Sunday, December 15, 2013

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Making mooncakes at iBakery 愛烘焙麵包工房 - 2013

I was kindly invited to help iBakery 愛烘焙麵包工房 to make their large production of mooncakes for the forthcoming mid-autumn festival. What I mean by “large” is over 600 pieces per day for 3 consecutive weeks. Yes, 3 weeks of mooncake-making! Hahha! I, myself, did not help for 3 weeks but only 6 days.  
Here are a few photos I'd like to share with you to show you the main steps in mooncake making.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

No-knead Bread

My family and friends know that I regularly bake an easy to make bread that I enjoy each morning with my coffee.
I recently met people interested in my bread and asked about my recipe. I suddenly realized that although I had mentioned it on this blog I never posted the recipe. So, here it is:

Monday, June 17, 2013

Making Rolls With Fresh Yeast

(As you might already know) I like to eat toasts in the morning particularly with my own bread. I usually use the recipe and method of Mark Pittman that I saw on YouTube which calls for dried instant yeast.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Pot-au-feu – French beef stew – recipe

Pot-au-feu is a typical country-style comfort food.  It is made with not expensive cuts of beef and lots of vegetables (mainly roots). It is commonly prepared in winter. However, I have had the pleasure of eating this classic dish last week as the weather was quite cold in France (yes, only 6⁰C in the morning!)

Monday, May 27, 2013

Asparagus - Artichokes. Recipes

Asparagus and artichokes are in season now in France. These are 2 vegetables that I am missing here in Hong Kong (along with endives). Not that I can’t find some here but I don't enjoy eating them here as much as in France. They look “sad” and taste different.
Why do some foods taste better in one country than in another? It might be due to the weather and the soil they have grown in but also the way they are prepared. Or is it simply a mix of emotions and souvenirs linked to these spring vegetables?

Asparagus freshly cut from the garden

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Tofu puffs, Beans and Black Fungus Stir-fry – Vegetarian Dish

One of my favourite stalls at the wet markets in Hong Kong is the one selling soybean sprouts and other soy bean products such as bean curd, vegetarianchicken, gluten etc. Bean curd puffs or dauh-bôk 豆卜in Cantonese are those small yellow cubes.  Cantonese people love bean curd and you can find various forms of bean curds incorporated in their local dishes.
Top right angle:deep fried tofu (bean curd)

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Yam Bean with Pork

Yam bean is also called Jicama (Mexican name) or sâ-got 沙葛 in Cantonese. It can be found all year round at the wet markets around Hong Kong.
Peel the skin of the tubers, slice and cook them like potatoes.  The texture is crisp and the taste lightly sweet.  Martha Dalheen explained in her book that the raw root can be dipped in guacamole or served with lime wedges and chili pepper-salt dip.
I usually cook the rhizomes with pork.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Thousand-year-old eggs – 皮蛋 - pe`ih-daahn – in congees or as hors-d’oeuvres

Despite their name, the “thousand-year-old eggs” are not that old!
Thousand-year-old eggs (also called century eggs) are preserved duck eggs (皮蛋 - pe`ih-daahn in Cantonese).  You can easily find them at wet markets.  The century eggs are covered with mud and chips and left to ferment – not for a century – but up to 100 days. After that period the white has turned to opaque black and its texture is gelatin-like. The yolk has become black-greenish, is creamy and has a pungent alkaline taste.

The outside is gelatin-like  / inside is creamy and has a strong alkaline taste

Monday, April 22, 2013

Syut-choi 雪菜 (snow – vegetable) and recipe

Preserved mustard cabbage or syut-choi in Cantonese (雪菜 – lit. means snow – vegetable) is a salted vegetable commonly found at wet markets in Hong Kong.

Syut choi
also called syut-lèih-hùhng/syut-léuih-hùhng 雪黎红,雪里红 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Swatow Mustard Cabbage Grouper Stew

Swatow mustard cabbage or daaih-gaai-choi in Cantonese 大芥菜 link (no.1 on my vegetables page) is commonly available at wet markets at this time of the year (although we are approaching the end of the season). I have been cooking it once a week for the past 2 months, either in soup or stew.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Malabar spinach 蠶菜 / Slippery veggie 潺菜

Malabar spinach 蠶菜 / Slippery veggie 潺菜
You might have seen this vegetable at wet markets in Hong Kong. It is currently available (in early spring) but not every stall is selling it.
It is called “slippery vegetable” or saa`hn choi 潺菜 in Cantonese. Some people called it “Malabar spinach” or “Ceylon spinach” (chaa`hm-choi in Cantonese - 蠶菜 means wormwood-vegetable). The scientific name is Basella Alba and it belongs to the basellaceae family (group of flowering plants).
I recently learnt from my Facebook friends (from Taiwan) that it was called “皇帝菜” wo`hng-dai-choi (emperor-vegetable) in Taiwan, which is definitely more elegant than “slippery” vegetable, right? However, in PRC, 皇帝菜 refers to another vegetable called Garland Chrysanthemum (or tu`hng-hou1 in Cantonese 茼蒿).

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Fantasy world at Sheng Kee Noodles Store

As I previously wrote I went to Sheng Kee Noodles Store last month but could not eat there as it was closed during the Chinese New Year holiday. I finally went again last week to show the place to a friend of mine and got the chance to taste its beef tendon noodles.  

My friend M. had never been there and was as surprised as I was on my 1st visit. What an eccentric place in the middle of Lek Yuen estate! It is like you are entering an imaginary world.
Photo: Courtesy of M.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Bread making training at iBakery

I was fortunate to have been invited by ibakery (a Social Enterprise of Tung Wah Group of Hospitals - 東華三院) to attend a professional bread making training given by Master Wang, a famous Taiwanese artisan baker.
For the past 2 years I have been making my own rustic-style bread, using Mark Bittman’s no-knead bread recipe. As the name indicates kneading is not required and it is easy to make. Recently I have tried to make a “Yes-Knead” bread with my own sourdough starter (I don't have a bread making machine) and, as of today, my trials have not yet been successful. Therefore I was more than happy to be able to attend this training and gladly accepted the invitation.
But here is more about the bread making training.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Sheng Kee Noodles Store - 盛記麵家

Some time ago I saw a TV programme on a noodles store in one of Shatin estates.  The characteristic of this dai-paai-dong is that its owner is a kind-hearted man who is giving away free noodles to needy elderly. Recently I read again about Mr Cheung Man-keung and Sheng Kee Noodles Store in the SCMP weekly column “Neighbourhood Sounds”. My curiously stirred up even further: I had to visit this eatery!


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Wax Pork Sausage and Duck - Laahp-méih-faahn 臘味飯

Just before Chinese New Year my friends brought me to Kowloon City to buy wax duck, pork sausages and belly. This shop sells “laahp-méih 臘味" or wax-delicacy as well as other types of delicacies such as abalone, fish maw (swim bladder), scallops, shrimps, etc.  Laahp-méih is the equivalent to Western cured meats or charcuterie.

I seldom eat Chinese charcuterie. I used not to like it (I still don’t like duck liver sausage) but I have come to appreciate it in small quantity during the winter months.  It seems that the pork sausages are not as fatty as they used to be and I like their slight rose water flavour.

           Shop selling laahp-méih

Monday, February 18, 2013

My blog is 2

My blog is 2-year old today.  I published my first post on February 18, 2011. In the latter I simply shared a Chinese soup recipe with potential future readers.

Chinese pears and pork soup
Since then my posts have become more informative (I hope) with info on local foods and more photos to illustrate the recipes and their ingredients. 
Over the past 2 years more people have been visiting my blog and I would like to thank those readers. I have also “met” other bloggers who left comments on my blog or via Twitter. Those bloggers are not only from Hong Kong but also from all around the world. I read some very interesting and innovative recipes and lots of them made me drool. Some of them looked so yummy that I had to try them myself. Three of them won my heart and I decided to put them on my blog (with their owner’s agreement). Here there are:

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Braised Lotus Root with Pork

Before coming to Hong Kong I had never seen a fresh lotus root. I might have eaten lotus root at Chinese restaurants though I am not sure and in the affirmative I did not recall if I liked it or not. What I liked about the plant was its delicate and beautiful flowers. I had seen photos of lotus blooms in ponds and Buddhist images showing figures of Buddha sitting gracefully on a lotus flower. Since then I have discovered that not only the roots but also the pods and seeds of the plant are also edible. 

Look at the lacy pattern of fresh sliced lotus root!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Black Sesame Glutinous Rice Dumplings

Happy Chinese New Year! Today is the first day of the Lunar New Year. LNY is an important festival in the Chinese (lunar) calendar.  Family members gather on LNY’s eve to share the last meal of the year together. It is customary to eat rice dumplings on that occasion as its name (in Cantonese) “t’ohng Yuen” 湯圓” sounds the same as “together/same - round/circular”.  In pronouncing the auspicious name of this dessert one’s wishes that it will bring her/him good fortune.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Braised Pork Ribs with Taro

Taro is a starchy root vegetable. It is called wuh-t'au (芋頭) in Cantonese. It can be found at many vegetables stalls at local wet markets in winter months. There are many varieties of taro but you 2 of them are commonly sold here in Hong Kong:  the betel nut kind which is ~10cm ø; and the red-budded type which is smaller and measures ~ 5 cm ø.    
I love the bigger one (betel nut) best braised with meat. I love its sweet taste and smooth texture, which reminds me of chestnuts.   Here is my recipe which has been adapted over the years. 

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Chocolate Brownie Cake

I don’t know why but during the month of January I have been making more cakes /cookies than in the whole of 2012. 
Here is the recipe of brownies that I used to make for my son when he was still living with us. I cannot recall where I got it.
You can find numerous similar recipes on Internet and/or in books. I also found a recipe on the packaging of white flour. 

Monday, January 28, 2013

Comparing and Tasting Biscotti and Croquettes

Early this month I decided to make some biscotti for my son.  As I could not find any “biscotti” entry on Manuela's blog I asked her directly. To my surprise she sent me her Cantucci recipe which (I learnt) is another name for biscotti di Prato. 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Walnut Croquettes – Croquettes aux Noix

Last week I made Walnut Croquettes for the first time ever.  I followed the recipe my Mum got from her friend.  
Croquette comes from the French verb “croquer” which means “to crunch”.  Croquettes are also deep fried minced food shaped into a ball or roll.  Here croquettes refer to crispy sweet biscuits.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

2013 review & 2013 wish list

A bit late, I wish you all a healthy and happy new year!  It is hard to believe that chris-eathealthy is going to step in to its 3rd year soon.

Looking back at my list of vegetables that I wished to discover in 2012 I noted that I managed to find 4 out of 5, namely:

  1. Arrowhead tubers - chìh gû 慈姑,

  2. Stem lettuce - wô seún 萵筍,

  3. Wild rice shoots - gâau seún 胶筍,and

  4. Dracontomelon - yàhn minh 人面.
I still have to find where and when (what time of the year) to buy “white wormwood - jân jyû choi 珍珠菜” the 1st veggie on my 2012 wish list. As you have guessed, white wormwood will be on my 2013 wish list!
While looking around at wet markets I have discovered other edible plants such as bracken fern, chinese box thorn, and pumpkin sprouts that were not on my list.
2012 has been good for me. I have enjoyed memorable times eating, cooking and sharing food with my friends. To name but a few:  preparing Hakka tea cakes, outing to Cheung Chau, one day at e-farm, trying vegetarian food at Light, Teakha, and Grassroots Pantry, etc…
I also had many happy food-related moments that I did not share on this blog for various reasons (time or too private).  And I purposely did not record my several disastrous baking efforts (believe me macarons are not that easy to make!) Anyway as long as I am having fun I will continue experimenting with cooking and baking in 2013.
So here is chris-eathealthy’s 2013 wish list:  
  • Find white wormwood - jân jyû choi 珍珠菜
  • Find veggies that I have never cooked before
  • Making my own sourdough starter (new experiment)
  • Baking more varieties of bread

Again I wish you a happy and healthy 2013.