Raspberry Snowflake Cake

There are couple things that have made me feel very happy recently. The first thing is my head chef asked me for the Peking duck recipe for the new dish on our restaurant menu. The second thing is Lisa from http://www.koreanamericanmommy.blogspot.com follow my recipe and made her first “three cup chicken” and it turned out really awesome. Here is her blog about this three cup chicken: http://koreanamericanmommy.blogspot.com/2010/07/chef-liv-wans-chinese-three-cup-chicken.html

I feel so proud and also super happy. I wish people who visit my blog can enjoy my recipe and have fun in the kitchen. That’s the greatest thing to me. I feel really honour that my head chef asked the recipe from me and I wish my recipe help him a bit with the new dish. This is the two thing make me feel really happy and I share my happiness with you who is reading this post at moment and wish you have a great day.

Now, It’s the time for the recipe of the day. I’m going to share this Chinese dessert recipe with you. My colleague asked me if there any popular Chinese or Taiwanese desserts? Yes, of course there are a lot of desserts in both China and Taiwan. But I have to say they are different from desserts that are popular in the UK. Here is an example dessert that I share with you today.

raspberry snowflake cake

When the first time I read about this dessert’s name I just fall in love with it. How cute is the name? I guess the name snowflake comes from the layer of coconut powder that actually looks a bit like a snowflake.

Raspberry snowflake cake tastes a little bit sweet and sour and the most important thing is this dessert has to be eaten in cold. You must eat it immediately after taking it out from fridge.

These photos were taken by Chris from Chris Radley Photography

 

Raspberry Snowflake Cake

Course Main Dish
Prep Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 2 people

Ingredients

A

  • 50 g rasberries
  • 450 g water
  • 180 g caster sugar
  • 200 ml milk
  • 50 ml double cream
  • 5 leafs gelatine

B

  • 120 g potato starch
  • 100 ml water
  • coconut powder

Instructions

  1. Cook raspberry, 450g water and caster sugar in a small sauce pan and bring it to boil. Keep whisk it while cooking to help sugar and raspberry dissolve.
  2. Soften gelatine in cold water. Add milk and double cream into step 1 and bring it to boil again.
  3. Turn off the gas and add gelatine into step 2 and keep whisk it to help to mix evenly.
  4. Mix potato starch and water evenly and add it into step 3.
  5. Pour the mixture from step 4. Into a long rectangle shape baking tray with baking paper in it. (Baking paper helps us to take out the snowflake cake easier later.) Put the snowflake cake into your fridge for 1 or 2 hours to help it form. Cover the snowflake cake with coconut powder and it’s ready to serve.

 

Xian Lamb Kebab authentic Chinese kebab recipe

xian lamb kebab

Four years ago I travelled to Xian, China with my husband. One of favourite places was Xi’an. Not only was the weather more manageable in July than the other parts of China we went to (think 40C+ dry heat instead of 40+C humid heat) but it also had some really great surprises. We will always remember the first time we went to muslim street in Xian city centre and there were so many kebab restaurants. Throughout the whole of muslim street all we could smell was the spiced beef and lamb. Vegetarian street this was not but if you like meet this could be considered heaven.

Xian Muslim Street BBQ

It was a great experience to drink ice cold beers and eating many kebabs at the same time. I love to have good food in my holiday. Food doesn’t necessarily have to be Michelin star or five-star dining. Many holes-the-wall or walk-in restaurants like these sell the best food.

Also, to give you an idea of what we paid. Between Chris and I we had maybe 35-40 skewers of lamb meat and lamb kidney. We also had a big soup, naan bread type thing and 6 or 7 beers. Total cost was about £8. How awesome is that?!

After four years, I still can’t forget the taste of this Xian lamb kebab. We also saw the terracotta army, which was incredible, but the food will always be as memorable to us at the army. Xian has stunning food, nice people and the architecture (it has the oldest mosque in China) is quite stunning. If you ever go to China, make sure you go to Xi’an, you won’t regret it.

Chris Radley Photography and Liv Wan in China

 

Xian Lamb Kebab authentic Chinese kebab recipe

Course Main Dish
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 2 people

Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 400 g lamb leg cut into 2cm sized dices
  • 1/2 onion
  • 2 thin slices ginger chop finely

Seasonings

  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper powder
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil

Instructions

  1. Marinade lamb with all seasonings for at least 1 hour.
  2. Skewer the lamb and preheat oven to 200C.
  3. Roast the lamb for 5 minutes then turn the oven to grill and grill the lamb kebab for another 5 minutes. It’s then ready to serve.

 

Taiwanese fried chicken and sweet potato chips

taiwanese fried chicken and sweet potato chips

Unfortunately I haven’t been able to update my blog for over a week due to a few things. First of all I’ve been working on a cook book, about favourite authentic recipes from my home country of Taiwan but also favourites that I have eaten in China and favourites as cooked by my grandparents who originate from China.

The other reason I haven’t updated my blog is I suffered a really bad burn on my arm at work which was fine for around a week, but several days ago I was opening scallop shells at work and got water from the shells in my burn. This resulted in my arm turning red and blowing up quite dramatically. I had to go to hospital and I was instructed to do absolutely nothing for 24 hours.

Most people think if you cut yourself or burn yourself you must let the wound breath and don’t cover it. Even my local pharmacist told me this but the doctor/nurse immediately dismissed this. 24 hours after taking penicillin tablets and wearing a gel patch with a dressing the swelling has come down.

dumpling pastry

The other thing that I want to reply to is Jenny who asked me a couple day ago about which dumpling pastry I used for my dumplings. Here is the photo of the pastry I used but I have to say I’m not entirely happy with this pastry. It’s a little bit thin so you must be carefully when you cook your dumplings. But otherwise it tastes better than other brands I’ve found in the UK. I hope my blog today help you a bit.

I think Taiwanese deep fried chicken (Sien shu gi) and sweet potato chips to Taiwanese people is just like “fish and chips” in UK to British people.

Taiwanese people love this deep fried chicken and sweet potato chips but this snack isn’t only confined to the night markets, it’s a snack that can be eaten anywhere, just like fish and chips in the UK. The chicken is crispy and crunchy with a strong fragrance.

Some businessmen will add some chopped garlic with the chicken to give it different flavour but here is my favourite recipe for this particular dish. I hope you will like it.

Credit: These photos were taken by Chris at Chris Radley Photography

 

Taiwanese fried chicken and sweet potato chips

Course Main Dish
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 4 people

Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 3 whole chicken breasts
  • 1 spring onion chopped finely
  • 2 thin slices ginger chopped finely
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes

Seasonings

  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp five spice powder
  • 1 cup sweet potato starch

Instructions

  1. Cut the chicken breasts into 2.5 cm cubes.
  2. Marinade the chicken with all of the seasonings, ginger and spring onion but not the sweet potato powder for 1 hour.
  3. Peel the sweet potato and cut into 8 cm long strips. Add a couple tablespoons of sweet potato powder into a big bowl with a little bit of water and mix evenly. Add the sweet potato chips into the bowl and coated with the mixture.
  4. Heat up 3 cups of oil to 180c then fry the chicken until the chicken turns to a golden colour and add some basil to fry it with chicken when the chicken has nearly cooked. (Please be careful in this step. Because the basil can make the oil splash really badly.)  Fry the chips in the same way as well.

 

Hot and Sour Soup

hot and sour soup

Hot and sour soup is a very common dish in both Taiwan and China. People usually have fried or plain dumplings with hot and sour soup. The sourness of this soup is very good for one’s appetite and my mother use to tell me when I got flu that it will go away quicker if I drink a lot of this soup when I was young.

I don’t know if it’s true or not but I think drinking a lot of hot fluid is good for your body when you catch the flu, right? But please go to doctor if you catch flu or don’t feel well.

The Eastern way to cook soup and western way to cook soup are so different. Most of the western ways to cook this soup are to puree the soup to make it really smooth and soft but in eastern people usually like chunks of meat, fish and vegetables in their soup that they actually can see it. I have to cook a few different kinds of “western soup” when I work and it’s a precious experience for me because I can learn western cooking during work and learn eastern cooking from my family or learn it by myself in my personal time. It’s always fun to learn new things, don’t you think?

Credit: These photos were taken by Chris at Chris Radley Photography

 

Hot and Sour Soup

Course Main Dish
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 2 people

Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 1 ltr chicken stock
  • 80 g pork loin
  • 10 wood ears soak in warm water for 15 minutes to soften then julienne
  • 1 medium carrot julienne it
  • 300 g fresh tofu drain the water and cut into 5cm strips
  • 2 eggs beaten

Marinade for pork

  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp potato starch
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp rice wine

Seasonings

  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1.5 tbsp dark rice vinegar
  • 1/2 tbsp normal rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp potato starch

Instructions

  1. Marinade the pork for 15 minutes.
  2. Boil a pot of water to blanch pork, carrot, wood ear and tofu then leave it on aside.
  3. Boiled the chicken stock and add all the ingredients from step 2 to bring it to boil again.
  4. Add soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, salt into the soup, then mix the potato starch with a little bit water first (Remember the potato starch with water must be mix evenly and without any lumps) and add into the soup to make it look a bit dense and sticky.
  5. Turn the gas power to lowest heat and pour the egg into the soup. Stir the soup gently after 30 second and turn off the gas.

 

Drunken Chicken

drunken chicken recipe

When I was a child I always thought you prepared drunken chicken by feeding the chicken a bottle of rice wine before cooking. I thought if the chicken was drunk enough it would make the meat taste of alcohol. Now I think how silly I was but who knows these things.

I love the taste of drunken chicken even if I’m not a big fan of food that tastes of alcohol. This drunken chicken uses Shaoxing rice for which people who have tasted it know it has a strong but special flavour. Some so called celebrity Eastern chefs use Shaoxing rice wine in many dishes but this really isn’t the way to use it.

This drunken chicken is best served as a cold dish making it a great summer dish. It’s refreshing, tasty but not too strong. I hope you enjoy making this dish.

These photos were taken by Chris from: Chris Radley Photography

drunken chicken procedure

 

Drunken Chicken

Course Main Dish
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 7 hours 30 minutes
Servings 2 people

Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 2 chicken legs including thigh, de-boned
  • 2 spring onions cut into 3cm lengthways
  • 2 thin slices ginger
  • 1 tbsp goji berries
  • 1 thin slice Chinese angelica root
  • 2 thin slices liquorice root

Seasonings

  • 200 ml Shaoxing rice wine
  • 1 cup stock I used chicken stock
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Couples pinches sugar

Instructions

  1. Use some salt to marinade the chicken legs for 20 minutes and use a few sheets of cling film to wrap the chicken as displayed in the procedure photos below.
  2. Use a small sauce pan to boil the water, stock, spring onion, ginger, goji berries, angelica root, liquorice roots, salt and sugar. After boiling reduce to lowest heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Leave it aside to cool down.
  3. Add Shaoxing rice wine into step 2.
  4. Steam chicken for around 20 minutes until the chicken is cooked.
  5. Remove chicken from sling film and soak in marinade for at lest 6 hours. Leave in a fridge overnight.

 

Honey Cake Chinese Desert

honey cake recipe

Honey Cake is a dessert that we usually give to our families when there is a new born member of the family.

We will host a part for our family and friends to celebrate the one month birth of the baby and we call this party “Man-yue-jiu”. Usually the family will prepare boiled eggs which are dyed red as well as prepare savoury sticky rice and this honey cake as gifts to friends and family who attend the party as a thank you to them joining us.

I personally think this is a great tradition. When I have children I want to do the same thing. Of course if you want to eat honey cake and you don’t have friends or family you can still buy this cake in some bakeries in Taiwan.

In this recipe I added some black sesame and almonds for a modern twist. This is of course

completely optional. If you don’t like either black sesame or almonds you can leave them out.

Credit: These photos were taken by Chris at Chris Radley Photography

honey cake procedure

 

Honey Cake Chinese Desert

Course Main Dish
Prep Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4 people

Ingredients

  • 3 whole eggs
  • 100 g brown sugar
  • 50 g caster sugar
  • 150 g honey
  • 200 g vegetable oil
  • 200 g plain flour
  • 50 g ground almonds
  • 15 g black sesame
  • 2.5 tsp baking powder
  • Few drops vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Add eggs, sugar, honey and oil to mixer and beat until everything has dissolved. The mixture should be a light creamy colour.
  2. Sift flour and baking powder into the mixture from step 1. Add vanilla extract, almond and sesame into the mixture and mix everything evenly.
  3. Put a couple sheets of baking paper into a square baking tray (20cm x 20cm x 3 cm) and pour the cake mixture into it. Set the oven at 150C and bake for around 35 minutes.