August 20, 2016

Vietnamese Deep Fry Spring Rolls Cah Gio 越南炸春捲 粉絲

Vietnamese Deep Fry Spring Rolls Cah Gio 越南炸春捲

Vietnamese, Deep Fry, Spring Rolls,  rice paper, Cah Gio,  recipe, imperial roll, 越南, 炸春捲
By Published: 2016-08-20
I have a weakness for spring rolls. Well. only really fresh ones.  And, really, who wouldn't?  When freshly deep fried spring rolls are crunchy on the outside, hot and tasty on the inside treats are so gosh darn it yummilicious!  Whenever we go to have dim sum I always just have to get a dish or two of the spring rolls.  Since we have started (finally!) to deep fry at home for ourselves (which has turned out to both easier and more fun than we had imagined,) we naturally very quickly thought of making some spring rolls!  These are our homemade spring rolls, the Vietnamese Deep Fry Spring Rolls, also known as Imperial Rolls, Cha Gio, or 越南炸春捲, a very tasty tidbit indeed, juicy meat and veg bits all wrapped in rice paper and deep fried til super crunchy on the outside and flavorsome on the inside.  And it's pretty easy to make these!

August 7, 2016

Egg Flower Water Chestnut Dessert Soup 蛋花馬蹄糖水

Egg Flower Water Chestnut Dessert Soup 蛋花馬蹄糖水

Egg Flower,  Water Chestnut, Dessert Soup, chinese, recipe,  sweet, 蛋花, 馬蹄, 糖水, 菱角
By Published: 2016-08-07
I must confess to a weakness for Chinese dessert soups, known generally under the title 糖水, translated literally as "sugar water."  Simple to make yet most remarkable in their classic, enduring combinations of textures and tastes, reminiscent of home and hearth, of grandma's gentle scolding, mama's sweet kisses, warming in winter, cooking in the summer.  As we in Hong Kong are sweltering presently under a more intense than usual summer, (it's sooo hot!) I decided to treat the family to one of my favorite Chinese dessert soup, the simple to make, delicately beautiful, cooling and crunchy Egg Flower Water Chestnut Dessert Soup, or 蛋花馬蹄糖水.

July 20, 2016

Little Girl's Pink Fondant Birthday Cake Part II 粉紅色翻糖蛋糕 II

Little Girl's Pink Fondant Birthday Cake Part II 粉紅色翻糖蛋糕 II

birthday cake, butter cake, buttercream, decorated, double, fanta, Fondant, Little Girl, Pink, recipe, soda pop, tiered, 粉紅色, 翻糖, 蛋糕
By Published: 2016-07-20
You're probably saying, wait a minute, where's the pink?  Well, the pink is on the inside of the cake, where it really counts.  This, dear readers, is the fancy and fabulous pink fondant decorated cake that I made for my little girl's seventh birthday.  Now I would've made the outside pink too but my little girl was clear on that: no 媽媽, the outside of the cake, the fondant, should be white.  So white it is.  Oh yes and my little girl helped tremendously in the decoration of the cake, she's reminding me to be sure to mention that.  We have already posted about making your own Homemade Marshmallow Fondant and baking your own moist and tasty Pinky Pink Soda Pop Cake and now finally we get to the really fun and exciting part, the part about decorating a little girl's cake with your own homemade fondant decorations!

July 17, 2016

Little Girl's Pink Fondant Birthday Cake Part I 粉紅色翻糖蛋糕 I

Little Girl's Pink Fondant Birthday Cake Part I 粉紅色翻糖蛋糕 I

birthday cake, butter cake, buttercream, decorated, double, fanta, Fondant, Little Girl, Pink, recipe, soda pop, tiered, 粉紅色, 翻糖, 蛋糕
By Published: 2016-07-17
 Now as lots of mamas and papas know, a birthday cake for a little girl or boy is not a straightforward thing to go about.  Every since my little girl was two years old I've been making a cake for her birthday, trying different recipes and flavors for the cake and the cake decorations (see here and here and here).  It's a hard thing to please a little one on their special cake for their special day, bless their little hearts but they can be quite critical!  

This year I decided to make a pink cake to please my girl's love of pinkness.  And I also wanted to try out my recent discovery while binge watching The Great British Bake Off (best baking show ever!) that it is actually rather easy to make Homemade Marshmallow Fondant, a play dough like edible cake decorating dough.  So, throwing all these things together, I managed to make a pretty looking Little Girl's Pink Fondant Birthday Cake, a moist tasty pinky pink cake on the inside and fabulously fancy homemade fondant decorations all over the outside.  I think this is the best BD cake I've made yet and most importantly my little girl absolutely loooved it!

July 9, 2016

Homemade Marshmallow Fondant 自製棉花糖翻糖

Homemade Marshmallow Fondant 自製棉花糖翻糖

Homemade,  Marshmallow, Fondant, recipe, 自製, 棉花糖, 翻糖, 手工, cake, cupcake, decoration
By Published: 2016-07-09
You would never think, looking at it, that this cake decoration is actually pretty easy to make.  It looks so fancy, amiright?  That smooth perfect cake covering.  Fun crazy shapes of whatever you desire.  The imagination of a rainbow of colors.  Well I never thought about making any kind of cake decoration even remotely fancy like this until I found out one day (while binge watching my most favoritest baking show, The Great British Bake Off) that you can make this amazing rollable and shapable and edible cake decoration/topping quite easily from marshmallow!  That's right, marshmallow.  Who would have guessed?  From the humble marshmallow comes forth this Homemade Marshmallow Fondant, easy to make, easy to roll, easy to shape, gorgeous to look at, an edible cake and cupcake decoration that you can use to make almost anything you can dream up to dress up that fancy cake or cupcakes you're making for a special occasion!

July 3, 2016

Three Fried Stuffed Treasures 煎釀三寶

Three Fried Stuffed Treasures 煎釀三寶

Three Fried Stuffed Treasures, three treasures, street snack, Hong Kong, recipe, eggplant, bitter melon, long chili,guangdong, macau, shunde, fish paste, dace,   煎釀三寶, 苦瓜, 尖椒, 茄子
By Published: 2016-07-03
If you've ever been in Hong Kong or Macau or Guangdong, you've probably run into these little snacks.  These fish paste stuffed vegetable treats have evolved over the years to become a popular and long standing street side snack, usually skewered to allow you to eat the snack right there in the street.  I really love these snacks and rather mourn the fact that, nowadays, they are rather hard to find done in the old-fashioned tasty way, meaning pan fried rather than deep fried.  Most street vendors have them precooked and waiting around all day and then just stick it in the hot oil to heat it up after you order.  Um...not too fresh, nor tasty as a matter of fact.  So we decided to make our own the traditional way, stuffed and pan fried Three Stuffed Treasures 煎釀三寶, a delectable treat that celebrates the original sweet tastiness of the fresh vegetables while a stuffing of fragrant tangerine peel infused fish paste provides just the right contrast of texture and taste.

June 26, 2016

Chili Leaves Stir Fry with Garlic 蒜蓉炒辣椒葉

Chili Leaves Stir Fry with Garlic 蒜蓉炒辣椒葉

Chili Leaves, chili, leaf, chilies, Stir Fry, Garlic, 蒜蓉, 炒, 辣椒葉, recipe, bird eye chili
By Published: 2016-06-26
One recent day while strolling through our local wet market we spotted a box of fresh tender looking green vegetables spotted throughout with the most beautiful tiny white flowers.  What the heck were these?  Never seen anything like these before.  We found out that these lovely tender greens were the leaves of chili pepper plant.  What, we exclaimed, you can eat chili pepper leaves?!  The grumpy old vegetable vendor declared with a harumph and a sideways look that it was so.  Well, what to do but to buy a big old bunch of the fresh tender greens and take it home to do a simple and classic Chinese stir fry with garlic.  Well it turns out that not only can you eat these tender leaves but Chili Leaves Stir Fry with Garlic 蒜蓉炒辣椒葉 is a simply yummilicious vegetable dish!

June 18, 2016

Candied Lemon Peel 糖漬檸檬皮

Candied Lemon Peel 糖漬檸檬皮

Candied, candy, fruit, homemade, Lemon, lemon peel, recipe, 檸檬, 檸檬皮, 水果, 皮, 糖果, 糖漬, 自製
By Published: 2016-06-18
This simple little homemade fruit candy is lemon nirvana.  There's simply no other way to describe it!  The smell of the candy, the taste of it...oh...my...lemony goodness!  Just so fresh, sweet, lemony and full of sunshine.  Soft lemony tenderness encased in a thin satisfying crunch of crisped sugar, an 'oh so heavenly!' aroma and taste of fresh lemon, a soft gleaming yellow that is just so comforting to the soul.  This Candied Lemon Peel  糖漬檸檬皮 is just about divine in our experience, not just the best candy that we have made at home but one of the top of all the candies we have ever had.  Plus it's made from just lemon and sugar!  How cool is that?!

June 11, 2016

Sea Snails Simmered in Sake Soy Sauce 清酒鼓油煮花螺

Sea Snails Simmered in Sake Soy Sauce 清酒鼓油煮花螺

shellfish, Sea Snail, whelk, conch, Simmer, Sake, Soy Sauce,  清酒, 鼓油, 煮, 花螺, recipe, chilled, seafood, chinese
By Published: 2016-06-11
Here's an super easy to make, cool and refreshing sea fresh dish for shellfish lovers to dream about for the hot months ahead!  We first had these lovelies in a neighborhood restaurant and were so enchanted by these tasty savory sweet tidbits that we decided to try to make it ourselves.  Lucky for us that we live in the harbor city of Hong Kong where the fabulous local wet markets supply the intrepid shopper with endless varieties of super fresh seafoods.  And thus we were able to source out these shelled treats and make our version of Sea Snails Simmered in Sake and Soy Sauce 清酒鼓油煮花螺, the perfect summer seafood treat to prepare for a dinner or, even better, to have with as a snack with a chilled glass of wine.  Ah...those lazy summer days!

June 1, 2016

How to Wrap Mini Zong Zi Rice Dumping 迷你粽子包法

how to wrap, mini, recipe, Rice Dumping, Wrap, zong zi, zongzi, 迷你, 包法, 微型, 粽子, fold, chinese
By Published: 2016-06-01
The Dragon Boats are preparing to slide speedily and fiercely through the calm summer waters and that means it's time for the yearly wrapping of the yummilicious zong zi!  In our last post we made Mini Crystal Red Bean Zong Zi 水晶紅豆粽子, a tapioca twist on the traditional zong zi, and here today we share our step by step guide of How to Wrap Mini Zong Zi Rice Dumplings  迷你粽子包法, half sized zong zis (around 3" long) that are perfect serving size for a tea time treat or a child sized eat.  If you want to know more about the history of Duanwu Dragon Boat Festival 端午節 and how to wrap regular sized dumplings (including video), check out our posts on Savoury Pork Zong Zi 肉粽子 and Red Bean Paste Zong Zi 紅豆沙粽子.

May 28, 2016

Mini Crystal Red Bean Zong Zi 水晶紅豆粽子

Mini Crystal Red Bean Zong Zi 水晶紅豆粽子

Crystal, Sago, tapioca, boba, Red Bean, Zong Zi, zongzi, 水晶, 紅豆, 粽子, rice dumpling, recipe, mini, how to wrap
By Published: 2016-05-28
It's almost that time of the year for the beating drums of the Dragon Boat races and the deliciously tantalizing aroma of zong zi 粽子 floating in the air: it's time for Duanwu Dragon Boat Festival 端午節!  For me, this time of the year is always filled with thoughts of my dearest Grandma 奶奶, busy and bossy in her kitchen, making all kinds of special traditional treats for us that no one else bothered to learn how to make.  Except me, I guess, I finally did some learning myself on these things and always have her in my mind and heart as I bustle away in my own little kitchen.  So every Dragon Boat Festival I always try to find the time to make two kinds of zong zi just as Grandma made, one kind the savory pork and salted duck egg zong zi 肉粽子  and the other kind the sweet red bean zong zi 紅豆沙粽子.  This year I thought I would try adding a twist to this traditional combo and thus made these Mini Crystal Red Bean Zong Zi, or 水晶紅豆粽子, a light and delightfully chewy, beautifully translucent version of the traditional zong zi.

May 24, 2016

How to Temper Chocolate 巧克力的回火

How to Temper Chocolate 巧克力的回火

How to, Temper, tempering, Chocolate,  巧克力, 回火, recipe, at home, 朱古力
By Published: 2016-05-24
At the beginning, all I knew was that I loved chocolate.  Loved, loved, loved chocolate.  And when I got more interested in baking and all that jazz I naturally started wanting to do some chocolate stuff.  First I decided to make some molded chocolates with my little girl.  Should be easy, right?  We melted some dark chocolate, poured it into molds and put it in the fridge to set.  The next day we popped them out, looking pretty and...they melted immediately to the touch.  Ugh...what were we doing wrong?

It turns out that to do most of the cool things one can do with chocolate, one must temper the chocolate.  Tempering melted chocolate allows one to coat with chocolate or mold chocolate that will end up to be shiny, smooth, break with a snap and able to stay at room temperature and be touched without melting right away.  I was determined to learn how to temper chocolate and here I share what I learned, how I screwed up, and the tips that really helped me.

May 17, 2016

Hong Kong Style Mango Pudding 香港芒果布甸

Hong Kong Style Mango Pudding 香港芒果布甸

chinese, classic, dim sum, hong kong, Mango Pudding  recipe, Style, traditional, 芒果布甸, 香港, dessert, fruit, mango
By Published: 2016-05-17
One of the delights of the Hong Kong dim sum feast is the mango pudding.  Not just any old mango pudding, mind you, but the classic one developed by the ingenious chefs of dim sum who have been trained in the tradition of creating small, beautiful, delightful tasty treats that can be eaten as part of the buffet of tidbits that is the dim sum lunch.   So while mango pudding has existed in many other permutations, this particular Hong Kong Style Mango Pudding, or 香港芒果布甸, is light as a feather, melting in the mouth, packed to the brim with the freshest mango taste and texture and creamy with an aromatic hint of dairy.  Now you don't need to come to Hong Kong for this dim sum treat, you can make it quite easily at home!

May 7, 2016

Vietnamese Beef Vermicelli Noodles Bun Bo Xao

Vietnamese Beef Vermicelli Noodles Bun Bo Xao

beef, Bun Bo Xao, lemongrass, recipe, Rice Noodles, salad, Vermicelli Noodles, Vietnamese, chilled, cold, noodles
By Published: 2016-05-07
When it gets hot and muggy (yup, that's right, it feels like summer already here in Hong Kong), there's nothing like a chilled bowl of noodles, amiright? But at the same time why not go for a refreshing green salad? Heck, why not have both at the same time?! One of the best kinda noodles /salads for when you want to cool down and you're in the mood for lots and lots of fabulous flavor is a chilled bowl of Vietnamese Beef Vermicelli Noodles or Bun Bo Xao : tender, chewy noodles cradled in a bed of baby greens, dressed in a tangy sweet spicy sauce and topped with more luscious greens (including mint and basil!), strips of oh so flavorful grilled lemongrass marinated beef and, to top it all off, sprinkled generously with crushed peanuts and crispy fried shallots.

April 29, 2016

Chocolate Dipped Biscotti 巧克力意大利脆餅

Chocolate Dipped Biscotti 巧克力意大利脆餅

Chocolate, Dipped, Biscotti , 巧克力, 意大利, 脆餅, recipe, italian, cookie, double baked
By Published: 2016-04-29
My very first biscotti was eaten a long, long time ago in a little Italian style cafe near my university campus.  The counter had a beautiful and enormous glass jar packed with these funnily shaped biscuits.   Newly from suburbia I naturally had no idea what they were but I could see that many others in the cafe had indulged.  So I took the plunge and ordered one with my usual cuppa.  As I picked up this thing called biscotti I thought to myself, you have got to be kidding, this thing is hard as heck!  I gnawed furtively at one hard end.  Humm...not going to happen.  I looked about and spied out others taking their hard as heck biscottis for dips into their coffee.  I followed suit and wow, wow...deep biscotti love!

Ever since then I have always, always wanted to make biscotti.  So I'm super excited to share this amazing biscotti recipe, it's so easy to make and OMG so yummilicious!  And comes out hard but not too hard!  You can eat it without dipping.  And of course, because I'm a chocolate freak, I had to up the ante and make it Chocolate Dipped Biscotti!

April 23, 2016

Bang Bang Chicken Salad 棒棒雞絲

Bang Bang Chicken Salad 棒棒雞絲

Bang Bang, chicken, Chilled, chinese, mung bean sheets, recipe, salad, sesame, shredded chicken, sichuan pepper, 棒棒, 雞絲
By Published: 2016-04-23
Bang! Bang, bang! Want to get back at all those annoying things that happen all in a day's work that you can't do anything about like...being stuck in traffic because you stupidly decided to get a taxi instead of using public transport or...waiting in line forever as the person in front "chats' with the cashier or...your boss giving you a hard time for something that's his fault or...hey, I could go on forever.  Well how about taking out your frustrations on a tender juicy piece of chicken breast, before ripping it to tiny little pieces?  But then you feel a wee bit mean and so you have to make amends by dressing that shredded chicken with a drizzle of spicy numbing sesame soy dressing, then nestling it tenderly on a cool crunchy bed of cucumber strips and translucent mung bean noodles?  Yummmm...amiright?  And don't you feel better already?  I know I do.  Make this cool and yummilicious Bang Bang Chicken 棒棒雞絲 for your dinner tonight and see if you don't get a right 'bang' out of it!

April 16, 2016

Grow Spring Onions in a Jar 玻璃樽種珠蔥

green onions, scallions, Grow, Spring Onions, Jar,  玻璃樽, 種, 珠蔥, shredder, curl up

By Published: 2016-04-16
Bring the spring in, I say, bring it in!  We've been experimenting with spring onions 珠蔥 also known as green onions or scallions, trying to find a way to have this essential to Chinese cuisine flavoring unit at hand whenever we need it.  I don't know if it's just my luck but, really, almost every time I need spring onions, all the stores are out of it!  And if you cook Chinese food, you know as I know that you will always need some spring onion for your dinner dishes, be it a sprinkled garnish, a way to aromatize your oil, or even as the tasty vegetable portion of your stir fry.  Which is why, here in Hong Kong, I have never understood why it is so hard to buy spring onion after a certain time of the day.  A shake of the head, a shrug of the shoulders...sorry, no spring onions.  Urghh...how devastating to that delectable dish that you have in mind for dinner!  So that is why we have discovered a way to easily insure ourselves against the abyss that is the lack of spring onion:  we have been growing our own spring onions in a jar!

April 7, 2016

Five Spice Kumquat Jam 五香金橘果醬

Five Spice Kumquat Jam 五香金橘果醬

Five Spice, Kumquat Jam, fruit jam, recipe, natural pectin,  kumquat, jam, 五香, 金橘, 果醬
By Published: 2016-04-07
I'm so happy with my latest jam!  I feel like I've bottled up some serendipitous springtime sunshine in a jar.  This is because the lovely golden kumquat is in season again and after making Chinese Candied Kumquats  糖漬金橘 last year, I decided this year to make some marmalade with it.  Marmalade, for me, is always associated with Paddington Bear, that adorable little hatted bear from deepest, darkest Peru.  His most favorite, absolutely preferred food was marmalade.  When I think of him I always see him with one furry paw, sticky with orangey goopy goodness, just out of the marmalade jar.  But enough of bears!  Back to the jam at hand!  I had never made marmalade before.  But since the surprising easy success of my Easy Homemade Strawberry Jam, I decided to try making jam with kumquats.  A bit more work, but oh my gosh darn it!  This Five Spice Kumquat Jam 五香金橘果醬 is soooo addictively tasty, refreshingly sweet yet tangy, a touch of that distinctive citrus bitterness, all rounded out by the warm spiciness of five spice.  Oh, dear, oh dear, I keep finding myself in deepest, darkest Fridge-ru, dipping one paw into the goopy golden goodness that is my very own marmalade jar!

Five Spice, Kumquat Jam, fruit jam, recipe, natural pectin,  kumquat, jam, 五香, 金橘, 果醬

April 3, 2016

Stir Fry Scrambled Eggs with Char Siu Pork 叉燒炒蛋

Stir Fry Scrambled Eggs with Char Siu Pork 叉燒炒蛋

barbecued pork, BBQ pork, Char Siu, chinese, eggs, pork, recipe, scrambled eggs, stir fry, 叉燒, 炒蛋
By Published: 2016-04-03
It's been so nice and quiet these few days.  Spring is coming, it's getting warmer and I've started seeing little tender green buds everywhere.  Right now it is the long Easter holiday for the school kids here in Hong Kong and I've been lazing around the house a lot with my little girl at home.  It's so nice to have her to myself all day again!  So we've been cooking (and baking) a lot as well and I suddenly realized that we had somehow missed out on writing about one of the most totally kick ass Chinese comfort foods, the amazing Stir Fry Scrambled Eggs with Char Siu Pork.   How could we have forgotten this humble and easy to make home style dish?  Tender just set flakes of golden yellow eggs clinging to caramelized chunks of Char Siu, that yummilicious world famous Chinese barbecued pork.  This Stir Fry Scrambled Eggs with Char Siu Pork 叉燒炒蛋 is one of those soul satisfying Chinese dishes, a veritable rice slayer, that is really easy to make and guaranteed to produce shiny licked over plates and rice bowls. There will be nothing left, seriously!

April 1, 2016

Fragrant Pear 香梨

By Published: 2016-04-01
Tis the season for the best, I kid you not, the best pear you're ever going to have!  If you're a pear lover, and who isn't, you have to do your pear shaped duty and find a source for these special Chinese pears.  Our latest fruit obsession, these Fragrant Pears or 香梨 are amaaaazing: light, tender, snowy white flesh, delicately crisp, filled to the brim with the most refreshingly sweet and flavorful pear juice.  They are so good that we can't stop gobbling them up right away and having to run back to the market to stock up on more!  And why not indulge, tis the season for the Fragrant Pear 香梨 and they'll be gone soon enough if you don't hurry and get some for yourself!
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