Tag Archives: Chinese

happy dragon boat festival!

I love Chinese holidays because there’s always some sticky, glutenous food associated with it, and lots of it! The Dragon Boat Festival is no exception as we eat zong zi, packets of sticky rice wrapped in bamboo leaves and filled with various goodies.

According to legend, a poet named Qu Yuan also served as a loyal adviser to the emperor. But because the emperor was a big butt and refused to listen to Qu Yuan’s advice, he exiled Qu Yuan and went ahead with his plans of conquest. Eventually, his kingdom crumbled and in despair, Qu Yuan threw himself into the river. The local people admired the poet and threw these rice packets into the river so the fish would eat these instead of his body.

Mine is the savory kind, graciously wrapped and given to me by a Chinese “auntie”, filled with pork belly, peanuts, shiitake mushroom, and some unidentifiable grain of some kind? If it’s tasty, I don’t question it.

Apparently, this year is lunar leap year, meaning the lunar equivalent of May is happening again, also meaning that there’s a second Dragon Boat Festival, meaning more zongzi for me to eat. Yay!


Steamed buns with azuki bean past

Is there anything more welcoming than a Chinese steamed bun? Oh-so-fluffy, slightly chewy, piping hot with sweet adzuki bean paste filling waiting in the middle… my mouth is watering just thinking about it! These buns were my first foray into the world of working with yeast and it was quite time consuming, considering that I had some problems with letting the dough rise. But the effort was well worth it — they came out pretty darn tasty. My rolling out and folding techniques, however, leave much to be desired…

I’m definitely making these again but next time, I might try the store bought bean paste. There’s something about the excessive amount of sugar in and smoothness of the prepackaged stuff that’s very appealing to me.
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domestic goddess

Heaven knows I have never been the most feminine person. I mean, c’mon — when I was seven, I used to side with the boys and terrorize other girls with Nerf guns, and even today, I am a massive connoisseur of all things geeky and stereotypically for guys. But a few years ago, I discovered the goodness of Food Network and from then on, I became enamored with food: inhaling the aroma, savoring the flavors, drinking in its beauty, basking in its glory. Now, I am often compelled to park myself in the kitchen in hopes of developing my nascent cooking skills. So far, it’s been pretty successful — no food poisoning, no massive fires, heck even a ‘mmm’ or two. I am on the road to fulfilling my destiny as a domestic goddess. However, it (sadly) came as no surprise that when I was helping my mom cook dinner a few months ago, my mom told me that she was kind of shocked that I took to cooking so much because I was so boyish. I think she expected me to enjoy taking apart things or setting up electronics — things I happen to be horrible at.

Well, then — here’s to proving her wrong some more and hopefully, the birth of more tasty concotions!

And in an attempt to get in touch with my Chinese side, I present red bean cake/红豆饼. Yum!

I found the recipe for the crust at The Journal of a Girl who Loves to Cook and for the filling, Cupcake Bakeshop by Chockylit.

The dough was super simple — just flour, water, butter, and salt — but the smell of butter is always divine.

Because I was trying to use up the rest of the red bean paste left over from a previous culinary adventure, I kind of just heaped it on. A little more never hurt anybody, right?

Twenty minutes later and voila — flaky crust and not too sweet but rich and… beany. I think for my first attempt at making a crust of any kind and red bean filling, it turned out pretty well! Plus, I am now convinced that homemade paste is much tastier than the canned kind. Needless to say, my mom was happy with the results! Maybe I’m not such a bad Chinese child after all…