October 28, 2014

Winter Jujubes 冬棗

Winter Jujube, jujube, dates, chinese dates,  冬棗, chinese, fruit, seasonal

One great thing that happens when you start regularly going to the your neighborhood wet market or farmer's market is that you start to become more attuned to nature's seasons as they pass.  For example, fruits, in their original state, are a seasonal thing, coming into the markets as they ripen to their full sweetness.  

Nowadays however, corporate needs, science, etc. have combined to convolute nature's four seasons into one large air-conditioned endless supermarket that serves your fruity needs, whatever they are, seemingly all year round.  Meh, I'd rather have it fresh than air conditioned!  

October 24, 2014

Fish Ball Soup Rice Noodles 魚蛋湯米粉

Fish Balls,  Soup, Rice Noodles, rice sticks, 魚蛋, 湯, 米粉, recipe, chinese, soup noodles, fish slices

Sluuuuurp!  Nothing like a good ol' bowl of chinese soup noodles to warm you up on a cool windy day!  Not that it's that cold yet here in Hong Kong, but it's slowly and surely (I hope!) getting there.  Slightly cooler days now with rough and tumble winds sweeping in from the sea.  So on the other (slightly cooler) day we were feeling lazy for the cooking and all the washing up and stuff and we were like, hey, why don't we just make a couple of easy hot bowls of noodles for dinner?!  Sluuuuurp!
What we ended up with, this delectable bowl of Fish Ball Soup Rice Noodle, or 魚蛋湯米粉, is soooo easy to prepare and soooo yummilicious to your tummy and (yeah!) super easy to clean up after!  Plus I just love fish balls, they're so damn sexy!

October 20, 2014

Braised Cabbage w/ Dried Shrimp & Mushroom 白菜燜香菇蝦米

braised, cabbage, chinese, dried shrimp, mushroom, napa cabbage, recipe, 燜, 白菜, 蝦米, 香菇,

Ummm...yum, yum, ummmm!  This is one of the best, most satisfying Chinese vegetable dishes to cook and eat on chilly wind swept autumn's day.  Tasty, gorgeously saucy, simple yet richly layered with flavors, tenderly melting in your mouth and warming to the depths of your toes!  Best of all the star of the show, the humble looking Napa Cabbage, is very cheap.  

One finds mounds of this veg stacked up in tall piles at the wet market, although here in Hong Kong it is usually neglected for other more favored southern vegetables such as the Choi Sum 菜心 or Gai Lan 芥蘭.  But don't miss out, pick up a handsome head of cabbage and make this simple classic Northern Chinese comfort dish, Braised Cabbage with Dried Shrimp and Mushroom, or 白菜燉香菇蝦米, perfect for these cool autumn days!

October 11, 2014

Chinese Pear Herbal Tonic Soup 川貝雪梨湯

chinese, Herbal, Pear, pear soup, recipe, soothes cough, Soup, Tonic, 川貝, 糖水, 雪梨, 湯

One lovely autumn day long, long ago, my Grandma, the dearest stubbornest little old Chinese lady that ever was, decided enough was enough!  She had waited and watched over the large pear tree in our neighbor's yard, just drooping with ripe juicy fruit, for days upon days.  Our neighbors evinced no interest at all in their luscious pears and they were starting to fall to the ground and rot.  

Waste not, want not was ever my Grandma's motto, and so very early that morning she, a little old Chinese lady armed with a big long stick, marched over to our neighbor's garden fence and began to knock those juicy pears right out of the tree.  Whatever fell outside the fence was hers and she came proudly  home that day with huge bagfuls of pears.  

My 爸爸 was so exasperated!  "You could have been shot!" he huffed.  But Grandma didn't care one whiff and soon a delicious potful of Chinese Pear Herbal Tonic Soup  川貝燉雪梨 was simmering on the stove.  I still remember that first golden spoonful of deliciously sweet, light, soothing soup.  Just the thing to sooth and heal sniffles and a cough.  There's really nothing quite like Grandma's pear soup!

October 10, 2014

Best Banana Bread

Best, Banana, Bread,  easy, recipe, 香蕉, 麵包

If you're anything like us you'll know what I mean when I say that you've got to keep the cookie jar supplied.  I don't like to buy sweet treats from the stores, preferring to make them myself.  But the family eats the sweet treats as fast as I can make them!  And oftentimes when I'm busy doing this and that it always feels like I don't have enough time.  

That's why I love, love, love this banana bread recipe so much!  It's really easy, quick and, best of all, this Best Banana Bread 香蕉麵包 comes out tender and moist and super duper yummilicious every time!

October 5, 2014

Steamed Chicken with Cordyceps Flower and Lap Cheong 蟲草臘腸蒸雞

Steamed Chicken,  Cordyceps Flower, Lap Cheong, chinese, recipe, 蟲草, 臘腸, 蒸雞, Cordyceps

The cool seems to blow in around this time of year in every other place that I've lived except Hong Kong.  In Hong Kong we have turbid summer heat until somewhere near the end of October up to mid November.  I think, anyways.  The coming of real autumn weather seems to shift every year so I could be inaccurate on this point.  My point is that one really starts to long for the soothing winds of calm after a long hot summer.  

Especially this summer, a real hotbed of dissension for Hong Kong, chaos and madness everywhere in a usually restrained and orderly dense city life.  (I'm sure you must have heard about it in the news.)  School has been cancelled in our area for a whole week already!  (And my little girl's loving it!)   The rest of us oldies (with principles and responsibilities) are stuck in the strange ditch of understanding the monumental problem but also knowing of the eons old wily dragon that breathes behind it.  

So, for the meantime, we decided to simply celebrate the hope of the coming of the fresh, free breeze of autumn with an easy, delicious and healing recipe for Steamed Chicken with Cordyceps Flower and Lap Cheong, or  蟲草臘腸蒸雞.

October 1, 2014

Homemade Salt Preserved Vegetables

Dry Salted, homemade, oriental pickling melon, recipe, salt, vegetable,  幹腌, 白皮越瓜, 自製, 菜,

This tale of Homemade Salt Preserved Vegetables, or 自製干腌菜, started one sunny Hong Kong afternoon when we decided to take my little girl to a park (which shall remain nameless for reasons you will soon understand) which was not our usual neighborhood park.  A small trip for our small family.  A fun, though still hot and muggy, day spent in a magnificent old park.  A refreshing sojourn amongst the green trees for us weary city dwellers.  

As the twilight fell we were resting and eating ice cream on park benches when my 老公's sharp eye spotted something strange nearby.  We sauntered over in the quickly fading light and discovered to our surprise, where once had been flower beds was now a bed of vegetables!  How, you ask, did we know it was a vegetable bed?  

Well, dear readers, there were little melon/cucumber looking vegetables snuggled amongst the vines!  Why on earth these vegetables were growing in a prime spot of a Hong Kong park I know not, but I will admit (Sh! Don't tell anyone!) that two of these melon/cucumbers were tucked into our pockets as we left the park that day!