Month: October 2012

Pier Stroll.

Summer has arrived!

Trying to make the most of the first 30C day this season, I popped down to the local pier with my camera during my lunch break this week for a quick stoll and ray catching – see my attempted ‘summery pier’ shots from the walk below:

Admittedly, I don’t take the camera out enough so I’m not very strong at taking pictures of landscapes/scenery (H. likes reminding me of this all the time!). The shots ended up a bit brighter than I’d hoped so that will be something to take note for next time. But with longer days and warmer weather, there’ll be more opportunities in the coming months to practise – stay tuned for more of my little adventures around town!

Dumpling Day.

I love a good dumpling and when you’re on a shoe string budget (especially since I had to pay a large sum of tax recently); going out for dumplings isn’t an option.

Fortunately, making dumplings isn’t difficult and despite the hard work; it’s actually quite fun! Getting your hands into the mix then creating neat, little morsels of deliciousness might not be everybody’s ideal Sunday afternoon but mixing, folding and eating together with H. is just another lazy way to spend the day in this household.

There’s a lot of different recipes for dumplings so I won’t post one – but my one tip for creating crispy dumplings / gyoza / pot stickers is make sure you steam before frying… there is nothing worse than serving semi-cooked dumplings!

Watercress Soup

Our carrots have finally sprouted and they look amazing! Harvested just in time, they were a perfect addition to my Chinese Watercress soup.

Unlike Western soups; Chinese soups are more broth-like and light. Traditionally consumed as palate cleansers, soups are quintessential to Cantonese home cuisine and comfortingly remind me of all the afternoons coming home from school and tucking into a bowl of soup my grandma made.

Watercress was among her favourites and whilst my recipe doesn’t follow hers entirely, I love making it because it reminds me fondly of her. Plus, it’s deliciously healthy and tasty!

I’ve included my recipe with this post – enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • A large pot of water – you will need at least 2 litres
  • 200g of pork bones – make sure there’s a bit of meat on the bone to add depth to the flavour!
  • 1 bunch of Chinese Watercress, washed
  • 3-5 carrots, chopped in half
  • 3 x dried honey dates, whole*
  • 1 small handful of dried goji berries*
  • 1 small handful of almond kernels*
  • Salt – to taste

Preparation Time: 20 mins // Cooking Time: 1-2 hours // Serves: 4-6

Instructions:

  1. Bring pot of water to boil then drop in pork bones.
  2. Continue boiling until impurities appear – skim off all impurities using a spoon/sieve. You will need to repeat this several times until the impurities are gone.
  3. Drop in the carrots, watercress and dried goods – bring to rapid boil for 10 minutes.
  4. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 1-2 hours, depending on the pot. I use a Japanese pressure cooker which only takes about an hour but if you’re using a regular pot, it will take around 2 hours to complete.
  5. Season with at least 1½ tablespoons of salt; serve hot.

PS. When I was little and had a cold, I used to mix my rice in with soup – it’s a really comforting way of eating this!