Foodie Friday: Sesame Ball

Sesame ball: fried pastry coated with sesame seeds The jin deui is a type of Chinese pastry made from glutinous rice flour that’s shaped into a little sphere. It’s often found in dim sum eateries. Although it’s puffed up, the inside area of the ball is quite hollow, except for a smattering of sweetness. The filling is usually either lotus paste or sweet black bean. Cooking sesame balls requires intense concentration because you need to constantly turn the pastries to ensure the proper … [Read more...]

Foodie Friday: Fried Shrimp Ball

Fried shrimp ball: crispy shrimp delicacy served at dim sum This was one of the dim sum treats that I fell in love with as a child. They reminded me of eating pom poms. Of course, the most exciting part of the food was the crunchy little tentacles that stuck out of the ball. (One of my kids insists on just eating the "crunchies," which kind of defeats the purpose of eating a shrimp ball.) It's a deep-fried delicacy, so I imagine it's highly unhealthy. But once in a while, you're … [Read more...]

Foodie Friday: Ha Cheong

Ha Cheong: ubiquitous dim sum dish made of steamed rice rolls and shrimp There's a slew of rice noodle rolls to select from on the dim sum cart: beef, dried shrimp with scallions, char siu, etc. My favorite is the simple style with tasty prawns. The key is having fresh shellfish coupled with a tender steamed wrapper--the texture of the skin should be almost too slippery for your chopsticks to hold. Of course, the highlight of ha cheong has to be the sweet soy sauce (some versions call for … [Read more...]

Foodie Friday: Deep-Fried Char Siu

Deep-fried char siu: sweet roasted pork, fried Instead of traditional barbecue meats, I'm a big fan of the triumvirate of Chinese BBQ: roast duck, roast pork, and char siu. They're all very flavorful. Char siu, often marinaded with a bright red sauce, appears in those delicious buns (steamed or baked) that dominate the dim sum scene. I recently learned about a new way to cook them: deep-fried. Where has this dish been all my life? Move over state fair fried food (fried avocado, … [Read more...]

Foodie Friday: Roast Duck

Roast duck: crispy skin paired with tender meat Roast duck must be my favorite dish ever. I have happy associations of the cooked birds with their bright red festive color, hanging in window displays. I also have memories of bustling dim sum carts offering plates of the succulent meat to diners. I know that some people love Peking duck, with its thin slices of meat and slivers of green onions wrapped in soft, steamed buns (or in thin crepe-like wrappers). I still prefer the down-home, … [Read more...]