Cuisines Archives: Chinese

White Turnip Cake

When I was small, my grandma used to make a lot of Chinese traditional snacks and sweets during Chinese New Year. Fried dumplings and fried Chinese sweets balls are the most popular in our family.

There are many snacks that are only available during Chinese New Year. When I was a kid, I would eat until I could not eat anymore. And all of my family members would gather to have a big dinner filled with our favourite food. My memories of Chinese New Year have always been very sweet: Something that I would cherish forever. Now that Chinese New Year is approaching even though I am not in Hong Kong, I am trying to make some of these snacks to recreate the festive atmosphere.

Since I don’t have a sweet tooth, I tend to make savoury snacks. White Turnip Cake is a popular choice. I started to make my own Turnip Cake since last Chinese New Year. Before that, I helped my mum and grandma to make the Turnip Cake for the family. We would always make extra and give it to other family members, especially to the elderly to show our love and respect. I decided to carry on this beautiful tradition and made extra cakes and sent them to some of my friends and aunties here in London.

We use loads of the preserved ingredients to add the flavour to the cake, this includes: dried scallop, shittake mushroom, black fungus, shrimp, sausage and duck. It is not necessary to include every single one of them, but more the merrier. As it is extremely difficult to get halal preserved sausage and duck. So I am using minced lamb or beef as replacement.

Try to get fatter parts of the meat which brings a richer taste to the cake. The water content in the turnips varies so the amount of water you need to add to the cake will be different each time. I suggest you to start with adding a small amount of water and gradually adding more into it when needed. The same goes with the flour. The ratio that I use for turnip to flour is 5:1 but you can certainly add more flour if the result is too watery. Different turnip to flour ratio creates different consistencies and textures of the cake so it is worth experimenting it. Most people use 6:1, 5:1 or 4:1. I prefer 5:1 but of course it depends on how you like it.

White Turnip Cake
Print Recipe
Prep Time
30 minutes
Cook Time
1.5 hour
Prep Time
30 minutes
Cook Time
1.5 hour
White Turnip Cake
Print Recipe
Prep Time
30 minutes
Cook Time
1.5 hour
Prep Time
30 minutes
Cook Time
1.5 hour
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Wash and soak all the dried ingredients for 2 hours. Keep the soaked water.
  2. Divide the white turnip into half. Grind half of it and cut into small pieces for the other half.
  3. Heat the oil into wok, add the minced meat and onion until aromatic.
  4. Add the dried shiitake mushroom, shrimp, scallop and fungus and stir fly until aromatic.
  5. Add the white turnip into the wok until half cooked. Turn to low heat.
  6. Mix the water with the rice powder and corn flour and add into the wok. Add all the seasonings and mix well. It should become a thick dough. If it is too dried, add more water (the water from the soaked dried ingredients) . If it is too watery, add more rice flour and mix well.
  7. Transfer to the containers and steam for 1 hour in high heat. (First time my new steam oven contributes on CamelMirror!)
  8. Take the turnip cake out to cool down and transfer to fridge afterwards.
  9. Before serving, cut into small pieces (with at least 1.5 cm thickness). Heat the oil in a pan and pan fry it until golden.
  10. Serve hot!
Recipe Notes

1. the cake will look watery straight after steaming but don’t worry it will look beautiful after cooled down.
2. It is easier to pan fry it after it is chilled in the fridge.
3. turnip : flour : 5:1
4. rice flour : corn flour : 3:1

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Rice Roll

It has been a month since I came back from Hajj. Things are slowly getting back to normal. I will post my Hajj reflection shortly. This recipe was written before I travel but did not have the chance to post it until now. Rice Roll is a all-time favourite dish in Hong Kong Cha Chan Ten and Mr. Camel’s favourite. This is not a traditional method of making it but I have adapted it to suit our domestic kitchen. You can also make a vegetarian version, simply leave out the meat and add chopped spring onion only. The vegetarian rice roll is also very delicious with sweetened soy sauce, chili sauce and peanut butter. I know the sauce combination sounds strange. But trust me, it matches perfectly well with the rice roll.

Rice Roll (appox 10-12 rolls depending on size and thickness)
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
2-6 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2-6 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Rice Roll (appox 10-12 rolls depending on size and thickness)
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
2-6 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2-6 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Ingredients
Rice Roll
Filling
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Sleeve all the flour in a mixing bowl.
  2. Add 250ml water into the mixing bowl until dissolved.
  3. Add the remaining water and mix well.
  4. Sleeve the mixture twice to three times.
  5. Rub the oil (not included in the ingredients) on the container you will use to steam with and the spatula.
  6. Add the mixture on the container in a thin layer. If using spring onion only, just spread it evenly on the layer.
  7. Add the filing at the bottom of 1/3 portion of the layer.
  8. Steam for 4 minutes.
  9. Wait till it is slightly cooled and use a spatula to roll it slowly from the side of the filling.
  10. Add sweetened soy sauce, chili sauce etc to taste, serve hot.
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Chicken Roll

Chicken thigh is an ingredient I like to use for cooking. It is easy to cook and has varied possibilities: From stir fry chicken with vegetables to Teriyaki Chicken. Recently, I use it to make chicken rolls. You can put anything you like inside the chicken roll – as long as it is delicious, no one will complain. Unlike the western style where you make it with spinach and cheese inside, I am going to use carrots and celery to pan fry it with soy sauce. This is by far my favourite way and easiest way to make chicken roll. Crunchy carrot with tender juicy chicken. Hope you will enjoy it.

Chicken Roll
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
2 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Chicken Roll
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
2 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Ingredients
Marinate
Chicken Roll
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Use the back of the knife or the rolling pin for thinning the chicken thigh and even it. Marinate the chicken thigh for at least 2 hours.
  2. Water bath the carrot and celery for 2-3 minutes until it is cooked but still crunchy.
  3. Place the carrot and celery as shown on the picture, roll it over and use a sting to tie it.
  4. Heat the oil in a pan, pan fry the chicken thigh until it turns brown. Add the water and marinate in the pan and simmer for 10 minutes, turn occasionally. Add some water during simmer if it is too dry.
  5. Take it out, slice it and garnish with the sauce.
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Spicy Mince Meat with Aubergine

Mr Camel doesn’t like aubergine which is quite the opposite to me. So I decided to make Spicy Mince Meat with Aubergine. So he can eat all the meat and save me the aubergine.

This is recipe is similar to Ma Po Tofu with similar seasoning and replaces Tofu with aubergine. Despite the fact that it is less famous than Ma Po Tofu, I like Spicy Mince Meat with Aubergine more. The aubergine is tasty as it absorbs both the meat and bean sauce flavour. To my surprise, Mr Camel finished the aubergine leaving me with less aubergine than I expected. I realised he eats anything with a with spicy flavor. Now I know how to cook my next dish with ingredients he dislikes most.

Spicy Mince Meat with Aubergine
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
2 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Spicy Mince Meat with Aubergine
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
2 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Pan fry or deep fry your aubergine until half cooked. Set a side
  2. Heat oil on a pan. Add the mince, ginger, shallot and garlic and stir fry until half cooked.
  3. Add soy sauce, spicy bean sauce, sugar, sesame oil and water until they are fully cooked.
  4. Add the aubergine, cover and simmer it in medium low heat for further 5 minutes.
  5. Garnish with spring onion. Serve hot.
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Mango Pudding

I almost forgot I had to make something sweet for Eid. This was prepared in the eleventh hour and took less than 15 minutes to make. I decided to make a mango pudding using the residue mango pulp from yesterday’s mango lassi. I  have also previously made mango pudding from fresh mangoes. All you need to do is to use a blender to blend the mango, extra sugar and add in the gelatine mix. To keep this halal, my friend bought me a very high quality gelatine from New Zealand. Even though you may choose to use mango pulp, I still highly recommend that you add freshly diced mangoes into the mixture to incorporate a different texture. For the best result, chill it overnight but, if like me, you are working to the last minute, it should still work out if you leave it in the fridge for a mere 3 hours. 

 

Mango Pudding
Print Recipe
Servings
5 people
Cook Time
15 minutes
Servings
5 people
Cook Time
15 minutes
Mango Pudding
Print Recipe
Servings
5 people
Cook Time
15 minutes
Servings
5 people
Cook Time
15 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Mix the gelatine with water in a pan over medium low heat until all the gelatine is dissolved.
  2. Add the evaporated milk and mix well.
  3. Remove from heat, add the mango pulp and mix well.
  4. Put the mixture into any mold and chilled for at least 3 hours.
Recipe Notes

Garnish extra evaporated milk to serve.

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Beef Cake (Pan-fried Dumpling)

I know my blog haven’t been updated for quite a while. I was very busy (and frankly a little bit lazy). But there will be two more recipes on the way so hopefully it won’t be take too long before the next update.

You may not have seen this beef cake before as this is rarely available. This beef cake was first introduced by a Muslim restaurant so we all call it “Halal Beef Cake” in Hong Kong. It is very popular with many locals as they visit the restaurant regularly just for this. To my content, my Halal Beef Cake is very similar to the actual thing. I reduced the size of the beef cake as I find them less messy to eat and more suitable for people who have smaller apetite.

Beef Cake (Pan-fried Dumpling)
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4 people 1 hour
Cook Time
10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 people 1 hour
Cook Time
10 minutes
Beef Cake (Pan-fried Dumpling)
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4 people 1 hour
Cook Time
10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 people 1 hour
Cook Time
10 minutes
Ingredients
Dough
Filling
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. 1. Heat the water until it reaches 65℃
  2. 2. Sieve the plain flour and mix it with the salt.
  3. 3. Add the water in the plain flour for 3 times.
  4. 4. Mix the flour and water well until it becomes a dough.
  5. 5. Use a wet towel or cling film to cover it and let it rest for 45 mins.
  6. 6. In the meantime, we will make the filling. Add the beef mince with salt. Keep mixing and stirring until it becomes sticky. Add the water, 1Tbsp at a time.
  7. 7. Add all other ingredients in the filling and mix well.
  8. 8. Chill the filling in the fridge.
  9. 9. Knead the dough for 5 minutes. Divide the dough into 16 pieces, each one should be appox 30g.
  10. 10. Roll each into a ball and use a rolling pin to flatten it into a 12 cm wide circle. Make sure you roll the side a bit thinner.
  11. 11. Place 1 Tbsp or more filling at the center of the circle. Gently pinch the side in one direction with 2 fingers and seal the dumpling. Place it upside down (ie. The sealed side should face downward.) Use your palm to gently flatten it a little bit and it should be appox 7 cm.
  12. 12. When you have fit all the fillings in the dumplings. Heat oil in a frying pan. Place the dumplings on the pan in medium high heat (the sealed side should face down). When it turns golden, turn to the other side. When the other side is golden, turn to the other side and add some water in the pan. The water should reach a quarter height of the dumplings. Turn to medium heat. Place the lid on and cook until the water is evaporated. It should be approximately 4-5 minutes. The mince cake should be hot and crispy. Take it out, serve hot.
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Wonton (Meat and Prawns Dumpling)

Wonton is a popular Hong Kong street food and my favourite type of dumpling. The skin of Wonton is very thin which means you can get a richer flavour and texture. You can easily get wonton skin in Chinese supermarkets. It is usually eaten with soup, vegetables and sometimes noodles. As this takes some effort to make, I usually make a large batch and frozen it for lunches later. The fillings of wontons varies. The meat and prawns filling is most to my liking. The golden ratio of meat and prawns is 1:1. You may add mushrooms, vegetables, basically anything you like in the filling. I hope to post other dumplings recipe with different fillings later, so watch this space!

Wonton (Meat and Prawns Dumpling)
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4 people 45 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 people 45 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Wonton (Meat and Prawns Dumpling)
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4 people 45 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 people 45 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Mix the beef mince with salt and mix it clockwise until it is sticky.
  2. Add in soy sauce, corn flour, sesame oil and white pepper powder and mix well.
  3. Remove the vein of the prawns. I am using frozen prawns of which the shell and veins have already been removed. Cut them into small pieces. If you are using small sized prawns, you may not need to cut it into pieces
  4. Add the prawns, white pepper powder, sesame oil, sugar, grated ginger in the beef mince and mix well.
  5. Add 1 chopped spring onion and coriander in the meat mixture. Mix well.
  6. Use the wonton skin to wrap it. Use a finger to put some water on the edge of wonton skin and seal the wonton.
  7. Add the Pak Choi into the boiled stock and cook for 2-3 minutes. Turn off heat, add a pinch of chopped spring onion.
  8. In a separate bowl, boil the water. After the water is boiled, add the wontons and a cup of cold water. Boil for 2-3 minutes.
  9. Add some soup, Pak Choi and wonton in the bowl. Serve hot.
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Fillet of Fish in Sweet Corn Sauce

This is a very common dish in Chinese restaurants and my most ordered dish in Cha Chan Teng when I was in Hong Kong. The combination of sweet corn and fish is a perfect match. It is suitable for both adults and children as there is no bones in cod fillets. In fact, any white fish fillet is suitable to make this dish. It is super easy to make and taste exactly the same as what you get in the restaurants. I usually avoid cooking deep fried food at home. Not only it is not healthy, it is also a headache to deal with any leftover oil. This time I used a ‘semi-fried’ method using my newly bought cast iron pan, which is to use more oil than pan fry but less oil than deep fry. The result is very good. It is a very good alternative to deep fry.

Fillet of Fish in Sweet Corn Sauce
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
2 peope 15 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 peope 15 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Fillet of Fish in Sweet Corn Sauce
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
2 peope 15 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 peope 15 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: peope
Instructions
  1. Dry the cod fillet with kitchen towel. Cut it into small pieces and marinate with salt and pepper for 15 minutes.
  2. Use a blender to blend 2/3 of the corn into puree.
  3. Beat the egg in a bowl. Dip the cod into the egg to coat. Coat it with another layer of corn flour.
  4. Heat the oil into pan. The oil should be 1.5cm height. When oil becomes hot, gently put the cod into the hot oil. Cook for 2 minutes per side or until cooked. Transfer it onto a kitchen towel to remove any excess oil.
  5. Heat a small amount of oil in a pan, add the corn puree, corn in the pan and water. Season with salt and sugar. Cook it until boiling.
  6. Add the remaining beaten egg. Cook for further 1/2 minute.
  7. Pour it on the cod. Serve hot.
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