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).