Egg tarts (蛋撻)

So, it was the 5000th Chinese New Year this year!  Great, I didn’t know either.  However, when I got invited to a Chinese New Year dinner at my friend’s house, how could I go empty-handed?  and HOW, could I not try and make a traditional Chinese dessert?  Thus, I began my very first time of making egg tarts, called danta, in the HK style.  Not too healthy but no worry, Chinese New Years is ALL ABOUT THE GLUTTONY.   Thanks to Greg again for the lovely photo.  Hopefully looking at this photo and comparing it to ones taken with my dinky digi will motivate me to put money towards a SLR! Or to just make more friends that are talented!!

Egg tarts Danta 蛋撻

新年快樂!!!

 

Egg tarts

Prep time: 20 minutes                Cooking time: 40-45 minutes              Servings: 12-15

Budget for ingredients: ¥1500

Equipment:
Big bowl
Fork
Cupcake tin (I already used these when I made Yorkshire puddings)
Whisk
Frying pan
Sieve

Ingredients:

1/2 c powdered sugar
3 c flour
1 c butter
1 egg, beaten
1 dash (~1/8 t) vanilla extract  

1/2 c white sugar
1  c water
5 eggs, beaten
1 dash vanilla extract
1/2 c evaporated milk

Directions:

  1. In a bowl, mix together the confectioners’ sugar and flour. Mix in butter with a fork  until it is in small crumbs. Stir in the egg and vanilla until the mixture forms a dough. The texture should be slightly moist. Add more butter if it is too dry, or more flour, if the dough seems greasy.
  2. Roll the dough with your hands into 1.5 inch ~2 inch balls.  Then, flatten it against the cups. 
  3. Combine the white sugar and water in a pan, and bring to a boil. Cook until the sugar is dissolved, remove from heat and cool to room temperature. 
  4. Strain the beaten eggs through a sieve, and whisk into the sugar mixture.
  5. Stir in the evaporated milk and vanilla.
  6. Strain the filling through the sieve again, and fill the tart shells.
  7. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the oven at 200C until golden brown.
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Steamed white melon and tofu

I found these melons that are called 白瓜 (しろうり) shiro-uri.  Literally, it means white melon but every search result led me to winter melon.  For the life of me, I couldn’t find an English name for these!  They taste like cucumbers and remind me of calabash. They look like this in the supermarket.

white melon

Cousin of the cucumber!

I decided to braise them like a Chinese dish my mom makes.  The white melon can also be used in place of cucumber in your salads.

white melon with tofu

Healthy and light dish

Braised white melon

Prep time: 10 minutes               Cooking time: 2o minutes              Servings: 4

Budget for ingredients: ¥600

Equipment:

Knife
Peeler
Glass bowl
Steaming stand
Pot

Ingredients:

2 pieces fried tofu
2 white melons
2 T dried shrimp
1 t salt
1 t white pepper
1 T ponzu sauce
1 t sesame oil

Directions:

1. Peel white melons and quarter lengthwise,  then slice.  Place into bowl.

2. Slice the tofu.  Add tofu, dried shrimp, salt and pepper.  Mix!

3. Pour the ponzu sauce and sesame oil over the mixture.

4.  Fill up pot with water up until the level is right below where the steaming stand is.

5. Place glass bowl in the pot, and bring to boil for 15 minutes.

Scallion pancakes

Happy father’s day!  Well, obviously I should have chosen my dad’s favorite dish, but decided to go a generation above today.  To my grandfather!  My grandpa and I used to make scallion pancakes together when I was little.  It was such a treat because they aren’t the healthiest food, but apparently to many Taiwanese/Chinese people this could be the origins of pizza!  Despite the name, this isn’t really a pancake, rather an unleavened bread.

Scallion pancakes are served/sold as street food or with congee, which is a rice porridge.  You can make the dough and cook it right after, or you can easily store it in the freezer in between sheets of plastic wrap.  I love to eat this stuff with a sauce, which I have also included below.

scallion pancakes

Mmm...reminds me of home

Scallion pancakes

Prep time: 15 minutes               Cooking time: 5 minutes              Servings: 6

Budget for ingredients: ¥600

Equipment:

Bowl
Rolling pin
Cooking sheets (2)
Frying pan

Ingredients:

For the pancake:

3 c flour
1 c boiling water
1/2 c chopped scallions
1/2 c shortening
Salt and white pepper
Oil (I use vegetable but any is ok)

For the dipping sauce:

minced garlic
1 T sesame oil
1 T soy sauce

Directions:

1. Place flour in the bowl and add water slowly and mix constantly until it becomes a ball.  Let it rest for 30 minutes.

2. Divide the dough into fist size pieces, and individually, roll them out between the cooking sheets into a pancake shape 6 inches (or 15 cm) in diameter.

3.  Spread on shortening (around 1/2 T per pancake) and sprinkle on scallions( about 1 T) , salt, and white pepper.

4.  Roll the pancake tightly into a log shape.  Then curve the log into a coil, kind of like a cinnabon!

5.  Roll it out again between the cooking sheets to 6 inches diameter again.

6.  With a bit of oil, pan fry for approximately 2 minutes on each side.  Cut into four pieces.

7. Combine all ingredients in a small cup for the dipping sauce.  Nom nom nom.