Fried Nian Gao

Nian Gao is a Chinese New Year food which symbolizes growth.

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I had some leftover nian gao which had harden. So, I fried it up for snack.

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I fried the nian gao with some yam (sweet potato) for added texture.

Ingredients

  • 1 nian gao (about 400g) cut into slices
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 5 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon cold water
  • pinch of salt
  • oil for frying
  • optional sweet potato or yam or taro slices which had been steamed

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Chinese New Year Food

With the Chinese New Year around the corner, I would like to introduce some Chinese food traditions from my view point. Different regions might have different practices.

From where I came from, i.e. South East Asia, the Chinese New Year celebration starts on Chinese New Year eve. The family will gather for a family union dinner. The dinner will be one of the more lavish one with whole fish, chicken, dried oyster, black moss (fatt choy), mushroom, etc. The name of the dishes are usually of good fortune, happiness, etc. Some of the name of the dishes are Good Deed will Prosper (Yau Yue Tim Hoe Si), Prosperity in Abundance (Foo Kwai Weng Wah), Happiness All Over (Hee Ha Tai Siew), etc.

Hot-Pot

In my family, we like to have hotpot on Chinese New Year eve. There is less preparation and everyone will gather around the hotpot to enjoy a meal. It’s all about reunion and sitting down for a meal together in today’s busy world where such occasion is rare.

For the Northern Chinese people, making and eating dumpling on Chinese New Year eve is a way of getting everyone in the kitchen to work and share.  The shape of the dumpling resembles the gold ingot used in the old days in China. It signifies prosperity.

Chinese-Dumpling-300x199Mushroom Dumpling
Cabbage-Dumplings-15-300x200Green Cabbage and Egg Dumpling
Garlic-Chives-Dumpling-300x200Garlic Chives Dumpling
Pan-Fried-Suey-Choy-Dumpling-300x199Pan Fried Napa Cabbage (Suey Choy) Dumpling
Boiled-Pork-Dumplings-18-400x600-200x300Boiled Pork and Cabbage Dumplings

Above are some of the dumpling recipes that were shared on chowtimes.com.

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On the first day of Chinese New Year, my late mum usually cooked a big pot of Vegetarian Dish (Loh Hon Zhai).  Most Buddhists will abstain from meat consumption on the first day because it is believed that this will ensure longevity for them. Continue reading

The 3rd Day of Chinese New Year: Roast Pork, Yee Sang and Keeping Friends Honest

For the past many years, we had been doing the same thing.

Our closest family friends had always made it a point to all meet up at least three times every year. In summer, we always have a big picnic. On Christmas, we meet up too. But the most important gathering is during Chinese New Year. To many of our family friends, this yearly reunion is how we keep the Chinese New Year traditions alive.

And every year, Suanne and I go through the same motions. We would always go to the same place to buy roast pork and that would be one of our contributions for the gathering. Of course, Suanne is also expected to cook something. This time she decided to make some Garlic Chives Jiaozi which is CNY delicacy.

We always get the Siu Yook (Roast Pork) from the Parker Place BBQ Shop. We were kind of worried that the line would be long. There was once on CNY eve, we queued for 45 minutes to buy the roast pork here.

Many people buys a lot for the festival.

There is this guy just ahead of us who pretty much bought … Continue reading

Green Cabbage and Egg Dumplings

Li demonstrated how to make Green Cabbage and Egg Dumplings in the South Arm Community Kitchen. Making dumpling is common during the Chinese New Year eve. The whole family will gather together to make dumplings.

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Many hands made this job so much more fun. Some will make the wrappers while others make the dumplings.

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This Green Cabbage and Egg Dumplings has a crunchy filing as it just need to be boiled until the dough is cooked as the filling does not contain meat. It is almost a vegetarian dumpling if you substitute the egg with tofu, mushroom, etc.

Ingredients

  • 5 eggs
  • 1 kilogram (2 pounds) green cabbage
  • 100 g (3 to 4) green onions, finely chopped
  • 2 inches ginger, minced
  • salt to taste
  • 60ml vegetable oil
  • soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil for dipping sauce

For the wrapper

  • 1200ml all-purpose flour
  • 540ml water
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Source: Li

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Boiled Pork and Cabbage Dumplings

The main Chinese New Year dish made in the South Arm Cooking Club for Seniors is Boiled Pork and Cabbage Dumplings. Dumpling or jiaozi is a traditional dish eaten during Chinese New Year’s Eve and some other festivals. Family members gather together to make dumplings as wrapping dumplings is quite time consuming. Such activity also brings the family closer.

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Dumplings can be boiled or pan fried. Boiling is a healthier choice of cooking.

Dumplings can be freeze on the baking sheet. Once they’re completely frozen, place them in a ziplock bag for future consumption.

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces napa cabbage leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1/4 cup minced Chinese chives or green onions
  • 2/3 pound ground pork
  • 1/8 teaspoons ground pepper
  • 1.5 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine (or dry sherry)
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 package refrigerated round dumpling wrapper (50 pieces)

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Source: adapted from Asian Dumplings by Andrea Nguyen

Prep time: 40 minutes;  Cook time: 20 minutes;  Yield 50 dumplings

Chris O’Brennan, Helena, Sdyney, Frances and Chris made these dumplings.

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Taro Cake

Back to the South Arm Community Kitchen, Peggy demonstrated to us how to make Taro Cake. Taro Cake is a common dim sum item. It can be eaten fresh from the steamer or lightly pan fry to give it a crispy outer layer. The Taro Cake can be eaten as a snack or even as a meal.

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Peggy made two loaves of Taro Cake in the kitchen. She also brought one which she made earlier as the cake needs to be cooled down before you can slice it up into pieces for frying. The Taro Cake is so good that the group finish all the three loaves of Taro Cake.

Peggy’s Taro Cake is filled with pork and mushroom. However, you can substitute the filings with dried shrimp and Chinese sausage which are more commonly found in Dim Sum places.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups grated Taro
  • 1/2 cup ground pork
  • 1/4 cup chopped shallot
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced dried mushroom
  • 2 cups rice flour
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • soy sauce paste as dipping sauce

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Steamed Fatt Ko

This post is for Carol. She asked for a recipe of steamed cake. I’m not sure if this is exactly what’s in her mind but nevertheless, as Chinese New Year is approaching, steaming some Fatt Ko seems to fit the festivities. Fatt Ko in Cantonese sounds like rise and high which is what Chinese wishes one another during Chinese New Year.

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The Fatt Ko did not rise as much as it should be because I ran short of the double-acting baking powder. Anyway, I love the taste and texture of these Fatt Ko.

Ingredients

Starter:

  • 200g Hong Kong flour (I used all-purpose flour)
  • 1 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 150ml water

Dough:

  • 250g Hong Kong flour
  • 20g double-acting baking powder (I used only 12g as that all I have in my pantry)
  • 160ml water
  • 200g brown sugar or gula melaka (I used brown sugar)

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If done properly, the Fatt Go should rise very high and the top will split. The Fatt Go is a little chewy and denser than it should be. It also has a yeasty flavour to it as Nanzaro said it’s like eating Man Tau (in his words, eating Char Siu Pau without the char siu).

Click on Read More for the instructions.

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Baked Chinese New Year Cake

Betty showed us how to make Chinese New Year Cake, the baked version. The baked version takes much lesser time than the steamed version. Betty made two different flavours of the baked Chinese New Year Cake.

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She made one with red bean soup and another just plain. You can make it in coconut milk flavour too.

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This is the coconut milk flavour I made at home. The crust seemed to be thicker as I used two smaller pans to bake it and I forgot to reduce the baking time.

Ingredients

  • 1 package of glutinous rice flour (400g)
  • 3 eggs (medium)
  • 1 1/2 cups water or milk or coconut milk or red bean soup
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar (use 1 cup if red bean soup has been sweetened)

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Click on the link below for the instructions.

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Garlic Chives Jiaozi

At the South Arm Community Kitchen, Vanessa brought along a new friend, Ming. Ming is from Beijing and she was a chef back there. We are fortunate to learn from Ming how to make jiaozi from scratch. Yes, even the dough is made from scratch.

The timing is just right as Chinese New Year is just around the corner. Jiaozi is a traditional food during Chinese New Year. Ming enlightened us on why jiaozi is eaten during Chinese New Year. For one, the shape of jiaozi resembles the gold ingots which is a form of money used during the past. Therefore, jiaozi is believed to bring wealth in the new year. Also, the Cantonese believes that the way the filings is wrapped in a wrapper keeps the wealth within the family.

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Jiaozi is also believed to get its name from the shape which resembled horn shape.

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There are various filings for jiaozi. Garlic chives or also known as Chinese chives is the most common one. The mild garlicky flavour of the chives complements the flavour of the pork very well. I had blogged about other types of jiaozi here and here.

Ingredients

  • ground pork (can also use ground beef or lamb), about 2 lbs
  • garlic chives, 1 bundle, finely chopped
  • minced ginger
  • salt
  • sesame oil
  • cooking oil
  • chicken bouillon powder (optional)
  • flour
  • water

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The garlic chives has flat leaves unlike the regular chives which has hollow rounded leaves.

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Pork Floss Recipe

I sure had a nice looooong break during this summer. Ben had been eager to blog because I think he wants to show off his pictures! He is bored now and is soooo eager to pass back the baton to me.

I did not cook much during the summer due to the hot weather. We had simple Chinese meal with stir fries at home and eat out on weekends. However, this is something I made during the summer, home-made pork floss. I’m sure some of you would say why go to all the trouble making it when it’s easily available in Chinese groceries which are abundant in Richmond. Well, for one, I just want to try to make it once and at least I know that its fresh.

We had blogged about the store bought version before here. Back then we remember that blog entry did generate a lot of comments about the name “floss”.

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Ingredients

  • 3 lbs pork shoulder
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 1.5 tablespoons dark soy sauce
  • 6 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons white pepper powder
  • 1.5 teaspoons salt
  • 250g sugar

Please click on the link below for the instructions.

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