Hong Kong Style Tang Yuan

Vanessa made some Hong Kong style Tang Yuan for dessert. It was a day just before Valentine’s Day. She is so thoughtful. Something sweet for your Valentines. The Hong Kong style Tang Yuan is different from the Taiwanese style in the soup. The Taiwanese Tang Yuan is flavoured with fermented glutinous rice and has egg flower in the soup while the Hong Kong style is flavoured with ginger and slab sugar.

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I’m more used to the Hong Kong style Tang Yuan as it’s quite similar to the Malaysian style.

Ingredients

  • a package of glutinous rice flour
  • one or two tablespoons of rice flour
  • cold water
  • ginger
  • sugar slab
  • red bean paste

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Click on the link below for the instructions.

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Any Tips For Vacation To Seattle?

Hey All:

We’re all set. Spring break vacation this year is going to be a short one to Seattle. We’ll be there for 6 days and we’ll want to do the normal touristy places and especially also check out eating places. Here are some ideas we have shortlisted so far:

  • Argosy Cruise
  • Museum of Flight
  • Pacific Science Center
  • Woodland Park Zoo
  • Boeing tour
  • Microsoft tour
  • Pike Place Market
  • Pioneer Square

For food, we are a bit lost. So far we can only think of:

  • The Crab Pot
  • Starbucks

Soooo … any advice, suggestions?

Ben and Suanne

Update 20-Apr-2009

Here are the links to our vacations and trips to Seattle:

Hand Made Noodle

Ming shared with us how to make noodle from scratch. She shared with us on how to make dumpling skin earlier. Hand made noodle is fresh and chewy. It does not any ‘gan sui’ taste in it compare with those store bought ones.

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A bowl of hand made noodle is comfort food.

Ingredients

  • all purpose flour
  • cold water

Click on the link below for the instructions.

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Mah Poh Tofu

Vanessa and Ming, once again, demonstrated in the South Arm Community Kitchen. Vanessa made Mah Poh Tofu while Ming made some hand made noodle from scratch to be eaten with the Mah Poh Tofu.

For dessert, Vanessa made some Hong Kong style Tang Yuan, something sweet for the coming Valentine’s day which is way past by now due to our posting delays.

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Mah Poh Tofu or Mapo Toufu is a szechuan cuisine which is famous for spiciness. It’s main ingredients are pork and tofu which are cooked in a spicy sauce made from szechuan pepper corns. The szechuan pepper corn is a so spicy that it will numb your mouth, hence the word “ma” in Mah Poh is taken from. There is also a legend that the name came from the lady who made famous this dish. She is an old woman with pock-marked face. You can read more about the legend from wikipedia.

Ingredients

  • 1 package traditional tofu (or any soft or medium tofu), drained and cut into cubes
  • 1/2 lb ground pork
  • 2 shallots, sliced
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • Oyster sauce
  • Soy sauce
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Sugar
  • Corn starch
  • Chili Bean Sauce

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Click on the link below for the instructions.
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Office Lunches: Blount Lobster Bisque and Mandarin Orange

OK, home run. This is the last of the series on office lunches … and so glad it is over! After a while, everything is just the same thing over and over again. But still I hope you all enjoyed it.

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Today, I had the Blount Lobster Bisque and a mandarin orange. The container looked big which later I found out that it was not really meant for 1 person. There is enough to easily serve 2-3 people.

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Preparing this is simple. Just pop it into the microwave for 5-6 minutes. Continue reading

Office Lunches: Dried-Mix Noodle, Asian Pear and Kudos Milk Chocolate Granola Bar

I am going to make this short.

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For a change, I had dried mix noodles. Soup noddles are more common but of late there are quite a lot of dried mix ones in the market. I believe this one comes from China.

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Making this is so simple, I did not even have to read the instructions. I just need to pour in to the container boiling hot water until the noodles softened and then I add the ingredients in the two sachets. This one came thoughtfully with a plastic fork.

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This is not too good. It’s a bit too wiry (wire-ly?) for me. I guess I should have left it to soak in in hot water a bit longer. I know it’s just me but I am quite wary about these Chinese products. Maybe I had been reading too much about the safety records of Chinese products and how some of the manufacturers uses unsafe substances. * shrugs*

Office Lunches: The Boss Restaurant in Metrotown

Fridays had always been a good time to go out for lunch for some reason. Two Fridays ago, I went out for lunch with my friends from my old workplace. I am glad that even after having left the company for more than 2 years now, I am still remembered.

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Since, I am eating out, Suanne just packed grapes and a handful of prawn cracker for me. I still need my snacks.

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The Boss Restaurant is located inside the Metrotown mall. It is located near Zellers in case you want to know where exactly it is in the large mall. The Boss is basically a HK-Style restaurant and is almost always busy.

Wait times could be very lengthy during lunch time and more so since it is a Friday afternoon. We had a total of 12 people and since I was the nearest to the restaurant, I went there earlier to book a table. The wait was 30 minutes which was not too bad.

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We had to split up to two separate tables since it is quite next to impossible to get so many people seated together seeing how busy it was that day. We talked about table setting and that Asians tables normally have a spoon and a fork while for other Canadian restaurants, it is common to have only fork and knife.

Even after so many years in Canada, I still prefer just spoon and fork as it is more practical when it come to rice. I can use a fork for rice but it feels odd to me. Asians normally eat with the spoon and uses the fork to help scoop food onto the spoon.

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On our table we had six people and decided to just order four different dishes to share. The chow mein was served on a hot pan Continue reading

Office Lunches: Nazook Armenian Pastry, Krispy Fruit and Asian Pear

OK, I admit. I am mighty bored now with this series on office lunches. After a while, they all look the same. So, this weekend, I am going to post all of it and be done with office lunches. He he he … Suanne is so annoyed because she had not prepared her posts yet. She thought that she still have a few more blog-free days.

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There is something new for lunch today. Suanne found some new type of pastry called Nazook. I don’t think it’s really called Nazook but it’s a brand name. More about that later.

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I think you would have seen this several times already. I like this snack as a pack is more than enough to stave off hunger. There are three different types … this one is called Island Mix and contains 230 calories. Anyone know why this is called Island Mix?

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All I know is that the pastry above is a sort of an Armenian pastry. We got this from Costco and the packaging just said that it’s Nazook. It was quite doughy, dry-ish and somewhat dense but otherwise sweet. It was recommended that it’s best microwaved for 20 seconds to soften it a bit. It is just fine eating it without microwaving it. Each small piece contain a whopping 290 calories.

I am hoping someone can share with me about Armenian culture and pastries. I did some research and apparently it is a custom in the Armenian culture that visitors are almost always offered coffee and pastry.

Office Lunches: Jimmy Dean’s Ham and Cheese Croissant Sandwich

Lunch today consists of more sesame snaps, a Dole Fruit Bowl and something new … a ham and cheese croissant from Jimmy Dean.

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There is nothing more to say about the sesame snaps and the fruit bowl other then the fact that we still have lots of it left in the storeroom.

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We got the Jimmy Dean Ham and Cheese Croissant Sandwiches from Walmart. This costs $4.98 for a box of 6 Croissant Sandwiches. The Jimmy Dean brand is part of Sara Lee’s brand. One thing about Sara Lee … although they are well known for their food products, they are also the company behind non-food brands like Brylcreem, Kiwi show polish, Ambi Pur air refresheners, Playtex and Wonderbra. Interesting, huh?

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It’s simple preparing this … just pop it into the oven for less than a minute and you’re done.

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The Jimmy Dean’s Croissant Sandwich does not really taste like a croissant. Although it looked very much like a croissant, texture-wise it is more bready and does not have the flakiness of real croissant. Still, it was quite a tasty sandwich.

BTW, did you know that the name croissant came from the word crescent because of its distinctive shape?

Stouffer’s Smoked Turkey Club Panini, Asian Pear and Cheese on Crackers

Today’s lunch has a cheesy theme to it.

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What I had was an Asian Pear, some cheese on crackers and for the first time ever, Stouffer’s Corner Bistro Panini.

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Of all types of fruits, I love the Asian Pear. I think sometimes this is called the Ya Pear or the Chinese Pear … or even the Korean Pear … or perhaps the Japanese Pear. I think the Asian pear is the most apt name.

One thing that somewhat surprises me is that most white Canadians does not eat this at all. Maybe it’s just my perception from the fact that the few people I talked to about this had NOT eaten this before. This has very high water content and is lightly sweet.

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We came across some bread crisps in the stores that reminded us of the cheese platter we had in Gastropod recently. Suanne gave me some Tillamook Pepperjack cheese (my fav). The moist cheese turned the bread crisp all soggy. Continue reading