Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Steamed Crab with Egg and Chinese Wine 花雕水蛋蒸蟹

Out of the many cooking classes I took in Hong Kong, I think this is the most simple and yet very delicious one. The flavors of the crab and egg blend very well together and the addition of the Chinese wine adds complex flavor! It will definitely wow your family and guests. You can twist the recipe a bit to suit your tastes and needs. Follow the tips and tricks below will guarantee you a silky and smooth steamed egg.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

The Journey of 365 三百六十五之旅

Long time no post! I think this must be my longest stretch without a post. Am I quitting? No, I am not giving up this blog....yet : )

I have been away to my homeland, Hong Kong. (Thanks to the historically low airfare--$365 non-stop round trip from Los Angeles to HK.) This month-long trip served a few purposes. One of them was to continue my culinary education. I had the opportunity to learn from the best chefs in HK.

Some of the classes I took were to learn how to make HK style milk tea 港式絲襪奶茶、Pan fried bao 生煎包、Chiu Chau Marinade 潮洲滷水、Hand pulled rice noodles, etc 布拉腸粉,等等....

"The more I learn, the more I know I don't know" 學而知不足

Hopefully I will have the chance to share with you in the near future, after I recover from jet lag.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Apple Cake (no added sugar) 萍果蛋糕 (無添加白糖)

This is my first time baking without granulated sugar and the result is surprisingly good. Maple syrup gives the cake a fine and moist crumb. A good choice for Fall dessert.

It is a straightforward recipe and easy to follow. It uses the simple muffin method which the dry ingredients are mixed in a bowl and the wet in another bowl then they are mixed together and bake.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Lemon Bar 檸檬吧

One of the benefits of living in Southern California is the abundance of sunshine. Many people have backyards with different types of fruit trees: lemon, peach, orange, loquat, pear, passion fruit.....Even though I don't have any, I am blessed to know friends who do : )

What can I with so much fruit, especially lemon, other than making lemonade? Here is a great recipe to make lemon bars with the right balance of sweetness and tanginess.

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)

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.

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:

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 Ma Lai Gao 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。

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.

April 9
Saturday 2pm
Street Foods of Hong Kong: 
Steamed rice cake in a bowl, HK Egg Waffle
April 21
Thursday 4:30pm
Chet Holifield,
Char Siu/BBQ Pork

April 30
Saturday 2pm
Street Foods of Hong Kong: 
HK Egg Waffle, Tofu Pudding, Curry fish ball

May 11
Wednesday 6pm
Sunkist Library,
La Puente
Bo Law Bao/Pineapple Bun
May 14
Saturday 2pm
West Covina
Street Foods of Hong Kong
Black Sesame roll, HK Egg Waffle
May 18
Wednesday 4:30pm
Chet Holifield Library,
Char Siu/BBQ Pork

May 21
Saturday 2pm
Sorensen Library, Whittier
Char Siu/BBQ Pork, Egg Tart
May 25
Wednesday 6pm
Sunkist Library
La Puente
Snowy Mooncake
June 4
Saturday 2pm
Charter Oak Library
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
July 9
Saturday 2pm
Live Oak Library,
Street Foods of Hong Kong: 
Vegetarian Lo Mei, Steamed rice cake in a bowl
July 23
Saturday 2pm
Street Foods of Hong Kong:
HK Egg Waffle, Tofu Pudding

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!

Monday, January 4, 2016

Ginger, Tangerine and Lemon Peel in Vinegar 八珍陳皮檸檬薑

Oh my, it is cold these days in Los Angeles with daily highs only at around the 50s fahrenheit and below freezing in the early morning hours in many parts of Southern California. Jackets, sweaters and scarves are flying off the shelves in stores. Hot pots and clay pot with rice are very popular foods in many Asian homes in the winter. Warm food and soup can really warm not just the body but the soul.

What usually accompanies winter is a cold or flu. Therefore getting enough sleep, and having good, nutritious food are very important to boost the immune system. Ginger is a treasured food that promotes blood circulation and helps fight infection. Together with tangerine peel, they are two of the three "Treasures from Guangdong," the third being straw grass.

For more about the nutritional values of ginger, click here.

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