Category Archives: Chinese

青团 Qing Tuan (Sweet Green Rice Ball)

I love Qing Tuan. But I don’t know where to buy them in Singapore. I decided to make them by myself. Yet, another problem is I don’t know where to get 艾草 Ai Cao (Artemisia argyi, commonly known as silvery wormwood or Chinese mugwort). It’s one of the main ingredients to make the dough. So  I have to replace it with pandan, which is very common here in Singapore.

But the color is not as green as Ai Cao. I guess spinach would be a better choice.

Ingredients:

glutinous rice flour  180g

rice flour 20g

pandan leaves 20

water 1 cup

oil 10g

red bean paste 200g

1, In a big bowl, mix glutinous rice flour and rice flour.

2, Cut pandan leaves into small pieces. Put them into the blender with water and blend. Drain the water. Only keep 140g of the green water.

3, Heat green water in a pot. Turn off the heat when it’s about to boil.

4, Pour the hot green water into the flour mixture while stirring. Add in oil.

5, Knead it into a big dough ball.

6, Divide dough ball into smaller ones with each about 35g. Divide red bean paste into 10 smaller balls with 20g each.

7, Press the small dough balls into a thin and flat disc. Place the red bean paste into middle. And gently wrap it up.

8, Better put parchment paper under the Qing Tuan. And steam over hot water for 12 mins.

I really really love those green rice balls. Very delicious.

Zong Zi Again!

There are still some bamboo leaves left in my fridge since last time I made zongzi (sticky rice dumplings). Last Wednesday was my resting day. No work, no need to go out. So I decided to use some to make Zongzi. And also because I really missed zongzi, could’t wait to have some.

This time, I only used sticky rice, no red bean. And for the filling, I went with the simplest one – red dates.

Only when I went to college in Fujian did I know that not all the people in China have simple zongzi with only sticky rice and red date inside. People in Fujian have the meat zongzi, with pork, mushroom, peanut, beans inside. And according to the different color, they call the meat ones Hongzong (red zongzi), and our simple ones Baizong (white zongzi).

After trying so many types of zongzi, simple white zongzi are the ones I miss most. And that’s why I decided to only make Baizong this time.

  1. Bamboo leave and sticky rice should be soaked in water for overnight.
  2. Prepare red dates, either dry ones or sweet preserved ones are OK. Cut off the  bamboo leaves’ stalk before wrapping.
  3. Use bamboo leaf to make a funnel shape. some rice first, then red date, and rice at last. Try to cover and wrap with the rest of leaf. And tie it with kitchen twine. Again I don’t care about zongzi’s shape. As long as it is tightly tied, it is a good zongzi to me. 🙂
  4. Boil for 3 hours.

If you make too many at a time like me, Please boil them before store them in freezer.

Oh~~~~I love them.

If you think they taste plain, you can even dip them in sugar first. I know some people in China have that customs.

Hangout @ Chinatown

Well, today I have one day off and my husband also has time. We planned to go to Chinatown and have lunch there. He wanted to try a nasi lemak restaurant there. It’s the first time for us to go to Chinatown and hunt for non-Chinese food.

Chinatown of Singapore is really close to to the CBD. You can actually walk from Chinatown to CBD and also see blocks of tall buildings from Chinatown.

There are many places to have nice food in Chinatown, such as Amoy Street and Chinatown Food Street.

Chinatown has many traditional buildings of Nanyang style.

https://flic.kr/p/2eib1ts

The restaurant we went is at Ann Siang Rd.

https://flic.kr/p/2dgGSub

There are many bars, restaurants and cafes there.

The blue restaurant is the one we were going.

The Coconut Club.

It is not a very big restaurant. Their signature dish is nasi lemak, which can be told from the menu.

Actually, the price is more expensive than nasi lemak sold in other places. We can usually buy nasi lemak at around S$4 and even below. But still, this place is very popular. It was lunch time, many office workers came here for lunch. And I could see a long line waiting outside. My husband and I ordered 2 signature nasi lemak. We waited for a quite long time.

The big plate of rice, chicken, sambal chili sauce, fried peanuts & anchovy, egg and cucumber proves it is worth waiting.

Rice is full of coconut milk flavor and not too strong. ( I just realized what is wrong with the nasi lemak I cooked. I added in too much coconut milk into the rice.) Chicken is juicy and tender. The only thing I’m not so pleased with is the egg is very tiny. 😦  I love Sambal chili sauce. The whole plate is a big portion. I could’t finish my chicken and asked my husband to help me finish it.

After nasi lemak, we also tried the dessert there.

My husband ordered Cendol:

Topped with Adzuki Red Bean. Full of creamy coconut milk and sticky gula Melaka (a kind of coconut sugar in brown color). My husband said it’s the best Cendol he’s ever had in Singapore.

I ordered Kueh (a Malay word means “cake”).

I really like the green & blue one. The upper layer is soft and melt in your mouth and the bottom layer is made of sticky rice. The small cake wrapped with coconut flakes on the right is too sweet to me.

After this satisfying lunch, we just found the cafe across the street.

Nanyang Old Coffee. A cafe my husband wanted to try a long time ago.

We went there. My husband ordered a cup of Yuanyang coffee. And I ordered Ang Ku Kueh.

I am not a coffee lover. My husband review towards his coffee was “not bad”. As to my Ang Ku Kueh, I chose green bean paste filling. It’s also not bad.

Finished coffee, we just wandered in Chinatown. Because Chinese New Year is coming in around 2 weeks or even less than 2 weeks.  The main color in Chinatown is Red.

Red lanterns.

Red Spring Couplets and Chinese New Year decorations.

https://flic.kr/p/QBsGor

Since 2019 is pig year according to Chinese Zodiac, Pig is also a regular element in gift shops or in the street.

https://flic.kr/p/23Lirci

https://flic.kr/p/23LisjD

Chinese New Year is a big festival for Chinese. We prepare lots of food. So you can see piles of snacks are there.

https://flic.kr/p/23LirCZ

Many shops gave free samples when you pass by. We get black peanuts to try.

Apart from so many things to say, Chinatown is heaven to foodie. I think all Chinese cuisine can be found here: Sichuan, Hunan, Northeast. No matter hot pot, Raosted duck, or seafood. We tried some of them before, I must say they taste authentic.

https://flic.kr/p/23LirVc

https://flic.kr/p/2dgGSDQ

https://flic.kr/p/23LirWV

https://flic.kr/p/QBsFzH

Ohhhhh, I’m hungry again……

My First Try On Ang Ku Kueh

There is a kind of glutinous rice flour ball stuffed with red bean paste or pork floss called 青团 (Qing Tuan) in China. I love it very much.

And it looks like this:

Actually, I love almost all kinds of dessert made from glutinous rice flour. They taste very chewy. I love the texture and the flavor. Too pity, there is no Qing tuan here in Singapore. I only can eat them when I go back to China. Luckily, I found a desert very similar to Qing Tuan. And that is ang ku kueh. I’m very surprised I didn’t try it in the past 3 years. It’s still not too late to find them now. They taste very like Qing Tuan. Filling inside is a bit different. Ang ku Kueh has green bean paste, yam, peanut and coconut. And they have different colors. On the contrary, Qing Tuan only has one color- green. Because Qing means green in Chinese. Tuan means things in ball shape.

My husband is also a fan of ang ku Kueh, Which is very odd, because if he likes ang ku kueh, how come he never suggests me to try this dessert. And of course, he will always say: “I told you. I also bought some for you. You just don’t remember. ” Yo, dude. I may forget things sometimes. But when it comes to food, my memory will be super super good and I can remember super super clear. And the answer is NO! ! ! You didn’t even mention that you like ang ku kueh before.

Anyway, I found this video on YouTube. (My hobby is exploring all the cooking videos online of all cuisine. ):

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=x3eMO75fBG4

And I tried it. Honestly, I don’t think my ang ku kueh turn out very good. A little softer than I expected. But they taste ok. My husband still likes them. One mystery about my ang ku kueh is that why the pattern and word on the mould disappeared while it was supposed to show on the ang ku kueh clearly. 😦

https://flic.kr/p/2cU1BMZ

I guess I will need to improve it next time.

Scramble Eggs With Bitter Gourd & Shrimps

I’m not surprised that my husband likes sweet food. But he also likes bitter gourd, which really does surprise me.

I think I used to cook bitter gourd by frying it or stir frying With scrambled egg or making it soup. I cooked scrambled eggs with bitter gourds for many many times. This time, I would like to add shrimps in.

It’s still quite easy.

1. Beat 3 eggs in a bowl. Stir with chopsticks. Cut 1/2 bitter gourd into slices (remove the seeds and white part first). Thaw the shrimps if you use frozen ones.

2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in the pan. When it’s hot, pour the egg in. When the bottom starts to solidify, stir egg with chopsticks till almost cooked. Set aside for later use.

3. Add a little more oil if needed. Fry the shrimps till pinkish. Set them aside too.

4. Fry the bitter gourd slices in the same pan. Stir fry for around 3 mins.

5. Add all egg and shrimps back into the pan.

6. Season with salt and a little sugar. Stir fry evenly for another min.

Ready to serve.

Simple and healthy. Especially suitable for hot weather in summer.

Shrimp Congee

An easy way to cook congee is putting rice in freezer for overnight.

So on the night before, wash rice, drain them. Put them in a bag. And put into freezer.

The next day. Boil a pot of hot water. No need to thaw the rice. Just put frozen rice in the boiling water. Once the water boils again, turn to low heat. Stir slowly so that rice won’t get burnt at the bottom. Cook for 20-30 mins. Rice will become very sticky and thick. If you want the congee to be very thick, the ratio of rice and water can be 1:10. Actually, my ratio of rice and water is 1:15. As I cook it longer, the congee can be very thick too.

Add in shrimps, cook for 3-5 mins.

Add in vegetables you like, cook for another 3 mins.

Season with a little salt and garnish with chopped spring onion.

Curry Fried Rice

Ingredients:

A bowl of Leftover rice

Vegetables you like ( I chose corn, shiitake, onion)

Shrimps

Eggs 2

Salt

Oil

Curry powder

Chopped spring onion

1. Beat two eggs in a large bowl. Add rice into eggs and mix them well to let each rice grain be coated with egg.

2. Heat some oil in the pan. Put rice in. Stir fry till golden brown and eggs are cooked. Set them aside for later use.

3. Fry shrimps till cooked.

4. Heat oil again. Stir fry vegetables together. My order is onion in first, then shiitake and corn at last.

5. Put all the rice and shrimps into vegetables. Stir fry evenly.

6. Sprinkle 1-2 tablespoon curry powder. If you want it to be more pungent, you can add more. Garnish with chopped spring onion.

It actually tastes very good.

Spring Onion Noodles

Another popular dish in China. Very simple to cook. All you need are spring onion, oil, noodles, light soy sauce, dark soy sauce and sugar.

1. Cut spring (4-6 stalks or more) into small strips around 3-5 cm.

2. Heat 1-2 tablespoon oil in the pan.

3. Add in chopped spring onion. Fry with low heat till spring onion turns dark brown in color. If you don’t like the black spring onion, you can take them out before the next step.

4. In a small bowl, mix 2 tablespoon light soy sauce, 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce and 1/2 tablespoon sugar.

5. Pour the sauce into pan. Stir till sugar melts.

6. Turn off the heat. Let the sauce cool down and blend in cooked noodles. Blend them well.

You can make more sauce and save in the refrigerator for later use.

My husband tried it and loved it.

Fried Leek Dumplings

韭菜盒子 is a very popular snack in China. 韭菜 (jiu cai) means leek. 盒子 (he Zi) means box. I think it refers to the Dumplings’ shape.

It’s a quite easy dish to cook. Wrap is made from normal flour and water. Fillings maybe various. Most common combination is leek with egg. (You can also add in dried shrimps, or cooked vermicelli). My mom can make very nice fried leek dumplings. So I asked her about how to make the fillings. And she told me just in one sentence: half egg is raw and the other half is cooked. When my mom teaches me about cooking, her answer is always simplified and short, which is very very different from the mom I know in daily life. :p

I just followed my mom’s instruction. I fried one egg in pan. Then put it in chopped leek with another raw egg. Mix them very well. Season with salt, black pepper, 2 tsp cooked oil and 2 tsp sesame oil. Blend all filling ingredients well.

Divide dough into smaller ones. Just like making normal dumpling’s wrap by rolling pin. But this wrap should be thicker. Place one spoonful filling in the middle. Fold one end to the other. Press with finger.

Fry in low heat till bother sides turn golden brown.

Scrambled Eggs With Pea Seedlings

1. Prepare all the ingredients:

3 beaten eggs

1 small pack of pea seedlings around 200g

2 chopped cloves of garlic

Oil

Salt

Light soy sauce

Cooking wine

2. Heat a little oil in the pan. When the oil is heated, pour in beaten egg. Once bottom egg solidifies, stir egg with chopsticks. Set them in plate when scrambled egg is done.

3. Heat oil in the pan again. Sauté garlic till aromatic. Add in all the pea seedlings. Stir fry for around 2 mins or till pea seedlings becomes dark green and soft.

4. Add in 1 tsp cooking wine to remove the grass smell. Also add in 1 tsp light soy sauce. Stir fry a bit.

5. Add in scrambled egg. Stir fry evenly. Season with salt and serve hot.