Friday, May 30, 2014

Black Locust Blossom Pancake (槐花餅)



My friend LR whatsapp me last week asking if I know a edible flower called "Huai Hua" (槐花), a black locust blossom that is widely eaten in some part of China. He told me these blossoms are everywhere in this season near where I stayed and it could be eaten raw in salad or made into different kind of dishes. 

He also invited me to go pick some of these flowers from the nearby woods with him over the weekend.

The thought of finding edible wild plants fascinate me, I immediately jump on the bandwagon and brought mom with me. We had so much fun enjoying the fragrance of flowers and the fresh air, we even ate the flower raw there, these blossoms smell a little like Jasmine and tasted sweet and crunchy. 

I made the flowers we collected into pancake today and it is tasting really yummy!

Here is the portrait of these beautifully yummy flowers.


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Fishwort Salad (涼拌魚腥草)



Fishwort is probably one of the weirdest greens I have ever tasted, it is also called lizard's tail and bishop's weed, the smell of it is really awful to me, it is a cross between fishy and bloody smell. But many people swear by the taste and it has very good medicinal property-- it is said to kills bacteria and viruses while also serving to reduce fevers and inflammation, promote wellness of the eyes and stimulate menstruation as well as bladder and bowel functions.

So it sounds like worth enduring the smell to consume, right? Beside, I was told that once you get passed the smell, you will fall in love with the taste! This salad green is not easily available in the market, in China it is the root that most people go after, it is suppose to taste even better than the leaves. I got my supply from a friend and decided to make this simple salad when we got home.

To my surprise, mom and NS loves it! They split the whole bowl as brother and I could not get pass the second bite.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Edible Wild Plants -- Shepherd's Purse Tofu Soup



Every year early in spring there sure will be guides and discussions about edible wild plants on the cooking forum that I visited,  It is also not a uncommon scene to see people walking around in the wild near the woods and rivers in search for these plants. 

Shepherd's purse ((Capsella bursa-pastoris) is one of the common edible wild plants and could be found in most parts near where I lived, it is a plant from the mustard family and has a very unique pungent smell and taste. This wild plant is also extremely high in potassium and vitamin C, making it even more attractive to us.

It is a very common vegetable eaten around Shanghai area in China, it could be used in most dishes that called for mustard green.

I have been trying to search for this plant in the wild for the past few years, the only time I ever spotted one was near a barn and it was already seeded thus too old for eating, I brought back those seeds and scatter them around my vegetable garden with the hope that it will spring out (literally) in the spring.But it didn't happened. 

So I opted  for the next best thing, I went to my friend Liren's house, I knew that he has a whole bunch of shepherd's purse that he intentionally let it grow like weed! I guess I would do a good thing over the weekend to help a friend weed his garden! 

Friday, May 16, 2014

Potato and Minced meat Stew 肉碎马铃薯



Potato with minced meat is a typical dish for most Chinese family in Malaysia. There may be different variations of this dish in different families. Some like the potato cubed, some like it in sticks. In our house, it is always thickly sliced.

I made this for lunch yesterday and my brother who is visiting says it tasted just the way grandma used to made it.

这道肉碎马铃薯是马来西亚一个非常家常的菜。各家的做法都会有点不一样,有的喜欢把土豆切丁有的喜欢把土豆切条状,而我家是一直都切片的。

我小时候和爸妈住在阿公阿嬤家,阿公阿嬤是开杂货铺的,所以家常三餐做饭特别方便,经常做店里卖的干粮和食材。所以这道肉碎马铃薯阿嬤经常做,我特别爱吃。
昨天午饭时做了这道菜,二弟吃了就说,有阿嬤做的味道哦!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

【雞蛋咖哩 # 2】Egg Curry # 2


N這幾個星期都在家上班,所以我就開始了既要照顧俊寶,又要照顧俊爸的飲食的日子,這樣的日子過了一個星期我就開始罷工了,叫了幾次外賣和吃了幾次外食之後,俊爸就開始要求要吃住家飯了。

我剛好沒心情做複雜的,就弄了個簡單的雞蛋咖哩,加上米飯,既好吃又簡易。

N worked from home the past few weeks, so I had to think of what to make for lunch and dinner everyday beside preparing toddler food for little A. 

After about a week or so I started feeling tired and was out of ideas for what to cook. We ordered a few take outs and deliveries. When that happened more than thrice in a week, N started giving me that "I want some home-cook food" look.

So I had no choice but to whipped up something simple tonight, there is nothing simpler than a simple egg curry for dinner, it could be done in literally less than 30 minutes and one can't really go wrong with a egg curry!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

【酸奶泡豆饼】Dahi Vada/Dahi Balla (Lentil Dumplings in Yogurt Sauce)


前几天做了炸豆饼,第二天做了这个酸奶泡饼,是一般做好的豆饼吃不完冷藏起来可以再生的另外一个小食,这个泡饼比较容易消化,也是小孩子和老人家很好的一个小点心。

I made Medu Vada (Deep Fried Lentil ball) two days ago, I did made extra so that I could make this Simple Chaat called Dahi Vada the next day as snacks for N.

I like the idea to make one dish and turn into another different dish, it just reminds me that life don't have to be so complicated sometimes......

Saturday, May 3, 2014

【印式炸豆饼】Medu Vada/Vadai (Deep Fried Lentil Dumplings)



小时候每个午后都会有个老人推着脚踏车来到住宅区叫卖。脚踏车后座有个超大的玻璃箱子,里边是一格一格的各式各样的印度零食小吃,有花生,有粗的细的油炸香辣面条。给两毛钱老人会拿一张报纸,卷成火炬状,然后让你选格子里的零嘴往里头装,直到“火炬”装满为止。

这些零嘴都是素的,大部分是豆粉或豆子做成的香口零食,除了脆口的炸面条,老人也卖这个叫Vadai外层松脆,内部软嫩的饼。

以前一直不知道它是什么材料做的,后来问了朋友,查了些食谱才发现这个饼居然是全豆做成的,不必小苏打,也没有面粉,自自然然的全由一个豆子,完成了外脆内嫩的好东西。一想到在没有搅拌器的时代,用石磨慢慢的磨出豆糊,然后在没有小苏打和膨化剂的帮助下,做出好吃爽口的小食,我就觉得非常的感动。

When I was a student, there was this old Indian man who goes around selling deep fried snacks or"muruku" back home. He has a big wooden/glass box attached to the back of his bicycle, where you could find small compartments that filled with different kinds of savory tidbits.

One of them is a little fried bean cake shaped like a mini donut, it is called "vadai", I love that stuff and did not know what it was made off until I moved to stay in India.

I was thrilled to learn that this snack is made of only legume, a snack higher in protein I presume. It goes very well with Coconut Chutney and can easily turn into Dahi Vada later.
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