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Here are some things which turn up midway through breakfast, lunch or dinner.

 

gtc.jpg

 

These are pastries filled with sticky rice flavoured (and coloured) by green tea then rolled in sesame seeds. The plate usually gets emptied very quickly. Even I like them!

 

Then there are the ubiquitous egg tarts (蛋挞 dàn tà) - two types.

 

hket.jpg

Hong Kong Style Egg Tarts 蛋挞 dàn tà

 

mcet.jpg

Portuguese / Macao Style Egg Tarts

 

I seldom eat these, but when I do, I prefer the Honk Kong style.

 

The dim sum place we used to go to in Seattle always had the Hong Kong style egg tarts and then a steamed sponge cake that I found very odd but addicting.  But they were eaten along with the pork bao and shrimp dumplings, not as a separate or later course.  There was also a taro thing, that was very sticky but I recall it having a dark, savory meat dab inside, not sweet. 

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I have a fairly collection of Chinese menus from local restaurants. I am often asked to translate  them.

I flicked through about  30 today. Only two had anything resembling desserts.

 

One was from a Hong Kong style restaurant. In its 58 page menu it has precisely 6 desserts.

 

Sweet sago cream with coconut milk

 

Red Bean Paste

 

Mung Bean Paste

 

Lotus Seed Snow Fungus

Glacier Snow Fungus

Guilinggao (see above)


The other is from a local hotel which has delusions of being "international'. In an even longer menu it has five.

Sweetened Coconut Juice with Minced Taro

Sweetened Cream of Red Beans with Dried Orange Peel

Sweetened Cream of Green Beans with Lotus Seeds

Sweetened Sago Cream with Coconut Juice

Fruit  Platter


Still no guarantee that these will turn up at the end of the meal unless you don't order them until then.

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Here in the USA, it is always, 100% of the time, for a banquet to give you one or two sweet items at the end. Recently I have seen tapioca custard.

 

dcarch

 

Because they are catering to an American clientèle  which expects such?

 

As I already said, I really can't comment on American Chinese food. I've never been.

I am also wondering if HK's habit is partly British influence. I don't know.

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Well, I can only report my experience. HK may well be different from much of the mainland.

Anyway, it's difficult to find a banquet now. Xi JInping has effectively outlawed them

 

While that may be your experience, my experience has been quite the opposite. Most of my experience in mainland was in the 70s/80s, when I used to go on business trips with my parents. Fruits was almost always presented at the end of the meal and often other sweets. My dad grew up in China and he knows what desserts to order for which regional cuisines.

 

As for in the US, the complimentary desserts don't always cater to the American clientele, in my experience. In San Francisco, I've been served quite a lot of dessert soups, which isn't very popular with the non-Asian crowd. Frankly, if you are not Asian, some restaurants won't bother to bring out complimentary desserts.

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Well, as I said, I know nothing about American Chinese cuisine and my China experience is a lot more recent than 30 to 40 years ago.

Anyway, I'd rather talk about what is served rather then when it is served. I'm sure that is what most people want to hear.


Edited by liuzhou (log)
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Hahaa! How can you guys forget to mention!?!?

 

At the end of a meal, Fortune Cookies!!!

 

dcarch (sorry   :laugh: )

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Moving on. These turn up often when in season.

 

Chinese_mugwort_cakes.jpg

 

Mugwort cakes.

 

These are made from a mixture of mugwort, which supplies the colour and flavour, and rice flour which supplies the bulk. The manufacturing process is complicated but involves washing then boiling the mugwort leaves. These are processed with lye to remove bitterness and soften them. They are sweetened with sugar and mixed with a 50-50 mixture of rice flour and sticky rice flour to make a dough. The dough is formed into little cakes two to three inches in diameter, then steamed for around 30 minutes. They are served hot or cold.

Not my happiest place.

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dcarch (sorry   :rolleyes:  )

 

You will be! :rolleyes:


Edited by liuzhou (log)

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We were at a celebratory banquet in Chinatown last weekend - all Chinese guests except for my hubby. :wink: The "dessert" end-of -the-meal course was red bean / lotus seed soup with orange peel. It was a lovely way to finish the meal. Other times, we've had a sweet soup with a few long noodles - for longevity.

Maybe the dessert course is served at the request of the host...

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Hahaa! How can you guys forget to mention!?!?

 

At the end of a meal, Fortune Cookies!!!

 

dcarch (sorry   :laugh: )

 

 

My dad (and I) loved fortune cookies and the factory that made them for Seattle restaurants was on his way home from work...  Every couple of weeks he'd stop and buy a huge bag of the defective broken cookies (he was also a thrifty guy) and he and I would feast.  Mom would not a one of 'em. 

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My dad (and I) loved fortune cookies and the factory that made them for Seattle restaurants was on his way home from work...  Every couple of weeks he'd stop and buy a huge bag of the defective broken cookies (he was also a thrifty guy) and he and I would feast.  Mom would not a one of 'em. 

 

But they aren't Chinese. 100% American.

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I love the dessert at the end of a birthday banquet - the "peach"-shaped longevity buns that are filled with sweet lotus seed paste. My cousins and I would fight over them.

The aren't that different from the lotus seed paste buns one gets at dim sum, but the shape evokes the longevity peaches in the Queen of Heaven's garden.

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I love the dessert at the end of a birthday banquet - the "peach"-shaped longevity buns that are filled with sweet lotus seed paste. My cousins and I would fight over them.

The aren't that different from the lotus seed paste buns one gets at dim sum, but the shape evokes the longevity peaches in the Queen of Heaven's garden.

Is sweet lotus seed paste red in color?

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Is sweet lotus seed paste red in color?

 

No. It is more yellow to beige. Mr Internet has many pictures.

 

The red one is probably Red Bean Paste (there is a clue in there somewhere) made from azuki beans.

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But they aren't Chinese. 100% American.

 

Oh, I know.  But still delicious.  :)   ETA:  They were made in a factory in Chinatown in Seattle by Chinese-Americans for Chinese restaurants -- and 100% American.


Edited by SylviaLovegren (log)
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Is sweet lotus seed paste red in color?

Like liuzhou said, different versions of sweet lotus seed paste are usually varying degrees of tan color. But sometimes I've seen the restaurant add food coloring to the paste for longevity buns to make them red, probably for the occasion.

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Hi All,

 

I have a Chinese dessert recipe to share with you.  It is the traditional Hog Kong style egg tarts.

 

Recipe for Egg Tarts here

 

Try this our and let me know if I can offer any assistance.

 

Regards,

 

KP Kwan

 

 

et17.JPG

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9 hours ago, kwankapang said:

Hi All,

 

I have a Chinese dessert recipe to share with you.  It is the traditional Hong Kong style egg tarts.

 

Recipe for Egg Tarts here

 

 

Thank you so much for this.  Boy, do I ever love egg tarts.  Those pictures remind me of joining the "egg tart scrum" that meets daily to do battle at Golden Gate Bakery in San Francisco.  Thankfully, I've discovered some that are just as good, if not better, at Eck Bakery here in Houston.

 

http://www.houstonpress.com/restaurants/the-best-thing-i-ever-ate-egg-custard-tart-at-eck-bakery-6410615

 

But your excellent instructions make me wonder if perhaps I could make them myself!

 

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Not a dessert as such, but I had a delicious street food in Chengde many years ago. The lady (with help from the guide) described them as "Hawthorn berries" but I think they were probably goji berries, strung on a stick and covered with caramel like a toffee apple. Sweet / tart and yummy! I am going to try growing them anyway. :D

 

I was also partial to the sesame coated sweet potato / taro toffees which cropped up in the banquets included on our package tour.

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Tere, if you lived nearer...a LOT nearer...I could certainly supply you with Hawthorn berries.  I know you can eat them...but to date, we haven't tried.  It's probably not in the near future either.

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They definitely weren't anything like the British hawthorn https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crataegus_monogyna - the fruits were larger, not quite an inch round, about the size of a cherry tomato, and appeared to be hollow in the middle. 

 

I wonder if it was the fruits from this tree? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crataegus_pinnatifida - they look about the right size and colour?

 

Goji berries appear to be a gigantic pain in the rear to grow in the UK and get to fruit. Maybe I should get one of these trees instead? :D

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Canadian Hawthorn is apparently ours in Ontario.  You can eat the berries...see the article...and indeed our own Kerry Beal has attended the Hawberry Festival on the Manitoulin Islands where one can partake of hawberry flavored ice cream and jam.  (Locals have been called Haweaters and I don't know if this is an insult or not.) This tree, which is considered a weed tree and is PROLIFIC to the max, has the most wicked thorns I've been scratched by. 

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Yeah, you can make wine and jellies and stuff from the British one too, although I have never tried - it looks like a lot of work. Maybe one day, I have plenty on the land.

 

Anyway, hopefully someone recognises what I'm talking about with the toffee hawthorn berries :)

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4 hours ago, Tere said:

Not a dessert as such, but I had a delicious street food in Chengde many years ago. The lady (with help from the guide) described them as "Hawthorn berries" but I think they were probably goji berries, strung on a stick and covered with caramel like a toffee apple. Sweet / tart and yummy! I am going to try growing them anyway. :D

 

I was also partial to the sesame coated sweet potato / taro toffees which cropped up in the banquets included on our package tour.

Perhaps this?

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