February 20, 2019

Sweet Cow Ear Cookies 甜牛耳朵餅

Sweet Cow Ear Cookies 甜牛耳朵餅

Sweet Cow Ear Cookies, chinese new year, festival, chinese, recipes, cookies, treats,  甜牛耳朵餅, red fermented bean curd, traditional, 南乳, 牛耳朵, 猪耳朵, 紅腐乳, 象耳朵
By Published: 2019-02-20
As promised, here is my sweet version of that festive Chinese New Year treat, the Cow Ear Cookie. In our last post we discussed the recipe for the traditional Chinese Cow Ear Cookie 牛耳朵餅,  a savory cookie flavored with the exotic flavors of the Chinese red fermented bean curd.  I found the flavors of the red fermented bean curd in a cookie so intriguing that I decided to try to make a sweet version of the same.  Here is the result, my version of a Sweet Cow Ear Cookie 甜牛耳朵餅, a buttery sweet pinwheel cookie swirled through with the distinct umami flavors of the Chinese red fermented bean curd.  Psst...tell you a secret...I think we like these sweet cookies even better than the traditional savory ones!!

February 16, 2019

Cow Ear Cookies 牛耳朵餅

Cow Ear Cookie 牛耳朵餅

cow ear cookie, elephant ear cookie, Pig Ear Cookie, 牛耳朵, 猪耳朵, 象耳朵, traditional, Chinese, cookie, recipe, red fermented bean curd, 紅腐乳, 南乳
By Published: 2019-02-16
This traditional Chinese New Year cookie that has a really good name.  An animal part name...a name that only the Chinese could think of, loving as they so do to name things in a strange ways.  Personally I could think of many other names for a cookie like this that would be as appropriate and definitely more pleasing to the ear (and the stomach!)  Nevertheless the aptly named but strange sounding Cow Ear Cookie 牛耳朵 is a pleasingly pinwheel patterned deliciously savory cookie flavored and colored with the interesting and rather exotic flavor of the Chinese red fermented bean curd 紅腐乳.

February 10, 2019

Chinese Date Paste 棗泥餡

Chinese Date Paste 棗泥餡

Chinese, Date Paste, jujube paste, recipe, date filling, jujube filling,  棗泥餡, traditional, dessert
By Published: 2019-02-10
Traditional Chinese sweets typically use a couple of kinds of fillings like red bean paste (see my Grandma's red bean paste recipe), lotus seed paste, egg custard (see our custard recipe inside our Snow Skin Custard Mooncake recipe post), etc.  Another traditional Chinese dessert filling paste is this yummilicious concoction made from Chinese dates also known as jujubes 棗, a sweet pulpy fruit that is often used to sweeten Chinese desserts.  The Chinese Date Paste 棗泥餡 is pretty simple to make and the end result is a rich, fruity, sweetly smooth and thick paste that can be used for stuffing pastries like Chinese Rice Flour Cookies 紅棗泥炒米餅 or for making candy like Chinese Date Walnut Candy 棗泥核桃糕.

February 4, 2019

Chinese Date Walnut Candy 棗泥核桃糕

Chinese Date Walnut Candy 棗泥核桃糕

Chinese, traditional, candy, recipe, Date Walnut Candy,  homemade, 棗泥核桃糕
By Published: 2019-02-04
I'm sure that every Chinese kid has eaten these delicious chewy traditional Chinese Date Walnut Candies 棗泥核桃糕 at sometime or the other.  Made of Chinese dates and walnuts, its soft sweet fruity chewiness packed full of walnuts, it's a delicious treat anytime.  For the Chinese New Year, it is the perfect traditional candy to fill your Chinese Tray of Togetherness 攢盒 with!  We decided to go for broke this year and make these Chinese Date Walnut Candies at home and the resulting fresh yummiliciousness was even better than we expected.  Fresh homemade candies really rock the flavor!

January 29, 2019

How to Deseed Pomegranate

How to Deseed Pomegranate

Deseed, how to, Pomegranate, get seeds out, easy way, beat, fruit
By Published: 2019-01-29
Pomegranates are a gorgeous fruit, chock full of fabulousness for your mind and body, its red juicy seeds shimmering in the light like living ruby teardrops.  Famously, pomegranate seeds were the temptation that Persephone succumbed to when abducted by Hades, the Lord of the Underworld.  Those few ruby red seeds tied her to the world below forever...  (Lesson: when in a fairy or god/goddess situation, never ever eat or drink anything!!!)

On a brighter note the pomegranate is the perfect fruit to celebrate the upcoming Chinese Lunar New Year festivities, its color the lucky happy red that the Chinese consider a harbinger of luck and its many seeds an apt symbol for fertility.  And while I actually really love eating pomegranate seeds, they're super yummy...but gosh darn it, I always found that getting the seeds out to be a real b*tch.  Picking them out takes forever...  But then I discovered that there is a really easy and quick way to get those pomegranate seeds out after all.  A fabulous fun method where you get to beat something up!

January 7, 2019

Homemade Shrimp Ball Paste Steamed with Broccoli 手打蝦膠蒸西蘭花

Homemade Shrimp Ball Paste Steamed with Broccoli 手打蝦膠蒸西蘭花

Broccoli, chinese, homemade, paste, recipe, Shrimp Ball, steamed, 手打, 蒸, 蝦膠, 西蘭花, , 蝦球, 蝦丸
By Published: 2019-01-07
Yumm...broccoli and shrimp...two of my favorite things in one easy dish!  Make this way easier than you think Homemade Shrimp Ball Paste Steamed with Broccoli for dinner and not only does it look good but it's a two for one (seafood and veggies) as well as super yummilicious.  The key to this spectacular looking dish is the shrimp paste, or shrimp ball paste as I have called it to differentiate it from the intensely aromatic fermented shrimp paste 蝦醬.  This shrimp ball paste is made with fresh shrimps and it's surprisingly easy to make.  Once you have the hang of making shrimp ball paste you can make plain ol' shrimp balls for your noodle dishes or hotpots, or smear it on all kinds of veggies to be steamed or fried to shrimpy deliciousness!

December 18, 2018

Christmas Wreath Cookies

Christmas Wreath Cookies

no bake, christmas cookie, christmas wreath cookie, recipe, easy
By Published: 2018-12-18
There's nothing like the Christmas season and the fun of all the festivities that go with it.  In addition to secretly amassing great piles of gifts and stocking stuffers we always find the time to bake and share our Christmas cookies.  This year, in addition to our usual decorated Christmas Sugar Cookies, we also made Christmas Wreath Cookies, which are not only really easy to make and delicious to eat but also a real treat for the eyes, looking just like miniature versions of the real Christmas wreaths!  Plus the kids just love these chewy gooey yet surprisingly crunchy sweet treats!

November 22, 2018

Rabbit Fish Congee 泥鯭粥

Rabbit Fish Congee 泥鯭粥

chinese, classic, congee, fish, Mottled spinefoot, Rabbit Fish, recipe, rice porridge, traditional, 果皮, 泥鯭粥, 褐藍子魚, jook
By Published: 2018-11-22
Here's a little something for comfort, guaranteed to hit the right spot, as the autumn weather turns chill, cool northern winds blowing tree leaves adrift.  This is a classic Cantonese type of congee, or rice porridge if you like, that infuses the wonderfully creamy soothing heat of rice porridge with the sweet tender meat of the rabbit fish.  You can, of course, use other fish but this particular combination is a classic dish that you can, if you're lucky, still find in some of the grand ol' Cantonese restaurants that carry on in traditional fashion.  Or, shucks, if you can't find it, try making it at home, trust me it's worth the effort!  Rabbit Fish Congee 泥鯭粥 is an easy enough dish to make at home, it just needs a bit of time to cook down the rice and soon you'll be slurping on a perfect dish of creamy fish congee, warming yourself from the tip top of your head right down to the bottom of your toes!

November 12, 2018

Lemony Lemon Pound Cake

Lemony Lemon Pound Cake

lemon drizzle, lemon, cake, pound cake, recipe, moist, lemon zest, sugar syrup, best pound cake
By Published: 2018-11-12
I've been lemon crazy recently.  Lemons in everything to the point where my little girl has started rolling her eyes at me when I present my latest pièce de résistance.  But I can't help it, lemon is so good with everything from roasts to jams to sauces and cookies and cakes!  Even the every popular Candied Lemon Peel.  Which leads me to this most amazing Lemony Lemon Pound Cake recipe that I just had to share cuz one can never eat too much cake, amirite?  But seriously, this Lemony Lemon Pound Cake is a real keeper, the best lemon pound cake I've made, heck the best pound cake,  refreshingly tart and fragrantly lemony all the way through from the moist rich crumb to the hard lemony drizzle on top.

November 2, 2018

Homemade Dried Salted Cured Fish Roe 自製魚子幹

Homemade Dried Salted Cured Fish Roe 自製魚子幹

bottarga, chinese, Cured, dried, fish roe, homemade, karasumi, recipe, salt preserved, salted, fish roe, 自製, 魚子幹, how to
By Published: 2018-11-02
I must confess a love for all foods preserved.  It must be the special uniquely umami taste that preserved foods have, the original taste intensified and transformed through the process of preservation and fermentation.  I have been anxious to try this particular preservation for a while, having seen the lovely preserved golden hued mullet fish roes 烏魚子 (so expensive!) available at the airport duty free shops when we have airplane layovers in Taiwan or Korea.  Thus when we discovered fresh fish roe (squeak!) at our local wet market there was nothing left to do but try making our own Homemade Dried Salted Cured Fish Roe, or  自製魚子幹.  

October 19, 2018

Oven Dried Longan Fruit 自製龍眼乾

Oven Dried Longan Fruit 自製龍眼乾

chinese, dragon eye, homemade, Oven, Dried, dehydrated, Longan, Fruit,  自製, 龍眼乾, 烤乾, 龍眼
By Published: 2018-10-19
The funny thing is that I like the luscious lychee fruit more than its sedate cousin the longan dragon eye fruit.  But, turn that around when it comes to these fruits in dried form, cuz I love, love, love dried longan fruit more than anything!  The fresh longan fruit, a small berry like fruit with a hard shell encasing a translucent sweet white flesh, is delicious and all that but, man oh man, when it is dried it becomes so sinfully sweet, in a natural way, deliciously chewy and just so absolutely yummilicious that it is better than candy!  Yes, that's right, Oven Dried Longan 龍眼乾 is even better than candy (except chocolate of course) and that's how we eat them in our house, as a naturally deliciously sweet and healthy fruit candy.

September 24, 2018

Chinese Rice Flour Cookies with Date Filling 紅棗泥炒米餅

Chinese Rice Flour Cookies with Date Filling 紅棗泥炒米餅

Chinese, recipe, Rice Flour, Cookies,, crispy cookies, Date Filling,  紅棗泥, 炒米餅, traditional, wooden mold
By Published: 2018-09-24
The best thing about the celebration of traditional Chinese festivals are the traditional style eats, amirite?  And as it's Mid Autumn Festival time (oh the moon tonite!) we thought we'd make some traditional style cookies for those who are not so much into eating mooncakes.  These Chinese Rice Flour Cookies with Date Filling 紅棗泥炒米餅 are wonderfully light and satisfying traditional cookies, slightly crispy yet crumbly with a lusciously sweet date filling besides packing a visual wallop with their graceful molded shapes.  Plus they are easy to make!

September 20, 2018

Walnut Sesame Tong Yuan 核桃芝麻湯圓

Walnut Sesame Tong Yuan 核桃芝麻湯圓

Rice Dumplings, Walnut, Sesame, Tong Yuan, chinese, nut, recipe, 核桃, 芝麻, 湯圓
By Published: 2018-09-20
Mid Autumn Festival is just around the corner and we've been dithering about which mooncake to make.  Will it be our Double Yolk Lotus Mooncakes, our Five Nut Mooncakes?  Or perhaps our Snow Skin Mooncakes will do the trick.  Not only that but, as my little girl is reminding me, we must buy all the glowing paraphernalia that is needed for Mid Autumn Festival celebration, a night of moongazing and mooncake eating.  Let's see...we have got glowstick glasses, glowstick necklaces and rings, glowstick bunny ears and there's still our annual trip to pick up lovely Chinese lanterns to carry while moongazing.  And not only all that but we are also making other festive treats such as homemade tong yuan rice dumplings, those luscious little sweet treats whose rounded shapes make it the perfect moon tribute.  This year we made Walnut Sesame Tong Yuan 核桃芝麻湯圓, with a buttery nutty decadent sweet walnut sesame filling that is the perfect foil to the smooth and chewy rice flour wrap.

September 11, 2018

Preserved Lime Black Bean Steamed Fish 咸檸豉汁蒸魚

Preserved Lime Black Bean Steamed Fish 咸檸豉汁蒸魚

Black Bean, chinese, Preserved Lime, recipe, steamed fish, salted lime, salted lemon, 咸檸, 蒸魚, 豉汁
By Published: 2018-09-11
As promised, a yummilicious way to use your homemade Chinese preserved limes 咸檸檬 in a savory dish!  We usually use our Chinese salt preserved limes to mix up the refreshing Chinese Preserved Lime Tonic Drink 咸檸 7 (see our recipe at bottom of page here), which magically soothes sore throats like nobody's business. But these luscious salty tangy limes can also be used in savory dishes as a tart yet salty counterpoint.  We added the salty preserved limes here to a traditional black bean steamed fish and it transforms an old comfort dish into something new and ultra yummy.  Try our Preserved Lime Black Bean Steamed Fish 咸檸豉汁蒸魚 and taste the difference!

August 20, 2018

Chinese Custard Buns 奶黃包

Chinese Custard Buns 奶黃包

Bread, chinese, custard, Custard Buns, dim sum, egg, milk, nai wong bao, recipe, 奶黃包,
By Published: 2018-08-20
A Chinese Custard Bun 奶黃包, white fluffy bread wrapped tenderly about a gorgeous center of creamy milk and egg custard...yummmilicious...!!  Sunshine in a bun, that's what it is.  You can't bite into one of these buns and not get a smile on your face.  This delectable treat is usually only to be enjoyed when one can spare a leisurely afternoon to enjoy Cantonese Dim Sum but no longer!  Now you won't have to wait for the dim sum cart to roll around, you can enjoy it anytime you want at home with our easy to make Chinese Custard Bun recipe!

August 12, 2018

Longan Dragon Eye Fruit 龍眼

Longan, Dragon Eye, Fruit, chinese,   龍眼, summer fruit,
By Published: 2018-08-12
It's that time of the year for that exotic summer fruit, the lusciously sweet Longan Dragon Eye Fruit 龍眼, another fruit that originates from southern China.  This small rather humble looking fruit hides an inside of translucent soft white flesh that is unbelievably sweet.  I do believe it could be the sweetest fruit that I have ever tasted, even giving the summer favorite and Queen of Fruits, the Lychee 荔枝 , a serious run for the money.

August 2, 2018

Chinese Preserved Limes 咸檸檬

Chinese Preserved Limes 咸檸檬

Chinese, Preserved Limes, preserved lemons, chui chow, salted lime lemon, fermented lime lemon, recipe, method, how to, tonic drink, 7up,   咸青檸 , 咸檸 7, 醃鹹檸檬, 咸檸檬
By Published: 2018-08-02
A sore throat is no fun.  My little girl recently had a sore throat.  Just a sore throat, no runny nose or coughing.  But, thing is, it wouldn't go away.  My little girl doesn't get sick that often, thank goodness, but when she does she's as grumpy as a wee bear bumped out of hibernation.  I tried some homeopathic meds on her, the kind that works wonders for  our usual colds, but it didn't help that much.  Finally, in desperation, we decided to try a Chinese traditional folk remedy for sore throats, a brine preserved lime crushed in some water or, as it is often served in Hong Kong, in a tall cool glass of 7up soda.  We bought a bottle of preserved limes at our local supermarket and tried it at home.  When I say this I'm not exaggerating but, seriously, my girl's sore throat was pretty much not only soothed right away but somehow chased right out of the house.  Wowzers!  I was converted on the spot!  

I decided we needed to have our own supply of these Chinese Preserved Limes 咸檸檬 (also called Chinese Salted Lemons strangely enough, though it's limes that are used)  in the house so that we could indulge ourselves in this deliciously refreshing Chinese Preserved Lime Tonic Drink, or 咸檸 7,  not only so soothing for overworked and sore throats but also a most excellently cooling beverage for general body heatiness, just the thing for these hot summer months!  Plus it's actually wickedly delicious!

July 15, 2018

Grandma's Shanghai Smoked Fish 上海熏魚

Grandma's Shanghai Smoked Fish 上海熏魚

chinese, recipe, shanghai, smoked fish, Xun Yu, 上海, 熏魚, 草魚, 鯇魚
By Published: 2018-07-15
This wonderful dish was one of my 奶奶 grandma's homemade specialities, the Shanghai Smoked Fish 上海熏魚, a very famous Chinese traditional dish that is actually not smoked but prepared in such a way that the tender meat inside has a spiced and slightly smoky flavor while the outside is a delicious flavor infused crust.

My grandma used to prepare this dish whenever we got a chance to get the right kind of really big fresh fish.  I remember watching with big, big eyes as she expertly man handled an enormous fish, deftly cutting here and there with a big sharp cleaver.  Grandma fighting a fish!  And the results of her victory over the fish...my oh my, just yummilicious!  Her smoked fish was quite famous in our family.

Of course I didn't realize just quite how yummilicious gram's smoked fish was until I grew up and discovered to my dismay that the Shanghai Smoked Fish served in Hong Kong restaurants were not even close to the deliciousness of Grandma's.  Not even an itty bitty close as a matter of fact.  Out of this frustration we decided to try to make it ourselves and have recreated our own version of Grandma's Shanghai Smoked Fish, or 上海熏魚, a version that I am proud to say is pretty darn close to Grandma's!

July 2, 2018

Lychee Jam

Lychee Jam 荔枝果醬

Lychee Jam, fruit, chinese, lychee, recipe, summer, jam, homemade, 荔枝, 果醬
By Published: 2018-07-02
Oh jam it!  Presenting our delicately sweet and tenderly lush pink jam made from the Queen of Fruits the luscious Lychee 荔枝.  That's right my friends it's time to run to your nearest Chinese market and stock up on these seasonal beauties while they last.  We love lychees way too much in this house and always end up indulging a bit too much on them.  But heck why not they only come around once a year!  This year though we got a gift of a whole box full of lychees, a whole boxful!  What to do with a whole boxful of lychee?  After eating as much as we could I decided to turn some of it into a batch of our Luscious Lychee Ice Cream (our most favorite homemade fruit ice cream!) and the rest I decided to try to make a Lychee fruit jam, which I have never attempted before.  After a nervous planning and setting out, gosh darn it, the results are totally worth the effort, our homemade Lychee Jam came out tinted a gorgeous rosy pink and tasted ever so intensely of sweet, fresh lychee flavor with a delicate fragrance of summer florals!  Absolutely yummillicious!

June 23, 2018

Milky White Fish and Tofu Soup 拆魚豆腐羹

Milky White Fish and Tofu Soup 拆魚豆腐羹

chinese, Fish and Tofu Soup, fish soup, recipe, shun tak, shunde, 拆魚豆腐羹, milky white, creamy, 奶白魚湯
By Published: 2018-06-23
Check this soup out!  This milky white, delicate and nourishing soup is made from nothing but fish and its bones!  A famous kind of soup which people murmur about in hushed tones, in awe of the whiteness of the soup and the culinary feats that are required to achieve that pure and awesome whiteness.  Well, sorry to those folks and yet hurrah for them as well, cuz I'm here to say that this milky white soup ain't so hard to achieve after all, if you know how to go about it!  No added milk, no added soup stock, just need some fresh fish and fish bones and you're well on your way to making a totally fabulous, milky white, Fish and Tofu Soup 拆魚豆腐羹, that not only is a beautiful creamy white but also tastes out of this work yummilicious!  (And it's the best thing ever for when you're feeling under the weather!)
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