September 25, 2023

Fruit Mooncake 水果月餅

If you've been following our little food adventures, you may recall how delighted I was with our efforts with homemade humble but versatile white bean paste and the revelation that all kinds of flavors could be very successfully infused with it.  Check out our post on Chocolate Filled Raspberry Tang Yuan for one such very successful chocolately infusion.

For Mid Autumn Festival this year we decided to experiment again, this time infusing the flavors and gorgeous colors of fruit into the white bean paste fillings for our homemade mooncakes.  Here are, if I may say so myself, the absolutely beautiful results of our efforts.  Our Homemade Fruit Mooncakes 水果月餅  are out of this world: tender golden crusts beautifully imprinted with traditional mooncake patterns wrapped snuggly about brilliantly hued fruit infused fillings.  

September 18, 2023

Chrysanthemum White Bean Paste Nerikiri Cake

Nerikiri,Flower,japanese,wagashi,Chrysanthemum,cake,White Bean Paste

This lovely chrysanthemum flower is actually an edible treat!  It’s a Japanese sweet treat known as nerikiri and is simply made with white bean paste.  We’ve previously made a super cute Easter Bunny nerikiri with white bean paste and it was super fun as well as delicious.  

We’ve made a Chrysanthemum White Bean Paste Nerikiri Cake this time in the same way, just in time for the Mid Autumn Festival 中秋節.  Chrysanthemums bloom in the fall and are traditionally used as a background to gleaming mooncakes and flowered filled osmanthus jellies that celebrate the festival.   Today the chrysanthemum leads the way as a delicate, gorgeous to look at and yummilicious to eat treat. What a revelation!

September 10, 2023

Chinese Steamed Egg with Mushroom 香菇蒸蛋

香菇蒸蛋,chinese,steamed egg,steam egg,recipe,dried mushroom,tatung,mushroom,

There's absolutely nothing better than a silky smooth Chinese egg custard as we've shown our dear readers how to achieve successfully in our post on Chinese steamed eggs 蒸蛋 (click the link!).  Today we'te going to talk about a twist on the classic steamed egg that had my hubby and little girl asking for seconds and thirds and finally demanding why I hadn't made more!

The twist?  We infuse the intense and fragrant flavors of dried shitake mushroom into our silky smooth egg custard.  Wow oh whoppity wow, why haven't I made this before?  Chinese Steamed Egg with Mushroom 香菇蒸蛋 is so yummilicious:  delicate slippery bites of tender egg custard with delectably flavorful chewy bites of mushroomy mushroom.  YUM!  And we'll show you how to make it to perfection!

August 28, 2023

Crystal Skin Dim Sum Wrapper 水晶皮製作

點心,Crystal Skin,  Dim Sum, Wrapper, chinese, cantonese, Recipe,水晶皮,製作, crystal skin wrapper, crystal skin dough

Have you ever had Dim Sum 點心?  You know, that Cantonese teahouse tradition where tea is paired with tiny delectable dishes or steamers of sweet or savory treats.  Sooo goood!  And in the midst of these delectable treats have you ever had those dumplings where the skin was transparent enough to see through to the inside filling?  So amazing amirite?!  

Well these thin transparent wrappers are known as Crystal Skin Wrappers, 水晶皮.  So delicate these wrappers: thin enough to see through yet strong enough to pleat and hold the shape of the dumplings with ease.  Check out the beautiful Har Gow 蝦餃 shrimp dumplings (photo above) that we made with this crystal skin!

Tricky wrappers to make but we managed through much trial and error to get it just right.  Check out how to make the most excellent Crystal Skin Dim Sum Wrappers 水晶皮, both thin enough to see through and yet pliable and easy enough to work with to make and hold the pleats necessary for these fancy dim sum dumpling shapes.

Har Gow Shrimp Dumpling 蝦餃點心

crystal skin,Shrimp Dumpling,Har Gow,點心,har gao,蝦餃,dim sum,chinese, recipe, cantonese

Our latest Dim Sum adventure!  Naturally it must be the world famous Shrimp Dumpling, also known as Har Gow.  Anyone can tell you that Har Gow 蝦餃 (and that other superstar Siu Mai 燒賣) is a must at any dim sum lunch!  (Psst..check out our fab Siu Mai 燒賣 recipe!)

Psst...For those who don't know what Dim Sum 點心 is, it's a food tradition started in Chinese teahouses where little steamers or plates of delicately made foods both savory and sweet were served to go with fragrant cups of tea.  Today this food tradition is still going strong in Dim Sum restaurants everywhere!

Okay, first, confession time: we've been having lots of har gow dumplings lately.  Cuz we wanted to make the perfect Har Gow and our 1st, 2nd, and 3rd attempts were just not quite right.  The dumplings that we managed to make were tasty but the wrapper, oh, the wrapper was quite the bitch to get right.  Too sticky, too thick, too lumpy, etc...

Attempt number four, finally, we got it!  Oh the Har Gow 蝦餃 we made!   Perfect and delicate little dumplings of deliciously sea sweet shrimp fillings encased in thin translucent skins, all wrapped with the quintessential 13 nos of pleats that form the distinctive half moon Har Gow shape.

August 12, 2023

Homemade Limoncello - Italian Lemon Liqueur

Homemade, recipe, Limoncello, Italian, Lemon Liqueur, vodka

Do you find yourself ever going on food tangents?  You know, an idea pops into you head, a food idea mind you, and you’re off down the rabbit hole, chasing a new food adventure.  So much fun, amirite?!

Well, this time I got tangled up in an old food obsession of mine, lemons.  I LOVE lemons, they are so amazing!  The flavors and fragrance from the peel to the juice that they gift to us is just endless and wonderful.  I mean, have you ever had lemon curd?  To die for amirite?!  

Anyhoo, I discovered a traditional Italian liqueur called limoncello that can be simply made at home  with lemon peels, vodka and sugar syrup.  Of course I had to try it right away.  Straight down the rabbit hole I went.

At the end of this food adventure I have to honestly say I cannot believe how well it turned out.  It was gosh darn mind blowing.  Our homemade Limoncello liqueur was astounding: so fragrant, so lemony, so delicious, so beautiful!  Surely a gift of nectar from the gods of lemon ;)

July 31, 2023

Osmanthus Egg Imitation Shark Fin 桂花翅

Osmanthus Egg Shark Fin, stir fry, recipe, chinese, empress dowager cixi, imperial,  桂花翅

This dainty and marvellously delicious stir fry, the Osmanthus Egg Shark Fin  桂花翅, is a dish fit for an emperor!  Or, rather fit for an Empress as this dish was originally created as a tribute to the redoubtable Empress Dowager Cixi 慈禧太后, she who ruled China from behind an embroidered screen for five decades from 1861 until her death in 1908.  

July 22, 2023

Hong Kong Crispy Noodles 港式煎麵

Hong Kong Crispy Noodles,Crispy Chow Mein,Hong Kong Style Fried Noodles,港式煎麵,兩面黃,

This ridiculously delicious dish is something probably anyone who has ever eaten at a Chinese restaurant has had before.  These Hong Kong Crispy Noodles 港式煎麵 or 兩面黃, also known as Crispy Chow Mein or Hong Kong Style Fried Noodles is a dish of lush contrasts.  It features a bottom layer of pan fried crispy crunchy golden browned noodles topped with a savoury stir fry of vegetable and meat/seafood with an extra heaping of soy flavored sauce.  That extra heaping of sauce trickles through the crispy crunchy noodles, softening and flavoring some while leaving others still delightfully crunchy.  

Savory tender bites of veggies and meat mixed with crunchy bits of noodles...eating these HK Crispy Noodles is so much fun!

July 11, 2023

Sichuan Fish with Pickled Mustard Greens | Suan Cai Yu 酸菜魚

Sichuan Fish Soup,sichuan fish,pickled mustard greens,sour pickled mustard greens,Suan Cai Yu,chinese,Sichuan,recipe,酸菜魚,preserved mustard greens

This post gives me so much pleasure.  It is always a delight to share the joy that food brings to us but especially so in this case.  Because this dish is soooo good, like food for the soul good.  Comforting, seductive, addictive, pleasing in all ways is the Sichuan Fish with Pickled Mustard Greens.  One heck of a sexy dish if you ask me.

This showstopper seafood dish can almost be a meal in itself, to be shared in a Chinese style family diner.  You could add another dish or two, we added a vegetable dish along with white rice and it was just right for the three of us.  Sichuan Fish with Pickled Mustard Greens, also known as Suan Cai Yu 酸菜魚 is a resplendent dish full of velvety tender fish slices, delicately soured pickled mustard greens, crunchy sprouts and slippery vermicelli all immersed in a most deliciously addictive tangy savory soup.

June 30, 2023

Chinese Pickled Sour Mustard Greens 酸菜

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Recently we've been obsessed with what the Chinese call '酸菜', directly translated as 'sour vegetable.'  What is meant by 酸菜 is actually mustard greens which have been pickled or brined. It's simple to make with a basic salt brine but wow is the resultant flavor big!

The result of the pickling/brining is a delicately soured pickled vegetable with a soft yet crunchy texture.  It's addictive I tell you, just addictive!  These Homemade Chinese Pickled Sour Mustard Greens 自製酸菜 can be used to stir fry with pork or chicken, eat plain as a relish, or toss in with fish to make the famous (and my favorite) Sichuan Fish Soup with Pickled Mustard Greens 酸菜魚 (recipe coming up next!)