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Quick! Traditional Cantonese Dessert?


mudbug
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I should have posted this earlier... oh well.

Any ideas on something I can make at home? Have access to most, but not all Asian ingredients. Any and all suggestions welcome... recipes and links to sites with recipes especially appreciated.

TIA

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For a 70th birthday party, you should definitely make long-life buns. It's just slightly sweetened dough filled with lotus paste then made into the shape of peaches - the symbol of longevity. You just need to taper the tip of the bun at one end and the other, rounded side should be gently and shallowly "bisected" with the back of a knife - not entirely, just to make it resemble a a peach. Spray it LIGHTLY with red food colouring (works best if you use a toothbrush - dip it in the liquid colouring then brush the bristles with the back of a knife, directing the resulting spray onto the buns). Steam and serve.

This sounds complicated but it's not. On the other hand, if you live near a good Chinese bakery, you might want to just order them.

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I've only made these in extremely large quantities (you don't need hundreds, do you?) and I'm not sure if I can find the recipe anyway. I think Florence Lin gives a recipe in her noodles and dumplings cookbook; if nobody else replies with a recipe, I'll look it up and PM you.

If you do choose these dessert, though, you might want to get started on looking for (or making) the lotus seed paste, considering there's no Chinatown near you. It would also be good with red bean paste but I'm not sure if that would be any easier for you to find.

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I should have posted this earlier... oh well.

Any ideas on something I can make at home? Have access to most, but not all Asian ingredients. Any and all suggestions welcome... recipes and links to sites with recipes especially appreciated.

How many people are expected at this party? If you are pressed for time, you can make a dessert soup with red beans, lotus nuts, Chinese almonds or peanuts, and long noodles or tiny glutinous rice flour dumplings.

AND

plates of fruit wedges.

OR fortune cookies... :laugh::laugh::raz:

Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

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aprilmei, I may be able to find the lotus seed paste in a can. There are decent Asian Grocers, just not bakeries with ready made goods. Probably just eight people for this dinner. Yes, if you can pass along the recipe, I would greatly appreciate it. mudbuggger@yahoo.com

Dejah, looking for something to make by hand instead of fruit, which is a given. Tiny glutinous rice flour dumplings.... please point me to a recipe.

;)

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The long-life buns suggested by Aprilmei is basically a normal pau (steamed bun) (refer to the pastry recipe only) filled with lin yoong. The alkaline water in the lotus paste recipe is to help loosen the skins from the lotus seeds. If you can find:

1) de-skinned lotus seeds ---- you can omit the first part of soaking.

2) pre-made lotus paste filling ---- half your pau is done!

It would be cool if you can do tiny 'peach' buns and hide them in a giant one. Plus plus points in the impression department.

TPcal!

Food Pix (plus others)

Please take pictures of all the food you get to try (and if you can, the food at the next tables)............................Dejah

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Just thought of something - sorry for not suggesting this before. If there's a good Chinese restaurant near your house, especially one that makes dim sum, I'm sure they can make long life buns for you. You can re-steam them at home and it will be a lot easier for you.

Dejah's suggestion of glutinous rice flour dumplings is good. It's just glutinous rice flour mixed with water to make a pliant, non-sticky paste. Then you shape them into small balls (about 1cm or smaller) then boil them - when they float to the top, they're ready. These can be served in lots of sweet and savoury dishes but for this dessert for your party, make a ginger broth - just simmer lots of sliced ginger in water and sweeten to taste with Chinese brown sugar. Dilute (if necessary) with more hot water and then serve the tong yuen in them.

If you want to make these even nicer, put a small amount of black sesame paste in the centre of each tong yuen - you'll have to make these balls a bit larger, though.

Then there's good-old mango pudding with condensed milk. You can buy packaged ones (like Jell-O!) but they're rubbery and not very mango-y tasting. I might have a recipe somewhere.... In fact, I think SFGate recently had a recipe - you might want to look it up. But if I remember correctly, the writer didn't suggest pouring a drizzle of condensed milk over the top - and that makes it even better.

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>I think Florence Lin gives a recipe in her noodles and dumplings cookbook;

>if nobody else replies with a recipe, I'll look it up and PM you.

aprilmei,

Could you please pass along the recipe? I'd greatly appreciate it!

TIA

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Dejah, looking for something to make by hand instead of fruit, which is a given. Tiny glutinous rice flour dumplings.... please point me to a recipe.

Mudbug,

For the tang yuen (glutinous rice dumplings): The basic recipe is one lb. of glutinous rice flour to 2 cups of cold water. OF COURSE you won't need that much, so use maybe 1 cup of the rice flour to 1/2 cup or less of cold water. You should be able to roll small pieces of dough between your palms into balls that will hold their shape.

When I make the red bean (aduki beans), lotus nut, peanut soup, I just throw in a handful of this, and that. Tonight, I thought I'd try and do some measuring. I have 3/4 cup red beans, 1/2 cup lotus nuts , 1/2 cup blanched peanuts rinsed and soaking in about 8 cups of water overnight. I also have a piece of tangerine peel soaking with the ingredients. This may well make a huge potful! :laugh:

You can do this on Friday night. Saturday morning, bring all of the above to a boil. Add 1 1/2 bars of Chinese brown sugar. Lower the heat to a simmer until all the nuts are soft. The red beans may break up but that's ok. You can add more water if it seems too thick. Just adjust the sweetness accordingly.

Make up the rice flour dumplings and add them to the soup when it is ready. Bring to a gentle boil until the dumplings rise to the surface. It is ready to be served.

You can buy bags of these dumplings pre-made and dried in some Chinese stores.

Instead of dumplings, you can also add "long life noodles"

I apologize that I don't have a real recipe for you. I cook like my mom...a handful of this, a bit of that. . . :rolleyes:

Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

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If you are into sweet dessert soup, I can suggest you to make "momojaja". I am not sure exactly how it's spelled, and perhaps Laksa can enlighten us. It is a version of red bean dessert soup that's popular in South East Asia.

- 1 bag of red beans (12 oz or so). Soak the beans in water overnight.

- 1 lb of taro, peeled and diced into 1/2 inch cubes

- 1 lb of yam (sweet potato), peeled and diced into 1/2 inch cubes

- 1 pot of water in a large crock pot

- about 6 to 7 pieces of brown sugar slabs (peen tong), or use other forms of sugar

- 1 cup of tapioca (small or medium size)

- 1 can of coconut milk

Just drain the red beans, put in the crock pot filled with water. Put in toro and yam and sugar. Set for slow and cook for >4 hours. About 3 hours into it, put in the tapioca. (If you cook the tapioca for too long it will dissolve into the water). Fold in the coconut milk. Ready in another hour.

This portion should be good for 1 bowl each person for 10 to 15.

[Edited to correct spelling and clarify "yam".]

Edited by hzrt8w (log)
W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"
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If you are into sweet dessert soup, I can suggest you to make "momojaja".  I am not sure exactly how it's spelled, and perhaps Laksa can enlighten us.  It is a version of red bean dessert soup that's popular in South East Asia.

It's called "bubur cha cha" in Malaysia - momojaja is the "Cantonesified" (if there is such a word) pronunciation of it.

Bubur means porridge in Malay ... not sure about the "cha cha" part - need kew's help here. Yetty - what is it called in Indonesia?

There is both purple yam (taro) and orange sweet potatoes in bubur cha cha.

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Yep, what everybody's already said. Taro and sweet potatoes. I see "yam" very often but I still haven't figured out what "yam" is. Are they all yams, or really none of them are, and yam is something else entirely?

It's called bubur chacha because it's so good it makes you want to do a dance after you eat it! Ok fine, don't believe me. :raz:

hzrt8w, although I should know better, the fact that you have a recipe for this impresses me. Do you make it often?

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That bubur is a specialty of Maluku (The Mollucan Islands) where my husband's from, they call it bubur aceh , which makes no sense to me. Maluku is east and Aceh is way over in western Indonesia, and they don't even have this dessert soup. Hmmmmph!

Anyway, my in-laws' versions vary: some have shards of pre-cooked glass noodles (which they call laksa) and sticky rice. Another version has barley. Some like it hot, others cold with crushed ice.

Traditionally, our family has this as nice opener for breaking the fast at Ramadhan, which by the way, is just around the corner.

Yetty CintaS

I am spaghetttti

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I see "yam" very often but I still haven't figured out what "yam" is. Are they all yams, or really none of them are, and yam is something else entirely?

American's call what are technically sweet potatoes "yams"---which is why I think his notation read that way. From what I've read, farmers adopted the word yam to distinguish between orange flesh sweet potatoes and their traditional white sweet potatoes.

Real yams usually aren't widely available in the U.S. and are not related to sweet potatoes at all.

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Thanks for correcting my spelling on "taro" guys and gals. Let me just edit the original post on the recipe to minimize further confusions... done.

As for "yam" versus "sweet potato"... I might have been misled by the Chinese grocery markets where I frequently shopped at. They labelled them as just "yam" and I took the name for granted. I did some research and found that yams and sweet potatoes are different species. The good news is I am not the only one who is confused. :biggrin: What I intended to use is indeed sweet potato.

Here is a picture of some sweet potatoes - the ones my recipe referenced.

Here is some info on "yam" and why it's confused by many with sweet potatoes:

http://www.epicurious.com/cooking/how_to/f...earch?query=yam

Yam

This thick, tropical-vine tuber is popular in South and Central America, the West Indies and parts of Asia and Africa. Although SWEET POTATOES and yams are similar in many ways and therefore often confused with one another, they are from different plant species. In the southern United States, sweet potatoes are often called yams and to add to the confusion, canned sweet potatoes are frequently labeled yams. True yams, however, are not widely marketed and are seldom grown in the United States. Though they can be similar in size and shape to sweet potatoes, yams contain more natural sugar and have a higher moisture content. On the downside, they're not as rich in vitamins A and C as sweet potatoes. There are over 150 species of yam grown throughout the world. They can range in size from that of a small potato to behemoths over 7 1/2 feet long and 120 pounds. Depending on the variety, a yam's flesh may be various shades of off-white, yellow, purple or pink, and the skin from off-white to dark brown. The texture of this vegetable can range from moist and tender to coarse, dry and mealy. Yams can be found in most Latin American markets, often in chunks, sold by weight. When buying yams, select unblemished specimens with tight, unwrinkled skins. Store in a place that's cool, dark and dry for up to 2 weeks. Do not refrigerate. Yams may be substituted for sweet potatoes in most recipes.

Here is an excerpt on "what is the difference between yams and sweet potatoes":

http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/plantan...weetpotato.html

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A SWEET POTATO AND A YAM?

Several decades ago when orange flesh sweet potatoes were introduced in the southern United States producers and shippers desired to distinguish them from the more traditional white flesh types. The African word "nyami" referring to the starchy, edible root of the Dioscorea genus of plants was adopted in its English form, "yam". Yams in the U.S. are actually sweet potatoes with relatively moist texture and orange flesh. Although the terms are generally used interchangeably, the U.S. Department of Agriculture requires that the label "yam" always be accompanied by "sweet potato." The following information outlines several differences between sweet potatoes and yams.

(for full text, use the URL to read the page)

Edited by hzrt8w (log)
W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"
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hzrt8w, although I should know better, the fact that you have a recipe for this impresses me.  Do you make it often?

I never forget a taste. :biggrin: It is something I had when I was a teenager living in Hong Kong. I like it a lot. Like many things, I just reversed-engineer it and the result tasted fairly close. I think in the version I tasted in Hong Kong, they might have put in some other mix of beans and coconut shreds in it.

I make it every now and then. Each time I make a pot, it lasts us a long time.

Edited by hzrt8w (log)
W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"
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