Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Crab, Mango and Avocado Salad

This salad stack makes an amazing appetizer. Great colour combination, just looking at it makes one happy, refreshed and the excitement over it can sustain throughout the rest of the meal. I do think that only by layering the ingredients elegantly like this can do this salad justice. But, not having a cylindrical mold/ cookie cutter should not be an excuse to not recreate this beauty at home. You can always have this salad layered in short tumbler glasses or even martini glasses. Really, whatever works!

Another reason I urge you to try this out has to do with its fantastic taste and fulfilling mouth feel. First, the avocado gives to this salad the mild nutty flavour and makes a rich and creamy versatile base that is neither heavy nor greasy. The salad is then elevated by the tropical sweetness of the mango, which if finely diced, presents itself in a soft, pulpy texture that quickly melts in your mouth. Finally, the firm yet delicate crab meat, combined with lime juice, breathes in that gorgeous air of freshness from the sea.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Marble Tea Eggs 茶葉蛋

Happy Chinese New Year! I wish you all great health, luck and prosperity throughout the Year of Snake! 

This is my favourite and the most important festival for the Chinese! Throughout the entire period, families gather, juniors pay visits to the senior members of the families, children receive red packets (me me me! As long as I am not married I still get them!), lots of traditional cakes, sweets and snacks to eat, houses adorned with all sorts of colourful, symbolic festive flowers with the backdrop of dices rolling, mahjong pieces clattering and cards shuffling! Ohoh, and no matter where we are and who we bump into, we will definately generously pull out a string of 4-Chinese-character blessings which are mostly related to good luck and fortune!

Speaking of great fortune, I present to you these nice little tea eggs! I know those Chinese herbal tea houses and chain soup stores sell these tea eggs all year round but these eggs mean something to us. Tea eggs is a traditional must-have for Shanghainese every Chinese New Year. We call these brown, aromatic tea eggs yuen-bo, the traditional Chinese gold nuggets, outline of which I think, with a little bit of imagination, resembles an egg placed in a boat. Peeling off the cracked chestnut-color shell, you will find a pretty marble pattern printed on these yuen bos. They taste soooo good, I already had 3 yesterday! Yes, the egg yolks too, forget about the cholesterol, they are too good to be wasted!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Roselle Tea 洛神花茶

Roselle tea is extremely popular in Tai O. You can find them in almost every store there! Bottled up and cooled in mountains of ice, roselle tea is extremely rejuvenating.

Quite an eye-candy in itself, this ruby-coloured drink tastes tart like cranberry juice. Oh, in fact it tastes more like Ribena, the blackcurrant juice! But more to it, there is a faint, sweet air of freshness and earthiness, like the taste of those soft, fine fibre strands growing out of the ear of the corns. Thanks to Google, I finally know the proper name of these strands- corn stigma, 玉米鬚.

Apparently, roselle is a species of Hibiscus. It is well-known for its high Vitamin-C content, for reducing cholesterol and treating high blood pressure level.  I used fresh roselle to make my pro-health drink, but I was told by the market vendors that the same could also be produced out of dried calyces. You may also try making roselle jam by slowly simmering the flower with sugar.