Tag Archives: taiwanese

Homestyle Craving: 小米粥 Millet Congee

20 Dec

20121021_172600When I went back to Taiwan, out of the very many dishes I craved, I really wanted something that I dreaded to eat as a child. It was tasteless but nutty and had a weird texture – that’s probably because my mom wouldn’t let me put brown sugar in it. The secret to 小米粥 is to toast the millet before you make it into congee. Simple, but I couldn’t figure it out till I asked my grandma. If you have a chance to go to Taipei, hit up the restaurant on the corner across from the parking lot at the Shida Night Market (vague, I know) – really good stuff.

Note that if you apply heat to the millet beforehand, it will be more separate in the porridge as the starch will have hardened. Thus it’s recommended to toast QUICKLY 1/3 to 1/2 for flavour, then rinse with the rest and then cooked.

UPDATE: Mine wasn’t turning out in the same consistency as what I ate in Taiwan. Mom said to add half a cup (rice cup) or less of uncooked rice. Wash and cook with the millet.

UPDATE 2: For creaminess – boil water w/bit of salt then add millet. Cook like you would with oatmeal. Add almond milk for creaminess & boil down. Add raw sugar to taste. 

NOTE: if you need to add more water if the consistency is too thick, ADD BOILING WATER, not cold water!!!

小米粥 Millet Porridge (Xiao Mi Zhou)

Ingredients:

Serves: 3-4
Yield: 3 cups
  • 1 3/4 cups water
  • 2 cups boiling water as reserve
  • 1/2 cup dry millet
  • 1/2 chinese cup of uncooked rice (more like 2-3 tablespoons)

Directions:

  1. Toast 1/3 or 1/2 of the millet in bottom of pan or in skillet over medium-high heat for 3-5 minutes, until some aroma begins to waft.
  2. In the meantime, bring water to a boil. How much you use depends on how thick you want your porridge.
  3. Add the rest of the millet.
  4. Add millet to boiling water and boil over medium-high to low heat for 25 – 30 minutes, until done. It will not absorb all the water, but some color and starch will be released to let you know as cooking finishes.
  5. If desired, add a few tablespoons of milk for creaminess.
  6. Eat warm, adding  demerara sugar or honey to taste.

If you like chinese soups, check out The Chinese Soup Lady – for all the pregnancy soups, confinement soups etc.

Movie: How Are You, Dad? / 爸, 你好嗎?

5 Jul

Sadly, I missed out on the Taiwanese Film Festival this year, and there was one film that I most regret not seeing. As a girl, it’s a given that I have a complex  relationship with my mother – being Asian just makes it so much more twisted. However, as the relationship with your mother which is defined early on in life, the relationship with your father is defined much later on, and is more difficult to put into words.

“How Are You, Dad? / 爸,你好嗎?” by Taiwanese director Tso-Chi Chang reflects and explores all that’s left unsaid in ten gentle, poignant short stories about father and child. Building on the themes of family and identity that have characterized Chang’s works, the anthology assembles a moving and realistic portrait of fatherhood, and the love, memories, and misgivings that come with the package. (via yesasia.com)

Other than the silhouette of his silent back as you walk behind him, what else can you remember about your father?

Fatherly love is perhaps one of the most difficult to express in words—genuine but distant, subtle but deep; beneath that unrelenting tough image of the father often hides an emotion warm and affectionate.

Featuring ten stories of ten fathers from all walks of life,《How Are You, Dad?》shines light on this intimate but much unmentioned love. Whether they are dangerous gangsters, poor villagers that could not afford their children’s medical expenses, or a famous celebrities with soaring careers but a broken family, they all share one common role—they are all fathers, and they all love in different ways.

At the end of the film, you may find your deepest memories resonating and converging into a single simple but genuine calling: “How are you, Dad?”

Length: 120 minutes
Director: Tso-Chi Chang
Cast:  Jack Kao, Fan Chih-Wei, Teresa Ji, Chang Chea

About Director
Tso-Chi Chang graduated with a degree in Theatre Arts  from the Chinese Culture University in Taiwan, specializing in films and drama. His script for the film《Midnight Revenge》, written in1991, won the Government Information Office’s Outstanding Screenplay Award in Taiwan. Since then, Chang’s works have been well received by film critics and shine in both domestic and international film festivals. His style of magical realism helps him to establish a unique position in Taiwan’s film industry.

Awards and Honors
2008 The 13th Pusan International Film Festival - A Window on Asian Cinema
2009 The 11th Taipei Film Festival - Closing Film

For all your Taiwanese imports….

19 Sep

So I headed down to this event that my Grandma’s ‘school’ was holding – it was a food fair fundraiser. Found every Taiwanese dish from beef noodle soup, to fermented rice to bubble tea… all the food you grew up with. Came across these tiny tapioca balls – I’ve always avoided making the regular tapioca that you find in the tea shops – the larger 1cm diameter ones because it needs to be watched, carefully cooked and is time consuming. Found these tasty small ones about 1/5 the size – cooking time 5 minutes!

Got introed to this Taiwanese warehouse that supplied the tapioca, along with Taiwanese imports such as rock sugar, tea, fruit syrups (for all your bubble tea needs), 8 treasure beans (and all your ice plate needs), grass jelly, egg milk powder etc.

Shine Enterprise Limited
1624 West 75th Avenue
Vancouver BC V6P 6G2, Canada
tel: 604-737-8403
Fax: 604-737-9849

tw food

Taiwanese Salt Pepper Chicken (鹽酥雞)

16 Jun

chickenAs usual, all measurements are just a guideline, but this came out quite delicious! Just need to figure out now to make it even crispier – if I remember correctly, my 2nd uncle (who’s a fantastic cook) double fried it in a large vat with lots of oil and over a gas stove outdoors.

Ingredients:

Marinade:
1 lbs chicken – cut into bite sized pieces
1 tbsp cooking wine
3 tbsp soy sauce
1 scallion/green onion – segmented
sliced ginger – large pieces
sugar

Coating:
sweet yam flour/starch
corn starch
flour
egg <– I didn’t use this, but will try the next round

Seasoning:
peppercorns
salt
five spice powder

Other:
oil
pan
pot
tongs/chopsticks
gloves
paper towels/lettuce leaves

1) Combine all the marinade ingredients and let sit for at least 10 minutes. Don’t cut the ginger and green onion too small or they might stick onto the chicken and will burn when you fry it.
2) Heat oil slowly in wok/pan/pot. I also pan fried a few pieces to see the effect – about the same, but used less oil. For best results use a gas stove, heat on low heat for about 5 minutes, then increase to low/medium. Adjust accordingly.
3) Combine all the dry ingredients for the coating. Should be 50% yam flour, 15% flour, 35% corn starch.
4) When the oil is hot enough, coat the chicken in the egg wash (optional) then dip into dry coat mix. Make sure it’s fully coated, squeeze as much powder as you can get on it (makes it crispier/fluffier) and drop into oil. Try a piece at first to test if the temperature of the oil is right. Fry till brown and remove onto paper towel or lettuce leaf.
5) Top with seasoning (see below) and serve immediately.

Seasoning:
1) In pan, panfry dry ingredients on very low heat till fragrant. Pepper 50%, salt 40%, five pice powder 10%.