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"Light" Chinese dishes?


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With a combination of summer approaching in Sydney, and feeling a little ill and under the weather lately, I'm starting to feel less and less like eating full, heavy-ish meals.

I know this is a bit of a vague question, but I'm looking for some suggestions for "light" Chinese dishes; not necessarily cold, but just not overly fatty or necessarily requiring hot rice..

For example, I think of "light" in terms of things like steamed fish; bang bang chicken and cucumber salad; bittermelon soup.

What other Chinese dishes do you find yourself gravitating towards in hot weather or when you're feeling a little delicate?

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I found myself having tonic soups (e.g. winter melon, watercrest, bok choy, etc.) plus a few spoonful of steamed rice the best at times like those. Or simply make congee.

W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"
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Even when it's hot weather, I enjoy noodles. Hor fun, cheung fun, ramen (the salt is so good when feeling a bit under the weather), chow mein.

When I make bok choy soup, I add several chunks of carrot and celery along with a honey date.

Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

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Cold noodles!

I was in Beijing in May and everyone was eating bowls of drained cold noodles tossed with julienned carrots and cucumbers and a brown sauce. The sauce is called zhajiang but I don't know what goes into it.

If I made it at home I would either make a sesame paste sauce like for dan dan mian, or doctor up some tian mian jiang (a sweet brown paste made from flour).

Also, cold Chinese salads like they serve in Shanghai before the entrees. Raw or blanched julienne vegetables like sugar snap peas or cucumbers tossed with rice vinegar, salt, sugar, maybe some sesame oil, soy sauce or chili oil.

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pix009.jpg

Abacus beads

this is my family's light meal after all the heavy feasting during Chinese New Year.

it's a traditonal Hakka dish too for the Hakka people during lunar new year.

the beads are mashed yam stir fry with dried mushrooms and veggi.

peony

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pix009.jpg

Abacus beads

this is my family's light meal after all the heavy feasting during Chinese New Year.

it's a traditonal Hakka dish too for the Hakka people during lunar new year.

the beads are mashed yam stir fry with dried mushrooms and veggi.

Peony, that looks very appetizing. The good ones I've tasted from Hakka restaurants are slightly chewy yet melt in the mouth. Hmmm... Mouth watering just thinking of it.

Do you make the Abacus beads fresh? If yes, could you please share the recipe??? I've not seen this in our Asian supermarkets. Just to replicate the melt in your mouth part...

:rolleyes:

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Here's a sheun poon zhi pic I dug up. I live in a Hakka area, so lots of places selling it; some places have some sauce (soy) for it (like in this pic), others are drier. You can stir fry it with anything, usually, wood fungus, mushrooms, garlic, minced pork, dried shrimps, bean sprouts.

abacuscopy.jpg

Forgot where I found this recipe, but I've paraphrased the instructions:

300g yam

75g tapioca flour

Steam (half an hour or so) and mash the yam. While still hot, add the tapioca flour and 1/4 tsp salt. Knead until it doesn't feel sticky. Cover the mixture while pinching bits to roll into balls to keep it warm. It's easier to roll the balls if you dampen your hands. Indent ball. Cover. Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil. Throw balls in. Balls are ready when they float. Remove and throw them into a pot of cold water. Drain. Add oil so they don't stick.

Edited by Tepee (log)

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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Spring rolls (not the deep fried ones) are quite light and healthy. It might be a bit of an effort making all the preparations, like making the skin (though you probably can buy it in a store) and cooking/chopping meats, eggs, and vegetables, but I think it's worth it.

In times like this when it's too hot to cook, I like chilled or room temp noodles with bits of shredded chicken coated with sesame dressing and have appetizers like cucumber salad or pickles on the side.

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In the summer time, I still cook the same way but instead of eatin hot steamed rice or hot congee. I make plain congee during lunch time or the night before and chill it in the fridge.

The chilled congee is very refreshing and light when eatend with hot dishes.

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Abacus beads

The name "Abacus beads" - is that a direct translation from this dish's Chinese name?

Yes, it's a direct translation. In Mandarin, they are called "suan pan zi". They are also supposed to be shaped like abacus seeds: small, round and a little flattened.

Thanks Tepee for the recipe. Will be testing to find out if I am able to replicate that chewy melt in the mouth texture!

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Yam, taro, sweet potatoes are called different things in different parts of the world. In the USA a sweet potato is called a yam :hmmm: . In Canada it is called properly, a sweet potato. Taro is taro or eddoe in Canada. In some Caribbean Islands taro is called "dasheen" which in itself is a corruption of the phrase "de la Chine" (of China) or Chinese.

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Nooooo, Ah Leung Gaw....when I said yam,  I mean TARO.

Okay. My mistake TP and muichoi. The "abacus bead" (算盤子) is made with taro, which apparently, and beunknown to me, is called "yam" over in Malaysia. Taro for this dish.

... my sweet potato is somebody else's yam which is somebody else's taro...

W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"
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Yam, taro, sweet potatoes are called different things in different parts of the world. In the USA a sweet potato is called a yam :hmmm:

You wanna get even more confused? I think that "yam" is used only for the orange sweet potatoes, not the yellow ones. :wacko:

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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