GONG XI FA CAI!!! May the Year of Ox bring you prosperity and happiness.
As I said in my previous post, I have been busy preparing for Chinese New Year and other daily stuff and so been behind again posting entries… seems I never have the time. Anyway, this is what I’ve been busy making for CNY:
I made 8 kinds of Chinese New Year treats this year, shown on the purple plate. The big crackers on the beautiful green flower plate is called “Keropok” (fish crackers), which is my all time favorite munch especially when playing mah jong. This is my first time making all these 8 types of treats… needs improvement of course but overall I’m very proud of myself. Whenever I told people I made them all by myself, they asked me where do I find the time to do all these besides taking care of 2 young boys and a baby… well, where there’s a will there’s a way 🙂
Let’s check out what goodies are on the plate (clockwise starts from top right):
Pork floss mini rolls— easy but time consuming. Cut a sheet of spring roll wrapper into 9 small pcs, fill in a little pork floss, roll up and seal the edge. Don’t be greedy and put too much pork floss– fat rolls don’t look good and saltier to the taste. Also, some recipes use beaten egg wash to seal but I find using egg wash will produce many tiny tiny bubbles on the “skin” after deep frying– not pretty at all vs. a smooth look using flour batter(flour+water–> thick batter ) for sealing. (cheaper on the cost too). I put the rolls in the fridge uncoveredto let cold (to get rid of the moist heat so the rolls stay dry in the freezer and less chance of oil splashing when frying) before storing them in the freezer. Time consuming but can be made ahead of time and stored in freezer. Can be baked in the oven too. I’ll try the baked version next time.
Green pea cookies— Couldn’t find premix green pea powder so I had to ground the snack green pea myself and thus it’s not as fine as the premix ones… you can still taste little pcs of green peas in the cookies. I grounded the peas ahead of time so when it came to making it’s pretty easy, although I find the recipe that I followed is a bit sweet to my taste– will cut down the sugar next time.
Nori/Seaweed crisps— This is super easy and fast and can be made ahead of time and store in the freezer. Just sandwich 2 sheets of spring roll wrapper with 1 sheet of nori, using seasoned flour mixture (flour+water+bit of salt+bit of ground white pepper–>medium flow consistency batter) to stick them together. Use scissors to cut into 1 inch strips. Deep fry or bake in the oven.
Kuih Bangkit— I followed the no-butter recipe from Yochana’s Cake Delight but the dough was very shiny and couldn’t stand on its own (according to the recipe this is not supposed to happen)– so I kept adding more and more topioca flour to the dough. The results– the kuih bangkits are bit hard to bite but still melt in the mouth. Definitely NEEDS improvements!! Oh, I used sakura flower cookie cutter because they are so pretty, and use crab cracking tool (or toothpick) dipped in red coloring to make it looks nice on the top. Pretty huh don’t you think? 🙂
Hae Bee (Spicy dried shrimp) mini rolls— Same method as with pork floss mini rolls. Again, all can be prepared ahead of time and stored in the freezer. I rolled these up before the pork floss rolls and then found them to be too “fat”. As a result, too much hae bee–> too salty! Lesson learned…
Love letters— I wish I could find electric love letter maker here in US, that will make the job a breeze. As a result, I had to use the very traditional love letter molds, making piece by piece on the stove. However I forgot to grease the mold this time before putting in the batter and thus spent some time cleaning up the mold before even producing any love letters!! Argh!!! …Another lesson learned.
Honey joys— Pretty much is a cornflake snack coated with honey, sugar and butter mixture. I got the recipe from Corner’s Cafe but changed a little– used more honey (to produce a more shiny look)and less sugar (for less sugar crystallization )and butter (not as rich) as suggested, also add in pinch of salt so the balance the sweetness.
Pineapple tarts(pictured center)— The filling can be cooked ahead of time and store in the fridge/freezer. The pastry dough is not hard to make at all (I soften the butter in the microwave). There are open face pineapple tart and enclosed pineapple tart (fillings to be a bit drier than the open face version). Personally I like the enclosed version better because no worries about tarts sticks together. I used a fork to create the pineapple pattern on the top, not too bad huh? I also made the tarts slightly smaller than the usual ones so it’ll be easier for my boys to eat without much crumbs falling everywhere.