Monday, January 27, 2014

Gong Hay Fat Choy 2014

Maybe you'll ask, what is gong hay fat choy?

Gong hay fat choi or happy imlek is usually uttered by adherents of hu chu kong religion or ethnic Chinese in general. Imlek or Lunar New Year or Chinese New Year is the feast day of the most important for Chinese people. Chinese New Year celebrations also known as chunjie, guonian or shin jia. imlek word comes from the Hokkien dialect which means a moon calendar. Lunar New Year celebration usually celebrated on the 1st until the 15th of the month in Chinese calendar.

imlek celebration originally celebrated by farmers conducted in China after the passing of winter and welcome the coming of spring that happens every year. The event is done when the holiday imlek is doing prayers and celebrations cap go meh. The purpose of this event is a prayer and hope to get more sustenance and as a reunion between family members. Lunar New Year holidays are the moment of meeting all the family members once a year. This celebration is a very meaningful when every member of the family and neighbors intertwined love, laugh along with new clothes and exchange Angpao. Angpao is the amount of money put into red envelopes. Angpao in the Lunar new year is often called as "Yes Sui" which means a gift given to children related to age. In the old days, the prize was usually a snack or sometimes with food. In accordance with the times, angpao contains an alternative prize money. Tradition gives the money put into this red envelope appears around the time of the Ming and Qing dynasty.

In the tradition of China, who obliged and entitled to angpao are people who have been married, because marriage is considered to be the boundary between childhood and adulthood, and those who have been married is considered to have a fixed income. In addition to providing angpao to children, they are also obliged to provide angpao to people who are old.

For those who are not married even though she was already included in the category grown, remain entitled to receive angpao, in the hope angpao of people who have been married will give good luck to the person, in this case must match.
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Sunday, May 19, 2013

Chive and Prawn Dumpling

Here is another delicious mainstay of the tea ritual known as dim sum, and belongs to the class of dumplings enfolded with a wheat starch wrapper.  The name in Cantonese is Gao Choi Ha Gao 韭菜虾饺, or simply Gao Choi Gau (In Mandarin, Jiu Cai xia Bao).  You will find this steamed dumpling in almost every dim sum restaurant, although it will sometimes be formed into hockey-puck sized packets, and fried.  In either case you'll know it by the intensely green vegetable showing through the translucent wrapper.  

Like cilantro,  Chinese garlic chives,  jiu cai might strike some as an acquired taste.  Once accustomed to its sharp and fragrant flavor, however, it becomes an essential sensation for lovers of dim sum.


12 oz prawn, peeled and  deveined
12 oz garlic chives  
1 egg white
2 med clove garlic, minced 
1/4 rounded tsp white pepper
2 rounded tsp cornstarch
1 Tablespoon plus 1 tsp Shao Xing wine
1 tsp sesame oil
1 rounded tsp sugar
1 tsp salt


1       Cup      wheat starch
1/2    Cup      tapioca Starch
1       Tab       Peanut oil
1/4    tsp         salt
1       Cup       boiling water

Dice half the prawns fine (appx 1/8"), and the other half large (appx 1/2") and set aside in a mixing bowl.  Garlic chives are sold in bundles at Chinese groceries, and known by the names  jiu cai  (Mandarin),  and gao choi (Cantonese); cut off 1 or 2 inches of the thickest (root) end, then chop into 1/2" sections.  On med heat, Stir fry in a wok or sauté pan until wilted, about a minute.  Allow to cool before adding to the prawns.
After adding the cooled chives to prawn,  combine the remaining filling ingredients and mix very thoroughly with a rubber spatula.  Refrigerate.

Sift the starches and salt into a mixing bowl; form a well in the powders, then add the oil.  Pour the boiling water, measured with a pre-heated measuring cup, into the well and stir quickly but carefully with a rubber spatula.  Scrape the sides as you mix, to incorporate all the ingredients.  Form a ball of dough.  As soon as you can handle the dough, knead it vigorously for a full 3 minutes, occasionally compressing the ball forcefully as you knead.  (Wheat starch dough is firm to the gentle touch, but extremely malleable).  This enthusiastic kneading is to insure that the starches and water and oil are smoothly and completely incorporated.  Divide the dough into 3 pieces and let it rest in a plastic bag for 10 minutes or so.  All the foregoing steps can be done ahead of time.

When ready to make dumplings, prepare your steamer with a parchment paper liner for the steamer tray—punch or cut 1/4” holes randomly in the paper to allow steam to pass through.  Alternatively, liberally oil the steamer tray or use vegetable leaf to ensure the wheat starch wrapper does not stick after steaming.  Allow the steamer water to boil, with the basket separate, ready to load dumplings.

Compress each ball of starch into a smooth, round shape and then roll on a flat surface to make a 1” dia.   Rope.  Put two ropes back in the plastic bag and cut the remaining into 1” segments.  To make the skins: working on a high density polyethylene cutting board, place a piece of 4” square piece of parchment paper over the segment and flatten it one at a time with rolling pin, Chinese cleaver, or tortilla press (works great), making sure the skin is a uniform thickness of between 1/16” and 1/8".  This disk will be slightly irregular in shape; you can proceed with making the dumplings and trim the excess with scissors if necessary, or cut the skin now to appx. 3-3/4"diam. (Traditionally, Gao Choi Gau is much larger than Ha Gau, which uses a circle 3-1/4" or less--) Use a cookie cutter, empty tin can or similar round object .  You can make the skins all at once, if they are kept covered with plastic or damp cloth at room temperature.  

The procedure for stuffing the dumplings can be the same as for pot stickers, but note that wheat starch dough is very delicate, and care must be taken not to puncture or tear the skins while filling.  (Dim Sum chefs occasionally vary the pleat design of dumplings, and you may want to experiment with your own method).

Place the dumplings in the lined steamer tray, but do not allow them to touch each other.  Put over the steamer, and cook for 6 to 7 minutes.  Serve in the steamer or place on a serving dish when cool enough to handle.  An accompanying dipping sauce is a nice touch, as is tea.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Beef Chow Fun

Gōn cháau ngàuh hó (Cantonese) 干炒牛河 (Mandarin: Gān Chǎo Níu Hé)

Beef Chow Fun has appeared on Chinese menus here and on the mainland almost as long as there has been restaurants.  In spite of this, searching for consistent chow fun recipes is a daunting task.  On the internet, there are as many versions as there are sites, the best being Andrea Nguyen's.  Published cookbook literature by Chinese authors are nearly as varied.  The recipe presented here is the one you'll encounter most often in Hong Kong (a city that rules the roost for Southern Chinese cuisine), and at Dim Sum restaurants, either as "special" item on one of the roving carts, or a menu item traditionally ordered along with the small snacks of dim sum.

Dry rice noodle can be used with acceptable results, but it is highly recommended that you buy fresh rice noodles (Cantonese: ho fun; Mandarin: he fen)these should be available if you live in an area that has a sizable Asian community and grocery stores serving that community. But fresh rice noodles are literally a delicacy: make sure you can purchase them unrefrigerated, or fresh from a noodle maker.  Otherwise, the cold ho fun will often be so stiff and compact, you will not be able to separate the noodles.  Moreover, it's a good idea to use the noodles as soon as they are purchased.  I bought a few pounds of ho fun from a producer on Friday, and by Sunday they were beginning to break down.

Other than the challenges of the noodle, Beef Chow Fun is easy to make, and works well in a vegetarian version, omitting the beef.

1 lb Fresh rice noodles (ho fun, at least 1/2" wide
7 oz Beef Tri Tip, sliced 1/8" thick across the grain, appx 2" x 2 1/2"
1/2 Lb.  bean sprouts
2 tsp fermented black beans, minced
2 lg cloves garlic, minced
1" x 1" pc ginger, minced
3 - 4 green onion, cut into 2" sections, white portion split lengthwise
3/4  small or 1/2 med yellow onion
4 Tab peanut or cooking oil

Meat Marinade

1  Tab soy
2  Tab rice wine
1 round tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
2 tsp cornstarch


2 Tab Soy light
2 tsp dark soy
1 Tab Rice wine
1/2 rounded tsp salt (or to taste)
1 round tsp sugar

Sesame oil and a spring or two of cilantro for garnish

Marinate the meat for at least a few hours; overnight is even better.  Carefully separate the strands of ho fun and set them aside lightly covered with film or damp towel.

On high heat, with 2 Tablespoon of oil, add garlic, ginger, and both kinds of onion; toss a couple of times, then press onion to the wok to facilitate browning.  After half a minute or so, turn the onions and garlic/ginger over and press gently again.  As soon as you observe browning on the onion, move the mixture to the side of the wok.

Add a tablespoon more oil, allow to heat, then add the beef slices.  Separate the slices with a pair of chopsticks or with the wok shovel and press this gently to the bottom.  When the meat is browned, stir fry everything for a few seconds, until the meat is barely cooked.  Immediately remove to a platter. 

Wash wok, reheat on medium high, and swirl in the remaining tablespoon of cooking oil.  When the oil just begins to smoke,  add the rice noodles in a layer and gently press them to the wok.  In about a minute, when they begin to brown, flip the noodles over and repeat the procedure.  Add bean sprouts, gently stir fry for a few seconds, then add all other ingredients, including the sauce, and gently but quickly stir fry and mix the ingredients to combine and heat through.  

Pile on a serving platter and garnish with a little sesame oil, cilantro and slivers of red pepper

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Hong Shao Rou

Hong Shao Rou Red Braised Pork

Little known outside the Asian Community, Hong Shao Rou, (红烧肉) literally, red braised pork, is succulent morsels of pork belly simmered in an aromatic, rich soy-based broth until tender.  I first experienced this dish in Macao, where the softened, anise-infused pork was nothing short of a revelation.  Hong Shao Rou belongs to a class of very traditional Asian dishes known as red cooking, which employs a range of ingredients, including beef, chicken, vegetables and dough  (See Fuscia Dunlop's excellent red cooked recipes in her Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook).

Recently, the dish has gained some cache on the Mainland because it is known to be one of the late Chairman Mao's favorite dishes, and according to an article in the Xiaoxiang Morning Herald, he considered it "brainfood."  (see Malcom Moore's article), 

Since the unctuous pork belly has weaseled its way into the Western fine dining scene, Red Cooked Pork should find an enthusiastic audience in the U.S.; however, one will rarely see Hong Shao Rou offered at stateside Chinese restaurants.  This is a bit baffling, since it is very easy to make, and irresistibly tasty. 

2 lbs pork belly, lean and fat, skin on, cut into sections approx 4" x 4"

3 round Tab sugar
3 cups chicken stock, low sodium
2 - 2" x 1/4" pc cinnamon
2 star anise
2 cloves garlic, smashed
3 1" x 2" slices of ginger, skin on.
1/3 cup soy
1/4 cup Shao Xing wine or dry sherry
1 TAB dark soy

In enough water to just cover the pork, poach belly in simmering water (“cuan” 汆) for 4 minutes or so, then remove.  When the pork has cooled enough to handle, cut into cubes appx. 1 1/2" x 2" and in two batches, brown in a hot wok or cast iron skillet with 3 or 4 Tab peanut oil or lard.  Be careful, this entails lots of spattering…Remove and set aside.  In the same pan, on med heat, add the sugar and stir until melted and beginning to caramelize.  Add back in the pork belly pieces, and toss until coated and further browned with caramelized sugar.

Transfer the pork and residual oil/sugar mixture to a 3 -4 quart sand pot or sauce pan; add the chicken stock to cover pork pieces, cinnamon, star anise, garlic, ginger, light soy, wine, and dark soy.  Bring to a gentle boil, and simmer for approximately 1 hour, until pork lean layers are tender but still moist.   As soon as meat is done, remove meat and boil to reduce sauce.  When liquid has reduced to desired consistency, turn off heat.  Return pork belly to the pot and mix to coat; serve in sandpot or plate with garnish of cilantro and carrot or red pepper slivers

Monday, March 4, 2013

Suan La Tang

Suan La Tang (literally, "sour hot soup," but known in the West as Hot and Sour Soup)

A riot of flavor and texture, this is the soup your grandmother might make, if your grandmother was Chinese and lived in Northwestern China--the eastern equivalent to "vegetable soup."  And so, you will find a great deal of variation in the ingredients for this healthful dish.  Some published recipes will include such additions as duck blood and sea cucumber.  But, like General Tso's Chicken, which began in Asia as a very different animal, this dish has adapted to Western tastes, and has now evolved it's own traditional preparation in Western Chinese restaurants, especially those billing themselves as regional or Sichuan restaurants.

But even if one ignores the foregoing the sea cucumber and duck blood, Suan La Tang still has ingredients that are unfamiliar to most western cooks: "Cloud Ear Fungus" (云耳; yún'ěr,) and "Golden Needles." huang hua cai 黃花菜.  These inclusions have as much to do with texture as flavor, as you will see, but along with bamboo shoots and Chinese dried mushroom, they are essential to the character of Suan La Tang.

Finally, this recipe is not for the faint of heart.  Hot and Sour Soup is not technically difficult to make, but to be honest, it is time consuming.  Each of the eight main ingredients need at least two stages of prep; soaking, marinating, then carefully slicing and shredding.  But, as with most things in life, the difficulty pays off, and the results are far superior to anything you're likely to find in Western Chinese restuarants.

Prepare the following:

4 Chinese dried mushrooms-- soak in 180° hot water for 40 min; wring out moisture when cool, then julienne.
1/4 oz Cloud ears-- soak in 180° hot water for 40 min; wring out moisture when cool, then julienne.
3/4 oz golden needles, soak in 180° hot water for 40 min; wring out moisture when cool, then cut large pcs in half
1 - 2 oz bamboo shoots, blanched, drained and slivered

MARINATE the above in
1 TAB sweet black vinegar
1 TAB wine
1 TAB soy

2 scallions, diagonally sliced
1-2 tsp chopped dried chili or chili flake if desired
6 oz Pork, Partially frozen to stiffen then julienned; marinate in 1 TAB Light Soy, 1 Tab rice wine or sherry
8 oz firm fresh Doufu; Rinsed, matchstick

In a large sauce pan COMBINE stock:

3 cans low sodium chicken stock  (1 1/2 quarts--Homemade is best)
1 Heap TAB chx boullion paste or powder
12 oz water

In a bowl, COMBINE:

4 TAB rice vinegar
1 Heap tsp Sugar
1 TAB light Soy
1 TAB Black Soy
1/2 tsp coarse black pepper
1 tsp fine white pepper

In a bowl, COMBINE with whisk:

2 eggs + 2 tsp oil + pinch of salt


4- 5 TAB potato starch with 4 TAB water for slurry


1 cup cilantro leaves, no stems


A few cilantro leaves
Sesame oil

Once the preparation of the ingredients is complete, assemble the soup in the following order:   Bring the stock to a simmer with the Chinese mushrooms, Cloud ears, golden needles, and bamboo shoots;  Lower heat to barely a simmer; Add julienned PORK;  Add DOU FU; When the stock begins to simmer again, add potato starch slurry slowly until it thickens per your preference; pour in beaten EGG in a thin stream and do not stir for a half minute or so to set egg; add CILANTRO, then VINEGAR mixture and stir only enough to distribute ingredients.  Remove to a serving bowl.  Garnish w/ Sesame oil, few pieces of cilantro and chili

Thursday, February 28, 2013

"Babtism" by John Sinclair  2011 Pencil on paper, 15" x 19"
As we have recently returned from China and Vietnam, the long hiatus from contributing to this blog should soon be over.  For those who have visited this site over the past year hoping to find new recipes, I offer my humblest apologies!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Ucapan Selamat Tahun Baru Imlek 2013 | Gong Xi Fa Chai 2013

SMS Imlek

Ucapan Selamat Tahun Baru IMLEK 2013
Gong Xi Fa Cai !! Xin Nian Kuai Le.Zhù Ni Shenti Jiànkäng, Quanjiä Xingfu,Wànshì Ruyì


Gong Xi Fa Cai! Wishing You Abundance of Good Health, Wealth and Happiness in This New Year!

Gong Xi Fa Cai. Wishing you a prosperous year, great health and happiness for you and family.

Göng Göng Xi Fät Fät Chäi Chäi

Selamat tahun baru Imlek. Gong Xi Fa Cai – Wan Se Ru Yi, Sen Thi Cien Khang. Semoga senantiasa diberi kesehatan, damai sejahtera dalam rumah tangga dan kesuksesan. Amin.

Kung hei fat choi” (bahasa Kantonis/bahasa hongkong dan sekitarnya) – pengucapan dalam bahasa Indonesia :kong hai fat coi

“Kiong hi huat cai” (bahasa Hokkien/bahasa daerah singapore,malay, medan,jakarta barat dan sekitarnya) – pengucapan dalam bahasa Indonesia : kiong hi huat cai

“Kiong hi fat choi” {bahasa Hakka/Khek/bahasa daerah timur negara China,Kalimantan,jakarta pusat dan sekitarnya) – pengucapan dalam bahasa Indonesia : kiong hi fat choi

“Kiong hi fat coi ang pau na lai (Bahasa mandarin Gaul/Slangnya)” = Selamat tahun baru angpaunya tolong diberikan ke saya

Happy Chinese New Year. May better luck come into us in this new year. Gong xi. Gong xi. Gong xi fa cai.


Gong Xi..! Gong Xi..! Xin Nian Kuai Le, Wan Shi Ru Yi! Gong Xi Fa Cai! May GoD BLees our faMily.

GONG XI FA CAI ! Wishing you a wonderful and prosperous new year with lots of happiness.

Göng Göng Xi Fät Fät Chäi Chäi… XIN NIAN KUAI LE’

Gong Xi Fa Cai. Wishing you a prosperous year, great health and happiness for you and family.

Gong Xi Fa Cai !! Xin Nian Kuai Le.Zhù Ni Shenti Jiànkäng, Quanjiä Xingfu,Wànshì Ruyì

Gong Xi Fa Cai! Wishing You Abundance of Good Health, Wealth and Happiness in This New Year!

Ada sebuah kerajaan di L.A…mempunyai pangeran bernama MILD… ia diculik digunung HIJAU…oleh 3 org petualang yaitu DJIE,SAM & SOE…dibawa ke GUDANG GARAM…lalu dipukul sampai BENTHOL BIRU…dan dibawa kerumah sakit ARDATH…terus disuntik dengan DJARUM $UPER…sehingga sembuh dgn SAMPOERNA… dan sang “PANGERAN” pun dengan motto PRIA PUNYA SELERA…mengucapkan “GONG XI FAT CHOI“