of the tofu. If you let the tofu puffs go too long in plain salt water, it can actually end up re-absorbing the grassiness that it releases in the blanch. On the flip side, if you only blanch for ~30 seconds, you’ll need to cook the tofu puffs longer in the stir fry – not really a problem, except the tofu’ll end up sucking up a bit too much oil.

    6. On that note, don’t underestimate the oil quantity for the tofu puffs dish. If anything, a quarter cup might’ve been slightly on the conservative side.

    That’s all I can think of for now. I know many of you’ve quite liked the ‘over rice’ series, and we’re always happy to do more. Always a fun thing to eat during testing – I (Chris) tests one, Steph tests one, we eat both with some white rice… always a nice dinner. That said, we might start nearing the end of the “just buy this and dump it on rice” category of stuff that we really enjoy, so we might need to explore a new third category.

  2. Hiyaa, as a hunanese, I have 2 point to say:
    1. Too less oil, you "cai(菜)" is almost stick on the wok;
    2. The "hebaodan(荷包蛋)" is horrible, you stir it before the egg is get in shape, it just scrambled eggs, not "hebaodan(荷包蛋)".
    Too White, TOO WHITE.

  3. My local Chinese grocery had the "appetizing spicy pickle" suggested as an alternative so I gave the first recipe a shot using an anaheim chile and about one and a half jalapeños. The heat level was no joke, with even a reduced portion of the pickles contributing far more heat than the peppers. Good flavor, though

  4. Don't fear the oil! Unless you're a westerner who doesn't eat much vegetables and grains, and drinks too much alchohol and doesnt get exercise; then you should watch your fat… or eat vegies and get exercise. Probably the latter…

    Seriously though, if you're curious about the "Lowfat Diet" craze, look up "Midwestern Diet lowfat misconception" for some dumb and infuriating clarification.

  5. Uummm questions. Has anyone in history ever tried eating the roots from a rice plant? Are they edible? I can't find answers anywhere on the internet so far and I'd like to find a way to use as much of the plant when I grow it as possible

  6. Well I pepper-sprayed myself by adding the hot chilis in with the aromatics, but otherwise this made for a very tasty dish! Next time I'll add the hot chilis closer to the end I think.

  7. Can you make a video about webpages (like weee here) that sell you all the good Chinese (Asian) ingredients in Western + countries ? I eg live in Berlin, some stuff I can’t get here orrr it’s expansive af. Curious to learn about other ways 🍱

  8. I dont like you THAT much anymore. You constantly inspire to use Chilly. I usually (only) have Caronlina Reaper. Do you realize or care how devastating this gets? And dont blame me for growing and using them! Well…:)

  9. well am obese, i cant take these video anymore. the more i see, the more i want to eat. at this point am so desperate to stay away from good food

  10. Hey. I love your blog very much, I am vegan and learning some of your techniques and recipes. From here I come, there are no tofu puffs and I am trying to learn how to make it from the first stage of soy milk, using the right coagulant, frying temperature and more tips if you have or even a video of the preparation process. All my attempts to learn from Chinese sites with the help of google translation failed. I’d be very happy to see more vegan recipes. Thank you guys

  11. The grandmother vegetable one was absurdly delicious for what it was. Absolutely going to be cooking it as a weeknight staple. Would love more Hunan recipes!

  12. Love your channel – this is just fyi (from 日系人): edamame is pronounced eh-dah-mah-meh (first and last syllable has the same short “eh” vowel sound, and not long E)

  13. I recreated the second dish but with some alterations.

    Due to health reasons I'm temporarily on a very restrictive diet that prohibits sugar, rice AND soy, among other things (yikes, I know). But glad to have made the dish work! Instead of soy I used coconut amino acid… It's really not the same but I was surprised it did the trick well enough. I swapped sugar for a little bit of stevia. In terms of rice I cooked cauliflower rice, which doesn't really hit the spot. So in addition, to make the dish more filling, I also shallow fried some aubergine and added it in at the end. I was skeptical whether this would work but the flavours complimented each other pretty well actually and it definitely made the dish more filling. Then I served with a simple stir fryed cabbage.

    Thanks for a great video as always and I'd really be interested to hear your thoughts on coconut aminos. Are they a decent sub for someone who is strictly no soy?

  14. You might wanna move where you put the ingredient lists from the bottom of the video, subtitles tend to cover it.
    I am so excited to make these. : )

  15. Episodes like these really underscore your channel name. Brilliant. I've been looking to get out of a rut in my exploration of chinese cookery, and I think these are just the ticket.

  16. Warning:
    1. The cooking oil is probably seed oils such as vegetable oil, soybean oil, peanut oil, etc. These oils are very unhealthy. Use animal fat like Lard instead.
    2. White rices are high in glycemic index, causing high blood sugar. Long term may lead to diabetes type 2, heart diseases.

    The Chinese are becoming sicker and sicker every year, as well as the rest of the world. The introduction of Western food definitely did not help also, but it's not the primary reason.

  17. if you really love China, why bothering using the wrong map? 0:10 you are nazi? " Steph is from Guangzhou and loves cooking food from throughout China – you'll usually be watching her behind the wok. Chris is a long-term expat from America that's been living in China and loving it for the last 12 years – you'll be listening to his explanations and recipe details."

  18. Lol, I thought at first that they were saying that Hunan cuisine is "bad at cooking rice", which of course, it is not! I mistakenly read the word "murdering" as something bad; as in, "they kill/ruin the rice"; trust me, thanks to Uncle Roger, I've seen people do some terribly murderous things to rice, (Jaime Oliver, Rachel Ray, etc) but that's not the case here, thankfully… I see now that they mean to say that "these dishes are very tasty with rice". (I forgot that "murdering" can be a term for "chowing-down/cleaning your plate/eating a lot" in Canada and UK.)

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