Sweet Tofu, Barley and Ginkgo Dessert Soup (白果薏米甜汤）。
This dessert is a traditional Chinese dessert, popular in Asia especially in Hongkong, Singapore, Taiwan and Malaysia. It makes an excellent dessert choice during Summer, as it has cooling properties. Personally, I love making this dessert during Chinese New Year and eat it on the first day of Chinese New Year in the morning as the first food to symbolize “sweet beginning” to a New year. My family tradition.
Sweet Tofu, Barley and Ginkgo Dessert Soup (白果薏米甜汤）
Dried pearl barley, about 1/2 cup (increase or decrease quantity to your preference of the thickness of soup)
3l of water
dried tofu skin (flat type), about 1 oz (increase or decrease quantity to your preference)
a handful of fresh ginkgo (remove the bitter core in the middle if any)
1 egg white, lightly beaten
handful of rock sugar
(1) In a pot, combine the barley and water and bring it to a boil. Simmer for 15 minutes or till the barley turns soft and translucent. You can add more water if preferred.
(2) Rinse the tofu skin and tear them into bite size.
(3) Add the tofu skin, ginkgo and rock sugar. Simmer for 10 more minutes, uncovered.
(4) Slowly drizzle egg white into the pot, and stir gently.
(5) Serve hot or cold.
- 1 cup minced pork (marinate with 1 tsp cornstarch, 1 tsp soy sauce and 1 tsp white pepper)
- 1 block firm beancurd, cut into 2 inches cubes
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 tbsp minced ginger
- 2 stalks of green onion, minced (separate white and green part)
- 1 tbsp minced red chillies
- 1 tsp szechuan spice powder
- 1 tbsp red hot chillies oil
- 1 tbsp hot bean paste
- 1 tsp szechuan peppercorn (stir fry 1 tsp peppercorn in oil, and remove. Crushed into fine powder)
- Sauce ingredients: 1 cup chicken stock, 2 tsp black vinegar, 1 tbsp rice wine, 1 tbsp sugar, 1 tsp white pepper, 1 tsp sesame oil
- Cornstarch mixture, mix 1/2 tbsp cornstarch with 2 tbsp water
- Marinate minced pork and set aside for 20 minutes.
- Heat 2 tbsp oil in wok. Add minced pork, and stir fry till browned. Keep breaking the pork into small pieces with spatula.
- Push pork aside, and add minced garlic, ginger and white part of green onion. Stir fry till fragrant.
- Combine the pork together, and stir fry for 1 minute.
- Add hot bean paste and szechuan spice powder. Stir fry to combine.
- Add all sauce ingredients and bring it to a boil.
- Add tofu and red hot chillies oil. Stir fry gently till it is boiling.
- Drizzle with cornstarch mixture, and stir till mixture thickened.
- Sprinkle with crushed peppercorn and green part of green onion.
- Serve hot and enjoy!
Milk and Raisin Steamed buns
- 2 tbsp water
- 5g Instant Yeast
- 1 tsp plain flour
- 50g sugar
Combine the above ingredients in a bowl and rest for 5 minutes.
- 500g plain flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 250g milk (room temperature)
- 30g vegetable oil
- 100g dried raisins
- Place flour and salt in a mixing bowl. Make a well in the center. Pour in the yeast mixture (except vegetable oil and raisins), and mix well with hand. Slowly add in the milk by tablespoon (do not pour everything at once) and use your fingers to form a ragged, soft mass. Add in the vegetable oil and knead into a dough. Transfer to a work surface and knead for 5 minutes.
- Using your palm, knead for 8 minutes or till the dough is no longer sticky, smooth, soft and a bit elastic. When pressed with a finger, the dough should spring back with a faint indentation remaining.
- Smear a little oil in a clean bowl and put the dough in it. Cover with kitchen towel or plastic wrap and put it in a warm place to rise for 45 minutes or nearly doubled.
- Use a knife, divide the dough into 4 equal parts. With a rolling pin, lightly roll out each dough into thin oval. Sprinkle some raisins on top, roll from the bottom to up and shape into oval shape.
- Place individual buns onto parchment paper, put into a steamer, spacing them about 2 inches apart. Loosely cover the buns with kitchen towel, rest for 45 minutes or rise for another 50%.
- Meanwhile, fill the steamer with water and boil over high heat. Lower the heat until you are ready to steam.
- Steam the buns for 15 minutes over high heat. Remove and serve hot. Uneaten buns can be wrap in a plastic wrap, and store in a freezer, It can be kept up to one month. For warm buns, thaw and resteam or cover the buns with damp paper towel and microwave high for 1 minute.
Braised pork belly is fundamental to dishes, sliced and it is a topping for Japanese ramen noodle, sliced and it is sandwiched between Chinese bun for Taiwanese “Gua Bao” (Taiwanese Pork Belly Bun), or just eat as it is!
I use high pressure cooker for braising, as I don’t have to watch it closely. I throw everything in the pressure cooker, set a timer, and the tender pork belly is ready for me!
Here is the versatile recipe, that taste great and simple to execute.
Prepare 1 lb of pork belly: In a pot, bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Add 1 inch of smashed ginger, 1/2 cup of Chinese cooking wine/Sake, and pork belly. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat; simmer uncovered for 45 minutes.
Remove pork belly and discard the liquid.
2 cups water
1 cup soy sauce
3/4 cup sugar
2 pieces of Star anises
1 tsp whole white or black peppercorns
1 cinnamon stick
1 inch thick of fresh ginger, peeled and smashed
Combine all ingredients as above in a high pressure cooker pot. Add the pork belly to the braising liquid and set the pressure cooker to high pressure for 45 minutes. Braise till the pork belly is very tender but not falling apart.
Slice according to your preference, and serve with your favorite noodle or eat as it own.
This recipe is different from my previous recipe of egg tart, in the aspect of the crust. My daughter prefers this cookie-like crust.
Chinese Egg Tarts - Cookie Crust texture
INGREDIENTS (make 24 tarts)
24 tart shells, greased
PREPARATION of crust:
- 2 stick of butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup of icing sugar
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 cup plain flour
- 6 tbsp cake flour
- 1 tsp kosher salt
Ingredients of custard:
- Using hand beater, beat butter and sugar together till creamy.
- Add egg and vanilla, and beat till combined.
- Shift in the flour and salt mixture slowly, while beating the mixture.
- Knead lightly into a dough.
- Place the dough in a bowl, and set aside in the refrigerator while preparing the custard.
- 2 heaped tsps custard powder (bird’s eye brand)
- 1 tbsp water
- 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 tbsp condensed milk
- 455ml water
- Preheat oven to 350F. Stir custard powder with 1 tbsp of water in a mixing bowl. Add beaten egg and vanilla. Beat till well combined. Set aside.
- In a saucepan, stir together sugar, water, and condensed milk and heat over medium heat. Turn off the heat once the sugar is dissolved and the liquid mixture is heated (not boiling).
- SLOWLY pour the hot liquid mixture into the beaten egg mixture while whisking the egg mixture. Continue whisking till all hot liquid mixture is used up.
- Remove the crust mixture from refrigerator. Place dough on a floured counter surface. Roll into 0.1 inch thick. Use a round cutter to cut round shapes slightly smaller than tart shells. Press lightly on the bottom and the sides to get impression from fluted tins. Prick the bottom of shells with sharp sticks.
- Place prepared tart shells on a baking tray. Pour egg mixture into the prepared tart shells just before baking.
- Bake for 30 minutes, rotating baking tray after 15 minutes. The custard should puff up a little and pastry should turn golden brown. If not, bake for another 5 minutes
- Remove from oven to cool, and place egg tarts on muffin cups. Serve warm.
- 5 eggs, in room temperature
- 1 cup icing sugar (adjust sweetness according to your preference)
- 1/8 tsp cream of tartar (optional)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 + 1/2 cup cake flour, shifted twice (reduce quantity for softer texture)
- 1 tbsp of baking powder or 6 tbsp 7-up soda
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil (or melted butter)
- Using electric mixture at High speed, beat eggs till frothy (not stiff!) about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add icing sugar gradually, vanilla extract and cream of tartar and beat till the mixture become very thick (about 2 minutes). The mixture should looks pale white. When lifting up the beater, the batter won’t drip immediately. Meanwhile, heat up the steamer at high heat.
- Reduce to lowest speed (stir) and add cake flour and baking powder in 3 parts.
- Add oil and gently stir together.
- Pour batter into a greased and floured 8” round pan or bamboo steamer pan lined with baking paper, steam at high heat for about 30 minutes (make sure there is enough water in the steamer, avoid opening the lid to add water). Remove cake from pan and cool on wire rack immediately.