Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Soy Milk & Sticky Rolls

2 weeks ago I went to Taipei to accompany my husband for a conference.  It was my first time in Taiwan. We only stayed there for 2 ½ days.

Taiwan is often mentioned for its delicacies, street foods and also its well-known pastry fuhng-lèih-sôu鳳梨酥 (a shortbread cake with pineapple filling). I had heard that I could find these cakes at almost every grocery store but the best ones were at Chia Te. Later I was told that those from Sunnyhills were tastier. By the end of my stay I had tried both and I found the stuffing of Sunnyhills’ lighter and fluffier.

I knew that we would not have much time on our own but just out of curiosity and in case we could go and eat by ourselves I wanted to have good addresses. Although I remember visiting blogs and reading posts on Taiwan I could not recall which ones. What about sending a tweet? As you might know I am a new Tweeter user (since mid-April of this year). This would be faster and more efficient than using my poor memory. “Going to Taipei. Any recommendations?”
I was quite sure that I would get a reply as I know that the food community is very responsive, helpful {and fun J }.
I would like to thank Nancie McDermott, Janice Leung and Robyn Eckhart, who kindly and quickly provided me with links and blogs’ addresses.

After reading the recommended posts I was convinced that we had to try the soy milk breakfast. So the following day of our stay in Taipei, first thing in the morning we went to Wíhng-wòh Dauh-jèung Daaih-wòhng  永和豆浆大王  (Wing Wo’s king of soy milk).

People were lining up to buy baked bread sîu-béng, deep-fried bread stick yàuh-ja-gwái, sticky rice chì-faahn, soy milk (sweet drink), salty soy milk soup, and egg pancakes.  

Preparation of baked bread

Preparation of deep-fried bread stick

Soy milk glass sealer machine

I had a hot sweet soy milk and a few spoons of the salty soy milk soup (the first time in my life). Although very special, I like it!
Together with my drink I ate a sîu-béng with a yàuh-ja-gwái stuffed inside (in a sandwich). The sîu-béng was thin and crunchy and the yàuh-ja-gwái not oily at all. A well-balanced and very yummy combo! I also had a bite of sticky rice roll. Those rolls are filled with yàuh-ja-gwái, pickled vegetables, meat floss - yuhk-sûng and condiments. It was excellent but I could not eat anymore.

Sticky rice
Baked bread with deep-fried bread stick
There are a few variants of sîu-béng fillings: scrambled eggs, deep-fried bread stick, or both scrambled eggs and deep-fried bread stick.

Sticky rice and salty soy milk soup

Salty soy milk soup
The soup is made of fermented soy milk (curd made with rice vinegar), pickled vegetable, deep-fried bread stick, condiments with a drop of chilli oil on top. The soup’s appearance and bumpy texture are unique as well as its taste. I liked it!

Sweet soy milk (in glass) and salty soy milk soup (in bowl)

These foods were divinely good. It would be nice to have a good restaurant in Hong Kong serving the same quality of food we had at Wíhng-wòh Dauh-jèung Daaih-wòhng. If you ever hear of one let me know!
In the meantime I have to wait for another trip to Taiwan (hope that next time I will have more time) or Shanghai which is also famous for this type of breakfast.  And I can make sticky rice at home!  Here is Arlene's recipe:

Pork and mushrooms sticky rolls  - Make 6 rolls. Need cling wrap.

  • 5 cups (5x180g) glutinous rice
  • 5 cups of water
  1. Rinse a few times the rice and drain.
  2. Put rice with water in bowl of rice cooker on a pan.
  3. Add water and cook.
  4. When rice is cooked, let it stand for about 20mn (standby mode).
When the rice is being cooked prepare the filling as follows:

Ingredients for filling:
  • 300gr minced pork (to tenderize: marinate pork with 1 tbsp potato starch + 1 tsp salt + 1tbsp water for at least ½ hour)
  • 6 Chinese mushrooms (rinsed and soaked in a bowl filled with hot water - put the lid on - for at least ½ hour)
  • A handful of raw carrot or kohlrabi (turnip) cut in julienne
  • 2 garlic cloves (thinly chopped)
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil

  1. In a frying pan heat vegetable oil.
  2. Add garlic and stir-fry for 1min. Remove from pan.
  3. Add carrot (or kohlrabi) in pan. Stir-fry for about 2min.
  4. Add pork and mushrooms and cook together (continue stirring all the time) for about 5min.
  5. Transfer the garlic in the mixture and stir. Remove from heat.
  6. Unroll cling wrap on a flat surface. Put a layer of glutinous rice on top (leave 5 cm on each side).  
  7. Spread 1 layer of the cooked meat mixture on top of rice.
  8. Roll the film from the edge nearest to you up and over enclosing the filling.
  9. Close the roll by pressing thumbs and middle fingers on the sides and on the top edges.
  10. Cut the cling wrap sheet and repeat to make 5 more rolls.

Just need to learn how to make soy milk (I tried once a long time ago...need to try again).

Note: Arlene told me that in her country - the Philippines - they don't use cling wrap but a banana leaf to wrap the rice in. It gives the roll a special flavour. It must definitely be better than plastic!

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