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How to Wrap Rice Dumpling (肉粽,粽子,bak chang)

June 29th, 2015 by WeryNice Editor - Register for printable Version

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rice dumpling
Rice dumpling is a Chinese festive food for 端午节, duan wu jie, which occurs on the 5th day of the 5th month in the lunar calendar.  The story goes where a loyal poet屈原 committed suicide by drowning himself in the river, and the people not wanting the fish to eat up the dead body while they are searching for it, threw rice dumplings from dragon boats into the river to feed the fishes.  That was how dragon boat racing and rice dumpling comes about during this festival.

Wrapping the rice dumpling is probably the most difficult step in making your own rice dumpling.  We will try to teach you using some steps with the help of a sequence of photos taken of my mom’s hands doing it this year.

making rice dumpling

First to set up a cone using the bamboo leaves. Starting with 2 leaves, overlap them such that you get a longer overall length (around 40 cm or more) and possibly a wider overall width (around 10 cm) by overlapping 1 higher than the other (you can see that in Figure 1 and 2) , with the softer tip pointing inside so that the harder stem is at the ends (Figure 1).  Make sure that there are no holes or breakages after overlapping them (that is why 2 leaves are needed as you will not likely find a perfect leaf and overlapping cover each other’s defects). Then form a cone by first folding it upwards to form a V shape (Figure 2 to 3), and at the same time fold a small portion (1 cm) of the edge further from you to the side, while moving the edges further from you of the left and right side to meet in the center (figure 4), and eventually overlapping each other in the middle to form a cone (Figure 5). You will get a cone “cup” (Figure 6) where the tip at the bottom has no opening as you have make a small 1 cm fold in figure 4.

making rice dumpling

Next step is easy, filling up the cone with ingredients.  First 1 spoon of rice, followed by fillings, and then top up with another scoop of rice (each scoop is about 1 Chinese table spoon. (Figure 8-12)

making rice dumpling

making rice dumpling

Next, this step is the challenging one, folding it to make a triangular shape dumpling.  Remember a dumpling has 4 pointed corners, and each flat face is a shape of a triangle.  The 1st corner is already form by now, which is the tip of the cone you are holding.  Hold the cone on your left hand. Observe Figure 12 and 13, holding the cone like holding a cup with the long flap away from you or slightly towards the right.  With your right hand, push and fold down the flap (Figure 13).  Then using your thumb and index finger of the right hand (or include the middle finger as well), form pincer to push down the 2 sides (Figure 14).  This action will form the 2nd and 3rd corners. The last corner will form where the long flap is now on.  With your right hand pincer with your thumb and index finger grip on the dumpling, and that is the “waist” of the dumpling (the place where you will tie the string).

Hold it secure at the waist with your right hand (not too tight but not allowing it drop), and release your left hand (figure 15 and 16) to change your grip of the left hand on the dumpling by turning the dumpling on your right hand to have the flap pointing upwards, and then grip the “waist” with your left hand, again using a pincer form with your thumb and index finger plus middle finger.  Now the original tip of the corner you started off with is now pointing upwards and resting on the groove between your left hand thumb and index finger (figure 17-18).  Then with your left hand gripping the waist, release your right hand and pinch the top flap (figure 19) and fold it down (figure 20) and that forms the 4th (last) corner of the dumpling.  As your left thumb will be below the leaf, re-position it out and re-grip the waist (figure 21 22).  Up to this point, you are done and now ready to tie it up in the next step.

making rice dumpling

With your left hand still gripping the dumpling, use your right hand to get a string and loop it round twice the waist of the dumpling that you are holding without letting go the left hand (figure 23). Pull the string down to tighten it (like tightening the belt), and note that the circumference of the waist will narrow slightly. This is important so that the string will not slip off during cooking.  Keeping the string taut, make a knot (figure 24), and then another to make a dead knot or live knot (figure 25).

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Category: Cooking Tips, Festive Goodies, Pork, Recipes, chicken, rice and noodles | Discuss (No Comments) »

Mini Sausages rolled in Streaky Bacon Kebabs

June 26th, 2015 by WeryNice Editor - Register for printable Version

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This is not a recipe exactly, more of a suggestion, for your next BBQ or roasting in an oven.

mini sausages rolled in streaky bacon

Ingredients

  1. 300 grams streaky bacon (15 pieces)
  2. 30 mini sausages
  3. Green, red, yellow capsicums
  4. 10 BBQ bamboo sticks

Method

  1. Wash the capsicums, cut open and remove the seeds, and cut into chucks.
  2. Wash and soak the bamboo sticks for 5 mins in water, to get rid some saw dust, woody smell, and also dampness to prevent burning over BBQ fire.
  3. Cut the streaky bacon into half so that they are shorter for each sausage.
  4. Roll each mini sausage with a half piece of bacon.
  5. Skewer the capsicums and rolled bacon sausage alternating between them.
  6. BBQ till slightly brown, or grill in 175 degC oven for 15 mins.

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Category: Cooking Tips, Meat, Pork, Recipes, chicken | Discuss (No Comments) »

Steam Bean Curd with Egg (蒸水豆腐蛋)

July 21st, 2014 by WeryNice Editor - Register for printable Version

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This is a simple and yet healthy and nutritious dish, with goodness of bean curd and egg, and healthy and simplicity of steaming.

This dish can also be called 老少平安, but the original version of 老少平安 include minced pork and minced fish meat.  It is called 老少平安 as there is no bones and easy to ingest and nutritious.

Ingredients

  1. 1 block of Soft Bean curd (tofu)
  2. 3 Eggs
  3. 1-2 pieces Fish cake
  4. ¼ teaspoon salt
  5. 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  6. 1 teaspoon light soya sauce
  7. water

Method

  1. Dice fish cake into small cubes (2-3 mm)
  2. In a steaming tray or plate (with depth), using a spoon or fork, smash the tofu into a paste.
  3. Crack in the eggs.  For one of the eggs, try to crack it nearer to 1 side so that you get about 2/3 or ¾ of the shell on one side.  Using this shell as measurement of water, add in 3 shells of water into the mixture. Add in diced fish cake, salt, soya sauce, sesame oil and mix thoroughly.
  4. Steam over low-medium heat for about 10 mins until cook (but don’t overcook it, otherwise it will becomes too “old”, meaning the eggs are hardened and the water starts to separate from the eggs).  To determine if it is cooked, stick a chopstick into the middle and pull out, if it comes out without sticky egg mixture, it is cooked.

You can replace fish cake with minced pork, and for vegetarian, you may ignore the fishcake, and you may add in sliced mushroom.

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Category: Beancurd, Egg, Pork, Recipes, Vegetarian, fish, for Toddler 12-24 mths | Discuss (No Comments) »

Pork Bean Paste and Potato (马铃薯面豉猪肉)

July 21st, 2014 by WeryNice Editor - Register for printable Version

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This is a variant of the earlier post with bitter gourd, but this is less presentable dish as the color is brownish all over, but tasty enough for a day to day meal with porridge or steam rice, and especially you don’t like bitter gourd.  You can also experiment by replacing potato with chestnuts too.

Ingredients

  1. 3 potatoes
  2. 200g minced pork or slice pork
  3. 4 Garlic
  4. 1-2 tablespoon bean paste
  5. 1 tablespoon sugar
  6. 1 tablespoon light soya sauce
  7. 1 teaspoon corn flour
  8. 2 table spoon cooking oil
  9. 1 cup water

Method

  1. Remove skin of garlic, minced and set aside.
  2. Remove skin of potatoes and cut out the eyes. Cut into 1 cm cubes or 1/2 cm thick slices depending on preference.  Steam potato for 20 mins till cook or deep fry till lightly brown and set aside.
  3. In a bowl, mix corn flour with a tablespoon of water till no more lumps and set aside.
  4. In a pot or frying pan, heat up, add in the oil, add in minced garlic and fry till fragrant. Add in bean paste, soya sauce and sugar and stir and sizzle for 1 min. Add in pork and stir and break it apart till cooked. Add 1 cup water and let it boil. Let it simmer for 5 mins.
  5. Add in potato and simmer further for 3 mins.
  6. Add the corn flour mixture slowly and stirring to thicken.
  7. Serve with steam rice or plain porridge

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Category: Meat, Pork, Recipes | Discuss (No Comments) »

Pork Bean Paste and Bitter Gourd (苦瓜面豉猪肉)

June 27th, 2014 by WeryNice Editor - Register for printable Version

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Ingredients

  1. 1 bitter gourd
  2. 200g minced pork or slice pork
  3. 4 Garlic
  4. 1-2 tablespoon bean paste
  5. 1 tablespoon sugar
  6. 1 tablespoon light soya sauce
  7. 1 teaspoon corn flour
  8. 2 table spoon cooking oil
  9. 1 cup water

Method

  1. Remove skin of garlic, minced and set aside.
  2. Wash bitter gourd, cut into half, remove the seeds.  Then slice into thick slice of 1/2 to 1 cm thick depending on preference. (you can read how to make it less bitter here http://www.werynice.com/home/?p=167)
  3. In a bowl, mix corn flour with a tablespoon of water till no more lumps and set aside.
  4. In a pot or frying pan, heat up, add in the oil, add in minced garlic and fry till fragrant. Add in bean paste, soya sauce and sugar and stir and sizzle for 1 min. Add in pork and stir and break it apart till cooked. Add 1 cup water and bitter gourd and let it boil. Let it simmer for 10 mins or longer till the bitter gourd is soft enough to your preference (example it can be cut with a spoon).
  5. Add the corn flour mixture slowly and stirring to thicken.
  6. Serve with steam rice or plain porridge

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Category: Meat, Pork, Recipes, Vegetables | Discuss (No Comments) »