Monday, February 14, 2011


St. Valentine's Day was originally a day to mourn a martyred priest named Valentine. He disobeyed the emperor's order and performed wedding. Ceremonies for lover secretly, and he was caught and arrested and put to death on February 14, later people used this day to express their love, not only to lovers, but also to family and friend. Today no matter who you spend this day with, Chocolate has become the best way to express you love.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Hakka Pink Glutinous Rice Delight (Hei Paan)

Hakka cuisine may be seen as too provincial for a lighter palate. But many of their dishes are still a firm favourite with the Chinese who may have to work a little harder to find the few and far in between restaurants that serve authentic Hakka fare.

Many Hakka dishes reflect the ingenuity of its people who were forced by war and chaos to flee their homeland in Northern China in centuries past. In their migratory move down south, the Hakkas learned to persevere under harsh conditions and even hostility, as they were often not welcomed in their new settlements.

However the Hakkas are a practical lot and have a long tradition of making the best of a bad situation. They have no qualms in moving on to anther place in search of a better life and hence earned their name - Hak, which means "Guest" and Ka, mean "Family".

Hakka Pink Glutinous Rice Delight (Hei Paan) for the Lunar New Year celebrations. It is usually eaten on the seventh day of the new lunar year, the day when mankind celebrate a common birthday.

Hakka Hei Paan recipe:
ingredients for starter: 210g plain flour, 1 1/2 tsp instant yeast, 300ml water,
A: 300g sugar, 375ml water and 3 blades pandan leave (knotted)
B: 240g plain flour, 150g glutinous rice flour, 1 1/2 tbsp cooking oil and pinch of red colouring

1. place ingredients for starter in big mixing bowl. Mix evenly and cover. Leave it to ferment for 1-2 hours.

2. Bring ingredient (A) to a boil. Remove pandan leaves, cool solution.

3. Sieve flour and glutinous rice flour of ingredients (B). Add into no. 1, mix in oil. Pour in no. 2, colouring and combine properly. Cover and ferment for 1-4 hour.

4. Place no.3 through a sieve. Spread into banana leaves around 4' in diameter. Cover and proof for 20-40 minutes. steam for 10 minutes.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Faster Style Nian Gao (更快的风格年糕)

I want to make the " Kuih Bakul"or" Nian Gao", It is difficult to find banana leaves in town but the village had no problems. It is must for us during each Chinese New Year(CNY).

Kuih Bakul, like many other CNY traditions also symbolises good luck, with the" Nian Gao" pronunciation in Mandarin that sound similar to ' a better year' especially in income.

600g Glutinous rice flour, 600ml water, 250g white sugar, 250g brown sugar and 100ml golden syrup.

Material & utensil needed:
Few pieces of banana leaves, 1 sheet of aluminum foil, 1 round mould 7'and 1 round mould 5'.

1. Combine glutinous rice flour with water. Mix evenly, add in sugar, syrup and knead till mixture is soft and sugar is dissolved.

2. Strain no.1 into a seven inches mould. Cover top with foil to prevent condensation water from dripping onto surface. Place mould into a pressure cooker. Cook kuih for 30-40 minutes.

3. Cut banana leaves into rectangular shape. Stack three layers to line the four sides of a five inches mould. Stack another three layer to act as a top cover.

4. Remove no.2 and pour into no.3 with the aid of a pair of chopsticks or a wooden spatula. Steam in a normal steamer for one to two hours.