Saturday, 29 January 2011

STEAMED SEA BASS


Fish plays a big role in Chinese celebrations. When served whole, including the head and the tail, it beckons a good beginning and end to the year. The Chinese word for fish "Yu" sounds like the words for wish and abundance. Eating fish on Chinese new year symbolizes prosperity for the whole year. 

Thursday, 27 January 2011

FRIED PORK AND CRAB SPRING ROLLS


Meat and seafood combinations are not unusual in Chinese cuisine. It actually is one of the favourite taste combinations and is commonly seen in stir fries, dim sums and also in fried dishes such as this. Spring rolls are usually a crispy fried pastry wrapped around a vegetable filling. These spring rolls has minced pork and crab meat filling with five spice for seasoning. 


Spring rolls are signs of good luck in the new year as its shape is deemed similar to gold bars. Whether it is true or not, now is as good a time as any to eat spring rolls.

Ingredients:

1 small onion, chopped finely
1 c. minced pork
1 c. cooked crab meat
1 carrot, chopped finely
3 pcs. dried Chinese mushrooms, soaked then chopped
1 bunch of spring onions, chopped finely
1 clove, garlic, minced
2 tbsps. light soy sauce
2 tbsps. dry sherry or Chinese wine
1 tsp. 5 spice powder
1 tsp. sesame oil
1 tbsp. brown sugar
2 tbsps. corn flour
1 egg white
19"x19" spring roll wrappers
cooking oil for frying
1 tbsp. plain flour

Method:

Fry the chopped onions in cooking oil until soft and translucent. 

Trasfer to a mixing bowl and add the rest of the ingredients, save for the last three. Mix thoroughly. 

Separate the spring roll wrappers, then spoon 2 tbsps. of the filling in and roll into a thin spring roll. Seal the end with a paste made with the plain flour and 1 tbsp. of water. 


Deep fry on medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes until light brown and crisp. Drain on a rack. Serve with sweet chilli sauce. 



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You might also like 
Lumpiang Prito (Fried Vegetable Spring Rolls)
Crab and Salmon Puffs
Taro Croquettes
Chicken and Lettuce Boats (San Choy Bau)
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Tuesday, 25 January 2011

CHINESE NEW YEAR PUDDING (TIKOY)



Chinese New Year falls on the 3rd of February this year. Certain kinds of food are eaten during the celebrations. They all have symbolisms and are supposed to bring good tidings to those who eat them. 


The Chinese New Year pudding, or Tikoy as we call it in the Philippines, is the most popular food item during this season. Sweet and sticky foods are supposed to bring family unity. The round shape symbolizes unending prosperity. It is symbolically offered to the Kitchen God so that he will present a favourable report to the Emperor of all Gods. Tikoy is usually given away as a present during Chinese New Year. If you can't wait until someone gives you one, you can easily make it yourself.


Sliced, dipped in egg and fried.

Ingredients:

2 1/2c. glutinous rice flour
1 c. brown sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 3/4 c. water

Method:

Whisk all the ingredients together until free from lumps. Strain into a lined and generously greased 9" diameter round tin and steam for 35-45 minutes. It is ready when it is all bubbly on the surface. It will subside as it cools. Leave to cool in the pan, then refrigerate. This can be eaten as is or sliced, dipped in beaten eggs and pan fried.

The meal our family shared for Chinese New Year: (from left, clockwise) Chinese New Year Pudding,  Layer Cake,  Steamed Prawns on Egg Fried RiceSteamed Sea Bass, Kai Lan with Oyster Sauce
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Saturday, 22 January 2011

UBE WITH PASTILLAS DE LECHE RIPPLE ICE CREAM


I was stumped by the Kulinarya Cooking Club's theme for this month. I am supposed to make something that I would like to make on my birthday. A seemingly simple task that should actually be easy as it can be anything. 

Thursday, 20 January 2011

LIME AND HONEY GLAZED CHICKEN


There is something very appealing about sweet, sticky chicken. I am guessing it is the way the chicken skin holds the glaze or the way the fat exuding out of the chicken blends with the flavours of the seasoning or the way the meat comes out juicy and tender when sealed with a sticky coating. 

This chicken dish is flavoured with lime, honey and soy sauce. It is briefly pre-cooked so that the seasonings are absorbed into the chicken. It is finished off in the oven and brushed with honey to create that sticky, sweet glaze.



Ingredients:

8 chicken thighs
juice and grated rind of 1 lime
1 tsp. sesame oil
3 tbsps. light soy sauce
1 tsp. salt
3 tbsps. honey
1 tbsp. butter

Method:

Put the chicken thighs in a pan and season with the lime juice and rind, sesame oil, 2 tbsps. of light soy sauce and salt. Leave to marinate for half an hour. 

Pre-heat the oven to 350° F/ 180° C. 


Bring the chicken and marinade to a boil. Simmer gently for ten minutes. Take the chicken out of the cooking liquid, and arrange in a single layer on a baking dish. Reserve the sauce. 


Bake, skin side up, for 15 minutes. Turn the chicken over and bake for a further ten minutes. Turn the chicken over again and brush the skin liberally with a mixture of 1 tbsp. light soy sauce, 3 tbsps. honey and 1 tbsp. butter. Pour the reserved sauce around the chicken to deglaze the baking pan. Bake for a further ten minutes or until the chicken is browned. Transfer the chicken into a serving dish. 


Pour the sauce back into the pan, add the remaining glaze (if any) and reduce until syrupy. Pour some over the chicken and serve the rest on the side as sauce.




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Crispy Ginger Chicken
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Boneless Buffalo Chicken
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Tuesday, 18 January 2011

ASADO BUNS


Most of my student life was spent in a Catholic all girls school. The nuns, along with the able staff cooked and baked all the food served in the canteen. The food that I like most was the asado bun, next to the siopao. They were practically the same except the buns were baked and the pao were steamed.
I clearly remembered how small they were, even when held by my little hands.

Saturday, 15 January 2011

BAKED SPICY PRAWNS


I just love prawns because, aside from it being full of flavour by itself, it just goes well with anything that you add to it. This dish was inspired by a steamed prawn dish that my mother-in-law always cooks. 

Spring onions, chillies and garlic are the aromatics that work so well together and this time, I thought of giving it a Mediterranean twist by adding sherry and sun dried tomatoes. 

Thursday, 13 January 2011

MOCHA AND CHESTNUT CREAM GATEAU


A cake is for celebrations. The mere sight of a cake brings on the celebratory mood. Everyone cheers up when they see something to forward to at the end of the meal.




Decadence is the trend for cakes. There's no holding back. This cake combines mocha chiffon cake layers, chestnut cream and rich mocha buttercream icing to make an indulgent dessert. The combination of flavours to results to a cake is the perfect finale to a special meal.


Ingredients for the cake:

1 1/4 c. plain flour
1 tbsp. cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c. sugar
4 eggs, at room temperature, separated
1/2 cup of strong espresso, cooled
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 c. of cooking oil
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
1/4 c. sugar

Method:

Pre-heat the oven to 350° F/180° C. Line three 9" diameter cake pans. 

Combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt and 1/2 c. sugar in a mixing bowl. Make a well in the center, and add in the egg yolks, espresso coffee, vanilla and oil. Mix thoroughly with a whisk until free from lumps. 

With an electric mixer, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar together until foamy. Add the remaining 1/4 c. of sugar and whisk until stiff but not dry. 

Mix a spoonful of the egg whites into the batter to slacken the mixture and make it easier to fold. Using a large metal spoon, fold in the batter into the egg whites. 

Divide the mixture evenly into the three baking pans. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Invert the pans into cooling racks and leave to cool.


Ingredients for the chestnut cream filling:

435 gm. tin of unsweetened chestnut pureé
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. thick cream
3 tbsps. butter, melted
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. quartered cooked chestnuts (optional)

Prepare the filling by mixing all of the ingredients, except for the quartered cooked chestnuts. refrigerate for at least an hour.

Ingredients for the mocha buttercream icing:

1 c. (1-250 gm. block) of unsalted butter
1/4 c. thick cream
1 tbsp. cocoa powder
3/4 c. evaporated milk
2 tsp. instant coffee
1 c. confectioner's sugar

For the icing, beat the butter with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the cream and mix well. 

Combine the rest of the ingredients in a separate bowl and with the mixer running, drizzle a little bit at a time into the whipped butter, mixing until well combined after each addition.

To assemble:

You will need 8 whole peeled cooked chestnuts and grated chocolate or sprinkles for decoration.

Lay one of the sponge layers on a serving plate. Tuck four strips of greaseproof paper under the cake to surround it and protect the plate from mess.

Top the first cake layer with half of the chestnut cream filling. Sprinkle the quartered chestnuts, if using. Top with another cake layer and spread with the rest of the buttercream. Sprinkle the quartered chestnuts and top with the last cake layer. 

Frost with  a thin layer of the mocha butter cream icing on the top and sides as a crumb coat. Use the rest to frost the whole cake decoratively.

Decorate with whole chestnuts and chocolate sprinkles.


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Bûche de Noël
Caramel Cake with Sugared Pecans
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Tuesday, 11 January 2011

CRISPY ADOBO WITH CHINESE MUSHROOMS AND CHIVES


Adobo is probably the most popular Filipino dish, maybe even the undeclared national dish. It is a true Filipino concoction that goes as far back as pre-Spanish times. The original adobo has the basic ingredients of garlic and vinegar, which helps keep it from spoiling even without refrigeration. The coming of the Chinese to the Philippines brought about the addition of soy sauce.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

ROAST PRIME RIB OF BEEF AND YORKSHIRE PUDDINGS


Roast beef and yorkshire pudding is a match made in heaven. I would be an infinitely sadder person were I to be forbidden to eat it. I always prepare this for our new year's day celebratory meal. Sighs of pleasure burst forth with each mouthful. It definitely swings the year to a good start. It doesn't take too much effort to prepare. All that's needed is time. As the delicious smell of the roast wafts around the house, I look forward to the year ahead and hope that every house is blessed with good, wholesome food for the family to share throughout the year.

Friday, 7 January 2011

FRIED EGG NOODLES WITH PORK AND CHOI SUM


Noodles symbolizes long life. It is much loved by Orientals and is as much a staple food as rice. There is no chosen time to eat it, any time of day is fine. Yes, even breakfast. 



The debate still remains as to the origins of noodles: which came first, the noodle or the pasta? I think the issue should be put to rest as we can all happily eat both without wondering for a second where they stemmed from. 

Although it is an everday food, it is always served on special occasions such as birthdays and new year, to wish everyone partaking it a long life.




Ingredients:

200 gms. lean pork, sliced thinly
1 tsp. light soy sauce
1 tsp. sesame oil
1 tsp. corn flour
cooking oil
500 gms. fresh egg noodles
2 cloves of garlic
1/2-1 whole red finger chilli, sliced (optional)
4 fried fish balls or 2" length of fish cake, sliced thinly
2 eggs, beaten
1 tbsp. light soy sauce
2 tbsps. oyster sauce
1 tbsp. dark soy sauce
1 tbsp. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
200 gms. fresh choi sum, cut in 3" lengths
1/2 c. water


Method:


Season the pork slices with the light soy, sesame oil and corn flour. 

Heat the wok and drizzle 2 tbsps. of cooking oil. Stir fry the seasoned pork slices briefly, just until it changes colour. Transfer to a dish and set aside. 


Add 2 more tbsps. of oil to the same wok and stir fry the noodles for 2 minutes. Transfer to a dish and set aside. 


Clean and heat the wok. Stir fry the garlic and chilli in 1 tbsp. of oil for 1 minute. Add the pork and fish cake slices and stir. 

Add the beaten eggs and stir until cooked. 

Add the noodles, oyster sauce, soy sauces, brown sugar and pepper. Mix well then add the choi sum and water. It is done when the choi sum is cooked. Taste to check the seasonings. Serve.



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You might also like

Chinese Spaghetti
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Tuesday, 4 January 2011

CRISPY UNFRIED CHICKEN


I like fried chicken but don't like frying. I have my fair share of frying mishaps. The food turns out alright but I can't say the same about myself. Luckily, I have found a way around it. 

Saturday, 1 January 2011

PINEAPPLE UPSIDE DOWN CAKE

The classic and all time favourite pineapple upside down cake hasn't altogether lost its charms. A simple sponge cake topped with pineapples and a brown sugar glaze: almost sounds like a ham but in dessert form. Despite the introduction of a lot of new cakes and desserts, its presence at any holiday table is always welcome. Perhaps its festive presentation contributes to its appeal. The simplicity of preparation also makes it a quick addition to the dessert selection.



Ingredients:

2 tbsps. butter
1/2 c. brown sugar
4 slices tinned pineapple, drained, syrup reserved
1/4 cup of the reserved pineapple syrup
halved maraschino cherries, for decoration
3 eggs
1/3 c. sugar
1/2 c. plain flour

Method:

Preheat the oven to 350° F/180° C. Grease a 9" diameter cake pan with the butter. Sprinkle evenly with the brown sugar. Pour the pineapple syrup over the sugar. Arrange the pineapple slices and cherries decoratively over the sugar. Set aside. Whisk the eggs and sugar together with an electric mixer until very thick and fluffy. Sift the flour over it and fold in gently with a metal spoon. Pour the mixture over the pineapple and cherries. Bake for about 30 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Let rest for a few minutes. Run a sharp knife around the sides of the pan and invert into a serving dish.



All rights reserved ©Adora's Box Copyright 2011.


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Leche Flan Cheese Cake 
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