June 23, 2020

Chinese Sachima Soft Flour Pastry Cake 沙琪瑪

Sachima, cake, fried noodles, chinese, dessert, recipe, pastry, 沙琪瑪, 薩琪瑪, 馬仔

With the Dragon Boat Festival 端午節 around the corner, we're already dreaming of those aromatic, meltingly tender bites of savory pork filled zong zi and sweet red bean zong zi.  YUM!  I love festival foods!  This year, in addition to these traditional festival dumplings I decided to try making a personal childhood favorite of mine, the delectable Chinese Sachima Soft Flour Pastry Cake 沙琪瑪 (or 馬仔 as it is known locally in HK), a light, fluffy, tender pastry made of fried dough strips tossed with delicious caramelized syrup, dotted with raisins and roasted sesame seeds, then pressed and cut into delectable squares.  Kinda like a Chinese rice krispie cake in principle but uniquely different and even more delicious!  

I remember that my folks used to go all the way downtown to the Chinese bakery to bring back these treats, packed carefully in a beautiful pink box tied with a red string.  My sisters and I, the three of us, would fight fiercely over the biggest squares of sachima, which my sneaky older sister usually won.  Nowadays my little girl loves it as well and so we decided to make it together, it was so much fun!

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.
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