Feb 15, 2017 by Liv Wan

Blood Orange Quinoia Salad: The best summer salad

Apr 9, 2017 by Liv Wan

Caramalised Pineapple Coconut Rice Pudding

Feb 04, 2017 by Liv Wan

Prawn and Lemon Butter Pasta

Jan 15, 2017 by Liv Wan

Chinese Fish Fragrant Omelette

Nov 20, 2016 by Liv Wan

Red Cooked Pork Belly with Lotus Root

Feb 20, 2017 by Liv Wan

Buttermilk Fried Chicken

Jan 22, 2017 by Liv Wan

Thai Steamed Fish with Coconut Quinoia

Oct 20, 2016 by Liv Wan

Dan Bing: Taiwanese Egg Crepe. Delicious!

Oct 10, 2016 by Liv Wan

Stir Fried Beef with Thai Chive Flower and Bean Curd

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Stuffed Lotus Root with Sweet Sticky Rice

Stuffed Lotus Root with Sweet Sticky Rice

Recently I’ve been going through a really busy period. I just had my final year exhibition and graded unit which along with looking after Amelia really has taken up all of my time. Chris has also had a lot of photography work to complete so I’ve been doing the extra rounds with childcare while he got his work done.

But finally, I now have some free time for myself. I’ve been thinking about posting a recipe for this Chinese dessert called “stuffed lotus root with sweet sticky rice” for a long time but because of my college course and works I’ve decided I want to try to illustrator the procedures for most recipes from now on. Of course if the dish is really simple I probably won’t illustrate it but this dish does need some guidance.

It’s really good fun but also a pain doing these illustrated procedures. It requires a lot of time to finish one recipe but it’s really good practice, really therapeutic and I hope I can eventually produce an illustrated cook book. If you remember I started designing a cook book a couple years ago and while it looks really professional, I want something a lot more fun so over a period of time I’ll re-illustrate a number of recipes while adding new recipes.

When I worked as a chef, drawing was always really important for remembering recipes. Every restaurant has completely different recipes and some recipes can be quite complicated, so I use a small notebook to illustrate the final dish and I would write the ingredients and procedure in the book. Sometimes I would have to remember 20 or more dishes in one day so the quicker you learn then better. So that’s how and I why I started drawing these recipes. I think this is also one of the reasons I got a place on my college course as the teacher seemed to be really impressed about my recipe book.

So here is my another illustrated recipe for this Chinese dessert “Stuffed lotus root with sweet sticky rice”. I hope you will enjoy it.

Also a few weeks ago, Chris, Amelia and I discovered a very cool castle in West Scotland called “Kelburn Castle”. It was built in the late 16th century but what makes this castle so special? What makes it different to all of the other castles in Scotland? Well, the castle walls needed some repairs back in 2007 and rather than just re-plaster the walls and apply a plain paint, the owner of the castle hired a group of Brazilian graffiti artists to paint the West wall of the Castle.

If you come to Scotland and have a fascination with castles, you should definitely check Kelburn Castle out. The painting on the castle looks amazing but just as importantly the grounds of the castle are fantastic for both adults and children. There’s a secret forest and many playgrounds for children, there are cafe’s and shops for adults, you can go horse riding but also the staff are extremely friendly.

I’ve put some photos of Kelburn Castle on this post, hope you like them.

stuffed lotus root with sweet sticky rice

 

Stuffed Lotus Root with Sweet Sticky Rice

Course Main Dish
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 3 hours
Servings 3 people

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sticky rice
  • 2 lotus roots they should be 12-15cm long ideally
  • 5 dried jujubes
  • 50 g rock sugar
  • 50 g brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp honey

Instructions

  1. Soak the sticky rice in a bowl of water for 2 hours.
  2. Cut the lotus root as per the steps in this procedure picture. Make sure you keep the top of the lotus root as you will use this as a lid.
  3. Stuff the sticky rice from step 1 into the lotus root and use chopsticks to push the rice into the lotus root, effectively stuffing it.
  4. After you have stuffed the lotus root use 2 or 3 toothpicks to fasten the lid to the lotus root.
  5. Boil a pot of water and add 4-5 dried jujubes and 50 grammes of rock sugar. Stir until the rock sugar has dissolved. Add step 4 into the pot and cook for 1.5 hour. Make sure you have enough water to cover the lotus root.
  6. Use 200ml of the liquid from step 5 and add brown sugar and honey. Boil this mixture and simmer until the sauce has reduced by 50%. Use this as a sauce for the lotus root.
  7. Leave the lotus root to cool down. Once it has cooled down, slice it to serve with the sauce from step 6.

 

stuffed lotus root with sweet sticky rice
kelburn castle
kelburn castle
kelburn castle
kelburn castle
kelburn castle
kelburn castle

Strawberry Almond Tofu Dessert

Strawberry Almond Tofu Dessert

In the last week my life has changed so much and hopefully for the better. As you know I’ve been working as a chef for a few years but as well as cooking one of my other passions is drawing. When I was in my teens I had the option of either studying art or studying cooking and I ended up studying the latter but I’ve always wanted to see what I can achieve by studying something else.

So in the last few weeks I applied to study a full time course in Illustration at a well known college in Edinburgh and I’ve been accepted. Yay! I really love the people I work with but one day I will have to move back to my country and in Taiwan there are no places for female chefs. The vast majority of chefs in Taiwan are men and it’s very difficult for a woman to have a decent place in a professional kitchen.

Also, you’ll have to admit I’m a bit too delicate to work as a chef. Remember my broken finger last week and all my burns? It’s too much.

Another great bit of news is I’ll keep working part time at the same restaurant while I study but I’ll also have a lot more time to update my blog so you should expect to see a lot more recipes coming from me in the future and maybe one day (hopefully!) I’ll get my book finished!

So let’s talk about today’s recipe…

Strawberry Almond Tofu Dessert

The way I made this dish isn’t the traditional way for making Almond Tofu Dessert. The traditional way is you cut the almond tofu into small diamond shapes surrounded by pieces of diced fruit and syrup. I made this dish with strawberries as we’re in strawberry season right now and I chilled the dish in the fridge so this is a nice cool dish. This is a great dessert for the summer.

We believe almonds will give you beautiful smooth skin so we like to eat lots of almonds. The name of this dish might sound like a contradiction as there’s no tofu in this dish but the main ingredient, soy milk, is the same as from tofu, so I guess this is why we call it Almond Tofu.

This dish is made up of strawberry coulis at the bottom with the almond tofu on top, topped with fresh fruit of choice. The strawberry coulis has pieces of fresh strawberry in it as well.

strawberry almond tofu dessert

 

Strawberry Almond Tofu Dessert

Course Main Dish
Prep Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours
Servings 4 portions

Ingredients

Ingredients for Strawberry Coulis

  • 100 g fresh strawberries
  • 100 g caster sugar
  • 70 g water
  • 2 tsp corn flour

Ingredients for Almond Tofu

  • 1 ltr soy milk
  • 4 pieces gelatine
  • 150 g caster sugar
  • 200 g peeled almonds
  • 100 g water
  • 2 drops almond extract

Instructions

Procedure for Strawberry Coulis

  1. Use a food processor to purify 100g of fresh strawberries then put into a small sauce pot along with the water and sugar. Bring  this to the boil.
  2. Mix the corn flour with 2 teaspoons of water in a separate bowl and gradually stir into the saucepan from step one to ensure  even texture. Bring the sauce to the boil again after adding this mixture. Once it has boiled pour the mixture into a bowl and allow to cool down.

Procedure for Almond Tofu

  1. Use the food processor to blend the almonds almost to a powder texture.
  2. Put the almond powder, soy milk, water, sugar and almond extract into a saucepan and bring this to boil. Once at the boil allow to simmer for 45 minutes but stir occasionally while simmering to make sure it doesn’t burn on the bottom of the pan.
  3. After the 45 minutes pass the mixture through a sieve as we don’t want any lumps of almond. After passing though allow the mixture to cool down a little. Soften the gelatine and stir this into the cooled mixture. Cooling the mixture down before adding the gelatine is essential otherwise the gelatine would be destroyed at a high temperature.
  4. Once you have added gelatine allow the mixture to cool down until the dish is warm but not hot. At this moment you can prepare the glasses for pouring the mixture into.
  5. In the glass or dish that you choose to use, place fresh strawberries at the bottom and cover this with strawberry coulis. This should fill about one fifth of the glass/dish. Being gentle, cover the strawberry coulis with the almond tofu mixture until about 4/5ths of the glass are filled. Leave in a fridge until it has set (this should take about 1 hour but I left it overnight).
  6. Once the dessert has set place fresh strawberries on top and it’s ready to serve. I added blackberries for extra garnish but this is entirely optional.

 

Eight Treasure Rice Pudding Chinese new year dish

Eight Treasure Rice Pudding Chinese new year dish

eight treasure rice pudding

Eight Treasures Rice Pudding is a traditional Chinese new year pudding. Eight treasures topping is made up with eight different kind of dried fruits, raisin and sweets. You can choose any ingredients which are easy for you to buy. Of course, you don’t have to use “eight” different toppings but the number of toppings you use is really down to personal preference.

I used five different kinds of toppings today because I only a small rice pudding for Chris and I. If I were to use eight different kinds of toppings for a rice pudding this size it would look a bit of a mess

The number eight is a magic number for Chinese people. In Chinese the number eight sounds like another Chinese word “”. in Chinese means rich and I believe everybody likes being rich.  So, eight is a lucky number. Also, this dessert is really colourful and pretty so Chinese people love to have this dessert in Chinese New Year.

China has so many different provinces and different provinces also have different traditions. Whether you go to Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore or even Malaysia, although we all celebrate Chinese New Year the customs are different. Sometimes it’s really hard to say which Chinese dish is a typical Chinese New Year dish but I always say as long as the dish is petty, colourful and has a lucky or pretty name then it’s a good Chinese New Year dish.

Here is recipe for this eight treasures rice pudding. I wish all of you have a great Chinese new year and I hope you will give my recipe a go and make eight treasures rice pudding for your friends and family. Trust me, they’ll love it.

Credit: All photos were taken by Chris at: http://www.chrisradleyphotography.com

 

Eight Treasure Rice Pudding Chinese new year dish

Course Main Dish
Prep Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 3 people

Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 1 handful sugar glazed cherries
  • 1 handful black raisins
  • 1 handful yellow raisins
  • 1 handful sugar lotus seeds available in Chinese supermarkets
  • 1 dried apricot
  • 2 cups round glutinous rice
  • 100 g red bean paste available in Chinese supermarkets

Seasonings

  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Ingredients for sugar syrup

  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tbsp potato starch water (1/2 tsp potato starch with 1 tbsp water, mix evenly)
  • 2 drops rose or any kind of flower essence **

Instructions

  1. Soak round glutinous rice in cold water for 1 hour at least. Cook it in a rice cooker or steamer. Mix the cooked rice with sunflower oil and salt when it’s still hot.
  2. Brush some oil on a medium size bowl and cut the sugar glazed cherry in half. Place the dried fruits and sugar glazed cherries as shown in the photos.
  3. Put half of the cooked glutinous rice in the bowl and press down a little bit then put 100g red bean paste in the middle.
  4. Use a little bit of glutinous rice to cover the red bean paste and place the sugar lotus seeds and sugar glazed cherries around the bowl.
  5. Put all of the glutinous rice in the bowl and press down. Steam for 30 minutes.
  6. Use a small pot to boil all the ingredients for the sugar syrup. Stir in potato starch water to thicken the syrup.
  7. Flip the rice pudding on a plate and brush sugar syrup on top. Ready to serve.

Recipe Notes

** In some traditional eight treasures rice pudding recipes, it says use “sweet-scented osmanthus sauce” but it’s very difficult to get in UK so I use rose essence to replace it.

 

Donkey rolling on the ground 驢打滾

Donkey rolling on the ground 驢打滾

donkey rolling on the ground chinese desert

The Fringe Festival is finally going to finish soon and my life can finally can go back to normal. I’m sorry that I can’t reply messages lately but I did try my best. I really miss updating new recipes on my blog and cooking some tasty Chinese or Taiwanese dish at home. The most important thing is to share my recipe with all of you.

Because of being too tired, I started doing some silly things lately. I usually finish work, go home and found out I can’t open my front door by my key. I realized I tried to use my locker key to open my front door when I’m going to knock my door to ask Chris ”Why you lock me outside of our home!” or I always try to open my locker with my front door key and start panicking, what about “Why I can’t open my locker! Ah….I need my knives for work!”

I was planning to cook some tasty Chinese ribs today but unfortunately I’ve done another stupid thing. I left my keys hang on my lockers and I realized it when I arrived home. Thank god, my colleague is such a sweet heart keeping my key for me until I go back to work on Monday.  But I kind of lock myself at home today so I can’t go to supermarket to buy some ingredients for cooking. (sigh….)

Today I’ll share with you this Chinese dessert recipe which has a really funny name in Chinese. It’s called “Donkey Rolling on the Ground” (驢打滾). I know it’s a strange name for a dessert. But this dessert gained this funny name from the look of it. It looks like a donkey rolling on the ground with all the dust cover on the body. It’s really yummy and easy to make. I use peanut powder instead of the cooked soybean powder because I can’t find the soybean powder. But in proper recipe for this dessert should use soybean powder. (I think I should use walnut powder because Taiwanese and Chinese believe walnut is good for your “brain” and I think I really need it at moment LOL). I hope you will enjoy this recipes and also hope you don’t do something silly like me.

Credits: Preparation photos were taken by myself but final photos were taken by Chris at: Chris Radley Photography

 

 

Donkey Rolling on the Ground

Course Main Dish
Prep Time 40 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 3 people

Ingredients

  • 250 g glutinous rice
  • 250 g water
  • 40 g caster sugar
  • 250 g red bean paste
  • Some peanut powder
  • Some honey or dark brown sugar

Instructions

  1. Cook the 250g glutinous rice with 250g water in the steamer or rice cooker.
  2. Pour the cooked glutinous rice into a mixing bowl with 40g caster sugar and use a rolling pin to pound the rice until the rice looks like dough, but you still can see a little bit rice shape in it.
  3. Separate the rice into 3 portions and flatten it into a long  rectangle shape.
  4. Roll the red bean paste into long stripe shape and put it in the middle of the rice.
  5. Roll it with rice into the column shape. Cut it into 3 cm long and coat it with peanut powder.

Raspberry Snowflake Cake

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.