May 26, 2020

Chinese Hot and Sour Soup 酸辣湯 

chinese, Hot and Sour Soup, hot and spicy soup, recipe, Soup, 酸辣湯,

This classic Chinese Hot and Sour Soup 酸辣湯 is always on the menu at Chinese restaurants, its bold contrast of sour and spicy and loads of delicious bits of flavors and textures in a thickened broth make it a perennial favorite with all Chinese food lovers.  I remember ordering it with my family when eating out at China town restaurants when I was a little girl and I'm still ordering these days whenever I see it's on the menu.  Since we've been at home A LOT lately, we've been missing its deliciously vibrant flavors so we decided to try making this soup at home.  Or rather my hubby 老公 decided it, he really loves this soup, has done so since in utero apparently.  (His mom lived off this stuff while pregnant with him!)  We discovered that this Chinese Hot and Sour Soup 酸辣湯 , while requiring a good bit of knife work, is actually quite easy to make at home and comes out just as good as the ones we've had in restaurants and maybe even a bit better!

May 10, 2020

Grandma's Chinese Steamed Brined Chicken 煎焗雞髀

雞腿, 雞髀,  蒸焗, 蒸, 焗, 鹽醃, 煎焗, Grandma, Chinese, recipe, Steamed, Brined, Chicken, salt marinated

I've been chatting to my mama 媽媽 a lot about food recently, as she's been both recovering from illness and stuck at home a lot ( and I mean A LOT! :) and thus doing quite a bit of cooking.  She reminded me of this special dish that my grandma 奶奶 (♥️!!) used to make and it's one of my childhood favorites!  

You know how there are certain foods eaten when you were young that you can clearly remember the taste, aroma, details of presentation and the eating of it, even all these long years later?  Well, this dish, for me, is one of those.  A simple, humble home cooked dish is all Grandma's Chinese Steamed Brined Chicken is, just salt brined chicken panfried to crisp up the skin and then steamed with ginger and spring onion.  Simple, but boy oh boy, the moment my mama mentioned it, it all came crashing into my mind,  how ridiculously tenderly delicious it was...and how I always secretly hoped my gran would make it for dinner that day...and how I tried to sneakily eat as much of it as I could before my mama would slap my greedy chopsticks away from getting more.

April 27, 2020

Macanese Shrimp Vermicelli Soup 澳門蝦湯米粉


Macanese, Shrimp, Vermicelli, Soup, recipe,  澳門, 蝦湯, 米粉, macau

I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but my 老公 has some roots in Macau.  His mother's family lived there for a couple of generations before moving to Hong Kong.  So he has an ongoing obsession with the place which is really all too easy to understand as Macau is an altogether fascinating place.  It's a city with a history nearing 500 years, one of the first trading posts in the Far East, and was and still is exquisitely poised in between East and West.

This unique characteristic shows through in both the people of Macau, the Macanese, and the Macanese cuisine.  They are both a mix of all the different cultural influences that touched upon the tiny trading port, from Chinese to Portuguese, to Malay and Japanese, Sinhalese and even Indian.  The cuisine of Macau is really the world's first 'fusion' food, using and mixing elements of all these cultures together to form a truly distinct cuisine.  So fascinating and truly unique, a thing hard to find in the current 'global' world.

As part of his recent Macau obbsession, my 老公 made this deceptively simple looking soup noodles and it was SO YUMMY!  This Macanese Shrimp and Vermicelli Soup Noodles  澳門蝦湯米粉, or Sopa de Lacassá, is a traditional Macanese dish usually prepared as a light lunch or perhaps an afternoon snack and is, as traditional and truly tasty food ought to be, a bit more complicated and time consuming than your average instant noodles, but TOTALLY worth it!! 

April 18, 2020

Indomie Mi Goreng Instant Stir Fry Noodles

how to cook, how to make, Indomie, Instant Noodles, fried noodles, Mi Goreng, recipe, sunny side egg,

This delectable concoction, my dear readers, is my newest most favorite snack!  While I like my instant noodles just as much as any other Asian person does, it's not something that I crave everyday.  However my hubby recently introduced me to a plate of the fabulous Indomie Instant Noodle and I have fallen quickly and deliciously into deep food love!  I think I just about swallowed that first plateful of Indomie in one breath, it was so yummilicious!!  Hear me, oh noodle lovers, this is the perfect noodle snack you've been waiting for!  I had to make sure to spread the faith though it's probably not necessary as Indomie is already getting quite a cult following amongst the noodle lovers.  But just in case you missed it, here is Indomie Mi Goreng Instant Noodles, the most perfectly flavored sauce tossed instant noodle, in its classic preparation!  (Pssst...it's just the thing to stock up on these days when we're cooking and eating at home so much.)

March 27, 2020

Lavender Infused White Chocolate Cake

butter cake, cake, Infused, Lavender, madeira cake, pound cake, recipe, White Chocolate

Dear readers, it sure has been a tough couple of months, hasn't it?  We, like many of you all, have been hunkered down at home, just popping out for groceries and a little walk once in a while.  It's been tough but necessary, and, now that we're getting more used to it, I'm finding that there is a space for a kind of meditation, a quiet place.  

I've been baking a lot, it soothes me. This Lavender Infused White Chocolate Cake is so incredibly tasty as well as being a comforting food for times like these, a tender and rich butter cake infused with the floral fragrance of immunity boosting lavender and the soul pleasing sweet creaminess of white chocolate.

February 28, 2020

Lemon and Job's Tears Herbal Tea 檸檬薏米茶

飲, Lemon, Job's Tears, Herbal, Tea, drink, 檸檬, 薏米, 茶, chinese, recipe, health drink
By Published: 2020-02-28
Wow...what can I say?  It’s been a really really rough month and really rough almost year here in Hong Kong, as I’m sure you all either have experienced yourself or have followed through the news.  First the protests and now the virus.  Sigh...it’s been crazy here in HK and now the craziness is spreading out unfortunately.  We were actually overseas on holiday when the recent viral craziness started.  As a result of the virus spreading the airlines started canceling flight after flight therefore resulting in us getting cancelled out of I don’t know how many flights and spending, literally, days on the phone trying to connect with airlines, to get on any gosh darn airplane, before, finally!, we snagged a plane home...only to face an eerie sea of masked Hong Kongers and sad empty supermarket shelves.  Kinda frightening at first but I think it's calmer now, there's a new normal, one might say, and folks are getting back to business of living and loving and, very importantly, the grocery shelves are filling back up as folks stop panic buying.

In this time of health awareness I've decided to do some tea therapy, making herbal health teas for my family to drink every day, strengthening our bodies as well as calming our spirits.  Our first tea is a Lemon and Job's Tears Herbal Tea, a refreshingly floral and tangy drink that works as a diuretic, boosts immunity, flushes out body dampness and helps to prevent common cold.  An overall amazing kind of tea!!

January 27, 2020

Red Fermented Bean Curd Buddha’s Delight Luohan Zhai 南乳炆齋

Buddha’s delight, celebration, chinese, chinese new year, Nam Yue, Nam Yue Luohan Zhai, recipe, red fermented bean curd, vegetarian, 南乳炆齋, 南乳羅漢齋, 南乳齋煲

This vegetarian Red Fermented Bean Curd Buddha’s Delight Luohan Zhai 南乳炆齋 is a classic traditional Chinese New Year’s dish, generally to be served up to your hungry family on the first day of the new year.  We have posted before on the Buddha’s Delight 羅漢齋, another more common version of this dish, also made and served for the first day of the new year.  This particular version is a Cantonese twist starring the delectable fermented red bean curd 南乳, transforming an already tasty vegetable dish into something truly unique and, to me and my family’s taste buds, clearly the taste winner.

January 16, 2020

Fried Dace Fish Ball Patties 香煎鯪魚餅

Fried, Dace, mud carp, Fish Ball, fish paste, fish Patties,  chinese, recipe, 香煎, 鯪魚餅, 鯪魚餅球
By Published: 2020-01-16
These Fried Dace Fish Ball Patties 香煎鯪魚餅  are a delicious seafood treat originally from Shunde 順德 and now a local HK favorite, though usually served up in the form of steamed or deep fried balls.  We love the fragrant golden skin that comes with frying but, since we don't often deep fry at home, we flatten our fish paste balls so that we can just pan fry them instead.  These tasty patties are made with the paste of the dace fish 鯪魚, much loved for its sweet, firm, flavorful meat.  The dace fish is not only used in many delicious dishes like Three Fried Stuffed Treasures 煎釀三寶 and Watercress & Fish Ball Soup 鯪魚球西洋菜湯, but also is the fish used to make the fabulous and famous canned Fried Dace with Salted Black Bean 豆豉鯪魚.

November 30, 2019

Chinese Five Spice Ribs 五香烤排骨

baked, chinese, dry rub, Five Spice, recipe, Ribs, spare ribs, 五香, 排骨, 烤, pork
By Published: 2019-11-30
It's getting chilly in Hong Kong (finally!) and the cool refreshing winds that were absent all summer (and most of the autumn...sigh) are now come back, nipping at my legs and arms, urging me to dig out those stored away down jackets.  I'm loving it, the coolness, the brilliant blue of the almost winter sky, the feeling of space opening up everywhere.  I love the cooler seasons and all that it brings and especially love the food!  These are the warming foods, the foods that insist on warm huddles about the table, the cold kept out as we devour the foods that warm and sustain us with the extra energy we need.  

One constant at our autumn and winter table is this Chinese Five Spice Ribs 五香烤排骨, ribs marinated with a special dry rub spice mix then slow roasted at low heat until the flavor infused meat tenderly, deliciously falls off the bone and straight into your mouth.  YUMMM!  If you like eating spare ribs, you've gotta try this easy foolproof recipe.  You'll find yourself making ribs at home that are as good as or better than what you've ever had outside!

November 13, 2019

Chinese Spring Onion Pancake 蔥油餅

Chinese, recipe, Amaranth, Soup, easy,  紅莧菜, 湯
By Published: 2019-11-13
Oooo...yummy...I love, love, love bread and this one just happens to be a childhood favorite!  This utterly scrumptilicious savory flatbread is what my grandma 奶奶 used to make for us as an after school snack if we were good 乖 and didn't bother her too much as she began to prepare dinner.  And how I loved this Chinese Spring Onion Pancake 蔥油餅, crunchy on the outside, chewy layers on the inside, salty bits of fragrantly pungent spring onion flavoring the bread...it was after school heaven! Especially after my usual dismal school lunch of a slice of bologna stuck between two slices of dry bread.  Sigh...no mayo, no butter, no lettuce, no nothing...just a slice of bologna stuck between two slices of dry bread.  My dearest grandma, magnificent Chinese cook that she was, never quite grasped the western concept of 'sandwich'.  

October 15, 2019

Chinese Amaranth Soup 紅莧菜湯

Chinese, recipe, Amaranth, Soup, easy,  紅莧菜, 湯
By Published: 2019-10-15
Here's a gorgeously healthy Chinese soup that's a cinch to make.   Plus it's PINK!  That's right, it's not an illusion, we're talking today about pink soup!  My little girl was completely delighted with this soup that seemed to jump right out of one of her story books and, to be honest, so was I.  This Chinese Amaranth Soup 紅莧菜湯 is not only a thing of beauty but also super easy to make and super healthy and super yummilicious!

October 4, 2019

Chinese Pickled Peppers 自製泡辣椒

chinese, fermented, lacto fermentation, pickled chilies, Pickled Peppers, recipe, 腌制, 辣椒, 泡椒, 自製
Dear readers, do you recall this delightful little tongue twister?

            Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.
            But...
            If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers,
            Where's the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked?

I challenge you to try to say this teaser more than one time in a row.  We couldn't get through more than one reading of this tongue curler before we burst out laughing at the garbled nonsense coming out of our mouths!  Like everyone I've known this rhyme forever but only recently did it occur to me to wonder what exactly pickled peppers are.  And why the heck chili peppers needed to be pickled.  I actually didn't think I'd ever had pickled peppers at all, but it turns out I was wrong.  I love the jalapenos used in Mexican food and they are a pickled pepper!  I decided to make a batch of Chinese Pickled Peppers 泡辣椒, also known as 腌制辣椒,  to see what all the fuss was about and discovered, to the delight of my 老公, that pickled peppers are so much MORE!

September 23, 2019

Umeboshi Roe Pasta

flying fish roe, japanese, pasta, recipe, Roe, sauce, tobiko, Umeboshi, sour plum, fermented plum
By Published: 2019-09-23
This lovely pasta dish is actually a happy mistake...no, not a mistake, more like a happy meander that occurred when we were trying to recreate another Japanese dish known as mentaiko pasta (which is super nom nom!)  The problem with recreating that particular dish is that we couldn't find the main ingredient for it, Japanese cured cod roe.  So we played around and came up with something just as good (we think!Our Umeboshi Roe Pasta is a simple to make creamy yet light pasta with a delicately tangy sauce dotted with umami bursts of roe that is so delicious and totally addictive.  Umeboshi really rock the flavor!

September 6, 2019

Black Sesame Walnut Mooncakes 黑芝麻核桃月餅

black sesame, cake, chinese, mid-autumn festival, dessert, mooncake, recipe, traditional, Walnut, 黑芝麻, 核桃, 月餅, 中秋節, 黑芝麻核桃餡
By Published: 2019-09-06
Yay, it's almost time for Mid Autumn Festival 中秋節...my favorite Chinese festival!  I love the fact that it's a night festival (I'm an owl for sure) and the extravagance of Chinese lanterns floating like glowing gems thru the velvet night, illuminating the happy faces of children up well past their bedtime.  And...glory!...the sight of the Moon Goddess Chang'e 嫦娥 floating high in the sky in all her silvery glory is not to be missed.  

And besides all that I love making and baking and eating mooncakes, those wonderful moon shaped cakes stuffed with all manner of decadently delicious fillings.  (See the list of our other yummilicious mooncake recipes at the end of this post!)  And out of all those decadent mooncakes I think these particular mooncakes might be my favs.  Maybe cuz I dig the fragrant nuttiness of roasted black sesame.  Maybe cuz I lust after walnuts. I don't know...maybe I'm just nutty.  I just know that I love eating these deliciously satisfying Black Sesame Walnut Mooncakes 黑芝麻核桃月餅, with it's tender golden crust wrapped around an oh so fragrant sesame filling dotted through with delicious bitter sweet bits of walnut.  I can eat a whole plate of these in one go!  That's right...the whole plate means all five of the mooncakes on the plate you're looking at...gulp, gulp...gone already!  Hee hee...

August 28, 2019

Salt Baked Fish Head 鹽焗魚頭

amber skipjack, baked, chinese, fish head, recipe, salt, yellowtail, 五條鰤, 鹽烤魚頭, 鹽焗魚頭
Nowadays you can get sashimi and sushi just about everywhere as folk all over have fallen in love with the deliciousness of the fresh raw fish that Japanese cuisine has introduced to the world.  Twenty years ago I'll bet most of these people could never have imagined themselves eating and loving raw fish!

One of the unexpected benefits for seafood lovers such as ourselves is the fact that supermarkets that produce sashimi and sushi for sale are left with very very fresh fish heads.  And they put these out for sale at very reasonable prices!  Whoppee yeah!  Well as least for fish head lovers.  For those of us in the know, fish head is deliriously delicious, amirite?  Fat and fatty meat and cheek meat (yum!) and soft cartilage, crispy skin...  Oh yeah...seriously yummy.  The only thing I draw the line at is the eyes (which some folk adore.)  No fish eyes for me, well, at least no more fish eyes, not after my 媽媽 tricked a dumb 7 year old me into eating fish eyes cuz "it would make me smarter."  Or was it "make my eyes prettier"?  Ummm...note to 媽媽...didn't work on both counts...

But I digress.  Back to super fresh off the hook fish heads.  Available at my nearby supermarket!  What to do with such a treat?  Fish head's usually done up in a curry, like in Singapore and Malaysia.  Or perhaps in a braise.  However, being lazy fish lover types, here my 老公's Salt Baked Fish Head 鹽焗魚頭, the sublimely perfect, wonderously yummilicious and truly the easiest way to cook a fish head!  

August 21, 2019

Quick Salt Pickled Cucumbers

japanese, Pickled, Cucumbers, quick pickles, recipe, salt, vegetables, shiozuke
By Published: 2019-08-21
Here's a quickie...a lovely little thing to have as bit of a side dish on your dinner or lunch table.  A small dish of something piquant and refreshing to contrast against the main dishes in your meal.  I discovered this japanese shiozuke style of Quick Salted Pickled Cucumber that is, to my delight, super duper easy and so quick to make that you can just toss it together as you're beginning to cook and have it ready by the time you're putting the meal on the table!

August 10, 2019

Red Bean Curd Nam Yue Chicken Wings 南乳雞翅

Red Bean Curd, Nam Yue, Chicken Wings, chinese, recipe,  南乳, 雞翅, 紅腐乳
By Published: 2019-08-10
One can never have enough chicken wing recipes, amirite?  This all around favorite finger food for both big and little kiddos comes in all kinds of flavors such as the classic soy sauce chicken wings and our current favorite salted sake chicken wings...so easy and so yummy!  The wings we're making today are uniquely Chinese with the addition of fermented bean curd to create the finger lickingly yummilicious Red Bean Curd Nam Yue Chicken Wings 南乳雞翅, where crispy skinned chicken gets coated with a clingy luscious red bean curd sauce that packs an umami flavor punch that gets downright addictive!
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