Sunday, March 18, 2012

Feng Gan – Chinese Fried Meatball with Minced Liver and Preserved Yolk

Hello bloggers!
When I was thinking of the next stuff for this blog update, an inspirational program was on TV. It was a documentary about historical progress of cooking methods in China. That was an interesting one! An idea appeared in my mind out of the blue! I would post about Oriental food! I remembered I had taken some pictures of a delicious food and I knew that would be a good material to share with you!
Do you like Chinese food? Haha, I love it! It is one of the foods which exists in many countries. You can easily find Chinese restaurant in countries where there are Chinese people! The taste of Chinese food in each countries have been suited to the taste buds of local people and due to this, Chinese food has developed into a wide variety of styles!
This time let me share about a food that my mother will usually make for the feast on Chinese New Year’s Eve. Its name is Feng Gan () or Phoenix’s Liver, in English. Cool huh?
Feng Gan can be steamed or fried. It is a mixture of minced pork and shrimp, pig’s liver, mushroom, and garlic, with a preserved duck egg yolk in the centre (after soaked in brine for a particular time, the yolk becomes round and firm). The uniqueness of this delicious meatball is not only the filling but it also lies in its wrapper. All the mixed ingredients are wrapped with pig’s abdomen membrane. Some people who cannot get it may substitute it with dried bean curd/tofu skin.  
It is a delicious food, indeed. Just try one if you visit Chinese restaurant or simply make it at home! These are the pictures that I’d taken last month. Look at how they look like!  

Feng Gan - Phoenix's Liver

肝 - Phoenix's Liver
They look yummy, don't they? Well, if you need the recipe, you can e-mail me or simply write on comment form! 

See ya!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

We Need a Break


These days everything seems tormenting to me. Abundant assignments, upcoming thesis exam, and problems dealing with my job have given me anxiety and insomnia. I can hardly breathe due to these depressing matters. Do you feel the same way? Or maybe you feel even worse? Hmm… if so, I think we need a break.
A short rest is absolutely important to refresh our mind and body. That precious moment may not be accompanied by a lavish surroundings but it must be a cozy one. Actually, with only a cup of warmly brewed tea and some snacks, a sunny afternoon can be a good time to recharge and calm ourselves.  One day, when I was having a break after homework, I found out that a cup of tea with those pineapple pastries looked pretty under the sun. Therefore, at once I took the picture with my camera. Voila!

Elvy's tea time

Oh ya, this was a cup of fine black tea. I am a tea lover, too.  I love almost all beverages made of tea, such as milk tea, lemon tea, iced tea, etc. Maybe because of the caffeine substance in it, a cup of tea is able to freshen up my body. Do you know? Tea is able to normalize blood pressure and reduce depression! That’s why it is a suitable drink for people with high level of stress, like me. Hehe… ^^
Well, let’s live a joyful life! ^o^

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

It’s A Piece of Cake !

Yippee! This time I’m so delighted to publish about something I’d always love to taste… Cakes! Yum! No matter butter cake, sponge cake, meringues, chiffon, cupcake, gateau, or whatever the type is, it can always cheer me up. Besides, the cake that I usually eat at home is my mom’s creation. I can feel her warmth of love in every bite of the cake and that feeling is something I will always treasure.  

Baked cakes are indeed delicious, but do you know? A cake does not always have to be baked in order to create an appealing result. Why don’t try to steam it? Steamed cake tastes good too! One thing is needed to make a steamed cake tastes better: keep it in refrigerator before serving it.

My mom had made a vanilla steamed cake for a special day. She cut it in half and spread blueberry and cream on it. Taraaa… it’s so pretty that I must preserve the look of the cake!  

Blueberry Vanilla Steamed Cake

Another thing that should be kept in mind while steaming the cake is that you must not open the steamer’s lid to take a look at it, or else, your cake will not rise perfectly and result in a lumpy and dense texture, not a soft one. 

So, how do you know whether the cake is ready or not? The only way is to follow the recipe and keep experimenting. Also, the length of steaming time may differ based on steaming heat, size of steamer, and the size of the cake itself. 

Blueberry Vanilla Steamed Cake

Well, any comments or questions? Please do not hesitate to let me know!

Happy Cooking! ^^

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Corn Jelly – A Nutritious Dessert

Hi readers!

What do you usually have after meal? There are many choices of desserts eaten today, such as fruit, ice-cream, pudding, etc. and indeed they are popular.

Talking about that, I ever made jelly for dessert. It was a little different from common jelly sold in supermarket, like strawberry, chocolate, or plain jelly. I added an ingredient which helped enhance not only the whole taste of the jelly but it also added extra nutrition to the dessert. As we know, jelly powder is made of seaweed and it is rich in fiber and minerals. Most instant jelly products state that they have been fortified with vitamins; however, it is not enough to fulfill your need of nutrients. The best way to increase the level of nutrients is by adding natural ingredient. This is what I have mentioned above as something different in my jelly. The natural ingredient that I added was corn essence.

Corn (Zea mays) is an amazing plant that contains antioxidant, like beta-carotene, which is good for health. The antioxidant in corn is effective to slow ageing process, help digestion, prevent memory loss, and maintain good vision. According to WHFoods, a cup of corn (149 grams) contains 13.6% vitamin C, 12.5% vitamin B3, and 11.8% vitamin B5. A corn is also rich in Vitamin A and E. Having abundant nutrients and natural sweetness, corn essence is a suitable flavor and nutrient enhancer for any desserts. 

The corn jelly that I made was indeed a healthy food for all ages! Hahaha…this is the photo of my home-made corn jelly!

In making corn jelly, there is a way to produce a fine result. A smooth texture of the jelly can be achieved by separating the corn liquid from the hulls. How to do that?

First, remove corn kernels from the cob.
Second, pour the corn kernels into food processor, crush them until soft and the liquid comes out.
Third, strain/filter the liquid to separate the hulls of corn from the corn essence. What you need is only corn essence liquid.
Fourth, boil some water. Pour in jelly powder and some sugar (as desired).
Fifth, add corn essence to the jelly mixture, stir well until sugar dissolved.
Sixth, pour the jelly mixture into mold and let it cool.
Seventh, serve the jelly with cream or chocolate for a richer taste.