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!

March 27, 2016

Easter Cookies 復活節糖餅乾

Easter Cookies, easter, sugar cookies, decorated, cookies, royal icing, recipe,  復活節, 糖餅乾
By Published: 2016-03-27
Happy Easter!  This year, instead of our usual Easter Eggs, we decided to make some Easter Cookies instead.  I love Easter Eggs, especially the ones we make from natural Easter Egg dye, but sometimes I find it rather stressful to have that many eggs to eat up.  We shouldn't really eat that many eggs because both I and my daughter are eczema prone and too many eggs means itchy.  And so we switched it up and did Easter Cookies.  And you know what?  Making and decorating these cute Easter Cookies was a super duper fun and creative project to do with my little girl, as fun or maybe even more fun than doing our usual Easter Eggs!  Plus now we get to eat all these yummilicious beautiful to look at cookies!

Easter Cookies, easter, sugar cookies, decorated, cookies, royal icing, recipe,  復活節, 糖餅乾

March 23, 2016

Easter Glass Noodle Nests 復活節粉絲巢

Easter Glass Noodle Nests 復活節粉絲巢

Easter, easter egg, Glass Noodle,  Nests, recipe,  Chinese vermicelli, bean threads,crystal noodles, 復活節, 粉絲, 巢, 冬粉, 細粉, 線粉, easter nest
By Published: 2016-03-23

The Easter Bunny is coming and we've been busy preparing for his arrival!  My little girl, as perhaps typical of an only child, has a huge collection of stuffed animals of all sorts and sizes that serve as her 'children' and playmates.  And as the both of us have recently just discovered those magical Cadbury Candy Coated Easter Eggs (I know, I know...where have I been?) my little girl really wanted to make some little Easter egg nests to share the chocolate eggs with her little stuffed friends.  Nests...humm...how to make a wee little Easter nest?  After some thought I decided to use an ingredient we had at home already, the Chinese glass noodles, to experiment.  And, woo-hoo, we were sooo delighted how our experiment turned out.  Our Easter Glass Noodle Nests not only turned out translucent, elegant and fairy like but also were super duper easy to make!

March 16, 2016

Chinese Black Bean Sauce 蒜蓉豆豉醬

Chinese Black Bean Sauce 蒜蓉豆豉醬

Chinese, Black Bean Sauce, douchi, bean sauce,  蒜蓉豆豉醬, 豆豉醬, 豆豉, recipe, garlic, fermented black bean, salted black beans, sauce
By Published: 2016-03-16
Do you know what these rather plain looking beans are?  These humble little beans are the Chinese fermented black soybeans, known also as Douchi, or 豆豉.  These black beans are used for the making of that ubiquitous Chinese sauce that is used in all kinds of Chinese dishes, be it pork, beef, or seafood, the Chinese Black Bean Sauce, or 蒜蓉豆豉醬.  As I was saying in our previous post about Chinese Steamed Fish with Black Bean Sauce, I didn't used to be a fan of this sauce, finding it rather overpowering and creating a 'sameness' in each dish in which it was used.  Until, of course, the day that my 老公 decided to start making his own Chinese Black Bean Sauce, that is.  It turns out that homemade Chinese Black Bean Sauce is soooooo much better than canned or what you get in restaurants, a delightfully unique, multi-layered, intriguingly flavored sauce that will complement whatever dish you decide to pair it with!

Chinese Steamed Fish with Black Bean Sauce 豉汁蒸魚

Chinese Steamed Fish with Black Bean Sauce 豉汁蒸魚

black bean garlic sauce, Black Bean Sauce, chinese, classic, recipe, steamed fish, traditional, 蒸魚, 豉汁, 蒜蓉豆豉醬
By Published: 2016-03-16
In our many experiments cooking the lovely Antarctic Queen fish this last week, we found that our favorite way of cooking up this tender, sweet and mild fish was pairing it with the classic traditional Chinese Black Bean Sauce, or 蒜蓉豆豉醬.  You must have tried Chinese black bean sauce before, it is a common sauce for many a Chinese dish and is popular at restaurants as an easy, flavorful way to prepare a dish with a minimum of fuss.  For myself black bean sauce was never a favorite, I found it too overpowering.  Never, that is, until we started making it at home.  WOW!  Homemade black bean sauce is a different creature altogether, rich yet subtle, many layered, just delicious and completely different from the out of the can black bean sauce that is almost always used in restaurants.  Try our Chinese Steamed Fish with Black Bean Sauce 豉汁蒸魚 recipe yourself and see if you don't find it yummilicious as well!

March 15, 2016

Antarctic Queen Southern Hake Fish 澳洲無須鱈

Antarctic Queen, chile, Chilean southern hake, deep sea, fish, merluccius australis, Merluza Austral, Southern Hake, 澳洲無須鱈, 魚
By Published: 2016-03-15
Dear readers, guess what landed on our doorstep last week?  If you're thinking something long, cold and sea-fresh, you're on the right track!  We were invited to try out a new seafood import coming into the Hong Kong market, the Southern Hake 澳洲無須鱈, also know as the Antarctic Queen and Merluza Austral, a deep sea fish caught off the coast of Chile, an amazingly beautiful and curious country with contrary landscapes ranging from oceans to mountains, volcanoes to deserts.  (I kinda want to visit Chile now.)

Antarctic Queen, Southern Hake, Fish,  澳洲无须鳕, Merluza Austral, Chilean southern hake, merluccius australis, 魚, chile, deep sea

March 5, 2016

Red Braised Fish Tail with Roast Pork 紅燒斑尾

Red Braised Fish Tail with Roast Pork 紅燒斑尾

Red Braised, Fish Tail, Roast Pork, chinese, recipe, bean curd skin,  紅燒斑尾, 紅燒, 斑尾, garoupa, grouper, fish, 枝竹, 腐竹, festival, feast
By Published: 2016-03-05
Okay, I have to say right off the bat that just thinking about this dish makes me swallow...hard.  This traditional Cantonese fish dish maybe does not sound super exciting when you describe it in words but once I had tasted it, it just burned into my food memories as one of the most delicious, comforting, unforgettable kind of Chinese dishes that I've ever had.  That's a tall order, I think, and I confess that now that I have written that sentence I'm nervous that people will make this dish and think, what the hey is she talking about?  But then I backtrack in my mind to the last time I had this spectacular dish, cooked up by my Cantonese cuisine extraordinaire 老公, and all I can remember is joy and muffled sounds of eating and the soft slurping sounds of delight and happiness.  You know what I mean.  All those funny body movements and facial expressions people have when their food makes them really, really happy.  So I present you with the Red Braised Fish Tail with Roast Pork, or 紅燒斑尾, a truly yummilicious fish dish braised to perfection with heapings of succulent roasted pork and tender chewy bean curd skins, all smothered in a thick, glossy, delectable sauce, the one fish dish besides the glorious Steamed Garoupa Fish, that I think is truly fit for a Chinese festival table.
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