Taiwanese Tang Yuan

Julie’s second dish is Taiwanese Tang Yuan, which is Glutinous Rice Balls. The twist from the regular Glutinous Rice Balls which is served in a light syrup is that the Taiwanese version is served in a soup with egg swirls and fermented glutinous rice.

Julie made two types of glutinous rice balls; plain ones and another stuffed with red bean paste. The large ones are the one with filings. Most people preferred the those stuffed ones which are sweeter.

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The Taiwanese Tang Yuan has a winery taste in it due to the addition of fermented glutinous rice.

Ingredients

  • one packet of glutinous rice flour
  • red bean paste
  • 4 eggs
  • fermented glutinous rice
  • water

Fermented glutinous rice can be purchased from Chinese grocery stores. One of the member told us that she made it at home by steaming the glutinous rice and then add yeast to the steamed glutinous rice and let it ferment for a few days.

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The fermented glutinous rice is slightly sweet and tastes like wine.

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Hong-Zao Chicken Salad

Vanessa invited Julie to demonstrate in the South Arm Community Kitchen. Julie only comes to the kitchen when she is demonstrating. She is an experienced cook and a great friend of Vanessa. Julie will not say no when Vanessa ask her for help.

Julie made two Taiwanese dishes. The first dish is Hong-Zao Chicken Salas. Hong-Zao is red fermented glutinous rice paste. I personally have not use this ingredient before. We were told that we might be able to find Hong-Zao in T&T or some other Chinese groceries stores.

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The Hong-Zao Chicken Salad was very tasty and Julie made a pretty presentation of the dish. The golden brown crispy fried chicken were arranged on top of a bed of shredded lettuce and garnished with red grapes and cilantro. The Hong-Zao Chicken Salad is served with a home-made dressing of mayonnaise, sugar and lemon juice.

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I’m sure my kids will love the boneless, crispy fried chicken, not so sure about the shredded lettuce though.

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Ingredients

  • 2 chicken legs, deboned and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/2 head of lettuce, shredded
  • 100g yam flour (potato flour)
  • 3 tablespoons dressing (Mayonnaise + some sugar and lemon juice)

Marinates:

  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Hong-Zao
  • white pepper to taste

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Insadong, Korean BBQ & Seafood Restaurant at North Road, Coquitlam

The members of the Gilmore Park Church community kitchen organised a field trip to a Korean Restaurant and a tour to a Korean Supermarket, led by Minnie and Lan. We went to Insadong, a Korean BBQ and Seafood Restaurant located at North Road, Coquitlam. We were told that dong means village in Korean language.

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Upon entering the restaurant, there is a glass wall with display of some Korean dolls dressed in traditional Korean clothing; certainly brings out the Korean atmosphere into the restaurant.

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Minnie and Lan, the Koreans among the group placed the order of the food. We ordered three dishes to share. We were served ‘rice tea’ and the rice came in metal tin with cover.

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First came all the side dishes which come free with your order. The best is you can ask for free refill of the side dishes. The side dishes consist of kimchi, braised potatoes, bean sprouts, sliced daikon and spinach.

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The first dish we ordered is Steamed Sliced Pork with Spicy Kimchi and Cabbage Wrap. This dish cost $19.99.

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Apple Cranberry Crisp

The second recipe which Minoo shared with us in the Caring Place community kitchen was Apple Cranberry Crisp. This is a good way to include oats in a recipe. Oat is high in fiber and can help lower bad cholesterol and may reduce the risk of heart disease.

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The Apple Cranberry Crisp is best served warm with some vanilla ice-creams. The apple goes really well with the cranberry. You may substitute the apples with peaches or cranberries with rhubarbs.

Ingredients

Crust:

  • Approximately 1 1/2 cups oats
  • Approximately 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon and nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup honey

Fruit mixture:

  • a small can of cranberries (or 1/2 cup fresh cranberries, cooked)
  • 2 to 3 apples, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup honey

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Ziploc Omelette

Update 08-Dec-2008: Please note the following guidance from http://ziploc.com: “Ziploc? Brand bags are not designed to withstand the extreme heat of boiling.” So please treat this blog entry purely from information purposes and you are not advised to try this.

Minoo shared a very quick and mess less way of making omelette in large batch. This method does not involved turning of the omelette and it allows everyone to choose their own ingredients and the whole batch will be ready at the same time.

I think you will be amazed with this as I was when I first learned this way of making omelettes.

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The Ziploc Omelette looks good in a roll instead of the regular pocket type if made using frying pan.

Ingredients

  • quart size ziploc bags
  • eggs
  • chopped cilantro
  • diced sweet peppers
  • chopped green onions
  • diced tomatoes
  • grated potatoes
  • grated cheese
  • simply anything you desire in an omelette like ham, mushroom, onion, etc

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Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts on West Second Ave, Vancouver

Polly and I resumed our cake meet after a long break due to her change of work schedule. I saw a review on the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts in the Vancouver Sun some time ago and decided to give it a try.

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The Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts is located at the entrance to Granville Island. This school has a restaurant which serves three course gourmet set menu prepar3ed by the students. The menu ranges from $24 for weekday lunch, $26 for Saturday brunch to $36 for dinner from Monday to Saturday. The restaurant has a great marina view overlooking the North Shore mountains.

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The institute also has a Bakeshop and Cafe which serves specialty breads, pastries, gourmet cakes, light lunches and dinners for dine in or take away. This is where Polly and I indulged our craving for cakes.

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We ordered three items to share. It is just too tempting looking at the array of items offered at the Bakeshop & Cafe. Those with chocolate cost $3.25 while the rest cost $2.95 a piece. (more…)

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Chicken Flavoured Pho Soup Base

We blogged about making Pho at home last year. I made a Beef flavored Pho last time. This time, I made the Chicken Flavored Pho for a change.

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Similar with the Beef Flavored Pho, this seasoning will make 20 bowls of soup. This will last me for a few meals. I do not mind the volume as Arkensen and Nanzaro love Pho.

The ingredients are very simple. One or two chickens, one onion, two pieces of ginger and I also added a bunch of cilantro.

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I used only one chicken because our family is small. I intend to freeze the remaining soup for other meals and I can add more chicken or use other ingredients like meatballs, fish cakes or artificial crab sticks which my kids love to eat with Pho noodles.

I normally cook the whole chicken in the pot as I find its too bulky. I normally cut the chicken in two halves which makes it easier to clean and I do not need a pot which is too deep to submerge the chicken in water.

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The instruction is pretty simple. After cleaning the chicken and removed any excess fat, put the chicken, onion, ginger and cilantro into a big pot. Cover the chicken with cold water and bring to boil.

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Longan Jelly

Longan is Arkensen’s favourite fruit. He prefers those from the can with syrup than the fresh ones. It seems that the canned ones are more meaty.

This Longan Jelly is another recipe from the Delicious and Fragrant Local Cakes recipe book. Some of the recipes which I had blogged before from this recipe book are Glutinous Rice Cake and Steamed Rice Cake.

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Ingredients

  • 1 can longans
  • 20g agar-agar
  • 300g sugar
  • 1 litre water
  • sufficient food colouring

Agar in an unbranched polysacharide obtained from the cell walls of some species of red algae or seaweed.

Agar-agar is a Malay word for jelly. Agar-agar will dissolve in hot water and when cooled, it becomes gelatinous. It is often used as a vegetarian substitute to gelatin, in jellies, ice-cream and as a thickener for soup.

Click on the link below for the instructions.

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Guilinggao

Coincidentally, I have some Guillinggao Powder which my father gave me during Ben’s trip back to Malaysia. My sister recommended it to me as this is her daughters’ favourite dessert.

Guilinggao is a Chinese medicine that is made with three-lined box turtles and China roots. It is often served as a dessert, made in the form of a jelly.

Guilinggao has a hint of bitterness (in Cantonese, ‘kum’) and its usually sweetened with rock sugar.

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I had tried to make the Guilingao according to the instruction on the box but it turned out to be very watery. So, I consulted my sister for her recipe as she is the one who recommended it to me.

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Inside the big package of Guilinggao Powder is 10 small sachets of Guilinggao Powder. My sister’s recipe is to use 5 sachets of the Guilinggao powder with 6 cups of water and 250g of rock sugar. My sister emphasized on the usage of rock sugar as she had tried and failed with granulated sugar.

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