What’s In Season: January Produce Guide
Healthy Nibbles & Bits
by Lisa Lin
3d ago
Written by Diann Leo-Omine & Lisa Lin, Photos by Lisa Lin Happy new year! This January produce guide is coming a little late this month because I’ve been busy moving into our new house! It’s been a few weeks of nonstop packing, cleaning, and unpacking, and I’m glad to have a moment to just sit down and work. It’s been quite a chilly winter here in Sacramento, but the cold has its rewards, though. Right in time for Lunar New Year, it’s the season for grapefruit, lime, pomelo, and other types of cheerful (and auspicious) citrus. On the vegetable side, there’s leafy cruciferous greens and tu ..read more
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Fat Goh (Fa Gao, 發糕, Chinese Prosperity Cake)
Healthy Nibbles & Bits
by Lisa Lin
1w ago
Every Lunar New Year, Mama Lin will steam fat goh (發糕, also known as fa gao), lightly sweet cakes that open up and blossom once they’re steamed. As a matter of fact, many Chinese families steam fat goh to celebrate the new year because of its auspicious symbolism. In Chinese culture, you eat dishes that carry auspicious meanings during new year celebrations. That means eating foods with names that sound similar to lucky new year’s greetings.  In terms of fat goh, the word fat (發) can mean “prosperity,” “wealth,” or “growth.” The word goh (糕) also sounds like the pronunciation of the char ..read more
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How to Make Shan Tofu (Chickpea Tofu)
Healthy Nibbles & Bits
by Lisa Lin
3w ago
Thank you to Bob’s Red Mill for sponsoring this post! Over the years, I’ve received many inquiries about tofu substitutions for people who are allergic to soy. In the back of mind, I’ve thought about Shan tofu, something that I first discovered while eating at Burma Superstar in San Francisco. However, it’s taken me a few years to actually develop a recipe for this chickpea tofu, which originates from Shan cuisine. The Shan State is located in the eastern part of Myanmar (Burma) and borders China, Laos, and Thailand. Largely a rural area, the Shan State lies within a hilly plateau with fertil ..read more
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Savory Tang Yuan (Glutinous Rice Balls, 鹹湯圓)
Healthy Nibbles & Bits
by Lisa Lin
1M ago
Many of us think about the winter solstice merely as the shortest day of the year, but in Chinese culture it is a very important festival. Dongzhi (冬至), which literally translates to “the extreme of winter,” has its theoretical underpinning in the concept of yin yang (陰陽 / 阴阳). It is both a celebration of the shortest day of the year and the return of longer daylight in the weeks ahead. Note that dong zhi is the Mandarin pronunciation; in Cantonese, it is dong zee. In southern China, families gather together to make and eat tang yuan (湯圓 / 汤圆) for dongzhi. (Tang yuan, which is how it’s most c ..read more
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What’s In Season: December Produce Guide
Healthy Nibbles & Bits
by Lisa Lin
1M ago
Written by Diann Leo-Omine & Lisa Lin, Photos by Lisa Lin The mornings are chilly, and the shortest days of the year bring darkness around late afternoon. It’s no wonder some creatures go into hibernation at this time of the year. To that end, I would not judge you if you hid under your covers and pressed snooze to enjoy an extra few minutes of warmth. In Chinese culture, the winter solstice is a prominent celebration of the shortest day of the year and longer daylight hours. Dongzhi (冬至) literally translates to “the extreme of winter” and is based in the concept of yinyang (陰陽 / 阴阳). The ..read more
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Pumpkin Dinner Rolls
Healthy Nibbles & Bits
by Lisa Lin
2M ago
With a blink of an eye, the holiday season is upon us. When I was brainstorming what to make for my holiday gatherings, I was inspired to make a pumpkin bread of some sort. Over time, the idea blossomed into this pumpkin dinner rolls recipe. I love these rolls because they combine my love for Asian-style milk bread with pumpkin spice flavors.  The pumpkin dinner rolls are lightly sweet and swirling with warm spices–cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. What I love most about these rolls are their texture. The crumb is light and feathery because the dough contains tangzhong, a flour and w ..read more
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All About Hachiya Persimmons
Healthy Nibbles & Bits
by Lisa Lin
2M ago
Hachiya persimmons are one of my favorite fall fruits. When I was growing up in San Francisco, Mama Lin would buy pounds upon pounds of hachiya persimmons from Chinatown. She would place them inside pots and pans with apples to ripen. Then, we waited very patiently for the persimmons to ripen completely before eating. Nowadays, I buy persimmons at the farmers market, but they’re also available in Asian supermarkets and stores like Whole Foods. When I start seeing them pop up at my farmers market, I know that colder sweater weather is just around the corner. Although their season starts around ..read more
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Scallion Milk Bread
Healthy Nibbles & Bits
by Lisa Lin
2M ago
I’m proud to say that my family loves my baked scallion bread (蔥油麵包) because it reminds them of Asian bakery bread. That scallion bread is one of my favorites, too. For the past year, I’ve been trying to adapt the recipe by baking the bread in a loaf pan instead of shaping two large twisted loaves. That way, I can enjoy the bread on its own or slice it up for toast and sandwiches. I baked this scallion milk bread for my family a few times now, and it gets their seal of approval! TANGZHONG: THE KEY TO A SOFT LOAF What I love most about this bread is its soft and feathery interior. To get this ..read more
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What’s in Season: November Produce Guide
Healthy Nibbles & Bits
by Lisa Lin
2M ago
Written by Diann Leo-Omine & Lisa Lin, Photos by Lisa Lin. I don’t know about you, friends, but even shifting back an hour with the time change increases the need for quick and easy recipes. Fortunately, the change in weather can mean throwing almost anything on a sheet pan at 350ºF to 425ºF and roasting for a half hour. Plus, it’s getting cold enough for when turning on that oven will heat up the house anyway. Cold house aside, this time of year is abundant for gatherings and gratitude. Grab a platter of Brussels sprouts and potatoes and invite the friends and family over. BRU ..read more
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Mung Bean Cakes (綠豆糕)
Healthy Nibbles & Bits
by Lisa Lin
3M ago
Several years ago, Mama Lin visited my aunt in Oregon, who made delicious mung bean cakes (綠豆糕). In Chinese, 綠豆糕 means “green bean cake” and is pronounced look dau go in Cantonese and lü dou gao in Mandarin. My mom enjoyed the mung bean cakes so much that she asked my aunt for a recipe, which she then passed on to me. I’ve made the mung bean cakes quite a few times and recently discovered that I like the cakes even more when I add coconut oil to the recipe.  Although the mung bean cakes look like mooncakes (particularly because they’re shaped with a mooncake press), they are not traditi ..read more
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