The Joys (And Not So Much the Joys) Of Cheap Chinese Food

If there’s one defining quality of being a major metropolis, a “world class city” if you will, it is undoubtedly having a hockey team that despite having tons of money and a psychotically loyal fanbase can never win the championship. CORRECTION! It is undoubtedly having heaps of access to cheap Chinese food, preferably of the all-you-can-eat dinner buffet variety.

Sure, you can go to any old strip mall and there’s even odds there will be a Pick-N-Mix inside it. But going to a Pick-N-Mix is like going to a McDonald’s for a hamburger – there is no adventure to be found! There is never the thrill of eating Shanghai noodles that may or may not have been shoelaces, there is never the occasional thought popping into your head of whether the spicy BBQ pork is, in fact, actually pork, and there is most certainly never the thrill of eating a dish that actually turns out to be tasty and delicious. This is because in addition to being boring, Pick-N-Mix also sucks the bag.

One such establishment I recently tried out is the imaginatively named Yonge Street Chinese Restaurant,located at 1290 Yonge Street (north of Davisville). The YSCR, in addition to being a cheap buffet place, also does freshly made dim sum and makes all their own desserts fresh – but I’m not here for that. I’m here for thebuffet, baby.

The only real way to grade a cheap Chinese buffet is to try as many of the dishes served as possible and then go pass/fail on each. If the restaurant serves up more winners than losers – congratulations! You may actually want to eat here again, possibly even when sober!

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So:

Black Bean Beef: Solid black bean sauce. Veggies nicely cooked – still firm and crunchy but not too raw. Beef not amazing, but not objectionable either. PASS.

General Tso Chicken: Passable chicken. Sauce a bit too sweet, not spicy enough. Vegetables overdone.FAIL.

Spring Rolls: Unfortunately, like most cheap buffet places, the YSCR alternates daily between egg rolls and spring rolls – and egg rolls hold up a lot better underneath heat-lamps than spring rolls do. Spring rolls get mushy and limp. Like these spring rolls. They’re not bad tasting, implying that originally they probably would have been quite okay before put under the heat lamp for two hours, but… FAIL.

Spicy BBQ Pork: Absolutely horrible. Bland sauce, gristly, unappetizing pork, vegetables limp and soggy.FAIL.

Chicken Balls: I know, I know – how can you grade chicken balls? But you can – these chicken balls, unlike some, have decent-quality chicken in them. And the batter’s okay. PASS.

Steamed Rice: Nice and sticky. PASS.

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Spicy Eggplant: I hate eggplant, but the sauce is really nice. PASS, if you like eggplant. I hope you people appreciate that I am SUFFERING FOR JOURNALISM here!

Sweet And Sour Pork: Pleasantly caramelized sauce on the pork, which for some reason is much better than the pork in the spicy BBQ dish. Veggies nicely done too. PASS.

Curry Chicken: A mix of unboned chicken and boneless chicken is not something I enjoy discovering on my third bite. Furthermore, the curry sauce is wimpy and does not even make me shed a single tear in spicy pain.FAIL.

“Golden Fried Potatoes”: Alternately known as “hash browns fried in sesame oil.” Which actually is just as good as it sounds. Delicious, cooked just right, and the sesame flavouring is fantastic with the potato. Probably very bad for me though. PASS.

Shanghai Noodles: Rubbery and overcooked. Lots of onions, though. I like onions. But those noodles – man.FAIL.

Steamed Vegetable Medley: It’s a steamed vegetable dish. What do you want me to say? They put vegetables in a steamer and steam them. There is literally no skill involved in making steamed vegetables.PASS.

Lemon Chicken: Excellent chicken, nice breading, good sweet lemon sauce that isn’t overpowering, and the vegetables are just right. PASS.

My free fortune cookie: “A friend is a soul shared with another body.” First off, that’s mangling the popular cliche, and second, it did not tell me my future even slightly! What a gyp! FAIL.

So, by my count that’s 8 good and 5 bad, so the Yonge Street Chinese Restaurant wins! I celebrate their win with a package of their homemade sesame cookies, which are excellent (they also make butter and peanut cookies, as well as a very sweet mango pudding). And I am alive, for I have tasted adventure. Admittedly, adventure in the form of cheap Chinese food. But adventure nonetheless.

 

Chicken Noodles

Ingredients:

500 gms of Noodles
300 gms Soy Sauce
200 gms Ginger cut into small pieces
300gms Garlic cut into small pieces
Coriander leaves
1 Onion cut into long pieces
pre cooked chicken pieces -200 gms
Pepper & salt to taste
cloves, cinnamon, cardamom – each 3 pieces.

Preparations:

* Boil the Noodles when it is cooked well keep it a side, and let the water to drain
* Heat a little oil in a pan.
* Fry the cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, onions, cooked chicken pieces, ginger and garlic .
* Add the soy sauce and the pepper to it.
* After the soy sauce starts to boil add the cooked rice and mix it well
* Garnish with coriander leaves.

Chinese Food Recipes Tips And Guide

My friend simmon’s family cooks a Chinese food at least once a month. It looks like a tradition. Everyone clears the schedule. He sister, parents, He uncles, He brother gather around the family kitchen to taste meal from the Orient. Yes, Chinese food. They really love it because it is easy to follow. One of our favorite is the sauces. It’s very delicious for our tongue. Our family can adapt with the variety of flavorful spices.

The main taste of Chinese food or Chinese cooking depends on the ingredients of the sauces. If you are fan of Chinese food, you must know it. These cooking sauces are used in a variety of delicious authentic recipes. Fried rice, for example, is made of spices and sauces that make the delicious taste.

Kids really like a delicious meal. There are a lot of Chinese foods for children. Try to serve the dipping sauce in a little bowl to accompany appetizers like egg rolls, spring rolls or pot stickers. Let them choose the bowl and you’ll see their faces light up. By the way, there are so many different Chinese cuisine types of flavors that can be implemented into everyday menu. Some of the famous are sTheyet and sour sauce, garlic sauce, hot mustard and chili oil.

They use chili oil to enhance the flavor. Chili oil is made of chili peppers. Hot mustard and garlic sauce are delicious sauces. It is used for Chinese appetizers. And another favorite in Chinese food is sTheyet and sour sauce. If you interested with those sauces, you can try to give your family Chinese food for dinner. The sauces are easy to make.

Nowadays, the sauces have become very popular around the world because They can make it easily and it has a great flavor when you add to Chinese meals. It’s so adaptable. Chinese cuisine has become our favorite. You can try it out. Happy cooking!

Regional Cuisine: Hunan Cuisine

Hunan cuisine shares many commonalities with its close, more well-known cousin, Szechwan cooking, both cuisines originate in the Western region of China. The climate there is sub-tropical – humid and warm enough to encourage the use of fiery spices to help cool the body, and to require high spicing of food as a preservative. With similarHunan cuisineclimate, the two regions also share many ingredients – rice is a major staple in both diets, and chili peppers are an important part of most dishes. The two styles of regional cuisine are similar enough that many restaurants and cookbooks lump them together under ‘Western Chinese cooking’ or simple refer to both as Szechwan cuisine.

There are some important differences, though. Hunan cooking is, for one thing, even more fiery than most Szechwan dishes. Szechwan dishes often include chili paste for rubbing into meats, or including in sauce. Hunan chefs include the entire dried chili pepper, with its intensely spicy seeds and rind. See and this website.

The differences in the actual land of the two regions also has an effect on the differences in their cuisine. The Szechwan region is mountainous jungle, with little arable land for farming. The Hunan region, by contrast, is a land of soft rolling hills and slow rivers. Because of its fertile hillocks and valleys, the Hunan region has access to an amazing variety of ingredients that aren’t available to Szechwan chefs. Seafood and beef are both far more common in Hunan cooking, as are many vegetables.

The land, and the hardships associated with it, also give the Hunan more time to concentrate on food. Hunan cooking features complex and time-consuming preparation time. Many dishes begin their preparation the day before they are to be served, and may be marinated, then steamed or smoked, and finally deep-fried or stewed before they reach the table. The same attention is paid to the preparation of ingredients, and it is said that Hunan cuisine is the most pleasing to the eye of all Chinese cuisines. The shape of a food in a particular recipe is nearly as important as its presence in the final dish. Hunan chefs are specialists with the knife – carving fanciful shapes of vegetables and fruits that will be used in preparing meals, or to present them.

Chinese Hunan CuisineHunan cuisine is noted for its use of chili peppers, garlic and shallots, and for the use of sauces to accent the flavors in the ingredients of a dish. It is not uncommon for a Hunan dish to play on the contrasts of flavors – hot and sour, sweet and sour, sweet and hot – pungent, spicy and deliciously sweet all at once. Hunan chefs are noted for their ability to create a symphony of taste with their ingredients. A classic example is Hunan spicy beef with vegetables, where the beef is first marinated overnight in a citrus and ginger mixture, then washed and rubbed with chili paste before being simmered in a pungent brown sauce. The end result is a meat that is meltingly tender on the tongue and changes flavor even as you enjoy it.
More and more, restaurants are beginning to sort out the two cuisines, and Hunan cuisine is coming into its own. Crispy duck and Garlic-Fried String Beans are taking their place alongside Kung Pao Chicken and Double Cooked Spicy Pork. But there is no battle between the two for a place of honor among Chinese Regional cuisines – rather, there are only winners – the diners who have the pleasure of sampling both. 

Sweet and Sour Pork Recipe (咕嚕肉)

Sweet and Sour Pork, the ubiquitous and arguably the most well-known Chinese recipes in the world, is a classic Cantonese dish. Called “咕嚕肉” or “goo lou yok” in Cantonese dialect, sweet and sour pork is very pleasing to the palate because of the flavorsome sweet and sour sauce–the sweetness from sugar plus the tangy ketchup and sharp rice vinegar–with the crispy fried pork pieces. The green and red bell peppers and pineapple pieces are just icing on the cake.

The secret of an authentic sweet and sour pork dish lies in the perfect balance of the sweet vs. sour taste of the sauce. To master this dish, it’s not about the technique of stir-frying nor the use of the freshest ingredients, although both are equally important and wouldn’t hurt. To me, the sweet and sour sauce is the soul of this dish. If you fail the sweet and sour sauce, you fail the dish. With that in mind, I will teach you how to make that perfect sweet and sour sauce and share with you the secret ingredients I use…(get sweet and sour pork recipe after the jump). You can see and Book of mormon tickets

Sweet and Sour Pork

While traditional Chinese/Cantonese sweet and sour pork recipe calls for the use of rice vinegar and ketchup to bring out the sour taste, I also use plum sauce to add some extra zing, plus a few dashes of Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce and oyster sauce to complete a harmony balance. They are my secret ingredients and do make a nice difference in terms of taste, in my honest opinion.

Other than the sauce, the frying batter is no less important. A great batter recipe promises crispy and crunchy coating for the pork. In my recipe below, you will also find the instructions and exact measurement to make the batter. It is simply awesome!

Sweet and Sour Pork

Rasa Malaysia’s Secret Ingredients for Sweet and Sour Pork:

  1. Plum Sauce
  2. Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce
  3. Oyster Sauce (my not-so-secret seasoning medium)

So, discard the canned pineapple juice or orange juice in the Americanized sweet and sour pork recipe. Do try out my secret ingredients above the next time you prepare sweet and sour pork.

Anyway, once you master the techniques of making sweet and sour sauce, you can pretty much whip up any sweet and sour dishes in a jiffy: pork, chicken, fish, or shrimp…just don’t tell Panda Express my secret recipe! *wink*

Chinese Zongzi

Chinese Zongzi:
Zongzi is a traditional Chinese food, made of tasty glutinous rice stuffed with different fillings and wrapped in bamboo or reed leaves. They are cooked either by steaming or boiling. Zongzi is a popular specialty consumed during the Dragon Boat Festival, which falls on the fifth day of the fifth month of the lunar calendar, commemorating the death of Qu Yuan, a pioneering poet and patriotic official in ancient China during the Warring States period (475-221 B.C.), served as a minister to the Chu State. Known for his patriotism, seeing his country being destroyed Qu Yuan’s grief was so intense that he drowned himself in the Miluo river. According to legend, as he was deeply loved by the people, the local folk did what they could to search for him in the river. They rushed out in long boats, beating drums to scare the fish away, meanwhile packets of rice were thrown into the river to prevent fish from eating the poet’s body. Another version states that zongzi were given to placate a dragon that lived in the river.
Since then, it has been a customary on this day to enjoy zongzi as a memorial to the patriotic poet. In commemoration of the initial attempts to find Qu Yuan’s body, boat races are also held, and the day is also known as the Dragon Boat Festival.
Different kinds of fillings:

The fillings used for zongzi vary from region to region, but the rice used is always glutinous rice (also called sticky or sweet rice). According to the region, the rice may be lightly precooked by stir-frying or soaked before using. Today’s Zongzi is made similarly, with a serving of rice wrapped in leaves and tied together with string. There are lots of different kinds of zongzi, each with its own particular flavor, shape, and type of leaf for wrapping. The glutinous rice mixture is wrapped in leaves of wild rice, palm or bamboo. Bamboo-leaf zongzi is a specialty of South China. As for flavor, the Beijing style is the sweetest, with coarse bean paste. Guangdong zongzi is either sweet-tasting, with walnut, date or bean, or salty with filling ham, egg, meat, roast chicken. Zongzi need to be steamed or boiled for several hours depending on how the rice is made prior to adding the fillings. Once cooked, the zongzi can easily be frozen for later consumption. Frozen zongzi are available for sale in Chinese markets.
Various shapes:
The shape of zongzi ranges from relatively tetrahedral to cylindrical. Zongzi is usually four-sided with pointed, rounded ends, or pyramid shapes. Sometimes it is in the shape of a cone or cylinder. Wrapping a zongzi neatly is a skill which is passed down through families, as are the recipes. Making zongzi was traditionally a family event with everyone helping out, but that is less common now.
While traditional Chinese zongzi are wrapped in bamboo leaves, the leaves of lotus, maize, banana, canna, shell ginger or pandan leaves are sometimes used as substitutes in other cultures. Each kind of leaf imparts its own unique smell and flavor to the rice.

How to eat zongzi healthily:

 

Firstly, to help digest well, you can drink tea while enjoying zongzi. If eat accompanied by fruits and vegetables that would be helpful to help digest. For those whose stomach can not digest well, too much sticky rice will probably do harm to your stomach. So please pay attention not to eat too much at a time. Secondly, mainly zongzi is made of sticky rice which contains fat, salt and sugar, for instance, a normal meat zongzi will have 400-500 calorie which is approximately half bowl of rice, therefore the maximum per day for ladies is 3 and for gentlemen is 5. For those who have diabetes, please be careful as zongzi contains lots of sugar in it. We’d suggest you not to eat zongzi before sleep. For the left zongzi, you can put them into refrigerator and eat them as soon as possible to keep them fresh while enjoying the good taste.

Chinese Culinary Culture

Being one of the important fruits of China‘s age-old culture, the Chinese food and drink culinary art enjoys a high prestige both at home and abroad. The whole world looks upon eating a Chinese meal as a high-leveled enjoyment. The Chinese people whether living in or outside the county all share a proper sense of pride for such a rich Chinese food and drink culinary culture. Thus, to regard the Chinese food and drink culinary art as a culture, a science, or an art is entirely justifiable.

The Chinese culinary culture has a distant source and has become well established. The legend has it that the Chinese culinary culture originated with Yi Yin, a virtuous and capable minister of the Shang Dynasty (15th – 11th centuries B.C). It can be seen that China initiated the culinary art as early as the Shang and Zhou (11th century to 221 B.C.) times. With the growth and development of production and economy during various periods, the culinary techniques too registered step by step heightening and improvement—-from brevity to variety, from rudimentary to advanced stage, from day-to-day snacks to feasts, even to palatial dishes and delicacies. During about the time from the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 B.C.) and the Warring Stated Period (CA. 475-221 B.C.), to the Sui-Tang period the Chinese dishes began to be marked apart by Southern and Northern tastes. During the period of the Tang (618-907 A.D.) and the Song (960-1279 AD) dynasties, people went in a great deal for eating and distinct local colors were added to the Chinese dishes, such as the Northern food (”Lu” or the Shandong dishes), the Southern food (”Yue” or the Cantonese dishes), the Chuan food (Sichuan dishes), Wei Yang (Yangzhou) and the vegetarian foods. Records respecting each kind of dishes have been handed down. No matter the four oldest groups (i.e., the Sichuan, Cantonese, Shandong and Yangzhou groups) or the eight groups that gradually matured after the Tang and Song Dynasties (the Sichuan, Cantonese, Shandong, Yangzhou, Beijing, Anhui, Zhejiang and Hunan groups) or the Fujian, Jiangxi, Hubei, Henan, Liaoning groups, as well as the Muslim feasts prevalent throughout the country. Each of these famous groups has its own long history and characteristic traditional techniques; these put together have truly for the Chinese culinary culture produced a rich, sublime fruit borne out of the policy of letting a hundred flowers bloom and a hundred schools contend.

Shanghai is China‘s biggest port city. Since the Opium War and the opening of the five ports to foreign trade, it was thronged by traders from all over the world and was densely populated by the Chinese and foreigners, and the city became thriving and prosperous. In the wake of economic growth, the several big culinary blocs poured into Shanghai one after another. Till the 1920s, restaurants featuring the various kinds of dishes, like the Cantonese food, Sichuan food, Beijing food, Yangzhuo food, Ningbo food, Anhui food, Muslim feast, Tianjin food, Suzhou and Wuxi food and Shanghai‘s local dishes together with Western cafes, numbering near a hundred, had emerged in Shanghai. So the saying “Satisfying eating is in Shanghai” is actually not coined by the Shanghailanders of today, but prevailed already some 80 years ago. Undoubtedly local people would enjoy their own food quite much. each of these sayings is correct, because in each place there are distinctly-colored regional culinary blocs and the delicacies of different tastes available in Chinese food, a fact acknowledged the world.

Chinese Traditional Snack: Tanghulu

Tanghulu, or crystalline sugar-coated haws on a stick, do not require much promotion among young sweet-lovers in Beijing, despite the increasing competition from new generation snack foods like potato chips, popcorn and chocolate.

About 20 centimeters long, bright red in color with a perfect sweet-and-sour taste, tanghulu are a much-loved traditional confection in the capital city.

Every year as the weather cools down, tanghulu sales start heating up on almost every street corner in the city. Mobile food vendors carry large straw or plastic poles with dozens of tanghulu stuck in them as they make their rounds from one neighborhood to another.

Each vendor has his or her own distinct, rhythmic call. Many of the food stalls in parks, supermarkets or along the roadside add tanghulu to their menus. Buyers can watch the stall owners making the snack on the spot.

 

“Tanghulu has been my favorite sweet since I was a kid,” said Ma Long, a 27-year-old native Beijinger who works for a foreign company. “Childhood memories of tanghulu still linger in my mind today.”

Back in those days, most children couldn’t afford expensive treats and tanghulu, which cost about one jiao (1 US cent) each, were always the most popular, Ma said.

“Every afternoon on my way home from school, I liked to buy a tanghulu,” Ma recalled.

Although all kinds of snacks are available nowadays, made by either local or overseas manufacturers, Ma remains a staunch tanghulu fan.

“Nothing is more satisfying than eating a tasty tanghulu on a cold day,” Ma said. Ma’s passion for tanghulu is shared by many young adults including 25-year-old Wang Yan, a primary school teacher in Beijing.

“When I was young, my mother once warned me if I kept eating so many tanghulu, I would lose all of my teeth,” Wang recalled.

But the mother’s words did not dampen the young girl’s love of the snack. Every winter, she continued to spend most of her pocket money for tanghulu.

“Even now I can’t resist tanghulu whenever I see them in supermarkets or at streetside snack stands,” said Wang.

Though tanghulu are also popular in many other cities in North and Northeast China, they have become sort of unofficial, non-dancing logo of Beijing.

Auspicious symbol

For many Beijing people, tanghulu is not only a tasty treat, but also an auspicious symbol and highlight of the traditional temple fairs held during the Lunar New Year holidays in Beijing.

Tanghulu sold at the Changdian Temple Fair in Xuanwu District are regarded as the most auspicious ones by many Beijingers.

Dating back to the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), the temple fair at Changdian was resumed in 2001, after a 37-year halt, and is now one of the largest such fairs in the capital city.

Many of the tanghulu sold at the fair are about one meter long and decorated with colorful flags on the top.

“A visit to the temple fair is not complete without buying one of these huge tanghulu,” said Ma.

 

Generally most buyers don’t eat them.

They take them home as a kind of auspicious token, which they believe will bring them good luck, fortune and prosperity in the coming new year.

Long history

Legend has it that tanghulu date back to the Song Dynasty (960-1279). Once an imperial concubine of Emperor Guangzong (1147-1200) fell seriously sick and the court physicians failed to find an effective treatment. The worried emperor knitted his brows in despair every day.

Then a doctor from outside the court volunteered to try and cure the concubine’s illness. After examining the patient thoroughly, the doctor wrote out a simple prescription: Simmer haws in sugar and water, and eat five to 10 of them before each meal.

The doctor said the concubine would get well in less than two weeks if she followed the prescription.

Neither the emperor nor the court physician believed the doctor’s words. But unexpectedly, the concubine got better and better and eventually recovered.

The story of the miraculous cure and the making of the healthy food quickly spread among the common people. Some food vendors began putting haws on bamboo skewers and selling them as snacks, and after a bap tism in hot sugar syrup, they became the tanghulu we know.

It was said that the first tanghulu had only two haws: a small one on top and a big one on the bottom, which made the treat look like a hulu , or bottle gourd.

This is why they are called tanghulu today, which means “candy bottle gourd” in Chinese.

And the name has stuck despite the fact that most tanghulu include four to eight haws and don’t look the least bit like a candy gourd today.

Back in the early 1900s, the most-sought after tanghulu were sold in food stores in the Dong’an Market in downtown Beijing. Most of these stores were not very large, but enjoyed a booming business every day.

In addition to haws, a dazzling variety of ingredients such as kumquats, yam, water chestnuts and Chinese dates are used to make tanghulu. But they are all made in pretty much the same way.

Take haws, for example. Wash the haws, take out the seeds, put the haws together on a bamboo skewer, then dip it into boiling syrup and take it out and allow it to cool to harden the syrup.

Ingredients like yams and water chestnuts have to be steamed before being made into tanghulu.

The most attractive varieties are sugar-coated haws with fillings. Each haw is cut open, filled with sweet bean paste, and then trimmed with the edible kernels of melon seeds.

Many tanghulu-makers stress that heat control is the key element in making good tanghulu. If the temperature of the syrup is too low, the tanghulu will be sticky; if the syrup is over-heated, candied coating of the tanghulu will look dark and taste bitter.

Among the many tanghulu makers, only a few have established fame or secured trademarks for their brands.

One famous tanghulu-maker in old Beijing was Xinyuanzhai, one of the oldest shops in the city that made and sold traditional snack food.

Built during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), the store was particularly well-known for its special tanghulu product called tangdun.

Tangdun were made with only one large haw,although they were prepared in almost the same way as regular tanghulu. They were juicy and crispy and had a perfect combination of sweetness and sourness, and they were very popular up to the mid-1930s.

The golden days of both Dong’an Market and Xinyuanzhai have gone with the changing times. Few people remember Xinyuanzhai’s tangdun, while Dong’an Market has been replaced by the modern shopping mall, Sun Dong An Plaza, in 1998.

Surviving tradition

Many experts argue that the market still has an insatiable appetite for traditional snack foods like tanghulu and that the business still has potential for further growth.

Over the past few years, some tanghulu manufacturers from other provinces have begun to step into the market in Beijing. And they have come in with their own brand names, such as Gaolaotai, from northeast China’s Liaoning Province.

And Beijing manufacturers are feeling the heat of local competition.

Rising incomes and changes in lifestyle have created new demands that traditional snack foods do not fulfill, said Lu Zhonghua, manager of the Beijing-based Tanghuluwa Food Plant.

“For a long time, the business relied mostly on traditional techniques which had been passed on for generations,” Lu said. “With backward technology and poor management, we had trouble keeping our own tanghulu fresh and selling well.”

Now modern technology and modern management are becoming essential elements if one wishes to survive, Lu added.

Established in 2000, the company now operates over 20 outlets in the city. Most of them are located in large supermarkets and shopping malls. In addition to tanghulu freshly made on site, these outlets also offer packaged products, which have a longer shelf life.

“Packaged tanghulu are welcomed by customers who like to take them home to share with their families,” Lu explained.

Like Tanghuluwa Food Plant, many other snack stores are looking for ways to increase sales.

“Eating trends are changing and we have to display new products to adapt to market trends,” said Zhang Mei, who works in a tanghulu store in Sun Dong An Plaza. Every year, the snack bar presents new varieties with bananas, strawberries, cherries and tomatoes.

“Though the conventional types are still our best sellers, people are also interested to try new products,” said Zhang.

donkey roll about(Beijing)

ludaguan (donkey roll about), is a glutinous rice cake. It is made from steamed glutinous yellow rice flour, which is made into a flat cake, with fried bean flour and brown sugar powder sprayed onto the surface, and rolled up into several layers to make a cake.

Wonton Soup Recipe

Recipe: Wonton Soup
Serving: 15 wontons or 3 servings of wonton soup

Ingredients:

8 oz. peeled and deveined medium size shrimp
1/8 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon chicken bouillon powder
1/8 teaspoon fish sauce
1 small pinch of salt
3 dashes white pepper powder
1 oz yellow chives (chopped finely)
1/2 teaspoon corn starch
15 wonton wrappers
3 cups stock
Salt to taste
White pepper powder to taste
Sesame oil to taste

Stock Ingredients:

1 1/2 pound leg quarters (chicken thighs and legs)
1 1/2 pound lean pork
1 1/2 pound ham
10 cups water

wonton_soup1

Method:

Prepare the stock first by boiling all the ingredients in a deep stockpot. Bring it to boil and skim off the scum that surfaces until the stock is clear. Simmer on low heat for a couple of hours. Pour the stock through a sieve and set aside. Save the extra in a container and keep it in the fridge for future use.

Put the shrimp in a small bowl and rinse them under cold running water for about 5-10 minutes. (This step makes the shrimp crunchy.) Drain the water and pat the shrimp dry with paper towels and then cut each shrimp into 3-4 pieces.

Add half of the chopped yellow chives into the shrimp and marinate with the seasonings for 1 hour. Blend the shrimp well with the seasoning.

Place a wonton wrapper on your palm and put about 1 teaspoon (about 3-4 pieces) of the shrimp filling in the center of the wonton wrapper. Gather the corners of the wrapper with the other hand and give it a twist in the middle to “close” the wonton. Repeat until the filling is used up.

Add 3 cups of stock into a medium saucepan and bring it to boil. Add the remaining chopped yellow chives into the stock, add salt, white pepper powder, and sesame oil to taste and set aside.

Heat up another big saucepan with water. As soon as it boils, drop the wontons into the water. Stirring gently so the wontons don’t stick together. Continue to boil until the wontons are cooked and float to the surface.

Transfer the wontons out with a hand strainer and divide them into 3 equal servings. Pour a ladleful of stock over each serving and serve immediately.

wonton_soup2