Saturday, June 23, 2012

Happy Dragon Boat Festival - 端午节快乐


Today is the 5th day of the 5th month in Lunar calender, a significant day celebrated by the Chinese world wide (Duan wu jie) 端午节.

This traditional custom has long been practised annually for more than 2000 years in China, commemorating a famous patriotic poet Qu Yuan (340-278 BC). I am not going to elabroate the history, you can click here to read more about it.

I just wish to highlight the food that I'm going to introduce in relation to this festival. Yes, in general for almost every Chinese festival, it is usually accompanied by some sort of special food.

The special food for this special day is "Zong Zi" (Rice dumpling). I had introduced this rice dumpling before in 2010 - Bak Chang (Savoury Rice Dumpling) 咸肉粽子. Here, not only you get to have a very traditional glutinous rice dumpling recipe, you also get to watch the video on how to wrap rice dumpling.

Yesterday, Auntie Lan again demonstrated her cooking skill in the making of one of her signature dish - Rice dumpling. Since last Saturday, she had asked me to get the necessary ingredients ready. In fact, as long as a month ago she had started her preparation by making homemade salted duck eggs, to prepare one of the key ingredients - salted egg yolks.

Duck egg yolks - eggs soaked in saturated salt water for 30 days

After nearly a day of preparation and cooking, with 2kg of glutinous rice, Auntie Lan managed to make more than 40 rice dumplings.

When I came home from work yesterday, we had rice dumplings and rice porridge for dinner. With over 40 rice dumplings made, I reckon for the coming days, rice dumplings would be our main staple especially for my hubby who is crazy over rice dumplings!

Bak Chang (Savoury Rice Dumpling) 咸肉粽子

I just had another one for lunch today and the only word that I had to say was " Yummy!"

Key ingredients - Glutinous rice, salted egg yolk, peanuts, pork belly and mushroom

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Butter Cheese Buns 牛油芝士面包

Butter and cheese, perfect match!


I started to make this dough a night before to try out the slow rising method.  Letting the dough rise in the fridge overnight saved time and increased flavor to the dough.  That night after dinner, I started to prepare the ingredients. After pouring all needed ingredients into the mixing bowl, I sat down in front of the TV and applied my multitasking talent - kneading the dough and watching online soap drama simultaneously. It took me more than 30 minutes to massage the dough until it became ready for proofing. Well, that’s how a busy working mum like me made time for her after work entertainment - watching downloaded drama. J
The next morning at 7.30am, I checked on the dough, it did proof to about 75% of the original size.  As we already had a plan to take Ray to a nearby park for morning jog, I asked Auntie Lan only to take out the dough from the fridge about an hour before our planned return time. Upon our return at 11.30am, Auntie Lan already had the dough left in room temperature for half an hour, I felt the bowl was still pretty cold. It took about an hour more before the dough was at room temperature and doubled in size.

I think this batch of non Tangzhong starter bread was so far my best sweet buns; the bun texture was so soft and wholesome with strong buttery flavor. When the buns came out from the oven in the afternoon, hubby surprisingly asked to have the buns for afternoon tea.  He seldom likes bakery and it got me even more surprised when he ate 3 buns at one go! 
Well, I guess one of the reasons why he liked the buns was the butter in the bun. He isn’t into bakery but he just loves butter J


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