Archives for posts with tag: Chinese

It’s that time of year again – Dragonboat festival, or Duanwu festival (端午節) where we eat Chinese tamales or sticky rice dumpling or zongzi (粽子). Yesterday, we trekked on to Mr. Piggy’s grandma’s house to learn how to make them. Took the boys with me as they learn from the guru on how to wrap the rice and ingredients using bamboo leaves.

We got to take some home and enjoyed it for dinner tonight.


Today, celebrating Dragon Boat Festival and eating the zongzi remain as an important tradition among the Chinese. Wrapping the ingredients is relatively easy, except for the time commitment to prepare and cook it afterwards. Making the zongzi as well as the ingredients in it varied considerably in different regions.


My first time making silken tofu custard (豆腐花). The tofu custard itself is not sweet. Ginger sweet syrup needs to be added for this popular Chinese dessert. I always thought it was super difficult to make, so have been avoiding it. Once I found out how easy to make it, I gave it a try. The hardest (well, not really hard, but the most time consuming) part is to make the soy milk. Some people buy packaged ones. I did it from scratch.

Here’s the recipe:

  1. Soy milk (optional to buy store bought, or make your own)
  2. mix: 1 tsp of gypsum powder, 2 tsp of cornflour, and 3 tsp of water (mix well in a big bowl or whatever container you are using)
  3. bring 500 ml of soy milk close to a boil (when you see bubbles form on the rim). pour in right into the mixture in #2.
  4. let it sit for 10 mins or so
  5. for the ginger sweet syrup, I used a few slices of ginger and dark brown sugar.

Soy milk from scratch:

  1. Soak soy beans overnight, discard water
  2. Remove skins from beans (do your best here)
  3. In a blender, add water and soy beans, blend until it’s smooth
  4. Strain
  5. when heating it, reminder to constantly stir it.

This is my first time making pineapple buns (not sure why they are called pineapple buns since it has nothing to do with pineapples). Just for fun, I filled them with BBQ pork. BBQ pork buns was what I had in mind initially, but somehow combined the two. When I first learned to make bread, I thought the recipe for the pineapple buns was too complicated, so I didn’t want to attempt. Now that I’ve baked a bread of two, I decided to give it a try. All of a sudden, it wasn’t as hard as I thought. These were for the boys’ afternoon snack. Glad they saved some for breakfast this morning!

Ah Lo, our picky eater, was glad to see we’re back to the “basics,” food he grew up with. Stir fry and steamed eggs for dinner. My quest to try new recipes will still continue, but we’re taking a break today. He ate two bowls of rice!

I finally mastered the technique of steaming eggs that they are silky smooth. The trick is to cover it when steaming, and exactly 8 minutes in low medium heat. This is a popular dish in our family.

I enjoy my Sundays when we’re not in a rush, when I have time to make breakfast, or when I get to sleep in. This morning, I steamed some rice rolls with dried shrimp. IMG_2887Made it before, but this time, tried a different formula. These tasted much better than the first time. Food always taste better when you’re not in a rush…Yay!IMG_2895

My nieces invited themselves for dinner tonight (2 out of 3 are on spring break). So I made a little bit more than usual. Everything was gone which is a good sign!IMG_2369

Finally, one excuse after another, we finally got back to learning Chinese. Since Dai Bee is already taking Chinese in high school, I am only spending time with Ah Lo (for now). With such a long break, all we could do now is review the previous lessons. Of course with any language, once you put it down, you lose it. Tonight I felt we were starting from scratch. IMG_2615

Doing mostly stir frying today as my oldest sister gave us some fresh vegetables – celery, cucumbers and green bell peppers. Everything so healthy here’s what I did with them:

1. stuffed bell peppers over garlic black beans (豆豉蒜蓉煎釀青椒) (first to go).

2. cucumber tomato shrimp (番茄蝦炒青瓜) and

3. celery with shredded lamb (香芹炒肥羊)


Yesterday was the 15th day of the CNY celebration, or known as lantern festival (元宵). Tangyuan is a traditional dessert people eat as it symbolizes family togetherness. They come with various stuffings, but I made the two that are more popular (peanut coconut and black sesame):

IMG_1933Of course, it’s cuter if they come in the shape of the dog (since this is year of the dog)! I made two different characters to differentiate the fillings.IMG_E1896


Here are the ones I made for the year of the rooster.

My first attempt to make sesame honey beef, but didn’t turn out the way I was hoping for. Will try to get it right the next time…Of course the boys’ eyes lit up when they saw their favorite egg bean curd (玉子豆腐). IMG_1875