Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Performance Review and Chinese Style Stir Fried Liver

Hello everybody,
It is that time of the year again when companies run their annual performance reviews. Which is my tongue in cheek way to introduce this liver dish. What do you do when feel like you are going to get chopped up like a block of liver during your reviews? 

Here is what I think. I have never been a big fan of a "formalized" performance review. Why?  Well, how do you answer the usual questions like "On a scale of 1 to 5, tell me how you think you have done X,Y and Z..." I find this method too arbitrary and too structured- it puts people on the defensive... which makes the process completely useless.  I much prefer more frequent 1:1 coaching and 360 degree dialogues. I believe a good leader has the ability to get the best work out of his/her people daily, for every single project. If given the correct stimulating environment and resources, it is much easier for a team to be creative and to achieve. I am building a business based on such a management style.

In the end, only you know if you have put your best foot forward given your circumstances.  You must trust that you have approached your tasks to the very best of your abilities. Only then can you objectively look at your performance review and find .. hmm.. peace.. so to say. Always look for ways to improve, but if you get a less than satisfying review and you know you have done your best (honestly done your best), don't be too upset about it.  After all, even if you have been chopped up like a piece of liver, remember that you can always throw it into the wok and stir fry it. It is not the end of the world.

On this side note, liver is very rich in vitamins and micronutrients. Liver is not something I usually eat, but on a recent trip to my usual Japanese grocer, I saw a perfectly fresh piece of liver that I just had to pick up. I called my mom for instructions and made it into a delicious dish.

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Chinese Style Stir Fried Chopped Liver with Ginger
One piece of pork liver (Must be fresh and bright red)

2 Tablespoons of Chinese Rice Wine (shaoxing wine)
1 tablespoon of soy sauce
1 small piece (about the size of your thumb) ginger, sliced finely
1 stalk of green onion
1 tablespoon of peanut oil

1) Chop up the liver into small, thin slices and marinade with the Chinese rice wine and soy sauce.  Stir to mix completely.  Set aside for 30 minutes.
(Note: I find this part a little gross and the liver at this stage doesn't look appetitzing, but power through please.)
2) After 30 mins, remove the liver pieces using a tong and drain away any residue marinade.
3)  Next, in a heated pan (or wok) add the peanut oil.  After the oil has started to smoke, add the ginger.
Next add the liver pieces immediately followed by the seasonings.  As the liver is cooking, it will slowly turn a dark brown color.  Blood will also ooze out.  Look for this because when the blood stops oozing, the the liver is cooked. For food safety reasons, you will want to make sure the liver is completely cooked before eating.
4) When it is about to be done, add the green onions. 
5) Plate and serve.

Source: A Browncookie original (With guidance from Julie's mom)

Have a wonderful day everybody!


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