December 26, 2022

Gingerbread Birdhouse

Christmas cookies, gingerbread house, gingerbread birdhouse, recipe, xmas cookies, holiday cookies

Merry Christmas, dear readers!  We present to you our own gingerbread birdhouse, completed just in time for Christmas day.  The design was inspired by a wee birdie, a lovely little lovebird, who recently adopted us.  In a very short time he has totally charmed all of us with his lively personality and cheeky attitude.   Yeah, he's the boss, pretty much.

The other point of our inspiration was, quite naturally, the cuckoo clock!

December 22, 2022

Five Spice Spritz Cookies

Christmas cookies, Spritz cookies, recipe, Five Spice Cookies, press cookies, xmas cookies

Christmas is just around the corner, so fast, amirite?!  And we're buzzing around, making secret gift plans, decorating the house and, of course, making our Christmas cookies.  

This year we made cookie press cookies, also known as spritz cookies.  A couple years ago I tried making these cookie press cookies for the 1st time and it was a big ol mess: cookie dough not sticking, not pressing out right, just about everything going wrong... 🥹  So I gave up.

I thought to try it again.  But this time we added our own twist to these Christmas Spritz Cookies, a touch of five spice powder to add an exotic flavor to these yummilicious crisp buttery cookies.  We also worked out how to successfully get those darn cookies out and onto the cookie sheet!

December 14, 2022

Homemade Sui Mai Wrapper 自製燒賣皮

燒賣皮,自製,homemade,點心,sui mai,recipe,skin,wrapper,sui mai wrapper,how to make,燒賣, chinese, recipe, siomai

As a fitting start to our Dim Sum exploration I thought to start with the quintessential Siu Mai dim sum 燒賣點心, one of the most favorite and famous of all the dim sums.  However I quickly ran into a problem- it was hard to find and purchase the distinctive yellow sui mai wrapper that form such an integral part of the iconic look of the Siu Mai dim sum dumpling.

So I decided to make my own.  It’s pretty straight forward to make but does require some time, mostly for the cutting up of the individual wrappers.  But man, oh man, was I able to make really nicely thin wrappers which is a must for the really good little dim sum dumpling - no one wants a mouthful of wrapper rather than a mouthful of yummilicious savory filling!

November 30, 2022

How to Wrap Sui Mai 燒賣包法

How to Wrap Sui Mai 燒賣包法
how to wrap,sui mai,燒賣,包法,recipe,homemade,wrapping guide

Time to wrap some sui mai 燒賣!  We have just posted our recipe on homemade sui mai, those iconic Chinese dim sum dumpling treats.  Now we have some tips and tricks for how to wrap sui mai 燒賣包法.

We had a few hiccups with the sui mai wrapping and wanted to share both the hiccups and how we fixed them.  

November 29, 2022

Sui Mai - Chinese Steamed Dumpling 燒賣

chinese,dumpling,homemade,點心,sui mai,recipe,燒賣,dim sum,pork dumpling,how to make

We're getting serious about dim sum 點心!  What is dim sum?  It's the Cantonese version of tapas, small servings of savoury or sweet bite-sized delicacies, enjoyed with cups of fragrant tea during the ritual of morning tea, known as 'yum cha 飲茶'.

The sui mai 燒賣 is one of the most iconic of these Chinese dim sum treats.  It's certainly one of the most visually distinctive with its yellow skin and orange sprinkles on top.  Also a crowd favorite, so popular in fact that it has popped out of the dim sum restaurants and into a new life as a street food.  It's widely available at corner stores and convenience stores.  Sui mai has become the snack du jour!

These street level sui mai are quite delicious of course but they are very simplified forms of the original sui mai dim sum.  Today we’re going to make the traditional sui mai 燒賣 as served in the dim sum teahouses:  savory juicy morsels of pork and shrimp wrapped in a delicate skin and topped with that classic bit of orange roe.

November 22, 2022

Chinese Walnut Dessert Soup 核桃糊

chinese,sweet soup,dessert,Walnut,合桃糊,胡桃糊,recipe,核桃糊,Dessert Soup

Here’s a yummilicious and tummy warming dessert for the cool nights of autumn.  This delectable and decadent creamy Chinese Walnut Dessert Soup 核桃糊 is easy to make and truly satisfying with the toasty, nutty rich flavor of toasted walnuts and the caramel notes of the slab sugars.  If you like nuts, you’ll go nuts over this sweet soup!

November 15, 2022

Homemade Grenadine Syrup

homemade,grenadine,recipe,Italian soda,fruit syrup,Pomegranate syrup, fruit, grenadine syrup

This particular food love of mine started on a day long ago.  It was a perfect day, the sky was blue and shiny.  From the inside of a quaint cafe came the tantalizing aromas of coffee, however, that day I wanted to try something new.  I ordered something called ‘Grenadine Italian soda’.  I fell in instant food love at the first sip of this beautifully pink, refreshingly bubbly fruit flavored concoction.  

Fast forward to the near present and it had been years since I last had a grenadine soda.  Actually, I had forgotten all about it.  But one day, while browsing the liquors available at the supermarket, I saw a bottle of grenadine syrup and the memories came crashing back.  Excitement!  I would make it for my little girl and she would love it just as I had!

However upon closer inspection I discovered to my disappointment that the bottle of grenadine syrup was just sugar and artificial flavorings and colors.  Yucky!  Surely that was not what grenadine syrup really was.  To my relief I discovered that traditional grenadine syrup was made from pomegranate.  It was time to make some delicious fruity and refreshing Homemade Grenadine Syrup!

October 31, 2022

Caramelized Figs


Happy Halloween!  For our spooky day sweet treat, we decided to fig it out!  It really is the season for figs in Hong Kong as the markets have been absolutely flooded with fresh plump figs recently.  A bit of sugar and a hot pan and you’ve got really scrummy caramelized figs.  It’s an easy and non tricksy way to prepare a perfectly perfect and healthy sweet treat!

October 23, 2022

Spicy Minced Watercress Salad 爆淹西洋菜

Spicy, Minced, Watercress, Salad, chilled, recipe, vegetable,  爆淹西洋菜, chinese

 A most interesting fact: the humble watercress is one of the oldest leaf vegetable consumed by humankind!  I love food facts like that, they really do tickle the imagination, allowing the mind to travel far into the past to marvel at the simple things that connect us across the dunes of time.

We mostly use watercress to make soup as it imparts a lovely flavor.  Stir frying with a touch of garlic is also a nice way to have watercress.  Recently I read about another way to prepare watercress that I have been most eager to try.  This easy to prepare refreshing Spicy Minced Watercress Salad  爆淹西洋菜 is deliciously crisp and slightly peppery with a hint of sesame.

October 12, 2022

Bandit Chicken Wings 土匪雞翼

Chinese, hong kong, bandit wings, bandit chicken wings, recipe, cumin wings, 土匪雞翼

Bandit chicken wings!  So yummy and super popular here in HK and what an extraordinary name, no?  Is it because these lovely spiced infused roasted chicken wings look as sneaky and cheeky as a bandit?  Well, perhaps, but I've heard of another story about where this dashing name originated...from a story about bandits, of course!

Long ago in the Chinese province of Hunan, 湖南, there was a band of bandits that was terrorizing the countryside, raiding homes and towns, stealing from the people.  They took the usual bandit loot of money, food, etc. as well as, taking it one unusual step further, spices and herbs!  Musta been a foodie in that sneaky lot, eh?  A Foodie Bandit chief, perhaps?

So anyways, the story goes that the stolen spices were then liberally (why not, afterall free, amirite?) used to marinate and then roast chicken.  And the smell of that roasting chicken was so deliciously aromatic and the main spice used, cumin, so pungent that one could smell its distinctive aroma for miles around.  Unfortunately for those food inclined bandits, the memorable aroma was enough to alert folks of their nearby presence and ended up dampening their banditry efforts.

Not to fret, tho, sneaky bandits.  Your legacy lives on in your uniquely yummilicious Bandit Chicken Wings 土匪雞翼:  deliciously aromatic spice infused chicken wings with crispy spice encrusted skin.  Still popular after all this time!

September 30, 2022

Chinese Poached Fish 水浸魚

Chinese, Poached Fish, recipe, poaching, fish, water cooked, 水浸魚
One of the most famous Cantonese methods for preparing fish is the Classic Chinese Steamed Fish.  The Cantonese cuisine emphasizes the bringing out the natural flavors of fresh food.  Steamed fish is a celebration of the fish's natural flavors, producing fish that is tender, moist and delicious.

However for those in the know, there is another heavy weight contender for the best way to cook fresh fish: the Chinese Poached Fish 水浸魚.  This method of cooking fish in an infused water bath is not as well known for some reason but poaching fish actually produces even silkier meat, just so tenderly delicious that it melts in your mouth!

September 21, 2022

Persimmon Jam

homemade,fruit,persimmon,Jam,recipe,one jar,easy,

We’ve recently raved about the perfectly phenomenal persimmon in our post about the Spanish persimmon.  We’ve been buying boxfuls of these lovelies at a time, that’s how obsessed we are with this fruit!

Unfortunately, as happens with the best of fruit, boxfuls of the stuff can lead to having too much fruit and too little time to eat it.  What to do with too much fruit?  Jam it, of course! 

If you make just a jarful of jam, it’s quick and easy to do and you don’t have to deal with all the serious sterilization that is required for mass and long term jamming and canning.  

We just gathered up our extra persimmons, a bit soft and sad from our neglect and whipped up this yummilicious persimmon jam, an explosion of cheeky orange lusciousness,  tasting of honey with hints of plums and apricots and the mellow sunshine of a late summer's afternoon.

September 10, 2022

Snowskin Butter Mochi Red Bean Paste Mooncake 牛油麻糬紅豆冰皮月餅

Snowskin,Butter Mochi,red bean paste,mooncake,recipe,homemade,festival cake,牛油麻糬,紅豆,冰皮月餅,中秋節,mid autumn festival,

It's that time of the year again!  The time of the fullest moon of the year,  of gaily dressed folk swinging their Chinese lanterns high, glowing orbs set against a magnificent moonlit night...the night of the Mid Autumn Festival!   Mid Autumn Festival comes early this year, following the dictates of the fickle lunar calendar and, if the moon we saw tonight is any indicator, the Mid Autumn moon this year is going to be AMAZING!

As you probably know already, we've made most of the traditional mooncakes before, like the double yolk lotus paste mooncake, sesame paste mooncakesnowskin custard moon, five nut mooncake, etc.  This year we wanted to try something new.  

Poking around, brainstorming, I noticed that some mooncakes nowadays are filled with mochi instead of the traditional filling pastes like lotus paste.  I was intrigued, what an interesting idea!  

After a bit of a brainstorm I decided to make Snowskin Butter Mochi Red Bean Paste Mooncakes 牛油麻糬紅豆冰皮月餅, chilled mooncakes wrapped in delicate skin, filled with tender, chewy mochi deeply infused with notes of butter and milk and a heart of luscious sweet red bean paste.  What can I say, this innovative combination turned out a most yummilicious mooncake!

August 31, 2022

Homemade Chinese Fermented Beancurd Tofu 腐乳

Chinese, recipe, Fermented Tofu, tofu cheese, preserved tofu, 腐乳, 豆腐乳, 乳腐, 豆乳, 豆鹹, chao

I’m so excited to share this food adventure with you all!  When this idea first hit me I was like hey, what could be simpler and more amazing than making homemade Chinese fermented tofu?  We love how fermenting transforms tofu into a salty, umami packed soft and creamy paste that's just delicious on its own and as a condiment.

For newcomers fermented tofu can be strange at first. But just think about how cheese is fermented  milk.  As everyone can agree, cheese is YUMMY!!  Well fermented tofu is similar and just as YUMMY!  Find out more at our post all about fermented beancurd.

I'm pleased to report that it's actually really easy to make your own Homemade Chinese Fermented Beancurd Tofu 腐乳.   (Although we did hit a wee road bump in the middle.)  The brining time is long but soonish you too can enjoy amazing umami packed squares of fermented tofu yummiliciousness.

August 25, 2022

Homemade Bagel


I've been baking more and more bread over the years.  And happily, as I bake more often, I find that I've been getting better at it.  Yay!  It's the best feeling, really, to be able to provide fresh bread for my little family.  Today I want to share this homemade bagel recipe that's one of our favorite breads.  

First let me tell you that when I first started making bagels I really struggled with it.  I tried different recipes and methods and still my bagels came out really 'meh'.  It was pretty frustrating but I persisted, cuz, duh, bagel ♥️!   

But ultimately my efforts paid off.  Finally my bagels came out the way I wanted.  Every time!  I'm confident that if you follow this recipe you will end up with delicious homemade bagels with a delightfully dense and chewy interior and a shiny and crunchy crust.  Yummilicious!

July 31, 2022

Chinese Sweet Chili Sauce 甜辣醬

taiwan,Chinese,recipe, Sweet, Chili, Sauce,tangy,  甜辣醬

We discovered this delicious sauce in during the zongzi madness at the end of May.  We made the oh so melt in the mouth Northern Taiwan Zongzi, an absolutely new experience for us in that all the ingredients are cooked and seasoned before finally assembling as a zongzi.  To go along with this zongzi we also made this Sweet and Spicy Chili Sauce 甜辣醬 which ended up being a revelation in itself! 

This sweet chili sauce not only perfectly complemented our zongzi but also surprised us by its absolute deliciousness of taste: tangy, sweet and spicy all at once.  It is the perfect sauce to use as a dip for wontons, dumplings, potstickers, spring rolls, chicken wings, and noodles.

July 26, 2022

Kidney Mango 腰芒

Kidney Mango, mango, thailand, thai, fruit, small,  腰芒

As our dear readers will know, we like to share the love when we find new and yummilicious fruits.  Well, we've found a new one!

We discovered this gem of a mango recently.  Though, to be honest, this fruit has been hiding in plain sight.  We just never noticed these little guys cuz these mangoes are so small and humble looking, as well as being really affordable!  I guess I just thought that these little mangos weren't going to be worth the work of peeling and pitting.

So that was it until one fine day when, on the casual recommendation from the fruit lady, my hubby brought a bagful of these kidney mangos 腰芒 home.  Wow-wee, what a wonderful surprise!  Seriously, we've tried all kinds of mangos but this had to be the best mango ever!  

June 27, 2022

Broccoli Vegetable Pizza

Veggie, vegetable, vegetarian, pizza, recipe, broccoli, red onion, homemade, New York style crust, homemade tomato sauce

Okay, guys, I gotta confess...I honestly never thought that veggie pizza could be this good.  This Broccoli Vegetable Pizza was so yummilicious I couldn’t stop moaning 'OMG, this is so good' over and over as I devoured my first slice.  Embarrassing but true.  

I think this might be the tastiest pizza I have ever had, homemade or restaurant served.  It was so devastatingly good that I was seriously bummed out that I only made one veggie pizza out of the four pizzas we made that night.  Darn it!  But guess what?  Next time it's gonna be veggies all the way!

June 4, 2022

Northern Taiwan Zongzi 台灣北部粽子

Northern Taiwan,  Zongzi , zong zi, chinese, rice dumplilng, tamale, recipe,	台灣, 北部, 粽子

It's that time of the year for the Dragon Boat Festival also known as Duan Wu Festival 端午節!  This festival celebrates the death of the poet and minister Qu Yuan 屈原 (340-278 BC) who advised against an alliance to the displeasure of the Chu emperor who then exiled him.  When the alliance led to the eventual downfall of the Chu kingdom as he had foreseen, Qu Yuan threw himself into a river in grief and despair.

Apparently he was well loved for the local folk rushed out in boats (ie dragon boats) to try to save him.  When that failed they dropped balls of sticky rice (ie zongzi) in the river so that the fish would feed on the rice and not on Qu Yuan's body.  Kinda of a disturbing ending but whatever...