March 2009 | Christine's Recipes: Easy Chinese Recipes | Delicious Recipes

Baked Tapioca Custard Recipe (Variation of Tapioca Pudding)

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Baked Tapioca Custard01

Are you a lover of tapioca pudding? I am and would always be. I’d like to cook a tapioca dessert and enjoy a warm night especially in winters. During our trip back to Hong Kong last month, I’ve tried baked tapioca custard, a non-Asian variation of tapioca pudding, several times at a Chinese restaurant. Not only was the dessert not expensive, but also was it downright sensational. Its smooth and creamy texture satisfied all the taste buds. Inside the baked tapioca custard, they added some sweet lotus paste, a popular way of presenting this dessert, I guess. Well, I felt my husband seemed not to be into the lotus paste though.

Having come back to Australia, I got some time to play around and experiment baking my own version of this sensational dessert. Instead of putting lotus paste, I prepared some red beans that were cooked with a little piece of rock sugar. While baking the dessert, my husband proclaimed that he had had enough in Hong Kong and didn’t want to eat any more. What happened then? He finished a big bowl when the custard turned onto our dinner table. Surprise.
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Chicken and Corn Soup (Chinese Quick Soup Recipe)

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Chicken and Corn Soup

This chicken and corn soup comes in handy for me whenever I can’t think of what soup to cook for the day. I always keep one or two can(s) of creamed corn soup in my pantry. Best of all, this soup is very hearty, no fat at all. Corn is very nutritious and very good to our health too. My daughter loves this soup and would gobble it up without any complaints.
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Incredible Flourless Chocolate Cake

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Ever tried to bake a flourless chocolate cake? This cake is incredibly rich in chocolate, best for chocolate lovers, including my daughter. Do you know what happened when I baked this cake? When I took out the cake from oven, she couldn’t wait until it completely cooled down. She ate the whole cake almost on her own within two days. Then after two to three weeks, shed asked me to bake another one for her, complaining she hadn’t eaten a chocolate cake for a long time. Huh?! Alright, it’s not hard though. Yesterday, she asked me for the recipe and baked one for herself. Unbelievable!

Flourless Chocolate Cake
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Stewed Chicken Wings with Chestnuts

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栗子炆雞翼 Stewed chicken wings with chestnuts

Stewed chickens with chestnuts is quite popular in Hong Kong and a typical Cantonese home-cooking dish. It’s hard to describe how delicious this dish is. In Australia, we don’t often have fresh chestnuts available. Luckily, I found fresh chestnuts were on sale at a nearby supermarket. Frankly speaking, this dish is quite easy to cook except the job of cracking the nuts and removing the papery skin. There are some frozen chestnuts without any skins available at Asian grocery stores if you would like to save time on cracking the nuts. Very handy.

Ingredients:
  • 600 gm chicken wings
  • 300 gm chestnuts, removed shells and papery skin
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • water, about 2 to 3 cups that cover all ingredients
  • basil, for garnish
Marinade:
  • 1 tsp freshly grated ginger juice
  • 1 tsp cooking wine
  • 1 Tbsp light soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • a pinch of white pepper
Seasoning:
  • 1 tsp light soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cornflour
  • 1 Tbsp oyster sauce
  • a pinch of pepper
  • a dash of sesame oil
Method:
  1. Remove the shells of chestnuts with the tip of the knife and peel the inner brown papery skins off. (see note)
  2. Marinate chicken wings at least 20 minutes. If the chicken wings are frozen, defrost and blanch them in boiling water for 3 minutes. Drain well, and then marinate them.
  3. Heat oil on a wok over medium heat to sauté minced garlic until aromatic. Add marinated chicken wings. Stir and cook until the chicken turns lightly brown. Add chestnuts and stir fry for a while. Pour in water to cover all the ingredients. Bring it to a boil and cover with a lid. Turn to lower heat and simmer until tender. Add seasoning to thicken sauce to your preferred consistency. Garnish with basil if you like.

栗子 chestnuts

Note: There were many methods to remove the skins of chestnuts quite easily.
  1. Use oven: Use the tip of a sharp knife, score an X on the flat side of the chestnut. Place scored chestnuts on a baking sheet and roast in an oven preheated at 200C for 15 to 20 minutes. This will cause the X to open up a little and you can easily remove the shell with the inner brown skin.
  2. Use hot water: Use the tip of a sharp knife to remove the outer shells. Soak the chestnuts in hot water about 80C for 3 to 5 minutes. The inner papery skin would be much easier to peel off with a knife. Or use another method that I experiment quite efficient and quickly get the job done. Instantly put the hot chestnuts on a clean towel. Rub one by one with the towel rigorously. The papery skin would also come off easily. If any one of them can’t be peeled off at the first time, put it back in hot water and soak for another few minutes again. Repeat the procedure. While the chestnuts are still hot, it’s quite easy to remove the papery skin. Once they cool, the skins are difficult to remove, so keep the batch warm while you work.
One last note:
If using a sharp knife to score an X on the chestnut concern you, you might like to invest and buy a little gadget in order to satisfy your desire of eating fresh chestnuts.

The Chestnutter, looking like a garlic press, helps mark a perfect X on the shells of chestnuts, without risking your fingers being hurt at all.

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