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Archive for June, 2011

This is a very common food found in dim sum restaurants. I love the spiral layers of these pastry. They are so beautiful aren’t they? Unfortunately, these pretty ones are like pretty women– they require lots of work. Well, I think all Chinese pastry dough that call for water dough and oil dough require lots of effort in general. But, they well worth the time. With 3 busy kids on hand, I have to divide the work into 3 days– one day to cook the fillings, one day to make the dough, and one day to bake.

Shredded Daikon Spiral Pastry 萝卜丝酥餅

Shredded Daikon Spiral Pastry 萝卜丝酥餅

Shredded Daikon Spiral Pastry 萝卜丝酥餅

Shredded Daikon Spiral Pastry 萝卜丝酥餅

Shredded Daikon Pastry 萝卜丝酥 (makes 12 pieces)

Ingredients:

for pastry(consisted of water dough and oil dough):
water dough:
3/4 cup cake flour
3/4 cup bread flour
1/3 cup icing sugar
4 tbsp butter
50-70 ml water

oil dough:
3/4  cup cake flour
3 tbsp shortening

for fillings:
cooked shredded daikon– recipe follows

Method:

  1. Prepare water dough: Combine both flours and icing sugar in a bowl. Rub in butter until it resembles coarse meal. Add in enough water to form a dough. Knead the dough until it is smooth, about 5 minutes. Wrap with a plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 20 minutes.
  2. Prepare oil dough: In a separate bowl, rub shortening into cake flour and slowly form into a dough. Knead a couple of time. Divide into 6 pieces and roll each into a ball.
  3. Remove water dough from the fridge. Knead for a few more time. Then divide into 6 portions, and roll each piece into a ball. Take a piece of water dough, flatten with your palm. Wrap in a piece of oil dough (avoid air pocket between two pieces of dough). Pinch to seal tight. With the sealed side facing up, flatten the dough with your palm again. Use a rolling pin, roll the dough out (away from your body) to a thin long oval shape. Then roll it up like a jelly roll using your fingers (the dough will be “laying on the side”, looks like ” = “). Turn the dough 90 degree (the dough will be in “standing” position, looks like ” || “). With the end side facing up, roll it out to a thin long oval shape then roll up like a jelly roll again. Repeat this process with the remaining water dough and oil dough.With the end facing up, flatten the dough and roll into a circle. Repeat with the remaining doughs.
  4. Take a piece of dough, cut in the middle on the lengthwise. With the cut side facing up, flatten each piece with you palm, then roll out to a thin circle, for a total of 12 thin pieces of dough. Take care to keep the “eye” of the spiral at the center. Flip the dough over (so the cut side faces down– this will be the outside of the pastry), scoop in a portion of shredded daikon filling. Pleat (or pinch) and  then twist tightly to seal the edge. Slightly shape into a ball. You should see the thin layering on the surface. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling.
  5. Place pastry on a baking pan lined with parchment paper (sealed side facing down), bake at preheated 375°F oven for 30 minutes. Cool on rack.
Making spiral pastry dough: wrap oil dough into water dough.

Making spiral pastry dough: wrap oil dough into water dough.

Steps for making spiral pastry dough (from left to right)-- 1)wrap oil dough into water dough. 2) flatten dough with hand. 3) roll the dough out to a thin long oval shape. 4) roll it up like a jelly roll.

Steps for making spiral pastry dough (from left to right)-- (1) wrap oil dough into water dough, pinch to seal tight. (2) flatten dough with hand. (3) roll the dough out to a thin long oval shape. (4) roll it up like a jelly roll.

Steps for making spiral pastry dough-- 5)turn the dough to a "standing" position. 6) roll it out to a thin long oval shape again. 7) roll it up like a jelly roll again.

Steps for making spiral pastry dough-- (5) turn the dough to a "standing" position. (6) roll it out to a thin long oval shape again. (7) roll it up like a jelly roll again.

Steps for making spiral pastry dough-- (8) cut each dough in half lengthwise. See the swirl pattern from the cut side?

Steps for making spiral pastry dough-- (8) cut each dough in half lengthwise. See the swirl pattern from the cut side?

Making spiral pastry dough-- (9)flatten each piece of dough with hand then roll out to a thin disc. Keep the "eye" of the spiral in the center of  while rolling out the dough. Now the dough is ready for filling.

Making spiral pastry dough-- (9)flatten each piece of dough with hand then roll out to a thin disc. Keep the "eye" of the spiral in the center of while rolling out the dough. Now the dough is ready for filling.

After wrapping in filling and before baking-- do you notice the layers of the pastry?

After wrapping in filling and before baking-- do you notice the layers of the pastry?

 

 

 

Regina’s Note:

  • Water dough and oil dough must have about the same pliable consistency.
  • When wrapping oil dough into water dough, take care not to trap in any air pockets. Otherwise you might have problem when rolling out and rolling up the dough, as the air might poke through the dough and cause oil dough to leak out.
  • Pastry dough can be prepared ahead of time and chilled in fridge. It can also be frozen. Bring back to room temperature before using.
  • DO NOT apply egg wash– it will seal the layers!
Shredded Daikon Pastry 萝卜丝酥-- These are the ones I made at a different time. I applied egg wash on the top since the layers of the pastry are not visible.

Shredded Daikon Pastry 萝卜丝酥-- I made these ones at a different time. I applied egg wash on the top since the layers of the pastry are not visible.

Shredded Daikon Filling (can be prepared ahead):

Ingredients:
2 1/2 lbs daikon– shredded
2 tbsp dried shrimps– soaked to soften slightly, then chopped
3 cloves garlic– chopped
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tbsp soy sauce
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp chicken bouillon powder
1/2 tsp ground white pepper
1 cup hot water

Method:

  1. In a bowl, rub in some generous amount of salt to daikon. Set aside to let it soften and for the liquid to draw out. Rinse a couple of times (depending on how much salt added), then squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Set aside.
  2. Heat up 2 tbsp of oil in a wok on high heat. Saute garlic and dried shrimps until aromatic. Add in daikon and cook until the flavor comes out. Add in water (start with 1/4 cup, add a little more at a time) and seasoning. Cook until daikon is soft and liquid dries out. Dish out to cool and divide into 12 portions.
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This is just a variation of my corn and rib soup. The whole family has been having lots of grilled and fried foods lately. I want to make some bitter melon soup for the family to tone down the heaty side, but knowing everyone of them can’t take the bitterness, I sneaked in with some sweet corns that are in season now. And it worked. There is a slightest bitterness in the soup but none of them tasted it. In fact my oldest son Alexander, who is expected to be the first one on the rejecting list, asked for second serving of the soup.

Corn, Bitter Melon & Rib Soup 玉米苦瓜排骨汤

Corn, Bitter Melon & Rib Soup 玉米苦瓜排骨汤

Corn, Bitter Melon & Rib Soup 玉米苦瓜排骨汤

Ingredients:
1.5 lbs pork spare rib — cut into chunks
2 ears of corns — cut into 8 pieces
1 small bitter melon– remove the core, cut into 2 inch length chunks
1 can reduced sodium chicken broth
10 cups water
salt to taste

Method:

  1. Add 1 tsp of salt to cut bitter melon. Add a little water and use you hand to gently squeeze the melon, so it will draw out some bitter liquid. Let it sit for 10 minutes. Wash and rinse a couple of times. Drain.
  2. Blanch ribs in boiling water for a minutes to remove impurities. Rinse and drain.
  3. In a deep pot boil water and chicken broth over high heat. Add in blanched ribs. Cover and boil on high heat for 10 minutes. Turn down to medium heat and boil for 1 hour.
  4. Add in corn and bitter melon. Cover and continue cooking on medium heat for another 1- 1.5 hours. Add more water if the liquid is low. Add salt to taste. If mild bitterness is preferred, remove bitter melon from the soup ahead of time once they are tender.

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Finally I made it! Ever since I saw the pulled pork picture from here, it has been on my list for quite some time. I had some Chinese BBQ sauce in the fridge so I thought why not make it. Vietnamese cole slaw wasn’t in my original planning as I don’t expect my kids will like it, but I am glad I changed my mind the last minute– the slaw was very spicy (well, I added a little too much hot pepper here 🙂 ) and appetizing. It goes very well with the pulled pork.

Pulled Pork Asian Flavor with Vietnamese Slaw

Pulled Pork Asian Flavor with Vietnamese Slaw

Pulled Pork Asian Flavor with Vietnamese Slaw

Ingredients:
1.5 lb pork butt/pork shoulder0– cut into several big pieces
1 medium onion– cut into big chunks
1 tbsp salt
1 can (12 oz) root beer
hamburger buns

Chinese BBQ sauce:
12 tbsp honey– see note below
6 tbsp hoisin sauce 海鲜酱
6 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp rose wine 玫瑰露酒
1/8 tsp ground white white pepper
1 tsp five spice powder
2 tsp sesame seed oil
1/2 tsp paprika powder for coloring (optional)

Vietnamese cole slaw:
1/2 head red cabbage– finely shredded
1/2 carrot– finely shredded
1/2 yellow onion– finely shredded
1 Persian cucumber/mini cucumber– remove core and thinly sliced
3 stalks Thai basil– coarsely chopped

Cole slaw marinade:
juice of 2 limes
3 tbsp rice vinegar
5 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 cloves garlic– finely chopped
1 red hot pepper– finely chopped

Method:

  1. Season the meat with salt. Layer chopped onion at the bottom of a slow cooker, sit the meat on top of onions. Pour in root beer. Close the lid and cook the meat on high heat for 6-8 hours. For a faster cooking and better heat retention, I place 1-2 kitchen towel on top of the lid.
  2. Prepare BBQ sauce: combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan, cook on medium low heat until all combined and the sauce slightly thicken. Stir constantly. Set aside to cool. The sauce can be made days ahead and stored in the fridge.
  3. Prepare Vietnamese slaw: mix all ingredients with the marinade. Let it sit for at least 30 minutes before serving (see note below).
  4. When the pork is done cooking, drain the meat and remove any excess fat. Use a fork to shred the meat. Mix with as much BBQ sauce as you like.  Put some pulled pork on hamburger bun and top with some Vietnamese slaw.

Regina’s Note:

  • Honey: If maltose 麦芽糖 can be found, use 6 tbsp honey and 6 tbsp maltose.
  • Vietnamese cole slaw: The longer it marinates the better flavor it is. A lot of website recipes suggest marinating overnight for best flavor. But I suggest to use regular American cabbage if you opt for long hours of marinating, as red cabbage will make the slaw purplish/pink over long period of time.

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This is my pai pau 排包 (translated as rows of bread) trial #2 with a different recipe. I got the recipe from Do What I Like. Just like my pai pau #1, this recipe uses bread starter too. While the starter for my pai pau #1 is more of a paste like and pretty quick to make; the starter in this recipe, on the other hand is more like a sticky doug. Since there is yeast in the starter so it takes a lot longer (it takes at least 2 hours) for the dough to be “fermented” in order for use. The original recipe calls for 1 1/2 cup of bread flour and uses only 1 egg yolk, but I used one whole egg because I don’t want to have any egg white leftover. I am thinking it might be because of the addition of egg white, my dough was very wet and sticky, so I kept on adding more bread flour (about extra 3/4 to 1 cup total). Also, I added a little more sugar and butter, hoping for a sweeter and more buttery taste.

Difference between pai pau #1 and pai pau #2? Well, these two versions both yields soft breads, but I think pai pau #1 weighs more (heavier feel on hand) and a little more chewy texture. Pai pau #2 seems to have a fluffier and lighter texture. I voted pai pau #2 over #1. Luckily the bread starter recipes yields 4 portions and can be frozen, which means making pai pau in the next three times will be a breeze.

Pai Pau 排包 #2

Pai Pau 排包 #2

Pai Pau 排包 #2-- a close up look of shreddably crumb.

Pai Pau 排包 #2-- a close up look of shreddable crumb.

Pai Pau 排包 #2 Recipe (makes 8 rows)

Ingredients:
2 1/2 cup bread flour– see note below
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp yeast
2 tbsp dry whole milk powder
5 tbsp sugar
120 ml milk and 1 egg combined
50 gm dough starter– about 1/4 portion of the recipe
4 tbsp unsalted butter

1 beaten egg for egg wash

Method (using a KA stand mixer):

  1. Combine bread flour, milk powder, sugar, salt and dry yeast in the stand mixing bowl. Add in remaining ingredients (except butter and egg wash). With a dough hook attached and the mixer turn on, knead the dough until it forms a dough. Drop in butter and continue to knead the dough until it doesn’t stick to the bowl and pass the “membrane” test. (pull a small piece of the dough, use two hand to stretch the dough to a very thin layer– if the layer doesn’t tear then the dough is ready to proof. Otherwise, continue kneading until it passes the test).
  2. Transfer the dough to a big bowl. Wrap the bowl and leave it on a warm spot to rest/proof until double in size.  (To speed up the resting time a little you can sit the bowl on a moist hot towel, or sit the bowl on top of a pot of hot water).
  3. Lightly knead the dough on a board a few times to punch out big air pockets trapped inside. Divide into 8 even portions. Rest for 15 minutes. Roll each pieces into a ball.  Use a rolling pin, roll out 1 pieces of dough to a oval shape. Fold 1/3 of the dough on the top towards the center. Then fold the bottom 1/3 over, on the center. Pinch to seal the edge. Roll and gently stretch the dough to 7 inches long. Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough. Place them on greased 9x13x2 baking pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rest till the dough almost reach the rim of the pan.
  4. Apply egg wash on top of the buns. Bake in preheated 350°F oven for 25-30 minutes until golden brown. Remove from pan and cool on a rack.
Pai Pau 排包 #2-- ready for final proofing.

Pai Pau 排包 #2-- ready for final proofing.

Dough Starter Recipe (yields about 200 gram of dough)

Ingredients:
3/4 cup bread flour
1/4 tsp dry yeast
pinch of salt
80 ml water

Method:

Mix all ingredients together. Cover with plastic wrap and proof at a warm place for at least 2 hours (I proofed my starter for 4 hours). Divide dough starter into 4 portions. For pai pau recipe above, use only 1 portion. Extra dough starter can be wrapped individually and kept frozen. Thaw and bring back to room temperature before using.

Dough starter after mixing. See how sticky it is?

Dough starter after mixing. See how sticky it is?

Dough starter-- after proofing for 4 hours.

Dough starter-- after proofing for 4 hours.

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Fermented red rice 红糟 is the rice residual from making rice cooking wine. It gets its red color during fermentation process and thus it is a natural coloring. Fermented red rice is a very nourish food ingredient. It is even used for cooking for Chinese women’s confinement diet after giving birth.

Recently I had a crispy fermented red rice pork belly at a restaurant– the marinated pork belly was coated with coarse sweet potato starch 地瓜粉 and deep fried to crispy. It was delicious!! I was tired of my typical pork chop marinade, so I decided to replicate the flavor of that dish I had at the restaurant. And YES I got it right!! I grilled the pork chops instead of deep frying or pan frying. No pan scrubbing for me! 🙂

Fermented Red Rice and Nam Yee Pork Chop 红糟南乳猪扒

Fermented Red Rice and Nam Yee Pork Chop 红糟南乳猪扒

Fermented Red Rice and Nam Yee Pork Chop 红糟南乳猪扒

Ingredients:
6 pieces pork chop  (1/2 to 3/4 inch thickness)

marinade:
4 cloves garlic– minced
4 tbsp fermented red rice 红糟
2 blocks nam yee 南乳– smeared
1 tsp chicken bouillon powder
3 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp rice wine
1/4 tsp ground white pepper
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp dark soy sauce

Method:

  1. Clean pork chops. Use the back of a knife pound the meat several times on both sides.
  2. Mix well all ingredients for the marinade. Add pork chop and coat each piece well. Marinate in the fridge overnight.
  3. Grill pork chop, or pan fry until the meat is cook through.
Fermented red rice

Fermented red rice

Fermented red rice

Fermented red rice

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Pai Pau 排包 is translated as row of bread, and it is a popular bread in Hong Kong. I always get my pai pau from Kee Wah Bakery, they are soft buttery and fluffy soft. When I eat it, I always warm the bread up briefly in microwave then lightly toast the surface, then spread some butter on it– mmm, it’s so delicious!

This time, I decided to make my very first pai pau. Pai pau recipes online all require starter. I chose this recipe from Lily’s Wei Sek Hong, as it takes less time to make the starter. As always, I modified the recipe a little hehe… Next time I will try the other recipe that uses a different starter. Also, since I just love Asiago cheese and sugar on baked bun generally, I sprinkled some Asiago cheese and sugar on half portion of the pai pau.

How did my pai pau turn out? First, the look: the bread turned out pretty good and even in size. For some reason it takes longer to brown the half with cheese. So, when the ones with cheese were browned, the other half plain ones were a little too brown. Next time, I should bake them in separate trays. The taste? Well, my pai pau are soft enough, with a little chewiness. But compared to ones from Kee Wah Bakery, they are not as fluffy and buttery. Also the bread doesn’t look as yellowish as those from the bakery. Hmm… I wonder if Kee Wah Bakery adds anything “special”?

Pai Pau 排包

Pai Pau 排包

Pai Pau 排包-- a closer look of the ones with cheese

Pai Pau 排包-- a closer look of the ones with cheese

Pai Pau 排包 Recipe (makes 8 rows)– original recipe from Lily’s Wei Sek Hong

Ingredients:
3 cups bread flour
2 tbsp dry whole milk powder
4 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 tsp dry yeast
all starter– recipe follows
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup 2% milk– add more if necessary– see note below
5 tbsp whipping cream
1 tbsp condensed milk
4 tbsp butter– cut into pieces

1 beaten egg for egg wash

Method (using KA stand mixer):

  1. Combine bread flour, milk powder, sugar, salt and dry yeast in the stand mixing bowl. Add in remaining ingredients (except butter and egg wash). With a dough hook attached and the mixer turn on, knead the dough until it forms a dough. Add a little more milk if necessary. Drop in butter and continue to knead the dough until it doesn’t stick to the bowl and pass the “membrane” test. (pull a small piece of the dough, use two hand to stretch the dough to a very thin layer– if the layer doesn’t tear then the dough is ready to proof. Otherwise, continue kneading until it passes the test).
  2. Transfer the dough to a big bowl. Wrap the bowl and leave it on a warm spot to rest/proof until double in size.  (To speed up the resting time a little you can sit the bowl on a moist hot towel, or sit the bowl on top of a pot of hot water).
  3. Lightly knead the dough on a board a few times to punch out big air pockets trapped inside. Divide into 8 even portions. Roll each pieces into a ball.  Use a rolling pin, roll out 1 pieces of dough to a oval shape. Fold 1/3 of the dough on the top towards the center. Then fold the bottom 1/3 over, on the center. Pinch to seal the edge. Roll and gently stretch the dough to 7 inches long. Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough. Place them on greased 9x13x2 baking pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rest till the dough almost reach the rim of the pan.
  4. Apply egg wash on top of the buns. Bake in preheated 350°f oven for 25-30 minutes until golden brown. Remove from pan and cool on a rack.

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In Malaysia, whenever people have a BBQ party, chicken wings is always on the menu. The wings are always marinated with ginger juice, shallots, garlic and other seasoning. I LOVE these charcoal grilled wings, they are sizzling on the skin (the best part!), juicy and full of flavor… so finger licking good!

Malaysian Style BBQ Chicken Wings

Malaysian Style BBQ Chicken Wings

Malaysian Style BBQ Chicken Wings Recipe

Ingredients:
2 dozens chicken mid joints (about 3 lbs)
2 inches ginger– crushed and cut into chunks
3 cloves garlic– crushed and cut into chunks
4 shallots– crushed and cut into chunks
2 tbsp oyster sauce
2 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp soy sauce
5 tbsp honey
2 tbsp rice wine
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tsp dark soy sauce
2-3 dashes garlic powder
1/4 tsp chili powder– optional

1/4 cup cooking oil for basting during grilling

Method:

Clean and rinse chicken wings. Mix all remaining ingredients in a big bowl or bag to combine. Add chicken wings, mix to coat every pieces. Marinate in the fridge overnight. Turn over once during marinating.

Heat grill on medium high heat. When the grill is ready, put chicken wings on the grill. Grill until the wings are just cooked through. Baste with cooking oil to prevent the wings from sticking to the grill. Keep an eye on the wings, turn down the heat slightly if necessary. Do not over cook the meat or the meat will be dry. Serve immediately.

Regina’s Note:

  • Mid joint is always my favorite part of the wing because it marinates and cooks much faster than drummets. And as such, I use medium high heat when grilling mid joints. If you use drummets, you’ll need to turn down the heat on the grill a little to ensure the meat is cooked through without burning the surface.

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