April 7, 2018

How to Store Cilantro 芫茜保存方法

How to Store Cilantro 芫茜保存方法

cilantro, coriander, hot to keep, how to store, parsley, 胡荽葉, 芫茜, 香菜, grow
By Published: 2018-04-07
Here's our easy and handy dandy tip for storing Cilantro, also known as Coriander, 香菜 or 芫茜.  Cilantro is used in so many Chinese dishes that it is almost as necessary as spring onion and ginger.  It's fresh green leaves and citrusy, slightly bitter, slightly peppery taste not only freshens your dish up with a lively blast of green but can bring the dish up to the next taste level as well.  But the thing that was always annoying with cilantro was that by the next day, no matter what I did, the cilantro would be limp and start turning yellow.  Yiks!  What to do?!

April 1, 2018

Chinese Hot Pot Dinner 火鍋

Chinese Hot Pot Dinner 火鍋

chinese, Dinner, fire pot, Hot Pot, 打邊爐, 火鍋, recipe, how to eat
By Published: 2018-04-01
One of our favorite at home eats throughout the cooler seasons is the famous and fabulous Chinese Hot Pot dinner which translates from Chinese 火鍋 to the more dangerously delectable 'Fire Pot'.  Brought into China long long ago by nomadic Mongolian horsemen who ate on the run, so to speak, this super fun, relaxed, healthy, body warmingly yummilicious way of making and eating dinner together at the table is an eating event that is great for family, friends or even a party!  

March 14, 2018

Salted Sake Chicken Wings 清酒鹽燒雞翅

Salted Sake Chicken Wings 清酒鹽燒雞翅

Salted, Sake, Chicken, Wings, recipe,  best, 清酒, 鹽燒, 雞翅
By Published: 2018-03-14
If you love chicken wings you're going to food heaven when you taste these wings!  It's such a simple way to prepare the wings that it is incredible how good it tastes.  This is now officially the most requested chicken wing style in our house, which is saying mucho as we love our wings in many styles from soy sauce chicken wings to rosemary wings to soy braised potato wings.  But this Salted Sake Chicken Wing 清酒鹽燒雞翅, so breathtakingly simple and easy, makes a plateful of wings that is soooo what perfect chicken wings should be that it's almost sinful.  Just tasting of fresh yummilicious chicken with just the right hit of baked salt on crispy skin to kick up the flavor a notch or two.  No extras, just 200% pure chicken goodness.  Oh folks, it's really, really good!

March 6, 2018

Pu-erh Tea Ice Cream 普洱茶雪糕

Pu-erh Tea Ice Cream 普洱茶雪糕

冰淇淋, Pu-erh Tea, chinese, tea, Ice Cream, homemade, no machine, 普洱, 茶, 雪糕, recipe
By Published: 2018-03-06
Something for the Chinese tea lover's pleasure...a soothing scoop or two of rich creamy homemade ice cream thoroughly scented and flavored with the earthy woodsy fragrance of Pu-erh tea 普洱茶.  We love Chinese Pu-erh tea in our house and drink it every single day.  And since we also like to make our own ice cream (we've been doing for years even though we don't have an ice cream maker!) we decided to put these two favorite things together into one perfectly tea scented and creamily deliciously sweet Pu-erh Tea Ice Cream 普洱茶雪糕.  Oh my gosh, I love this tea ice cream!  Why the heck didn't I do this before?  Turns out tea and ice cream is a made in heaven combination of fragrance and creaminess and just the perfect thing to go along with a leisurely afternoon tea break!

February 16, 2018

Lap Mei Fan Preserved Meat Claypot Rice 臘味飯

Lap Mei Fan Preserved Meat Claypot Rice 臘味飯

chinese, chinese Preserved Meat, Clay pot Rice, Lap Mei Fan, recipe, 臘味飯, cantonese
By Published: 2018-02-16
No better time than the middle of winter, on the cusp of the Chinese New Year, to indulge in this most gorgeous and traditional of Cantonese dishes, the Lap Mei Fan Preserved Meat Claypot Rice  臘味飯, an all in one concoction of rice piled with traditional Chinese preserved meats, also known as Lap Mei 臘味, and then cooked in a clay pot to tender crusty perfection.  The oils from the preserved meats infuse the rice with fragrant and soul satisfying tastiness while the bottom crust of the rice is cooked until golden and crunchy.  This is one of our favorite dishes for the cold days of winter, not only is it a great all in one dinner and super yummilicious to boot, but it also provides that kind of rich, meaty, stomach filling feeling that one needs to get through the winter.

February 10, 2018

Grand Marnier Marzipan Cherry Chocolates

Grand Marnier Marzipan Cherry Chocolates

bonbon, cherry, Chocolates, easy, Grand Marnier, how to make, maraschino, Marzipan, recipe, valentine, homemade, truffle, dessert
By Published: 2018-02-10
Nothing says love as sweetly and sincerely as a luscious bit of elegantly presented chocolate.  So I decided to try my hand at handcrafting some chocolates for Valentine's Day to gift to my heart of hearts.  And let me add, before you get discouraged by the word 'handcraft', this little luscious bonbon is pretty darn easy to make at home!

Before deciding what kind of bonbon to make I had a rummage through my food hoard.  Amongst other treasures I discovered a load of marzipan that I bought on sale, some leftover cherries from making the decadent Eight Treasures Rice Pudding and lots and lots of chocolate.  (I have to hide my hoard of chocolate so that my  family won't make fun of how much I have squirreled away.)  Add in a dollop of citrus scented liquor and I had the makings for very fancy handcrafted bonbons,  the very sexy Grand Marnier Marzipan Cherry Chocolates, a surprisingly easy to make chocolate and marzipan treat with a luscious surprise cherry heart that tastes amazing and looks seriously out of this world!  A special 'from the heart' treat for a special Valentine!

bonbon, cherry, Chocolates, easy, Grand Marnier, how to make, maraschino, Marzipan, recipe, valentine, homemade, truffle, dessert

February 2, 2018

Eight Treasures Rice Pudding 八寶飯

Eight Treasures Rice Pudding 八寶飯

Eight Treasures Rice Pudding, chinese, steamed, pudding, dessert, recipe, sweets, 八寶飯, traditional
By Published: 2018-02-02
Almost time to welcome in the Chinese New Year 中國新年!  In preparation for the feasting this New Year I decided to make a treat that my grandma 奶奶 made for us when I was a little girl, the delectable Eight Treasures Rice Pudding, or 八寶飯, a traditional Chinese dessert that is a steamed glutinous rice pudding with a red bean paste center, beautifully decorated on top with all kinds of colorful dried fruits and nuts. I still remember the first time my 奶奶 made it and how big and round my eyes grew as she carried it, gleaming with colors and fragrant with wonderful smells, to the dinner table.  I had never in my short life seen such a fancy cake before.  It was magical!

January 26, 2018

Three Bean Chinese Steamed Fish 欖角豆豉味噌蒸魚

Three Bean Chinese Steamed Fish 欖角豆豉味噌蒸魚

Chen Pi, chinese, chinese dried olive, fermented black bean, miso paste, recipe, steamed fish, Three Bean, 味噌, 欖角, 蒸魚, 豆豉
By Published: 2018-01-26
OM-Goshilicious!!  Here's a truly beautiful something whipped up by my 老公, our resident expert of all things steamed and fishlike.  A super sexy version of the classic Steamed Fish with Black Bean Sauce, perfect for that super special and mandatory fish dish for the Chinese New Year.  We call it the Three Bean Chinese Steamed Fish but that's kinda cheating cuz it's not actually three beans, it just looks like it.  Anyways...this Three Bean Chinese Steamed Fish, or 欖角豆豉味噌蒸魚, infuses a most interesting and tongue enticing combination of three traditional flavors, the Chinese black olive, miso and Chinese fermented black bean, each quite strong on their own merit, to come together in a sauce that is the perfect complement to the delicate and tender steamed fish.

January 17, 2018

Golden Prawns with Salted Egg Yolk 黃金蝦

Golden Prawns with Salted Egg Yolk 黃金蝦

Golden Prawns, Salted Egg Yolk, salted duck egg, 黃金蝦碌, recipe, seafood, chinese, Chinese new year, stir fry
By Published: 2018-01-17
There are some foods that just have to be eaten with your fingers.  And then those fingers have got to be licked...slowly and thoroughly...  This decadent seafood dish is definitely one of those dishes, it's so delicious that one can't stop salivating and licking fingers in anticipation.  Yum, yum, yum, yummy, yummy yum, yummy yummy, yummilicious!  This special little dish is just the thing for a proper Chinese New Year's feast, its golden yellow gorgeousness will bring you and yours golden luck all the year long.  This is the very unique Golden Prawns with Salted Egg Yolk, or 黃金蝦, a stir fry of prawns coated with a lusciously clinging sauce made from the yolk of the Chinese salted duck egg, which, as my little girl knows, is the very best part!

January 6, 2018

Chinese Duck Lettuce Wraps with Duck Bone Soup 鴨鬆生菜包 | 鴨骨湯

Chinese Duck Lettuce Wraps with Duck Bone Soup 鴨鬆生菜包 | 鴨骨湯

chinese, duck, Duck Bone, leftover, Lettuce Wraps, mince, recipe, Soup, 一鴨兩味, 鴨鬆, 生菜包, 鴨骨湯
By Published: 2018-01-06
This Christmas we roasted a duck and it was delicious!  But it was quite a lot for the three of us and thus we had lots of ducky leftovers.  Humm...what to do, what to do...and then a lightbulb hit us!  We dusted off that old classic, the Chinese Duck Lettuce Wrap 鴨鬆生菜包, a simple and fabulous way to use up meat leftovers to create a scrumptiously savory mince that is then wrapped in fresh crunchy lettuce and eaten...with your fingers!  Yeah, I love finger food!  But wait...it gets better...

chinese, duck, Duck Bone, leftover, Lettuce Wraps, mince, recipe, Soup, 一鴨兩味, 鴨鬆, 生菜包, 鴨骨湯

December 27, 2017

White Chocolate Mascarpone Frosting

White Chocolate Mascarpone Frosting

buttercream, cake, filling, frosting, icing, mascarpone, recipe, White Chocolate
By Published: 2017-12-27
Happy holidays!  And in the spirit of the holidays I give you...cake frosting!  And you're probably thinking...what the heck?  Well, it goes like this - we made a white chocolate Christmas cake which naturally had to have white chocolate frosting.  And thus we discovered our most favorite cake frosting ever!  Recently we've been experimenting with all different kinds of frostings/buttercreams for our cakes.  After all a girl cannot ever have too much cake, amiright?!  Some frostings hubby found too sweet.  Others my little girl found not sweet enough.  And yet some others I found too buttery.  But at long last we hit the jackpot with this White Chocolate Mascarpone Frosting,  an exquisitely light yet creamily chocolaty, slightly tangy and not overly sweet frosting that pipes like a dream, perfect for frosting and decorating cakes and absolutely yummilicious to boot!

December 10, 2017

Gingerbread Cookies

Gingerbread Cookies

Gingerbread Cookies, ginger, royal icing, pasteurized egg, xmas, christmas cookie, spice, decorated, outlined
By Published: 2017-12-10
We discovered this gingerbread cookie dough when we made our own Gingerbread House.  It makes such a wonderful ginger cookie, the flavor is just spicy enough, the cookie comes out firm enough to hold the cookie shapes well through the bake yet is still tender when you bite into it.  So nice it is that we now use the dough to whip up loads of simple gingerbread cookies to have around the house all through the holidays!  Dress the cookies up with a bit of icing and you've got a great little holiday cookie ready in no time at all!

December 5, 2017

Pineapple Buns 菠蘿包

Pineapple Bun 菠蘿包

bo lo bao, Pineapple Bun, recipe, hong kong, bake, traditional, no ammonia powder, 菠蘿包, chinese bread, chinese bun, 香港, 傳統, 麵包
By Published: 2017-12-05
This recipe is for our reader Raymond who asked for a recipe for Pineapple Buns with the real traditional crackle cookie tops.  I hope that this recipe is the one he was looking for, anyways this is the one that we know as the traditional Pineapple Bun, or 菠蘿包, a soft fluffy bun underneath and a crunchy crumbly crackled sweet cookie like crust on top, invented in Hong Kong in the sixties and still a standard at all Hong Kong traditional bakeries.  A taste sensation, the cookie crust crumbles delightfully in your mouth when you bite into the soft warm tender bun.  Pineapple Bun, named for the texture of the crackle crust that resembles the real pineapple, is a real special afternoon or breakfast treat and an absolutely unique Hong Kong style bake!

November 18, 2017

Stir Fry Long Beans with Olive Vegetable Sauce 橄欖菜炒長豆

Stir Fry Long Beans with Olive Vegetable Sauce 橄欖菜炒長豆

chinese, Chiuchow, Long Beans, Olive Vegetable Sauce, recipe, stir fry, traditional, 橄欖菜, 炒, 長豆
By Published: 2017-11-18
The wonderful thing about Chinese food is how diverse and deep the cuisine is.  The more you delve into into it the more there is.  It could be a conversion with a friend, a random article in a food magazine, a new dish discovered at a restaurant, or simply a stroll through your neighborhood Chinese food market or wet market.  This simple and simply yummilicious  Stir Fry Long Beans with Olive Vegetable Sauce 橄欖菜炒長豆 was a result of discovering a wonderful traditional Chinese sauce made from Chinese olives through one of our readers.  Thanks Jackie!  

November 7, 2017

Make Your Own Lard 自己製作豬油

Make Your Own Lard 自己製作豬油

Make, recipe, how to, Lard, pork fat,  自己, 製作, 豬油
By Published: 2017-11-07
I know, I know.  Make your own lard?  Well, why not, lard is a super duper tasty fat and making it fresh at home only makes it that much more fabulous.  Lard makes things taste seriously yummilicious!  It's the secret to the sauce!  And making your own lard is not only easy but the lard is super fresh and way tastier than the processed stuff that you find in the grocery store.

Wait a minute, isn't this stuff suppose to be bad for you?  Well, if you follow health news at all you will have seen in the news a lot lately that lard is not bad for you after all...surprise, surprise!   Actually lard was never bad for you, if used in moderation.  What happened is that in the early 20th century a concentrated effort to vilify lard began, mostly in order to help companies sell their new products of margarine and vegetable shortening (transfat!) which as we all now know are very bad for your health.  Check out our post on Choosing Healthy Oils to see more about what we think are 'healthy cooking fats or oils'.

So the happy ending is that lovely creamy lard is not bad for you at all when used in moderation (hey, our ancestors used it for many millennium after all).  And it really is a very, very tasty fat! 

October 21, 2017

Black Halloween Caramel Candy

Black Halloween Caramel Candy

Black, Halloween, Caramel Candy, recipe, food coloring, soft, chewy, homemade
By Published: 2017-10-21
Boo!!  It's almost time for All Hallow's Eve!  Little ones are astir, planning the delightful and devilish details of their soon to be awe inspiring Halloween outfits.  (While we parents sweat and toil away in the background, attempting against all logic and sanity to produce that very vision twinkling in our youngster's eyes.)  My little girl at first decided to go trick o' treating as a goth/spirit fox but now changed to that absolutely cool and cute goth Marceline the Vampire Queen, from the wonderfully animated TV show Adventure Time.  Soooo in the spirit of 'goth' I decided to make black colored caramels to give away as our Halloween candy.  Homemade caramels are absolutely fabulously tasty and wonderful, so much better than caramels with tons of preservative.  Add a drop of black food coloring and bango!  A perfectly spooky and slightly creepy and yet terribly yummy candy to please all and any Halloween trick o' treaters!

October 15, 2017

Choosing a Healthy Cooking Oil

Choose, Healthy, cooking, Oil, fat, lard, butter, cold pressed vegetable oils, cold pressed, extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil
By Published: 2017-10-15
Everyone wants to eat healthy, amirite?  We are what we eat and all that jazz.  Except it's not jazz at all but very really truly true.  But sometimes, no, wait, almost all the time, it's really hard to figure out what's going on.  One day you read that this type of food is really good for you.  Then, the next week, you read that that same food is really bad for you.  And...repeat...   What the heck's going on, supposed scientific world?!  

What that means for us of the non scientific world is that it's super hard to know what the heck is really good for you.  

One thing we've thought about quite a bit is the oil or fat that is used to cook our food.  Because if you think about it, some kind of fat or oil is used to cook all of our food.  So oil/fat is the common link across all kinds of diets, food cultures, food practices, etc.  It's in everything.  You can't cook or bake without it.  So we think that it's really really important that the cooking fat or oil that we use is a healthy one.

September 29, 2017

How to Wrap a Mooncake 月餅皮做法

chinese, easy way, how to, how to wrap, mooncake, traditional, baked, 月餅皮做法, 月餅製作, snow skin
By Published: 2017-09-29

Have you ever wondered how to get that homemade mooncake skin as thin and even as possible?  With machines it is very easy, obviously, but when hand pressing mooncakes at home it can be quite tricky.  If you're not careful you'll end up with some sides thick and some sides thin.  Uggh...not a pretty sight.  I know that there is a 'professional' hand method to make wrap mooncakes but my clumsy hands haven't really mastered it yet.  However, as we really love making homemade, hand pressed mooncakes, we have developed a 'cheat', so to speak, our own unique easy method of wrapping the mooncake, whether for snow skin mooncakes or traditional baked mooncakes, that produces a a thin even skin on all sides of the mooncake.

September 25, 2017

Snow Skin Custard Mooncake 奶皇冰皮月餅

Snow Skin Custard Mooncake 奶皇冰皮月餅

chinese, custard, how to wrap, mooncake, recipe, Snow Skin, ice skin, traditional, 冰皮, 奶皇, 月餅, 月餅製作, 月餅做法, 自製冰皮月餅
By Published: 2017-09-25
This lovely hand pressed cake is a very popular recent incarnation of the traditional Chinese mooncake, the Custard Mooncake 奶皇月餅, which is actually a repurposing of a traditional Cantonese dim sum favorite, the Custard Bun 奶皇包, a sweet bread bun filled with luscious soft and sweet custard filling.  An enterprising chef at the fabulous Peninsula Hotel decided to tuck the creamy custard filling into a traditional mooncake and created the first of these 30 some years ago and since then they have become more and more popular.  (And expensive!)  We wanted to make some custard mooncakes for Mid-Autumn Festival 中秋節 but decided to put a twist on it and wrap the creamily delicious custard inside a delicately soft rice flavored mochi like wrapping to make Snow Skin Custard Mooncakes, or 奶皇冰皮月餅.  OMGosh...yummilicious and light as a snowflake!

September 18, 2017

Osmanthus Flower Jelly 桂花糕

Osmanthus Flower Jelly 桂花糕

Osmanthus, Flower, dessert, chinese, recipe, wolfberry, goji, Jelly, 桂花糕, mid autumn festival, cake, traditional, 桂花, 瓊脂, 杞子
By Published: 2017-09-18
Chinese Mid Autumn Festival 中秋節 is coming around the corner!  It's the time of the full harvest moon, glowing lanterns held aloft by small hands, long nights of gazing longingly at Chang-O 嫦娥, lovely ethereal goddess of the moon, and stuffing of bellies to bursting point with delectable mooncakes, perfectly round to symbolize reunion.  

Ming dynasty painting The Moon Goddess Chang E, unknown artist 
To celebrate Mid Autumn Festival we hand press traditional mooncakes stuffed with fragrant lotus paste and golden duck egg yolks or five nut mooncakes stuffed with, yes, five kinds of nuts and tons of other goodies or sometimes we even make those delightful mix of traditional mooncake and mochi cakes known as snow skin mooncakes.  This year we decided to add to the festive edibles by whipping up this easy Chinese Osmanthus Flower Jelly, or 桂花糕, a traditional Chinese dessert jelly filled with the colors of autumn and delicately scented with the ethereal and floral perfume of the wonderful osmanthus flower.
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