Cooking with Alison

Posts Tagged ‘Chinese Food’

Ingredients That Freeze Beautifully

In Appetizers, Hors D'oeuvres, Snacks, Asian, Breads, Breakfast, Desserts, How To, Indian, Main Course on June 1, 2014 at am

Whenever I cook with ingredients that I don’t use regularly, I almost always end up with extra ingredients that I can’t find the time or purpose for.  I hate to waste food.  So, very early on, I learned how to make the freezer my best friend.  Below I’ve shared a list of fresh and canned ingredients that freeze beautifully for months to a year, without a change in texture or taste.  Let me know if you can think of anything else!  I will add to this list as I discover new freezer friendly ingredients.  Also, I’ve posted many many freezer friendly recipes throughout the years.  Just look to the end of each recipe for freezing instructions, as applicable.

Read the rest of this entry »

My Absolute Favourite Fruit: Mangosteen

In Appetizers, Hors D'oeuvres, Snacks, Asian, Breakfast, Desserts, How To on May 22, 2014 at am

I love almost all fruit, and mangosteen is, by far, my favourite.  If you haven’t tried purple mangosteen yet, I highly recommend that you do as soon as the opportunity presents itself.  When I was in Malaysia, I ate an entire bag and every day that I’ve been back, I regret not eating more.  That was a year ago!!!  Mangosteen are grown mainly in Southeast Asia and the best ones that I’ve ever had were from Malaysia. Disappointingly, in North America, mangosteen can be quite expensive and often not very fresh.  So be sure to choose ones with a fresh and green coloured stem, because there are such things as bad and so-so mangosteen.


The purple fruit shown in the middle are the mangosteen

The purple outer shell is inedible.  To open a mangosteen, crush the purple shell between the palms of your hands and then pull it apart to open it.  But be very careful not to stain your clothes, because the purple dye is almost impossible to wash out.  In fact, many hotels in Southeast Asia ban their guests from bringing mangosteen into their rooms.  The white flesh on the inside of the fruit is soft, moist, juicy and refreshing and light tasting.  Also, there are large seeds within each lobe of the white flesh.


If you get the chance to try a mangosteen, let me know what you think!

Malaysian Layered Kueh Recipe

In Asian Desserts, Desserts on May 15, 2014 at am

Kueh is one of my favourite Malaysian desserts.  It is steamed, mildly flavoured, soft, chewy, and slightly sticky.  Here is a recipe for a 7, 8, or 9 layer (your choice), 2 colour kueh.  The main flavours to this kueh are coconut and pandan.


Read the rest of this entry »

Must Try in Malaysia: Sabah Vegetable

In Asian, Other Asian Foods, Seafood, Sides and Sauces on May 10, 2014 at am


When I traveled to Malaysia in May 2013, I tried many new foods in Kota Kinabalu, Sandakan, and Kuala Lumpur.  One of my top three favourite things was sabah vegetable.  The stems of this leafy green vegetable have, in my opinion, the perfect crispy and crunchy texture.  To my knowledge, Sabah, Malaysia does not export this local vegetable, so be sure to look for it in restaurants the next time you’re in Sabah, Malaysia.  I tried it stir fried with sambal belacan.

Penang Style Char Kway Teow Recipe

In Asian, Rice and Noodle Dishes on May 3, 2014 at am

Note that the noodles should be a bit darker in colour. I didn’t have dark soy sauce at the time.

Char kway teow is a stir fried, flat rice noodle dish.  I’ve now had delicious char kway teow in Brunei and Malaysia.  My favourite is Penang style.  This recipe is a recreation of my preferred version of Penang style char kway teow.

Read the rest of this entry »

How to Make Malaysian Pulled Tea (Teh Tarik)

In Asian, Drinks, How To, Other Asian Foods on April 28, 2014 at am

I am in love with Hong Kong style milk tea (see recipe here), and on a trip to Malaysia, I discovered that I love Malaysian pulled tea, teh tarik, just as much.  The delicious teh tarik, which means “pull” tea, is made using sweetened creamer.  Some people add evaporated milk as well.  What sets teh tarik apart from other teas is the process of pouring the prepared tea back and forth between two containers until the tea tastes and feels smooth, silky, and light in weight.  Apparently, you’re also supposed to develop a good froth.  The further the distance between your two containers while you’re pouring the tea back and forth, the better your tea will be.  Be careful not to get splattered by the hot tea, and wear clothes that you don’t care about, because the tea stains are hard to wash out.


Outside of Malaysia, it can be difficult to find the best tea leaves for making teh tarik.  But luckily, I have been surprised by how good some of the instant teh tarik powders are.  The brand Boh is very popular in Malaysia and is quite good.  My favourite is Aroma Ipoh’s instant ginger milk tea.  I found it in a Chinese grocery store in Toronto, ON.  

Read the rest of this entry »

Like Pomelo Fruit? Then You’ll Love Oroblonco (USA) or Sweetie Grapefruits (Israel)

In Appetizers, Hors D'oeuvres, Snacks, Asian, Asian Desserts, Breakfast, Desserts, How To, Other Asian Foods on March 29, 2014 at am

Pomelo is a very large citrus fruit that tastes like a sweeter, milder grapefruit (photo not shown).  Not only does pomelo taste better than grapefruit, it’s also much much easier to peel and eat.  I didn’t think that it could get any better with citrus fruit, but I was proven very wrong when I discovered Israel’s sweetie grapefruit (also known as oroblonco in the USA).  When I first tasted it, I thought, this tastes even better than a pomelo, sweeter and juicier, almost like a mix of pomelo and grapefruit.  Sure enough, I later learned that the sweetie grapefruit is, in fact, a cross between the pomelo and the white grapefruit.  I really hope you’re able to find this in your local grocery store.  When picking a sweetie grapefruit, the skin should be green and should smell citrusy.  Also, the fruit should be heavy and somewhat soft when pressed.

You peel a sweetie grapefruit the same way you peel a pomelo:  Use a sharp knife to cut an X into the top of the fruit.  Make sure that you cut all the way through the thick rind.  Then peel the rind off in large slices.  Then use your hands to pull the fruit apart so that you have two halfs with exposed flesh.  Pull each lobe of flesh away from the white pith and enjoy.

Other must try fruits include:  mangosteen (see here).



How To Make Chinese Noodle Soups

In Asian, How To, Rice and Noodle Dishes on March 16, 2014 at am

Bowls of Chinese noodle soup are comforting, warming, easy to make, and are often one pot meals.  They’re also a great way to use up leftovers, because you can use any combination of protein and/or vegetables that you like or happen to have on hand.  I’ve provided guidelines for making Chinese noodle soup and suggested some popular topping combinations below.

Read the rest of this entry »

Favourite Fish Broth Recipe

In Asian, Fish / Seafood, Rice and Noodle Dishes, Soups on March 10, 2014 at am

This recipe is a recreation of my family’s favourite fish broth.  We surprisingly found the best fish broth at one of the food court vendors in First Markham Place in Markham, ON.  My family and I have never had such a delicious and strongly flavoured fish soup.  The best part is that they don’t use MSG!  Our cousin took us out in Malaysia for the “best” fish noodle soup, and we didn’t have the heart to tell him that our local food court vendor does it much much better.  This fish broth will fill your house with a fishy smell, but if you can get over that, you’ll love the broth.  I like to use this fish broth when I’m making seafood paella and Chinese noodle soups (see recipe here).

Read the rest of this entry »

Chinese Pork Stomach Soup Recipe

In Asian, Meat and Eggs, Other Asian Foods on February 27, 2014 at am

Cooking with Alison’s Mom (Part 3)

Pork stomach soup is one of my favourite Chinese soups.  I just love the texture of pork stomach after it has been boiled in a peppery and clear soup.  It is chewy and surprisingly neutral in flavour.  The peppercorns in this soup make it especially warming during the cold winter months.  Chinese restaurants add a lot of different spices to their pork stomach soup, but I’ve always found that the best soups are made from a simple list of ingredients.  So here’s my favourite (and simple) recipe.  [On a side note, according to the teachings of Chinese medicine, this is a ‘hot’ soup.  The dried bean curd helps to reduce some of the ‘hotness’, but if you feel cold easily or if you have just given birth, omit the bean curd so that you can maximize the warming properties of this soup.  If you are cooking for someone who has just given birth, see my grandma’s Chinese Ginger Vinegar with Pig Trotters and Eggs recipe here.]

Read the rest of this entry »

Clay Pot Pea Sprouts, Chicken and Bean Curd Recipe

In Asian, Meat and Eggs, Other Asian Foods on February 21, 2014 at am


This is a recreation of one of our favourite dishes from our favourite Chinese restaurant (see another recreation from that restaurant here).  It is an easy, one-pot meal that is cooked in a Chinese clay pot.  It is fresh tasting, light, and healthy.  If you aren’t able to find young pea shoot sprouts, you could substitute with baby bok choy, but believe me when I say that the dish just won’t be the same.

Read the rest of this entry »

Authentic and Delicious Hong Kong Style Milk Tea Recipe

In Asian, Breakfast, Drinks on February 9, 2014 at am


Hong Kong style milk tea is one of my favourite types of tea.  A good cup of milk tea should be strongly brewed and well balanced with creaminess that isn’t too rich, and sweetness that doesn’t overpower.  It should also feel and taste smooth, silky, and light in weight.  The secret to making the best milk tea lies in the blend and ratio of different types of black tea.  Ceylon tea is a common component.  Every establishment guards its recipe.  Luckily, it’s not difficult to make authentic milk tea at home.  I’ve shared three recipes below.  The recipes differ in authenticity, in the amount of work involved, and in the types of equipment required.  I made this for my parents the day after they got back from a trip to Hong Kong and they said that it tasted just like the milk tea they had there.  My uncle, who travels to Hong Kong 3 times every year, was surprised by how good it was too.


Read the rest of this entry »


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 594 other followers

%d bloggers like this: