December 29, 2013

Chocolate Birthday Cake | Kid Project

Chocolate Birthday Cake | Kid Project

chocolate, birthday, cake, kid, project,recipe
By Published: 2013-12-29
I always try to bake and frost a cake whenever family birthdays roll around.  Birthday cakes are always so happily received so I don't mind the time it takes to produce them.  As my little girl has gotten older she's always buzzing around me in our teensy tiny kitchen, wanting to lend a small but messy hand to my culinary endeavors.  Especially around cake baking time.  So recently, when her daddy's birthday came around, she begged and begged to help with his birthday cake and I thought, why not?  My plan was simple.  Divide the cake batter into three smaller pans, thereby ending up with two cakes for me to stack and frost and one small cake for my daughter to frost all by herself.  That way, I reasoned, my little girl could have fun and we would still have a decent looking birthday cake (mine) to celebrate with.  Little did I expect that my cake effort would pale in comparison to my little girl's cake!

December 28, 2013

Christmas Sugar Cookies

Christmas Sugar Cookies

christmas, sugar, cookies, painted, icing, recipe

By Published: 2013-12-28
This year for Christmas we made our first real sugar cookies, my daughter and I.  These Christmas Sugar Cookies were not perfect looking by any means, but looked adorable and tasted really great (not too sweet, just right!).  And most importantly, my little girl had a blast "helping mommy" with the all important task of painting the cookies.   These christmas sugar cookies are a great food project to do with kids because, as I discovered, they will look great no matter how they are painted!

December 12, 2013

Steamed Salted Sun Dried Fish 蒸南倉鹽鮮魚

Steamed Salted Sun Dried Fish 蒸南倉鹽鮮魚

chinese, fish, homemade, salted, steamed, preserved, recipe, sun dried, 蒸, 南倉鹽鮮魚
By Published: 2013-12-12
For a long time I have fantasized about making my own dried salted fishes.  (Very sexy, I know!)  My 媽媽 keeps tantalizing me with stories about when my 爸爸 used to make his own dried fishes (which for some reason I can't remember at all).  She always describes my dad's homemade dried salted fishes as incredibly tasty!  All one would need is a simple mesh structure of some sort, with a door that you could latch securely.  Then, bam!: you could have an endless supply of tasty (and cheap!) gourmet adventures in dried foods.  Alas for the one simple, sad fact:  we don't have a garden!  Not even a balcony, not in cramped Hong Kong where real estate is at such a premium.  Just a shoebox sized apartment bursting at the seams already with all of our stuff and a teensy tiny, itty bitty kitchen.  So we were very excited recently when my 老公's mother discovered this Salted Sun Dried Fish at the Aberdeen Fish Market.

chinese, fish, homemade, salted, steamed, preserved, recipe, sun dried, 蒸, 南倉鹽鮮魚

December 3, 2013

Hairy Crab Vending Machines?!

hairy crab, vending machine
Published: 2013-12-03

Continuing in the spirit of our last post on the delectable Steamed Hairy Crab, we wanted to share some funny news that has been circulating.  There are now Hairy Crab vending machines!  Truely, I kid you not.  These vending machines are showing up in China, in the subways I believe, and they sell live hairy crabs!  Check it out in this video (in japanese):

November 27, 2013

Steamed Hairy Crab 清蒸大閘蟹

Steamed Hairy Crab 清蒸大閘蟹

hairy crab, shanghai crab, mitten crab, recipe, european, netherlands, chinese, steamed, steamed hairy crab
By Published: 2013-11-27
Autumn leaves do not fall in Hong Kong (because we have no trees!), but the Hairy Crabs, 大閘蟹, seem to fall out of the sky, carpeting our city streets as the northern winds begin to blow.  Everywhere you look now it is hairy crabs:  the supermarket, the wet market, the street side shops temporarily transformed over to exclusively sell the little mittened crabs.  These little crabs, distinctive by the brown fur merrily coating their front pinchers, are originally from Yangcheng Lake and Tai Wu Lake (where my daddy grew up!) in Jiangsu province.  Nowadays these hairy critters are the impetus behind a huge annual gastronomic money making affair.  Gastronomic because the hairy crabs are revered for their richly fragrant roe and succulent golden fat.  Money making because the crabs are very expensive, costing from 100-400  HKD each!  But hey, what's the use of money if we can't use it to satisfy our every culinary desire...

hairy crab, shanghai crab, mitten crab, recipe, european, netherlands, chinese, steamed, steamed hairy crab
Look at that unctuous crab roe and golden fat!

November 23, 2013

Tofu with Shrimp 蝦仁豆腐

Tofu with Shrimp 蝦仁豆腐

tofu, shrimp, braised, chinese, recipe

By Published: 2013-11-23
Tofu with Shrimp, or 蝦仁豆腐,  is a braised chinese dish that looks deceptively simple but is gorgeous when you eat it.  A soothingly mix of textures: the crunch of the sweet shrimp, the silkiness of the tofu flavored with the sea tastes of the fresh shrimp, the succulently tasty creamy sauce that clings gently to all.  This dish is divine!  I had forgotten about it for a long time and recently, suddenly, recalled it and made it for dinner.  Yum!  It was one of my childhood favorites at the dining table.  And now, guess what, it seems that my little girl loves this dish too!  She just kept asking for more...

November 15, 2013

Steamed Chinese Preserved Duck Leg 蒸臘鴨腿

Steamed Preserved Duck Leg 蒸臘鴨腿

duck preserved duck, leg, steamed, rice, chinese preserved duck, chinese salted duck
By Published: 2013-11-15
As the winter winds finally creep into Hong Kong after the usual overly long hot summer heat, our minds (and tummies!) begin to drift towards the consideration of warming, comforting winter foods.  This chinese preserved duck leg 臘鴨腿 is one of our favorites.  Raw duck leg is first salted down with spices and chinese rice wine, then hung to slowly dry under the sun.  Wonderfully dense textured, intensely concentrated duck meat flavor, infused throughout with a delectably fragrant oil.  This is seriously good stuff!

November 7, 2013

Fruit Jelly Candies

Fruit Jelly Candies

real fruit, fruit, jelly, candy, candies, recipe, homemade
By Published: 2013-11-07
One never quite believes how much your own child can "love, love, love" candies, as my little daughter puts it.  With tender mother's concern you scheme that you will specially prepare for your kid all kinds of delicious nibbles and treats that will teach them to love candy less.  Which of course doesn't really work as well as you had hoped cuz your kid still "loves, loves, loves" candies.  So with that humble pie lesson in mind I have been thinking that I can perhaps make candy that is a bit healthier than the candy you buy.  And so, with my little girl's help, we made these surprisingly delicious real fruit jelly candies.  She really loved the fact that she was making candies!

November 3, 2013

Anise Pumpkin Cookies

Anise Pumpkin Cookies

anise pumpkin cookie recipe halloween
By Published: 2013-11-03
My daughter and I made this tiny little jack-o-lantern for Hong Kong Halloween.   Then after Halloween was over I felt bad about poor Mr. Jack-O, smiling toothily away, not knowing that we were about to toss him out like a used wash rag.  So I decided we were to make pumpkin cookies from the ol' fella and even added a twist of our own, making Anise flavored Pumpkin Cookies.  Because I love anise and am always trying to find ways to use that bottle of heavenly liquorice scented anise extract hiding in the cupboard.  Weird sounding combination, but you know what, the flavors really go together!

anise pumpkin cookie recipe halloween

October 30, 2013

Steamed Dungeness Crab and Egg White 蛋白清蒸珍寶蟹

Steamed Dungeness Crab and Egg White

chinese steamed, egg, white, crab, steamed crab, recipe
The best way to eat!  A bit of silky egg white and a bit of luscious crab meat!
By Published: 2013-10-30
We love all kinds of crab in this household, especially Dungeness Crab.  It is one of the few crabs that preserves sweet succulent tenderness while also being quite meaty.  Unfortunately it is quite expensive in Hong Kong.  Luckily for us, however, my 老公's mother recently arrived from Vancouver, bringing with her two beautiful Dungeness crabs, still alive and kicking!  Since we had two of these lovelies we decided to prepare them different ways to settle an old argument we've been having forever: is it better to boil or steam crab?

steamed, crab, dungeness, egg, white, recipe, chinese

October 22, 2013

Traditional Taiwanese Cakes

taiwanese, taiwan, cakes, traditional, pineapple cake, suncake
Published: 2013-10-22
My 媽媽 came to us from Taiwan, where she stopped for a while before coming to Hong Kong.  With her came a suitcase chock full of delicious Taiwan snacks and cakes of all kinds.  Here we share about the delicious little cakes that she brought: the Pineapple Cake, 鳳梨酥,  and the Suncake, 太陽餅.  These are traditional cakes that Taiwan is famous for.  As my mom lived in Taiwan when she was young gal, she obviously knew where to go to get the real stuff.  And that, as usual, makes a lot of difference!

October 16, 2013

Hong Kong Hawker Traditional Fruit Candy

hong kong, hawker, traditional, fruit, candy
Published: 2013-10-16

My 媽媽's been in town and we've been doing the Hong Kong tourist thing with her.  At the ever vibrant Temple Market the other night we discovered a sweet old lady hawker selling her Traditional Chinese Fruit Snacks.  Most of which, I believe, she makes herself.  (Which is a big deal these days when most things seem to be made either by machines or by someone halfway around the world.)  This was so cool that I had to tell everyone about it. It's so, so hard to find these kind of hong kong hawkers anymore.  Old fashioned, homemade hong kong candy!!  Wow, what a treat!

October 6, 2013

How to Fold a Chinese Dumpling 包鍋貼

guo tie, Fold Chinese Dumpling, chinese, dumpling, pork dumpling, potsticker, wrap dumpling, jiaozi, jiao zi
Published: 2013-10-06
While in the midst of writing my Chinese Potsticker Pork Dumpling 鍋貼 recipe, it occurred to me (and my mom reminded me) that some folks may not know how to fold the chinese dumpling.  There are many ways actually, some more complicated and some more simple.  I will just show you the way that I usually make my chinese potsticker pork dumplings.  It looks hard at first but once you get the hang of it it's quite simple and, importantly, quite beautiful to look at and eat.

Potsticker Pork Dumplings 鍋貼

Potsticker Pork Dumplings 鍋貼

chinese potsticker pork dumpling recipe jiao zi jiaozi, guo tie
By Published: 2013-10-06
Yum, yum, yum, yum.  We love potstickers!  You can't eat just one of these little beauties and there's nothing quite like whipping up a couple dozen potstickers to keep in your freezer for, you know, those times when you're gripped with terrible tummy hungry grumbles!  Would you believe that I can eat a whole dinner plateful of these pan fried potsticker pork dumplings in one go!  And when I was a skinny little chinese girl I could polish off two dinner platefuls!  (Seriously, I tell no lie:  I ate a lot then!)  But, to be honest, to this day, well actually to yesterday, I have never been quite satisfied with my homemade potsticker pork dumplings.  Yes I know, it's a common dish, a chinese comfort dish even, and everyone and their chinese mother can make them.  But before yesterday my potstickers have always been a little teensy bit disappointing to me. You know...not perfect, not eat and die from eating this yummy food kind of thing.  So I experimented:  more fat, less fat, more ginger, less ginger, more mixing, less mixing... Ah! The little quibbles that make cooking at lifetime of fun and frustration.  So anyways, finally, finally, I think that yesterday I made family cooking history and made a batch of very very yummy potsticker pork dumplings that disappeared faster than I could say "Perfect!"  At last!

September 12, 2013

Pan Fried Pork Patty with Salted Fish 煎鹹魚豬肉餅

Pan Fried Pork Patty with Salted Fish 煎鹹魚豬肉餅

chinese pan fried pork patty salted fish sauce recipe
By Published: 2013-09-12
Some foods just can't help looking kinda 'meh'.  And you feel sorry for these poor foods...but still try your darnedest to avoid having to eat them.  And then BAM-BOOM, somehow you're forced to take a bite...you can't avoid the confrontation...and then it's like what the hey?!  You can't seem to stop eating and eating and eating...!  Well, I had a case like that the other day at a local little Chinese restaurant.  My 老公 ordered a house specialty of pork patties over rice.  When his dinner arrived, a humble looking plate of rice piled carelessly with four meager looking patties, I snickered up my sleeve and politely refused a taste.  Curiosity soon got the better of me as my 老公 was digging in so eagerly and I had to have just a little taste.  Five minutes later to my embarrassment I had eaten most of his dinner and had to sheepishly offer mine in exchange.  My god but those little pork patties were delicious!  And just the thing to go with lots of steamed rice!  So...to make up for my shameless hogging of all those delicious pork patties, I offered to attempt to recreate those same Pan Fried Pork Patty with Salted Fish at home.

September 8, 2013

Red Bean Dessert Soup 紅豆沙

Red Bean Desert Soup 紅豆沙

chinese red bean soup dessert recipe
By Published: 2013-09-08
In case you are wondering, this is not really Chinese Red Bean Soup.  This is a Chinese Red Bean Soup toy which I got for 5 HKD out of a bubble toy machine. (More here about bubble toy machines from which you can get cool food toys!)  Looks pretty delicious for plastic, eh?  I thought so too, and so got inspired to make the real Red Bean Dessert Soup, a classic traditional chinese dessert.  This little bowl of sweet yumminess after a full chinese dinner will hit the sweet spot and round off a pleasant meal.  Red Bean Soup , or 紅豆沙, is easy to make at home and as usual, homemade is way better than the ones you can taste in restaurants and dessert shops.

August 29, 2013

Chinese Pickled Radish 醃櫻桃蘿蔔

Chinese Pickled Radish 醃櫻桃蘿蔔

chinese pickled radish recipe pink pickle
By Published: 2013-08-29
I think we have been going a bit pickle crazy recently.  But how can you resist the urge to pickle?  Once you get started and see for yourself how easy and delightfully yummy your own homemade pickles are?  We have made Chinese Pickles  酸瓜 and Chinese Hua Gua Pickles 花瓜 and they are sitting pretty in our little fridge.  Homemade jars of pickle are so gorgeous!  I like to take them out just to admire them.  The other day I happened upon some cherry radishes lying around and I made this easy Chinese Pickled Radish 醃櫻桃蘿蔔.  Now we also have a beautiful jar of pickled radish in the fridge that we can dip into any time for a tart, crunchy, slightly spicy snack.  And it's a PINK PICKLE!  How cool is that?!  My little girl definitely thinks it's super cool.  

August 27, 2013

Dried Shrimp Steamed White Rice 蝦乾蒸飯

Dried Shrimp Steamed White Rice 蝦乾蒸飯

chinese dried shrimp steamed rice recipe
By Published: 2013-08-27
One of the many gastronomic pleasures that living in Hong Kong brings is the ease and variety of the chinese dried seafood available.  One need only go to their local wet market or, better yet, to the long stretch of Des Voeux Road West in Sheung Wan which is known locally as 香港海味街, or Hong Kong Dried Seafood Street.  Fascinating to explore even if you aren't there for actual buying; one would never have imagined that there were that many things in the world to dry and eat!?

August 13, 2013

Mango Ice Cream 芒果雪糕

Mango Ice Cream 芒果雪糕

mango, ice cream, recipe, no machine
By Published: 2013-08-13
Everyone loves mango.  Even people who are allergic to mango love mango.  Like my mom, who's allergic just to the skin of the mango (kinda weird, but that's what she claims).  She actually makes me peel the mango for her and feed it to her by hand.  Apparently, these extra steps allow her to be released from the allergy towards the mango.  Can you see the lengths that mango lovers will go to?  It's just plain crazy with diced mango sprinkled on top!

But than again, I can totally understand why.  Golden and oh so very fragrant!  Sweet with just a touch of sweet sourness, an almost crunchy yet slippery mouth feel, there is nothing like the mango.  Mango is the Queen of fruits.  And how can one possibly resist a queen at the top of her game?  So the other day when I saw a beautiful Taiwan golden mango at the market I was irresistibly pulled into buying it. And naturally after that we made delicious homemade Mango Ice Cream with it.  Ah...these summer fruit ice creams!  They are the reason that I can love the summer...

August 7, 2013

Tomato Egg Drop Soup 番茄蛋花湯

Tomato Egg Drop Soup 番茄蛋花湯

chinese Tomato Egg Drop Soup recipe
By Published: 2013-08-07
In our little family we sometimes argue about Chinese food.  Mostly due to the fact that our respective families come from different provinces ( I am from Jiangsu and he is from Guangdong) and that means that we were raised eating different kinds of Chinese food.  What a lot of people don't realize is that the difference between provinces in China are similar to differences between nations in Europe.  The differences range from extreme (as in I cannot for the life of me understand your version of the chinese oral language) to vaguely similar (as with chinese food which all seem to be based on similar ingredients but vary wildly as to the final product).  So it was with pleasant surprise recently that we came up with the same taste requirements for that wonderful classic chinese comfort dish, Tomato Egg Drop Soup, or 番茄蛋花湯.  This is a really, really easy light soup that tastes way better than you think it could.  It goes wonderful with a chinese dinner and is dynamite for these hot summer days because it tastes just as good cold as hot.

August 1, 2013

Chinese Cucumber Salad 拍黃瓜

Chinese Cucumber Salad 拍黃瓜

chinese, cucumber, recipe, salad, smashed, cold dish 拍黃瓜
By Published: 2013-08-01
An easy classic favorite: a cool summery chinese cucumber salad for these long summer days.  People pay bucks for this chinese cucumber salad in restaurants and I'm not sure why.  I've never liked the restaurant versions.  They always seem so sloppily made, you know either too sweet or too sour, or waaay too garlicky (uck, one of the top food sins in my humble opinion).  Anyways why pay those big bucks for it when you can make it so easily and cheaply at home?  And, believe me, this little chinese cucumber salad, or 拍黃瓜, that you make yourself at home will taste way better than any restaurant version.

July 23, 2013

Chinese Candied Ginger 薑糖

Chinese Candied Ginger 薑糖

candied ginger, candy, chinese, ginger, crystallized ginger
By Published: 2013-07-23
The Chinese love ginger when they cook and rightly so.  A bit of ginger makes everything taste better.  Another favorite use of ginger for the Chinese is to expel the cold and inject warmth in the body.  A traditional chinese medicine concept of keeping a certain balance in your body.   Another favorite way to reap the benefits of ginger is to eat Chinese Ginger Candy, or 薑糖.  A spicy, hot, and sweet treat that is good for your body. (But don't eat too much if you are a "hot" natured body!  It's better for "cool" body types.)

July 22, 2013

Chinese Steamed Pork Patty with Dried Anchovies 小銀魚蒸肉餅

Chinese Steamed Pork with Dried Anchovies 小銀魚蒸肉餅

chinese steamed pork with dried anchovies 小銀魚蒸肉餅
By Published: 2013-07-22
It's one of those simple homey Chinese dishes that, in theory, seem like a breeze to whip up.  Which it is, really. I mean how hard is a dish like Chinese Steamed Pork Patty?  You just add some seasonings to the ground pork and steam it, right?  How easy is that?  Well, it turns out that Chinese Steamed Pork Patty is one of those tricky little dishes that is easy to make in a so-so sort of way and hard to make in a really good, tasty, lusciously melty sort of way.

Chinese Spiced Beef Shin 滷牛腱

Chinese Spiced Beef Shin 滷牛腱

chinese spiced beef shin recipe
By Published: 2013-07-22
We were thinking about roast beef sandwiches and naturally, this being Hong Kong, could not find any roasting type of meat cuts available. Though it does appear off and on on the supermarket shelves.  Just never when you actually want to buy it.  So, being frustrated, I had a 'light bulb' and thought of my Mom's delicious Chinese Spiced Beef Shin, or 滷牛腱, that she always makes for us on our visits home.  It is a slow cooked soy and spices flavored shin of beef, also known as the Golden Coin Muscle, that becomes deliciously tender and fragrant with beautiful stripes of translucent melty tendons patterning the sliced beef.  Ah, the pleasures of the Chinese kitchen!!

July 8, 2013

Lychee Popsicle

Lychee Popsicle 荔枝冰棒

lychee popsicle recipe
By Published: 2013-07-08
There's nothing that can cool you down on a hot summer's day like a icy cold popsicle.  I remember traveling in the earlier days in China when there was very little in the way of proper air conditioning (actually not just little but none!) but there was always the red bean popsicle vendor just around the corner.  Adults and children both would sit in what shade they could find and cool their whole body down by eating the delicious icy treats.  Yummy!  What a fun and natural way to cool down!

May 13, 2013

Hong Kong Mooncake Molds 月餅模具

hong kong wood mooncake molds
Published: 2013-05-13
Just to share my joy at the latest cool stuff found digging through old dusty boxes at old dusty stores in Hong Kong.  You can definitely still find a treasure or two if you don't mind to taking your time and getting your fingers dirty.  Here are some old wooden mooncake molds, or 月餅模具.  Actually the two on the left are mooncake molds and the two on the right are wooden molds for other chinese pastry/cookies.  They had probably been sitting in that same old box for the past 15-20 years or something.  The store owner, an old man who frowned at me at first but was very nice later on, spoke of the old days of supplying the big Chinese Emporiums in Hong Kong and the eventual die down of demand, etc.  The store itself is done the old fashioned way, with the merchandise piled high in a untidy, seemingly random way.  A lot of rattan and bamboo craft.  Old Hong Kong craft.  Very fascinating stuff.  But, warning, quite dusty!!  I may have to go back for more browsing soon.

Black Sesame Ice Cream

Black Sesame Ice Cream 黑芝麻冰淇淋

black sesame ice cream recipe
By Published: 2013-05-13
The summer's coming and it's time for lots of ice cream!  We tried a recipe for black sesame ice cream that is just out of this world delicious!  It seems even to have supplanted our blueberry ice cream as the family's favorite ice cream flavor.  I think the reason it is so good is that you make the black sesame paste yourself.  We tried this before, roasting and then grinding black sesame for Tong Yuan, or sweet rice dumpling balls, that came out fantastic.  The black sesame is so fragrant this way!  Nothing that you buy or that you get when eating out can compare to it.  I was suppose to write a post on the Tong Yuan but they got eaten up so fast that I didn't get a photo.  Well, never mind, here is something just as good - the fabulous Black Sesame Ice cream!

April 22, 2013

Chinese Congee 粥

Chinese Congee 粥

chinese congee recipe
By Published: 2013-04-22
What's the Chinese equivalent of "chicken soup"?  Why congee, or 粥, of course, that delectable, nourishing and soothing rice porridge cooked by the Chinese since time began.  Recently I've been making a lot of chinese pickles, both the rice vinegar pickle and the soy sauce or hua gua pickle and, duh, suddenly realized that having tons of chinese pickles means congee heaven.  So I've started making congee a lot and it's not only easy and fun to make (you can throw most everything in and make delicious congee)  but also a serious nourishing the soul kind of food as well as being very, very good for babies, kids and persons feeling under the weather.  Did you know that Chinese moms always feed their babies congee?  Little old chinese ladies used to stop us on the street and in the shops to ask us if we were making pork bones congee for our little girl when she was one or two years old.  And when we replied ashamedly "Umm, no...", those poor ladies always appeared very distressed and anxious.  Ah well, it's better late than never.

Chinese Hua Gua Pickles 花瓜

Chinese Hua Gua Pickles 花瓜

chinese, hua gua, pickle, soy sauce, cucumber
By Published: 2013-04-22
This chinese Hua Gua pickle is just so easy and delicious that it's ridiculous.  Inspired by the success with our chinese vinegar pickle I was gripped with a nostalgia for the Hua Gua pickles, 花瓜 or 醬瓜,  of my childhood.  These are delightfully crunchy Taiwanese soy sauce pickled cucumbers that Mom bought in little glass jars to go with our congee.  It was such a tasty treat that we used to fight over these little suckers when the Grandma and Mom weren't looking.  There was never enough to go around with three hungry little chinese girls and just a little tiny jar of pickles.  And, just to be clear, hungry little chinese girls can eat alot of food!  Well, now all these years later I have discovered that, as I mentioned earlier, these pickles are just ridiculously easy to make and taste just like the (actually better!) store bought kind (minus the yummy (not!) flavours of chemical preservatives of course.)

April 15, 2013

The Pleasures of Chinese Cooking

Image from Jeanyee Wong website
Published: 2013-04-15
I was checking out some old Chinese cookbooks (a favorite pastime of mine) and happened upon this great old video made as promotion for a Chinese cookbook called The Pleasures of Chinese Cooking by Grace Zia Chu that was published in the 60's in USA.  Had to share it, what a cool video!  Check out the big can of "Glutate" at 0:17 (MSG, anyone?) and the little monster heads arranged around the stir fried peas at 1:00!  Oh my gosh, what the heck kind of Chinese food is that!  Hee, hee...


But seriously, has anyone ever tried out this cookbook?  Is it worth taking a look at?  Apparently Grace Zia Chu was one of the first chinese to publish a proper Chinese cookbook in the USA.  I love old chinese cookbooks, so wondering if I should order it...

Google

April 14, 2013

Chocolate Cookies

Chocolate Cookies

chocolate cookies recipe
By Published: 2013-04-14
This is the perfect chocolate cookie to go with the little cup of hot chocolate that I posted about the other day.  It's so nice to have home-baked cookies and these are especially easy and convenient in that you can stick them in the freezer and then bring'em out, slice and pop'em in the oven and ta-da!  Fresh, heavenly cookies!  But these are not your ordinary chocolate cookies.  Oh, no, not at all. These are Mercedes Benz of chocolate cookies.  So chocolately, double chocolately actually with the chocolate chips, but not too sweet either, slightly crumbly, meltingly just moist and then there's the deliciously unexpected sea salt flavor that blooms on your tongue after a few moments.  What a wicked taste sensation!

April 11, 2013

Hot Chocolate - One Little Cup at a Time

Hot Chocolate - One Little Cup at a Time

hong kong hot chocolate
By Published: 2013-04-11
My little girl doesn't particularly like milk too much so to tempt her I make a little cup of hot chocolate for her every once in a while.  It's a warm tasty homemade treat made all the more fun using the whimsical cups and saucers we discover on afternoon rambles through our neighborhood second hand shops.  It's similar to the drinks that our Hong Kong coffee shops are starting to offer for children, usually know by the cute name of "babyccino."  My girl loves to play at being 'grownup' and carefully sips her hot chocolate in the most delightfully ladylike manner.  Try it as a special treat for kids (or yourself!) on a chilly day.

March 30, 2013

Easter Egg Natural Dye

Easter Egg Natural Dye

easter eggs natural dye
By Published: 2013-03-30
Here's something fun and natural for Easter.  My little girl and I had made Easter Eggs for the first time last year when she was almost 3 years old.  It was really fun and we did a post about our tiny Easter Eggs, but in my heart I was a bit horrified by the obnoxiously bright fakeness of the food coloring dyes that we used and that were eventually eaten into our systems along with the eggs.  (No, we didn't eat the shells but the coloring kinda soaks in quite a bit, doesn't it?)  So I was really interested when, this year, as I was mentally preparing for Easter Egg making, to see a blog article on using natural dyes to make really beautiful natural Easter Eggs.  We tried it and as you can see the result is quite a looker and very very safe to eat for your little ones. It takes a bit more time and effort but we definitely thought the results were gorgeously worth it.

Chinese Egg Fried Rice 蛋炒飯

Chinese Egg Fried Rice 蛋炒飯

chinese egg fried rice recipe
By Published: 2013-03-30
Chinese Egg fried rice, or 蛋炒飯, is the quintessential leftover dish.  You open your fridge and you've got leftover rice, leftover char sui, leftover choi sum, etc from yesterday's dinner.  What're you gonna do?  Make chinese egg fried rice of course.   As long as you have the basics, i.e. rice, egg, spring onion, then you just chop up and throw in whatever else leftovers that you have and you will end up with a easy to make, lip-smacking and creative dish that you can serve instead of plain rice.  (Kids love this!  My dearest Grandma 奶奶 used to make this as an after-school snack everyday.)

March 28, 2013

Chinese Pickles 酸瓜

Chinese Pickles 酸瓜

chinese pickle cantonese recipe
By Published: 2013-03-28
Did you know that the Chinese love pickles too?  There are all kinds of chinese pickles, or 酸瓜, from all the different provinces of China.  In Sichuan they even have special pickling jars! 

chinese pickle cantonese recipe
Chinese Pickling Urn
(Image from The Key to Chinese Cooking by Irene Kuo)

March 17, 2013

Chinese Red Cooked Pork 紅燒肉

Chinese Red Cooked Pork 紅燒肉

chinese red cooked pork recipe
By Published: 2013-03-17
I must confess to love, love, love chinese red cooked pork, or 紅燒肉.  This is meat cooked to fragrant, mouth melting perfection.  It is an all time favorite comfort food from my childhood, never failing to elict oohs and aahs from happy eaters.  Whenever my dearest grandmother, my 奶奶, decided to make her famous red cooked pork using the ham hock I would hover anxiously near the simmering pot on tiptoe, peeking in, fascinated to observe the beautifully huge round of thick skin, luscious fat and dark meat circling the thick leg bone slowly transforming into melt in your mouth porky deliciousness.  Let me tell you that grandmother's red cooked pork was not just food...it was an event!  I remember we had to use our biggest deepest soup bowl to dish up the pork when done and bring it to the family table.  What a spectacular sight!  And then finally, at the go ahead, everyone's chopsticks diving in and  coming away with a bit of the skin, a bit of the creamy fat and a bit of the tender meat for each bite. Yummy, yummy, yummy!!  And dearest 奶奶 made it all look so easy, just throwing things casually into the pot and watching with half an eye, but let me assure you that her Red Cooked Pork 紅燒肉 is still the best I have ever had.

February 25, 2013

Chinese Jinhua Ham 金華火腿

chinese jinhua jin hua ham
Published: 2013-02-25
This is the best cured ham in the world:  Chinese Jinhua ham, or 金華火腿.  Isn't it beautiful?  Look at that beautiful ruby color!  But wait til you taste it!  Wow! Kazaam!  There's nothing quite like it: dense, chewy, bursting with layers of subtle flavors behind the first hit of salty/sweetness.  We find it in our humble opinion to be even tastier than jamon iberico , that also very delectable and worldwide famous ham from Spain.  Alas the Chinese give up their secret culinary treasures with so much reluctance, even to their own people, as it is very easy to buy Jinhua Ham but much much more difficult to buy quality Jinhua Ham.  As it is with so many Chinese things, you just have to "know" or you have to "know somebody who knows".  Or you can also do it like we do: the time wasting way (according to the Chinese), in other words by a series of trial and error.  There's nothing better to inform you of food quality than your own tongue as long as your palate is in good working order!

February 19, 2013

Drunken Crab with Chinese Rose Essence Wine 玫瑰露醉蟹

Drunken Crab with Chinese Rose Essence Wine 玫瑰露醉蟹

chinese drunken crab recipe
By Published: 2013-02-19
When people talk of 鮮甜, or the fresh sweetness, of seafood, they might just have had this dish, Drunken Crab with Chinese Rose Essence Wine 玫瑰露醉蟹, in mind.  Wonderfully fresh ocean flavor matched only by the incredible rose scented sweetness of the delectable crab flesh.  Ummm, just thinking about is making me drool.  We, the family, have just now (after digging out these photos from the last time we had this dish) voted to have this dish tomorrow again, yeah!  These crabs are so yummy that I don't even mind the drudgery of getting the darn crab flesh out of the shells (which I usually do mind very much!)  And it's really simple and fabulously dramatic to make!

              

February 11, 2013

Chinese Tea Eggs 茶葉蛋 - Egg Art

Chinese Tea Eggs 茶葉蛋 - Egg Art

Chinese Tea Eggs recipe
By Published: 2013-02-11
If you love eggs and you love art, surely you will love making and eating Chinese Tea Eggs.  What other food could provide such a deep artistic satisfaction while at the same providing an eggy snack that is really delicious, filling and unique in taste.  You can find tea eggs in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and anywhere there are chinese people as the age old folksy 'go to' snack for the traveler or the person on the go.  In Hong Kong they even sell them mostly at the convenience stores now.  How ironic yet fitting in a way.  But really, buying a Tea Egg is missing the point.  It is so simple and fun to make your own.

Note: this is a repost because I seemed to have killed the original post in one of my 'coding' experiments.
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