Thursday, June 23, 2016

Handmade Steamed Rice Roll 布拉腸粉



What should be the quality of a good rice roll? Silky smooth, thin, soft and warm. And don't forget the dipping sauce. Some like plain soy sauce while others like a combination of soy sauce, hoisin sauce and sesame paste and some like to add hot, spicy sauce as well. A good rice roll, well combined sauce and a sprinkle of roasted sesame are a match made in heaven!

No matter what you prefer, it is a breakfast staple for many Chinese around the world. It is also a common and popular street food in Hong Kong. In dim sum restaurant, there are a variety of rice roll available: shrimp, minced beef and char siu. Many people also like the one wrap with Chinese fried bread stick (aka: Chinese donut)


怎樣才是一碟好食的腸粉?幼滑、薄身、軟綿及熱。不要忘記醬汁,有人只沾醬油,但我比較喜歡混醬:醬油+海鮮醬+芝麻醬。調教好的醬與腸粉,再撒上炒香的芝麻更是一絕。

無論你怎樣食腸粉,這是很多華人都喜歡用來做早餐的食物,特別是香港,在眾多街頭小食中,腸粉也很受歡迎。蝦腸、牛腸及叉燒腸更是港式點心不可缺少的項目,炸兩也是很多人的至愛。

炸兩的典故: 話說上個世紀四十年代,廣州一間茶樓的點心師傅為了食客可以花一個價錢可以食到腸粉及油炸鬼,便靈機一動,用腸粉包著油炸鬼做成點心。結果因外皮滑溜,餡料香脆而大受歡迎,並流傳至香港。炸兩是由兩條腸粉包著一孖油炸鬼而成,為了迎合不同口胃的食客,用一條腸粉包一條油炸鬼的 "炸一" 也應運而生。(資料來源:香港地道小食:煎、炸焗系列,中華廚藝學院出版)

Ingredients to make about 8 rice rolls:

200g/1¼ cup rice flour 粘米粉
12g/1 tbsp water chestnut flour 馬蹄粉
12g/1.5 tbsp wheat starch 澄麵
12g/1.5 tbsp cornstarch 粟米粉
12g/1.5 tbsp potato starch 薯仔澱粉
25g/2 tbsp vegetable oil 菜油
757/3¼ cup water 水
spring onion, diced 蔥花
dry shrimps, soaked 浸軟蝦米

Dipping sauce 醬汁:
2 tbsp soy sauce 生抽
1 tsp dark soy sauce 老抽
1 tsp fish sauce 魚露
1 tbsp sugar 糖
4 tbsp water 水

1) Mix all the flour in a large mixing bowl.
2) Add a third of the water, about one cup. Mix thoroughly with a whisk.
3) Add the oil and mix vigorously until it is absorbed by the batter.
4) Add the remaining water.
5) Prepare a steamer and line it with a wet white cloth.
6) When the water boils, ladle enough batter until it covers the steamer. Sprinkle spring onions and shrimps on top, if using. Steam for 3-5 minutes.


7) Remove the cloth from the steamer and lay it, upside down, on an oiled tray. Remove the cloth carefully. Roll up the rice noodle.
8) Continue with the rest of the batter.

Note:
1) Potato starch is different from potato flour. Make sure you use the starch, not flour.
2) Use cotton fabric without lint for lining the steamer. Always use the same side.

1) 將所有粉類放大碗內。
2) 加入三份一之水,約一杯,攪拌成粉漿。
3) 加油,大力攪至完全被吸收。
4) 再加餘下之水。
5) 準備蒸籠及蒸布。
6) 水滾後放濕了的布在蒸籠內,放入適量粉漿,撒上蔥花和蝦米,上蓋蒸約三分鐘。取出小心揭開布,卷起成腸粉。


注意事項:
1) 粉漿用的薯仔澱粉有異於薯粉或其他叫生粉的粉,認明英文名稱才不會買錯。
2) 蒸腸粉白布可用任何質地,沒有"毛毛"的便行。每次要用布的同一面。




Monday, June 6, 2016

Tofu Pudding/Dou Fu Hua 幼滑豆腐花


The texture of a dish is as important as its taste. It will be a big disappointment if a food that is supposed to be crunchy turns out to be soft or soggy. On the other hand, if it should be smooth and silky but it is rough and firm, people might be surprised and wary. The best texture for tofu pudding is smooth and silky, which you can just swallow.

What's the trick to making silky tofu pudding? The temperature of the soymilk is critical. The optimal temperature to mix soy milk and the coagulant is 155F/85C. If the soy milk is boiling hot, the resulting pudding will not be as smooth.

The coagulant used in most of tofu making is gypsum (calcium sulfate). It is a mineral mined from natural rock, not a synthetic chemical.

The correct ratio between gypsum and potato starch in the following recipe gives the best texture and minimal amount of whey.



食物除了味道之外,正確的口感也很重要。應該脆口的食物如果變軟,應該入口幼滑而變成粗糙,那麼便大打折扣了。正如豆腐花,幼滑的質地便極其重要。那麼竅門是什麼呢?正確豆漿溫度便是決定成敗的關鍵,不能太低--低於華氏155度或攝氏85度--不會凝結,太高--大滾或接近沸點--口感粗糙。

做豆腐花或豆腐的凝結劑石膏粉是天然礦物質。

正確的石膏粉及薯粉比例便能做出幼滑豆腐花,不會出太多水。

Ingredients to make half a gallon of pudding:

2 quarts/half gallon soy milk, unsweetened
10g/2 tsp gypsum
10g/3 tsp potato or tapioca starch
½ cup water



Ginger Syrup:
¾ cup sugar or 140g rock sugar
4 thick slices of ginger, peeled, about 50g
2 cups water

1) Use ½ cup of water to dissolve gypsum and potato starch in a tall pot or container.
2) Bring the soy milk to a boil in another pot. Stir frequently to prevent a skin from forming. Remove from heat and let it cool down slightly to about 155°F/85°C. (Or heat until the soy milk reaches 155°F/85°C.)
3) Whisk the pot of coagulant before pouring in the hot soy milk.
4) Hold the hot soy milk pot about a foot higher than the gypsum mixture pot. Pour the hot soy milk into the coagulant. The gush of turbulence will mix the ingredients. DO NOT STIR.
5) Cover and let it sit undisturbed for at least 15 minutes.

Ginger Syrup:
1) Put sugar, ginger, and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil.
2) Let it simmer for at least 5 minutes.
3)  Remove from heat. If a stronger ginger flavor is desired, leave the ginger in the syrup for longer time. Otherwise, remove the ginger.


半加侖無糖豆漿
十克/兩茶匙石膏粉
十克/三茶匙薯粉
半杯水

薑味糖漿:
¾ 杯白糖或140g 片糖,約兩片
四片薑, 去皮,約五十克
兩杯水

1) 在一高身鍋內加入石膏粉和薯粉,放入水,攪勻。
2) 用另一鍋煲豆漿至滾,不時攪拌,熄火。讓溫度稍降至約華氏155度/攝氏85度。(或直接將豆漿加熱至華氏155度)
3) 再次攪勻高身鍋內之粉漿。
4) 將熱豆漿從約一尺高撞入高身鍋內。不要攪拌
5) 上蓋,靜待至少十五分鐘。

薑味糖漿:
1) 在一鍋內放入水、糖及薑片,煮至滾。
2) 讓糖水煮約五分鐘。
3) 熄火,如要多薑味,可讓它浸泡長一點時間



Monday, May 16, 2016

Sweet Rice Balls with Peanuts and Sesame 糖不甩


"Sugar is not rejection" is the translation from Google for this Chinese dessert! Obviously something is lost from translating this classic and well-loved dessert of many Cantonese people. The literal meaning of the name comes from the fact that when the sweet rice ball rolls on the peanut, sesame, and sugar mixture, the coating does not come off. It sticks to the rice ball like this:


It is an easy-to-make dessert and best served right after it is made. The peanut powder used in the coating can either be bought from a store or homemade (stir-fry raw, skinless peanuts in a pan or wok, without oil, until they turn slightly brown. After cooling down, ground them in a food processor until fine.) The recommended ratio of peanut powder, sugar, and sesame is 1:1:0.5, but you can also adjust this ratio to your own taste.

It can also be rolled with black sesame powder for a different taste!



這款可說是懷舊甜品的經典之作,(如果閣下是生長於香港但未曾品嘗過,証明你很年輕! : ))

因不能預先做好,就算香港的甜品店都很少有,更不要提在美國了。所以想食都是自己動手做吧!

(很多人誤以為這是湯丸的一種,但湯丸是有內餡及食用時有"湯"的。)

用來做沾料的花生粉可買現成或自做(將無衣花生用白鑊炒香,放涼後壓碎或用食物處理器打碎成粉狀便可)。沾料的花生粉、糖、芝麻的比例是1:1:0.5

花生粉也可改用黑芝麻粉啊!

食譜參考:香港地道小食:甜品、糖水系列,中華廚藝學院



Ingredients to make about 24 small rice balls, about half an inch in diameter:

100g glutinous rice flour 糯米粉
2 tsp corn oil 粟米油
16g vegetable shortening 固體菜油
1 tsp cornstarch 粟米粉
1 tsp egg white 蛋白
69g-75g/0.3 cup water 水

Brown sugar syrup 黃金糖水:
one block brown sugar 片糖
one cup water 水

Coating 沾料
peanut powder 花生粉
sesame, roasted 炒香芝麻
sugar 糖

1) Mix flour, cornstarch, oil, shortening and egg white in a bowl.
2) Mix in the water in three additions. Knead after each addition. You should have a soft dough which does not stick to your hand.
3) Cover with plastic wrap for 5 minutes to let the flour absorb moisture.
4) Divide the dough into small balls, about half an inch in diameter.


5) Fill a pot with water and bring it to a rolling boil.
6) In another bowl, add brown sugar and water. Let it boil and remove from heat. Set aside.
7) Put the dough balls in the boiling water and let them cook until they float to the surface. It will take a few minutes. No need to stir.


8) Remove from water and put in the syrup. Let them soak for a few minutes. (No need to put this on heat while the balls are soaking.)


9) Remove the balls and roll them into the peanut, sugar, and sesame coating mixture. Serve immediately.



Note: the amount of water used in making the dough is for your reference only because different brands of glutinous flour have different water absorption properties. Your goal is to have a soft dough that doesn't stick to your hand.

1) 大碗內放糯米粉、粟米粉、油、固體菜油及蛋白,攪拌。
2) 水分三次加入,直至麵團軟綿不黏手即成。
3) 蓋上保鮮紙,靜待五分鐘讓麵團吸收水份。
4) 將麵團分成小份,搓圓成糖不甩丸子。
5) 煲水至大滾,放丸子,不需攪拌,煮約三、四分鐘至浮面。
6) 用另一鍋煮片糖水。糖溶離火。撈起糖不甩放入糖水浸幾分鐘。
7) 撈起放入沾料便成。


注意事項:開粉用的水用量只供參考,因不同產地及牌子的糯米粉吸水能力都不同,只要麵團感覺軟綿、不粘手便成。



Monday, May 2, 2016

The Best and Easiest Ma Lai Gao 最好味及易做的馬拉糕


This is my third update of some of the older recipes/posts (the other two are: Pineapple Cake/PastryTurnip Cake). The old recipe uses an aged dough, which takes a long time and a lot of patience. This new one is a lot simpler to make and does not require lye while the result is still soft and fluffy.

隨著鳳梨酥 及 羅蔔糕 食譜的更新,今次輪到馬拉糕了。舊的食譜 用麵種做,比較費時,這個新食譜比較簡單及不須加鹼水,也一樣鬆軟可口。

Recipe reference: 香港地道小食:麵食、糕點及特色小吃系列,中華廚藝學院

Ingredients to make an 8 inch cake:

112g cake flour 低筋麵粉
112g evaporated milk 花奶
3 large eggs 大蛋
112g sugar 糖
28g vegetable oil 菜油
3g instant yeast 酵母
20g custard powder 吉士粉
5g baking powder 泡打粉
8g whole milk powder 全脂奶粉
1/2 tsp vanilla extract 雲呢哪香油
1/2 tsp molasses 糖漿/糖蜜


1) In a mixing bowl, combine sugar and flour. Add yeast, baking powder, custard powder and milk powder. Whisk to mix.
2) Add evaporated milk, vanilla extract and the eggs. Whisk to combine.
3) Add molasses and oil. Whisk to make a smooth batter.
4) Put the batter in a warm spot (77-80F) and let it rise for 2 hours.
5) Prepare a steamer and line a pan with parchment paper.


6) After two hours of fermentation, the batter should have visible little bubbles. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and steam for 25 minutes.


7) Insert a toothpick in the middle of the cake to make sure it is cook through. Remove from the steamer and let it cool down on a rack. Serve warm.


Note: 
1) Adjust the fermentation time if the room is colder or warmer than 77F, longer time if cooler and shorter time if warmer. The correct fermentation temperature is critical.
2) The addition of molasses is for a darker color of the cake. It is optional.



1) 糖及低筋麵粉放大碗內,加入酵母、泡打粉、吉士粉及奶粉,攪勻。
2) 加入淡奶,攪勻。
3) 加蛋攪勻至蛋糊幼滑,無粉粒。
4) 加油、雲呢哪香油及糖漿,攪勻後放溫暖處(77-80F)發酵兩小時。
5) 蛋糊倒入鋪了紙的糕盤,大火蒸廿五分鐘至熟。

注意事項:
1) 發酵的溫度很重要,是成敗的關鍵。
2) 加入糖漿/糖蜜主要是讓顏色深一點。




Monday, April 18, 2016

Hong Kong Style Vegetarian Lo Mei 港式齋鹵味


This is one of the most popular street foods in Hong Kong. Vegetarian sweet and sour pork, curry chicken, BBQ pork....the list is quite long. I am always amazed how they are made vegetarian but taste more authentic than the real meat!!

Even though Southern California is home to the largest Asian population in the US, it is a big disappointment that I cannot find this kind of vegetarian lo mei in Chinese restaurants. If you do know where I can get this, though, let me know!

Fortunately, it is very easy to DIY. Many Chinese vegetarian dishes are made with soy product or these fried gluten balls. The ones I used are available in Chinese markets.


Tuesday, March 22, 2016

The Best Pineapple Cake/Pastry 最好味的鳳梨酥



After posting the the Best Turnip Cake, I feel the need to update my old pineapple pastry recipe as well. Pineapple pastry is one of my blog's most popular posts. It has been quoted and used to compare with other bloggers' recipes by Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids. I admire her spirit to search the best and not settle for mediocrity.

How does this new recipe different from the old one? By having more egg in this new version, it basically produces a crust which brown more nicely than the old one. The higher percentage of milk powder contributes to a richer crust as well.

As for the filling, I think what people dread most is the time it takes to cook the pineapple to a thick paste. It is a real test of your patience! Continue reading below as I show you how to cut down the cooking time.


Thursday, March 17, 2016

Updated Library Cooking Programs 免費圖書館烹飪節目更新



Go to www.colapublib.org for locations of different libraries.

Please note that there are a few programs which are on weekdays. The list will be updated periodically.

Date
Library
Topic
April 9
Saturday 2pm
Artesia
Street Foods of Hong Kong: 
Steamed rice cake in a bowl, HK Egg Waffle
香港街頭小食:
缽仔糕、雞蛋仔
April 21
Thursday 4:30pm
Chet Holifield,
Montebello
Char Siu/BBQ Pork
叉燒

April 30
Saturday 2pm
Rosemead
Street Foods of Hong Kong: 
HK Egg Waffle, Tofu Pudding, Curry fish ball
香港街頭小食:
雞蛋仔、豆腐花、咖喱魚蛋

May 11
Wednesday 6pm
Sunkist Library,
La Puente
Bo Law Bao/Pineapple Bun
菠蘿包
May 14
Saturday 2pm
West Covina
Street Foods of Hong Kong
Black Sesame roll, HK Egg Waffle
香港街頭小食:黑芝麻卷、雞蛋仔
May 18
Wednesday 4:30pm
Chet Holifield Library,
Montebello
Char Siu/BBQ Pork
南乳叉燒

May 21
Saturday 2pm
Sorensen Library, Whittier
Char Siu/BBQ Pork, Egg Tart
叉燒、蛋撻
May 25
Wednesday 6pm
Sunkist Library
La Puente
Snowy Mooncake
冰皮月餅
June 4
Saturday 2pm
Charter Oak Library
Covina
Street Foods of Hong Kong: 
Steamed rice cake in a bowl
 香港街頭小食: 缽仔糕
June 25
Saturday 2pm
Baldwin Park
Street Foods of Hong Kong: 
Vegetarian Lo Mei, Steamed rice cake in a bowl
香港街頭小食:
齋鹵味、缽仔糕
July 9
Saturday 2pm
Live Oak Library,
Arcadia
Street Foods of Hong Kong: 
Vegetarian Lo Mei, Steamed rice cake in a bowl
香港街頭小食:
齋鹵味、缽仔糕
July 23
Saturday 2pm
Walnut
Street Foods of Hong Kong:
HK Egg Waffle, Tofu Pudding
香港街頭小食:
雞蛋仔、豆腐花





Saturday, March 5, 2016

Hand Made Egg Roll 香脆手工蛋卷


Making egg rolls has been on my to-do list for quite some time. It is a very straightforward recipe, using only butter, egg, sugar, and flour. They just need to be blended together with a handheld mixer for a few minutes and the batter is ready to be cooked. But it does need a special pan that can be flipped to cook both sides. I tried different recipes and this one is the best, full of egg flavor and with a pleasantly crunchy texture.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

The Best Turnip Cake 最好味的蘿蔔糕



I have been using the same recipe to make turnip cake since high school... It's been a very long time, and I thought it was the best, that is, until I tried this recipe.

Basically, how this recipe is different from my old one is it includes two more types of flour in addition to rice flour--wheat starch and potato starch. It gives the cake a far better texture, making it softer and lighter.

Another way it is different is the way the turnip is prepared. I used to use a food processor to grate it. If you don't have a food processor or if you dread hand-grating a whole turnip, try cutting the turnip into strips. Not only does it save work and time, it provides a very good texture as you bite into the pudding. 

Simply put, this is a wonderful recipe!

Monday, January 25, 2016

Enoki Mushroom Beef Rolls 金菇牛柳卷


This dish looks fancy but it is easier to make than you might think. It will be a good dish for the Chinese New Year. Have something a little different than chicken and fish to celebrate this year!


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