Whenever I pass by night markets or Chinese Medical halls, the aromatic whiffs of tea leaf egg never fails to make my tummy rumble. If you are unfamiliar with tea leaf eggs, they are a typical Chinese street food originated from China and found commonly all across China and Southeast Asia, especially Taiwan, Malaysia and Singapore.
The eggs are cooked and simmered in a spiced tea broth. The spices use to flavor the tea broth usually consist of cinnamon, star anise and soy sauce. The use of black tea and dark soy sauce is what gives the tea leaf eggs their signature dark color.
I’m using Lipton tea leaves. You could also cut off 3 – 4 tea bags and use the leaves from there.
The marble-like pattern on the eggs are created by gently cracking the shells after they are cooked and before submerging them in the liquid.
Traditionally, the eggs are cooked until the hard boiled stage. Truth be told, I’m not a fan of tough and dry yolks. When I came across Chubby Hubby’s recipe, I was thoroughly inspired. He uses the sous-vide method to cook the eggs, resulting in firm egg whites with a runny centre. How ingenious!
Since I have no intention of investing in a sous-vide machine (yet), I borrowed the cooking method from my Shoyu Tamago recipe and gave this recipe a test.
I’m pretty happy with the custard-like yolk texture and even more satisfied with the deep rich flavor. Whether it is for breakfast, lunch or dinner, these Marbled Tea Leaf Eggs are simply delicious and provide a great source of protein.
Being an Asian, making spring rolls has always been a regular cooking activity at home. There’s nothing complicated in making them, perhaps the only part you’ll need a little practice is wrapping them nicely.
When I came across these Firecracker Prawn Rolls from The Woks of Life, I was eager to try them. They are whole deshelled prawns marinated with a spicy chilli dressing and wrapped individually with spring roll wrappers. Because of their shape and color, they do resemble Chinese firecrackers, minus the explosion.
These highly addictive prawn rolls work great as a side dish for lunch and dinner, or simply an impressive party appetizer.
The final ingredient I’ve chosen from CAI’s omakase box is none other than these Chinese chives (Kochi). Filled with Vitamin E, B-carotene and Allicin, regular consumption of Chinese Chives can help to purify your blood, boost your immunity and has anti-aging properties.
Chinese Chives from Kochi.
I’m a big fan of Chinese Chives, be it in dumplings or as stir-fry, it is a regular ingredient in my fridge. This Crispy Chives Pancakes recipe is modified from the popular Chinese Spring Onion / Green Onion Pancakes. In my humble opinion, the texture of a perfect Chinese pancake should be light, crispy and flaky all at the same time. It should be bursting with a substantial amount of the star ingredient – Chinese chives. This recipe is just that.
Light and flaky texture.
Besides using a low protein flour, a neat trick to achieve that texture is to “fluff” the pancake with a pair of tongs by loosening and squeezing the edges together. If you’ve seen how the prata man prepare your prata, you’ll know what I’m talking about.
You could freeze uncooked portions (like I did) and thaw them at room temperature for 30 mins before hitting the pan.
New Year’s resolutions are the perfect opportunity for all those who have failed to start making the changes that they said they would make next week, next month, etc.
3 weeks into 2017 and it is time to start fulfilling one of my top resolutions – start eating healthier food. I chose kale as I’ve always been wanting to incorporate this cruciferous vegetable in my diet. Cruciferous vegetables are unique because they are rich in glucosinolates which support detoxification and greatly reduces the risk of breast, colon and lung cancer.
However, Kale has a bitter and peppery taste which might not be appeal to some people. A great way to enjoy kale is to turn them into kale chips. If you are not a fan of Kale, then perhaps these crispy salt and vinegar kale chips will convert you!
The best part is no heavy frying is involved. Toss them lightly in olive oil and some seasoning, pop it in the oven and wait for 15 mins, that’s it. Oh, and I guarantee you can’t just stop at one.
Fans of Korean pop culture will know that Korean Honey Butter Chips, are extremely popular and high in demand. Crunchy, buttery, sweet and salty, there is a reason why this snack is so addictive.
Since I found some long forgotten potatoes buried at a corner in my fridge, I decided to make some Honey butter chips at home. I adapted this version from here. To make the crispiest potato chips, the key is soaking them in a vinegar solution and frying them at a lower temperature.
To be honest, the taste is slightly different from real deal. However it is just as delicious and addictive and I do recommend that you give it a try.
You could also experiment with other root vegetables and seasonings to create a variety of homemade chips. Not only are they more delicious and personal, but they are also healthier. Sweet potatoes, tapioca, or even more exotic forms of potatoes such as blue potatoes to create a more exquisite snack.
Do note that the chips must be eaten as soon as possible once they are prepared. Otherwise they will lose their crunch and turn soggy.