November 27, 2013

Steamed Hairy Crab 清蒸大閘蟹

chinese, crab, european, hairy crab, mitten crab, netherlands, recipe, shanghai crab, steamed crab, steamed hairy crab,  清蒸, 大閘蟹

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...

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

November 23, 2013

Tofu with Shrimp 蝦仁豆腐

chinese, recipe, shrimp, tofu, stir fry, 蝦仁, 豆腐

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

chinese, salted duck, recipe, preserved duck, rice, steamed, 蒸, 臘鴨腿

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

blueberry, candy, fruit, jelly, jelly candies, silicone molds, recipe, homemade

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, cookies, pumpkin, recipe, spice, halloween

My daughter and I made a 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, cookies, pumpkin, recipe, spice, halloween