Month: January 2016
Eggs are precious to me.When I was a little girl, my family had very little. Every year at my birthday, instead of kids party, mouthwatering sweets, toys and other gifts, I received a hard boil egg that was colored in red. The red color was rubbed off, with a little water, from some left over cheap red paper that was used for wrapping the ‘lucky’ money for Chinese Luna New Years.
Having lived in Australia for nearly 30 years, I still love my eggs immensely.I use eggs for cooking all the time, sometimes it is as simple as cracking an egg over some boiled rice and cook it in microwave for 1 minute as a quick meal, eat with a dash of soy sauce and olive oil.
The soy sauce and tea infused eggs below is a popular street snack food across Asia. My version is FODMAP friendly and can be made as a gluten free option.
It is very simple to make – see recipe below. Read the rest of this entry »
Making Chinese buns is so very easy, simply pick up a good quality pack of bun flour & follow the instruction on the pack, and add a bit of baking power. There are a few popular type of buns – plain ‘man tou’ (馒头), ‘bao zi’ (包子) which is a bun with meat or vegetable in the center, twisted bun Huajuan (花卷), and in the north, ‘Rou jia mo’ (肉夹馍) which is a meat sandwich.
Here is a meat-bun sandwich I made today, filled with lamb stir fried with Sichuan soy bean chili paste.
Recipe is as follow: Read the rest of this entry »
I can hear you asking – what has vegemite to do with Chinese Luna New Year?
My little boy’s school is running a food festival next month. I am baking some vegemite twists for the Australian food stall.
The shape of this twist is borrowed from a Cantonese fried sweet pastry called ‘DanSan’ (蛋散). DanSan is a humble homemade pastry with flour, eggs and sugar, and deep fried in hot oil. Dan San is often made just before a Luna New Year, together with ‘YouJiao‘ (油角), a deep fried pastry with a filling of peanut, coconut and white sugar. My memory was that my second uncle always rolled out the pastry, we all helped making the DanSan & YouJiao, and my grandmother deep fried the pastry in a wok of hot oil over a coal stove. Because it was Chinese New Year, my grandmother allowed me access to the brown urn where the cooked pastries are kept under the stairs, I was in heaven!
I still remember that, during the first 10 days of a Luna New Year, families would visit their relatives to ‘BaiNian’ (拜年), or wishing them a happy new year. They would bring a bag of the pastry and some fruits as gifts. Their hosts would return the bags with their own homemade pastry and a few of the fruits. This is called ‘HuiLi’ (回礼), or the return of gifts. During these visits, children would get red envelopes from older relatives with money in them. The envelope is called LiShi (利是), meaning good luck. As a little girl I always looked forward to such visits, where I could stock up on the hard-to-get pocket money.
And once a year, the family gathered together for a rare group photo.
Here is my version of Australian ‘DanSan’ look-alike made with puff pastry & Vegemite, and I hope these little yummy treats can bring you good luck for 2016.
Recipe is as follows:
I saw some lovely quails at the butcher the day before Christmas. I could smell the aroma of quails baking in my oven with an Asian fusion stuffing of sultana, warm apple, leek, sliced almond, herbs (parsley, oregano, thyme, ginger, garlic, thinly sliced kaffir lime leafs), spices (cinnamon, smoked paprika, Chinese five-spice), hoisin sauce, macadamias oil, sesame oil and panko crumbs – great to share with a few friends over a few wines on Christmas eve !
The stuffing I made was so yum, simple & versatile. The hoisin sauce harmonized the ingredients beautifully. You can use this stuffing for roast pork, turkey, chicken, and of course, quails. For stuffing the quails, I also pan fried the quails’ livers & hearts with butter, roughly chopped and added to the stuffing.