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Monday, December 4, 2017

Noodle soup with Shredded pork and pickled Mustard tuber 【榨菜肉丝面】

When winter comes,  it is all about warming, comforting foods at my home.  Did I mentioned :"Easy and quick?".

This noodle soup fits the bill, it is something you can make with literally whatever you have in your pantry.

The key ingredient in this noodle soup is the pickled mustard tuber that comes in small packet,  very handy and easy. You can find it in most Asian/Chinese supermarket.


Saturday, December 2, 2017

Mint Barley Water 薄荷薏米水

Barley water is well known for its cooling property, it is used especially in the southeast Asia, where the tropical climate brings with it the heat and humidity, this particular beverage could help to prevent dehydration and cool down the body.

The Chinese traditional herb and medicine also believed that barley could help to reduce weight, reduce water retention, and is a good source of fiber.

Since we are running heater 24/7 now in winter, I am making some Barley water to go with the Mint Syrup that I have in the fridge to help quince the thirst and dryness.



我之前做过香兰薏米水, 是家乡经常饮用的一道冷饮。冰箱里还有一瓶之前做的薄荷糖浆,今天熬点薏米水,喝的时候加一小勺的薄荷糖浆,薏米和薄荷也很搭哦!

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Egg tomato dough drops soup 番茄鸡蛋疙瘩汤

My tomato plants didn't thrive very well this year during the summer, whatever we harvested mostly go to my son A's dinner plate.

I made Scrambled Eggs with Tomatoes for A one day and he likes it very much, I then made this Egg, Tomato dough drops soup for him some days later. He finished the whole bowl on his own!



Saturday, November 25, 2017

Japanese Katsu Curry カツカレー 咖喱猪扒饭

This curry rice is one of my comfort foods, I fell in love the first time I had it in Japan years back. I also often order this dish whenever I visit Japanese restaurant here in US, or when I work in NYC, some of the Japanese Deli/Restaurants sell very good Katsu Curry Bento.

I bought a box of very good Kagoshima Kurobuta (かごしま黒豚, "Kagoshima black pig") chop from Japanese Supermarket few days back. 

Since it is long weekends here, I made my favorite Katsu Curry and rice and had one of the best home cook meals in months! 



Thursday, November 23, 2017

Masala Chai with Spiced Syrup 印度香料奶茶(附加香料糖浆食谱)

My husband loves Spiced tea and could have it several times a day. I used to grudge at the chore of repeatedly boiling and cleaning the utensils to make tea. 

Then one day when I was making this Mint Syrup , it suddenly dawned on me that I can also infuse spices in Syrup and make tea with it!!

That way, I can make as many teas as hubby liked and not having to wash pots several times a day!

So I didn't wait too long to take this thought into action, I made a jar of Spiced Syrup and made Tea for my husband, he couldn't tell the difference from boiling the spices in water!




Friday, November 17, 2017

Autumn Pear Paste 秋梨膏

Autumn Pear Paste or Qiu Li Gao/秋梨膏 is a type of traditional Chinese herbal remedy that was created in the Tang dynasty, initially for the Royal family. 

It is a type of natural throat demulcent and expectorant that is used for the relief of sore throat, coughs, hoarseness, and loss of voice.  

As the weather gets colder and dryer by the day, it is time to make a bottle of this herbal paste and be ready for the winter !




Monday, November 13, 2017

Pickled Celtuce/Guan Tao Cai Sim 自制罐头菜心/酱莴笋

When I was young, whenever I was under the weather, my mom or grandma will make some simple rice congee to go with Canned pickled celtuce, it is supposed to be light on the tummy and helps to get well. 

Grandma's version is a little fancier, she will mince some meat with this pickle and make a simple meat sauce, it is still one of my favorite dishes to go with congee, one that I missed whenever I am not feeling well.




Sunday, November 12, 2017

Homemade Indian Cottage Cheese 自制印度奶豆腐/农家奶酪

I made Rasmalai few weeks back for Diwali Celebration and was left with half big jar of whole milk. Since my fridge is very full and I did't want to waste the milk, I turned it into Paneer so that I can use it for cooking later and for easy storage.



Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Braised Chicken Wings with Red Wine 贵妃鸡翅

I have half a bottle of leftover red wine from our weekend get together, since I don't drink, I used the wine to make this Red wine braised Chicken Wings. It is a very good way to use the left over wine!

The dish has a very interesting name in Chinese,it is called Imperial Concubine Wings as it is said that Imperial Concubine Yang (杨贵妃) in Tang dynasty loved to have chicken wings and loved it braised in red wine/grape wine, that is where the name of this dish came from.




Thursday, October 26, 2017

Chestnut Spread(Crème de Marrons) 栗子酱

I went to Japan as an exchanged student when I was 15, the small town I visited is famous of chestnuts. My host at that time often brought fresh chestnuts from the local market to make this Chestnut spread. 

I loved having it with with french baguette for breakfast and always thought this spread is Japanese instead of French.

Not until much later that I learnt that this delicious spread is actually of French origin and is the key ingredient in the famous dessert Mont Blanc. 




Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Stir Fried Pumpkin Shoots with garlic 清炒南瓜苗

One Pumpkin plant came out from my dig-and-compost pile and flourish to a big plant not long after. For the whole 3-4 months that it was growing, it gave me plenty of flowers, just no fruit!

The growing season is coming to and end for the year and my pumpkin plant is still showing no sign of fruit. I decided to harvest the shoots instead. I will have to say, it is the best green vegetable I have had for the year!



Thursday, October 5, 2017

Edamame in Rice Wine Brine 糟毛豆

I planted about 10 soy plants around summer and they all thrived and gave a pretty good yield of green beans, which is also the snack edamame that we normally have at Japanese restaurants.

I prepared the first 2 batches of my edamame with spices --> this way.

For the third batch, I wanted something different and marinated the cooked beans with Shanghainese wine brine, it infuses unique wine flavor to the beans and is such a good snack to go with a glass of cold drink!



Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Taiwanese Mooncake (Mung and minced meat Fillings) 台式月饼【绿豆椪】

With Mid-autumn festival just around the corner, it is the time of the year again to enjoy the mid-autumn delicacy Mooncake. 

I made the cute piggy mooncake using the Cantonese mooncake recipe before. This year I decided to try something different and go all the way traditional to make the very old fashion Teochew "Orh-Nee" Mooncake and this Taiwanese Mooncake 绿豆椪. 

I used my minced pork for Gon Loh Fun as filling to this mooncake, it turned out to be the best match and tasting so good that I had to make two batches !


今年我想做点不同的月饼,就选择了传统的潮州(朥饼)月饼 和这款台式月饼绿豆椪。


食谱依据/recipe modified based on :

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Teochew Mooncake (With Yam and Pumpkin Fillings) 潮州芋头南瓜月饼

With Mid-autumn festival just around the corner, it is the time of the year again to enjoy the mid-autumn delicacy Mooncake. 

I made the cute piggy mooncake using the Cantonese mooncake recipe before. This year I decided to try something different and go all the way traditional to make this very old fashion Teochew "Orh-Nee" Mooncake. 

With pumpkin in the season, I even substitute the egg yolk with pumpkin paste filling, which to my great surprise, turned out to be super tasty and looks almost identical to egg yolk!A delightful surprise indeed!




Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Mint Cucumber Juice 薄荷黄瓜汁

I rescued two cucumber plants from Walmart sometimes end of Summer, they were wilting and turning yellow and Walmart was pretty much giving up on them already.

I planted it at the edge of my raised bed against the backyard fence with a trellis, after days of carefully watering and feeding, the cucumber revived and flourished to two very healthy plants that yield good fruits.

Together with the Mint Syrup that I made using the mint leaves from my backyard, I made this refreshing and almost (the sugar, you see?) detoxifying drink. Just love it!


我把它们移植到后院菜园子的角落靠近篱笆的地方,勤浇水和施肥的几周之后,两棵黄瓜都满血复活了! 后来还给我结了好多的瓜。


Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Dried Yard-Long Bean braised Ribs 【豇豆干炖排骨】

The Asian dried their vegetables a lot around the end of summer/beginning of autumn--when the hours of sunshine are still long enough and air mostly cold and dry.

The dried vegetables will then be stored for consumption during the months when fresh vegetables are not readily available.

Dried Yard-long bean is one of the kind, drying the vegetables intensified the flavor of the vegetable and gives a completely different texture to it, which makes it very suitable for braising.

Dried Yard-long bean is especially good when braised with pork/ribs. This dish is so good that I ended up having another bowl of rice with it!




Sunday, August 20, 2017

Mint Limeade & Mint Syrup 薄荷柠檬水& 薄荷糖浆

I have a mint plant in my backyard that has been with us for years, it survived a few winters and always managed to come back to flourish. I normally used the leaves to make Pudina chutney or garnish to dishes.

This year I started using fresh mint leaves to make mint syrup to be used in different drinks and desserts. It is so good that I made so many batches in the span of few weeks! My mint plant can hardly keep up with my demand!




Saturday, August 19, 2017

Minced pork for Gon Loh Fun (and more) 多用途干捞粉肉臊

Braised minced pork is a very versatile condiment in Malaysia.  It is vastly used in noodle dishes like Gon Lou Lai Fun and noodle soups.

It can also be used to make different kind of dishes like Potato and minced meat stew.


Thursday, August 17, 2017

Taiwanese Braised Napa Cabbage 台式白菜卤

One of the side dishes that I enjoyed much during my visit to Taiwan was this Taiwanese Braised Cabbage. The Napa cabbage in this dish is so tender and sweet, goes well with steamed rice and braised pork.

The Asian supermarket near me is currently selling lots of Napa Cabbage as the season approaching fall. I brought one back to make this dish at home. I also find the fried pork rinds which is (in my opinion) essential to this dish as it soaked up most of the gravy and gives very nice chewy texture to the dish!



Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Thai Lettuce Wraps 泰式生菜包

My husband N went to the gym last weekend and came home demanding high protein low carb lunch.  

I have some organic minced chicken breast and romaine lettuce in the fridge, so here it is, Thai Chicken lettuce wraps for lunch!


Thursday, August 10, 2017

Pineapple Chicken Satay & Pineapple Satay Sauce 黄梨沙爹/黄梨沙爹酱

I had the famous Kota Laksamana Pineapple Satay during my last visit to Malaysia, it was really nice as the pineapple sauce really adds not only flavor but a good refreshing touch to the skewers!

I created the recipe few weeks back when my friend invited us over for a BBQ at her house. The chicken marinated with some Pineapple turned out really tender and the sauce really compliments the satay, all the guests liked it very much.



Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Homemade Ginger Ale 姜汁汽水

I am not a big fan of soda with one exception-- Ginger ale. 

It was my go to during the pregnancy time to help ease the morning sickness, nausea. It is also my favourite way to chase away the summer heat. 

It takes only few minutes to make a glass of this refreshing cold drink at home, you can also adjust the taste and sugar level to your taste!




Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Scallion Crepe 葱花摊饼

The spring onion/scallion I planted this year is growing very well, some of them as thick as the size of fingers!

Since it is so healthy, I harvest them very often to make many different kinds
of dishes.

I have also made this crepe many times, my son A and hubby loved it!



Monday, July 31, 2017

Homemade Preserved radish/Chai Poh 自制菜脯

Back home whenever mom/grandma makes porridge/congee, there will definitely be a plate of preserved radish  omelette.

A lot of the preserved radish/Chai poh sold in the market are imported, if you read the label printed on the packaging, the ingredients listed include -- “traces of nitrates”, “E211 (sodium benzoate)”, “E975 (saccharine)” and many other ingredients that I can't even pronounce. It is just making one wonders what is the implication of those chemical stuff and how they make their ways into this traditional treat.

The Radishes sold in the Asian market were really fresh and tasty around end April/May this year, with 29 cents a lbs and plenty of cold/dry air and sunshine.
I can't help but to bring some home to make homemade preserved radish.





Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Braised Long Bean Noodles 豆角/豇豆焖面

I love Flat Bean Braised Noodles and made it many times, it is quick and very nutritious, an easy one pot meal for the family and could be done in under 30 minutes!

I made this favourite dish today using Long bean and carrot, it turned out even better in taste! I will most likely do this more often in future!



Sunday, July 23, 2017

Sugary triangle buns 糖三角

In the old days, when there is extra dough, while making meat/vegetable steamed buns, the housewives will use sugar as the filling. These buns are made into triangle shape to differentiate from the other buns with different kind of fillings.

The kids in the house normally liked the sugar filling buns much more than the meat/veggie ones. I have added some roasted black sesame powder in my fillings, it is much tastier than just sugar and flour!




Monday, July 17, 2017

Chinese Toon Sauce Fried Rice 香椿酱炒饭

I made Chinese Toon Sauce with Chinese Toon young leaves I collected from my friend's backyard not long ago. 

My first use of it was to make this fried rice, the taste is very unique and almost galicky. I like it very much!



Friday, July 14, 2017

Purslane Salad,Chinese Style 凉拌马齿苋

Purslane is a succulent annual trailing plant that grows in many places and it thrives in poor soil. You can find them in almost any places with full sunshine, roadsides, disturbed land and most likely your backyard!

It can be eaten as a cooked vegetable and is great to use in salads, soups, stews or any dish you wish to sprinkle it over. Purslane is antibacterial, antiscorbutic, depurative, diuretic and febrifuge. The leaves are a very rich source of omega-3 fatty acids which prevents heart attacks and strengthens the immune system.

I collected some purslane from the riverside one afternoon when I was strolling around and made this salad for lunch later on.


“马齿苋”是“马苋菜”的同义词。 属于马齿科一年生肉质草本植物,学名“马齿苋”,民间俗称“马蜂菜”,是一种特色野菜。因其生命力极强,又有“长寿菜”之称。



Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Blue Pea Flower Ice Cubes in Milk 蝶豆花冰牛奶

I made Blue Chai and Natural Blue Soda using the butterfly pea flower my mom sent before. I then freeze some of the unsweetened blue chai in a cute dinosaur ice cube box and use it as to serve with some cold milk for my son's play date, it is so cute and beautiful that all kids enjoyed it thoroughly.

前阵子我用娘家给我准备的蝶豆花干做了消暑健康的蓝花/蝶豆花茶 和 梦幻蝶豆花饮料



Sunday, July 9, 2017

How to grow bean sprouts at home 在家自己发豆芽

Mung bean sprout is one very common ingredient for cooking back home. I like to use it in my stir fry noodle/rice noodle dishes. The shop bought bean sprouts are sometimes not fresh and turned bad within days before I could use them.

I started growing my own bean sprouts at home using an old kettle at first. I then progressed to using just a normal bowl with a lid, the lid should be slightly heavy and covers most if not all of the beans.

I have since able to grow very healthy and delicious sprouts at home.




Saturday, July 8, 2017

Chinese Toon Sauce 香椿酱

I send my son to a friend's house for a playdate sometimes in the beginning of May and she asked if I want some Chinese Toon (香椿) -- a species of Toona 
where its young leaves are extensively used as a vegetable in China. The young leaves have a floral, yet onion-like flavor. It is widely used as flavoring agent in vegetarian/vegan dishes in China.

I immediately seize the opportunity and harvest a bunch of Chinese Toon from her backyard. I came home and made this Sauce which can then make into many delicious dishes later.



Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Bird Nest with Snow Pear 冰糖雪梨炖燕窝

My mom saw my Bird Nest with Red Dates and Gingko and Bird Nest on Chicken Congee earlier and told me her friend likes to make bird nest with Snow Pear. It sounded like a really good recipe and I made it few days ago and had to make it again in two days, it is really that delicious!

我妈早前看见我做的冰糖红枣白果燕窝燕窝鸡丝粥 ,就说她有个朋友喜欢用雪梨炖燕窝,味道很好也非常滋润。我听了觉得这个做法真的很不错,某天下午就做了这个冰糖雪梨炖燕窝,我能说这是我吃过最棒的燕窝糖水吗?

Monday, June 26, 2017

Aam Papad/Mango Fruit Roll-Ups 日晒芒果卷

The weather forecast is showing a 3 day continuation of hot sunny days, I make sure to take advantage of the power of nature and sun-dried a couple of snacks for us. 

The Ataulfo mangoes I bought this time were not very sweet, maybe it is still early in the season, together with the Sun-dried Sweet Potatoes I posted earlier, I also made this Mango roll ups.

It turned out so tasty the whole family likes it!



Friday, June 16, 2017

Sun-dried Sweet Potatoes/日晒红薯干

The summer came rather late this year, not until last week that we started experiencing the temperature above 90s F. Since the weather forecast is showing a 3 days continuation of hot sunny days, I make sure to take advantage of the power of nature and sun-dried a couple of snacks for us.

The first one I made was this Sun-dried Sweet potatoes that is a very famous healthy snack in Fujian Province, where my ancestors are from. It took me 2 and 1/2 days and it turned out so sweet and yummy! Just like the ones that I had in Fujian years back.



Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Jia Xing Meat Dumplings 嘉兴鲜肉粽

"Jiaxing zongzi" (嘉兴粽子): It is one famous kind of zongzi in mainland China named after the city Jiaxing. The filling is typically pork but also can be mung beans, red beans or salted duck eggs.

I made a small batch of this Jia Xing dumplings specifically for a friend from Nanjing, this is the kind of dumplings she grew up eating, I am glad that I did as it turned out so good and I am very glad to learn again one more dumplings recipe.




Monday, June 12, 2017

Bird Nest on Chicken Congee 燕窝鸡丝粥

I made Bird Nest with Red Dates and Gingko earlier as dessert earlier and have a few more pieces of bird nests left. I wanted to make a savory version of bird nest soup and the thought of Chicken Congee came to my mind.

Since I have some organic chicken at home, I made this congee for lunch and shared with my friend, she too agrees that it is yummy.

前几天泡的燕窝一半做了冰糖红枣白果燕窝 ,剩下的我想做成咸口味的燕窝粥。家里有刚买的有机鸡肉,于是我做了这个燕窝鸡丝粥约了朋友一起吃,味道很是不错哦!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Cantonese Style Dumplings 广式咸肉粽

It was Dumpling/Dragon Festival last week, it is a tradition at home to make some dumplings (glutinous rice wrapped in bamboo leaves) during the season.

This year I started the festival with this Cantonese Style of Dumplings which have moong beans in it and tasted though different than the type of Bak Zhang that  I am used to and loved, it is still one  of my favourites.



Saturday, June 3, 2017

Bird Nest with Red Dates and Gingko 冰糖红枣白果炖燕窝

Around 10 years ago, my dad built a high rise building with a few little holes and no windows in one of our farms, he called it "Swiftlet house", with that he started his side business farming Swiftlet for its nest. 

The term “Swiftlet farming” may spike confusion that it is a business of farming or domesticating swiftlet to be reared in a confined space like chickens in a chicken coop. This is far from the truth as Swiftlets cannot be domesticated. 

The idea of swiftlet farming is not to actually raise these birds for sale, but for their nests, which is highly sought after especially by the Chinese. 

The swiftlet nest, or commonly called bird’s nest, is a Chinese delicacy since the Tang Dynasty of China (618 – 907 A.D.). The nests are simmered with broth into bird’s nest soup. 

Though we have many "farmed" bird nests ready back at home, it is unfortunate that Bird nest is in the list of US customs food restriction list. Since I can't bring our very own bird nests here, I went searching online and bought two boxes of bird nests and made it the way my mom would.

It feels much better having this sweet soup though I am far away from home.





Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Fried Radish Cake/ Char Kueh Kak 炒粿角

Char Kueh Kak is a very famous Penang/Teoh Chew street food. It has got its name Kuah Kak (sides of the cake) from steamed radish cake, where the cake was steamed in a round bamboo basket back in the old days. Once cut into diamond or rectangular shapes to be serve or sell in the market, the remaining sides that are left will then be cubed and made into this delicious fried Cake.

Since the fried cake has become increasingly popular, plain or simple rice cake without radish is now commonly use to make this dish, thus you can also use shop bought (vietnamese) rice cake as substitute to the radish cake I used here.




Monday, May 15, 2017

Steamed Black Locust Blossoms 槐花麦饭

I learnt to identify black locust blossoms a few years back from my friend LR , the species of edible flower in China is actually called "Huai Hua" (槐花) Styphnolobium japonicum (L.). 

The one that we found in the woods here in the Eastern part of the USA is actually Black Locust (洋槐花)Robinia pseudoacacia. 

Both the blossoms are very similar in shapes and tastes. Since Black locust blossoms is widely eaten in Europe and USA as fresh salad or made into snacks or jam. So it is almost safe to say that it can be used interchangeably with Chinese Huai Hua Styphnolobium japonicum (L.) in any recipes.

Huai hua is normally served steamed with a little wheat/corn flour and spicy sauce, a very tasty and hearty romantic way to serve flowers! 


后来我在网上做了点搜索,发现中国国内吃的槐花学名叫Styphnolobium japonicum (L.) 。美东这里找到的是洋槐花 (Black Locust)Robinia pseudoacacia. 



Thursday, May 4, 2017

Hakka Ai Pan / Radish Mugwort Steamed Cake 草仔粿/艾粄

This is a true artisan steamed cake, the process of making it consist making the homemade dried radishes, followed by collecting wild mugwort from the woods, and kneading, wrapping the cakes the whole afternoon.

But the hard work is really worth it, this is the best Kueh I have ever had, it cannot be better though!


Monday, May 1, 2017

Homemade Dried Shredded Radish 自制萝卜签/干

Radish is in season and it is only 29 cents a lb, I had to bring a few back to make dried radish/Cai Poh bee! My sun-dried radish is ready in just under two good sunny days! 


Saturday, April 29, 2017

Mugwort Steamed Cake 艾团/青团

Sometimes around Qing Ming/Tomb-sweeping festival, the Chinese will collect some Chinese Mugwort (艾草)to be hanging around the door, which is believed to be able to chase away unwelcome energy. It is also the main ingredient for the Chinese steamed cake Ai Tuan/Qing Tuan (艾团/青团)eate at or around the tomb sweeping festival.

My mom discovered a big patch of wild mugwort in the woods near my house during her visit few years back, she will bring back a bag full of the wild mugwort and boiled it down to be used for bath when she was feeling under the weather.

I have been meaning to make Qing Tuan by using the young wild mugwort nearby this year, since it is a wild plant and I want to make sure it is 100% safe to be eaten, I have done some research and found out that the wild mugwort near my house is the species Artemisia vulgaris, or common mugwort.



Saturday, April 22, 2017

Tea Smoked Chicken 茶叶熏鸡

I made this tea smoked chicken twice when I visited my family back home last month, everyone loves the richness in flavor and its juiciness.

Such an easy and delicious dish deserves a special place in my blog!


Sunday, March 26, 2017

Multi-Grain Nut + Seed Bread 坚果杂粮吐司

My mom's favourite breakfast is homemade bread with some nut butter and avocado. She brought a bread machine a few years back and have been making homemade bread since.

She has been using the same recipe that came with the bread machine for years, the kind of recipe that is made for the machine, not too bad and nothing great about it either.

Since my visit in Malaysia this time is longer, I decided to create a multigrain nut + seed bread recipe for mom to use.

I made 4 loaves of the same bread each with little adjustment to the recipe, this one last one is by far the best, with close to 70% of liquid ratio, the bread stays soft and chewy days after baking.

Mom's bread machine broke after 3rd attempts on this recipe, a workload it is not designed to take, I had to use my sister in law's KA for my fourth bread and took the opportunity to get one new machine for mom, as the old one is really subpar, and take as much as a new machine's worth to repair.





Thursday, February 2, 2017

Chinese Aspic 水晶肉皮冻

Chinese Aspic is a dish made with mainly pork skin, where the skin are clean off of fat and cook into stock, when cooled, set into natural gelatin. The stock can be filled and flavored with spices.

Aspics are usually served cold with dressing and herbs as a starter, a good aspic is clear and free from impurities, which requires a lot of cleaning and slow cooking.



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