September 30, 2011

Make Your Own Pizza - New York Crust

NY Crust Pizza recipe

Sometimes when I'm real hungry, something will happen: maybe the word 'pizza' will occur to me, or I'll get a sudden whiff of that yeasty, hot, impossible to resist baking pizza smell; and then from that moment on I can't think of eating anything besides pizza.

The pizza in Hong Kong is okay but it somehow always tastes 'Chinese' (which is okay just weird) plus it's definitely on the expensive side for the teensy tiny pizza sizes you end up with.  A large pizza here is similar in size to a small elsewhere.  And I can eat alot of pizza- my grand record being 12 large slices (real 'large' slices) in a old-styled pizza duel.  Pretty good for a skinny Chinese girl, eh?  Well, to tell the secret truth, I threw up the last couple of slices in the ladies room as fast as I could get there without being found out.

NY Crust Pizza

September 28, 2011

Thousand Year Old Eggs and the Easter Bunny

Thousand Year Eggs
Published: 2011-09-28
When I was a little girl a favorite treat for me was eating thousand year old eggs or 皮蛋.  At our family dinners I would wait impatiently as my grandmother ate her share first (at Chinese dinners the elders always had the first pick).  She loved the shining smooth black and green eggs with the unique creamy/jellyish texture as much as I did.

But always, when my dearest grandma caught me greedily eyeing the diminishing pile of thousand year eggs she would quickly choose a nice piece with her chopsticks and gently place it in my rice bowl.  Yum, yum!  Thank you 奶奶!

September 25, 2011

Dad's Guide to Choosing Watermelon

Watermelon Guide
Published: 2011-09-25
What is summer without watermelons, right?  It's the perfect fruit, both humble and sublime.  Some of you are probably wondering why I am writing about watermelons in late September, but you must realize that in Hong Kong summers last forever, or at least until end of Sept or sometime even until end of November!

My Dad, or 爸爸 taught me the way to choose a good watermelon long ago when we were living in Texas.  Like me, he loved watermelons with a passion and we would come home with huge whoppers of melons, the like of which I haven't seen since (everything really is bigger in Texas), and then it would be scoop after scoop of that red, juicy, to die for watermelon flesh filling you up with all the coolness and loving sweetness that you could desire. 

In Hong Kong we haven't eaten that much watermelon, mostly because the watermelons always suck once we get them home and open them. I thought it was me or us, that we just didn't get the, you know, the Tao of the Melon.

September 20, 2011

Almond Bean Curd Dessert 杏仁豆腐

chinese Almond Bean Curd Dessert recipe
A beautiful to look at and easy to make Chinese dessert, gently scented with the flavor of almonds.  It rather reminds me of elegant Chinese ladies from the 1920's, slim, pale and delicate in their silk cheongsams like flowers in a field.

September 18, 2011

Lotus Paste Double Yolk Mooncake 雙黃白蓮蓉月餅

chinese, dessert, double yolk, festival cake, how to make mooncake, lotus paste, mid autumn festival, moon cake, recipe, salted egg yolk, 雙黃白蓮蓉月餅
Every once in a while I veer off the path of sanity and attempt the uncharted, the dangerous, the unsurmountable.  All in the name of good food, of course.  This time it was mooncakes or 雙黃白蓮蓉月餅, Chinese mooncakes for the Mid Autumn Festival, 中秋節.  

I decided that this year I would attempt to make my own mooncakes despite never having made them by hand before and, actually now that I think about it, never having eaten homemade mooncake ever in my life.  But once the delectable thought entered my mind, who was I to resist?

September 15, 2011

Mid Autumn Festival Hong Kong Traditions

Mid Autumn Festival Chinese Lanterns
Published: 2011-09-15
Caught up in the Hong Kong's simmering excitement in the leadup to the Mid Autumn Festival, or 中秋節, we did alot of walking and more than our customary exploring.  Since the baby was old enough to tag along without too much trouble, we took her to experience for the first time the many and varied Mid Autumn Festival traditions that abound even in a modern city like Hong Kong.

Mooncake Toys - Mid Autumn Festival

Mooncake Toy
Published: 2011-09-15
A very cute mooncake indeed.  Just in time for Mid Autumn Festival, or 中秋節. Did you guess?  It's not really a mooncake at all, but a mooncake toy, purchased from one of the ubiquitous toy vending machines that are found everywhere in Hong Kong.  In recent years around the dates of the important festivals, these vending machines have featured special toys that go along with the festivals.  Usually food items (very Chinese!).

Anyways, we got lucky this year and spotted this beautiful, perfectly made miniature mooncake with its own metal mooncake box.  It's just like the real thing!  But cuter, of course.

September 10, 2011

Hong Kong Organic Milk 香港有機牛奶

Hong Kong Organic Milk
Published: 2011-09-10
Ever since the baby came to us, there was always a concern about what kinds of food to feed her.  When we got to the stage where baby was ready for milk, we were at first stumped because after some research it seemed that modern milk is quite a manipulated and slightly strange thing (at least for a baby.)  Not wanting to give the baby milk that was over processed and stuffed with hormones and additives, we proceeded to search for imported organic milk in Hong Kong.

It never occurred to us that there might be a local source for organic milk.  But lo and behold, and quite by accident, we discovered Hong Ning Dairy, or 康寧牛奶, a Hong Kong source for fresh local organic milk.

Century Egg and Tofu 皮蛋豆腐

chinese, century egg, cold dish, egg, tofu, hundred year egg, recipe, shanghai, 皮蛋豆腐, thousand year egg, soy sauce

Century Egg and Tofu 皮蛋豆腐 is a classic Shanghainese dish that requires no cooking at all and is simple to make.  For us it is a kind of comfort food.  It relies on the made-in-heaven combination of two very Chinese ingredients: tofu 豆腐 and century egg 皮蛋.

There is the delicate silken texture as well as the rather bland taste of the tofu which lends well to absorbing introduced flavours.   To counter that there is the pleasing slipperyness and luscious gooeyness of the century egg with its strong distinctive flavors.  Rather like some kinds of good western cheese, there is at first a unique smell and texture and then the scrumptious flavor comes to you.  Once you are acquainted with its flavor and texture, century eggs become a special sensory taste treat.

September 3, 2011

Organic Rosemary Chicken Wings

chicken wings, recipe, organic, rosemary, rosemary chicken wings, baked

This recipe is a tribute to the wonderful wild organic rosemary that grows in my mother's garden in southern California.  A couple of years ago a landscaping contractor suggested to plant rosemary as a border plant along the bottom of the hilly slopes that enclose the garden.  I don't think my mother really knew then exactly what rosemary was as most Chinese from her generation don't bother too much with Western food as they are quite satisfied with the beauties of Chinese food.  

Anyways, she said yes and now organic rosemary grows in beautifully wild profuse abandon along most of her garden slopes.