Turnip Cake (Law Bak Gow) 蘿蔔糕


ftb_4957

Turnip cake is my husband’s favorite dim sum dish which can be found in Chinese dim sum restaurants throughout the year.  Turnip cake is traditionally made during the Chinese New Year since turnip is a homophone for “good fortune”, so people would make 10 plus containers and give them to friends and relatives.

The difference between homemade one and restaurant one is the amount of filling.  Even you find an authentic Chinese dim sum restaurant, you still won’t be satisfied with the filling (quite stingy).  This recipe requires a lot of chopping, but you will appreciate every effort you put on making this.

Ingredients for filling:

550g
3 cups
220g
250g
2 links
80 g
20 g
15 g
5-6 pieces
2 stalks
Grated turnip
Turnip juice
Rice flour
Cornstarch
Chinese preserved sausage (chopped)
Chinese preserved bacon (chopped)
Dried shrimp
Dried scallops (soaked and chopped)
Shittake mushrooms (chopped)
Green onion (chopped)

Marinate for filling:

1 teaspoon
1 teaspoon
1 Tablespoon
Light soy sauce
Light brown sugar
Rice cooking wine

Seasoning for grated turnip:

2 Tablespoon
1 teaspoon
1 Tablespoon
½ teaspoon
½ cup
½ cup
Chicken powder
Salt
Light brown sugar
White pepper (optional)
Chicken broth
liquid from soaking the dried scallops

turnip cake ingredients

Directions:

  • In a large bowl, shred turnip with a grater or you can use a food processor.  Separate turnip liquid and grated turnip.  You should have about 2½ cups of liquid, if not, add water to make 2½ cups.  Save about 550g of grated turnip for later use.
  • Soak shiitake mushrooms until softened.  Squeeze the mushrooms to drain all water.  Chop and set aside.
  • Soak dried scallops until softened, reserve the water for later use, chop and set aside.
  • Rinse all ingredients, chop Chinese sausage, bacon, dried shrimp and green onion, set aside.

How to cook turnip cake

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the rice flour, cornstarch and turnip liquid, stir with a spatula until well blended.
  • Combine chopped sausage, bacon, dried shrimp, mushrooms and scallops in a large bowl and marinate with soy sauce, sugar and cooking wine.  Add 1 tablespoon of oil to a frying pan, stir fry for 2 minutes.  Set aside.
  • Add two tablespoons of oil and a clove of garlic to a large skillet, when garlic turns slightly brown, discard garlic and pour grated turnip into the skillet, stir fry for 2 minutes and add in chicken broth, liquid saved from soaking dried scallops, chicken powder, salt, sugar and pepper, mix well.  Cover and cook for 5 minutes over medium low heat.
  • After 5 minutes, add ingredients listed in item 6 to the skillet, stir fry until everything is combined.  Gradually add liquid mixture and chopped green onion to the pan and mix well.
  • Transfer the batter to two 8-inch pie pans.  Steam the batter for 40 minutes over medium high heat.

ftb_4949

  • The most common way to eat this turnip cake is to slice to 3/4″ thick pieces and pan fry until both sides are golden brown.  Served with hot sauce.

Shrimp and Scallop Linguini


Shrimp and Scallop Linguini

I cooked this dish with a Chinese wok and the wok flavor was so strong and made this dish so delicious.  It’s a very easy and quick dish, it can be done in 30 minutes.

Adapted from Jamie Oliver

Ingredients:

20
8
1 box (16 oz)
1
2 Tbsp
1-2
16 oz
2 Tbsp
1 Tbsp
A pinch
A pinch
Medium Tiger Shrimp (peeled and deveined)
Jumbo scallops
Dried linguini
Small bunch Fresh basil
Garlic (minced)
Fresh red chili (optional)
Ripe cherry tomatoes
Extra virgin olive oil
Butter
Sea salt
Black pepper (freshly ground)

Directions:

  1. Cook linguini in boiling salted water according to packet instructions.  Reserve some of the pasta cooking water before draining the cooked pasta.
  2. Peel and minced the garlic.  Deseed and finely slice the chili (if you don’t like your pasta spicy, omit the chili).
  3. Remove the basil leaves from the stalks and finely chop the basil stalks.  Cut the cherry tomatoes in half.  Set aside.
  4. Marinate scallops with a pinch of salt, place 1 tablespoon of butter to a small frying pan and pan fry the scallops until both sides are slightly brown.
  5. In a large frying pan, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and then add garlic, chili, basil stalks and shrimp, cook over high heat.  Fry and stir everything together for about two minutes.
  6. Add cherry tomatoes to the pan with a pinch of salt and pepper.  Keep stirring.
  7. After about 3 minutes when the shrimp are pink and cooked through, return scallops and pasta to the frying pan.  Toss everything together, and if the sauce is a bit thick, add a little of your reserved cooking water to thin it out slightly.
  8. Have a taste then season with a good pinch of salt and pepper.
  9. Sprinkle basil leaves on the top.

Note:  Do not overcook the shrimp.  The Linguini should be cooked to the al dente stage, do not cook it too soft.

Chicken Lettuce Wraps


Chicken Lettuce Wraps

When it comes to Chinese cooking, we spend quite a lot of time in preparation (to cut, dice, mince, julienne, chop, etc.).  As a working mom, lettuce wraps is only a weekend dish as I don’t have enough time to cook it after work.  People may find this recipe complicated but it’s worth your time and once you get a handle on it, it is pretty easy.  There are a lot of 30 minute meal recipes, but sometimes we just need to slow down and enjoy cooking and eating.

Marinate for Chicken:

2 pounds
1 tsp
1 Tbsp
2 tsp
1 tsp
Chicken breasts (ground)
Cornstarch
Light soy sauce
Rice cooking wine
Salt

Ingredients:

8
5 Tbsp
1 Tbsp
1 Tbsp
2 stalks
2-3
10
1 package
1 head
Dried shiitake mushrooms (soaked and diced)
Oil
Fresh ginger (minced)
Garlic (minced)
Green onions (cut into small pieces)
Small dried chilies (Optional)
Fresh water chestnuts (minced)
Chinese vermicelli
Iceberg Lettuce

Cooking Sauce:

3 Tbsp
3 Tbsp
3 Tbsp
6 Tbsp
6 Tbsp
3 tsp
3 tsp
6 tsp
Hoisin sauce
Light soy sauce
Rice cooking wine
Oyster sauce
Water
Sesame oil
Light brown sugar
Cornstarch

Directions:

  1. To deep fry the vermicelli, pour 1 cup of oil into a saucepan over medium low heat.  Make sure the oil is hot enough by dropping one noodle into the oil. If the noodle immediately puffs and turns white, the oil is ready.  Fry the noodles in batches, make sure you won’t crowd the pan. Remove the noodles as they puff, and drain them on paper towels.
  2. Cover mushrooms with boiling water, let stand 30 minutes then drain.  Discard woody stems and dice mushrooms, set aside.
  3. Mix all ingredients for cooking sauce in a bowl and set aside.
  4. In a medium bowl, marinate chicken with cooking wine, soy sauce, salt, pepper and cornstarch.  Let it sit for 15 minutes.
  5. Add 3 Tbsp oil to a saucepan/wok over high heat, stir fry chicken until cooked.  Set aside.
  6. Add 2 Tbsp oil to a clean saucepan/wok, add ginger, garlic and chilies.  When garlic is slightly brown, stir in water chestnuts and mushrooms (about 2 minutes).  Return chicken to pan, add 1/3 of the cooking sauce and keep stirring.  The chicken should have a nice coat of sauce, if you see any white part (without a coat of sauce), add more sauce in.
  7. Turn off the fire and sprinkle green onions on top.
  8. Spoon chicken mixture into lettuce leaf and top with cooked vermicelli.
  9. The remaining sauce can be saved and served on the side with the lettuce wraps.  I normally like to bring the sauce to a boil or you can just serve it without cooking.

Note:  To save time, you can buy ground chicken at the market.  I like to rinse the meat before cooking and ground it myself with a food processor.

Rainbow Jello


Rainbow Jello

These rainbow jello cubes are one of our family’s favorite treats.  The process is pretty simple but it takes a couple of hours to assemble.  I had tried using different jello flavors and thought the grape flavor was way too strong and would ruin the whole combination.  So my suggestion is to stick with the basic flavors (strawberry, orange, lime, lemon or cherry).  You will be surprised how fast these cubes will be gone especially when you have kids at a party.

Ingredients:

1    3 oz. box strawberry Jello
1    3 oz. box lime Jello
1    3 oz. box orange Jello
1    3 oz. box lemon Jello
4    Envelopes unflavored gelatin
4    Cups water

Filling:

2    Cups water
3    Envelopes unflavored gelatin
1    Can Condensed milk

Directions:

  1. Dissolve 1 envelope of unflavored gelatin in a pot with 1 cup of water, bring to a boil and add one jello flavor.  Let cool.  Repeat this step for other 3 jello flavors.
  2. Mix and dissolve 3 envelopes of unflavored gelatin in another pot, bring to a boil and add condensed milk.  Stir occasionally until mixture is boiling.  Let cool.
  3. Place your Pyrex glass container (about 9″ x 13″) in the freezer, pour in first flavor of jello, let set until Jello is lightly set.
  4. Pour 2/3 cup filling over set Jello, let set about 5 minutes.  Repeat layers with other flavors Jello and filling.

Note:  Be sure jello and filling layers are cool before adding next layer.  You can test it by touching the Jello with your finger tip, if nothing sticks, it’s ready for the next layer.

Rosemary, Roasted Garlic and Lemon No-Knead Bread in Dutch Oven


Rosemary, Roasted Garlic and Lemon No-Knead Bread in Dutch Oven

Over-kneaded dough tends to turn the loaves tough and chewy, and under kneaded-dough will make the loaves flat and dense in texture.  To get a loaf of light and fluffy bread, practice is important.  Of course if you use a bread machine to knead your dough, you will never over knead it.   Baking bread is really all about technique, I neither practiced nor read enough.  So I chose the no-knead version.  Is this cheating?  Not really, it’s just another way to make your bread and it’s effortless :-).  All you need to do is to plan ahead of time as this bread needs at least 12-18 hours to rise.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma.

Ingreditents:

3 cups
¼ teaspoon
1¾ teaspoons
2 teaspoons
6 cloves
2 teaspoons
Cornmeal as needed
All-purpose flour
Active dry yeast
Salt
Chopped fresh rosemary
Roasted garlic (roughly chopped)
Chopped lemon zest

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, yeast, salt, rosemary, roasted garlic and lemon zest.  Add 1 5/8 cups water and stir until blended; the dough will be shaggy and very sticky.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.  Let the dough rest at warm room temperature (about 70°F) until the surface is dotted with bubbles, 12 to 18 hours.
  2. Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface. Sprinkle the dough with a little flour and fold the dough over onto itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest for 15 minutes.
  3. Using just enough flour to keep the dough from sticking to the work surface or your fingers, gently and quickly shape the dough into a ball.  Generously coat a cotton towel, preferably a flour sack towel (not terry cloth), with cornmeal. Put the dough, seam side down, on the towel and dust with more flour or cornmeal. Cover with another cotton towel and let rise until the dough is more than double in size and does not readily spring back when poked with a finger, about 2 hours.
  4. At least 30 minutes before the dough is ready, put a 2 3/4-quart cast-iron pot in the oven and preheat the oven to 450°F.
  5. Carefully remove the pot from the oven. Slide your hand under the towel and turn the dough over, seam side up, into the pot; it may look like a mess, but that is OK. Shake the pan once or twice if the dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with the lid and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and continue baking until the loaf is browned, 15 to 30 minutes more.
  6. Transfer the pot to a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes.  Using oven mitts, turn the pot on its side and gently turn the bread; it will release easily. Makes one 1 1/2-lb. loaf.

Mini Fruit Tarts


mini fruit tarts

My favorite fruit tarts are from Porto’s Bakery in Glendale, Los Angeles.  I used to go there during my lunch time to pick up an 11″ fruit tart for my husband’s birthday.  With traffic, it sometimes took me more than an hour to go back to work.  Dealing with traffic and long queue, it was still worth my time until I spot a recipe online.  I made these bite-size fruit tarts when families gathered to celebrate mother’s day.   It was a big hit.   I highly recommend this recipe — easy and delicious!  Recipe adaped from “Salad in a Jar“.

Ingredients:

Tart Crust:

180g
50g
1/4 teaspoon
110g
1
All purpose flour
Superfine sugar
Salt
Butter (1 stick), chilled
Whole egg

Cream Filling:

1-3/8 cups
60g
15g
a tiny pinch
2
30g
1/2 teaspoon
Milk (could be a combination of milk and cream)
Sugar
Cornstarch
Salt
Egg yolks
Butter
Vanilla extract

Directions:

Crust:

  1. Combine flour, sugar and salt in food processor.  Cut butter into small cubes and add to flour, pulsing several times until mixture resembles oatmeal.  Add whisked whole egg and pulse until all ingredients are moistened but not yet a solid ball.  Lightly press into a ball, wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.  If dough in food processor seems too dry to press into a ball, add a teaspoon or two of milk.
  2. Pull off small amount of dough and press into molds with fingers being careful to keep thickness consistent. Use a knife to trim off any extra at the top.  Freeze for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Place frozen tart shells on cookie sheet and cook at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until golden. Watch carefully as the time can vary according to the thickness of the crust.

Fruit Tart Shells

Cream Filling:

  1. Add milk, sugar, cornstarch, salt, and egg yolks, (in that order) to blender. Blend 5 seconds and pour into 2-quart glass microwave-safe bowl. Microwave 6 minutes on HIGH, whisking until smooth after 3 minutes, then every minute thereafter.
  2. Add butter and vanilla and whisk until smooth.   Remove from heat and let it cool.
  3. If you do not want to use a microwave, after blending everything, pour into a pot and cook over medium heat on the stovetop, bring to a boil until mixture starts to get thicker.  Add butter and vanilla and mix well.  Remove from heat and let it cool.

fruit tart filling

Assembly:

  1. Fill each baked tart shell with cream filling.  Top with fruits of your choice. Melt 1/4 cup currant jelly and use a brush to dab some shininess on each piece of fruit.

Notes:

Crust can be made ahead of time and put in an air tight container.  Assembling your fruit tarts a couple hours before the party.

Homemade Fresh Pasta


Homemade Pasta

Making your own pasta is truly a fun thing.  Although the dough can be made in a food processor, a more traditional method for making pasta is to use your hands and a hand cranked pasta machine.  A month ago, I had a plate of shrimp fettuccine in white sauce at Colori Kitchen.  OMG, the pasta was heavenly!  When I had my first bite, I immediately could tell they made their pasta fresh.  Its texture is more tender and the difference is out of this world!

Ingredients:

300 g
3 large
15 ml
¼ tsp (a pinch)
Italian 00 flour or All purpose flour
Eggs
Olive Oil (optional)
Salt (optional)

Directions:

  1. Mound the flour on a work surface and then make a well in the center.
  2. Break the eggs into the well and add oil and a pinch of salt, if using.  Beginning to whisk the eggs and oil together with a fork, incorporating a little of the flour as you do so.  Gradually blend the flour with the eggs, you can add a little water if you think the dough is too dry.  Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until you have a nice dough which is not too sticky and not too dry.
  3. It will take at least 6 minutes kneading to achieve a smooth and elastic texture with a slightly glossy appearance.
  4. Wrap the dough loosely in plastic and let rest for 30 minutes.
  5. After the pasta has rested, run through pasta rollers on widest setting, crank the dough through two or three times.  Fold it in thirds, turn the dough 90 degrees and feed through again.  If the dough feels sticky, lightly flour the outside surfaces each time it is rolled.  Repeat this folding and rolling process eight to ten times.
  6. Reduce the width of the rollers by one setting and pass the dough through, at this point, the dough is not folded.  Repeat, setting the rollers one notch closer each time until you have rolled the desired thickness.
  7. To cook the pasta, boil it for only about 2 minutes in a large pot of salted water.

Mantou (Chinese Steamed Buns) 饅頭


Mantou (Chinese Steamed Buns)

Mantou are originating from Northern China.  These buns are soft and fluffy in texture, pretty plain in taste, not sure if everyone will like it but I’m a big fan.  I like to eat them fresh straight after steaming (plain) or deep fry them.  You can also give it a little sweet flavor by dipping in condensed milk.

Ingredients:

5g
300 ml
500g
35g
1 tbsp
Instant dried yeast
Milk (or water)
All purpose flour
Caster sugar
Vegetable oil

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, dissolve dried yeast in warm water.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl, attach the dough hook and mix the ingredients with low speed.  Knead the dough until it’s smooth, around 10 minutes.  Let the dough rest for 10 minutes.
  3. Dust a clean work surface lightly with flour, roll out the dough to a 25” x 6” rectangle.  Fold it into thirds and roll it out again to approx. 17” x 10” rectangle.  Brush the surface with water.
  4. Roll the dough tightly from the longer edge to form a log.  Cut the log into half and cut out 4 even pieces from each log.
  5. Prepare 8 square pieces of parchment paper, slightly larger than the bun.  Put parchment paper under each bun.
  6. Place buns in a large steamer (most steamers have multi layers), pour some cold water in the bottom of the steamer, cover and let the buns rise for 20 minutes.
  7. After the final rise, steam the buns for 20 minutes until they are cooked and puffed.
  8. If not eaten immediately, they can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.  Reheat them in a steamer for 5 minutes after removing them from the freezer.

Vanilla Waffle Cones/Bowls


Vanilla Waffle Cones/Bowls

After making some ice cream, I thought freshly baked waffle cones would go fabulously with it.  An ice cream cone maker will probaby be easier and save some time, but since I didn’t have one, I just baked the batter in the oven and shaped it with a bowl or a mug.   It can be rolled into the shape of a cone as well.  These waffle bowls/cones are so fresh and crispy, you will find it definitely worth the effort.

Ingredients:

2   large
1/8   teaspoon
120g
1/4   teaspoon
65g
40g
Egg whites
Salt
Granulated sugar
Vanilla extract
All-purpose flour
Unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 °F.
  2. Beat egg whites until soft peaks form with an electric mixer, add salt and 1 tablespoon of sugar, and beat until stiff peaks form, scrape bowl. Gently fold in remaining sugar and vanilla extract, then fold in flour and butter until incorporated.
  3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and use the back of a spoon to spread 2 tablespoons of the batter into a circle 5 inches across, you are likely to get 2-3 rounds on one standard baking sheet. Try to get the circles as even and smooth as possible.
  4. Put the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 10 minutes, you will see the edges will become slightly brown.  Use a thin metal turner to flip the circles over and continue baking for another 5 minutes, the circles should be a deep golden brown throughout.  Continue with the rest of the batter.
  5. Remove baking sheet from the oven.  While the circles are still warm, place on top of a mug and use the bottom of a drinking glass to slightly press it down to shape a bowl.  Let it sit and remove when cooled enough to be firm.
  6. After these cones/bowls are completely cooled, they can be stored in an airtight container.

 

Dorayaki (Japanese Sweet Filled Pancakes) 叮噹餅


Dorayaki (Japanese adzuki beans pancakes)

Doraemon is a Japanese comic series and is the all time hit Japanese classic cartoon on TV.  It’s one of my fondest memories of my childhood.  If you also grew up reading it or watching it, you must know Doraemon’s favorite food is dorayaki.  These soft and fluffy dorayaki are traditionally stuffed with red bean paste, but you will find chocolate/cream/jam fillings nowadays.

Ingredients:

Bean Paste:

1 cup
¾ cup
¼ teaspoon
3 cups
Adzuki beans (red beans)
Light brown sugar
Salt
Water

Pancakes:

120g (1 cup)
95g
1  tablespoon
½ teaspoon
2
¼ – ½   cup
All purpose flour
Granulated sugar
Honey
Baking powder
Eggs
Water

Directions:

For the bean paste (makes 2 cups):

  1. Soak adzuki beans in water for 3 hours or overnight (some people said soaking helps minimizing gas as it helps to remove the indigestible complex sugars from the outer coating of the beans).  I do belive soaking will have a shorter cooking time.
  2. Heat adzuki beans in a pot with 3 cups of water. When they come to a boil, turn the heat down to low and simmer until the beans are soft.  If necessary, add water so that the beans are always covered.  Skim off any foam that appears on the surface.
  3. When the beans are soft enough to break between your fingers, drain them in a colander.
  4. Return the beans to the pot again and mix in the sugar.
  5. Mash the beans continuously over low heat until almost all the water has evaporated and a paste has formed.
  6. Add the salt and stir over medium heat for about 5 minutes more.
  7. Remove from heat and let the paste cool.

For the pancakes:

  1. Whisk eggs with sugar and honey in a mixing bowl.
  2. Combine flour and baking powder and add sifted flour in the egg mixture gradually.
  3. Slowly add water while whisking until smooth (add water a little by little until the mixture is slightly runny).
  4. Drop small ladlesful on a lightly oiled fry pan to make pancakes that are about 3 inches in diameter. When bubbles start to appear, turn over the pancakes and cook briefly on the other side until brown.
  5. Spread about two tablespoons of adzuki bean paste on one pancake, then cover it with another to make a sandwich.  Slightly press the edges.

Note:

  • Put a few drops of cooking oil in a nonstick frying pan and use a paper towel to wipe off any excess oil (if there is too much oil, the pancakes will be crispy on the edge and color will not be even).
  • Make sure to cook the pancakes with medium low fire.  I used low fire and the pancakes were too dry, when I used high fire, the pancakes were burned.
  • You can boil beans in water for 3 minutes in a heavy pot, turn off fire, cover and let it sit for 2 hours.  At this point, beans are a lot softer, continue cooking and add sugar.

Homemade Strawberry Yogurt Ice Cream


Homemade Strawberry Yogurt Icecream

Adapted from Christine Ho’s blog.

The vanilla ice cream I made last time was very rich as it contained whipping cream.  This strawberry yogurt ice cream tastes more like sorbet and its ingredients are non-fat yogurt and fresh strawberries.  For people who have high cholesterol like me, this ice cream is relatively healthy and can satisfy my cravings.  Put a scoop of ice cream in a freshly baked waffle cup, it’s so delicious! Please refer to my post “Vanilla Waffle Cones/Bowls” for the recipe.

Ingredients:

450g  fresh strawberries
2/3 cup granulated sugar (less if berries are in season and ripe)
1 cup non-fat Greek yogurt
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp fresh lemon juice

Directions:

  1. Rinse strawberries and remove stems, slice strawberries and toss them with sugar and honey, let them macerate for one hour at room temperature.
  2. Puree berries and their liquid with Greek yogurt and lemon juice, with a blender.
  3. Freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Note:  I do not have an ice cream maker, I put it in a Tupperware and placed it directly in the freezer.  Unless you plan to eat the ice cream soon after churning, they’re going to freeze pretty solidly.  You might want to take it out of the freezer to let it soften until it’s scoopable .

Chiu Chow Fun Gor (Teochew Dumplings) 潮州粉果


Chiu Chow Fun Gor

These Chiu Chow-style steamed dumplings are very pupular at Chinese dim sum restaurants.  My grandma made the best Fun Gor, I regret I did not ask for her secret recipe when she was alive.  However, I was able to gather pieces from relatives, friends and online.  It was a fun process to experiment with ingredients until the recipe was just right.

Ingredients for Filling (餡材料):
40g  Lean pork (瘦豬肉)
4   Prawns (大蝦)
3   Dried radish (甜菜脯)
4   Jicama/water chestnut(沙葛 /馬蹄)
3   Dried Shiitake Mushrooms, soaked until soft (冬菇)
30 Dried shrimps (蝦米)
2   Slices carrots (紅蘿蔔)
1    Stalk celery (茜芹)
16  Roasted peanuts (炒熟花生)
16  Ground roasted peanuts (炒熟花生磨碎粉)
16  Cilantro (香芫荽葉)
little White pepper (少許白胡椒粉)
1/4 cup chicken broth

Marinade for pork (醃肉料):
1 Tbsp Soy sauce (生抽)
1  tsp Brown sugar (糖)
1  tsp Corn starch (粟粉)
1/4 tsp Oyster sauce

Seasoning (調味品):
1   tsp Oyster sauce (蠔油)
½  cup Chicken broth (雞湯)
¾  Corn starch (粟粉)

Ingredients for wrapper (16 pieces) (皮料: 16 個)
150 g  Wheat starch (澄麵粉)
50 g  Tapioca/potato starch (菱粉)
250 ml  Boiling water (滾水)
1/3 tsp  Salt (鹽)
2 tsp  Oil (油)

Directions:

  1. Dice all ingredients, set aside.
  2. Add 2 tablespoons of oil to a pan and fry the dried shrimps, set aside.
  3. Boil some water and cook the prawns (about 2 mins), cut each prawn into 3-4 pieces, set aside.
  4. Add 1 tablespoon of oil and heat the pan/wok with a glove of garlic, pan fry jicama, mushrooms, carrots and celery, set aside.
  5. Marinade the meat and pan fry until it is cooked, add all ingredients listed in 4.  Add in ¼ cup of chicken broth and simmer for 3-5 mins with low fire.  Stir in the seasoning mixture to thicken the filling.  Set aside to cool down.  Stir in ground roasted peanuts and mix well.
  6. Add a pinch of salt into wheat starch.  Boil 250ml of water and pour into the wheat starch, mix quickly.  Add Tapioca starch a little by little while kneading the dough.  Add a little oil and keep kneading.
  7. Cut the dough into 16 pieces, cover with a cloth to keep warm while wrapping the dumplings.  Take out one piece of dough at a time, use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a flat circle, or you can use a plate to press it down to form a circle (a tortilla press would have been ideal for this).
  8. Scope a spoon full of filling and add some roasted peanuts, prawn and cilantro into the wrapper.  Fold the wrapper in half and seal the edges.
  9. Spray cooking oil on the steamer and steam dumplings for 7 minutes.  When cooked, the skin will turn transparent like crystal.

Note:  Tapioca starch gives it more elasticity.  If you want a chewer skin, you can change the recipe to have equal amount of wheat starch and tapioca starch.

Grilled Fish Tacos with White Sauce


Grilled Fish Tacos

People said fish tacos are not authentic Mexican food but that is not true as fish tacos originated in Baja California, Mexico.  I remember I told one of my Hispanic friends that the only Mexican food I like are fish tacos, but he said “oh, we don’t eat that!”.  That made me think fish tacos are American food.  Whether it’s Mexican food or American food, I love them – either grilled or battered.  Below is a recipe for the white sauce that goes with the fish tacos.

Ingredients:

4 pieces        white fish (such as mahi mahi)
2                    tomatoes (diced)
1/4 head       Cabbage (Shredded)
10                  Tortillas

Ingredients for white sauce:

1/2 cup         Mayonnaise
1/2 cup         Plain Yogurt
2                    lime
1 tsp              capers (chopped)
1/2 tsp          dried oregano
1/2 tsp          ground cumin
1/2 tsp          dried dill
pinch            black pepper
1                    jalapeno pepper (minced) – optional

Directions:

White Sauce:

  1. Mix yogurt and mayonnaise in a medium bowl, add in fresh lime juice until the mixture is slightly runny.
  2. Gradually stir in capers, oregano, cumin, dill and black pepper.  If you like the sauce to be a little spicy, add minced jalapeno.

Fish:

  1. Marinate fish with salt and garlic powder.
  2. Grill each side for 2-3 mins (depends on the thickness of the fish fillets).
  3. Lightly heat tortillas on a frying pan, place grilled fish in a tortilla and top with shredded cabbage, tomatoes and white sauce.

Egg Tarts (Mini Egg Custard Tarts)


egg tarts

When I lived in Hong Kong, these egg tarts were one of my favorites, they were my breakfast, lunch or afternoon snack.  You will find these tarts on the dim sum menu if you go to a Chinese dim sum restaurant.  Traditionally, the crust is made with lard (no kidding, you know how unhealthy it is!).  With the homemade egg tarts, lard can be substituted for butter.

Recipe was dapted from Christine Ho’s blog – Cantonese Egg Tarts recipe.  I slightly adjusted the sugar amount from the original recipe to suit my taste.

Ingredients of Crust:

225g
110g
40g
1
a dash
All purpose flour
Butter
Icing Sugar
Egg (whisked)
Vanilla Extract

Ingredients of Custard:

3
90g
225g
85g
½ tsp
Eggs
Caster Sugar
Hot water
Evaporated Milk
Vanilla Extract

Method (making crust):

  1. Place softened butter and sugar in mixer bowl, attach bowl and flat beater, turn to medium speed and beat until the mixture is smooth.
  2. Add in whisked egg and vanilla extract, beat over low speed.
  3. Sift in flour in two batches, turn speed to “stir” to mix, scrape down the sides with a spatula, then sift in the remaining flour, turn speed to stir to mix well.
  4. Take out a piece of dough (size of a quarter) and put it in the middle of the tart tin.  Work from the center, push the dough outward with your thumb, trim away any excess dough.  Or you can roll out the dough and use cookie cutter to cut a circle.

Method (making custard):

  1. Add sugar into hot water (not boiling water), mix until completely dissolved.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix whisked egg and evaporated milk, pour in sugar water.
  3. Sift egg mixture with a strainer/sifter (do not skip this step as it will isolate stringy white pieces in egg white or foam).   Pour egg mixture into each tart shell.

Method (baking tarts):

  1. Preheat oven to 400 ◦F.  Position rack in lower third of oven. Bake tarts for 10 to 15 minutes until the edges are lightly brown.   Move the baking sheet to the second rack counting from the top.
  2. Reduce the heat to 350 ◦F, once the custard being puffed up a bit, pull the oven door open about 2 to 3 inches. Bake for another 10 to 15 minutes until the custard is cooked through.  To check doneness of the custards, insert a toothpick into the center of the custard.  It’s cooked if the toothpick is clean.

Cheese Baked Oysters


Cheese Baked Oysters

Both cooked and raw oysters are commonly consumed by people.  It’s just your preference whether you can tolerate raw shellfish.  It was very tempting everytime I saw my friends enjoying raw oysters.  Their faces tell you all – raw oysters are heavenly!  However, up to this moment, I still haven’t tried any yet.  I believe cooking kills bateria.  Here is one good recipe I found online and made some changes to it.  Opening an oyster is called shucking, and it takes some skill to do it.  You can easily find a tutorial on YouTube.

Ingredients:

4 ounces (1 stick)
2 tablespoons
½ teaspoon
Pinch
8 large
1/8 cup2 teaspoons
Softened Butter
Finely chopped garlic
Black pepper
Dried oregano
Freshly shucked oysters on the half shell
Grated Parmesan & Romano cheeses (mixed) or 4 Cheese Mexican
Chopped flat-leaf parsley (Optional)

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, mix butter with garlic, pepper, and oregano.
  2. Spoon enough of the seasoned butter over the oysters.  Put oysters under a broiler, broil for 3 minutes and then sprinkle cheese on top, broil for another 1 or 2 minutes.
  3. The oysters are ready when they puff up and get curly on the sides.  Serve on the shells immediately.

Fondant Sugar Cookies


Fondant Sugar Cookies

I made these Fondant cookies for my daughter’s birthday party at school.  Although it took a long time to roll out the fondant and make the angry birds and hello kitty faces, the feedback is rewarding.  For the marshmallow fondant recipe, please refer to my Fondant Cake with Strawberry Filling post.

Ingredients for Sugar Cookies:

1 cup
1 cup
1
2 ¼  cups
¾ cup
¼ teaspoon
Butter, softened
Sugar
Large egg
All-purpose flour
Unsweetened cocoa
Salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.  Beat butter and sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy.  Add egg, beat until blended.
  2. Combine flour, cocoa, and salt, gradually add to butter mixture, beating just until blended, don’t over mix it.
  3. Divide dough into 2 equal portions.  Cover and chill for 10 minutes or longer.
  4. Place 1 portion of dough on a lightly floured surface, and roll to 1/8-inch thickness.  Cut with a 3 to 4 inch round cookie cutter.  Place cookies on lightly greased baking sheets.
  5. Bake at 350°F for 12 to 15 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.  Cool cookies on wire racks.  Decorate baked cookies after they are completely cool.

Vanilla Sugar Cookies:  Skip unsweetened cocoa.  Increase flour to 3 cups. Beat in 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract with butter in Step 1.

Stuffed Mushrooms with Ham and Cheese


Stuffed Mushrooms with ham and cheese

Stuffed mushrooms are perfect party finger food.  It can be done in advance so that it all comes together easily at the last minute.  My recipe is a simple one as I just grabbed whatever I had in the fridge intead of making a stop at the supermarket.

Ingredients:

16 oz           Big Mushrooms
½ cup          Parmesan Cheese or Cheddar cheese or 4 Cheese Mexican
¼ cup          Ham
3 strips        Bacon

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 ◦F, spray a baking sheet with cooking oil.
  2. Clean mushrooms and discard end of stems.
  3. In a frying pan, cook bacons until crispy (set aside).
  4. Chop ham into small pieces (you can use smoked ham, honey baked ham or the Costco ham.  I normally have some leftover ham after the big holiday feasts).
  5. Mix ham and cheese together and fill each mushroom cap with a generous amount of stuffing. Sprinkle salt and pepper.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the mushrooms are piping hot.
  7. Sprinkle bacon bites on top of each mushroom.

Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream


Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

My 9-year old daugher had been bugging me to make ice cream with her.  I searched for a recipe but most of them call for raw eggs. I personally don’t like to eat raw eggs and don’t own an Ice Cream Maker.  While searching online, I spot this recipe from RealMomKitchen’s blog which is what I wanted, I made a few minor changes to it as I did not have Half and Half and pure vanilla in my fridge.  This recipe is great, it is so easy to make and it turned out very good.

Ingredients:

3/4 can (11 oz)        Condensed Milk
½ cup                       2% reduced fat Milk
¼ tsp                        Salt
1.5 tsp                      Vanilla extract
2 cups                       Whipping cream

Method:

  1. In a large bowl, combine sweetened condensed milk with milk, salt, and vanilla extract.  Stir until well blended.
  2. Whip the whipping cream in a blender until soft peaks form.
  3. Fold the whipped cream into the sweetened condensed milk.
  4. Place in a plastic container.  Cover and freeze 6 hours or until firm.