September 15, 2014

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,

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, 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

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, melting 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.

July 29, 2014

Refrigerate Eggs or Not? 雪蛋環是不雪蛋?

Refrigerate Eggs, unrefrigerated eggs, egg, storage, fridge,  雪, 蛋, 不雪蛋,
By Published: 2014-07-29
I'm sure I've written before about my grumpy old egg man at my local Hong Kong wet market and, lo and behold, here is that old sweetheart again, creeping grouchily into my story.  Well, what happened is that one day a while ago I forgot (again!) to keep my mouth shut when I was buying my eggs (he has the best eggs!) and I asked a stupid question (stupid to him, not to me.)  As I was standing there waiting for my egg man to wrap up my fresh free range eggs in a neat cone of newspaper, it dawned on me that all his eggs were just sitting out in the open air.  In other words, they were not refrigerated!  In the old days before I discovered him, I had always previously bought refrigerated eggs at the supermarket and kept my eggs in the refrigerator at home.  So I asked my grumpy old egg man why he did not need to refrigerate his eggs.  And, boy oh boy, did I get a long lecture that day about the general lack of food culture, lack of food knowledge, heck, even the overall degeneration of society, before he would hand over the eggs that I had already paid for.  But the thing is, lecture or no, he never did answer my question: Refrigerate Eggs or Not?  雪蛋環是不雪蛋?

July 25, 2014

Green Bean Dessert Soup 綠豆沙

Green Bean Dessert Soup 綠豆沙

Green Bean, mung bean, chinese, Dessert, Soup, recipe,  綠豆沙, 綠豆, 沙, cooling, cool
By Published: 2014-07-25
There is almost nothing so soothing and cooling to drink on a hot, hot summer's day than Chinese Green Bean Dessert Soup.  My grandma used to make big pots of this wonderful soup for us, store it in the fridge and we would help ourselves to big delicious bowls to cool ourselves off after a hot day of play.  So just as this really hot summer typhoon weather has settled in on us in Hong Kong, I suddenly remembered, (duh! strikes forehead),  the perfect thing to rustle up for taking the edge off this heat is this wonderfully body cooling Green Bean Dessert Soup, or 綠豆沙 or 綠豆湯.

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

Himalayan 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 Himalayan Wild Honey.
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