Mung Bean Pastry (Penang Tau Sar Piah)

Tau Sar Piah, a Mung Bean Pastry is a popular snack from Penang. Penang, also known as the Pearl of Orient of Malaysia is located on the north west off the penisular Malaysia. Penang Tau Sar Piah is a popular gift item. In fact, I often get Penang Tau Sar Piah from my friends who make a trip back to Malaysia.

Penang-Tau-Sar-Piah-20

One morning when I checked my emails, I got the Penang Tau Sar Piah recipe forwarded to me by Ben. This is his way of saying, “honey, can you make this?”. This recipe is from KookyCulinary by BlurMommy. I had adapted the recipe to 1/3 of the original recipe because my conscience told me that it’s too much to make 100 pieces.

This Penang Tau Sar Piah is a sweet and savory little pastry. You can finish it in a bite or two. It is not difficult to make but it’s time consuming. Each pastry is made with 3 little balls of dough and filing. It took me more than two hours to make 33 of this little morsel. Luckily, I had Arkensen helped me to take photos of the steps as it was during spring break that I made this. My hands were oily with the rolling of the pastry.

Ingredients

Oil Dough

  • 7 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons + 1/2 teaspoon oil

Water Dough

  • 13 1/2 tablespoons flour
  • 6 tablespoons + 1/2 teaspoon oil
  • 6 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 teaspoon vinegar

Filling

  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 5 shallots, minced
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 200g split green bean

Egg Wash

  • 1 egg, beaten

Penang-Tau-Sar-Piah-3

Source: this recipe is adapted from http://kookyculinary.com/2011/03/27/penang-tau-sar-piah/

Yield 33

Prep time: 2 hours; Bake time: 20 to 25 minutes

Continue reading

Panaderia Latina Bakery Near Joyce Skytrain Station, Vancouver

Often when we mention anything about Bo Laksa King, we get emails and comments suggesting that we should check out the Latina bakery next door. We did and we were quite pleased that we did.

Panaderia-Latina-Bakery-31-600x400

The Panaderia Latina Bakery is located just next door Bo Laksa King. If you go to Bo’s the next time, I would suggest you also drop by next door to check it out. You will not be disappointed.

Panaderia-Latina-Bakery-1-400x600

Actually, I think you will be awed. The above is just a small section of what Panaderia has to offer. We were totally overwhelmed with all that they have. Pastries we had never seen before and every single one of them looked so delicious.

For a moment, we were quite uncertain how to go about it without asking stupid questions like “what is this?”. It is perhaps the same feeling like my Mexican friends asking the dim sum lady the same question.

The Panaderia is very South American. They are actually Chilean. And they are very friendly Chilean too. So we were glad they entertained our questions although most of the answers were totally lost in translations.

Panaderia-Latina-Bakery-2-400x600

The young lady who attended to us told us that they had been running the bakery for the past 5 years having taken over from the previous owner.

One surprising thing I learned is that in the Chilean culture, these pastries are taken during our dinner time at about 6PM! This reminds us of how it was in Spain when we vacationed there last year. For the Chileans, their meal times are as follows:

  • Breakfast: very light consisting of toast and coffee
  • Lunch: Main meal of the day from 1PM to 3PM
  • Afternoon Tea: Pastries and sandwiches from 6PM to 7PM
  • Dinner: After 9PM

Panaderia-Latina-Bakery-3-400x600

They make very elaborate cakes too. If you can ignore the reflection on the glass display above, you will find that the cakes are beautifully made.

Panaderia-Latina-Bakery-24-600x400

With the help of the young girl, we had bought some to go. She was so sweet to even write down the names of each and every items we had when she saw that we were struggling with trying to remember them. We could get some of the names wrong below because we relied on our own assumptions when matching the written list with the pictures.

Each of them is very cheap too. The prices ranges from $1.75 to $3.00.

Panaderia-Latina-Bakery-5-400x600

We couldn’t resist going home to eat them. So we stayed and ate a piece.

The above is called Cone Dulce de Leche (milk caramel) and custard.  It is unbelievably … Continue reading

Shanghai Mooncake

It’s near mooncake festival.  Arkensen loves mooncake just like I do.  However, I do not have a mooncake mould to make mooncake.  So, I look for a recipe which do not need a mooncake mould and I found one in a cook book which my sister gave me when I left Malaysia.  The cookbook is titled “At Home with Amy Beh”.

Shanghai-Mooncake-023-600x400
The Shanghai Monncake recipe is more like a pastry recipe.  I made this with 3 types of fillings, lotus paste, red bean paste and just a couple of lotus paste with salted egg yolk.

Ingredients

  • store bought lotus paste or red bean paste
  • salted egg yolk, optional

Sift and combine:

  • 300g all-purpose flour
  • 20g custard powder
  • 25g cornflour
  • 1 tablespoon milk powder
  • 65g golden syrup
  • 90g icing sugar
  • 1 small egg
  • 60g shortening
  • 75g margarine
  • 1/4 teaspoon alkaline water (lye water)
  • 1 egg, beaten, for glaze
  • some melon seeds or almond flakes

Shanghai-Mooncake-011-600x400

Continue reading

Dulcinea Chocolate Cafe on Denman, Vancouver

Updated 30th Oct 2010: this restaurant is closed.

You guys remember Rey? Well … if you remember, he’s the one who promised to bring us on a culinary adventure of Filipino cuisine. Rey is a Filipino community advocate and he wanted to create awareness of the third largest visible minority community in Vancouver by encouraging the creation of local Filipino content on the internet.

Last month, Rey introduced to us the Chinese Filipino food by bringing us to Little Ongpin in Richmond. In the second leg of the adventure, Rey next introduced us to Spanish Filipino food.

dulcinea-18

The Dulcinea Chocolate Cafe is located on Denman in Vancouver Westside. We were met by Mari and David, who opened this delightful outlet with their daughter since October 2008. So this place is just 6 months new. Mari and David are both of Spanish descent from the Philippines. Mari told us she is a chocolate lover … and the place was started out of her love of chocolates! She’s so friendly and approachable that I can see that she connects to her customers very well.

I was told by Rey that pure Spanish Filipino makes up only 2% of the population in the Phillipines. Despite the low number, the Spanish has a lasting influence in the Filipino culture having colonized the country for 333 years. That is why most of the Filipino names are Spanish names.

dulcinea-1

When Rey suggested Dulcinea and raved about their Hot Chocolate, we initially thought “what’s the big deal”? We soon changed our perception of hot chocolates after this experience.

The name Dulcinea came from the name of Don Quixote’s true love in the novel of the same name. We had always thought that Dulcinea was pronounced as Doo-See-Nea. A big sign on the wall says “Doo-see-nay-ah”. You learn something new everyday. The name Dulcinea means overly elegant sweetness — a perfect name for a chocolate cafe.

dulcinea-14

Dulcinea started off as a Spanish Chocolate Bar in the Vancouver Westside neighborhood. Mari told us that the place evolved quickly since they started six month ago … from starting to serve tapas, then soup, sandwiches … and Dulcinea took life on its own when customers requested for certain food and Dulcinea responded.

We went to Dulcinea at 4PM. It’s an odd hour, I know but Rey wanted us to treat this like a Merienda. I had always heard that the Spanish culture has a really odd day … like taking a nap after lunch, having dinner at 9:30PM and Meriendas in between meal times.

We half expected the place to be empty at 4PM and thought that Rey suggested that time because Mari and David would be the least busiest. We were amazed that even at 4PM, Dulcinea was packed … with people … having … Merienda! The crowd actually taper off at about 5’ish.

dulcinea-15

This is it … the above is what Dulcinea is famous for. Their signature Hot Chocolate which is called the 1528. It is a shot of thick chocolate. It is like the espresso of chocolates … but much more thicker. Any thicker it would not be drinkable! Even the spoon provided is designed to scrap off the thick chocolates from the sides of the cup.

The 1528 costs $2 per shot. If you have never tried it before, go to the counter and ask for a small sample. They pass out samples and once you take a sip, you’ll probably want one for your own.

Now … if you want a solo cup of the 1528 … listen here … FOR FREE … just go and tell Mari, David or whoever at the counter that “Chowtimes Loves Xocolatl” and you will receive a solo cup of the 1528. Serious! I suggested to Mari and David that they put in a little fun promotion to benefit readers of chowtimes and was surprised to hear a yes from them. I suggest you know what a Xocolatl is (see below) and how it is pronounced (pronounced as choco-latl).

Consider this is like Suanne and I buying you a cup of hot chocolate. 🙂

Update 05-Apr-2009: The offer for the free 1528 had now expired. Mari and David expressed their thanks to everyone who had taken time to visit their store and tried the 1528. However, Dulcinea will continue to offer samples of the 1528 (just not a solo cup of it). There could be more offers coming. Just stay tuned. I hope those who had the 1528 enjoyed it!

Oh … 1528 … that is the year that the Spanish took cocoa from Mexico and shipped it back to Spain. That year was the start of Europe’s love of chocolates. Nice name, I thought.

dulcinea-16

If you’re not into thick hot chocolates, there is the Classico … a more watered down version but still really rich and creamy.

dulcinea-17

I had the Hot Chocolate with Chai. These are not very large cups like I am used to (i.e. we drink Milo at home and we make really big cups and gulp them down real fast). Here I find that I took my time to savour every sip.

dulcinea-8

The Xocolatl (how do one pronounce that again?) is quite exciting. I’ve never seen a dried chili served with hot beverage before. This one is a hot chocolate with chili nutmeg and cinnamon. The chili wasn’t that hot. Be brave and go try that one. You’ll probably love the contrasting flavours here.

dulcinea-131

What’s chocolate without fondue? It’s something about fondue that makes it the favourite of just about everyone. I think it’s because it’s a fun food to have with friends. We noticed that the grapes were frozen … not sure why only the grapes were frozen while the banana and strawberry wasn’t.

dulcinea-7

Besides the delightful hot chocolates, Dulcinea has absolutely the best cakes and pastries one could find in Vancouver. This is coming from our resident cakes fan, Suanne. Our fav has got to be the Lava Blanco above which is chocolate mousse with white choc inside of it.

Instead of ordering each item by itself, we actually ordered the sampler which gives us a little of everything we wanted. Continue reading

Seattle: Piroshky, Piroshky in Pike Place Market

There is never a lack of eating places in the Seattle’s Pike Place Market. Everywhere you turn, you will come across food from every corner of the world and all of them seems so authentic.

P1000479001

We came across this small little dank looking shop and had a long queue of customers. The queue was so long that it spilled out to the sidewalk. Well, with a line that long, this place would certainly be something.

P1000480001

The name of the place is called Piroshky, Piroshky. It sounds a lot like a Russian — I wasn’t particularly sure. I had expected to see Russian looking people running the place but the person who attended to us looked very much like Chinese. But other than that, the place does look authentic Russian.

P1000477001

The line moved quite fast. We could see them making whatever they call it from the outside window. They do look very delicious. Continue reading

Chrysanthemum Red Bean Pastries

Zoe also make a few Chrysanthemum Red Bean Pastries as an alternative for people who do not like salted egg yolk for health reason or just personal preference. You can make these pastries with lotus paste or green bean paste.

IMG_0014

Ingredients

Refer to the ingredients in Salted Egg Yolk Red Bean Pastries entry but exclude the salted egg yolk.

Instructions

Refer to the instructions in Salted Egg Yolk Red Bean Pastries entry up to inserting the filing into the dough ball and flatten the ball.

Use a sharp knife to make incisions on the dough.

IMG_9998

The incisions should be four deeper cuts and in between the four cuts, make another 2 less deeper cuts.

IMG_9999

Finish with the egg wash and garnishing and they are ready for baking.

Zoe, thank you so much for showing us how to make these marvelous Chinese pastries. We look forward for more of such recipes.

Salted Egg Yolk Red Bean Pastries

Zoe made a marvelous Chinese pastry in the Caring Place Community Kitchen. The Salted Egg Yolk Red Bean Pastries were very flaky and the salted egg yolk complements the sweet red bean paste really well. A great dim sum dessert for tea time.

IMG_0023

You can see the many layers of the pastry which make this dessert so flaky. You must check out the steps in the instructions below to see how it is done. It is a bit time consuming but worth all the effort. Zoe emphasized that many cooks will not spoil this recipe but many hands are needed to do the rolling.

IMG_0011

Ingredients

Outer layer dough:

  • 450g high gluten (bread) flour (in Canada, all-purpose flour will do)
  • 180g water
  • 180g lard or shortening

Inner layer dough (flaky dough):

  • 300g low gluten (cake) flour
  • 150g lard or shortening

Filing:

  • 15 egg yolk from salted eggs, divided
  • 2 lbs sweet red bean paste

Garnishing:

  • 1 tablespoon toasted black sesame seeds (toast on dry frying pan until fragrant)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons syrup
  • 1 teaspoon oil

IMG_9968

Click on the link below for the instructions.

Continue reading

Paris Series: Quiche Breakfast and the Notre Dame

Just across the road from my hotel was a patisserie. Unlike in England, frankly, I really don’t know where to go for breakfast. I could have breakfast in the hotel but it costs 15 Euros — too expensive for me.

So, I just went across the street to get something from the patisserie. It was my first time and I can see what the fuss were about french bakery shop. The place smells so nice and there were so many types of bread alone that it’s bewildering.

I just got something familiar — Quiche, vegetable quiche.

_MG_2809_edited-1

I walked over to the Metro station to get a seat to eat before I head to my destination. That’s all I had for breakfast … quiche and chocolate milk. The quiche is much better than any I’ve ever tasted before. The warm pastry was so soft that it flops down. The quiche and choc milk costs 3.80 Euros.

_MG_2808_edited-1

This is a day I planned to visit the two most famous churches in Paris, the Notre Dame and the Sacre Coeur. The Notre Dame is located on a small island on the River Seine called the ?le de la Cit? (don’t ask me how to pronounce it). It is here where Paris was founded. Compared to London’s Thames, this river seem so idyllic whereas the Thames is so chaotic.

_MG_2810_edited-1

The word Notre Dame in French means Our Lady (Virgin Mary). Continue reading

Suanne’s Siew Bao

I had wanted to make the Seremban Siew Bao which Ben blogged about during his Singapore-Malaysia trip. But, I just can’t find the recipe from the internet. Finally, today I got down to create this recipe by combining a pastry dough which I learned from Jean and a char siew filling recipe which I have been using for my Char Siew Bao.

_MG_9105_edited-1

The result is quite satisfactory. The crust was very flaky and the filling is moist, exactly the way I wanted it. However, it does not look as appealing as it should.

_MG_9103_edited-1

To check out the recipe, just click on the above links on pastry dough and char siew filling. The Siew Bao did not turned out as brown as I wanted even though I did brush the top with egg wash. Perhaps, I should used only the egg yolk with some sugar for the egg wash. I baked the Siew Bao in a 350F preheated oven for 30 minutes.

_MG_9111_edited-1

Potato Puffs

Zee came to my kitchen to show me how to make a simplified version of samosas. I am going to call it Potato Puffs. We only use potatoes as filings but you can make it with other filings like chicken, beef, fish, etc.

The Potato Puffs is crispy on the outside and the potato filing is soft and of the right spiciness. My family loves it, especially Arkensen. He ate the most of it.

It’s kind of like the curry puffs we find in Malaysia. The difference is that the curry puff in Malaysia is deep fried while the Potato Puffs is oven baked which is more healthy.

IMG_6477

Ingredients

  • 1 box of puff pastry from the frozen section of the groceries stores where you find pie crust, etc
  • 3 medium potatoes
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 piece cinnamon stick
  • 3 black cloves
  • 6 whole peppers
  • 2 white cardamon
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon parsley and green chilie paste
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic paste
  • salt to taste
  • chilie powder to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon crush tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon tomato paste
  • 1 egg

IMG_6444

Click on the link below for instructions.

Continue reading