September 18, 2023

Chrysanthemum White Bean Paste Nerikiri Cake

Nerikiri,Flower,japanese,wagashi,Chrysanthemum,cake,White Bean Paste

This lovely chrysanthemum flower is actually an edible treat!  It’s a Japanese sweet treat known as nerikiri and is simply made with white bean paste.  We’ve previously made a super cute Easter Bunny nerikiri with white bean paste and it was super fun as well as delicious.  

We’ve made a Chrysanthemum White Bean Paste Nerikiri Cake this time in the same way, just in time for the Mid Autumn Festival 中秋節.  Chrysanthemums bloom in the fall and are traditionally used as a background to gleaming mooncakes and flowered filled osmanthus jellies that celebrate the festival.   Today the chrysanthemum leads the way as a delicate, gorgeous to look at and yummilicious to eat treat. What a revelation!

September 10, 2023

Chinese Steamed Egg with Mushroom 香菇蒸蛋

香菇蒸蛋,chinese,steamed egg,steam egg,recipe,dried mushroom,tatung,mushroom,

There's absolutely nothing better than a silky smooth Chinese egg custard as we've shown our dear readers how to achieve successfully in our post on Chinese steamed eggs 蒸蛋 (click the link!).  Today we'te going to talk about a twist on the classic steamed egg that had my hubby and little girl asking for seconds and thirds and finally demanding why I hadn't made more!

The twist?  We infuse the intense and fragrant flavors of dried shitake mushroom into our silky smooth egg custard.  Wow oh whoppity wow, why haven't I made this before?  Chinese Steamed Egg with Mushroom 香菇蒸蛋 is so yummilicious:  delicate slippery bites of tender egg custard with delectably flavorful chewy bites of mushroomy mushroom.  YUM!  And we'll show you how to make it to perfection!

August 28, 2023

Crystal Skin Dim Sum Wrapper 水晶皮製作

點心,Crystal Skin,  Dim Sum, Wrapper, chinese, cantonese, Recipe,水晶皮,製作, crystal skin wrapper, crystal skin dough

Have you ever had Dim Sum 點心?  You know, that Cantonese teahouse tradition where tea is paired with tiny delectable dishes or steamers of sweet or savory treats.  Sooo goood!  And in the midst of these delectable treats have you ever had those dumplings where the skin was transparent enough to see through to the inside filling?  So amazing amirite?!  

Well these thin transparent wrappers are known as Crystal Skin Wrappers, 水晶皮.  So delicate these wrappers: thin enough to see through yet strong enough to pleat and hold the shape of the dumplings with ease.  Check out the beautiful Har Gow 蝦餃 shrimp dumplings (photo above) that we made with this crystal skin!

Tricky wrappers to make but we managed through much trial and error to get it just right.  Check out how to make the most excellent Crystal Skin Dim Sum Wrappers 水晶皮, both thin enough to see through and yet pliable and easy enough to work with to make and hold the pleats necessary for these fancy dim sum dumpling shapes.

Har Gow Shrimp Dumpling 蝦餃點心

crystal skin,Shrimp Dumpling,Har Gow,點心,har gao,蝦餃,dim sum,chinese, recipe, cantonese

Our latest Dim Sum adventure!  Naturally it must be the world famous Shrimp Dumpling, also known as Har Gow.  Anyone can tell you that Har Gow 蝦餃 (and that other superstar Siu Mai 燒賣) is a must at any dim sum lunch!  (Psst..check out our fab Siu Mai 燒賣 recipe!)

Psst...For those who don't know what Dim Sum 點心 is, it's a food tradition started in Chinese teahouses where little steamers or plates of delicately made foods both savory and sweet were served to go with fragrant cups of tea.  Today this food tradition is still going strong in Dim Sum restaurants everywhere!

Okay, first, confession time: we've been having lots of har gow dumplings lately.  Cuz we wanted to make the perfect Har Gow and our 1st, 2nd, and 3rd attempts were just not quite right.  The dumplings that we managed to make were tasty but the wrapper, oh, the wrapper was quite the bitch to get right.  Too sticky, too thick, too lumpy, etc...

Attempt number four, finally, we got it!  Oh the Har Gow 蝦餃 we made!   Perfect and delicate little dumplings of deliciously sea sweet shrimp fillings encased in thin translucent skins, all wrapped with the quintessential 13 nos of pleats that form the distinctive half moon Har Gow shape.

August 12, 2023

Homemade Limoncello - Italian Lemon Liqueur

Homemade, recipe, Limoncello, Italian, Lemon Liqueur, vodka

Do you find yourself ever going on food tangents?  You know, an idea pops into you head, a food idea mind you, and you’re off down the rabbit hole, chasing a new food adventure.  So much fun, amirite?!

Well, this time I got tangled up in an old food obsession of mine, lemons.  I LOVE lemons, they are so amazing!  The flavors and fragrance from the peel to the juice that they gift to us is just endless and wonderful.  I mean, have you ever had lemon curd?  To die for amirite?!  

Anyhoo, I discovered a traditional Italian liqueur called limoncello that can be simply made at home  with lemon peels, vodka and sugar syrup.  Of course I had to try it right away.  Straight down the rabbit hole I went.

At the end of this food adventure I have to honestly say I cannot believe how well it turned out.  It was gosh darn mind blowing.  Our homemade Limoncello liqueur was astounding: so fragrant, so lemony, so delicious, so beautiful!  Surely a gift of nectar from the gods of lemon ;)

July 31, 2023

Osmanthus Egg Imitation Shark Fin 桂花翅

Osmanthus Egg Shark Fin, stir fry, recipe, chinese, empress dowager cixi, imperial,  桂花翅

This dainty and marvellously delicious stir fry, the Osmanthus Egg Shark Fin  桂花翅, is a dish fit for an emperor!  Or, rather fit for an Empress as this dish was originally created as a tribute to the redoubtable Empress Dowager Cixi 慈禧太后, she who ruled China from behind an embroidered screen for five decades from 1861 until her death in 1908.  

July 22, 2023

Hong Kong Crispy Noodles 港式煎麵

Hong Kong Crispy Noodles,Crispy Chow Mein,Hong Kong Style Fried Noodles,港式煎麵,兩面黃,

This ridiculously delicious dish is something probably anyone who has ever eaten at a Chinese restaurant has had before.  These Hong Kong Crispy Noodles 港式煎麵 or 兩面黃, also known as Crispy Chow Mein or Hong Kong Style Fried Noodles is a dish of lush contrasts.  It features a bottom layer of pan fried crispy crunchy golden browned noodles topped with a savoury stir fry of vegetable and meat/seafood with an extra heaping of soy flavored sauce.  That extra heaping of sauce trickles through the crispy crunchy noodles, softening and flavoring some while leaving others still delightfully crunchy.  

Savory tender bites of veggies and meat mixed with crunchy bits of noodles...eating these HK Crispy Noodles is so much fun!

July 11, 2023

Sichuan Fish with Pickled Mustard Greens | Suan Cai Yu 酸菜魚

Sichuan Fish Soup,sichuan fish,pickled mustard greens,sour pickled mustard greens,Suan Cai Yu,chinese,Sichuan,recipe,酸菜魚,preserved mustard greens

This post gives me so much pleasure.  It is always a delight to share the joy that food brings to us but especially so in this case.  Because this dish is soooo good, like food for the soul good.  Comforting, seductive, addictive, pleasing in all ways is the Sichuan Fish with Pickled Mustard Greens.  One heck of a sexy dish if you ask me.

This showstopper seafood dish can almost be a meal in itself, to be shared in a Chinese style family diner.  You could add another dish or two, we added a vegetable dish along with white rice and it was just right for the three of us.  Sichuan Fish with Pickled Mustard Greens, also known as Suan Cai Yu 酸菜魚 is a resplendent dish full of velvety tender fish slices, delicately soured pickled mustard greens, crunchy sprouts and slippery vermicelli all immersed in a most deliciously addictive tangy savory soup.

June 30, 2023

Chinese Pickled Sour Mustard Greens 酸菜

homemade,chinese,pickled,Sour,Mustard Greens,recipe,pickled mustard greens,酸菜,vegetable
Recently we've been obsessed with what the Chinese call '酸菜', directly translated as 'sour vegetable.'  What is meant by 酸菜 is actually mustard greens which have been pickled or brined. It's simple to make with a basic salt brine but wow is the resultant flavor big!

The result of the pickling/brining is a delicately soured pickled vegetable with a soft yet crunchy texture.  It's addictive I tell you, just addictive!  These Homemade Chinese Pickled Sour Mustard Greens 自製酸菜 can be used to stir fry with pork or chicken, eat plain as a relish, or toss in with fish to make the famous (and my favorite) Sichuan Fish Soup with Pickled Mustard Greens 酸菜魚 (recipe coming up next!)

June 17, 2023

Spicy Mala Peanuts 麻辣花生

mala, spicy, peanuts, recipe, sichuan, chinese, szechuan, mala peanuts, 麻辣花生, fried peanuts, Huang Fei Hong Spicy Peanut, 黃飛紅花生

We made the most crazily delicious peanut snack ever - the Spicy Mala Peanuts  麻辣花生 - fried peanuts flavored with a mouthwatering mix of spices and fired up with hot chilies and tongue numbing Sichuan pepper.  This snack has been all the rage in recent years, rising in popularity along with the Sichuan Spicy Stews that have become ubiquitous.  (Psst...check out our Sichuan Spicy Fish Stew 水煮魚 recipe.)

OMgosh but these peanuts are soooo additive!  Once you start eating these luscious spice coated, tongue numbing bits of peanut crunchiness you just can't stop!  So aromatic!  So yummilicious!  Now you can enjoy making Spicy Mala Peanuts 麻辣花生 at home for a fraction of the cost of buying them from the store!

June 10, 2023

Winter Melon Roasted Duck Soup 冬瓜燒鴨湯

Winter Melon, Duck , roasted duck, cantonese, sui aap,Soup,chinese, recipe, 冬瓜燒鴨湯,燒鴨

This very easy to make Winter Melon Duck Soup is so delicious and deeply satisfying.  And gorgeous to look at.  And so easy to make!  Wait,wait...first I must say that I'm not completely convinced it's a soup rather than a dish.  It's certainly deliciously soupy.  It's also most assertively a dish in its own right.  Let's just call it a superliciously soupy dish then!

This Winter Melon Roasted Duck Soup 冬瓜燒鴨湯 is filled to the brim with tender melt in your mouth pieces of winter melon soaked through with flavorsome duck infused soup as well as delicious bites of succulent tender roasted duck.  For a family dinner it's both soup and dish in one!  This wonderful soupy dish is perfect for the warmer months as winter melon is super refreshing and cooling to the body.

May 27, 2023

Artisanal Shrimp Paste 廣興隆蝦醬

Artisanal, Shrimp Paste, 廣興隆蝦醬, Kong Hing Loong Shrimp Paste, fermented, Macau,handmade, traditional
As promised, our post on the amazing artisan shrimp paste that we discovered in Macau.  

We recently returned to Macau for a short trip.  It was our first time out of Hong Kong in 3 years!  We had missed Macau in the interim, its charming streets, gaudy casinos, the grand old buildings from another time... There was so much to rediscover!

But you know what we quickly realized that we had missed most of all?  That’s right, it was the food!!

So we ate and ate.  And got slightly chubby.  So much yummy food!  Food is life!  Even in the midst of this feast we had to stop by and pick up a jar of our favorite artisanal fermented shrimp paste: 廣興隆 Kong Hing Loong Shrimp Paste.  It’s simply the best shrimp paste we’ve ever had.

May 20, 2023

Stir Fried Tung Choi with Shrimp Paste 蝦醬炒通菜

Stir Fried, Tung Choi, water spinach, ong choy, morning glory, Shrimp Paste, chinese, recipe,  蝦醬,炒,通菜

Ahh!  This dish is so fragrant that you can scent it from outside of a restaurant!  That is because this classic vegetable stir fry uses the redoubtable Chinese fermented shrimp paste 蝦醬 as the flavoring component.  

In this Stir Fried Tong Choi with Shrimp Paste 蝦醬炒通菜 the briny, pungent, funky shrimp paste clings lovingly to the tender leaves and crunchy stems of the Chinese Tong Choi, thoroughly flavouring the leaves as well as providing the base for the scrumptious sauce.

May 11, 2023

Raspberry Charlotte Cake

Raspberry Charlotte Cake, raspberry, cake, ladyfingers, mousse, recipe, dessert

We love cake!  Any kind, really, but especially the fancy, good to look at and eat kinda cakes.  For our birthdays I always make a fancy cake.  This particular cake, a most delightful Raspberry Charlotte Cake, came out really well and I wanted to share this straight forward to make but spectacular to look at cake with our dear readers.  Just in case you need a 'wow' cake to impress and celebrate.  Or just to eat and enjoy!  Cuz, you know, cake ❤️!

Pssst:  This is the perfect cake to make for Mother's Day!  

April 29, 2023

Quail Egg Siu Mai Dim Sum Dumpling 鵪鶉蛋燒賣

Quail Egg, Siu Mai, Dim Sum, Dumpling, pork,homemade, recipe, 鵪鶉蛋,燒賣,點心

We continue with our Dim Sum series today with this classic Quail Egg Siu Mai dumpling 鵪鶉蛋燒賣.  It’s seldom offered in dim sum restaurants nowadays, not sure why cuz these are the most delightful and delicious little dumplings.  

The Quail Egg Siu Mai features the same fragrantly savoury pork and shrimp filling of its much better known cousin, the iconic Siu Mai 燒賣 dumpling, but it has the added lovely surprise of a perfectly cooked little egg wrapped inside.  I still remember my wonder and delight the first time I ate one of these, it was so perfect, the combination of the smooth slippery egg and the luscious juicy meat!

April 22, 2023

Hong Kong Made Cola 香港製造可樂

馬灣可樂,hong kong,香港製造,made in hong kong,soda pop,drink,local,Ma Wan Cola,cola,

We discovered this neat-o soda recently, selling at a favorite restaurant of ours.  A Hong Kong made cola?  How terribly interesting!  Of course we had to try it!  

This hong kong made cola, called Ma Wan Cola 馬灣可樂, is new on the market I believe.  It is made in Hong Kong (yay!) and originally produced especially for children, having only healthy ingredients.  But healthy cola can be enjoyed by everybody, amirite?!

April 15, 2023

White Bean Paste Dough | Nerikiri Dough

White Bean Paste, white bean paste Dough, japanese, recipe, how to make, Nerikiri Dough, wagashi dough

This innocuous looking piece of dough is much more interesting than it looks.   This, dear readers, is the not really famous but totally should be famous Japanese white bean paste dough.  Also known as White Bean Paste Nerikiri Dough.

This versatile dough made of white bean paste and mochi becomes an edible dessert 'clay' with which you can make so many yummilicious as well as gorgeously shaped and textured sweet desserts.  It's amazing, really, the wonderful shapes that can be made: flowers, leaves, pumpkins, animals, etc.  The limit is your imagination and ingenuity.

April 9, 2023

White Bean Paste Nerikiri Bunny

White Bean Paste, Nerikiri, wagashi, Bunny, rabbit, dessert, japanese, sweets, recipe, traditional

It's time for Easter and we're letting the bunnies out!  We recently discovered and have been exploring 'white bean paste', a mild sweet bean paste that turns out to be very versatile in the making of all kinds of desserts.  Check out our first dessert made with white bean paste, our Chocolate Raspberry Tang Yuan, so yummy!

We've pushed on exploring white bean paste and discovered the wonderful things that the Japanese have done with it.  Namely they have made white bean paste into an edible "clay" or "dough" that can then be modeled and shaped into all kinds of amazing little sweet treats called "nerikiri" or "nerikiri wagashi."

Our first try at making and shaping a "nerikiri" was to make this simple bunny in time for Easter celebration.  We were all delighted by the results.  Our White Bean Paste Nerikiri Bunny turned out super duper cute, with soft white fur and little pink ears, twinkly black eyes and a round fluffy tail.  Bunny's all ready for some Easter fun!