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.
The plainest of meatless Monday meal makes everyone full, healthy and happy. Pan fry tofu, garlic stir fry chayotes, and oyster sauce lettuce are the continuation of our meatless Monday tradition.
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).
These are marbled tea eggs (茶葉蛋) are one of the more popular dishes on the table during Chinese New Year, but can be consumed all year long! The eggs symbolize prosperity and wealth. Sometimes when I crave for it, I would buy them as snacks. This year, I found simple recipes online and made a few as one of our dishes for meatless Monday meal.
Here’s the CNY version of meatless Monday meal.
Recipe for tea eggs:
- boil 6 eggs
- in a pot fill up:
- 2-3 cups of water
- 2 star anise
- 1 stick of cinnamon
- 2 bags of black tea, any kind you like. Pu-erh is traditionally used.
- Soy Sauce, about ½ cup
- 1 teaspoon of pepper corns
- 1 small rock sugar
- dried orange or mandarin peel (optional)
- gently crack the hard boiled eggs
- put cracked eggs in the pot and bring everything to a boil. Close lid, simmer for 40-50 minutes.
This is the Open-Year Dinner with my inlaws welcoming the Year of the Rooster! Same menu every year, and always a big feast. Sometimes I wish they are more open to try new dishes. Luckily my side is more receptive, giving me more areas to explore!
Every 1st and 15th of the lunar month, I am on a veggie diet (there’s a story behind it). Anyway, my sister also share the same schedule. Today is the first of the month (1st day to Chinese new year), she made a big pot of vegetables (盤菜) and invited us.
This pot is packed with all kinds of good stuff. Though it’s only one pot, but it’s like cooking 10 dishes all at once. I loved it since it’s loaded with all kinds of vegetables and full of flavor. What a great treat!
My inlaws celebrated their year-end CNY dinner (團年飯) tonight. This is the first year they don’t require her daughters (who live in the suburbs) to come home for dinner. So it was just our family and the inlaws. Over the years, my MIL would cook up a storm for these new-year dinners. Food is very similar on both days. This year, since it was just the 6 of us, there’s no need to have a full feast. My MIL agreed to make the usual stuff, roast pork, chicken, fish and soup. I made these two and brought over. I made steamed tripes and tofu with broccoli. These are common on my dinner table, but not theirs. They are very traditional folks. I was afraid they might reject the tripes dish because of the “color.” So, I placed it in a red bowl and added some red bell peppers to make it a bit more colorful. They both enjoyed these dishes and there were no leftovers. Whew!
Here’s the full meal. The chicken didn’t make it to the table on time for this picture.
Busy busy busy this morning, making videos and cooking at the same time. Lately, I’ve designated a chunk of time on the weekends to prepare meals for the entire week (for the 4 of us). Today, I made some Korean side dish (video to come), green scallion pancake, and turnip cake. This is my third time making it, and it’s the best sone so far (in terms of taste and consistency). Please don’t criticize too much on the video since I was making it with while cooking solo. I think you get the picture.
UPDATE: here’s what’s for breakfast the next morning
The boys are in a different camp this week. It’s great this camp provides lunch and snacks (which I just found out yesterday). According to the boys, the lunch provided is similar to school lunches, so it’s not their cup of tea. Mr. Piggy suggested if they want to have their home lunches, they should make their own. And that’s what they did. Though it’s not a full cooked meal (pan frying pot stickers), but it’s a start. It’s a fun gateway into real cooking.
First time making beef tripe for dinner tonight. For those who don’t know, ginger scallion steamed beef tripe is one of the more popular dim sum dish in Chinese restaurants. It’s always on the Chef’s specials and you pay a hefty price for this dish. I’ve cooked it once in college and I failed miserably. I’ve never tried it ever since. Last weekend I bought some honeycomb tripe to give it another try. They are cleaned and ready to use (saves me a lot of work!) I had planned to stir fry with garlic and black bean sauce only to find out I ran out of the sauce. Therefore, I went with plan B, which was to steam the tripe. Luckily I had some scallion and ginger to make the dipping sauce. This dish was super easy to make and it turned out just like the ones in restaurants. Just know that steaming it quickly is all you need to achieve the desired crunchy texture. It was the first to go amongst the three dishes I made that day.