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

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.

September 4, 2017

Chinese Preserved Plum Caramel Lollipops 話梅棒棒糖

Chinese Preserved Plum Caramel Lollipops 話梅棒棒糖

candy, caramel, chinese, dried plum, dried sour plum, lollipop, preserved plum, recipe, Sugar, traditional, 棒棒糖, 糖, 話梅, 酸梅, 黑糖
By Published: 2017-09-04
Oooh! I'm quite pleased with these lollipops, they'll do...  What a fun and easy thing to make at home and pass out to all the crazy lollipop lovers in your path!  But wait, first I have to warn the uninitiated, the secret of these lollipops is that they have a heart of Chinese preserved dried plums which are cheek puckeringly sour and yet sweet at the same time.  Each of these fun and lovely to look at traditional Chinese Preserved Plum Caramel Lollipops, or 話梅棒棒糖, have a licorice flavored dried plum encased lovingly in hardened caramel, sooo good to lick and suck slowly, sweet and sour coming together in your mouth to satisfy and sooth your candy soul to yummilicious perfection.  

August 25, 2017

Turkish Delight Sorbet

Turkish Delight Sorbet

candy, ice, lokum, recipe, rose flavor, Sorbet, turkish, Turkish Delight, 冰糕, 土耳其軟糖, 玫瑰味
By Published: 2017-08-25
It's been hot, hot, hot this summer in Hong Kong and an oncoming typhoon has made the weather even more toasty roasty than before.  "I'm melting...melting..."  as the Wicked Witch of Oz did screech.  So it seemed the thing to do to make this chillingly appropriate Turkish Delight Sorbet, a delightful, elegant and cooling bit of rose flavored sweet ice just balanced with a touch of tart lime.  Super easy to make, wonderful to look at and just the thing for the hottest days of the year!

August 11, 2017

Homemade Strawberry Mango Jam

Homemade Strawberry Mango Jam

Strawberry, Mango, Jam, homemade, recipe, fruit, no pectin, 草莓, 芒果,  果醬, 食譜, 水果
By Published: 2017-08-11
La, de, da... this is a super fun kind of summer jam!  Strawberries and mangos are in abundant supply.  What better idea than to mix 'em up into a fabulously yummilicious mix it up jam!  I wasn't so sure that the flavors would "jam" so to speak, but wowzer, it did "jam" in the most interestingly tasty way.  Try it out yourself with our luscious double flavor packed Strawberry Mango Jam!  

Do note this is a quick recipe for making one lovely jar of jam only for consumption within a couple of weeks and not a recipe for batch making of jam!

August 3, 2017

Strawberries with Mint White Chocolate Cream

Strawberries with Mint White Chocolate Cream

Strawberries, Mint, White Chocolate, Cream, recipe, summer, dessert
By Published: 2017-08-03
Yummmmmmmm...it's summer and time for strawberries!  There's sun in the sky and summer strawberries on the store shelves!  I usually make strawberries and freshly whipped chantilly cream (just whipped up cream with a touch of sugar and vanilla) as a special treat for my little girl but then I happened on a little twist to this dessert that makes it so much more sophisticated and yummilicious but still quite simple to make!  It's Strawberries with Mint White Chocolate Cream!  That is, to break it apart, fragant strawberries, fresh mint, smooth white chocolate, and whipped cream!  Goshdangit...all my favorite summer tastes in one simple elegant and ohsotasty dessert!

July 25, 2017

Braised Yellow Croaker Fish and Pickled Vegetable Soup 雪菜大湯黃魚

Braised Yellow Croaker Fish and Pickled Vegetable Soup 雪菜大湯黃魚

Braised, Yellow Croaker Fish, fish, Pickled Vegetable, snow vegetable, pickled mustard, stew, Soup, 雪菜, 大湯, 竹筍, 黃魚, shanghai, traditional, recipe, authentic
By Published: 2017-07-25
This classic authentic Shanghai dish is simple to make but simply fabulous to eat.  We recently made it for the first time and then had to make it again and again and again.  It is so yummilicious!  The Braised Yellow Croaker Fish and Pickled Vegetable Soup 雪菜大湯黃魚 is a meltingly tender and tasty braised fish bathed in a beautiful white fish soup with preserved vegetable, bamboo and jin hwa ham until all flavors are melded together.  Not only do you have delicious braised fish to eat,  you also get a truly delectable soup to sip on, a time saving two in one dish!

July 13, 2017

Luscious Lychee Ice Cream

Luscious Lychee Ice Cream 荔枝雪糕

冰淇淋, 荔枝, 雪糕, Lychee, fruit, Ice Cream,  荔枝雪糕, recipe, summer fruit, no ice cream machine
By Published: 2017-07-13
I remind all our dear readers that this is the time of year for the Queen of Summer Fruits, the lovely Lychee!  We've been gorging ourselves on luscious, juicy lychees, desperate to gobble down as many as we can before they disappear until next year.  We got inspired by the abundance of lychee and the hot sweltering temperatures of the summer to make our favorite homemade summer treat, ICE CREAM!  Check out our Lychee Ice Cream, 荔枝雪糕, a soft luscious velvety ice cream packed through and through with delectable real lychee flavor and aroma.  We think it's the best ice cream we've ever made...voted our new family favorite ice cream flavor!

July 4, 2017

Sichuan Spicy Fish Stew 水煮魚

Sichuan Spicy Fish Stew 水煮魚

chinese, mala sauce, recipe, Sichuan, Spicy Fish Stew, Water Boiled fish, 水煮魚, 麻辣
By Published: 2017-07-04
This gloriously easy and distinctive Sichuan 四川 dish has swept the world and leapt to fame in the past decade or so.  You cannot go anywhere in the world these days where Chinese food is served and not find some version of this addictive dish which features the 'mala' 麻辣 kind of spicy with fish or beef.  'Mala' spiciness is a very unique flavor, featuring the heat of chilies married with the mouth numbing tingle of sichuan peppercorns.  Once you've tried 'mala' it's hard to forget, it's so unique.

My 老公 loves, loves, loves 'mala' spicy dishes but we seldom get to eat it as my little girl has still not gotten the hang of spicy food yet.  It's hilarious really, he gets the saddest look of longing on his face when he mentions this dish every once in a while.  So to stop that sad face, I suggested that we make it at home as one dish of our three dish plus rice family style Chinese dinner.  Yeah, finally, he can have his beloved Sichuan Spicy Fish Stew 水煮魚, a tender fish and veggies stew finished with a fiery and tongue numbing aromatic 'mala' spiced oil.  Oh. Wow. What a spectacular dish this is!!

June 24, 2017

Chinese Steamed Spareribs with Black Bean 蒜蓉豆豉蒸排骨

Chinese Steamed Spareribs with Black Bean 豉汁排骨

Black Bean, cantonese, chinese, dim sum, recipe, steamed ribs, Steamed Spareribs, 豉汁排骨, 蒜蓉豆豉蒸排骨
By Published: 2017-06-24
This Cantonese dish of Steamed Spareribs with Black Bean 蒜蓉豆豉蒸排骨 is pretty darn good.  A taste of home, a real classic.  It's a staple of the Chinese dim sum lunch and tea time, usually served in dainty bamboo steamers in small but utterly yummilicious portions of tender pork and delicious fat, all marinated through and through with the umami that is properly prepared fermented black bean sauce.  When we have it for dinner at home we like to make it in a much larger portion, being the carnivores that we are, and we finish it all in one a whoosh or two.  It's hard to think of a dish that is easier to prepare and more rewarding in terms of effort vs results!

June 7, 2017

Moroccan Mint Tea

Moroccan Mint Tea

chinese tea, homemade, how make, mint tea, Moroccan Mint Tea, recipe, 摩洛哥, 薄荷茶
By Published: 2017-06-07
This is my latest obsession!  We always have a pot of tea (usually pu-erh tea 普洱茶) in the morning to wake up and get us going.  But recently, having some extra mint leaves after making the fabulously yummy Vietnamese Beef Vermicelli Noodle Salad,  I thought of making a pot of mint tea with it.  Well, one thing led to another and I ended up making Moroccan Mint Tea, which turned out to be the most amazing pot of tea: golden, sweet, the subtle flavors of Chinese tea transformed by the uplifting aromatics of mint!  This is so good even a lazy girl like me will spend a bit of effort of effort to brew it up.  This fragrant tea truly makes my day!

May 29, 2017

Dragon Well Green Tea Shrimp Stir Fry 龍井炒蝦仁

chinese, dragon well tea, green tea, Longjing tea, recipe, seafood, shrimp, stir fry, 綠茶, 蝦仁, 龍井, 炒,

Humm...besides making our lovely savory meat Zongzi and Grandma's red bean paste ZongZi for Dragon Boast Festival this year, I thought I would also make the traditional Dragon Well Green Tea Shrimp Stir Fry 龍井炒蝦仁 to celebrate both the rivers and the dragon boats that the festival centers around.

First of all, full confession, we didn't use Dragon Well tea 龍井茶 this time.  We meant to use this special tea but, rushing around at the last minute, found that our usual Chinese tea shop was closed for the day.  But we had all our shrimp already!  That's what happens when you decide things last minute...  But, in the end, things turned out okay, very okay as a matter of fact.  We had some tea at home and decided to just use what we had.  And this Dragon Well (sometimes) Green Tea Shrimp Stir Fry 龍井炒蝦仁 turned out just fine, juicy velvety sea sweet shrimp dotted with tea leaves, smothered with an aromatic, smooth, tea scented sauce.  We actually liked this version better than when we made it with Dragon Well tea.

May 20, 2017

Easy Homemade Raspberry Jam

Easy Homemade Raspberry Jam

easy, homemade, quick, Raspberry Jam, recipe
By Published: 2017-05-20
I just had to share this because this is the best and easiest jam you can make!  I know we have written previously about making homemade strawberry jam, which is pretty easy to make, but making this yummilicious raspberry jam beats it by a mile.   It's super easy!  And so yummy!  In only about 10 minutes or so you can magically transform fresh raspberry fruit into a jar of gleaming ruby red jam.  And let me say that this Homemade Raspberry Jam is our all time FAVORITE jam, held above all others, always requested by my little girl, better tasting than store bought jams by a long shot!

Note:  This recipe is for lazy folk (like us!) who don't have the time and patience for the mass sterilization of jam jars and all that fuss that generally goes with jamming.  This is for making only one or two jars of delicious sticky red jam that can made in a flash and kept in the fridge to be eaten within a week or two, if it lasts that long!

May 17, 2017

Chinese Stir Fry Eggs with Flaked Crab Meat 蟹肉炒蛋

Chinese Stir Fry Eggs with Flaked Crab Meat 蟹肉炒蛋

Chinese, recipe, seafood, Stir Fry, Eggs, Crab,  蟹肉, 炒蛋, dungeness crab, comfort food
By Published: 2017-05-17
This deceptively simple looking egg dish is a fancy dinner party dish in comforting disguise.  You start with a familiar Chinese comfort food, the tenderly folded stir fry egg (see our Tomato Egg Stir Fry 蕃茄炒蛋 recipe and Shrimp & Eggs Stir Fry 蝦仁炒蛋 recipe for more traditional takes on egg stir fry) and pair with something fabulously posh like crab meat and WHAMMO!  You've got yourself a dish you could serve an Empress!

This Chinese Stir Fry Eggs with Flaked Crab Meat 蟹肉炒蛋 is one of those food matches made in heaven: tender just set egg perfectly complemented by the delectable bits of sea sweet, soft crab meat tucked gently into the golden folds.   A royally yummilicious dish to treat family and friends to!

May 6, 2017

Steamed Baby Geoduck on Vermicelli 蒸象拔蚌

Steamed Baby Geoduck on Vermicelli 蒸象拔蚌

Steamed, Baby, Geoduck, Vermicelli, recipe, elephant trunk clam, clam, seafood, chinese,  蒸象拔蚌
By Published: 2017-05-06
What luck for those of us in Hong Kong to live next the the sea!  The weather's been so nice lately that we have been making a point of making time to go the wet market more and searching out the fresh seafood specials that are just waiting to be discovered.  Our latest find are these humble looking bivalves that, to be honest, we passed by many a time before discovering that they were a species of the fabulous geoduck or 象拔蚌, that weird and very expensive clam with the huge long protruding elephant trunk.  Have you ever tried the geoduck?  It's divinely yummilicious sliced thinly and served raw.

April 29, 2017

Crispy Batter Fried Oyster Burger 蠔漢堡包

Crispy Batter Fried Oyster Burger 蠔漢堡包

Crispy, Batter, Fried, Oyster, Burger, seafood, recipe, flour, 蠔, 漢堡包, 牡蠣
By Published: 2017-04-29
If you love fresh succulent oysters as much as we do, then you're in for a treat!  This is our version of the fabulous oyster burger, a rare sight, I'll admit, but much loved by those who have met and been utterly charmed by this culinary delight.  I had my first in Vancouver, at a greek restaurant of all things.  It was love at first bite, really, I just couldn't believe how tasty the oyster burger was, crispy on the outside, juicy and tender and oh so oyster-y on the inside.  Pure heaven!  SO...zip to the future and we have discovered the joys of first rate frozen oysters and naturally decided we had to try to recreate that long ago sea kissed delight.  It took a few tries, cuz you've just got to get the batter just right, but we do believe that we have nailed it with our Crispy Batter Fried Oyster Burger, a crunchy yet succulent tartar sauce touched seafood burger, or the 'Sea Burger' as we call it around here.

April 13, 2017

Chinese Salt Baked Quail Egg 鹽焗鵪鶉蛋

Chinese Salt Baked Quail Egg 鹽焗鵪鶉蛋

Chinese, recipe, Baked, salt, roasted, Quail Egg, street food, hong kong,  鹽焗, 鵪鶉蛋
By Published: 2017-04-13
Cheep, cheep!  Presenting our interpretation of a 'natural' Easter: this year we bring together the idea of Easter eggs and the idea of street food culture in Hong Kong.  Our Easter nest is full of tiny naturally speckled eggs!  Namely the delicate Chinese Salt Baked Quail Eggs, or 鹽焗鵪鶉蛋, usually found at your local street hawker, these roasty, just salty wee eggs come still piping hot in a paper bag.  There's nothing quite like it to have in your pocket on a windy day to warm your fingers with!  


Here's a street hawker we happened on during the Chinese New Year.  Can you see the salt baked quail eggs in the right corner?  And all the other goodies, roasted peanuts, gingko nuts, chestnuts, and charcoal baked yams!  YUM!  Too bad the street hawkers only dare to come out during these kinds of public holidays nowadays, any other time they get chased off and fined.  (Thanks HK Govt for killing off the street food culture of HK.)  But no worries, if you can't get your fix off the streets you can still enjoy your Salt Baked Quail Eggs as they are quite easy to make at home!

March 30, 2017

Milk Bread Tangzhong 湯種牛奶麵包

Tangzhong Milk Bread 湯種牛奶麵包

牛奶麵包, Tangzhong, roux, Milk Bread, chinese, asian, hokkaido milk bread, recipe, method, 湯種, 麵包, sandwich bread
By Published: 2017-03-30
I love making bread, there's nothing in this world as wonderful as the heavenly smell of baking bread emanating from your very own oven!  But the thing about making bread is, after all that toil and trouble, homemade bread is amazing when still warm, great when cooled, still yummy on the second day, but downhill from then on.  It just gets stale so fast!  I've tried different methods of keeping the bread, which help only a bit.  What I really want is to be able to make a bread and enjoy it for a good while, make sandwiches, have some toast, you know...just have a bit of bread about the house.  Now, finally, I have found this amazing Milk Bread Tangzhong 湯種牛奶麵包 that not only lasts a good long while but is soft, fluffy and tender yet strong enough to use as a sandwich bread.  Plus it's so easy to make and bake, it's become my favorite bread to make!

牛奶麵包, Tangzhong, roux, Milk Bread, chinese, asian, hokkaido milk bread, recipe, method, 湯種, 麵包, sandwich bread

March 23, 2017

Tofu Skin Gingko Nuts Sweet Soup 白果腐竹糖水

Tofu Skin Gingko Nuts Sweet Soup 白果腐竹糖水

Tofu Skin, Gingko Nuts, Sweet Soup, chinese, dessert soup, recipe,  白果, 腐竹, 糖水, fuzhu, 銀杏果
By Published: 2017-03-23
We previously wrote about the traditional Chinese way to way "YES!" to love, with food of course, specifically with a wonderfully yummilicious plate of Sticky Rice Balls with Sesame and Crushed Peanuts 糖不甩, so stickily delicious that no one can resist your love.  This time we are going to flip it over and talk about how to say a gentle "NO" to love, with food again of course, this time with a bowl of Tofu Skin Gingko Nuts Sweet Soup 白果腐竹糖水, a delicate, warm and comforting way to let a lover down.

March 14, 2017

Homemade Chinese Fermented Rice 自製甜酒釀

Homemade Chinese Fermented Rice 自製甜酒釀

Homemade, Chinese, Fermented Rice, jiuniang, jiu niang, 自製, 甜酒釀, shanghai wine yeast ball, rice wine starter, 酒麴, 上海酒餅丸, glutinous rice, sticky rice
By Published: 2017-03-14
One of the special traditional foods that my grandma knew how to make was Homemade Chinese Fermented Rice, also known as Jiu Niang or 甜酒釀, a fresh, sweet and slighty winey fermented rice with a porridge like texture.  She would make tons of the stuff and pass it out to all the family but no one liked to eat it as much as me.  I loooved the stuff and would eat it slowly, one delicious creamy spoonful at a time, from a huge jar in the fridge.  Now I know that my childhood fondness for Chinese fermented rice was probably due in a large part to my predilection for the tastes and flavors of alcoholic beverages as this fermented rice is slightly boozy.  (Ummm...mom, dad, what the hey?!)  But I digress from the topic at hand.  The point here is that I still love this stuff and I finally got up the gumption to try to make Chinese Fermented Rice at home.  Guess what?  It was easy peasy and it is so d*mn good when freshly fermented!  I'm over the moon...I can have all the Jiu Niang I want forever!

February 24, 2017

Sticky Rice Balls with Sesame & Crushed Peanuts 糖不甩

Sticky Rice Balls with Sesame & Crushed Peanuts 糖不甩

glutinous rice balls, crushed peanuts, recipe, rice balls, sesame, sticky, 糖不甩, chinese
By Published: 2017-02-24
The end of the Chinese New Year period of festivities is marked by the Lantern Festival 元宵節, a sort of Chinese Valentine's Day.  Lovely glowing lanterns are hung everywhere from rafters and eaves.   Riddles are carefully composed, gracefully written out with brush and ink, hung alongside the lanterns and then the game is on to guess the answers to the riddles.  Traditionally this night is for young men and women to stroll about attired in their best, admiring both the lanterns and potential lovers.  And then if the heavens are aligned, love will blossom.  Or will it?

glutinous rice balls, crushed peanuts, recipe, rice balls, sesame, sticky, 糖不甩, chinese
glutinous rice balls, crushed peanuts, recipe, rice balls, sesame, sticky, 糖不甩, chinese

Whether loves blossoms or no, the southern Chinese have developed a subtle food based (naturally!) method of letting lovers know if their love is reciprocated.  To give the nod to love just serve up a bowl of delicious Sticky Rice Balls with Sesame and Crushed Peanuts, or 糖不甩, which is the deliciously sweet and sticky Chinese way to say yes to love!

February 14, 2017

Valentine Heart Candy

Valentine Heart Candy

Valentine day, Heart Candy, conversation candy, recipe, treat, sweetheart candy, homemade, personalized
By Published: 2017-02-14
My little girl and I have been brainstorming like crazy what to do for Valentine's Day, something fun and cool and not too hard nor expensive that she could share with her whole class.  And what do you know, we found the perfect thing!  I was reminiscing that when I was a little girl, all the kid would stuff Valentine's Day cards with heart candies that had cute little sayings on them.  Which we bought at a store back then, of course, and I'm sure that you can still buy it but just not in Hong Kong!  Then I thought, they might not be so hard to make at home, so I had a look around, and what do you know, Valentine's Day Heart Candies are not hard to make at home at all !  Plus you get to write whatever LOVE message you like on them!

February 10, 2017

Chinese Candied Walnuts 琥珀核桃

Chinese Candied Walnuts 琥珀核桃

Chinese, recipe, Candied Walnuts, candy walnut, caramel walnut, sugar walnut,  琥珀核桃, snack, dessert, chinese new year
By Published: 2017-02-10
I've been wanting to make these special treats for a long time, since last year actually.  I had everything prepared to make it last Chinese New Year but never got around to it...sigh.  I love eating these nuts, it's absolutely my favorite way to eat walnuts!  These Chinese Candied Walnuts, or 琥珀核桃, are just gorgeous: lovely caramel coated walnuts deep fried to a crunchy deep golden brown sheen.  It tastes like nothing else, the lick of sweetness of the almost burnt caramel in pleasing contrast to the slightly bitter nuttiness of the walnut.  So yummilicious!  This Chinese New Year we made a whole bunch of these delicious traditional symbols of abundance and wealth and presented them, the lovely darling things, to our New Year's guest as part of the selection in our Tray of Togetherness 攢盒.

February 3, 2017

Bing Tanghulu Candied Hawthorn Stick 冰糖葫蘆

Bing Tanghulu Candied Hawthorn Stick 冰糖葫蘆

Bing Tanghulu, stick, Candied Hawthorns, candied fruit, caramel fruit, skewer, traditional, snack, street, recipe, 冰糖葫蘆, chinese, dessert, chinese new year
By Published: 2017-02-03
Gosh darn-namit...I'm super excited about these!  For up to a thousand dusty long years, on any street corner in China might be found a street vendor holding a wood pole spiked with these traditional candy fruit skewers for children.  And since they are a lovely lucky red color and a beautifully rounded symbol of happiness and family reunion, they are especially popular during the Chinese New Year celebrations when all children would get one of these as an extra special treat!  Besides being super cool and fun to eat and super yummilicious to boot, these lovely traditional Chinese hard caramel coated fruit skewers also have the coolest name: Bing Tanghulu Candied Hawthorn Stick or 冰糖葫蘆.

January 28, 2017

Chinese Water Chestnut Cake 馬蹄糕

Chinese Water Chestnut Cake 馬蹄糕

Chinese, chinese new year, recipe, Water Chestnut Cake, water chestnut jelly, dessert,  馬蹄糕, cantonese, traditional, 中國新年
By Published: 2017-01-28
We've been busy preparing for Chinese New Year 農曆新年; it's pretty festive here in HK this year.  Picking out our lucky flowers at the crush of humanity that is the Chinese New Year Flower Market, cleaning our darnit too small of a house, getting our little red packets prepared as gifts to children and unmarried big persons.  And the food!  There's New Year's food everywhere one looks, it's just fabulous!  The traditional trinity of cakes that one must have during the Chinese New Year, at least here in Hong Kong, is as follows:  Sweet Rice Cake Nian Gao 年糕Radish Cake 蘿蔔糕, and Water Chestnut Cake 馬蹄糕.  The Three Queens that welcome the Lunar New Year!  We have already posted about the first two cakes and you can just click on the links above to find our recipes.  Today we will complete the trinity with the recipe for Water Chestnut Cake, or 馬蹄糕, a very unique sweet jelly traditional Chinese cake that is made with both fresh water chestnuts and water chestnut flour.

January 24, 2017

Tong Yuan Dumplings in Osmanthus Sweet Soup 桂花酒釀湯圓

Tong Yuan Dumplings in Osmanthus Sweet Soup 桂花酒釀湯圓

丸子, 圓子, 湯圓, 蛋花, 酒釀,  Tong Yuan, rice Dumplings, Osmanthus flower, Sweet Soup, dessert soup, chinese, recipe, chinese new year
By Published: 2017-01-24
Chinese New Year 中國新年 is come again and the city is stirring itself once again to great activity and anticipation for this most important and festive of Chinese festivals.  One thing I especially love about Chinese festivals is that they put into high gear the twin Chinese obsessions of eating and word play.  So first (and most importantly for me) there are tons of yummilicious things to stuff yourself silly with during the New Year celebration.  Secondly, not only are you're eating all this deliciousness you are also bringing yourself many good things by means of all this eating!  And how is that?  Well that's because all the Chinese New Year dishes have symbolic names that are lucky and auspicious.  

So for our first Chinese New Year recipe, we present you with Tong Yuan Dumplings in Osmanthus Scented Sweet Fermented Rice Soup, 桂花酒釀湯圓, a traditional Chinese dessert soup of tiny chewy rice dumplings nestled cozily into a soup flavored with the unique sweetness of fermented rice and scented with the aroma of delicate osmanthus flower.  The symbolic meaning here is the "roundness" or "圓" of the tong yuan 湯圓 which the Chinese interpret as the circle of family or life being complete and full.  

January 16, 2017

Chinese Hawthorn Fruit 山楂

Chinese Hawthorn, Fruit, chinese fruit, mountain hawthorn, chinese haw, chinese hawberry, Crataegus pinnatifida,  山楂, 大紅果
By Published: 2017-01-16
This little red fruit is something I had never seen before in the flesh, so to speak, until the other day when we walked past a neighborhood mom and pop grocer 士多 and I spied the rosy orbs rolling about in a cardboard box placed along the sidewalk in front.  Actually I had never actually properly seen these fruit even in images, as I had only ever seen them as part of a traditional sugar coated candy fruit treat called Tanghulu, or Bingtanghulu 糖葫蘆.  But I had wondered about them and so was extremely delighted upon inquiring to discover that these tiny red fruits were indeed the elusive Chinese Hawthorn, or 山楂.

January 8, 2017

Star Anise Ice Cream 八角雪糕

Star Anise Ice Cream 八角雪糕

ice cream, recipe, Star Anise, 八角, 冰淇淋, 雪糕, spice infused, spice, infusion
By Published: 2017-01-08
If you are one of those, as I am, that love the heady almost erotic taste and aroma of licorice then you will love, love, love this ice cream!  This is a spice infused ice cream made from my love of Star Anise, a wonderfully versatile spice that is used in Chinese cooking mostly for its excellent companionship with savory meats.  So into this spice am I that I have been experimenting with Star Anise in sweet foods, in my baking for one and now in my ice cream making.  So here is our Star Anise Ice Cream, 八角雪糕, a wowzer of an cool luscious licorice treat with the spice's exotic and distinctive aroma nestled snugly against a velvety smooth and creamy ice cream.  Yummilicious!

January 2, 2017

Hong Kong Local Food Recommendations 香港美食推薦

Hong Kong, Local Food, local eats, food exploration, Recommendations,  介紹, 海味街, 香港, 美食, 推薦, 好吃, sheung wan, dried seafood street,
By Published: 2017-01-02
Dear Hong Kong Cookery Readers - We've been asked every once in a while about specific recommends for Hong Kong food places and now one of our readers,  Michelle from Indiana, has written in to ask about where to find the best Hong Kong local eating places and food exploration places and I thought I should share our reply with all of you!  So here it is and Happy New Year to All!  (Special thanks to Michelle for the inspiration for this post!)
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