Archives for posts with tag: Chinese

Meatless Monday tonight calls for a hearty and flavorful dumpling recipe filled with diced five spice tofu, chives, carrots, black ear fungus and jicama (for the crunch). Pan fried, just couldn’t get any better than this.Untitled

After an exciting game this morning, we detoured to the Locke Historic District near Sacramento before heading home. This is an unincorporated area built by Chinese immigrants during the early 1900’s. We stopped by the visitor center (also known as the boarding house) and found out the town is named Locke, after George Locke, who owned the land. He leased to the Chinese, at a time when Chinese people were not allowed to own land. All the museums are free and let us roam around. The attractions include besides the visitor’s center: a Chinese language school, a museum, a memorial garden, a gambling hall, a theatre, and a meeting place (even had a round of Chinese chess), all within walking distance.  There was a calligraphy lesson in the Chinese school, so we sat down and practiced.

The whole district consisted of 2 main blocks, so it was a nice stroll. Locke is certainly unique with rustic charm and surrounded with “lost in time” feel. Happy we decided the detour for this opportunity to learn about the rich history of Chinese immigrants. It’s definitely worth the visit.

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From the website: Locke is the only remaining authentic Chinese village in the United States of America. Although many cities in America have a Chinatown, Locke is the only separate Chinese community that was built by, and exclusively for, Chinese immigrants. Locke was virtually unknown outside of California until a book entitled “Bitter Melon” by Jeff Gillenkirk with photographs by James Motlow was published.  At one time, 600 residents, all of whom were Chinese, lived in this three square block community. Now the permanent population of the town is less than 100, and less than a dozen of the residents are Chinese. The origin of the Chinese town of Locke dates back to 1915 when a fire in the neighboring town of Walnut Grove destroyed the city’s Chinatown. Locke was established by Lee Bing, on land owned by George Locke in 1915. There were two sections in the Walnut Grove Chinatown, one of which was populated by Chinese immigrants from Chungshan (中山) and the other by immigrants from Sze Yap in China. The Chungshan group decided to rebuild their community a half mile south of Walnut Grove where there were already three buildings in a tiny hamlet called Lockeport.

Our Chinese lessons have cut a couple of days because of the boys activities (basketball practice and fencing). Therefore, I try to squeeze in longer lessons (moans and groans) and even during dinner (for reviews). I’m just glad they still want to continue.

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A Friday ritual.

A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week.

A simple, special, extraordinary moment.

A moment I want to pause, savor and remember – {this moment}

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Ginger milk pudding (姜汁撞奶), a Chinese (Cantonese) hot dessert, is believed to be very beneficial to the body: such as

  • improving the body complexion because of the milk protein,
  • helping in blood circulation because of the ginger effect,
  • Reducing coughing and avoid flu,
  • Inhibiting fats absorption and
  • Calming effect and hence reducing insomnia problems.

I prepared three times and the first two attempts weren’t successful. Well, do not worry, even if it failed, you can just drink your milk instead of eating the curd using spoon. Taste is exactly the same. I finally figured out it was the milk I used. It needs to be whole milk (was using 2% or 1% milk fat and that didn’t work).

Basically, this dessert is so simple only requires 3 ingredients: milk, sugar and ginger. Though simple, there are some tricks to making it the way it should be:

  • be sure to use the ‘old’ ginger (grated to get the juice only)
  • use whole milk
  • warm up the milk to 176F (or 80C) before pouring it into the bowl with ginger juice

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It’s Tangyuan season again! Today is the fifteenth day of the first lunar month, or the Lantern Festival, which in China, would be the most celebrated festival in China. People eat these rice glutinous balls, somewhat the last items for the spring festival. Because it is the year of the Rooster, I decided to make these black seasame filling tangyuan. screen-shot-2017-02-13-at-9-28-53-am

Luckily I had some time to prep for these tangyuan days ahead because today was crazy busy. In the morning Dai Bee stopped by the senior home to play for the seniors, then we were off to Ah Lo’s playoff game (which they lost). Immediately afterwards, we rushed to Dai Bee’s playoff game (and dropping Ah Lo off to his Dragon’s team practice). After pickup, they boys were driven to their fencing practice. We had a couple of hours of free time before heading to college basketball game (free tickets from my boss). The boys will have a good night sleep for sure!

My side of the family is going for the CNY celebration today. We had to switch it from yesterday due to schedule conflict (Dai Bee has a choir performance he can’t get out of). Anyway, one sister and I cooked most of the food. I made the tea leaf eggs, braised beef brisket and tendons, and this new dish I learned called “yee sang” (魚生) or “low hey” (撈起) or also known as the “prosperity toss.” It’s the vibrant color of this salad that first caught my eyes. Pretty simple to make, but lots of chopping to do. With smoked salmon (center) and shredded vegetable, this salad is apparently pretty popular in Southeast Asia during Chinese New Year. You can pretty much add whatever you like.

Here I shredded: purple cabbage, carrots, green onions (and cilantro) red and yellow bell peppers. I deep fried the wonton skin strips (in advance) and bought seaweed salad. I also made the special sauce with dill, orange juice, sugar, orange juice and sesame paste. It was a huge hit!img_5874

Some of us grabbed the chopsticks to partake in this tossing ceremony known as literally ‘to toss up one’s good fortune’ in Cantonese). This mixing of the salad is to ring in a new year full of abundance and prosperity. Here’s to a new tradition!

Boys are huge fans of teppanyaki. That’s the food they always suggest if we don’t have a place in mind.Seriously, it requires no work to make it, that’s why I don’t know why restaurants charge so much for this. I’ve had the iron griddle for years and love using it for other dishes. So I decided to make one for Ah Lo last night. He was so happy, he lit up! Even gave me a huge hug for this which makes all the “hard work” worthwhile.

Dai Bee was choir rehearsal, so he didn’t get to try. I’m sure I will be making this again.

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A Friday ritual.

A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week.

A simple, special, extraordinary moment.

A moment I want to pause, savor and remember – {this moment}

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Just following the Chinese New year tradition – eat eat and eat some more. Here are some homemade CNY snacks/dessert in the last couple of days: 1) coconut glutinous rice cakes (年糕) 2) tea eggs (茶葉蛋) and 3) osmanthus cake (桂花糕).  img_5801img_5804img_5789img_5791