Category Archives: Snack

Recipes of Snacks

Apple Muffins

If you go apple-picking like our family does every Fall, you probably end up with a huge bag of apples that costs more than it would buying from the store. But our kids love it so we do it. (Ok, maybe I like it too 🙂 .) If you’re sick of eating those apples day after day, this recipe is perfect for you.

I’ve been using this recipe to make apple muffins when we have lots of leftover apples from apple picking. Surprisingly, this year I hardly had any apples left! We ate some and gave some away. But it seemed as if our pile of apples dwindled faster than I could make my muffins! (I usually make at least 2 batches.) I think the kids are growing and consuming more 😛 .

Of course you can bake these apple muffins anytime you want and not just wait for a surplus. As usual, I used less sugar than the original recipe called for because I find most baked goods recipes too sweet. With the brown sugar sprinkled on top, it’s the perfect sweetness combined with a bit of tartness from the apples. This Memorable Dish is so great for breakfast or a snack.

Apple Muffins

Apple Muffins

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

18 Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 cup All-purpose Flour
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1 tbsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup unsalted Butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup Coconut Oil
  • 1/4 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Dark Brown Sugar, packed, divided
  • 1 large Egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) Buttermilk or Yogurt
  • 2 large Apples, peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped (approx. 4 cups)

Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F.
  2. Line muffin pan with baking cups.
  3. Mix together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon, and set aside.
  4. In a separate bowl, cream the butter and coconut oil.
  5. Add the granulated sugar and 1/4 cup of the brown sugar.
  6. Beat until fluffy. Add the egg and mix well; stop once to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.
  7. Mix in the buttermilk/yoghurt gently. (If you over-mix, the buttermilk/yoghurt will cause the mixture to curdle.)
  8. Stir in the dry ingredients and fold in the apple chunks.
  9. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups, sprinkling the remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar on top.
  10. Bake for 10 minutes, turn the heat down to 400°F, and bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.
  11. Cool the muffins for 5 minutes in the tin, then turn them out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Notes

Modified from original recipe at Smitten Kitchen.

http://www.memorabledishes.com/apple-muffins/

Here you can learn more about apple health benefits from Health Ambition and Well Being Secrets.

Steamed Rice Roll (豬腸粉)

Steamed Rice Roll

Hearing the clanging sounds of Chinese scissors and smelling rice roll being steamed bring back childhood memories of eating this Memorable Dish on the side of the road. The street vendor lines a brown parchment-like paper on top of a metal dish and cuts each strip of rice roll perfectly for each mouthful. Then he drizzles hot oil and gives us the option of adding the amount of soy sauce we want. The sesame sauce and hoisin sauce are diluted perfectly so it allows easy drizzling over the top of the steamed rice roll. There’s hot sauce available as well. I love hot sauce normally but I usually don’t put any in my steamed rice roll. I think the hot sauce overpowers the yummy combination of the oil, soy sauce, hoisin and sesame sauce.

Growing up in the mid-80s Hong Kong, food hawker carts were still on the streets at that time. Now, all the street vendors have moved into mini-mall food courts or they actually have a store alongside on the street. Eating breakfast on the street was a regular thing to do. I remember some schools didn’t allow kids wearing school uniforms eating on the street because they didn’t want a bad reputation for their school. But we didn’t care, we ate on the streets anyways. It wasn’t like there was uniform police who arrested us 😛 .

Recently, I heard a snippet about steamed rice roll from a Chinese radio food show. He talked about an amazing steamed rice roll place being closed down in Hong Kong and people just loved eating the rice roll from that place. It was the magic of the sauce that kept bringing people back. Apparently the lady who owns the place told the radio announcer that she renders pork fat and mixes it with the hot oil. That’s their secret weapon to bring their customers back time and time again. (Oooops for the vegetarians/vegans who eat their steamed rolls and think it’s a vegetarian/vegan dish.)

Even with my non-pork fat oil version, I almost devoured the whole package of steamed rice rolls myself! I think it’s the texture of the rice roll mixed with the combination of sauces that heightens my sense of the umami taste. My kiddies love eating this steamed rice roll as well. It’s too bad that they won’t be able to experience eating this Memorable Dish like I did because food carts like this are no longer on the streets. Their memory of eating this would be being served at restaurants or at home.Steamed Rice Roll

Steamed Rice Roll (豬腸粉)

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 package of Fresh Rice Roll (can be found at your local Chinese grocery store)
  • 1 tbsp Chinese Sesame Paste
  • 2 tbsp Hot Water
  • 2 tbsp Hoisin Sauce
  • 1 tbsp Hot Water
  • 1/4 cup Premium Soy Sauce
  • 1/4 cup Water
  • 2 tbsp Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Toasted Sesame Seeds
  • 1 tbsp Oil, heated

Preparation

  1. Make the sauce by diluting 1 tablespoon of Chinese sesame paste with 2 tablespoon of hot water and 2 tablespoon of hoisin sauce with 1 tablespoon of hot water. Set aside.
  2. In a small pot, heat 1/4 cup premium soy sauce, 1/4 cup water and 2 tablespoon of sugar until the sugar dissolves. Set aside.
  3. Cut the fresh rice roll into 1 inch pieces and place them on a metal or ceramic plate.
  4. To steam the rice rolls, put approximately 1-2 inches of water in a large pot and bring it to a boil.
  5. Once the water is boiled, place bamboo steamer on top and place plate inside steamer and cover.
  6. Steam until rice roll is heated through (5 minutes or longer depending on how fresh rice roll is or if it’s in the fridge).
  7. Drizzle heated oil, toasted sesame seeds and enough sauce and soy sauce to taste.

Notes

You can make your own toasted sesame seeds by placing raw seeds in a shallow pan and heating them gently on top of the stove. Mix and watch carefully because once it starts toasting, they can heat up pretty fast.

http://www.memorabledishes.com/steamed-rice-roll/

Asian Coconut Pudding (椰汁糕)

Asian Coconut Pudding

I remember my mom used to make this for us while growing up in Hong Kong. The summer weather was super hot and humid and having this as a snack or dessert was so nice and refreshing. I was going to call this “Chinese” Coconut Pudding but I am sure the Chinese adopted this Memorable Dish from other southeast Asian countries. Also, it’s not really like a pudding but more like a jelly-like cake.

My mom gave me the recipe she had from her notebook and said it wasn’t the greatest but I tried it anyway. It turned out to be a big disaster. I was suspicious of the recipe when I looked at it. It used a huge amount of cornstarch that I knew was going to yield a pasty pudding. So the first one I made went straight to the garbage 😛 .

I found different recipes online that use gelatin powder but this wasn’t what my mother used. She used agar-agar instead. Agar-agar is sold dry but when reconstituted, it becomes jelly-like. Lots of Asian desserts use agar-agar to create a jelly-like effect. This recipe combines my mother’s recipe along with my own experimenting. It tastes great and has the agar-agar texture that I expected. Next time I’m going to experiment with gelatin powder and see what that would be like. This Memorable Dish has become more like a science experiment than cooking 😉 .Asian Coconut Pudding

Asian Coconut Pudding (椰汁糕)

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

16 Squares

Ingredients

  • 1/2 oz agar-agar
  • 1 cup Water
  • 2 cups Coconut Milk
  • ½ cup Sugar
  • 1 Egg White

Preparation

  1. In a medium pot, heat 1 cup of water and agar-agar using low to medium heat. (Make sure the water is never boiled but at a low simmer.)
  2. Whisk agar-agar in the water until it’s dissolved. Add sugar and mix.
  3. In a small bowl, beat egg white gently. Pour egg white in the coconut milk. Then pour this mixture into the pot and simmer gently until everything is mixed. (About a minute or two.)
  4. Pour coconut milk mixture in a 8x8 glass pan (to be cut into squares) or into different molds to set.
  5. Put it into the fridge to chill and set.
  6. Cut into squares.

Notes

Note #1: I divided my 1.5 oz agar-agar into thirds to get my 1/2 oz by cutting it with kitchen shears.

Note #2: If you want to make the texture extra smooth, strain the mixture before putting it in the pan or molds.

http://www.memorabledishes.com/asian-coconut-pudding/

Agar-Agar & Coconut Milk

Agar-Agar & Coconut Milk

Vietnamese Salad Rolls

Vietnamese Salad Rolls

I remember being introduced to Vietnamese food when my uncle married my aunt. We were living in the States at the time. My aunt is from Vietnam but she’s native Chinese. And the foods she grew up eating in Vietnam were different than the ones I was used to. So when she prepared these salad rolls and other Vietnamese dishes, I was very excited about trying them. The traditional rolls use Vietnamese sausage or shrimp but I used poached chicken instead. I also used a simple hoisin and sesame paste dipping sauce instead of the watery one with the fish sauce. I believe you could use either.

Our kids used to find it awkward to eat when they were little. But as they’ve grown older, they’ve come to love this dish. It’s a bit time consuming to make because I’m an amateur roller 😉 When it’s really hot outside, I like to eat something cool. So this is the perfect dish to make in the summer and great to take on a picnic. This is one of my all-time favourite summer Memorable Dishes to make. So crunchy and refreshing!Vietnamese Salad Rolls

Vietnamese Salad Rolls

Prep Time: 30 minutes

12-14 Rolls

Ingredients

  • 1 pound poached Chicken Breast, sliced
  • 2 cups Carrots, julienne
  • 2 cups Cucumbers, julienne
  • 2 cups cooked Rice Vermicelli
  • 1 cup Cilantro
  • 1 package Rice Paper
  • Boiling Water
  • Dipping Sauce
  • 1 tbsp Chinese Sesame Paste
  • 1/4 cup Hoisin Sauce
  • 1/4 cup Hot Water

Preparation

  1. Poach the chicken and prepare the rice vermicelli according to the package. Rinse the vermicelli in cold water to prevent from sticking.
  2. Have all your ingredients ready and prepare to wrap.
  3. Use 2-3 large plates on the table to wrap the rolls in.
  4. Put boiling water in a large bowl, enough water to submerge the rice paper in.
  5. Place 1 rice paper in the boiling water. Make sure the whole paper is submerged.
  6. Take rice paper out and place it on a plate. (It takes a few minutes for it to become pliable to work with.) Do the 2nd rice paper and place it on the 2nd plate.
  7. Go back to the 1st place and start adding ingredients to the roll, some chicken, cucumbers, carrots, rice vermicelli and cilantro. Don’t over stuff.
  8. Roll it up like a spring roll and place it on the plate.
  9. Repeat steps 5-8 until all the ingredients are used up. (If the hot water is not hot enough, replace it with freshly boiled water.)

Notes

To keep the rolls moist, line the plate with dampened paper towel and place finished rolls on top. Cover with another dampened paper towel. You’re able to keep the rolls moist for at least one day in the fridge.

http://www.memorabledishes.com/vietnamese-salad-rolls/

Jelly Candy

Jelly Candy

When I saw different flavours of jello such as mango and lychee at the Asian grocery store, it triggered childhood memories of jelly candies my mom used to make for us. She called them jelly candies or jello candies. They’re not really candies because they’re not actually hard. But we know them here as Jello Jigglers or Knox Blocks.

My mom made these for us, for potlucks she used to host, or to bring to friends’ houses. She would cut them into little squares and coat them with shredded coconut. I don’t know why she coated them with coconut but I think she found a recipe from a newspaper or magazine from back in the day. They might have suggested that coating jelly candies with coconut makes them extra fancy to serve at parties 😉 .

Even though this is obviously not a fancy Memorable Dish, I remember eating them fondly. My mom also layered the jello in different flavours to make the jelly candy more fun. The effect looks amazing but of course is more time consuming to make. My friend also reminded me that her mom used to make it layered with evaporated milk. I should definitely try to make it that way when I have more time. But I really love the look of the colourful layered jello. It always brings a smile to my face because it reminds me of my mother making it for us when we were kids 😀
Jelly Candy

Jelly Candy

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

16 Squares

Ingredients

  • 1 box flavoured Jelly Powder (80 grams)
  • 2 envelopes of Gelatin
  • 2 cups Boiling Water
  • 1/4-1/2 cup finely shredded Coconut

Preparation

  1. In a medium bowl, mix jelly powder and gelatin with boiling water.
  2. Stir with spoon or whisk until all the powder is dissolved.
  3. Pour liquid into a 8" x 8" pan.
  4. Put in the fridge to cool it completely.
  5. Cut them into small squares and coat them with shredded coconut.
http://www.memorabledishes.com/jelly-candy/

Robertsons Jelly Powder

Lychee and Mango Jelly Powder

Peanut Butter Chocolate Brownies

Peanut Butter Chocolate Brownies

I originally found this Memorable Treat when I was looking for dairy-free desserts for a dinner party I was attending. I love Texanerin.com because of the healthier versions of delicious desserts on their site. I’ve had desserts which are supposed to be healthier but taste like cardboard. I’d rather skip dessert if it tastes crappy. The whole point of having dessert is to treat ourselves. And because I don’t have desserts everyday, when I have one it better be darn good!

These peanut butter chocolate brownies are a great compromise between delicious and healthier brownies because they’re made with whole wheat flour and coconut oil. The sugar is on the high side. However, she did mention using honey wouldn’t work but you could try using coconut sugar. You can always test it using less sugar to suit your taste.

Now where was I? Yes, my dinner party dessert. I decided on choosing this recipe because my husband loves the peanut butter and chocolate combination and also this recipe is pretty easy to make with ingredients I have on hand already. This is a Memorable Dish times three because within the span of one week, I made this recipe three times! The original one for the dairy-free dessert dinner party. Then the next day, I made another one to bring to a friend’s house. And, because my husband complained that I kept making these brownies for our friends and he didn’t have enough, I made another batch mid-week just for ourselves. These peanut butter chocolate brownies are not only delicious but easy enough to make three times a week!Peanut Butter Chocolate Brownies

Peanut Butter Chocolate Brownies

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

16 Brownies

Ingredients

  • Filling
  • 1 cup salted natural Peanut Butter
  • 1/3 cup Honey
  • 1/4 cup Coconut Oil, room temperature (normal butter works for a non-dairy-free version)
  • Brownies
  • 1/2 cup Coconut Oil or Olive Oil (or Canola)
  • 1 cup Granulated Sugar or Coconut Sugar
  • 3 large Eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 3/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup Whole Spelt, Whole Wheat Pastry or Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1/4 tsp Salt

Preparation

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line an 8" x 8" pan with parchment paper or spray the pan with baking spray.
  2. Combine filling ingredients (peanut butter, honey and coconut oil) and place in fridge while you prepare the brownie batter.
  3. In a medium bowl, stir together the oil and sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat just until combined.
  4. In a small bowl, mix together the cocoa powder, flour and salt. Add the flour mixture to the wet mixture. It will be really thick, but that's okay. Only stir until combined!
  5. Spread half of the batter into the prepared pan. To get the peanut butter filling somewhat evenly into the pan, I rolled the filling into balls and smushed them to make them flat, and then used those to cover the first half of the brownie batter. Cover the peanut butter filling with the rest of the brownie batter. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes.
  6. Take them out when they are set in the middle. The top will be shiny and may look strange but it has nothing to do with how done they are. They should not be the least bit cakey, but really, really fudgy. Both the brownie part and peanut butter part won't appear to be done when you take it out of the oven, but it is.
  7. Let it cool and then put them in the fridge. They will firm up and get fudgy in there.

Notes

Original Recipe from Texanerin.com.

http://www.memorabledishes.com/peanut-butter-chocolate-brownies/

Chocolate Chips, Toffee Bits and Walnut Cookies

Cookies! C is for cookie and it’s good enough for me… This song sung by Cookie Monster is in my head more than I would like because my toddler girl is obsessed with her Sesame Street songs. But the cookie monster at my house is not herit’s my husband! He absolutely loves cookies and is constantly hounding me to make them. With the limited time I have writing a food blog post every week, taking care of the kids, working from home, plus cooking meals everyday for my family of five, I cannot possibly be baking cookies everyday! (Believe me, I’m no Martha Stewart   😉 .) However, I would like to create the illusion that I’m a good homemaker so when people come to visit, I greet them wearing a frilly apron serving freshly baked cookies.

That’s what happened when I went over to one of my friend’s house (minus the frilly apron). She would bake fresh cookies for me on the fly. She says she always has a mixed batch of cookie dough in the fridge. So when people come over she just scoops the dough and bakes a small batch of cookies just enough for the guests to eat. This way she always serves freshly baked cookies! How clever is that?

These cookies made it as a Memorable Dish because absolutely everyone in my family requests them. I’ve perfected this recipe by combining chocolate chips, toffee bits and walnuts. My mouth waters just thinking about them. I tried making these cookies with just coconut oil to be a little healthier but I found they’re just not quite the same. So I compromised by using half butter and half coconut oil and really love the result. Cookies without the buttery taste are just not cookies! I also use half white and half whole wheat flour.

I would like to say that if unexpected guests come to visit they will be lucky enough to get some freshly baked cookies. Technically, I should have a stash of frozen cookie balls waiting to be baked and served. But if my family knows cookie balls are in the freezer, they would pace around the freezer like a bunch of hungry wolves every night waiting for those cookies to be baked. I don’t think they would rest until all the cookie dough is gone. Soooo the unexpected guests might not be so lucky to taste this Memorable Treat afterall 😉 .Chocolate Chips, Toffee Bits and Walnut Cookies

Chocolate Chips, Toffee Bits and Walnut Cookies

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

48 Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup Butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup Coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup Packed Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 cup All-purpose Flour
  • 1 cup Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 tsp Baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 cup Semi-sweet or Dark Chocolate Chips
  • 1 cup Toffee bits
  • 1 cup Chopped Walnuts

Preparation

  1. Heat oven to 375°F.
  2. In a large bowl, beat softened butter, coconut oil, brown sugar and granulated sugar until fluffy.
  3. Beat in eggs and vanilla until creamy.
  4. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking soda and salt.
  5. Gradually blend the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
  6. Stir in chocolate chips, toffee bits and chopped walnuts.
  7. Drop approximately 1 tablespoon of cookie dough onto ungreased cookie sheet.
  8. Make sure you have enough space in between the cookie dough because it will spread.
  9. Bake 10 to 12 minutes until golden brown.

Notes

Note #1: If you’re planning ahead (and if you remember), take the butter out of the refrigerator the night before so that the butter is at room temperature when baking. For best results, eggs should be room temperature too.

Note #2: If you want to make a larger batch to freeze, scoop the dough out into little balls and place them onto a cookie tray. Freeze the dough balls until they are hard. Then put them into freezer bags. When you are ready to eat them, place them on the cookie tray to bake. If you bake them frozen, cook them a little longer. If you defrost them to room temperature, bake them like you would normally would.

http://www.memorabledishes.com/chocolate-chips-toffee-bits-and-walnut-cookies/

Chinese Dumplings

Chinese Dumplings

As a child I remember going to my maternal grandmother’s house on Sundays to wrap Chinese dumplings. As southern Chinese people, we don’t usually eat a lot of dumplings and are not very skillful in making the dough from scratch. So I can’t quite understand why we make dumplings on a fairly regular basis. My mother says it’s because my maternal grandfather’s friend (who we call great uncle) is an expert dumpling maker who used to own a dumpling shop. What a treat for me as a child! To witness my great uncle transforming flour and water into dough and then into dumpling wrappers was like magic.

Northern Chinese are known for their expertise in dumpling making. As southerners, we are not, hence we recruit other family members for the task to make the process go faster. Plus, it’s a great social event and gives us a chance to talk and bond. It’s like spending quality time and making something delicious to eat at once—a two for one deal!

While I was making these dumplings, my boys were eager to help. (I think they just wanted to play with the dough 😉 .) I told them they could help next time. My mother and I were making very “slow progress”, as quoted by my second son, and any interference would make the process even slower. We are not skillful dumpling makers but I must say I am looking forward to making this Memorable Dish again soon. The more I make it, the better I will become and in no time I will be as fast as the dumpling makers I see at the Chinese dumpling shops! (Yeah right! But I can’t wait to make it again soon. I’ll see how long the boys will last and see if they will actually finish making the dumplings from start to finish 🙂 .)

Chinese Dumplings

Chinese Dumplings

Chinese Dumplings

36 dumplings

Ingredients

  • Dumpling Dough
  • 2 cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1 cup Boiling Water
  • Filling
  • 2 cups Napa Cabbage, julienne
  • 3 tsp Salt (2 tsp for cabbage and 1 for pork)
  • 1 pound Lean Ground Pork
  • 1/4 cup Green Onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp grated Ginger
  • 1 tbsp minced Garlic
  • 1 tbsp Chinese Cooking Wine
  • 1 tsp Cornstarch
  • 1 tsp Sesame Oil
  • 1/8 tsp White Pepper
  • Dipping Sauce
  • 2 tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 2 tbsp Vinegar
  • 1 tsp Sesame Oil
  • Water for boiling dumplings
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Vegetable Oil

Preparation

  1. In a medium bowl, mix 2 teaspoons of salt into the napa cabbage. Set aside for 5 minutes and squeeze out the excess moisture with a paper towel.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the napa cabbage, pork, green onions, ginger, garlic, wine, cornstarch, sesame oil, white pepper and the remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, mix the flour and 1 cup of boiling water together. Mix until a soft dough forms. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth, about 5 minutes.
  4. Divide the dough in half and shape each into a roll approximately 12 inches long. Cut each roll into half inch slices.
  5. Roll 1 slice of dough into a 3-inch circle. The dough shouldn’t be too thin nor too thick.
  6. Place 1 tablespoon of pork mixture in the center of the circle.
  7. Lift up the edges of the circle and pinch into pleats to create a pouch. Pinch the top together. Repeat with the remaining slices of dough and filling.
  8. Heat a large pot with water. Once the water is boiled, put approximately 12 dumplings at a time to boil.
  9. Once the dumplings float to the top, boil for another 2 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  10. Heat a nonstick wok or skillet until very hot. Add 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil
  11. Place 12 dumplings in a single layer in the wok and fry 1-2 minutes, or until the bottoms are golden brown.
  12. For the dipping sauce, mix the soy sauce, vinegar and 1 teaspoon of sesame oil in a small bowl. Serve with the dumplings.

Notes

Note #1: You can make and store extra dumplings by freezing them on a tray lined with parchment paper. Put them into bags after they’re frozen. You don’t need to defrost them when boiling. Just boil them a little longer since they are frozen.

Note #2: If you cannot enclose the dumplings by creating pleats mentioned above, just pinch the dumplings tightly closed so the filling doesn’t leak out.

http://www.memorabledishes.com/chinese-dumplings/

Chinese Dumplings - Raw

Chinese Dumplings (Raw) – You can see my amateur skill at pleating the dough 🙂

Chinese Sesame Cookie Balls
(笑口棗)

Chinese Sesame Cookie Balls

Making Chinese New Year cookies with my mom is a yearly family tradition. We make two types of cookies and Sesame Cookie Balls is one of them. When we were young, my cousins would come over and and we would make an afternoon out of it. The fun and novelty of making these cookies wore off once we were older. However, my mom would still make a small batch every year to be festive.

When the boys were old enough to sit still, we attempted to make these cookies with them. It usually started calmly and they would listen to directions. They really enjoyed shaping and rolling the balls into the sesame. Chaos would start after five minutes of the whole process. Now that the boys are older, they don’t really listen to our instructions any more. So we have to make them extra dough for them to play with while we make the cookies ourselves. But they have fun nonetheless.

My mom follows an old recipe that she copied from some magazine or somewhere. She keeps the recipe in her little notebook. However, I find the measurements are a bit off. She uses a Chinese soup spoon to measure so I’m never sure if it’s quite right. I found a few recipes online that I think are close to my mom’s original recipe. I particularly like this recipe and used it as a guide. Start making this Memorable Treat for Chinese New Year and enjoy your special memories with your family!Chinese Sesame Cookie Balls

Chinese Sesame Cookie Balls
(笑口棗)

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Approximately 60 cookie balls

Ingredients

  • 2 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • ½ tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 3 tbsp Hot Water
  • 3 tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • 1 Egg
  • 3/4 cup Raw White Sesame Seeds
  • Vegetable oil for frying

Preparation

  1. In a large bowl, mix flour, baking powder and baking soda.
  2. In a small bowl, add 3 tbsp hot water to sugar and stir until dissolved. Allow to cool slightly before adding in 3 tbsp oil, and then the egg. Mix well.
  3. Add the sugar and egg mixture to the flour and stir together. Using your hands, knead the mixture until it forms a dough. Wrap the dough with cling wrap and refrigerate for about 30 mins.
  4. Roll out the dough and cut into small pieces (approx. 1.5 cm) and form them into balls.
  5. In batches, place the balls into a sieve and dip them into cold water briefly. Shake off excess water and roll them in the sesame seeds. Roll them lightly again before frying to ensure the sesame seeds stick to the balls.
  6. Fill a large pot or pan with 2 inches of vegetable oil and heat until hot.
  7. Add the sesame cookie balls into the hot oil and deep fry at a low temperature, about 4 to 5 minutes, turning the balls in the oil as they cook.
  8. If the heat is too high, the exterior will turn brown too quickly and the inside will be soft and raw. Just when they are about to turn golden brown, remove from heat and drain. They will continue to cook further and will crisp up when cooled.
http://www.memorabledishes.com/chinese-sesame-cookie-balls/

Curry Fish Balls

Curry Fish Balls

Curry fish balls is a quintessential street food I had growing up in Hong Kong. I remember the little vendor carts that sell them on the street. For a dollar a skewer (I think that was the price), my older brother and I would buy them as snacks after school. Even the elementary school I attended had a curry fish ball station at their snack bar! As soon as a vendor opens the bubbling curry fish balls, my mouth begins to water. I always admired how fast the service was even though there were so many people lining up. Holding the skewer in one hand, tongs in another and in lightening speed, the vendor puts the fish balls one by one with quick precision onto the skewer. All the fish balls line up perfectly in the middle of the skewer squished next to each other.

Nowadays, they don’t have food carts on the streets of Hong Kong anymore. They have these food stores/stations that are opened to the outside and you can purchase your curry fish balls there along with other street foods. We can also get them at Chinese food courts and malls where I live in Canada because we live in a highly populated Chinese area. Even when my cousins come visiting from the States, they search for this simple yet delicious street food.

Curry fish balls is not something you would normally eat at home because it’s a street food. I started making curry fish balls at home because I always have leftover sauce from my Portuguese Curry Chicken. I hate that it goes to waste so I soak fish balls in my leftover curry sauce. This Memorable Dish might be simple to make but it triggers lots of childhood memories growing up and eating in Hong Kong. This is a great potluck dish too. I went to a potluck one time and a lady brought curry fish balls in a slow cooker. What a great idea!Curry Fish Balls

Curry Fish Balls

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 package of Fish Balls
  • 1 pack of your favourite Curry Paste or leftover curry sauce
  • Water (if you’re using curry paste)

Preparation

  1. Prepare the curry paste according to the package of the paste. You’ll need to add water to dilute it.
  2. You want the fish balls to adhere to the sauce, so the consistency shouldn’t be too thin.
  3. Bring the curry sauce to a boil and then add the fish balls.
  4. Simmer in slow heat for approximately 15-20 minutes.
http://www.memorabledishes.com/curry-fish-balls/

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