Sunday, July 31, 2011

Soft Tofu and Fish Paste/老少平安

This dish is simple to prepare and it is considered as Mom's cooking.  I don't know about other Moms but i do know that my Mom love to cook this and the whole family loved the dish.  After the family laid my Mom to rest last year, my brother took us out for lunch and he ordered this dish.  It was then that he told me the name of this dish  - Lo Sui Ping On.  Wow, what a befitting name!!   "Lo" in cantonese means elderly; "Siu" means the young; "Ping On" means safe and sound. Thus, this dish is safe and sound for both the young and  elderly.  The two main ingredients, tofu and fish paste, prove themselves to be safe without a doubt. The elderly can enjoy this dish without much chewing or getting choked, while the moms can confidently feed this dish to their young ones, without having to worry about fish bones.. Hence, both are both safe and sound. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Lau Sar Pau

With less exposure of asian food, i am so behind with the 'in' asian food if not for my good friends from the Orient.  They would ask me if i have eaten these or that and thank goodness for the internet, i am able to Google as to what they were asking about.  It might not be first time lucky with google,  like in this case 'Lau Sar Pau'.  You hope that someone might post a recipe but most postings were telling how delicious it was, from this restuarant and that restaurant.  I was the happiest when i found a posting of the name of this pau written in chinese.  With those 3 chinese words, i was able to get a few recipes in chinese and had them translated.  The translations were perplexing and i had many entertaining moments, laughing about the translations.  Finally i asked for help and was explained that the filling of this pau should 'Lau' meaning 'leaking' in cantonese and 'Sar' is 'sand'.  So my conclusion is that the filling should have 'a flowing sandy texture'.  Now the recipes made some sense and i tested a few but the filling does not 'Lau' but kept seeping out of the pau leaving no filling at all, they should be renamed 'Pit Sar Pau'.  Thinking that the high heat in steaming caused the filling to burst and my thought was right, this time the filling was fine when i steamed in low heat.  But, the filling did not 'Lau' as much,  it was a more like a custard and i think that i must have made 'Lai Wong Pau' instead.  I had given up figuring out how the filling should be but it pricked my curiosity again when one of readers asked if i have a "Lau Sar Pau' recipe.  Ok, put on your thinking cap, Lily,  the filling should be flowing like melted candy !!!! - what are the ingredients for candy????  sugar, heavy cream or condensed milk.  Yes, condensed milk must be it cos chinese chefs don't use heavy cream.  And i was right, this time the filling remained 'flowing' even when the pau is cold.

Monday, July 18, 2011

East Meets West- Zucchini with Pork and Rice Stuffing

This is a guest post from Reese Darragh of The New Art Of Baking. A Malaysian living in the United States, not to mention a huge fan of Aunt Lily’s blog.

My dad put in 4 zucchini plants in the garden for me this year after I started dabbling in homemade zucchini relish last summer. The relish came out so good that dad thought I will be delighted to have more zucchini in the garden for more relish this year. The problem with zucchini is when you have a bumper crop. Boy do they grow!

After making what seems to be like 20lbs of zucchini relish last week, enough is enough. The next thing to do is to use them for dinner. Something I have never tried is making stuffed zucchini, the American way. See, my all American family have different idea compared to us, Malaysian, when it comes to stuffing vegetables. They don’t subscribe to Yong Tau Foo, so trying to stuff the zucchini with fish paste is strictly out of the question. I tried last year with eggplants from our garden and ended up eating all of them on my own.

It hit me yesterday to come up with an east meets west style of stuffing zucchini. I know for a fact that they love American Chinese food, pork fried rice in particular. Plus I really do not like tomato sauce with zucchini, like most recipe I found in cookbooks have suggested. So, why not make something entirely my own. The verdict: Everyone loves it! They went gaga over the fresh zucchini, pork fried rice and cheese combo. If your zucchini plant goes crazy on you this year like mine, give this recipe a try.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Omelette Soup

When it comes to summer weeknight cooking, the name of the game is getting dinner on the table fast and not slave over a hot stove.  It is an added bonus when quick dishes like this soup can be so simple and delicious.  This soup is light enough to counteract the rising temperatures. and  guaranteed to cool you down on those hot summer days.  I am sure everyone knows about the popularity of The Egg Drop Soup and this soup is very closely related.  The ingredients are the same only the method is different -  for the Egg Drop Soup, the beaten egg is Dropped at the end of cooking but in this case, the beaten egg is Dropped into the pan at the beginning of cooking, making an omelette.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Almond Sugee Cake Transformed

How in the world can these young minds tackle these complicated toys - The Transformers?  I dread it when my grandson comes and ask me to transform it cos i can never get it.  It really makes me feel so stupid and wished that my Ah Poh had put in an extra item in my rattan school bag on my first day of school.  The
Spring Onion and The Mirror did not help for me at all when these Transformers are concerned.  I needed a brain transplant, a young brain cos this old brain of mine is only good for transforming a plain looking cake into something which will be presentable on a festive occasion.  This cake is the same Almond Sugee Cake, baked in a different pan, then glazed with chocolate and top with toasted almond flakes.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Almond Sugee Cake

Today is the first day of school for my grand children.  Renee is in Grade 4 and Alexander is in Grade 1.  Seeing the both of them going to school this morning brought me back to when i started school a long long time ago.  It was early January, 1952 when my grandma, Ah Poh, took me to the Convent School.  My Ah Poh was very persistent that i should be in an all girl school and had to bribe the nuns to take me in cos we were non-catholic nor rich enough.  On the first day of school, i remembered i was made to carry a rattan basket but i did not have any school books cos i have not been accepted as a student yet.  But, i do have several contents in there which were very interesting.  My Ah Poh had her rituals and all meant for the wellness of my future.  The contents in my rattan basket (which was  a very fashionable school bag of my era) were a chinese almanac, a stalk of chinese celery, a sprig of green onions and a small mirror. 

The chinese almanac in cantonese is called "Tung Shu".   ‘Tung’ means ‘pass thru’ but in this case. a more accurate meaning would be ‘everything become clear’. ‘Shu’ means book. Therefore ‘Tung Shu’ is a book about everything or a book about myriad of things. In Hong Kong which is predominately Cantonese, the book is known as ‘Tong Sing’. You see, ‘Shu’ sounds like losing while ‘Sing’ sounds like victory which is vastly more auspicious and more accepted by the Cantonese. So, this almanac is for me to see everything clearly through my learning in school.

Chinese celery in cantonese is 'Kan Choy' and this will be Ah Poh's hope that i will be 'Kan Lek' - Assiduous in work or study and  diligent.

Spring/Green onion has hollow green leaves and in cantonese, it is 'thoong sum'.  The thoong sum spring/green onion is supposed to allow me to see things through with ease - 'thai tak thoong'

The pencil sharpener with a mirror on the otherside was what i had in my rattan basket, perhaps this was the best buy, dual function, a mirror was needed and i could sharpen my pencil..  A mirror can stand for either truth or vanity and it provides readily available images of a viewer that match what others see. So, the presence of that small mirror was to create self-awareness and allow me to lead to fruitful introspection and attempts to get to the “truth.”

Did my Ah Poh's ritual make me a better person?  For all you readers who know me, tell me if i should thank my Ah Poh and that i did not let her down?  Bless her kind soul.

I know that there is no relation whatsoever with what i shared and the recipe that i will be sharing.  The only thing i know that this recipe cannot be as old as the story above cos it has 1 tbsp of cake stabilizer.
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