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Monthly Archives: January 2012

紅豆年糕 New Year Red Bean Cake

紅豆年糕 New Year Red Bean Cake

年糕, or “nian gao”, is a type of food made with glutinous rice. It is commonly prepared and eaten during Chinese New Year. There are 2 main types of nian gao, the Shanghainese style, which is prepared as a savory dish, and the Cantonese style, which is typically a sweet food that is pan fried for a crispy exterior and sticky interior. The preparation for the Cantonese style is presented here.

Some people like to just have it plain, but personally I like it with a filling. The cake it self is only lightly sweetened so that the sweetness is not overwhelming. With the sweeter red bean filling, the level of sweetness is just right.

After the nian gao is prepared and put into the fridge, the pan frying process is also very important when you’re ready to eat it. The key is the slice it in thin slices, about 0.5 centimeter thick, dip it in some whipped eggs, and pan fry under a small amount of oil under low heat. The key is to heat it all the way through so that you have soft interior and crispy, but not burnt, exterior.


Ingredients:

  • 1 pack of red beans
  • 1 lb of Rice Flour 糯米粉
  • 2.5 oz of Dried Wheat Starch 澄麵 (about 1/6 of the package)
  • 3.5 pieces/sticks of sugar cane

Directions:

  1. Soak red beans overnight in a pot of water.  Bring it to boil and simmer for an hour.  Turn off the heat and cover for 2 hours.  Repeat the process for two times until the beans are soft.   At the last simmer, add about 1 cup of brown sugar or 2 pieces of sugar canes.  Drain and reserve the liquid.
  2. Melt 3 sugar canes with the liquid from red bean (about 2 cups).  Remove from heat and let the ”sugar water” cool down.
  3. Place the rice flour and dried wheat starch in a large bowl.  Slowly stir in the “sugar water”.  Add more water if the mixture is too thick, but only add enough water that allows you to stir.
  4. Slowly stir in red beans, be careful not to break them apart.
  5. Lightly grease the pan with oil and pour the mixture in there.  Steam for 1.5 hour (for a  9″ Round Cake Pan) or until the edges of the cake pull away from the pan. *This recipe makes two 9” round cake pans of red bean cake.
  6. Remove the cake from the heat and cool.  Then cut them into square slices.
  7. Heat oil in a skillet over high heat.  Dip the slices in egg wash and pan fry each side over low heat for 2-3 minutes or until the slices is soft inside.

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蜜汁叉燒肉 Honey Roasted Pork

Honey roast pork, or char siu in Cantonese, is one of iconic dishes of Cantonese cuisine. It is a type of “siu mei”, which is a general term for roasted meats (typically roasted pork, duck, or chicken). “Char siu” itself literally translates into “forked roast”, which alludes to how it is prepared traditionally – strips of pork that is skewered and roasted over a fire. In fact, a rough benchmark for how “authentic” a Chinese restaurant is can be determined by how the “siu mei” is served. If it is skewered up and prominently displayed in the front window, that is usually a good sign of the quality of the food served in the restaurant.

Nowadays, it is very easy to make your own roasted pork at home now with pre-made Chinese Barbecue sauce. But since I have all the necessary types of sauces at home, I decided to make the sauce from scratch.  After marinating for 8 hours and roasting in the oven for 35 minutes, the meat was still very tender and flavorful.  I thought the color also looks great without using any food coloring.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce or dark soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rose cooking wine – 玫瑰露酒 or rice wine
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 4 tablespoons honey
  • dash of salt
  • 1 square/bricks Red Fermented Bean Curd 南乳
  • 1/2 teaspoon Five Spice powder
  • 0.7 lb of pork tenderloin

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients above except pork in a small bowl.
  2. Pour the marinade over the pork. Allow the pork to marinate for at least 8 hours in refrigerator, preferably overnight for the best flavor. (You may want to pierce the pork with a fork to allow the marinade to seep as deep as possible into the pork.)
  3. Place the pork on a roasting grill rack/pan.  Roast for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Make sure you have some kind of pan underneath to catch the drippings.
  4. Flip it over, apply 1/2 teaspoon honey and roast for another 10 minutes.
  5. Apply 1/2 teaspoon honey and roast for 3 more minutes.
  6. Let the pork sit for 15 minutes or until cool before slicing into bite sized pieces.
  7. The liquid left from the marinade can be cooked and used as a dipping sauce.

 
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Posted by on January 21, 2012 in Chinese, Meat & Poultry Recipes, Pork

 

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Creamy Baked Fish Fillet with Broccoli

Here is a recipe I make few times a month as a comfort food.  Dinner doesn’t get much easier than this.  First we boil the broccoli.  Next, we pan fry the fish for the crispy texture.  Then we combine them with a can of creme of mushroom soup.  If you like a thin crispy crust on top, you can add some cheese on top and bake everything  for another 5-10 minutes, otherwise the dish tastes just as good as it is.

Ingredients:

  • 1 white fish fillet, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 medium head of broccoli, cut into bite size
  • 3/4 cup cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoon of corn starch
  • 1 can of cream of mushroom
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 3/4 cup cheddar cheese

Directions:

  1. Marinate fish pieces with 1 teaspoon of salt for 10 minutes.
  2. Cook the broccoli in boiling water for 2 minutes.  Drain and place the broccoli at the bottom of a baking dish.
  3. Lightly coat the fish pieces with corn starch or panko.
  4. Heat oil in skillet, pan fry fish pieces for 3 minutes on each side until cook through. Place the fish pieces on top of the broccoli in a baking dish.
  5. In a saucepan/skillet, add cream of mushroom and water.  Bring it to boil then simmer over lower heat for 2-3 minutes or until the sauce thickens.
  6. Pour the sauce on the baking dish.  Sprinkle some cheese on top.  Bake at 400 degree for 5-10 minutes until cheese becomes crispy.

 

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Honey Lemon Chicken Wings

Chicken wings are loved by adults and kids alike, so it’s a good idea to have a few different recipes handy for preparation. These honey lemon wings burst with citrus aroma and a tangy sweetness that helps stimulate the appetite.

Ingredients:

  • 10 frozen mid-joint chicken wings
  • 1.5 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1/2 stick cane sugar or 2.5 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 lemon
  • 1.5 tablespoons honey

Directions:

  1. Defrost chicken wings.  Blanch chicken wings in large pot of boiling water for 20-30 seconds. This can remove some oil and the frozen smell/taste from the wings.
  2. Heat oil over high heat in a skillet.  Add chicken wings and cook until light brown.
  3. Add soy sauce and cook over medium heat for 8 minutes.
  4. Flip the chicken wings over to let the other side absorb the sauce.  Cook for another 8 minutes and add sugar.  Mix well and remove from pan.
  5. Reserve two slice of lemons, then juice the rest of the lemon.
  6. In a skillet/saucepan, bring the lemon juice and brown sugar to boil.  When the sugar dissolves, add chicken wings, lemon slices and mix well. Cook until the sauce thickens.
  7. Remove from heat.  Transfer chicken wings to a bowl and mix with 1.5 tablespoon of honey before serving.

More Chicken Wings Recipes:

南乳雞翼 Chicken Wings with Red Fermented Bean Curd

豉油雞翼 Easy Soy Sauce Chicken Wings

鎮江醋陳皮雞中翼 Chicken Wings with Dried Tangerine Peel and Zhenjiang Vinegar

 

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Guacamole

Looking for a perfect side dish for a New Year Party?  Guacamole may be what you are looking for. The simple combination of ingredients creates a flavorful condiment as a dip for nachos. You can also use it as a spread for sandwiches or a side with the main course.  It is also great for the health conscious – it is rich in fiber and full of vitamins.

The most important part of the guacamole is, of course, a great avocado. They must be soft—but not too soft. It is slightly preferable to have one that is too hard than too soft, as you run the risk of having the avocado turn brown when overripe. When it is at the right level of ripeness, you’ll feel a slight give when pressing on it. If your finger punctures the skin easily, it definitely too soft.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe avocado, pitted and peeled
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons onions, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons jalapeno, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon scallion/cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Direction:

In a small bowl, mash the avocado until is pureed.   Combine all ingredients above and refrigerate for an hour for best flavor.

 

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