December 18, 2018

Christmas Wreath Cookies

christmas cookie, cornflake wreath, cookie, christmas wreath cookie, easy, no bake, recipe,
By Published: 2018-12-18
There's nothing like the Christmas season and the fun of all the festivities that go with it.  In addition to secretly amassing great piles of gifts and stocking stuffers we always find the time to bake and share our Christmas cookies.  

This year, in addition to our usual decorated Christmas Sugar Cookies, we also made Christmas Wreath Cookies, which are not only really easy to make and delicious to eat but also a real treat for the eyes, looking just like miniature versions of the real Christmas wreaths!  Plus the kids just love these chewy gooey yet surprisingly crunchy sweet treats!

November 22, 2018

Rabbit Fish Congee 泥鯭粥

chinese, classic, congee, fish, jook, Mottled spinefoot, Rabbit Fish, recipe, rice porridge, traditional, 果皮, 泥鯭粥, 褐藍子魚, fish congee,
By Published: 2018-11-22
Here's a little something for comfort, guaranteed to hit the right spot, as the autumn weather turns chill, cool northern winds blowing tree leaves adrift.  This is a classic Cantonese type of congee, or rice porridge if you like, that infuses the wonderfully creamy soothing heat of rice porridge with the sweet tender meat of the rabbit fish.  

You can, of course, use other fish but this particular combination is a classic dish that you can, if you're lucky, still find in some of the grand ol' Cantonese restaurants that carry on in traditional fashion.  Or, shucks, if you can't find it, try making it at home, trust me it's worth the effort!  

Rabbit Fish Congee 泥鯭粥 is an easy enough dish to make at home, it just needs a bit of time to cook down the rice and soon you'll be slurping on a perfect dish of creamy fish congee, warming yourself from the tip top of your head right down to the bottom of your toes!

November 12, 2018

Lemony Lemon Pound Cake

lemon drizzle, lemon, cake, pound cake, recipe, moist, lemon zest, sugar syrup, best pound cake
By Published: 2018-11-12
I've been lemon crazy recently.  Lemons in everything to the point where my little girl has started rolling her eyes at me when I present my latest pièce de résistance.  But I can't help it, lemon is so good with everything from roasts to jams to sauces and cookies and cakes!  Even the every popular Candied Lemon Peel.  

Which leads me to this most amazing Lemony Lemon Pound Cake recipe that I just had to share cuz one can never eat too much cake, amirite?  But seriously, this Lemony Lemon Pound Cake is a real keeper, the best lemon pound cake I've made, heck the best pound cake,  refreshingly tart and fragrantly lemony all the way through from the moist rich crumb to the hard lemony drizzle on top.

November 2, 2018

Homemade Dried Salted Cured Fish Roe 自製魚子幹

bottarga, chinese, Cured, dried, fish roe, homemade, karasumi, recipe, salt preserved, salted, fish roe, 自製, 魚子幹, how to
By Published: 2018-11-02
I must confess a love for all foods preserved.  It must be the special uniquely umami taste that preserved foods have, the original taste intensified and transformed through the process of preservation and fermentation.  

I have been anxious to try this particular preservation for a while, having seen the lovely preserved golden hued mullet fish roes 烏魚子 (so expensive!) available at the airport duty free shops when we have airplane layovers in Taiwan or Korea.  Thus when we discovered fresh fish roe (squeak!) at our local wet market there was nothing left to do but try making our own Homemade Dried Salted Cured Fish Roe, or  自製魚子幹.  

October 19, 2018

Oven Dried Longan Fruit 自製龍眼乾

chinese, dragon eye, homemade, Oven, Dried, dehydrated, Longan, Fruit,  自製, 龍眼乾, 烤乾, 龍眼
By Published: 2018-10-19
The funny thing is that I like the luscious lychee fruit more than its sedate cousin the longan dragon eye fruit.  But, turn that around when it comes to these fruits in dried form, cuz I love, love, love dried longan fruit more than anything!  

The fresh longan fruit, a small berry like fruit with a hard shell encasing a translucent sweet white flesh, is delicious and all that but, man oh man, when it is dried it becomes so sinfully sweet, in a natural way, deliciously chewy and just so absolutely yummilicious that it is better than candy!  

Yes, that's right, Oven Dried Longan 龍眼乾 is even better than candy (except chocolate of course) and that's how we eat them in our house, as a naturally deliciously sweet and healthy fruit candy.

September 24, 2018

Chinese Rice Flour Cookies with Date Filling 紅棗泥炒米餅

Chinese, recipe, Rice Flour, Cookies,, crispy cookies, Date Filling,  紅棗泥, 炒米餅, traditional, wooden mold
By Published: 2018-09-24
The best thing about the celebration of traditional Chinese festivals are the traditional style eats, amirite?  And as it's Mid Autumn Festival time (oh the moon tonite!) we thought we'd make some traditional style cookies for those who are not so much into eating mooncakes.  

These Chinese Rice Flour Cookies with Date Filling 紅棗泥炒米餅 are wonderfully light and satisfying traditional cookies, slightly crispy yet crumbly with a lusciously sweet date filling besides packing a visual wallop with their graceful molded shapes.  Plus they are easy to make!

September 20, 2018

Walnut Sesame Tang Yuan 核桃芝麻湯圓

chinese,tong yuan,Walnut,核桃,recipe,湯圓,sesame,nut,芝麻,rice Dumplings,tong yuen,tang yuan
By Published: 2018-09-20
Mid Autumn Festival is just around the corner and we've been dithering about which mooncake to make.  Will it be our Double Yolk Lotus Mooncakes, our Five Nut Mooncakes?  Or perhaps our Snow Skin Mooncakes will do the trick.  

Not only that but, as my little girl is reminding me, we must buy all the glowing paraphernalia that is needed for Mid Autumn Festival celebration, a night of moongazing and mooncake eating.  Let's see...we have got glowstick glasses, glowstick necklaces and rings, glowstick bunny ears and there's still our annual trip to pick up lovely Chinese lanterns to carry while moongazing.  

And not only all that but we are also making other festive treats such as homemade tang yuan rice dumplings, those luscious little sweet treats whose rounded shapes make it the perfect moon tribute.  This year we made Walnut Sesame Tang Yuan 核桃芝麻湯圓, with a buttery nutty decadent sweet walnut sesame filling that is the perfect foil to the smooth and chewy rice flour wrap.

September 11, 2018

Preserved Lime Black Bean Steamed Fish 咸檸豉汁蒸魚

Black Bean, chinese, Preserved Lime, recipe, steamed fish, salted lime, salted lemon, 咸檸, 蒸魚, 豉汁
By Published: 2018-09-11
As promised, a yummilicious way to use your homemade Chinese preserved limes 咸檸檬 in a savory dish!  We usually use our Chinese salt preserved limes to mix up the refreshing Chinese Preserved Lime Tonic Drink 咸檸 7 (see our recipe at bottom of page here), which magically soothes sore throats like nobody's business. But these luscious salty tangy limes can also be used in savory dishes as a tart yet salty counterpoint.  

We added the salty preserved limes here to a traditional black bean steamed fish and it transforms an old comfort dish into something new and ultra yummy.  Try our Preserved Lime Black Bean Steamed Fish 咸檸豉汁蒸魚 and taste the difference!

August 20, 2018

Chinese Custard Buns 奶黃包

Bread, chinese, custard, Custard Buns, dim sum, egg, milk, nai wong bao, recipe, 奶黃包,
By Published: 2018-08-20
A Chinese Custard Bun 奶黃包, white fluffy bread wrapped tenderly about a gorgeous center of creamy milk and egg custard...yummmilicious...!!  Sunshine in a bun, that's what it is.  You can't bite into one of these buns and not get a smile on your face.  

This delectable treat is usually only to be enjoyed when one can spare a leisurely afternoon to enjoy Cantonese Dim Sum but no longer!  Now you won't have to wait for the dim sum cart to roll around, you can enjoy it anytime you want at home with our easy to make Chinese Custard Bun recipe!

August 12, 2018

Longan Dragon Eye Fruit 龍眼

Longan, Dragon Eye, Fruit, chinese,   龍眼, summer fruit,
By Published: 2018-08-12
It's that time of the year for that exotic summer fruit, the lusciously sweet Longan Dragon Eye Fruit 龍眼, another fruit that originates from southern China.  This small rather humble looking fruit hides an inside of translucent soft white flesh that is unbelievably sweet.  

I do believe it could be the sweetest fruit that I have ever tasted, even giving the summer favorite and Queen of Fruits, the Lychee 荔枝 , a serious run for the money.

August 2, 2018

Chinese Preserved Limes 咸檸檬

Chinese, Preserved Limes, preserved lemons, chui chow, salted lime lemon, fermented lime lemon, recipe, method, how to, tonic drink, 7up,   咸青檸 , 咸檸 7, 醃鹹檸檬, 咸檸檬

A sore throat is no fun.  My little girl recently had a sore throat.  Just a sore throat, no runny nose or coughing.  But, thing is, it wouldn't go away.  My little girl doesn't get sick that often, thank goodness, but when she does she's as grumpy as a wee bear bumped out of hibernation.  

I tried some homeopathic meds on her, the kind that works wonders for our usual colds, but it didn't help that much.  Finally, in desperation, we decided to try a Chinese traditional folk remedy for sore throats, a brine preserved lime crushed in some water or, as it is often served in Hong Kong, in a tall cool glass of 7up soda.  

We bought a bottle of preserved limes at our local supermarket and tried it at home.  When I say this I'm not exaggerating but, seriously, my girl's sore throat was pretty much not only soothed right away but somehow chased right out of the house.  Wowzers!  I was converted on the spot!  

July 15, 2018

Grandma's Shanghai Smoked Fish 上海熏魚

chinese, recipe, shanghai, smoked fish, Xun Yu, 上海, 熏魚, 草魚, 鯇魚
By Published: 2018-07-15
This wonderful dish was one of my 奶奶 grandma's homemade specialities, the Shanghai Smoked Fish 上海熏魚, a very famous Chinese traditional dish that is actually not smoked but prepared in such a way that the tender meat inside has a spiced and slightly smoky flavor while the outside is a delicious flavor infused crust.

My grandma used to prepare this dish whenever we got a chance to get the right kind of really big fresh fish.  I remember watching with big, big eyes as she expertly man handled an enormous fish, deftly cutting here and there with a big sharp cleaver.  Grandma fighting a fish!  And the results of her victory over the oh my, just yummilicious!  Her smoked fish was quite famous in our family.

Of course I didn't realize just quite how yummilicious gram's smoked fish was until I grew up and discovered to my dismay that the Shanghai Smoked Fish served in Hong Kong restaurants were not even close to the deliciousness of Grandma's.  Not even an itty bitty close as a matter of fact.  

Out of this frustration we decided to try to make it ourselves and have recreated our own version of Grandma's Shanghai Smoked Fish, or 上海熏魚, a version that I am proud to say is pretty darn close to Grandma's!

July 2, 2018

Lychee Jam

Lychee Jam, fruit, chinese, lychee, recipe, summer, jam, homemade, 荔枝, 果醬
By Published: 2018-07-02
Oh jam it!  Presenting our delicately sweet and tenderly lush pink jam made from the Queen of Fruits the luscious Lychee 荔枝!

That's right my friends it's time to run to your nearest Chinese market and stock up on these seasonal beauties while they last.  We love lychees way too much in this house and always end up indulging a bit too much on them.  But heck why not they only come around once a year!  This year though we got a gift of a whole box full of lychees, a whole boxful!  What to do with a whole boxful of lychee?  

After eating as much as we could I decided to turn some of it into a batch of our Luscious Lychee Ice Cream (our most favorite homemade fruit ice cream!) and the rest I decided to try to make a Lychee fruit jam, which I have never attempted before.  

After a nervous planning and setting out, gosh darn it, the results are totally worth the effort, our homemade Lychee Jam came out tinted a gorgeous rosy pink and tasted ever so intensely of sweet, fresh lychee flavor with a delicate fragrance of summer florals!  Absolutely yummillicious!

June 23, 2018

Milky White Fish and Tofu Soup 拆魚豆腐羹

chinese, Fish and Tofu Soup, fish soup, recipe, shun tak, shunde, 拆魚豆腐羹, milky white, creamy, 奶白魚湯

Check this soup out!  This milky white, delicate and nourishing soup is made from nothing but fish and its bones!  A famous kind of soup which people murmur about in hushed tones, in awe of the whiteness of the soup and the culinary feats that are required to achieve that pure and awesome whiteness.  

Well, sorry to those folks and yet hurrah for them as well, cuz I'm here to say that this milky white soup ain't so hard to achieve after all, if you know how to go about it!  

No added milk, no added soup stock, just need some fresh fish and fish bones and you're well on your way to making a totally fabulous, milky white, Fish and Tofu Soup 拆魚豆腐羹, that not only is a beautiful creamy white but also tastes out of this work yummilicious!  (And it's the best thing ever for when you're feeling under the weather!)

June 16, 2018

Silver Thread Buns 銀絲卷

Bread, buns, chinese, recipe, rolls, silver thread, 銀絲卷, gold thread buns, 金絲卷, sweet bread

This playful and tasty bread is a great childhood favorite of mine.  When I was little we used to get to eat it only when we happened to go to Shanghai or Northern Chinese cuisine restaurants, a special treat.  

These Silver Thread Buns 銀絲卷 (or Gold Thread Buns 金絲卷 if deep fried to a golden crispy brown) were a real treat for us kids, delicate fluffy strands of sweet white bread all wrapped inside a bun, a surprise every time!  It was so much fun to slowly tear into the bread and pick out the delicate threads of bread, eating them slowly, one amazing stick at a time.  There's nothing like food you can play with, amirite? 

But, shucks, I gotta admit that I still secretly love to pick these buns apart now that I'm grown up.  (Shhh...don't tell!)  The only difference nowadays is that I can make these Silver Thread Buns myself and enjoy their sweet, delicate white fluffiness (and play with my food!) in the comfort of home!

June 9, 2018

Salt Marinated Steamed Fish 生死戀蒸魚

chinese, fisherman style, recipe, Salt Marinated, steamed fish, 蒸魚, 生死戀, 鹹魚, salted fish

Wow, oh, wow, this humble dish is a super duper knock out!  We first tried it at a local restaurant, having been assured by the talkative waiter that this simple salted then steamed fish dish was something special and a great favorite with his regulars.  Well...I've heard that one before and then we were skeptical but willing to try it out.

When the fish arrived at the table it looked simple...minimal even, just the fish, a piece of salted fish on top and a wee bit of shredded ginger on the plate, no sauce or slender curls of spring onion.  Could steamed fish finished off so simply without a sauce really work?  Well, it turns out that the answer is a big 'ol YES!

This Salt Marinated Steamed Fish 生死戀蒸魚 is super packed with tasty multilayered flavor, its meat oh so tender and luscious, you won' believe how super simple it is to make!

May 24, 2018

Chinese Steamed Buns Mantou | Chinese Basic Dough 饅頭

Chinese bread, chinese, Steamed Buns, 麵包, Mantou, recipe, chinese yeast bread, sweet bread, 饅頭

My dearest grandma 奶奶 used to make basketfuls of these basic chinese steamed buns, known as Mantou 饅頭, and feed them to us hungry children day in and day out, filling our hungry growing tummies with this sweet fluffy bread.  

These buns are eaten all over China as breakfast, for a quick snack or just whenever one needs a filler.  When I was in my teens I could eat probably the whole plateful of the bread you can seen in the photo above in one go...yup, kinda gross but true, I could eat a lot of food back then.  

These classic Chinese buns are quite simple to make and delicious to eat, just sweet, white puffs of cloud like yummiliciousness.   The same dough is also a Chinese Basic Dough that can also be used to make all kinds of other stuffed and filled chinese buns and breads and the like!

May 13, 2018

Swiss Chicken Wings 瑞士雞翼

chicken wings, tai ping koon, chinese, hong kong, recipe, sweet, Swiss Chicken Wings, soy sauce, red, 瑞士雞翅, 瑞士雞翼

Swiss Chicken Wings?  What a minute...what the bloggity jazz is Swiss food doing in a post about  Chinese food?!  Well actually this yummilicious dish is not from Switzerland nor is it related to any kind of Swiss food.  These darkly glazed, succulently sweet and savory Swiss Chicken Wings 瑞士雞翅 are pure one hundred percent Chinese!  

The name of the dish comes about from a classic case of translation gone wrong: many years ago a tourist found his way to a western style Hong Kong diner called Tai Ping Koon 太平館, famous for its fabulous east west fusion dishes, and ended up ordering their house special, sweet chicken wings.  

Finding the chicken wings most delicious the tourist attempted to discover the name.  In classic translation comedy style, the waiter's Chinese accented "Sweet Chicken" sounded like "Swiss Chicken" to the tourist.  And thus the name and fame of the Swiss Chicken Wings was born.