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Swiss Chicken Wings 瑞士雞翼
By Ellen L. Published: 2018-05-13
Swiss Chicken Wings?  What a minute...what the bloggity jazz is Swiss food doing in a post about  Chinese food?!  Well actually this yummilicious dish is not from Switzerland nor is it related to any kind of Swiss food.  These darkly glazed, succulently sweet and savory Swiss Chicken Wings 瑞士雞翅,  are pure one hundred percent Chinese!  The name of the dish comes about from a classic case of translation gone wrong: many years ago a tourist found his way to a western style Chinese diner called Tai Ping Koon 太平館, famous for its fabulous east west fusion dishes, and ended up ordering their house special, sweet chicken wings.  Finding the chicken wings most delicious the tourist attempted to discover the name.  In classic translation comedy style, the waiter's Chinese accented "Sweet Chicken" sounded like "Swiss Chicken" to the tourist.  And thus the name and fame of the Swiss Chicken Wings was born.

Tai Ping Koon Restaurant 1927
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Folks nowadays are so into instant noodles...I see families at the supermarket fill up their shopping carts with packets after packets of instant noodles!  And don't get me wrong, we love instant noodles as much as the next guy.  (My favorite flavor is the seafood curry!)  But let's go back in time a bit, and consider, what came before instant noodles?  Well, I imagine it would be some like this...a quick and yummilicious bowl of soft slurpable noodles that fills you up with tasty crisp protein as well as hot and nourishing soup.  This old classic noodle dish, the traditional Shanghai Pork Chop Noodles 上海豬排麵, is not only easy to make but yummy and satisfying to the tum as well!
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Here's our handy dandy tip for storing Cilantro, also known as Coriander, 香菜 or 芫茜.  Cilantro is used in so many Chinese dishes that it is almost as necessary as spring onion and ginger.  It's fresh green leaves and citrusy, slightly bitter, slightly peppery taste not only freshens your dish up with a lively blast of green but can bring the dish up to the next taste level as well.  But the thing that was always annoying with cilantro was that by the next day, no matter what I did, the cilantro would be limp and start turning yellow.  Yiks!  What to do?!
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One of our favorite at home eats throughout the cooler seasons is the famous and fabulous Chinese Hot Pot dinner which translates from Chinese 火鍋 to the more dangerously delectable 'Fire Pot'.  Brought into China long long ago by nomadic Mongolian horsemen who ate on the run, so to speak, this super fun, relaxed, healthy, body warmingly yummilicious way of making and eating dinner together at the table is an eating event that is great for family, friends or even a party!  
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If you love chicken wings you're going to food heaven when you taste these wings!  It's such a simple way to prepare the wings that it is incredible how good it tastes.  This is now officially the most requested chicken wing style in our house, which is saying mucho as we love our wings in many styles from soy sauce chicken wings to rosemary wings to soy braised potato wings.  But this Salted Sake Chicken Wing 清酒鹽燒雞翅, so breathtakingly simple and easy, makes a plateful of wings that is soooo what perfect chicken wings should be that it's almost sinful.  Just tasting of fresh yummilicious chicken with just the right hit of baked salt on crispy skin to kick up the flavor a notch or two.  No extras, just 200% pure chicken goodness.  Oh folks, it's really, really good!
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Pu-erh Tea Ice Cream 普洱茶雪糕
By Ellen L. Published: 2018-03-06
Something for the Chinese tea lover's pleasure...a soothing scoop or two of rich creamy homemade ice cream thoroughly scented and flavored with the earthy woodsy fragrance of Pu-erh tea 普洱茶.  We love Chinese Pu-erh tea in our house and drink it every single day.  And since we also like to make our own ice cream (we've been doing for years even though we don't have an ice cream maker!) we decided to put these two favorite things together into one perfectly tea scented and creamily deliciously sweet Pu-erh Tea Ice Cream 普洱茶雪糕.  Oh my gosh, I love this tea ice cream!  Why the heck didn't I do this before?  Turns out tea and ice cream is a made in heaven combination of fragrance and creaminess and just the perfect thing to go along with a leisurely afternoon tea break!
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No better time than the middle of winter, on the cusp of the Chinese New Year, to indulge in this most gorgeous and traditional of Cantonese dishes, the Lap Mei Fan Preserved Meat Claypot Rice  臘味飯, an all in one concoction of rice piled with traditional Chinese preserved meats, also known as Lap Mei 臘味, and then cooked in a clay pot to tender crusty perfection.  The oils from the preserved meats infuse the rice with fragrant and soul satisfying tastiness while the bottom crust of the rice is cooked until golden and crunchy.  This is one of our favorite dishes for the cold days of winter, not only is it a great all in one dinner and super yummilicious to boot, but it also provides that kind of rich, meaty, stomach filling feeling that one needs to get through the winter.
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Nothing says love as sweetly and sincerely as a luscious bit of elegantly presented chocolate.  So I decided to try my hand at handcrafting some chocolates for Valentine's Day to gift to my heart of hearts.  And let me add, before you get discouraged by the word 'handcraft', this little luscious bonbon is pretty darn easy to make at home!

Before deciding what kind of bonbon to make I had a rummage through my food hoard.  Amongst other treasures I discovered a load of marzipan that I bought on sale, some leftover cherries from making the decadent Eight Treasures Rice Pudding and lots and lots of chocolate.  (I have to hide my hoard of chocolate so that my  family won't make fun of how much I have squirreled away.)  Add in a dollop of citrus scented liquor and I had the makings for very fancy handcrafted bonbons,  the very sexy Grand Marnier Marzipan Cherry Chocolates, a surprisingly easy to make chocolate and marzipan treat with a luscious surprise cherry heart that tastes amazing and looks seriously out of this world!  A special 'from the heart' treat for a special Valentine!

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Eight Treasures Rice Pudding 八寶飯
By Ellen L. Published: 2018-02-02
Almost time to welcome in the Chinese New Year 中國新年!  In preparation for the feasting this New Year I decided to make a treat that my grandma 奶奶 made for us when I was a little girl, the delectable Eight Treasures Rice Pudding, or 八寶飯, a traditional Chinese dessert that is a steamed glutinous rice pudding with a red bean paste center, beautifully decorated on top with all kinds of colorful dried fruits and nuts. I still remember the first time my 奶奶 made it and how big and round my eyes grew as she carried it, gleaming with colors and fragrant with wonderful smells, to the dinner table.  I had never in my short life seen such a fancy cake before.  It was magical!
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OM-Goshilicious!!  Here's a truly beautiful something whipped up by my 老公, our resident expert of all things steamed and fishlike.  A super sexy version of the classic Steamed Fish with Black Bean Sauce, perfect for that super special and mandatory fish dish for the Chinese New Year.  We call it the Three Bean Chinese Steamed Fish but that's kinda cheating cuz it's not actually three beans, it just looks like it.  Anyways...this Three Bean Chinese Steamed Fish, or 欖角豆豉味噌蒸魚, infuses a most interesting and tongue enticing combination of three traditional flavors, the Chinese black olive, miso and Chinese fermented black bean, each quite strong on their own merit, to come together in a sauce that is the perfect complement to the delicate and tender steamed fish.
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