March 21, 2021

Liangpi Cold Skin Starch Noodles 凉皮

wheat starch, Cold Skin, 自製, noodles, Liang Pi, recipe, starch, how make, 凉皮, liangpi

Our homemade wheat gluten 麵筋 post is a popular one, many of our readers enjoying the magic of making delicious wheat gluten, also known as seitan or kao fu, from just washing the starch out of a simple flour and water dough.  One recurring question that comes up, however, is what to do with all the starch that is washed out when making wheat gluten?  Well, here's the answer!  With all that goopy leftover starch and a good bit of effort you can make these Liangpi Cold Skin Noodles 凉皮: thin, white, smooth noodles that have a delightfully chewy texture and a neutral taste that is perfect for absorbing the flavors of the sauces it's mixed with.  Once the homemade Liangpi Noodles are made they are traditionally mixed with thinly sliced vegetables and various aromatics then tossed with a kick ass sauce of soy sauce, vinegar, sugar and chili oil.  If you like yummiliciously flavorful cold noodles then you're in for a treat!

March 10, 2021

Chinese Steamed Chicken Buns 雞包仔

Chinese, traditional, recipe, Steamed buns, Chicken, chicken buns, Buns, 雞包仔, 蒸包

Recently my 老公 decided that he doesn't want to eat 'red meat'.  Red meat like beef and pork.  Makes dinner kinda crazy sometimes cuz we have to cook his stuff and the regular stuff for us (he insists a growing girl, meaning my little girl not me LOL, needs her red meat.)  Teensie tiny eyeroll...I mean proteins are proteins, wherever they're from, amirite?  But I digress. 

Actually this limitation has challenged us in directions we probably wouldn't usually consider.  Like these Chinese Steamed Chicken Buns.  I myself grew up eating my grandma's Steamed Pork and Veggie Buns.  For quite a period of time it was my breakfast and after school meal.  This skinny little growing Chinese girl could gobble up 3 to 4 buns in one go!  

I wanted my family to enjoy the same kind of bun fun so I decided to make these chicken buns so that everyone in our little family could enjoy them.  In the process I discovered that these Chinese Steamed Chicken Buns 雞包仔, with its juicily delicious, tenderly aromatic infused chicken pieces wrapped inside a soft pillowy bread is actually super yummilicious as well as quite easy to make!

February 17, 2021

Osmanthus Chinese New Year Rice Cake 桂花年糕

Osmanthus, Chinese New Year, Rice Cake, chinese, recipe,  traditional, festival food, 桂花, 年糕

An important part of the Chinese New Year is the making and eating of the Chinese New Year Rice Cake 年糕.  These perfectly round cakes symbolize the yearly reaffirmation of the whole, the union, the endless unbroken circle of family and life.  So you see how important a role these cakes take on?  This year I decided to add a twist on the usual sweet rice cake by adding flower blossoms to the mix.  This Osmanthus Chinese New Year Rice Cake 桂花年糕 is made with osmanthus infused sugar syrup, resulting in a cake that has all the wonderful chewy rice-i-ness of the traditional rice cake but permeated with the lightly floral, sweet and mouthwatering fragrance of the osmanthus flower.  

As I have mentioned before, osmanthus is one of my 媽媽's favorite flowers, so this one's for you dearest 媽媽!

February 11, 2021

Osmanthus Flower Tea 桂花茶

Osmanthus, Flower, Tea, recipe, syrup,  桂花茶, 桂花醬

This post is for my dearest 媽媽.  She loves osmanthus flowers and has always planted an osmanthus tree wherever we lived.  When I was a little girl, our osmanthus tree was just outside my bedroom window and the flower's drifting scent would steal in on the night breezes to soothe me to gentle sleep.  There is something otherworldly about the delicate, enchanting fragrance from these tiny flowers.  

That is why it is my great pleasure to share this very simple to make Osmanthus Flower Tea 桂花茶, which uses the dried flowers of the osmanthus to make a truly wonderfully fragrant and uplifting tea which is 100 percent guaranteed to make your day that much brighter and better!

Osmanthus fragrans (photo by Laitr Keiows)

February 3, 2021

Chinese Winter Sun Dried Fish 臘鯪魚

sun dried, chinese, how to, 鯪魚乾, 臘鯪魚, fish ,recipe, winter, air dry, preserved

Dear readers...it's been a hard year, hasn't it?  Well there's a new year ahead of us and here's hoping (fingers very seriously crossed) that the coming year is better,  much better.  Aristotle Onassis said "It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light."  Well said, sir.

As with everyone else all around the world, we've been staying mostly inside our homes for a while now.  I've noticed that limitations, at first seemingly restrictive, can in the end actually push you to exercise your mind in interesting and less used pathways.  Thus we present our slash of light in the darkness, an experiment born out of a bit of boredom (umm...still at home...) and a bit of necessity (umm...still must stay at home...)  Out of this time of 'limitations' comes my 老公's very successful attempt at Chinese Winter Sun Dried Fish 臘鯪魚: fresh fish, lightly salted, marinated and then hung dried in the winter sun, resulting in a preserved fish that tastes fresh but intensified, slightly salty yet still sea sweet with a chewy texture similar to very soft jerky.  This whole procedure, done in our tiny kitchen and hung to dry in our common stairwell is a simple yet strong reaffirmation back to our roots as humans with just the sun to preserve our precious food.