What the hail??!!  I mean hail, not hell.  It was rain and hail when I drove home today.  I couldn’t believe that. Why would we have hail in summer?  There were so many cars pulled over on the side of the highway.  I made it home safe.  I didn’t take a look at my car to see if the hail made any dents or not.  Oh well, I’ll find out tomorrow.  My dinner plan certainly had to change due to the weather.  I was planning to grill a bunch of chicken drumsticks, which would not work as it rained like crazy.  I looked for other ingredients I had in the fridge.  I decided to make Egg Foo Young.  I have not made this before.  Heheheh..  But this is one of those basic dishes that I can’t screw up much.  I had tried good Egg Foo Young, and bad Egg Foo Young before.  The good ones, of course, made from my mom.  The bad ones are from various Chinese take out restaurants.  Most take-out places deep fry the dish.  Not kidding.  It was like eating fried eggs in oil.  Yucky.  On top of that, they usually serve the egg with some brownish looking gravy that doesn’t have much taste but looks very pukey to me.  Sorry, I really couldn’t stand the visual part of the sauce, and I asked the chef to skip the sauce or I couldn’t eat it. LOL.  Anyway, those are all modified or Americanized Egg Foo Young.  The real Chinese version tastes much better. It is not deep fried and it doesn’t serve with any brown sauce.  Egg Foo Young dishes are like omelette except that is no cheese.  The most common Egg Foo Young is cooked with shrimp.  It’s another traditional Cantonese dish.

 

Beat egg and add chopped scallion
Beat egg and add chopped scallion
Cook shrimp first
Cook shrimp first
Add egg mixture, then cooked shrimp to the pan
Add egg mixture, then cooked shrimp to the pan
Stir a little bit
Stir a little bit
Shrimp egg Foo Young
Shrimp egg Foo Young

Ingredients (Serves 2):

  • Shrimp, ½ pound (I used the small ones.  If you are using big or medium size shrimp, you can cut them into smaller pieces first)
  • Eggs, 4
  • Scallion, 2 or 3 stalks (I used 3 tonight)
  • Chicken powder, ½ tsp
  • Oyster sauce, ½ tsp (optional. I added a little bit to make it yummier)
  • Water, 2 Tbsp
  • Salt, a dash
  • White Pepper, a dash (I prefer white pepper. Black pepper is ok too)

 

Steps:

  1. In a large bowl/container, add 4 eggs, a pinch of salt, chicken powder, oyster sauce, 2 Tbsp of water and white pepper.  Mix them well while beating the eggs.
  2. Cut scallion into dices.  Add to the scallion dices to the egg mixture.  Mix it well.
  3. Use a non-stick pan.  Spray cooking oil.  Cook the shrimp first.  Stir fry the shrimp for a few minutes or until it is cooked.  Dish it up on a container for now.
  4. Spray more oil on the pan.  Add the egg mixture to the pan.  Then add the shrimp.
  5. Stir a little bit as if you are making omlette.  Then let it cook untouched for a couple of minutes.  Flip the egg to the other side and cook it for another minute or so or until the egg is fully cooked, ie not more liquid comes out.  Serve Hot.

 

I came across a video that showed the fancy Wolf Integrated Steamer in the kitchen.  I wish I could afford a Wolf stove. But you know what? As fancy as this steaming device is built into the kitchen, it somehow looks complicated to me.  Steaming doesn’t need to be this complicated.  I’m not a gadget queen.  I stick with very basic pots and pans.  That reminded me that I owe my friend Sally a Steamed Water Egg recipe.  She asked me a few months ago when I just started this blog.  I made this dish last night.  It was a good timing for me to make more steamed dishes cos now I decided to exercise again and get healthy.  I literally translated the name of the Cantonese dish into English.  You can guess that it is a very basic dish – steam the water and egg mixture, that’s pretty much it.  But it is a very authentic and comforting Cantonese dish.  If you add sugar instead of salt to the dish, it’s like the egg custard, which could be a dessert.  I only learned how to make this dish a few years back from my mom.  She was fuzzy about the look of the dish, making sure that there were no bubbles when pouring the egg mixture to the serving plate for steaming….  Mom, I don’t care about these!  LOL.  I made this dish like a dozen of times now.  But I didn’t write down any recipe, so the results were inconsistent.  Sometimes the eggs get too overcooked, sometimes I added too much water,  sometimes the surface got too many bubbles, sometimes the dish was no taste,… So I made the dish again last night and it turned out very good, and I got to write down what I did.  I modified mom’s recipe.  I skipped the “getting rid of the bubbles” step. LOL.  I added some diced scallion on the surface.  The weight of the scallion killed the bubbles.  Pretty smart, right? ;p  The texture was very good too. It was like silken tofu.

Put eggs in a container. Use the eggshell as measuring unit.
Put eggs in a container. Use the eggshell as measuring unit.
Pour egg mixture in a serving bowl
Pour egg mixture in a serving bowl
Put egg mixture in a pot for steaming
Put egg mixture in a pot for steaming
Add soy sauce when it is done
Add soy sauce when it is done
Steamed Water Eggs
Steamed Water Eggs

Ingredients (Serves 2):

  • Large eggs, 3
  • Hon Dashi or chicken powder, 1 tsp (I used Hon Dashi last night. Hon Dashi is a Japanese Fish Stock powder)
  • Scallion, 1 or 2 stalks (optional, it’s perfectly fine if you skip this)
  • Water, 9 units (each unit is a half eggshell)
  • Salt, a dash
  • Cornstarch, ¼ tsp
  • Soy sauce, 1 tsp

 

Steps:

  1. Chop scallion into small dices, put them aside.
  2. We’ll be steaming the dish. You need to prepare a big pot with a lid, and a serving bowl that will fit into the pot.  If you have a fancy steamer, then you’ll all set.  Add sufficient water in the pot.  Boil the water first.
  3. While waiting for the steamer to get reader, prepare the egg mixture.  Use a large bowl or container, break 3 eggs and add them in it.  Save a half eggshell and use it as measuring unit.  For each egg, add 3 half eggshell of water to the container.  So we have 3 eggs here, total of 9 half eggshell of water.
  4. Add Hon Dashi or chicken powder, cornstarch and a very small pinch of salt to the mixture.  Mix it well.  Yes, you’ll see bubbles while mixing it.
  5. Get a shallow serving bowl.  Pour egg mixture to the bowl.  If you are fuzzy about the bubbles of the mixture, you can get rid of them with a spoon.  I didn’t do that cos it didn’t bother me.
  6. Sprinkle scallion dices to the surface of the mixture.  Put it aside.
  7. When the water boils, BE CAREFUL of the heat, put the bowl into the pot.  Cover it with a lid (or a piece of aluminum foil if you don’t find a lid that fits).  Let it steamed for 15 minutes on medium heat.  After 15 minutes is due, turn off the heat.  Let the dish sit in the pot with the lid on for another 5 mins before taking it out.
  8. To check if the dish is cooked or not, run a small knife through the mixture and pull the knife out.   The knife should not have any egg stick to it.
  9. Add a teaspoon of soy sauce to the surface of the dish.  Serve hot.
June 10, 2010

I satisfied my meat craving last night with a bacon wrapped filet mignon.  Today I’m back to my no meat meals for lunch and breakfast.  I had a piece of whole wheat bread, an egg and a small cup of soy milk for breakfast. It was pretty good.  For lunch, I had ramen noodles.  It was a cheap and quick lunch but satisfying.  As mom always says, “Good meal is a meal. Bad meal is also a meal”.  It’s some deep stuff in my opinion.  We can’t always have the best thing cos we’ll take it for granted and we won’t appreciate it.  It also agrees with the Chinese Ying Yang thing.  It’s all about balance.  I don’t mind eating ramen noodles at all.  That’s one of my favorite food on earth.  I used to have plain ramen noodles almost everyday when I was in college.  Now, I had my favorite Nissin chicken flavor ramen with fake crab meat, seaweed and chopped scallion garnish. I felt rich. LOL…

My breakfast: egg, wheat toast, soy milk
My breakfast: egg, wheat toast, soy milk
Nissin chicken Flavored Ramen - my favorite ramen
Nissin chicken Flavored Ramen - my favorite ramen
Chicken ramen with fake crab meat, seaweed and scallion dices.  Super fancy :D
Lunch: Chicken ramen with fake crab meat, seaweed and scallion dices. Super fancy 😀

After posting the funky Zongzi yesterday, I’m still in the mood of adding more funky Chinese food here.  LOL.  This one is definitely weird looking – Chinese Thousand Year Egg.  They look like regular eggs except the shell has tons of tiny grey dots.  If you peel the shell, it is black in color and has a very strong sulphur smell.  Then I cut it in halves. The egg white is totally black and translucent. The yolk is dark greenish in color. I couldn’t help thinking what the heck have people done to turn regular eggs to look like this?  I used to love Thousand Year Eggs when I was a kid until one day I asked my mom how they were made.  Mom told me that they were soaked in horse urine for a few months.  From then onwards, I stop eating them for years.  I didnt know whether it was a myth or not, it just grossed me out.  A few years ago I saw the Fear Factor TV show asked the challengers to eat mashed Thousand Year Eggs.  Of course, they make it look so gross that no one could bypass the vision part.  In fact, they are not bad in taste.  My sister’s Japanese buddies tried the Thousand Year Egg for the very first time a few years ago.  After the first bite, they all said “oshi”, which means delicious.  My buddy’s American boyfriend tried it as well, and he loved it.  She even sent him a few Thousand Year Eggs in mail one summer when she was working in a different state for internship.

Thousand Year Egg
Thousand Year Egg
Thousand Year Egg Looks So WEIRD
Thousand Year Egg Looks So WEIRD
Thousand Year Egg Congee
Thousand Year Egg Congee

Note: I did not put any meat in this congee. The traditional dish should be pork and thousand year egg congee.  If your prefer, you can put some pork or chicken in it.

Ingredients:

  • Uncooked rice, or leftover rice, 1.5 cups
  • Water, 8 cups
  • Thousand year eggs, 2
  • Ginger, 5 slices
  • Scallion, 3 stalks
  • Fish sauce, 1 Tbsp
  • Salt, a dash

Steps:

  1. Cut ginger slices into very fine strips.
  2. Cut the scallion into small dices.  Put it aside.
  3. If you are using uncooked rice, rinse it under the water 2 times.
  4. Put 8 cups of water and rice (cooked or uncooked) in a big pot.  Use high heat, bring it to a boil.
  5. Lower the heat to medium, add ginger strips and let it cook for 30 mins.  Stir occasionally.  Add more water if needed.  The congee should be very soupy.
  6. Add fish sauce to the congee.  Stir well.
  7. Peel the Thousand Year Eggs. Cut them into eight slices, then cut them into dices.  Add them to the congee.  Mix it well.
  8. Let it cook for another 15 mins.  Taste it. Add a dash of salt if needed. 
  9. Add scallion to the congee.  Mix it well. Turn off the heat.  Serve. 
Ham and Egg with Rice - super fast lunch
Ham and Egg with Rice - super fast lunch

This is one of those days that I work from home and yet still tight on time for lunch.  These back to back meetings are wearing me out.  It was 1:00pm and I got 30 minutes to make myself something quick to eat before meeting starts again at 1:30pm.   I know I need rice cos my brain hasn’t been working too well all day… LOL.  I make Ham and Egg with Rice.  I had this a lot when I was kid.  It may sound weird to most Americans since eggs and ham are more like breakfast food.  So instead of toast, I had rice 🙂  Actually, this is a real dish believe it or not.  You can order it in most Chinese fast-food restaurants in Hong Kong.  I will show you more fast lunch ideas.  It took me 5 mins to fry an egg and some ham, 1 minute to microwave my leftover rice, 1 minute to put the dish together and add Dark Soy Sauce on top, 5 minutes to eat, 2 minutes for dishes, and still I got time to make myself a nice cup of tea 🙂

February 14, 2010

It’s not “damn tart”, it’s “dan tart”, Egg Tart.  “Dan” in Cantonese means egg.

I wasn”t crazy about Egg Tarts when I was young.  It was one of those food that I would eat it but I didn”t have any special craving for it.  One year my childhood best friend got a summer job in a bakery shop.  I visited her a few times that summer.  Every time I visited her, she was making egg tarts.  They smelled so good.  I saw her poured the liquid to the tart shells.  She said it was so easy to make egg tarts.  Of course, back then I had no clue how to cook.  Now I don”t live anywhere near any bakery that serves egg tarts.  And I do crave egg tarts once in a while, I don’t know why.   I probably crave the smell of it more than the taste.  Now I would order it whenever I have dim sum in a Chinese restaurant.  One time, I had lunch with my sister and a bunch of friends at a dim sum place.  We ordered egg tarts as desserts.  The waiter told us that their egg tarts were very special.  My sister asked him “How special?”  He said, “especially small”  What a surprising and stupid answer!  We all laughed.

Soft Egg Tart Filling
Soft Egg Tart Filling
Chinese Egg Tart
Chinese Egg Tart

Ingredients: (make 12-15)

Dough:

  • Confectioners” sugar, 1 cup
  • All-purpose flour, 3 cup
  • Butter, 1 cup
  • Egg, 1 beaten

Filling:

  • Sugar, 2/3 cup
  • Water 1.5 cups
  • Eggs, 5 beaten
  • Vanilla extract, a dash
  • Evaporated milk or half and half, 1 cup

Steps:

  1. In a  mixing bowl, add confectioners” sugar, flour, and butter.  Use a fork or two knives to cut the butter into small crumbs.  Mix well with the flour mixture. If you have one of those fancy gadget that can cut the butter into small crumbs, use that instead of a fork or knives.
  2. Add egg to the mixture.  Mix well and form a dough.   The dough should be moist.  If it is too dry, you can add some more butter.  If  it is too moist, add some more flour.  Knead the dough a few times.  Form a big ball.
  3. Shape dough into 1.5 inches balls.  Press it flat with a rolling pin.  Lay it on a tart mold/paper shell.  Make sure if covers the whole mold, ie bottom and side.  Finsih the rest of the molds.  Put them aside.
  4. To make the filling, combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan.  Use low heat, cook until the sugar is dissolved.  Turn off the heat.  Let it cool (this step is important!).
  5. Wait till the sugar mixture is cool.  Beat the eggs in a bowl.  Strain it through a sieve to remove lumps. Add the egg into the sugar mixture.  Mix well.  Add evaporated milk and a dash of vanilla.   You can strain the whole mixture through a sieve the second time to make sure the mxiture has no lumps.
  6. Pour the mixture to the shells.
  7. Preheat the oven to 400F.  Bake for 25-30 minutes in a preheated oven, or until they turn golden brown.

I woke up early this morning. I feel so good.  I usually sleep till noon on a weekend.  Just to be able to feel the sunlight in the morning is wonderful.  I want to write down the new appetitizer that I just learned from my coworker the other day.  We had a Chinese pot luck lucheon a few days ago.  Someone made Chinese Tea Eggs.  I heard about this dish a long time ago.  I know this is one of the popular snack or street food in China but I never got a chance to try it.  I told my coworkers that I have never tried this dish before. Guess what?  Every one was giving me a hard time saying that I”m not Chinese.  Some of my friends teased me in other ocassions that I”m imitation Chinky.  I don”t care!  Well, there are so many traditional Chinese dishes that I have not tried.  So for now, I have more things to look forward in my life.  See… I am thinking positive!  Could be the power of the morning sunlight

 

Chinese Tea Eggs
Chinese Tea Eggs

 

Pretty Chinese Tea Eggs
Pretty Chinese Tea Egg
Try Chinese Tea Egg for a Healthy Snack
Try Chinese Tea Egg for a Healthy Snack

Ingredients:

  • Uncooked Eggs, 1 dozen
  • Soy Sauce, 1 cup
  • Salt, 2 tsp
  • Sugar, 1 tsp
  • Star Anise, 5 pieces
  • Chinese Black Tea leaves- 2 Tbsp or 2 tea bags.  Actually any black tea would do.  If you don”t have Chinese tea, use English Breakfast or Orange Pekoe tea.  Does not need anything fancy. 

Steps:

  1. Use a saucepan, put the uncooked eggs in one layer in the pot.  Add cold water to the pot to cover the eggs, like 2 inches high.
  2. Use medium heat.  Bring the water to a boil.  Let it boil for 1 minute. Turn off the heat.  Remove the pot from the heat.  Put a lid on the pot, cover it and let it sit for 10 minutes.
  3. Remove the eggs from the pot.  Run them under cold running water, or iced water.  Keep the pot of the water for later use.
  4. Gently crack the shell of each egg all over on a plate.  Do not remove the shell. Put the eggs aside.
  5. Add the Chinese tea, soy sauce, salt, sugar and star anise to the water in the pot.  Use medium heat.  Bring it to a boil.
  6. Add the eggs back to the pot.  Make sure the water covers the eggs.  Add more water if needed to cover the eggs. 

Use medium low heat, let the eggs simmers for 3 minutes or until the water boils again. Turn off the heat.  Cover with a lid. Let the eggs marinate in the sauce for 5 or 6 hours. If you can let them sit over night, that would be even better.