RSSArchive for May, 2007

Northern Delicacy in Aberdeen Centre

We hardly go to the Aberdeen Centre, not sure why even though we know there are quite a few nice bloggable restaurants there. Suanne and I had an afternoon by ourselves and decided to go to the Aberdeen Centre to check out the restaurants there.

The Aberdeen Centre s actually named after the Aberdeen Harbour in Hongkong. This centre is actually a new reincarnation of the old Aberdeen Center which was demolished and rebuilt again to compete with the other new Asian Mall around Richmond.

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The Aberdeen Centre caters primarily for Asian-Canadian shoppers — mainly Chinese, Hongkong Chinese. The primary tenant is Daiso where everything is sold for two dollars. Unlike other Asian Malls around the Vancouver area, this one is very clean, spacious, bright and uncluttered.

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Someone recommended the Northern Delicacy restaurant to us sometime back. I can’t be absolutely sure but I think it was Daniel and Clarina. The restaurant has a very wide entrance, untypical of chinese restaurants and you can’t miss the two Terracotta warriors by it’s entrance.

I know very little about Chinese cuisines, especially the little subtleties of cuisines around the various regions. So, I got a question for you readers … what exactly is termed as Northern Cuisine? My impression is that it consists of things like steamed buns (especially xiao lung bao) and noodles in soup. Somehow, I felt that Northern food are more “steamy” because of the cold weather in the northern region. Any expert who can enlighten us?

Northern Delicacy in Aberdeen Center

Suanne told me that the Chinese name for this restaurant does not translate to Northern Delicacy but instead it should translate to something like “Full House Restaurant”.

Whatever it is called, the Northern Delicacy place a lot of attention to details. The waitresses are dressed in silky and embroidered traditional Chinese costumes. The tableware too are printed with their logos. We like details like this.

Their menu is very easy to read and is sectionalized clearly with color pictures. This makes selection much easier especially for people who are not familiar with Chinese food. The menu is also very extensive and includes the following:

  • Cold dishes and appetizers
  • Steamed buns and dumplings
  • Pan fried and deep fried buns
  • Noodles in soup
  • Seafood
  • Meat

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The “Dan Dan” Handmade Noodles in Black Sesame Soup appears popular here. As we passed by the tables we see quite a few customers having this. It is also unique to us and so we promptly ordered this. This costs $6.50.

The soup is very thick unlike the normal chinese noodle soup which is served in broth. It is very peanuty and had a strong hint of spiciness with thinly sliced cucumber. We like this.

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This one is called the “Shanghainese Style Fried Rice Cake with Shredded Pork and Snow Cabbage” on the menu. I think it’s shortened to “Nien Kao” in Chinese. I had never had this type of rice cake before. The rice cake is sliced like the way you sliced sausages into oval shapes. It is particularly chewy and does take a lot of jaw work to eat through the entire dish.

The rice cake is practically tasteless but the mushroom, spinach, sliced pork, sliced bamboo shoot, snow cabbage gives excellent flavour to the entire dish. We love this but would have been perfect if this is a bit easier on the jaw! Price is $9.50.

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Service was rather slow though. It was a Friday afternoon and understandably many people from the nearby offices would go eat out. What we liked about this place is that the price were actually cheap for such a restaurant and the dished were unique. We’ll be back soon to try out their other dishes. Highly recommended … you should check it out when you are in Richmond.

Northern Delicacy on UrbanspoonBusiness Hour

7 days a week
11:00 am to 10:00 pm

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Hong-Zao Fried Rice

Julie also made a Hong-Zao Fried Rice to be served with the Twice Cooked Pork Belly and Hong-Zao Stir-fry Pork Belly. She also brought some Hong-Zao made by her friend for sale. It costs $5 for a small tub as it takes a long time to make it. I did not buy it because I’m not sure if my kids will like the distinctive flavour of Hong-Zao.

The Hong-Zao Fried Rice is reddish because of the colour of Hong-Zao.

Hong-Zao Fried Rice

Ingredients

  • 4 cups cooked rice
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 lb ground pork
  • 2 tablespoons Hong-Zao paste, divided
  • 1 tablespoon sweet bean sauce or soy sauce

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Hong-Zao Stir-fry Pork Belly

Julie made a dish called Hong-Zao Chicken Salad sometime ago. Julie told us that Hong-Zao, the red fermented glutinous rice paste is known to improve blood circulation and helps to reduce clogs in the arteries according to a Japan University study.

This time, Julie made a Stir-fry Pork Belly seasoned with Hong-Zao. She used the same pork belly which has been boiled once and sliced thin.

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Ingredients

  • Pork belly which had been boiled and thinly sliced
  • a few sticks of celery which is cut into one inch strips and thinly sliced; you may substitute celery with sliced onions or green onions.
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 teaspoons of Hong-Zao paste
  • 2 teaspoons of Miso paste

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Instructions

  • Briefly blanched the thinly sliced celery in boiling water.
  • As usual, start with sauteing the garlic until fragrant in medium heat.
  • Mix the Hong-Zao paste with Miso paste in a small bowl and add to the sauteed garlic.
  • Add in the cooked sliced pork belly and stir-fry until well mix.

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  • Finally, add in the celery and stir-fry until well mix but do not overcooked the vegetables.

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The Hong-Zao gives the dish a distinguish reddish colour. It also has a wine flavour to it. Such dish is always great with steam rice.

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Twice Cooked Pork Belly

Twice Cooked Pork Belly is one of my favourite dish. I like to order this whenever I visit a Shanghai restaurant. I’m glad that Julie demonstrated how to make it in the South Arm Community Kitchen.

Twice Cooked Pork Belly is a spicy dish and quite heavy in seasonings. So, it goes best with steam rice.

Twice Cooked Pork Belly

Julie served the Twice Cooked Pork Belly with Hong-Zao Fried Rice along with another dish; Hong-Zao Stir-Fried Pork. The meal ended with Sweet Potato Soup with lots of ginger to enhance the flavour.

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Here is the recipe for the Twice Cooked Pork Belly.

Ingredients

  • 1 slab of pork belly, about 1 lb
  • 1 medium cabbage
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon chopped ginger
  • 1 tablespoon spicy broad bean paste (“lark tou pan jiang”) or chilli sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sweet fermented bean paste (“tien mien jiang”)
  • dark soy sauce for colour
  • sugar to taste

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Tim Tam

I had heard a long time about this snack which is very popular in Australia. I came across this at the Real Canadian Superstore some weeks ago. I would have missed seeing this if not because the Superstore placed a big signage of it at the end-cap.

Tim Tam

Tim Tam is basically a chocolate biscuit. It is made of two layers of chocolate malted biscuit, separated by a light chocolate cream filing and coated with a layer of chocolate.

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It’s amazing how a simple chocolate biscuit became such a popular snack in Australia. I think it largely because of the way Tim Tams are supposed to be eaten. I had been told that the right way to eat Tim Tam is to bite off two corners of the biscuit and then use it like a drinking straw to suck up hot chocolates.

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You got to suck it really hard and fast as the insides does melt away really fast and makes the biscuit collapse. My boys always have a hot chocolate before they sleep and they love Tim Tams.

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Any Aussie reader on this blog? Any tips on how best to eat Tim Tam? I am sure there are ways to prevent this biscuit from falling apart so fast.

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Corn Flake Cookies

Arkensen’s appetite has been growing lately. He is constantly looking for snacks. So, I decided to bake a batch of cookies to satisfy his huge appetite.

After browsing through my recipe collections, I decided to try this Corn Flake Cookies since I have some corn flakes in my pantry. My kids are not a fan of cereals. I bought the corn flakes to make Peanut Butter Pita Bread.

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The Corn Flake Cookies came out thin, crispy and buttery, just the way Ben likes cookies. However, Arkensen would prefer chewier cookies.

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This recipe yields 40 cookies. This is a very simple cookies recipe and I don’t think I need to illustrate the steps with pictures. I will just post the recipe here.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts (I used walnuts)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups cornflakes, whole

Instructions

  • Cream the butter and sugar (I just cream them by hand).
  • Mix all dry ingredients and add to the butter-sugar mixture. Mix well.
  • Add nuts, vanilla and cornflakes (no need to crush as the mixing will crush them). Mix until blended (by hand).
  • Roll into balls about the size of an English walnut. I used a small ice-cream scoop to do the job.
  • Place balls on an ungreased cookie sheet (which I lined with parchment paper). Leave space (2″ apart) for spreading as the cookies spread quite a bit. Flatten the ball with a fork.
  • Bake in a preheated 350F (I set mine to 325F as I’m using dark cookie sheet) for 10 to 12 minutes.
  • Let cool slightly on cookie sheet (cookie is very soft just out of the oven) before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

I hope you’ll enjoy this cookie as much as I do.

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Baked Chicken with Pineapple

Jean’s second dish is Baked Chicken with Pineapple. Chicken goes well with pineapple. The pineapple juice helps to tenderize the chicken.

Baked Chicken with Pineapple

The chicken turned out to be slightly on the sweet side as Jean added a lot more candied ginger than stated in the recipe to the dish. Jean loves candied ginger, so do I. Check out the goodness of candied ginger here.

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 to 4 lbs chicken parts or split breast, boneless and skinless
  • 10 to 12 green onions, chopped
  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped candied ginger
  • 1 small can of sliced pineapples, halved

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Baked French Potato Wedges

Jean made two dishes in the Gilmore Park Church community kitchen. Jean told us that we will be the guinea pigs to test the recipes as this is the first time she’s making them.

The first dish is the Baked French Potato Wedges. These potato wedges are crispy, flavourful and cheesy. I’m sure kids will love this, especially mine.

Baked French Potato Wedges

Ingredients

  • 4 medium russet potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 8 wedges each
  • 2 tablespoons margarine or butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

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