Golden Apricot and Almond Tart

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I love tarts, but often found the shop bought ones too hard & cold.  I add to my tarts ricotta for tenderness, almond meal for comfort, and jam for extra homeliness.

Apricot tart (small rectangle)

Recipe is as follow: Read the rest of this entry »

Hometown sweet and savory rice dumplings (家乡咸水角) – memories of my grandfather’s village at ZhongShan (中山)

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These dumplings are distinctively Cantonese- sweet & savory, gentle and tasty. Someone told me that it was originated from the Zhongshan region (中山) where my grandfather was born.

Hometown Sweet & Savory Glutinous Rice Dumplings (家乡咸水角) XianSuiJiao

My grandfather’s family lived in a village called Yunhan (云汉村) in a town called Shaxi (沙溪镇). The town was well known for its connection to overseas Chinese – nearly every family had some relatives overseas.

My childhood memory of the village where our relatives lived was picturesque –  peaceful lychee trees growing alongside a small river, laden with juicy purple-red fruits. The houses in the village were the traditional terrace houses with beautiful classic wooden furniture called red Suanzhi, translated as the red sour-wood (酸枝), one of the most expensive furniture hardwood in southern China. At the back of each house, there was a courtyard with a sand filter.  Water was carried home from a nearby well, commonly in two wooden buckets on a pole, then filtered to drinking water in a sand filter.  Most courtyards were lined with stones. The stoves were also made of stones where straws and sticks were burned to cook food. A well-off region with fertile farm land and money from offshore relations, hospitality at the village was always warm and welcoming.

Zhongshan 云汉村 in 1970s
Relatives walking along the lychee tree lined river, at Yunhan village (云汉村), Zhonghshan, 1970s

 

DelishHomeCook, village, ZhongShan 中山, GuangDong, China
My family’s village at ZhongShan in early 1980s

These savory dumplings are wonderfully interesting  – glutinous rice skin that tastes a little like a doughnut, with extremely tasty fillings.  They are time-consuming to make, but very worthwhile.

Recipe is as follows: Read the rest of this entry »

Cheesy muffins with zucchini and carrot

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This is a winner at the cake stalls – while people showing up at the election cake stall at 9am, they may not want a cup cake.

Muffins

Recipe is as follow: Read the rest of this entry »

White cut chicken with Vietnamese slaw & the Chinese New Year’s Eve feast

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White cut chicken is so very close to my heart.

When I grew up in the early 70s in Southern China, we lived simply on limited resources. Earning a first prize in school meant a lot to me, as the prize was typically a pencil with a rubber at the end, a real luxury. I would jump for joy if I received a prize of a few new exercise books as they were frequently out of stock at the shops.

My father was a university graduate and a mechanical engineer.  The year that I was born, he was ‘redistributed’ to work at a factory 150km away from home. Those days, 150km means a 5 hours journey on a train. My father’s monthly salary was about $60 yuan (approx USD10 based on today’s exchange rate). He kept $30 yuan for himself and sent the rest to us. My mother was a factory hand whose monthly salary was $37 yuan (approx USD6 based on today’s exchange rate).  Once a year, our Singapore uncle sent us a little money. My mother would buy some fabric, sew a new piece of clothing for me on my grandmother’s old sewing machine. Our Singapore uncle was very kind to us –  he had a large family to support and he was not well off himself.

At the end of each Chinese Luna year, my father was entitled to a 10-day holiday to spend Chinese New Year with the family. As a special treat for the New Year’s Eve family dinner, my father always brought home a farm chicken which cost around $10 yuan. He had to save up for months to buy the chicken. My grandmother carefully slaughtered and poached the chicken, then served it at the Chinese New Year Eve dinner.  The chicken was shared among the whole family – grandmother, uncles, aunties and us. There were only a few pieces for each of us. Grandmother was entitled to the chicken’s bottom, a delicacy. I was the first grandchild born in the house and was entitled to one of the wings – another delicacy. How delicious it was, our once a year white cut chicken feast.

Over the years in Australia I had many white cut chicken dishes – some were delicious, some were cooked without care. I started cooking my own version of the boneless white cut chicken, and my friends always enjoyed the dish.

This recipe is a modern fusion of Chinese & Vietnamese – gently poached juicy tender chicken breast fillet on a bed of fresh Vietnamese style slaw.

White cut chicken with Vietnamese slaw (gluten free)

Recipe is as follows: Read the rest of this entry »

Cucumber rolls with lamb, capsicum and eggs (FODMAP friendly, gluten free)

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These gorgeous little rolls are so easy to make – scramble a egg with a pinch of salt; pan fry some lamb and red capsicum with a dash of gluten free soy sauce and sesame oil; boil  some rice and cool; slice some cucumber lengthwise (use a peeler);  roll some rice with the egg, lamb and capsicum in the middle very tightly with cling wrap then cut into portion with a sharp knife; wrap a piece of sliced cucumber around the rice roll – and there it goes, pretty and tasty.

Cucumber rolls with lamb, capsicum and eggs (FODMAP, gluten free)

Chili, ginger and garlic prawns (gluten free)

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This is a fantastic dish to share with friends as part of a banquet, or to serve as an entree on a bed of fluffy boiled rice.

Chili, garlic and ginger prawns

Recipe is as follow: Read the rest of this entry »

Bean sprout salad with spicy Korean radish (gluten free, Vegan)

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As a Cantonese grown up in southern China in the 70s, bean sprout dishes were a regular on the dinner table because it was very cheap.  My grandmother grew the bean sprouts herself in a large brown urn under the stairs. My childhood memory of bean sprouts was always a stir fry watery dish with very little flavor. It was not until I arrived in Australian and had the opportunity to taste Korean food, to learn that it could be spiced up and taste so wonderful !

Spicy bean sprout salad (glute free, Vegan)

Recipe is as follows: Read the rest of this entry »