October 20, 2014

Braised Cabbage with Dried Shrimp and Mushroom 白菜燉香菇蝦米

Braised Cabbage with Dried Shrimp and Mushroom 白菜燉香菇蝦米

Braised, Cabbage, Dried Shrimp, Mushroom,  白菜, 燉, 香菇, 蝦米, recipe, chinese, napa cabbage
By Published: 2014-10-20
Ummm...yum, yum, ummmm!  This is one of the best, most satisfying chinese vegetable dishes to cook and eat on chilly wind swept autumn's day.  Tasty, gorgeously saucy, simple yet richly layered with flavors, tenderly melting in your mouth and warming to the depths of your toes!  Best of all the star of the show, the humble looking Napa Cabbage, is very cheap! One finds mounds of this veg stacked up in tall piles at the wet market, although here in Hong Kong it is usually neglected for other more favored southern vegetables such as the Choi Sum 菜心 or Gai Lan 芥蘭.  But don't miss out, pick up a handsome head of cabbage and make this simple classic Northern Chinese comfort dish, Braised Cabbage with Dried Shrimp and Mushroom, or 白菜燉香菇蝦米, perfect for these cool autumn days!

October 11, 2014

Chinese Pear Herbal Tonic Soup 川貝燉雪梨

Chinese Pear Herbal Tonic Soup 川貝燉雪梨

Chinese, Pear, Herbal, Tonic, Soup, recipe, pear soup, 川貝, 燉, 糖水, 雪梨, soothes cough
By Published: 2014-10-11
One lovely autumn day long, long ago, my Grandma, the dearest stubbornest little old Chinese lady that ever was, decided enough was enough!  She had waited and watched over the large pear tree in our neighbor's yard, just drooping with ripe juicy fruit, for days upon days.  Our neighbors evinced no interest at all in their luscious pears and they were starting to fall to the ground and rot.  Waste not, want not was ever my Grandma's motto, and so very early that morning she, a little old Chinese lady armed with a big long stick, marched over to our neighbor's garden fence and began to knock those juicy pears right out of the tree.  Whatever fell outside the fence was hers and she came proudly  home that day with huge bagfuls of pears.  My 爸爸 was so exasperated!  "You could have been shot!" he huffed.  But Grandma didn't care one whiff and soon a delicious potful of Chinese Pear Herbal Tonic Soup  川貝燉雪梨 was simmering on the stove.  I still remember that first golden spoonful of deliciously sweet, light, soothing soup.  Just the thing to sooth and heal sniffles and a cough.  There's really nothing quite like Grandma's pear soup!

October 10, 2014

Best Banana Bread 香蕉麵包

Best Banana Bread 香蕉麵包

Best, Banana, Bread,  easy, recipe, 香蕉, 麵包
By Published: 2014-10-10
If you're anything like us you'll know what I mean when I say that you've got to keep the cookie jar supplied.  I don't like to buy sweet treats from the stores, preferring to make them myself.  But the family eats the sweet treats as fast as I can make them!  And oftentimes when I'm busy doing this and that it always feels like I don't have enough time.  That's why I love, love, love this banana bread recipe so much!  It's really easy, quick and, best of all, this Best Banana Bread 香蕉麵包 comes out tender and moist and super duper yummilicious every time!

October 5, 2014

Steamed Chicken with Cordyceps Flower and Lap Cheong 蟲草臘腸蒸雞

Steamed Chicken with Cordyceps Flower and Lap Cheong 蟲草臘腸蒸雞

Steamed Chicken,  Cordyceps Flower, Lap Cheong, chinese, recipe, 蟲草, 臘腸, 蒸雞, Cordyceps
By Published: 2014-10-05
The cool seems to blow in around this time of year in every other place that I've lived except Hong Kong.  In Hong Kong we have turbid summer heat until somewhere near the end of October up to mid November.  I think, anyways.  The coming of real autumn weather seems to shift every year so I could be inaccurate on this point.  My point is that one really starts to long for the soothing winds of calm after a long hot summer.  Especially this summer, a real hotbed of dissension for Hong Kong, chaos and madness everywhere in a usually restrained and orderly dense city life.  (I'm sure you must have heard about it in the news.)  School has been cancelled in our area for a whole week already!  (And my little girl's loving it!)   The rest of us oldies (with principles and responsibilities) are stuck in the strange ditch of understanding the monumental problem but also knowing of the eons old wily dragon that breathes behind it.  So, for the meantime, we decided to simply celebrate the hope of the coming of the fresh, free breeze of autumn with an easy, delicious and healing recipe for Steamed Chicken with Cordyceps Flower and Lap Cheong, or  蟲草臘腸蒸雞.

October 1, 2014

Homemade Dry Salted Vegetable 自製干腌菜

Homemade Dry Salted Vegetable 自製干腌菜

Homemade, Dry Salted, Vegetable,  salt, recipe, 自製, 干腌, 菜, oriental pickling melon, 白皮越瓜
By Published: 2014-10-01
This tale of Homemade Dry Salted Vegetables, or 自製干腌菜, started one sunny Hong Kong afternoon when we decided to take my little girl to a park (which shall remain nameless for reasons you will soon understand) which was not our usual neighborhood park.  A small trip for our small family.  A fun, though still hot and muggy, day spent in a magnificent old park.  A refreshing sojourn amongst the green trees for us weary city dwellers.  As the twilight fell we were resting and eating ice cream on park benches when my 老公's sharp eye spotted something strange nearby.  We sauntered over in the quickly fading light and discovered to our surprise, where once had been flower beds was now a bed of vegetables!  How, you ask, did we know it was a vegetable bed?  Well, dear readers, there were little melon/cucumber looking vegetables snuggled amongst the vines!  Why on earth these vegetables were growing in a prime spot of a Hong Kong park I know not, but I will admit (Sh! Don't tell anyone!) that two of these melon/cucumbers were tucked into our pockets as we left the park that day!

Homemade, Dry Salted, Vegetable,  salt, recipe, 自製, 干腌, 菜, oriental pickling melon, 白皮越瓜

September 26, 2014

Fish Tail Rice Soup 魚尾泡飯湯

Fish Tail Rice Soup 魚尾泡飯湯

Fish, Tail, Rice, Soup,  魚尾, 泡飯, 湯, chinese, recipe, big head carp, carp, fish soup
By Published: 2014-09-26
Here's a great two in one Chinese seafood dish that will make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.   For the Chinese there's nothing like fresh fish and super duper nothing like hot, aromatic, milky white fish soup!  So, one of these days, if you thinking what to make for dinner, but humm...you're feeling a little lazy, plus you've got a sudden craving for fish and soup and have some leftover rice in your fridge, why not try this yummilicious and easy to make Fish Tail Rice Soup, or 魚尾泡飯湯, and get two (and a half, really) dishes for the effort of making one!

September 23, 2014

Homemade Peanut Oil 自製花生油

Homemade Peanut Oil 自製花生油

Homemade, Peanut Oil,  自製, 花生油, recipe
By Published: 2014-09-23
The glistening golden liquid in this delicate porcelain dish is something that y'all have probably never tried in your life!  Actually, until very recently, we had never tried it either!  My 老公's mother had an old friend of hers from her home town of Xinhui 新會區 (near Macau) bring down a bottle of her 媽媽's homemade peanut oil!  This peanut oil was lovingly prepared from the peanuts all the way thru the process of cleaning and crushing of the peanut to the extracting of the oil to the laborious sieving of the oil from the peanut bits.  You would not believe how divine this peanut oil smells and tastes!

September 20, 2014

Chinese Pan Fried Fish with Sauce 煎紅衫魚

Chinese Pan Fried Fish with Sauce 煎紅衫魚

Chinese, Pan Fried, Fish, with, Sauce,  煎, 紅衫魚, fried fish, recipe
By Published: 2014-09-20
This simple and easy to prepare pan fried fish dish is a favorite in our house for the rare times when we decide not to steam a fish for dinner (usually our favorite way to prepare fresh fish!)  Deceptively simple to look at and make, we find this fish dish incredibly tasty: a firm white fish meat cooked to golden crispy skinned perfection, then, at the last minute, inundated with a multi flavored sauce that permeates every bite with dash, zip and multiple layers of tastiness.  Try this Chinese Pan Fried Fish with Sauce, or 煎紅衫魚, and see if you don't find it just as yummilicious as we do!

September 15, 2014

Five Nuts Mooncake Part II 五仁月餅

Five Nuts Mooncake Part II 五仁月餅

Chinese candied citrus, chinese olive seed, cooked glutinous rice flour, five kernel mooncake, Five Nuts Mooncake, homemade golden syrup, mid autumn festival, recipe, 五仁月餅, 桔餅, 欖仁, 糕粉
By Published: 2014-09-15
We're finally ready to assemble our deliriously nutty and yummilicious Five Nuts Mooncake!  Only we seem to have missed Mid Autumn Festival!  Ooops!  To check out our excuses for posting late and our detailed and crazy Five Nuts Mooncake ingredient sourcing and pre-assembly phase, please see our post Five Nuts Mooncake Part I  五仁月餅.  So, at this point we have all the ingredients sourced, toasted and roasted, chopped and bopped into the right configurations.  It's time to put this Five Nut Mooncake together!

Five Nuts Mooncake Part I 五仁月餅

Five Nuts Mooncake Part I 五仁月餅

Five Nuts Mooncake, five kernel mooncake, 五仁月餅, recipe, mid autumn festival, cooked glutinous rice flour, 糕粉, chinese olive seed, 欖仁, Chinese candied citrus, 桔餅, homemade golden syrup
By Published: 2014-09-15
Okay, so first off, I know this post is kinda late.  No, no, you're right, it's not kinda, it's totally late!  (And I apologize.)  Mid Autumn Festival is over and done with, lanterns are doused, etc., but, darn it all, I'm going to post this traditional Chinese Five Nut Mooncake 五仁月饼 recipe anyway.  I think I have a couple of pretty good excuses for my lateness, the first being that this wonderful, amazing, fragrant to the heavens, nuttily delicious, soul gripping Five Nuts Mooncake was a b***h to make and the second being that it took us forever to source some of the really traditional ingredients that are supposed to be in the Five Nuts Mooncake.

Five Nuts Mooncake, five kernel mooncake, 五仁月餅, recipe, mid autumn festival, cooked glutinous rice flour, 糕粉, chinese olive seed, 欖仁, Chinese candied citrus, 桔餅,  homemade golden syrup

September 9, 2014

Boiled Water Caltrop 鮮煮菱角

Boiled Water Caltrop 鮮煮菱角

bat nut, Boiled, buffalo nut, chinese, chinese water chestnut, devil pod, ling nut, recipe, Water Caltrop, 菱角, 鮮煮, mid autumn festival
By Published: 2014-09-09
Nope...these things are not the deadly bat shaped ninja weapons that you're thinking they might be.  Rather, these are Water Caltrops, or 菱角, which are probably some of the funkiest, strangest nuts that ever existed.  I mean, who would know that these are 1) made by Mother Nature herself and 2) that one could actually eat these?!  It looks way too dangerous to eat!  But it turns out that these mysterious nuts from an aquatic plant similar to the water lily has been cultivated and eaten in different countries for centuries.  The water caltrop even shows up as a motif in one of my favorite books of all time, The Dream of the Red Chamber, where one of the minor characters is even named Xiang Ling 香菱, translated to mean Fragrant Water Caltrop. (You have to read this novel, it's so amazing!)


These luminous looking water caltrops come to season around the time of the Chinese Mid Autumn Festival and are an important part of traditional festivities.

September 4, 2014

Wuxi Spareribs 無錫排骨

Wuxi Spareribs 無錫排骨

chinese, pork, recipe, spareribs, wuxi, Wuxi Spareribs, 無錫排骨
By Published: 2014-09-04
This is my dish, this is me:  Wuxi Spareribs!   Hee, hee!  This is a famous dish from my hometown, Wuxi 無錫 in the province of Jiangsu 江蘇, where my 爸爸 was born and grew up and where my ancestors lived peaceably for generations before the upheavals of the twentieth century tore them up and threw them, topsy-turvy, all over the place.  The famous cuisine of Jiangsu is known for its wonderful red braising, a star combination of soy sauce and sugar, slowly cooked down and caramelized into sweet, meltingly tender meat dishes.  I grew up on this stuff!  Pots and pots of delicious red braised meats...yummilicious!  (uh, oh homesick now!)  The star of the meaty bunch is this absolutely delectable Wuxi Spareribs, or 無錫排骨, tender, almost melting off the bone meat enrobed in a glossy thick gorgeous herb infused sauce.
Wuxi Spareribs, spareribs, pork, chinese, recipe, wuxi,  無錫排骨
Grand Canal in Wuxi - Ain't it gorgeous?

August 30, 2014

White Rabbit Creamy Candy 大白兔奶糖

By Published: 2014-08-30

I can still remember very clearly the first time I had one of these little milk candies.  I was still a wee lass, we were in LA Chinatown, buying a bit of chinese groceries, which in those long ago days (eons really!) were hard to come by even in LaLa Land.  My dear 爸爸 spotted them and immediately bought a bag of White Rabbit Creamy Candy as a treat for us girls.  (He was really thrilled to find these!)   Curious and excited, I carefully untwisted the beautifully colorful waxy wrapping paper with the cute bunny on it.

August 28, 2014

Chinese Shrimp & Eggs Stir Fry 蝦仁炒蛋

Chinese Shrimp & Eggs Stir Fry 蝦仁炒蛋

chinese, eggs, recipe, shrimp, stir fry, 炒, 蛋, 蝦仁, comfort food
By Published: 2014-08-28
Another favorite comfort food that we grew up with is the easy to prepare and delicious to eat Shrimp and Eggs Stir Fry, or 蝦仁炒蛋.  Tender soft flakes of egg clinging gently to plump pink sea fresh shrimp.  Two of my all time favorite things in one dish!  Too bad that my eczema acts up if I eat this too often, otherwise I would seriously make this dish at least once a week.  But no one likes a grumpy gal with itchies all over, so we only have this every once in a while.  But when we do, it sure is a treat!  While this homey Chinese dish is quite straight forward to prepare, one does need to have a few things in their bag of tricks to pull it off.

August 23, 2014

Stir Fry Lotus Root and Chives 韭菜花炒蓮藕

Stir Fry Lotus Root and Chives 韭菜花炒蓮藕

Stir Fry, Lotus Root, Chives, garlic chives,  韭菜花, 炒, 蓮藕, easy, recipe, chinese, vegetable
By Published: 2014-08-23
Ah! The lovely lotus!  That delicate flower that rises gracefully from the dark still waters of Chinese lakes.  What a wonderful flower!  Not only supremely beautiful (inspiring Chinese painters to masterpieces for thousands of years) but also a giver of life and sustenance.  Every part of this flower can be used for food, from the roots to the flowers to the seed and the leaves!  How cool is that?!  I am always constantly amazed by the lotus flower, seemingly so delicate and fragile, yet so strong and resilient underneath.  We use the delightfully crunchy sweet lotus root to make this easy stir fry vegetable dish, Stir Fry Lotus Root and Chives, or 韭菜花炒蓮藕.

August 20, 2014

Chinese Jiaozi Dumpling 白菜豬肉餃子

Chinese Jiaozi Dumpling 白菜豬肉餃子

Chinese, pork, cabbage, Jiaozi, jiao zi, Dumpling,  白菜, 豬肉, 餃子, 白菜豬肉餃子
By Published: 2014-08-20
These little Chinese Jiaozi dumplings are the best thing to have around the house!  You make these little beauties in one go, then freeze 'em right away.  Then, whenever you're hungry for a bit of a snack, you just pull it out of the freezer and boil for ten minutes and wowsers!  Tender, hot, juicy homemade dumplings to completely satisfy your hungry belly!  We are making these a lot these days because it's a great go to snack for my little girl who always seems hungry these days (growing spurt!).  And it makes me feel great to be able to offer a quick, easy to fix, homemade snack for her.  We've been making these dumplings so much I've been tweaking the recipe to make various improvements.  Well, I finally got the golden stamp of approval with this last batch when my little girl said that these were the best Chinese Jiaozi Dumpling ever!

August 12, 2014

Chinese Style Chicken Liver Pâté 中式雞肝醬

Chinese Style Chicken Liver Pâté 中式雞肝醬

Chinese Style,  Chicken,  Liver Pâté  中式, 雞肝醬, recipe, liver, pate
By Published: 2014-08-12
  I love getting a bit of organ meat into our meals if I can, they are just so power packed full of vitamin goodness.  One of my favorite ways to do this is to make liver pâté (with a Chinese twist of course!) which we then have in the mornings for breakfast, smeared on a bit of toasted homemade bread.  Yummy!  I love liver!  It's just so tasty.  It is definitely one of my favorite organ meats.  And if you make this Chinese Style Chicken Liver Pâté, it's super easy to make, very yummy, pretty to look at, and a little pate goes a long way!

August 8, 2014

Little Girl's Chocolate Birthday Cake with Buttercream Frosting 奶油糖霜巧克力生日蛋糕

Little Girl's Chocolate Birthday Cake with Buttercream Frosting 奶油糖霜巧克力生日蛋糕

birthday cake, Buttercream Frosting, chocolate, Little Girl's, recipe, 奶油糖霜, 巧克力, 生日蛋糕
By Published: 2014-08-08
You're probably thinking that this little girl's birthday cake is a bit different looking.  Well, this is not your usual birthday cake, that's why!  This here birthday cake was made by 媽媽 (that's me!) and decorated by my little (but growing up way too fast!) girl all by herself!  We always try to have a homemade cake for birthdays at our house and this year my little girl begged and begged to do the frosting decorations on her own.  So I gave up all control (it was hard!) over the frosting and decorations and just let her have fun.  This delightfully topsy turvy Little Girl's Chocolate Birthday Cake with Buttercream Frosting 奶油糖霜巧克力生日蛋糕 is the result of our Mother and Daughter team effort!

August 3, 2014

Three Cups Four Flavors Chicken 三杯四味雞

Three Cup Four Flavors Chicken 三杯四味雞

唯靈, Three Cups, Four Flavors, Chicken,  三杯, 四味, 雞, braised, chinese, william mark, recipe
By Published: 2014-08-03
In Hong Kong there is a small circle of venerable grey beards that are respected by all as the authorities on traditional Chinese food.  They eat and then they talk about what they eat.  What a great job, eh?!  My 老公 likes to check out what they have to say and decided the other day to try out a recipe by one of these famous Chinese food connoisseurs, a William Mark Yiu Tong, known in Chinese as 唯靈.  This sophisticated food lover created this easy recipe for his daughter before she went off to university as both a way for his daughter to be reminded of her father and as a way for her to make new friends in a new place.  Because, as the old man stated so eloquently: memories of eating good food together is the glue that binds friends and family.  Very true, no?  So we made his very easy to prepare recipe and we were bowled over with pure deliciousness!  Seriously amazing!  These old guys really know what they are about!  We ended up eating (licking!) all of this savoury, perfectly balanced sweet and sour tender chicken dish all up just like that (and neglected the other dishes on the table!)  This simple to prepare Three Bowls Four Flavors Chicken, or  三杯四味雞 is really out of this world!

August 1, 2014

Homemade Egg Pasta 自製雞蛋麵

Homemade Egg Pasta 自製雞蛋麵

dough, Egg Pasta, homemade, make your own, pasta, recipe, 自製, 蛋麵, 雞蛋麵, 麵
By Published: 2014-08-01
We had this really cool pasta noodle making machine in our house when we were growing up.  You've probably seen it before, it's the type you have to clamp on the table and then insert a crank handle in and you were off making all kinds of noodles.  Actually the only thing my grandma ever used our pasta machine for was for making her own wonton skins.  I would always volunteer to help her, gathering the long floury sheets of dough as they came out of the shiny silver machine.  It was so fascinating to witness a dull lump of dough become something else entirely: smooth, sleek, uniformly thin, almost translucent sheets that got cut into perfect squares of wonton skins.  I recently became obsessed with the idea of making my own noodles and kept bugging my 媽媽 to ship over our old (and heavy!) pasta machine to me in Hong Kong.  Which she, of course, as any sane person would do, completely refused to do.  And then I realized (duh!) that they still sell these pasta machines, pretty much unchanged in design and function, and for a wonderfully reasonable price.  So here is the first product from our shiny new pasta machine, this wonderful Homemade Egg Pasta, or 自製雞蛋麵.
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