Category Archives: chinese

Manti Turkish Homemade dumplings with a yogurt garlic chili sauce



2 cups all-purpose Flour

1 egg lightly beaten

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 lbs. ground lamb, veal or beef

1/3 cup finely chopped parsley

1/2 cup dice onions

fresh ground pepper and salt



2 cups Yogurt

minced  garlic

Pepper, butter, sumac and chili flakes according to taste

fresh chopped mint

sprinkle sumac spice (reddish-purple powder used as a spice in Middle eastern cuisine to add a lomony taste to salads or meat.


Mix the flour and salt in a bowl.

Add egg and water, mixing well using your hands.
Add more water, to soften dough, if needed.
Cover  dough with a clean dish towel and set aside for 30 minutes.
For filling:
Combine diced onion,  raw ground beef or lamb,onion, parsley and salt.
Mix well and set aside meat mixture.
Divide dough into two pieces and
lightly dust a work surface and  dust rolling-pin with flour.  Divide dough into 2 balls.
Using half of dough and other half of dough covered in a bowl.
Roll into a rectangle, rolling the dough thin.
Cut into rolled dough into 2-inch squares with a knife .
Spoon meat filling in the center of each square.
Seal dumplings by gathering the edges of the dough and pinching them together at the top to form as if making won tons.
Place each finished manti on a floured platter and sprinkle flour each time over the finished manti to prevent from sticking
Refrigerate until ready to use.

In a large pot bring water to a boil add a big pinch of salt.  Gently drop manti into boiling water.

    First time I made manti the dumplings were too big
Boiling Dumplings:
 Cooked  manti will float when done to surface when done, about 9 to 10 minutes,  check the dumpling while cooking.  Do not over cook the dumplings, drain well.  Spoon the dumplings on a plate adding the toppings mixture. Garnish with chopped mint.
TOPPING: Do not burn  the chili flakes.
In a small saucepan heat oil at a low heat and add red pepper flakes
until pepper flakes have started to color the oil.
When oil is a light red remove from heat and set aside,
Mix minced garlic into room temperature yogurt,  add salt and a little water if  yogurt is too thick.
                                                                                               Big manti dumplings
Serve warm with  yogurt mixture sauce and red chili oil.
Place dumplings on a platter transfer to plates.  Add  yogurt sauce over the manti
(dumplings) and drizzle with the hot pepper oil. and fresh chopped mint for garnish and sprinkle sumac(opional).
Dumplings are supposed to be very tiny in size but as always I do not have enough time in the day to make it the traditional way.   Maybe one day when I have a few hours of leisure time.  I will add another photo and make star style dumpling by pinching the ends to form a star.
Chile oil can be found at most markets,  already bottled.  I always buy it at  Asian markets.
finally tiny dumplings,pinch the corners together to form a star.

finally tiny dumplings,pinch the corners together to form a star.

Finally I learn to make it right with smaller dumplings, mint, sumac,  etc.  I sometimes crave manti, so when I want to eat it it must be perfect,  the Turkish way!

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Filed under International, Pasta

Japanese Dango also known as mitarashi sweet rice ball snack

Round dumplings are generally called dango, and kushi dango means skewered sweet dumplings.  These kushi dango coated with sweet soy .   sauce based sauce are called mitarashi. Dango are made with mochiko(rice flour).  Dangos are usually served with green tea.

A very simple recipe and a tasty japanese snack.

Directions for Dangos
1 cup glutinous rice flour
3/4 to 1/2 cup boiling water

1 tsp. sugar

Soak the Bamboo skewers in water before adding the dumplings. Tip: as the dumpling is grilling the skewers will not burn.
Add rice flour in a bowl than add warm water.
Knead the mixture well.
Make small round dumplings balls. Place dumplings balls in a steamer and steam them on
high heat for about 10 min.
Cool dumplings balls and skewer them in bamboo sticks. (3-4 dumplings on each stick).
Mitarashi sweet sauce for Dangos
2/3 cup water
1/2 cup brown sugar
2  1/2 tbsp light soy sauce
1  1/2 tbsp. potato starch  mix with 1  1/2 tbsp water
2 tbsp Mirin  Japanese rice vinegar (optional)

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Filed under Desserts, International, snack

Tea Eggs Chinese Marbleized Eggs known as Cha Yah Dan

   Tea eggs are rich in flavor with a wonderful aroma.  During Chinese New Year, marbled tea eggs are eaten as snack and the eggs symbolize golden nuggets and wealth for the coming year.
9 eggs ( 9 is a chinese lucky number)
3 cups water
4 tablespoon soy sauce
4 tablespoon black soy sauce
3  pod star anise
1/2 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons black tea leaves (tea should be dark)
1 (2 inch) piece cinnamon stick
1 tablespoon tangerine zest or dried orange peel * (optional)
Cook eggs in water until eggs are hard boil. Remove eggs from saucepan, using two spoons,  place an egg on soup spoon, with the other spoon tap  eggs lightly crackling the egg in small cracks leaving the shell intact.  Tap eggs with the back of a spoon to crack shells (do not remove the egg shells) . Tap lightly, tapping all around the egg.
  Add 3 cups of cold water in a large saucepan, combine black soy sauce, sugar, salt, tea leaves, star anise, cinnamon stick, and tangerine zest etc.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer. Place cooked eggs in the pot with tea mixture.
  • If more water need to be added to tea mixture, add another cup of water.
    Place cooked cracked eggs back into the tea mixture and slow cook the eggs, bring to a boil then reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 4 hours.   Let steep for at least  5-8 hours. The longer it steep the richer the flavor.
    Enjoy. <3

    In Taiwan,  eggs can steep up to 1  1/2 days for a richer flavor.  Store eggs unpeeled and in a tightly sealed container and keep eggs refrigerated.

    Tea Eggs will keep up to 4 ~ 5 days.

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Filed under chinese, Eggs

Chinese New Year Pearl Balls sticky rice balls “reunion and togetherness”


1/2 cup sticky rice ( glutinous rice or sweet rice ) you can find it at all Asian markets

1/2 lbs  ground shrimp or 1/2 lbs ground pork

2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger

2 green onion finely chopped

2 water chestnuts chopped

1 egg ( white only  part)

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon rice wine

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cornstarch ( as needed )

pinch of salt and pepper.Dried mushroom is also added ( optional ) ( soaked and chopped )  Dice all ingredients.


Soak rice (glutinous rice or sweet sticky rice for 8 hours or overnight). Drain the rice and set aside.  In a large bowl mix all the ingredients after chopping and diced.

Mix  ground shrimp or pork in to mix mixture.  Form small pork balls with the mixture.  Roll lightly the pork balls on rice making sure  pork it is covered with rice.  Set aside the pork rolled balls and prepare steamer.  Place lettuce or cabbage in the steamer so it will not stick to the plate.  Place each pearl rice ball about 1/2 inch apart on the lettuce.

Steam for about 25-35 minutes. Makes about 15-20

Pearl Balls are served on Chinese New Years which symbolize “reunion and togetherness”.  Most popular in Eastern China. You can always find this dish at “Dim Sum”.

kumquat are called “Gam gat sue”.  The word gam sounds like “gold” ( Gat ) in Chinese.and rhymes with gat which means ” luck”.

The green leaves on the tree symbolize wealth.  The shape of the tree and all the kumquat is the symbol of unity and protection.  On New Year day all who eats kumquat will be insured with good fortune,  prosperity and happiness.  Chinese has a nice tradition of legend, symbolism and culture. The kumquat trees are decorative during New Years and also given as gifts.  Tangerines and Oranges are also given as gifts when visiting a home during New Year,   the names sound like gold and wealth.

Eat Pearl balls anytime at Dim Sum, does not have to be New Year to eat this delicious  dish.

Happy New Year !!

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Filed under chinese, dim sum

Fa Gao Chinese prosperity New Year cake


Fa Gao, is known  as Prosperity, Lucky or Fortune Cake, is made  during Chinese New Year to bring prosperity in the new year.

The cake is steamed and when correctly made, the top should split open into a smile,  the bigger the smile the better the fortune, it is supposed to split into four sections.  Gao means cake in chinese. Fa means leavened, so the name describes the cake.  However,  fa also means prosperity, for this reason the name prosperity cake and the reason why it is eaten during Chinese New Year to bring luck for the coming year.

Fa Gao Chinese New Year cake recipe:


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Filed under Cakes, chinese, Holiday

Chinese 8 treasure sweet rice dessert for New Years BaBao Fan


8 treasures is a  sweet rice pudding,  eaten during Chinese New Year also known as Spring festival.  This dessert is made of candied cherries, lotus seeds, red dates, candied  orange peel,  mango, golden raisins red bean paste,  dried sweet fruits.  The sweet topping is up to you,  whatever you desire for your 8 treasures to be on in the pudding. This is a chewy pudding not a creamy pudding.

I want to stick to tradition so I will be using 8 sweet  items for this dessert.  Why 8?  Eight is a lucky number for Chinese meaning rich. During Chinese New Year,  all food items on the dinner table have a sounding and meaning of lucky words, prosperity, good health or plentiful for the coming year.  It is very symbolic and full of tradition when you eat during Chinese New Year and very delicious!.

This eight treasure dessert originated  south of the Yangtse River. believe to be thousand of years old.

1/2 cup lotus tus seeds*

2 cups cold water

8 chinese red dates(dried)

2 cups glutinous sweet rice

1/4 cup sugar

2 Tablespoon vegetable shortening  (old original recipes calls for lard)

a few maraschino cherries

1 cup red bean paste(from a can)

*soak lotus seeds over night before steaming.

Directions: Pudding with 8 treasures

Lotus seeds add to cold water in a pot. Bring to a boil than simmer for about 20 minutes.  Set aside to cool.  Cut in halves. I steamed all sweet ingredients together in a steamer.

Steam red dates in a steamer until tender but not mushy.20-30 minutes. set aside when done.

Rinse rice under cold running water until water is clear. Cook rice in a steamer or pot according to directions using 2 cups rice.  Stir sugar into the rice as it cooks plus 2 tablespoons shortening.

this is how sweet cooked rice looks like

Mix well and set aside.

Grease  bowl

grease bowl with vegetable shortening

you will be using for your pudding with vegetable shorting,  Start to design bottom and side of bowl with 8 treasures,

without disturbing the 8 treasures,  carefully spoon rice into bowl, toward the middle of rice layering, spoon red bean paste and spread it around the rice(middle) than continue to layer withe rest of the rice, at this point make sure you press down using a piece of plastic wrap and pack it tight so that all air bubbles are release and there is no small air pockets. Discard plastic wrap.

Place bowl in the steamer,  make sure you have enough water in steamer to steam for 35 minutes.  (tip:  if you don’t have a steamer, place your bowl on an upside down plate inside a pan of simmering water and then cover it all with a large lid).

Directions for almond sauce:

4 tablespoons sugar

1 cup water

1/4 cup lotus seeds cooked

1 tablespoon cornstarch plus 2 tablespoon water

1 teaspoon pure almond extract

Place  1 cup of water in a pot and boil adding sugar until it dissolves. Keep stirring. Add cooked lotus seeds

In a bowl mix cold water and cornstarch than add it to  sugar/water mixture.  As the syrup cools add almond extract and mix well.

When pudding is done, use a butter knife around the edge to loosen pudding.  Place a plate on top and flip it over.   Can be served hot or cold. Drizzle syrup over pudding before serving.  Enjoy 8 treasure dessert for special occasions or on Chinese New Year.



spoon warm syrup over sweet rice








Filed under chinese, Holiday

Chinese New Year Nian Gao sticky rice cake

Nian Gao  is a sticky rice cake eaten during Chinese New Year also known as Spring Festival.  During the long New Year holiday, sweet rice cakes are given as small gifts to family and friends.

Traditional story of the origins to the Chinese Nian Gao sweet cake is that one week before Spring Festival,  the Kitchen God returns to heaven to report on the good and misdeeds of each family.  If the report has a lack of approval, the whole family will experience bad luck in the coming year.   Families will sweeten the lips of  the Kitchen God with Sticky Cake or something sweet like honey, his mouth will be sweet with good words, that he will not be able to give an unfavorable report.  This sweet sticky cake is a must for Chinese New Year! Enjoy.



4 cups dark brown sugar

1 1/4 cups water

4 cups sweet glutinous rice flour (sold in all Asian markets)

2/3 cup canola oil

dash of salt


Mix brown sugar  into water and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat at boiling point. Keep stirring until sugar is dissolved.  Set-aside to cool to warm.

Drizzle oil into sugar mixture add a pinch of salt.  Makes about 1/4 cup more or less of sugar syrup.  Set aside for later usage.

Mix rice flour with oil adding to brown sugar mixture, it will become very sticky and thickens.  Keep mixing until it is smooth.

Grease rice bowl or container you will be using for the cake.  Wet your fingers while pressing down, as the dough is sticky.  As you place dough into a container, press down to make sure there are no air bubbles.

Drizzle syrup over  nian gao (sticky cake).  Place cake pan in a steamer for about 6 hours(depends on the container that you put the dough in).

if it is a cake pan than 5-6 hours will be OK  if smaller rice bowls, the dough is thicker so it takes an hour more.  Keep an eye on the steamer

making sure that there is enough water.  Place a small metal spoon inside water part of the steamer,  when the spoon stop banging and rattling around the pan than your steamer needs more water.

Sticky rice cake can be re- steam to reheat or use a microwave. Left over cake can be dipped in egg mixture and fried.

Year of the Dragon Happy New Year





Filed under chinese, Holiday

Chinese Bok Choy in 5 minutes

bunch of Bok Choy (cut the bottom white part about  1/2 of an inch)
1 or 2 tablespoon canola oil or vegetable oil  (do not use olive oil) amount of oil depends on the amount of bok choy you are planning to eat, enough to coat a pan.
3 large cloves garlic (chopped)
4 tablespoon chicken broth
soy sauce for drizzling
pinch of salt


1. In a skillet add oil at medium heat.
2. Add chop garlic (do not over cook the garlic keep it white in color but translucent) and bok choy.when skillet is hot.
Stir fry for 2 minutes turning bok choy a few times (high heat)
stir fry until it is a glossy green.
Do not over cook the bok choy.
3 Add chicken broth,  stir 1-2 minutes (vegetarian skip the broth add vegetable broth)
4.Place on a platter,  drizzle with soy sauce. (a little)
 No salt is needed but since the broth and soy sauce is already salty.
Add a pinch of salt (optional)

This should take less than 5 minutes.   Bok choy should not be over cooked,  still hold its shape with a tender crunch,  great with wild salmon and steam rice.  Enjoy!

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Filed under chinese, Vegetable, Vegetarian

Chinese New Year Turnip Cake known in Chinese as Law Bok Gow “prosperity or growing fortune”

Law Bok Gow is symbolic during Chinese New Year which means “prosperity or growing fortune”. You can also find it at Dum Sum restaurants . This is a typical Chinese breakfast item .

Chinese bacon chopped
2 pounds Chinese white turnip
Chinese dried shiitake mushrooms chopped
1/3 cup fried tiny shrimp
2 teaspoon shao hsing rice wine (cooking wine)
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt (add more to your liking)
2 cups rice flour
2  teaspoon of peanut oil

1. Steam bacon than chop into small pieces
2. Soak dried mushroom in 1/2 cup very hot water for 20-30 minutes.  When soften discard stem and dice mushroom caps.* save soaked  liquid,
3.  Soak shrimp in 1/2 cup very hot water for about 20-30 minutes* save liquid,
4. Peel and grate turnip.  Place in a sauce pan with water and bring to a boil .  Cook for about 30 minutes on a low heat.  Drain and reserve  water (do not  discard).
5. Stir fry  adding  peanut oil, bacon  mushrooms, shrimp in bacon fat for 2 minutes adding rice wine, soy sauce and sugar stirring for 1  minute. remove from heat and set aside.
6. Add grated turnip to bacon and mushroom mixture, combine.
7. In a large bowl add rice flour and 1 cup of liquid of turnip broth and  liquid of the mushroom and shrimp.  Mix well.  Make sure there are no    lump adding  salt.  Mix all ingredients together and pour into a round cake pan.
8. Per heat  steamer at a high temperature.  When water is boiling add cake pan to steamer and cover with a lid.  Cover lid with a clean dish  towel(under lid to soak stream).   Boil for 1 hour or until cake is firm to touch.  If steamer needs more water,  add water.  When done, cool and refrigerate for several hours ( 3-4 hours).

When ready to eat, cut in slices and pan fry until golden brown.   Serve with slice green onions, chili or oyster sauce.  This turnip cake can be found at any Dim Sum restaurant,  Asian supermarket.   You can freeze the turnip cake.

Made this for Chinese New Year but it is easier to just buy the turnip cake at your local Chinese market!

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Mantou Chinese Steam Bun semi-sweet chocolate and white

To tell you the truth,  it is easier to buy these buns at your local Asian market than making it.  I am not a bread baker and it was a challenge. I doubt I will make it again. This is not my recipe. I found this on an Asian site.  It can out as promise but it was not easy to follow.  This bun is not very sweet but I do like steam mantou (sweet milk buns are my favorite).  I usually buy the buns at my local Chinese market that are made fresh or can be found frozen in the freezer department.

Chinese steam buns ” Mantou”
The starter Ingredients:
1 1/2 cup cake flour
1/2 cup flour
2 teaspoons sugar
1 packet active dry yeast
 2 cups warm water (not hot)
Roll dough than cut 

The recipe below is for a soft bun which is not too sweet.. slightly warm the water and mix in the sugar. Once the sugar dissolves add the yeast and let it sit for 5 minutes. 
Mix the dry ingredients, (except the cocoa powder) adding 6 more tablespoons of extra sugar for flavor,  adding the yeast mixture and combining the wet ingredients.

      In a large bowl  mix together  the dry ingredients  Add in your water until it becomes a liquid flour substance.  Cover it with a towel and let it sit in a warm area.
      After 10 to 12 hours add 1 cup of flour and stir. Let it sit for another 12 hours.
      After 24 hours it is ready to use in your dough.
      Stir it before measuring out the appropriate amount . Divide the dough in half and add the cocoa powder to half of the dough. Mix well.
      Making the  mantou chocolate buns :

    1 and 1/2 cups cake flour plus 3/4 cup all purpose flour

      5 tablespoons cocoa powder
      6 tbsp sugar

    1 tsp baking powder 1 packet of active dry yeast 3 tbsp water (at room temperature) 1/4 cup of the dough starter 1/2 cup whole milk (at room temperature) 1 tsp vegetable oil wax paper

    wax paper for steaming

    In a large bowl mix together both flours, sugar, baking powder and active dry yeast.
    Once the dry ingredients are thoroughly mixed, slowly add in the water, dough starter  and milk. Stir until a dough forms.
     Using your hands, knead the dough in the container for about 5 minutes.
    After 5 minutes add the vegetable oil and continue kneading for another 10 minutes.
     Let the dough sit while the steamer is prepared.
    Cut about 12 squares about 3”on all sides of wax paper.
     Each roll will be placed on one of these squares so that they don’t stick to the steamer.
     Place about 4 of these squares into the steamer tray, depending on the size of your steamer.
    I usually cook just 5-7 at one time so that they don’t stick together.
     Remember that these rolls will rise as they cook.
    Lay out the remaining squares of wax paper on a cookie sheet.
    Place the dough on a flat floured surface and roll it into a thin rectangular shape.
    Once you have a rectangle, cut it in half. Roll up each half to form two log shapes.
    Cut the dough logs into 5 to 6 equal pieces.
    Place each roll on a piece of wax paper (4 in the steamer if large buns or mini buns 5-7).
    Let the buns sit for 45 minutes before steaming.
    After 45 minutes,  heat the steamer on high.  Place a clean cloth towel under the lid so the water will not dip from the steam on the buns.
    Once the water boils, place the steamer tray of buns on top and cover. Steam the rolls for 11 to 12 minutes.
    Once they the buns are done, remove and serve immediately. Makes about large 12 rolls or 20 mini buns.
    the buns freezes nicely.
    these steam buns are airy and fluffy.

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    Filed under Bread, chinese, Chocolate