Saturday, December 31, 2016

Black sesame peanut brittle 【黑芝麻花生糖】

As Chinese New Year is just less than 30 days away, I am in the mood to make some Chinese New Year treats for the celebration. A Chinese New Year treat are normally sweet, which symbolize a sweet and happy year ahead.

I made a batch of this Black sesame peanut brittles, similar to the Peanut Sesame Chikki that I have made before.


这款黑芝麻花生糖和我之前做过的花生芝麻糖 类似,只是用了冰糖来做,口感更脆,色泽也更好看。

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Hand-ripped noodle seared with red oil 油泼辣子扯面

I am a freelancer and I have to go to downtown Manhattan often time for work, one of the reason I liked working in NYC despite the dreading commute is the foods out there.

One of the place I really liked and will definitely visit is this small restaurant called "Xi'an Famous Foods" which is known for their Western Chinese cuisines. I love their signature hand-ripped noodle, some called it "Belt noodle" (裤带面) very much, the texture of the noodle is chewy and very flavorful.

On this long weekend I attempted this noodle twice and I have to say, I got the texture and technique right the second time!




Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Sweet Osmanthus Jiuniang Tang Yuan 桂花酒酿汤圆

It is winter solstice (冬至) today in lunar calendar, the tradition in my home is to have Tang Yuan, a type of glutinous rice ball cooked and served in sweet soup.

I made some Tang Yuan with my son A in the morning and made this Sweet Osmanthus Jiuniang Tang Yuan for breakfast, a hearty breakfast in below zero degree winter morning!



Tang Yuan in Ginger Syrup 【红糖姜汁汤圆】

It is winter solstice (冬至) today in lunar calendar, the tradition in my home is to have Tang Yuan, a type of glutinous rice ball cooked and served in sweet soup.

On this very day every year, we will all gathered around in the kitchen to help mom rolling the rice ball. It was my first experience of making edible balls, it should also be for many kids in my country. 

Mom will then boil the rice balls in a pot of water while preparing another pot of ginger and pandan leaves infused syrup, the rice balls will then be served in the syrup as our afternoon snack.

I loved playing with the dough and making it into balls and have countless memories and laughters making it with my siblings.

I wanted to recreate a similar experience for my son A. We woke up early today to make Tang Yuan while playing the song "卖汤圆" song at the background, it was fun! 




Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Spiced Pumpkin Muffins 【南瓜小麦芬】

A friend of mine invited me over for Halloween dinner, thus I decided to make something pumpkin for the event.


Monday, December 19, 2016

Chinese Mustard Congee 芥菜粥

Half of the mustard greens that I harvested from my backyard earlier were made into Mustard Green Rice/Dua Cai Peng the remaining half were made into this congee 2 days later. A very healthy dish to let us eat more vegetables and warm the body.


Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Pumpkin Soup 【奶油南瓜浓汤】

I like pumpkin and was amazed by the varieties we have in the USA.

I like making pumpkin soup during winter, it warms the body and nourish the soul, it's perfect for a light and simple dinner!


Sunday, December 11, 2016

Ear Biscuit 【耳朵饼】

This spiral ear biscuit brings back feelings of nostalgia, it is one of my favorites snacks when I was a kid. It is savory, hard yet crunchy and is very addictive.

Mom sent a few packets of this biscuit with auntie Lisa not long ago, my son A enjoyed it and was asking for more. I got curious and started searching online for a recipe. I made the first batch with the recipe I found online, it turned out good, but lack of the taste of fermented Tofu (Fu Yu) and was a tad too crunchy for what I remembered.

I modified the recipe and came up with another batch. This time the taste, shapes and looks turned out just the way I remembered! I am so so pleased. 





Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Sweet Pumpkin White Fungus Soup 南瓜銀耳羹

Here it comes another pumpkin dish made with the pumpkin planted by Auntie Lisa.

It is again very dry and cold these days. I will made this white fungus soup, it helps me fight cold and dryness.

Note: White fungus or snow fungus is a slight yellowish dried fungus, after soaking and cooking it will become white and almost translucent in color.

White fungus is believed to be a good immune stimulant, it fights infection, inflammation, cold and cough, studies have also found that it has anti-tumor property, could lower levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or the "bad"cholesterol). It is also believed to slow the aging process, though I am not sure if there is any scientific research supporting this!


Saturday, December 3, 2016

Lotus Seeds Snow Fungus and lily bulbs Soup 【百合莲子银耳羹】

Fall and winter are both very dry seasons.I for one always suffer dry and itchiness during these seasons. Lotions or oil won't help much. This sweet soup is supposed to help prevent dryness during cold weather. It is a pretty good breakfast too!


Thursday, December 1, 2016

Watercress soup 【老火西洋菜汤】

I learnt to enjoy Cantonese soups from my cantonese flatmate when I was in England. I also think a good pot of soup can only be made using claypot.

I have been wanting a good claypot for a long time now and did not see anything of my liking, until one afternoon when I visited Chinatown in PA, I saw this simple claypot sitting right on top of a shelve. and I knew that it is mine.




Monday, November 28, 2016

Kashmiri Pulao 【克什米尔香饭】

Unlike most Pulaos in India, Kashmiri Pulao is known to be mild, aromatic and slightly to the sweet side. Garnishing with fresh fruits like pomegranate and some dry fruits makes it look so colorful and appetizing.


Thursday, November 24, 2016

Hasselback Potato 【风琴土豆】

I made these grilled potatoes to go with our XinJiang Style Lamb Chops today. This spiced potato chips are so good that we fought for the last bite!

For those who doesn't like your potato too spicy, you can try the non-spicy grilled potato chips that I made earlier.



XinJiang Style Lamb Chops 【孜然烤羊排】

It is Thanksgiving today, we decided to have a quiet celebration this year, just the three of us.  I decided to make hubby's favourite lamb chops instead of Turkey as there is no way we could have finished the whole turkey, no matter how we try. 

I have made this lamb chops many times with my Homemade BBQ seasoning powder, it always turned out very juicy and delicious. 



Sunday, November 20, 2016

【泰式炒河粉】Pad Thai (Thai Fried Flat Rice noodle)

Pad Thai在泰国是大街小巷都可以找到的炒粉,它几乎就是泰国人口味的缩影,酸甜辣鲜。来了美国我尝试过好几家泰国餐厅,不得不说的是,都让我非常地失望。

尤其是这个Pad Thai,来到了美国变成又甜又腻的炒粉。在泰国,它不是这样的,泰国街边的Pad Thai,干爽,香辣,火候足,颜色没有那么红艳。今天,让我们在家试试泰国街边摊的Pad Thai吧!

Pad Thai is a very common street food in Thailand, especially in Bangkok, those hawkers who made this dish day in and day out do it with such a perfection, they managed to stir in right amount of char to the rather common ingredients of all Thai foods and make it taste so unique and unforgettable!

I have tried Pad Thai in many restaurants here in the states and in Europe, I wouldn't hide my disappointment, as it is often too oily and way too sweet! I stopped ordering from a restaurant, when I crave for it, I just make it at home, since I almost always have the ingredients needed at home.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Mustard Green Rice/Dua Cai Peng 【芥菜饭】

My mum used to make this Giam P'ng (Hokkien Salted Rice) back home, there are similar dishes made with pumpkin, Long bean and yam.

It is prepared almost like the Spanish Paella, the rice is cooked together with ingredients and seasoning in a pot/wok and later simmer to perfection. It is simply irresistible, every spoon of it is a charm!

I have planted some Chinese mustard green end of summer, harvested handful of times, with the last two batch, I made this rice casserole to remind me of the taste of home. 




Thursday, November 17, 2016

Sotong Kangkung 鱿鱼蕹菜

Sotong Kangkung or Cuttlefish salad with Water spinach/Convolvulus is a very common street food in Malaysia, it is normally sold at the same stall that sales Rojak Buah/Fruits Rojak since the sauce are pretty similar.

Sotong Kangkung contains blanched cuttlefish and water spinach/convolvulus then are tossed with prawn paste, chili, sweet sauce. It will then top with sesame seeds and grounded peanuts before serving.



Sunday, November 13, 2016

Fennel Dumplings/Jiaozi 【茴香饺子】

We love Jiaozi/Chinese Dumplings a lot, frozen dumplings are often my go to for a quick fix for dinner or snack. Though I am very happy with the frozen Jiaozi from the local Asian market, I still make Jiaozi from scratch once in a while when I have time at hand.

I made Dill Jiaozi today for lunch, it is one type that is not sold as frozen, maybe because it is not that common and dill for many, is a taste yet to develop. 

One thing though probably worth mentioning. I planted the dill I used today in summer, I just sprinkled a handful of Fennel seeds I have in my pantry and it grown into dill plants! 

So now, I am really confused, if fennel seeds gave me dills, why is it called fennel seeds?




Fennel leaves on the left, Dill on the right

Update:I have received a couple of feedbacks on the forum I frequented about the plant I planted. With great curiousity I did a little research and find that the plant I used for these dumplings is indeed Fennel.

According to :

There are two types of fennel.

One is treated as an herb (herb fennel – Foeniculum vulgare) and one that is treated like a bulb type vegetable (Florence fennel or Finocchio – Foeniculum vulgare var. dulce).

The herb type grows 3-5 feet tall with fine textured foliage resembling dill. Flat topped clusters of yellow flowers appear in late summer. Stems, leaves and seeds of this type of fennel are harvested and used. Florence fennel is shorter with darker green foliage and is grown for its large, flat thick rosette of petioles at the base often referred to as a “bulb.” Both forms have an anise or licorice flavor.





Thursday, November 3, 2016

How to Soak and Prepare Dried Cuttlefish 如何泡发鱿鱼干

I wanted to make Kangkung sotong for a long time, but I had difficulty finding pre-soaked cuttlefish in the local market. I read an article about how alkali/alkaline water was made from the wood ashes in old time.

Since I have ashes in my Charcoal BBQ grill and some dried cuttlefish, I decided to create alkaline water and soak the cuttlefish the old fashioned way.



Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Mini Spring Onion Pancake 【迷你葱油饼】

I have a small patch of Spring onion planted in my raised bed, it has been almost 6 years, I never uproot them, I will cut only the green parts for cooking and it never failed to regrow throughout summer. They go into hibernation during the winter months and if I fertilize it well, it will come back stronger and thicker than before!

Last weekend I harvest a bunch of the spring onion and make this mini pancakes for lunch, it is crunchy on the outside and soft in the inside, we all savoured it well.



Sunday, October 9, 2016

Romano Bean Potato Stew 【豆角炖土豆】

Romano Bean is a very common vegetable in the North Eastern part of China. It can be made into a few traditional dishes included French Bean Steamed Noodle .

I also like to stew it with little pork/chicken and potatoes, a very good one pot dish.



Monday, September 26, 2016

Stuffed Chilli 【酿辣椒】

I planted a Hot Banana chilli plant last summer and was endowed with a good harvest. I showed the pictures to my mother over Facetime and she said the chilies are just perfect for Chinese Stuffed Chili!

And I thought, why not?

后院的Hot Banana收成好多,妈妈看了照片说这辣椒做酿辣椒最好啦!

Friday, September 23, 2016

Fruit Rojak/Penang Rojak 【水果羅惹】

I made Fruit Rojak pretty often in summer, mostly for lunch when I am eating alone. I like the tangy, sweet, spicy flavor of it with refreshing fruits, extremely savory and light on the tummy.


Saturday, September 10, 2016

Pecel/Pecal (Vegetable salad with Peanut Sauce) 【印尼Pecal沙拉】

Pecel or Pecal in Malaysia is a traditional Javanese food, a type of vegetable salad with peanut gravy, it is very nutritious and ideal for snacks and breakfast.

You can toss in some Tofu,boiled egg and Tempeh to make it high in protein, a good way to incorporate more greens into your diet.

Pecel (印尼语) 或 Pecal (马来语)是一款淋上花生酱的印尼/马来沙拉,非常美味营养,加上水煮蛋、炸酥的丹贝和豆腐干,就是一款高蛋白,高纤维的美食了。


Monday, September 5, 2016

Homemade Fruit Leather 【果干卷】

My son A loves fruits. His favourite snacks is fruit leather or Fruit snacks. I used to buy organic fruit snacks from the store. He goes through them so fast that it got me worried that he will be fructose overdose sometimes.

Some friends came home yesterday with their kids yesterday, I made a big fruit bowl for the kids and was left with about 1/3 of it. Since it was close to bedtime and none of us want more fruit. I blended them into a thick paste and place it into the oven to bake at low temperature. 

We have got ourselves fruit leather in the morning! 




Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Peach Limeade 【桃子青柠汁】

My son A is a big fan of Peaches, he will ask for it every so often, even when peaches are out of season. It goes without saying that peaches are always in sight at home during its season!

I brought home some sweet juicy peaches from the market and decided to make this delicious limeade, a perfect drink for summer afternoon!



Friday, August 26, 2016

Ayam Goreng Berempah(Malaysian Style Spiced Fried Chicken) 【马来香料炸鸡】

This spiced fried chicken was made last weekend to go with some steamed rice and lentil soup, my all time favorite combination. This fried chicken is normally served back home with Nasi minyak or Nasi Lemak.

I made this mainly for me, hubby tasted it and loved it.  I ended up sharing a little more than half of my yummy fried chicken with him. 

这款炸鸡是我给自己做的午饭,它是椰浆饭 马来油饭很好的一个菜肴,是我自小很喜欢的一道美食。做这个炸鸡的小贩会把炸鸡时掉在油里的香料一起捞起来滴干油,这样的香料渣渣特别下饭,有的人还会特别要求小贩多给一些呢!


Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Long Bean Rice (Cai Dao Peng) 【菜豆饭】

My mum used to make this long bean rice back home, there are similar dishes made with pumpkin, Chinese mustard (Gai Choy) and yam.

It is prepared almost like Spanish Paella, the rice is cooked together with ingredients and seasoning, in a pot/wok and later simmer to perfection.

It is simply irresistible, every spoon of it is a charm!



Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Nasi Minyak / Malaysian Ghee Rice 马来油饭

Nasi minyak is synonymous with wedding for most Malay back home, it is one of the main dishes served at the wedding reception. I used to look forward to a Malay wedding to enjoy the feast when I was young. 

Malay wedding reception is a true spirit of "Gotong royong" (Communal work), most people in the village (Kampung) gathered together to share the tasks of cooking/preparing for a reception. 

Every village/kampung has its own team of cooks for such occasion, in other word, every village has their own specialty that passes down generation after generation.

I made Nasi minyak last weekend for a gathering to go with my Malaysian mutton curry, Ayam Goreng Berempah and Achar Timun, everyone enjoys it very much, it was a perfect meal!


马来西亚的乡村(Kampung)有个很特别的文化叫“Gotong royong"。 就是村子里的人集合在一起同心协力地去做一件事的意思。村里的婚宴一般都是村民们集合一起共同完成的,每个村子都有自己的婚宴团队,专门负责婚宴煮食和安排。换句话说,每个村子的婚宴美食都是很独特的哦!

周末我们请朋友一家和他们来探亲的父母吃饭,我做了马来羊肉咖喱马来香料炸鸡 和 凉拌黄瓜,大家都很喜欢,连小孩都很喜欢颜色好看的这道米饭哦!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

【荷叶糯米饭】Lotus Leaf Rice (Hor Yip Fan)


This Lotus Leaf Rice is a very common dish served at Chinese wedding dinner back home. It is normally served last to ensure all the guests are well fed. 

It is a very thoughtful arrangement and I always love the taste and fragrance derive from lotus leave.

Corn Milk 【玉米汁】

Sweetjuicy local grown corn is one of the benefits of living in NJ, we loved it grilled, buttered or steamed. Last week the local farmers market had a promotion on sweet corn, I brought a big bag of it and make this very refreshing corn milk.

My son A is a corn lover. He fell for this corn milk instantly, he said : " I like it mommy!"

夏天是甜玉米盛产的季节, 非常甜美多汁。上周我家附近的农夫市场促销玉米,我买了一大包,回来用几根做了这款玉米汁,冰箱里冰起来喝。俊宝很爱吃玉米,对这款玉米汁也赞不绝口哦!

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Nasi Lemak Kukus (Steamed Coconut Rice) 【椰浆饭】

With many of my fellow Malaysian friends showing their Ramadan feast on facebook the last couple of weeks, I started craving for nasi lemak to no end. Nasi lemak used to be my breakfast back home for years. I especially loved the small packets of Nasi Lemak wrapped in Banana leaves sold by street hawkers, it is simple, authentic and full of flavors. 

My love for nasi lemak probably was responsible for my weight and cholesterol level then, but then, it was totally worth it!!

I had to make this nasi lemak for lunch this weekend, I could wait no longer. This steaming method really works great and my nasi lemak turned out just the way I liked it! The only thing I am missing here is a fresh banana leave!

P/s:Original recipe was written on 7/26/2014, updated with photographs.



Friday, August 12, 2016

Salmon braised Mushroom 【三文魚燴雙菇】

I made some steamboat for dinner few days ago and was left with some fresh mushrooms. I made this mushrooms fish dish, very delicious.


Natural Blue Soda 【梦幻蝶豆花饮料】

I made Blue Chai using the butterfly pea flower not long ago, the color of the drink is so beautiful that I can't stop looking at it. 

I then freeze some of the unsweetened blue chai in ice cube box and use it today to serve with soda, it makes the soda looks so dreamy and beautiful.

A good idea to serve over party!




Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Dum Aloo(Roasted Potatoes in Creamy Gravy) 【腰果土豆咖喱】

I have been a little lazy lately, not working out as much as I should. It has got to do with my poor sleeping pattern. So I was really looking forward to the long weekend so that I could get some much needed rest.

As planned,this weekend was a quiet one, our dear friend A came from NYC and spent the afternoon with us on Saturday, we had fun chit chatting and went out for a good Indian dinner at a nearby restaurant. Sunday was rainy again so we decided to stay in and enjoyed a few movies at home.

N had requested potato curry sometimes ago, since I have been wanting to blog on Dum Aloo for a long time, I made this yummy dish for lunch, it is really creamy and delicious!


Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Spinach Pan Mee 【菠菜板面】

I planted some Amaranthus last year during the summer, but the yield was low, I did not uproot the plants and let it die on its own. Little did I know that Amaranthus is so hardy that it survived the winter and came out on its own again this year, only stronger.

It gave me palm size leaves that look amazing, though I have not planted much this year, my Amaranthus did give me a chance to enjoy home grown vegetable! I harvest some to make this Pan Mee today, which I made the dough using spinach, I liked that the red Amaranth makes the soup a little pinkish in color, beautiful and full of nutrients!

去年夏天的时候我种了一批红/绿苋菜但长得都不好,后来我就没收成,让它自生自灭了。今年播种期家里一堆事情,所以就休耕了。谁知不久前苋菜自己钻了出来,长得还特别好,叶子都成巴掌大了。 摘一盆煮一锅菠菜汁做的板面,吃得营养又满足,真是老天送我的礼物呢!

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Rempeyek Kacang (Crispy Peanuts Fritters) 【炸花生饼】

I always buy this fritter as a snack from Kopitiam (Coffee shop) near my house when I was young. I remembered paying 5 cents apiece years back, I loved the taste of spices and the crunchiness of it. 

Rempeyek is normally made in round shape using a special metal mould back home. Since I do not have a mould here , I used the Javanese method to make it, which is to flow the batter by the side of hot wok and later push it down into hot oil using a turning spade to deep fry.



Thursday, July 28, 2016

Blue Chai (Blue Pea Flower Tea) 【蓝花茶】

When I made Nyonya dumplings not long ago, many friends asked me about the blue coloring I used to dye the rice. It is from blue pea flower/butterfly pea flower, it is a natural food coloring with a lot of health benefits.

According to Wikipedia:

Clitoria ternatea, common names including butterfly pea, blue pea, Aprajita, Cordofan pea and Asian pigeonwings, is a plant species belonging to the Fabaceae family.

......Names in other languages include bunga telang (Malay), อัญชัน `anchan (Thai), đậu biếc (Vietnamese), अपराजिता Aparajita in Hindi and 蝶豆 dié dòu (Mandarin Chinese), 'Sankhu Poolu/Sankham Poolu' in Telugu, "Shankupushpam" in Malayalam language and অপরাজিতা (Aparajita) in Bengali.

In Thailand, a syrupy blue drink is made called nam dok anchan (น้ำดอกอัญชัน), it is sometimes consumed with a drop of sweet lime juice to increase acidity and turn the juice into pink-purple.

前阵子做娘惹粽 的时候好些朋友问我娘惹粽漂亮的蓝色是怎么来的。它是用天然色素蝶豆花染的,出来的效果非常好。蝶豆花是个健康保健的好东西、有抗氧化、提升脑力、护发、提高抵抗力的效果。



Saturday, July 23, 2016

Thai basil chicken recipe (pad kra pao gai ผัดกระเพราไก่) 【泰式打抛鸡丁】

I had previously made Pad Ka Prao using minced Chicken, Turkey and Pork, all turned out very nice and tasty.

This time I have used diced chicken and added some long bean, it allows us to have more vegetables and hubby loved it so much, he had 2 plateful!


Monday, July 18, 2016

Jaljeera 【孜然饮料】

Jaljeera is the Indian way to deal with lost of appetite and indigestion on hot summer days. The taste is so rich and flavourful that it almost instantly brighten your mood! Try it out if you haven't already!


Saturday, July 16, 2016

Banana Chocolate Chips Cake 【香蕉巧克力蛋糕】

My husband have this obsession of bananas that it's almost absurd, he has to bring a bunch of banana back whenever he goes to the grocery store. Needless to say, he goes to the store a little too many times this month, and I was left with a bunch of overripe bananas again.

So I made this cake with the help of my son A yesterday night and had it for breakfast today, the chocolate chips really kick the taste up a notch!



Friday, July 15, 2016

Bamboo Shoots Rice【竹笋焖饭】

When mom was here in the States, she loves to buy fresh bamboo shoots from The Asian market, she will stir fry it with tofu or made stew with pork belly.

She told me about this rice dish that she used to eat as a kid couple of weeks back. When I saw fresh bamboo shoots in the market, I brought home some and made this rice dish and shared with a few friends. 

My friends loved it so much that one of them even brought me more bamboo shoots days later and request me to make it again!