RSSArchive for February, 2008

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.

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


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

Click on the link below for the instructions.

More on following page. Click here to continue reading

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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:

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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.

A bowl of hand made noodle is comfort food.


  • all purpose flour
  • cold water

Click on the link below for the instructions.

More on following page. Click here to continue reading

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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.

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.


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

Click on the link below for the instructions.
More on following page. Click here to continue reading

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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.

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.

Preparing this is simple. Just pop it into the microwave for 5-6 minutes. It was really hot coming out from the oven. I did not realize how hot it was despite the caution on the lid. I almost drop the entire bowl onto the floor. If it happened it would have been a complete mess and the worse thing is I would have to clean it all up myself … at home, Suanne is in charge of cleaning up spills … he he he.

It was later at home I realized that it was meant for more than 1 person. That whole bowl I finished off contained a whopping 380 x 5 calories … 1900 calories!

Despite that, the Lobster Bisque is absolutely delicious. It is as good as you will find it anywhere. And they have real lobster meat too, or at least it tastes and looked like real lobster. Really nice … you can buy it from Costco (Bellingham for sure but not sure if this is in Canada).

Back to normal programming tomorrow.

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

I am going to make this short.

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.

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.

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*

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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.

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

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.

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.

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. For those of you who had never tried this before, this is like having two fried noodles in one. The noodles are by itself crunchy and after a while when the sauce get soaked through the noddles, they get soften … giving an entirely different texture.

The Grilled Pork Chop with Onion is a delight to those who had never tried it before. This is always served in a very very hot pan. You have a choice of sauces which you pour over the food into the pan giving a real sizzle which if you are not careful, you could get sauce splatter on your clothes. It came with a sides of either rice or spaghetti.

I would not say that this is great but it sure is fun, especially for those who had never had this before. $9.50 is quite a good deal.

The Seafood Congee costs $5.75. Congee is considered a poor man’s food. In many parts of Asian long time ago when rice are scarce, people do make congee by adding more water to make a bigger meal.

The Love Bird Fried Rice is sort of an uncommon-common food you see in some Cantonese restaurants. Underneath it is the normal fried rice but over it, there are two types of sauces … poured over in the shape of ying-yang. I had absolutely no idea what the sauces are. They are quite good.

Overall, it was a pretty fun lunch out. I get kicks out of introducing food to people who had not had this before. I think everyone liked it. We split the bill and it came out to $8.50 each for the five of us at the table.

Boss Bakery & Restaurant (Metrotown) on Urbanspoon

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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.

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.

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?

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.

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