July 23, 2014

Haw Flake Candy 山楂餅

Haw Flakes, 山楂餅, haw, candy, chinese, traditional
By Published: 2014-07-23
You know how there are certain things that you loved when you were a little kid, things that to everyone else was just a 'meh' sort of thing, but to you (and you alone!) this thing was so cool and so special!  Well, the other day I stumbled on a package of Haw Flakes, or 山楂餅, and it was like deja vu right to that little kid state of mind.  Haw Flakes was one of my all time favorite treats when I was a still a wee lass!

July 17, 2014

Fish Maw Creamed Corn Soup 粟米魚肚羹

Fish Maw Creamed Corn Soup 粟米魚肚羹

 cantonese, chinese, Creamed Corn, Fish Maw, recipe, Soup, 粟米, 粟米魚肚羹, 羹, 花膠, 魚肚
By Published: 2014-07-17
This classic Cantonese soup, Fish Maw Creamed Corn Soup or 粟米魚肚羹, is a great general favorite with all, both young and old.  Not only is this chinese soup easy to make, Fish Maw Creamed Corn Soup is delicious, filling and comforting, a thick velvety broth full of a variety of pleasing textures and tastes.  The creamed corn gives a delightfully sweet crunch while the spongy fish maw absorbs the soup in a lusciously juicy way.  And then there is still the tasty bits of Jin hua ham and the tasty tendrils of delicately swirled egg.  What a treat for dinner time!

July 11, 2014

Lychee Fruit Season is Here! 荔枝 - 糯米糍

Lychee, Fruit, Season, 荔枝, 糯米糍, chinese fruit, hong kong
By Published: 2014-07-11
Lychee season is here!  Yummy yeah!!  The glorious and sexy lychee fruit, beloved by Chinese emperors past, is the herald of real summer here in Hong Kong and the southern China regions.  When one starts to see mounds of these luscious red fruit around you know that 1) the heat is here to stay and 2) that you can start indulging in tasty revels of sun kissed summer fruits.  And of course the Queen of Summer Fruits here is none other than the lovely Lychee fruit, or 荔枝.  And...psst...my fruit vendor told me just the other day that its been a bumper year for the lychee fruit and it's the best crop in terms of sweetest that they've had in many, many years!

July 8, 2014

Wonton Noodles Mobile Hawker Stall 雲吞麵小販攤檔

hawker, hong kong, Mobile, noodles, Stall, Wonton, 小販, 攤檔, 雲吞, 麵,
One side for making the wonton and storing food supplies and eating implements, the other side for the broth filled cooking pot and the charcoal brazier beneath
Published: 2014-07-08
It often fascinates me how much the world has changed in the last, say, six to seven decades.  That sounds like a long time but it really isn't, it encompasses the lives that my parents grew up living (which doesn't really exist anymore.)  Thru the advent of modern technology and science, etc., the world has really changed so much that many of the older generation, like my dear 爸爸, are often times at a loss to cope.  For myself it's a different kind of problem, I often find a hopeless grey fog in front of me when I try to imagine or reconstruct the way that things used to be done in the past.  I mean how the hell did things get done before the invention of machines that churn out endlessly to meet our every need nowadays?  How, for example, did people make ice cream before ice cream machines?  Or even before electricity for heck sake?!  With such thoughts often in the back of my mind, I was pleasantly surprised the other day when we stumbled upon a display of an old time 1940's Wonton Noodles Mobile Hawker Stall, or  雲吞麵小販攤檔.

July 5, 2014

Lion's Head Meatball 紅燒獅子頭

Lion's Head Meatball 紅燒獅子頭

braised, chinese, Lion's Head Meatball, meatball, recipe, shanghai, shanghainese, 上海, 獅子頭, 紅燒, pork
By Published: 2014-07-05

Roarrrrr!!  Meatball lovers alert!  Interested in  a light wondrously fluffy tender deliciously tasty pork meatball just dripping with luscious sauce?  Well, maybe you'd be surprised to know that this famous Shanghai style Chinese meatball, the Lion's Head Meatball, or 紅燒獅子頭, can probably knock the socks off of its meatball competitors!  The key to this extraordinary Chinese meatball's goodness, I think, is in it's wonderful fluffiness.  Tender tasty almost falling apart lusciousness as you pick a bit of meatball up with your chopsticks.  Yum, yum!

June 30, 2014

Himalaya Wild Honey 喜馬拉雅野黃蜂糖

Himalaya, Wild Honey, 喜馬拉雅, 野黃蜂糖, cooking with, chinese, hong kong
By Published: 2014-06-30
Sugar, it turns out, can be not only delectably sweet but also rather interesting in character if you take the time to get to know it better.  I used to think that sugar was just sugar.  Boy was I ever wrong!  Ever since I've gotten interested in trying different sugars (specifically less processed sugar), I've found that every sugar is different, each having a character of its own.  Well, except for maybe white sugar, which I find terribly bland now, just sweet and nothing else, which is probably why we don't buy it anymore.  But indeed, why would one want to buy plain ol' white sugar when there are so many interesting sugars available nowadays?  Take for example, one recent discovery of ours, crystallized Himalaya Wild Honey.

June 27, 2014

Hong Kong Style Iced Lemon Tea 香港凍檸茶

Hong Kong Style Iced Lemon Tea 香港凍檸茶

chinese, hong kong iced tea, Hong Kong Style, Iced Lemon Tea, iced tea, 凍檸茶, 香港, recipe
By Published: 2014-06-27

In Hong Kong where summers are long, hot and exhausting, there is that one and only quintessential Hong Kong drink that can really quench that terrible summer thirst: Hong Kong Style Iced Lemon Tea, or  凍檸茶.  You can order this refreshing drink at almost all local Hong Kong style diners, i.e. cha chaan tengs 茶餐廳.  I love this deliciously icy drink enough to miss it terribly when I'm away from Hong Kong.  There's really nothing quite like walking into a cha chaan teng, feeling the blast of ice cold air conditioning, folding yourself into one of the tiny booths and slowly drinking up a Hong Kong Style Iced Lemon Tea.  The only thing that I don't like is that I know that they probably use high fructose corn syrup for sweetening the tea.  Recently as it's been getting hotter and hotter in Hong Kong as the days swing into the long summer, we have been longing for something cool and refreshing to drink at home.  So we thought, why not try to make our favorite Hong Kong Style Iced Lemon Tea at home?

June 22, 2014

Red Bean Paste with Vanilla Ice Cream 紅豆蓉雲呢拿雪糕

Red Bean Paste with Vanilla Ice Cream 紅豆蓉雲呢拿雪糕

chinese, dessert, ice cream, recipe, red bean paste, vanilla, 紅豆, 雲呢拿雪糕, 紅豆沙
By Published: 2014-06-22

I have to admit first off that I don't particularly like the sort of weird fusion of foods that abounds today in most smart and trendy restaurants.  It's not that I'm conservative about food, I love crazy food!  It's just that I tend to find a lot fusion food gimmicky and not really about taste first.  Which I don't like.  But the thing is I do like weird food combinations!  When I was little I remember that I invented (from the assorted odds and ends available in our fridge) a little sandwich spread for myself that I thought was absolutely heavenly: stinky blue Cheese dressing slapped on a slice of bread drizzled generously with honey and then gobbled up.  (I know, pretty gross!  But it was yummy, I swear!)  So recently I found myself puttering about in a fridge again, (my own grown up fridge), and decided to toss together two items that I found in there.  To my absolute surprise and yummilicious pleasure I discovered that night that there is almost nothing in the world that goes together better than Red Bean Paste Topped with Vanilla Ice Cream, or 紅豆蓉雲呢拿雪糕:  smooth silky vanilla contrasting creamy textured red bean paste, that sublime taste of vanilla perked up by and yet balancing the stronger fragrant beany flavor of the red bean.  (Oh shoot, now I'm hungry for ice cream...)

June 18, 2014

Chinese Preserved Beancurd 腐乳

chinese, preserved beancurd, fermented beancurd, fermented tofu, preserved tofu, 腐乳, how to buy, how to choose
By Published: 2014-06-18
This is me at our local Hong Kong wet market, trying to talk to my grumpy old egg vendor.  "How much is that?" I ask, pointing to jars of chinese preserved beancurd half hidden behind hanging bits of this and that.  "What?" he grumps, not even bothering to look where I am pointing.  "Umm...that," I repeat, having inconveniently and momentarily forgotten what Chinese Preserved Beancurd is called in Chinese.  He finally looks and snorts in disgust.  "Oh, that."  he says.  "Is that a good brand of preserved beancurd?"  I ask, and immediately regret asking this question.  (I always forget and ask these type of stupid lecture inspiring questions at the wet market.)  I am then subjected to a long lecture on the lost art of food purchasing, our present generation's lack of food knowledge, the meaning of customer loyalty, etc., while the original object of my question, the lovely golden bottle of chinese preserved beancurd, remains cradled gently in the vendor's gnarly old hands.  In the end it was worth it all, though, because not only did my grumpy egg vendor graciously give me some great tips on how to buy Chinese Preserved Beancurd, or 腐乳,  but also his recommended preserved beancurd was really, really good!

June 15, 2014

Clay Pot Wonton Chicken Soup 砂鍋雲吞雞

Clay Pot Wonton Chicken Soup 砂鍋雲吞雞

recipe, chicken, chinese, classic, Clay Pot, Clay Pot Wonton Chicken Soup, dish, shanghai, shanghainese, Soup, traditional, Wonton, 砂鍋, 砂鍋雲吞雞, 雞, 雲吞,  recipe
By Published: 2014-06-15
This really easy classic Shanghai dish is a showstopper at the dinner table, bound to elicit oohs and ahhs of delight both for the awesome presentation and for the yummilicious flavor.  Tender melting chicken, flavorful wontons, delicious chickeny soup and broth cooked vegetables.  The real secret to this dish is how easy it is to make!  You'll be pleasantly surprised just as I was the first time we made this, it just requires a few basics and then you kinda throw it all together and then, TA-DA!,  the beautiful, classy Clay Pot Wonton Chicken Soup 砂鍋雲吞雞 is sitting pretty at your dinner table.

June 9, 2014

Chinese Drunken Chicken Wings 醉雞翅

Chinese Drunken Chicken Wings 醉雞翅

Chilled, Cold, Chinese, Drunken Chicken, Wings, 醉雞, 翅, recipe
By Published: 2014-06-09

Cooking with Chinese wine has become a fascinating cooking and taste experience, once I got past the memory of once being extremely naively drunk on Mao-tai wine (and up chucking my dinner up on my companion's nice suit jacket!  Oh, the follies of youth!)  But seriously, the use of wine in Chinese cooking is a real art.  It is used everyday for even the most ordinary cooking!  There are so many types of Chinese wines: distilled from rice, glutinous rice, wheat, sorghum, millet, ginger, tea, herbs, berries, bamboo and fruits.  In our little kitchen we usually have around four different kinds of Chinese wines knocking about.  The important thing about Chinese wines to remember is that they have very high alcohol contents (20% to 40% proof) and therefore should be consumed with extreme care if drinking (yup, one lesson this girl has learned!)  However when one is cooking, that same intensity will give your food an extra kick of serious flavor layering that is hard to come by otherwise.  And thus we come to that perennial Shanghai superstar wine marinated chilled meat dish, the spectacular, the awesome, perfect for summer, Chinese Drunken Chicken, or 醉雞.

June 2, 2014

Grandma's Red Bean Paste 紅豆沙

Grandma's Red Bean Paste 紅豆沙

red bean paste, red bean, paste, zong zi, homemade, recipe, grandma, 紅豆沙
By Published: 2014-06-02
Red Bean Paste 紅豆沙 is a real favorite Chinese sweet pastry and dumpling filling.  I love this stuff!  And my grandma's homemade red bean paste was soooo lusciously good!  (Chinese chocolate!) And it sure got me hooked on this stuff for the rest of my life.  I sometimes will get urges (out of nowhere) to go out and find something with red bean paste in it so that I can stuff my face.  Nom, nom, nom!  But sometimes I get a bit sad and nostalgic here in Hong Kong cuz, to be honest, it's hard to find good red bean paste pastries and dumplings here.  I think the reason for that is that red bean paste is not a favorite in this southern region, lotus paste and black sesame paste being more preferred.  (See our posts on Black Sesame Tong Yuan Rice Dumpling Recipe 黑芝麻湯圓 and Make Your Own Mooncakes 雙黃白蓮蓉月餅 for our recipes for black sesame paste and lotus seed paste.)  But we solve that problem by making Grandma's red bean paste ourselves now.  It's not hard, just takes a bit of time and then you can enjoy the deliciousness of homemade red bean paste for filling all your buns, pastries, dumplings, or just for sneaking secret unctuous midnight spoonfuls. (OMG, my first Nigella reference!)

May 31, 2014

Red Bean Paste Zong Zi Rice Dumpling 紅豆沙粽子

Red Bean Paste Zong Zi 豆沙粽子

bamboo leaves, chinese, dragon boat festival, duanwu, glutinous rice, recipe, red bean paste, rice dumpling, tamale, zhong zi, zhongzi, zong zi, zong zi recipe, zongzi, 粽子, 豆沙粽子
By Published: 2014-05-31
It's almost that time of the year, the time for dramatic Duanwu Dragon Boat Festival races and yummilicious Zong Zi!  To be honest, I always get a bit melancholy as well around this time, because the thought of zong zi, or 粽子, always gets me to reminiscing about my dearest grandmother, or 奶奶, who pretty much brought me up and taught me most of what of know about real traditional Chinese cooking.  My dear grandma handmade the best and yummiest zong zi for us every year!  So I am always missing her cooking and her grumpiness and her giggles whenever the Dragon Boats are dragged out from storage and the folks begin their arduous practice sessions in preparation for the big races.  To get over my blues I usually make my grandma's delectable savoury pork Zong Zi, pottering about happily in my teensy, tiny kitchen, listening with half an ear for sounds that I will swear are my grandma amongst her pots and pans.  This year, I decided to also make my most favorite food ever that my grandma made for me, the awesome and incredible Red Bean Paste Zong Zi, or 豆沙粽子.  My. Favorite. Food. Ever!!!! (Psst!  We even made a video of the Zong Zi wrapping process!)

May 26, 2014

Steamed Garoupa Fish 蒸石斑

Steamed Garoupa Fish 蒸石斑

chinese, fish, Garoupa, hong kong, recipe, steamed, 石斑, 蒸,
By Published: 2014-05-26
This Steamed Garoupa Fish, or 蒸石斑, originates from a story of lateness.  I have always been late in things and I'm not bragging about it.  A lot of times it has caused me no end of annoyance and I have always been of the opinion that being late a bit and a good worker balances out (even upends!) being on time and fairly useless in your work.  But one thing that being late in has worked for me is being late in getting my a** to the wet market to buy fresh food.  So, oops, it's late, gotta go, grab my little girl, get her dressed and brushed, and off we go down the busy Hong Kong streets to the local wet market to see what the catch of the day is.  The thing about wet markets is that they close pretty early, around 7 pm-ish, or even earlier if they sell out their wares for the day (more likely of the fresh seafood vendors).  But let me tell you, being late to the wet market can have its advantages!

May 22, 2014

Spinach with Gold & Silver Eggs 金银蛋菠菜

Spinach with Gold & Silver Eggs 金银蛋菠菜

Spinach with Gold & Silver Eggs, gold, silver, eggs, preserved egg, thousand year egg, century egg, salted egg, salted duck egg, 金银蛋, 菠菜, 莧菜
By Published: 2014-05-22
Here is a delightfully tasty and easy eggy vegetable dish that you can make quick as a flash.  I guess that more properly this dish should be called Spinach with salted and preserved duck eggs.  But the direct translation from the Chinese name,  金银蛋菠菜, is so evocative with the Gold, or 金, being the bits of salted egg yolk of course and the Silver, or 银, being the bits of the preserved eggs.  Though, rightly speaking, the preserved eggs are more of a black greenish color.  But the Chinese like to categorize their food into romantic, grand tangents which I find extremely delightful if rather inaccurate.  So we will go with the direct translation from chinese :  Spinach with Gold & Silver Eggs it is!

May 16, 2014

Hong Kong View of the Day

hong kong view of the day, hong kong, photos, images, pictures, of the day, views, photo a day, 照片, 香港
By Published: 2014-05-16
Dear readers, we want to introduce our new blog called Hong Kong View of the Day, something new and fun that we are trying out.  Living and cooking in Hong Kong as we do, we thought that all our fanatical chinese food fans might like a bit of a look into this crazy, weird, chaotic yet fascinating Chinese city.  So we are sharing our views and thoughts of Hong Kong with a new photo a day.  We will always post the latest photo of the day in the lower sidebar of The Hong Kong Cookery blog so be sure to check it out!  Let us know what you think!

hong kong view of the day, hong kong, photos, images, pictures, of the day, views, photo a day, 照片, 香港

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May 14, 2014

Chinese Chilled Crab with Vinegar Dip 凍花蟹

Chinese Chilled Crab with Vinegar Dip 凍花蟹

Chilled, chinese, Cold, cold crab, crab, recipe, Vinegar Dip, 凍, 凍花蟹, 花蟹, 潮州
By Published: 2014-05-14
In the long hot months of the summer, there are few things more pleasurable to serve for dinner than a cold dish.  Actually I love Chinese cold dishes.  I have always found the taste of food chilled overnight to be especially tasty.  Even when I was a little girl sneaking midnight snacks from leftovers in the fridge: a cold soy sauce chicken wing, an icy wine flavored shrimp, a cool knob of fatty pork.  YUM!  Literally finger licking good!  My grandma used to always yell at me for this habit of eating straight out of the fridge.  'No, no, that's not Chinese!' she would say, exasperated and confused by my strange behavior.  I guess what she meant was that Chinese food was meant to be eaten hot (and at a table!).  Which Chinese food is most of the time and properly so too.  Chinese cuisine is based on things like 'breath of the wok' after all.  But luckily there are many Chinese foods which are meant to be eaten cold, like this delicious and very easy to make Chinese Chilled Crab with Vinegar Dip, or 凍花蟹.  It's the perfect seafood dish to serve on a hot summer's night!

May 9, 2014

Abalone Steamed with Tangerine Peel 果皮蒸鮑魚

Abalone Steamed with Tangerine Peel 果皮蒸鮑魚

Abalone, chenpi, ginger, Orange Peel, recipe, steamed, Tangerine Peel, 果皮, 蒸, 鮑魚
By Published: 2014-05-09
Again we have to celebrate the glories of Hong Kong's access to fresh, fresh seafood!  Whenever we can we go to the Hong Kong local wet markets and are spoiled for choices and bargains amongst their amazing selections of fresh and live seafood.  It's always an interesting journey with the seafood varying day by day, depending on the fisher men's catch.  One day it may be a surplus of tenacled squid, the next a influx of deep sea shrimp and freshly shucked scallops.  Today we found one of our favorite fish stalls awash in baskets of small fresh abalone and quickly grabbed a bagful for a great bargain.  It was time to cook Abalone Steamed with Tangerine Peel, or 果皮蒸鮑魚, an easy and delicious seafood treat!

Abalone, ginger, Orange Peel, recipe, steamed, Tangerine Peel, 果皮, 蒸, 鮑魚, chenpi
Abalone shells that my little girl insisted to keep - so pretty!

May 5, 2014

Braised Soy Sauce Chicken Wings & Potato 土豆燒雞翅

Braised Soy Sauce Chicken Wings & Potato 土豆燒雞翅

braised, chicken wings, chinese, potato, recipe, soy sauce, 土豆燒雞翅, 薯仔炆雞
By Published: 2014-05-05
This yummilicious dish made with two of my favorite things - chicken wings and potatoes.  The first time I had this Braised Soy Sauce Chicken Wings & Potato, or 土豆燒雞翅, I did a flip and a half. Wow! Where had this dish been all my life?!  All the things that I loved about chicken wings:  tender, deliciously meaty, yummy browned skin and all the things I loved about potatoes: melty, starchy, potato-y goodness.  All in one humble yet spectacular dish!

May 1, 2014

Stir Fry Bamboo and Mushrooms | 炒二冬 | 冬筍炒冬菇

Stir Fry Bamboo and Mushrooms | 冬筍炒冬菇 | 冬筍炒冬菇

winter, bamboo, chinese, hangzhou, mushroom, recipe, stir fry, stirfry, vegetable, vegetarian, 冬筍炒冬菇
By Published: 2014-05-01
Well, here is something that I have in common with the Chinese panda.  (Besides the both of us being fluffy and adorable that is.)  It turns out that we both love to eat bamboo!  I recently happened upon this photo of Wang Wang the panda, contentedly chewing on his lovely sprig of bamboo and thought: Wow, I'm hungry!  That's when I knew it was time to make this lovely dish for our dinner: Stir Fry Bamboo and Mushrooms (冬筍炒冬菇), also sometimes called Stir Fry Two Winters (炒二冬).  (This is due to the Chinese character for winter (冬) which you can see shows up twice in the name!)  A traditional Hangzhou vegetarian dish made of tender winter bamboo shoots and the delicious shitake mushroom.  Easy peasy and yummy too!  I bet Wang Wang the panda would like it as much as we do!

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