January 29, 2022

Chinese Iron Eggs 鐵蛋

Iron Eggs,egg, chinese,taiwan,鐵蛋,recipe,quail eggs,soy sauce

These unusual looking treats, called Iron Eggs 鐵蛋, are an interesting snack that originates from Taiwan.  One can sometimes find them in convenience stores in HK; that's where we first discovered them, these tiny dark brown almost black eggs vacuum packed into see through packages.  Liking to try weird foods (almost black eggs!) we bought a pack and in the first delectable tiny bite became instant iron fans.

The legendary Iron Egg started at a Taiwan food stall that sold normal soy sauce eggs.  One day due to bad weather there was a serious lack of customers.  So the soy cooked eggs were thrown back into the pot and recooked again, still no customers, recooked again, still no customers, and so on.  Eventually the eggs shrank and became dark and dense.  However they tasted really, really good!  So good that customers began to request them and thus began the legend of the iron egg.  (Don’t you just love that name!  And the iron only refers to the color and not the texture BTW.)

This is an exceptionally tasty treat that goes great as a party snack or drinking snack or just a whatever snack.  The making is simple but it takes quite a bit of time.  The final result, these Chinese Iron Eggs 鐵蛋, are tiny eggs with a chewy outer shell and a lush yolk, all throughly infused with the aromatics that it has been cooked in repeatedly.  A burst of intense spiced eggy goodness in a perfect little package, Iron Eggs are just the most delicious little snack!

January 19, 2022

Homemade Lotus Seed Paste 白蓮蓉

Homemade, Lotus Seed, Paste, chinese, recipe, pastry, stuffing, 白蓮蓉

This lovely round of goldenness is my homemade Lotus Seed Paste,  白蓮蓉 , a soft, luscious, slightly nutty sweet paste made from lotus seeds that is used in many Chinese pastries and cake, including the famous Lotus Paste Double Yolk Mooncake 雙黃白蓮蓉月餅.  During our making of Lotus Seed Egg Tea  蓮子蛋茶 recently we discovered the secret of cooking lotus seeds that allows them to become meltingly soft.  

I realized then that this technique might make a huge impact on the lotus seed paste (that we previously wrote about when making Double Lotus Mooncake) that we make at home for our various mooncakes and Chinese pastries.  I tried it and I was right!  It totally made a huge difference, the softer lotus seeds pureed and cooked down into a lusciously soft creamy and melty paste, just like the ones in the shops!

January 2, 2022

Lotus Seed Egg Tea 蓮子蛋茶

Lotus Seed, Egg, lotus seed tea, lotus seed soup, chinese, dessert, sweet soup, recipe,  蓮子蛋茶, 蓮子茶

To bring in the new year we present our next delectable Chinese dessert soup.  This subtly delicious and comforting sweet soup will warm your heart and tummy in the depths of any wintery chill. Requiring only a few ingredients, this Lotus Seed Egg Tea (not sure why it’s called a ‘tea’ and not a soup?) 蓮子蛋茶 is deceptively simple to make.  

The result is a beautifully golden hued soup with a clear sweet delicate taste, bejeweled with melt in your mouth lotus seeds and sweet soft red jujubes.  Oh,  and there is the added delight of a hard boiled egg!  The egg is my favorite part, the slippery egg white and the melty egg yolk just tastes so good slurped in with the soup!  It's the perfect afternoon snack for a wintery day, both fortifying and comforting.

Add-on Note: I just found out that this tea is served to newlyweds to symbolize the hopes that they will soon conceive children.  The rather obvious symbols being the 'seed' and the 'egg'--he he!