February 22, 2015

Homemade Chinese Pork Jerky Bakkwa 自制猪肉干

Homemade Chinese Pork Jerky Bakkwa 自制猪肉干

Homemade, Chinese, Pork Jerky, Bakkwa, recipe, meat jerky,  自制, 猪肉干, 肉干, cookbook review, chinese feasts and festivals cookbook
By Published: 2015-02-22

Kung Hei Fat Choy!!  恭喜發財!! Welcome to the Year of the Sheep!!  I don't know about y'all but it's been a busy few days of cooking for us.  Lots of delicioso type of traditional Chinese New Years dishes that we make once a year to celebrate the coming of the New Lunar Year!  Yummilicious things like Chinese Sweet New Year Cake 年糕, Steamed Radish Cake 蘿蔔糕, and the Braised Dried Oyster with Black Sea Moss (recipe coming up soon!)  One of the things we made for the first time this year is Homemade Chinese Pork Jerky, also know as Bakkwa,  or 自制猪肉干.  The reason we attempted to make our own jerky is because we received a most beautifully illustrated cookbook to review, Chinese Feasts & Festivals: A Cookbook, by S.C. Moey, and we were delighted to discover what looked like a pretty easy recipe for making this delicious treat at home.  I mean I love chinese jerky and never realized you could make it yourself at home!

Homemade, Chinese, Pork Jerky, Bakkwa, recipe, meat jerky,  自制, 猪肉干, 肉干, cookbook review, chinese feasts and festivals cookbook
Illustration by S.C. Moey, from Chinese Feasts & Festivals: A Cookbook

February 17, 2015

Chinese New Year Flowers 中國新年花

chinese new year, flower market, hong kong, victoria park, Five Fingered Eggplant, Narcissus, orchid, Peach Blossom, Peony, tangerine, 中國新年, 桃花, 桔, 水仙, 牡丹, 蘭花, 農曆新年, 花
By Published: 2015-02-17

The one thing you have to do every Chinese New Year if you live in Hong Kong is to visit the Chinese New Year Flower Market, or 中國新年花市.  This huge, chaotic market located yearly at Victoria Park in Causeway Bay began as a flower market to sell New Year's flowers to all the households preparing for the New Year (one must have flowers in the house for New Year!) and has evolved over the years into not only an amazing flower market but also general fair or market, where anything and everything is sold, from toys to gadgets to political literature and t-shirts.  Everything with strong emphasis on preparing and celebrating for the upcoming Chinese New Year, of course.  We go every year to enjoy the very festive (though very crowded) atmosphere, to buy a balloon (a giraffe balloon!) and a toy or two for my little girl and, most importantly, to pick up our Chinese New Year's Flowers 中國新年花.  The Chinese New Year Flower Market is just so gorgeous and fun, with festive and colorful New Year's flowers as far as the eye can see!


chinese new year, flower market, hong kong, victoria park, Five Fingered Eggplant, Narcissus, orchid, Peach Blossom, Peony, tangerine, 中國新年, 桃花, 桔, 水仙, 牡丹, 蘭花, 農曆新年, 花

February 14, 2015

Happy Valentine's Day! 情人節快樂

valentine's day, valentine, cookie, sugar cookies, royal icing, egg white icing, decorated
By Published: 2015-02-14

Happy Valentine's Day from all of us at The Hong Kong Cookery!

We think there's no better way to celebrate the holiday of love than to spend some time making and decorating cookies to give as Valentines to your sweethearts and friends.  So here is my little girl's funny family of heart cookie valentines (there's Mommy and Daddy Heart, Baby Heart, Sister Heart, and Grams and Gramps Heart.)

Our Valentine to you, dear readers!   情人節快樂!

February 12, 2015

Chinese Candied Kumquats 糖漬金橘

Chinese Candied Kumquats 糖漬金橘

農曆新年, Candied Kumquats, candy, chinese, dried, kumquat, recipe, 糖漬金橘, chinese new year, snacks, 中國新年, fruit
By Published: 2015-02-12

This Chinese New Year recipe is a delicioso combination of a couple of things I really love, candy and fruit, and something really lucky for the Chinese New Year, the kumquat, or 金橘.  金橘 translates as "gold orange" which symbolizes that good fortune (which for the Chinese always means MONEY!) will find you in the upcoming year.  Which, to be honest, is always a good thing, right?  More money means more yummy food, amiright?  What people usually do is to buy big pots of kumquat laden trees (tying on lucky red pocket envelopes all over it) to put in their house and invite in the luck for the new year.  This year we decided to not just decorate our house with kumquat trees but to make some 'golden' food to ingest into our bodies so as to increase our likelihood of golden luckiness even more!  And thus we present to you our version of the Chinese Candied Kumquat 糖漬金橘, a choice snack for the festivities of the Chinese New Year, bringing you not only yummilicious delight for your sweet tooth but also a fun way to swallow some of that 'golden luckiness' right into your very being!

February 4, 2015

Macanese Style Portuguese Curry Chicken 葡國雞

Macanese Style Portuguese Curry Chicken 葡國雞

Macanese, Style, Portuguese, Curry Chicken, recipe, food, macau, 澳門, 葡國雞
By Published: 2015-02-04
I'm always so happy when I get a chance to write about Macau.  It's a place that pulls me in some way, there's something so interesting about this little city that started out as one of the first European trading port cities in Asia and now, 500 years later, is a gracefully beautiful yet contradictory grand dame, full of sometimes shocking flirtations and many, many secrets doors into her long, intricate past.  One very interesting part of this past of Macau is the ethnic group known as the Macanese, or 土生葡人, which are Macau born people with Portuguese ancestry.  (Macau was for a long, long time a Portuguese colony.)  The Macanese developed the eclectic cuisine known as Macanese food, a mix of Portuguese and Chinese cuisine that is very distinctly their own.  We were reminiscing about Macau the other day and how much we missed the food there and oh, we should make a short trip soon, blah, blah, blah.  Long story short, what else to do but to make this yummilicious Macanese Style Portuguese Curry Chicken 葡國雞, a dish unique to Macau and Macanese food!

Macanese, Style, Portuguese, Curry Chicken, recipe, food, macau, 澳門,    葡國雞
The façade of St. Paul's Cathedral in Macau by Wilhelm Heine, 1854

January 29, 2015

Fishing Hong Kong Style 港式釣魚

Fishing, Hong Kong, Style, rabbit fish, steamed, recipe, 香港, 式, 釣魚, 泥鯭, Eight Tentacle Hook, 八爪鉤, youtiao, 油條,
By Published: 2015-01-29
In Hong Kong we live on an island surrounded by the sea.  Hard to remember sometimes in this concrete jungle that is the city.  But really truly, yes, we all live by the sea.  Often times we will stroll by the ocean pier just to breath the fresh breeze and feel the freedom of the open skies.  Recently in the depth of the winter the weather has been just lovely (read blue skies instead of grey) and we have been exploring our outdoor options more than usual.  Thus our inspiration for a Fishing Hong Kong Style expedition 港式釣魚, a frolic along the pier of our nearby sea, a first fishing experience for our little girl and a fun reminder of past fishing adventures for mom and dad.  (Not sure why the ocean was sloped that day but it sure felt gorgeous!)

January 24, 2015

Fragrant Pan Fried Squid Paste 香煎魷魚滑

Fragrant Pan Fried Squid Paste 香煎魷魚滑

Pan Fried, Squid, Paste,  recipe, seafood, 香煎, 魷魚, 滑, chinese
By Published: 2015-01-24

Ah, the mysterious creature of the deep, the delicious squiggly squid!  The stuff of legends, sailors of old telling tales of ginormous squid rising wrathfully from the seas to shallow them whole, boats and all.  Did you know that the giant squid is a real creature, growing up to the size of 30-60 feet (13-20 meters)!!  It's true, they really exist and I'll bet they're super yummy too, if ever I get a chance to snack on a bit o' giant tentacle.  For now , though, I'll have to be content with the wonderfully fresh squid that we can find at the wet markets in Hong Kong and especially, especially with our latest yummilicious discovery, the amazingly scrumptious freshly made squid paste that one can find at selected wet market stalls.  It's really fabulous that they did all the hard work of making the squid paste already (so fresh too!) and you can just pick some up and TA-DA!!, just like that, a drool worthy, super easy to make and yummilicious dish, the Pan Fried Squid Paste 香煎魷魚滑!

January 18, 2015

Homemade Rice Vinegar Health Drink 健康米醋飲品

Homemade Rice Vinegar Health Drink 健康米醋飲品

health benefits, Health Drink, homemade, recipe, Rice Vinegar, vinegar mother, 健康, 米醋, 飲品, apple cider vinegar, acv
By Published: 2015-01-18
The absolutely lovely (and rare) weather that we've been having in Hong Kong lately has managed to tempt us out and about more often than usual.  And we have been rewarded in some unlikely and very foody ways indeed!  We had taken our little girl to her Christmas dance performance and soon after her dance we wandered off into the nearby neighborhood of Kowloon City to enjoy the sunshine.  We discovered the wonderful Kowloon Walled City Park 九龍寨城公園 (more on that later) and had a leisurely, lovely stroll to our heart's content.  Just as we were almost ready to leave we discovered a little Mom and Pop shop selling water, snacks, ice pops, sodas...you know, the usual 士多 kind of stuff.  But, wow, wow, wow, imagine what we discovered, this humble little shop was also selling little bottles of homemade rice vinegar...with the mother!

health benefits, Health Drink, homemade, recipe, Rice Vinegar, vinegar mother, 健康, 米醋, 飲品, apple cider vinegar, acv

January 9, 2015

Boiled Fresh Octopus 白灼新鮮八爪魚

Boiled Fresh Octopus 白灼新鮮八爪魚

Boiled, Fresh, Octopus, recipe, chinese, live, 白灼, 新鮮, 八爪魚, 章魚
By Published: 2015-01-09

Have you ever seen a live octopus up close?  Beautifully sinuous creatures in constant fascinating motion, their suction cups giving off a rapid fire pop, pop, pop as they propel themselves all over the place with ease.  At the wet market seafood section the other day one of the fish vendors had a basketful of live octopus.  We stopped to watch the feisty boneless creatures writhe this way and that for a long while, my little girl was just fascinated!  In the end, of course, we ended up taking one of the octopus home!  We made the simplest and best dish one can make with super duper fresh octopus: Boiled Fresh Octopus 白灼新鮮八爪魚 served simply with a soy sauce and wasabi dip.  So fresh and yummilicious!

Boiled, Fresh, Octopus, recipe, chinese, live, 白灼, 新鮮, 八爪魚, 章魚

January 2, 2015

Sea Salt White Pepper Crackers 海鹽白胡椒脆餅

Sea Salt White Pepper Crackers 海鹽白胡椒脆餅

Sea, Salt, White, Pepper, Crackers,, recipe, chinese style, wheat thins,  海鹽, 白胡椒, 脆餅
By Published: 2015-01-02

It must be one of the ironies of modern life that we have everything at our fingertips and yet...we seem to miss out sometimes on just as much as we gain.  The reason I've been contemplating such dreary thoughts is that I realized recently (gulp...hangs head in shame) that I have never ever in my life eaten homemade crackers or even thought of making my own crackers!  I have always eaten the delicious (well sometimes delicious usually just kinda stale) boxed crackers that one finds in plentiful supply at the grocery shops.  But it never ever occurred to me to make them myself, I guess because I somehow thought that one needed a special machine to make edibles so thin and perfectly shaped.  Well it turns out that I was completely wrong!  You don't need a machine or special skills.  It turns out that not only are crackers dead easy to make but these homemade Sea Salt White Pepper Crackers 海鹽白胡椒脆餅 are so much more amazingly delicioso than the crackers that you buy at the store!  Seriously now...I'm kinda mad no one ever told me about homemade crackers!

December 26, 2014

Christmas Sugar Cookies 聖誕節糖餅乾

Christmas Sugar Cookies 聖誕節糖餅乾

Christmas, egg white icing, pasteurized egg, recipe, rolled cookies, royal icing, sugar cookies, 糖餅乾, 聖誕節
By Published: 2014-12-26
A very very Merry Christmas to all!!  It's that wonderful time of the year again, time for the baking, decorating and eating of Christmas Sugar Cookies 聖誕節糖餅乾!  Do you like my little girl's Santa Claus Cookie?  We're going to save this cute one to put out for Santa Claus when he comes by on Christmas Eve.  (Don't know how he's going to get into our tiny house!)  These cookies are a great Xmas project to do with your kids cuz all kids love to draw and what better thing to draw on than a cookie you can eat!  My little girl and I had a blast making these decorated cookies in preparation for the holiday season and we figured out some great tips for the cookie decorating part that made it much, much easier for my little girl to work with the icing to decorate the cookies.

Christmas, egg white icing, pasteurized egg, recipe, rolled cookies, royal icing, sugar cookies, 糖餅乾, 聖誕節
Our favorite Xmas tree ornament!
Christmas, egg white icing, pasteurized egg, recipe, rolled cookies, royal icing, sugar cookies, 糖餅乾, 聖誕節
Santa took a bite of our cookie!

December 24, 2014

Perfect Steamed Rice on the Stove 完美的蒸米飯

Perfect Steamed Rice on the Stove 完美的蒸米飯

Perfect, Steamed Rice, Stove, stovetop, how to, recipe,  完美,  蒸米飯, beggars bowl, bamboo steamer
By Published: 2014-12-24
In the past I have always been astonished that people would want to steam rice in a pot instead of using a rice cooker.  Why, I would wail, would anyone want to add more work into cooking a Chinese dinner!  After all, if you wash your rice out well and are careful with the measurements, your rice cooker cooked pot of rice is a beautiful thing.  However, recently we decided to try to Cook Steamed Rice on the Stove 完美的蒸米飯 and I realized at the moment I first tasted the perfect, perfect steamed white rice, that it was soooo worth that little bit of extra effort!

Perfect, Steamed Rice, Stove, stovetop, how to, recipe,  完美,  蒸米飯, beggars bowl, bamboo steamer

December 15, 2014

Watercress & Fish Ball Soup 鯪魚球西洋菜湯

Watercress & Fish Ball Soup 鯪魚球西洋菜湯

Watercress, Dace, Fish, Ball, fishball, Soup, recipe, cantonese, chinese  鯪魚, 球, 西洋菜, 湯
By Published: 2014-12-05

Recently my 老公 has been trekking out to all the far flung ends of Hong Kong for his work.  There has been a wonderful side benefit to us on the eating side of things, though, cuz he's been finding and bringing back home all sorts of delicious things to cook and eat!  The other day he came back tired and hungry with a really huge bag of something green.  I scratched my head at first, wondering what on earth he could of brought back that was so big and green.  Turns out it wasa big ol bag of farm fresh watercress, picked that very day from Hong Kong fields!  Wow, I could have never imaged that, living as we do in the middle of a concrete jungle, we could still cook up a yummilicious pot of Watercress & Fish Ball Soup 鯪魚球西洋菜湯 using freshly picked watercress!

December 5, 2014

Steamed Lap Cheong Rice 蒸臘腸飯

Steamed Lap Cheong Rice 蒸臘腸飯

Steamed, Lap Cheong, Rice, recipe, chinese, sausage, yun cheong, 蒸, 臘腸, 飯
By Published: 2014-12-05

A classic (and easy!) way to wrangle two delicious things to eat out of one pot!  If you've never tried Chinese Lap Cheong, or Chinese sausage, you are in for a treat.  These lovely dried sausages hung from hooks in pairs tied to colorful strings are so distinct in look, texture, taste and smell, just thinking of them reminds me of all the chinese groceries I have ever visited.  A happy memory indeed!  So this is one for all the sausage lovers as well as all the rice lovers in this world, not only will you end up with a delectable dish of steamed Lap Cheong but also a heavenly pot of rice aromatically infused with all the sausage's flavors!  Steamed Lap Cheong Rice, or 蒸臘腸飯, is the perfect cold weather comfort two-in-one dish!

November 27, 2014

Winter Melon Pork Bone Soup 冬瓜豬骨湯

Winter Melon Pork Bone Soup 冬瓜豬骨湯

Winter Melon, Pork, Bone, bone broth, Soup, recipe, chinese,  冬瓜, 豬骨, 湯
By Published: 2014-11-27

For the Cantonese, drinking soup is like drinking from the fountain of life.  Since I've been in Hong Kong, I've caught the soup bug too, and why not, chinese soups are soooo delicious!  Once I got used to having soups like these, I now find that I long for them, feeling like a wrung out rag when I don't get enough of these luscious liquids into my tummy.  Lately we've been super happy cooking with our latest yummilicious discovery for making soup: using pork bones!  (I know, I know...everyone knows that already, right?!)  But do you seriously realize just how good of a soup you can make at home with just a bit of pork bones?  It is so good that it's sinful!  A soup so sweetly savoury that it'll knock your socks right off!  Try out our Winter Melon Pork Bone Soup 冬瓜豬骨湯 recipe (with our secret for intensifying flavor) and see if you're still wearing socks after your first luscious sip!

November 19, 2014

Chinese Fried Fish Skins 炸魚皮


Chinese, deep, Fried, Fish Skins,  炸魚皮
By Published: 2014-11-19
Do you like potato chips?  I do!  I love crispy crunchy potato chips so much I usually end up eating the whole bag!  Well, if you love potato chips, you'll love, love, love these Chinese Fried Fish Skin Chips as much as we do!  A local Hong Kong staple available as a side order in most noodle shops, these absolutely deliciously thin, tasty and crispy deep fried Chinese Fried Fish Skin, or 炸魚皮 could possibly be more yummilicious than potato chips! (Seriously, I'm not kidding!)

November 15, 2014

Steamed Sun Dried Dace 蒸臘鯪魚

Steamed Sun Dried Dace 蒸臘鯪魚

Steamed, Sun Dried, Mud Carp, Dace, fish, chinese, recipe,  蒸, 臘, 鯪魚, preserved fish, 順德
By Published: 2014-11-15
The fact is is that Hong Kong is an island, though sometimes this is easily forgotten living inside of Hong Kong's massive, soaring concrete jungle of a city.  And because of this island history there is a strong tradition of fishery, seafood, and also, to many a food lover's delight, a diverse and rich local history of many ways of preserving, preparing and eating that seafood.  We love the super fresh and happening seafood we get at the wet market in Hong Kong and have posted many recipes of our favorite fresh and preserved seafood dishes.  Today I want to introduce you to an amazing southern Chinese speciality, the Sun Dried Dace, or 臘鯪魚.  This sun preserved fish, also know as Mud Carp, is nowadays rarely to be seen, but we found some the other day at the market at one of our favorite stalls and snapped it up quick as a flash!  

Steamed, Sun Dried, Mud Carp,, Dace, fish, chinese, recipe,  蒸, 臘, 鯪魚, preserved fish, 順德
Our friendly shop lady holding up two massive specimens of Sun Dried Mud Carp

November 10, 2014

Stir Fry Chinese Pea Shoots 炒豆苗

Stir Fry Chinese Pea Shoots 炒豆苗

Stir Fry, Chinese, Pea Shoots, pea tips, dou maio,  pea vines, pea shoots, 炒, 豆苗, recipe, vegetable
By Published: 2014-11-10
This classic Chinese vegetable dish is one of those things that is really, really simple to make and yet unforgettable in all its comforting yumminess.  I first had Stir Fry Chinese Pea Shoots long ago in a little hotel restaurant in Beijing on my first ever trip to China.  This was rather long ago, when China was not the aggressive China of today, a much more relaxed and (for me at least) a much more interesting China.  I remember clearly that this humble little stir fry vegetable dish which my cousin ordered, though nothing special to look at, was a revelation to me.  What was this vegetable, so tender, distinctive and tasty, I wondered while stuffing my face full of greens.  The really cool thing about this classic vegetable dish is that ever since that first tasting, every time I have happened to have this Stir Fry Chinese Pea Shoots, or 炒豆苗, it is always cooked the exactly the same perfect way!

November 7, 2014

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds 烤南瓜子

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds 烤南瓜子

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds,  烤, 南瓜子, recipe, fresh, halloween, jack o lantern
By Published: 2014-11-07
Happy (after) Halloween to one and all!  I hope all of you have had just as gruesome and spookity a Halloween as we did!  Well, to be honest, ours was probably not so spookity as yours since it was mostly centered around tiny crazy costumed kids and their apparently insatiable appetite for sugary treats.  And of course there was the Halloween costume to be made to order (umm...anybody else still traumatized from weeks spent making a Queen Elsa costume?) and the treats to be purchased and distributed and...last, but not least, one of my personal favorite parts of Halloween, the choosing and the carving of dear ol' Jack O' Lantern pumpkin!  (Do you like the slightly creepy way Jack's eyes came out?)   And under the general motto of 'Waste not, want not," we always try to repurpose dear ol' Jack by eating his flesh (see our delicious Anise Pumpkin Cookies recipe!) or, this year, by ripping out his gook-ily guts and making yummilicious Roasted Pumpkin Seeds 烤南瓜子 from the very seeds that we plucked out from Jack's innards!

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds,  烤, 南瓜子, recipe, fresh, halloween, jack o lantern

October 28, 2014

Winter Jujubes 冬棗

Winter Jujube, jujube, dates, chinese dates,  冬棗, chinese, fruit, seasonal
By Published: 2014-10-28

One great thing that happens when you start regularly going to the your neighborhood wet market or farmer's market is that you start to become more attuned to nature's seasons as they pass.  For example, fruits, in their original state, are a seasonal thing, coming into the markets as they ripen to their full sweetness.  Nowadays however, corporate needs, science, etc. have combined to convolute nature's four seasons into one large air-conditioned endless supermarket that serves your fruity needs, whatever they are, seemingly all year round.  Meh, I'd rather have it fresh than air conditioned!  
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