Posts tagged Authentic Chinese
What are Singapore Noodles?
singapore_noodle_alone.jpg

Singapore Noodles is a dish of stir-fried rice vermicelli seasoned with curry powder, vegetables, scrambled eggs and meat, most commonly chicken, beef, char siu pork, or prawns.Even though you would think it would a be a dish created in the town in which is named after it actually was Chinese-American creation.

This dish looks more complicated than it is. It consist of Rice vermicellia dried noodles, egg, meat and a handful of different types of vegetables. All of this can be personalized for you taste and YES, you can even make this at home!

Don’t believe me? Check out this simple recipe:

One of the most popular stir fried noodles, made at home! Made with Chinese BBQ Pork (Char Siu), prawns/shrimp, egg and vegetables with a signature curry seasoning. See notes for a quick Char Siu and subs. This recipe makes 2 generous servings. Recipe video below.

Course: Noodles, Stir Fry, Street Food

Cuisine: Asian, Chinese, Hong Kong, Singapore

Servings: 2

Calories: 555 kcal

Author: Nagi | RecipeTin Eats

Ingredients

Sauce

  • 2 tbsp soy sauce (Note 1)

  • 2 tbsp Chinese cooking wine (Note 2)

  • 2 1/2 tsp curry powder (hot or ordinary, Note 3)

  • 1/2 tsp sugar

  • 1/2 tsp white pepper (black also ok)

Stir Fry

  • 100g / 3 oz dried rice vermicelli noodles (Note 4)

  • 2 tbsp peanut oil , separated

  • 8-10 medium raw shrimp / prawns , shelled and deveined

  • 2 eggs , beaten

  • 1/2 medium onion , thinly sliced (yellow, brown or white)

  • 4 garlic cloves , minced

  • 1 tsp ginger , freshly grated

  • 1/2 lb / 250g Chinese barbecue pork (Char Siu), thinly sliced (Note 5)

  • 1 cup red capsicum / bell pepper

  • 2 tsp thinly sliced hot green pepper (adjust to taste, optional)

Instructions

  1. Combine the Sauce ingredients in a small bowl and mix.

  2. Place rice vermicelli noodles in a large bowl filled with boiled water and soak as per packet instructions. Drain and set aside.

  3. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a wok or heavy based fry pan over medium heat. Add the shrimp/prawns, cook until just cooked - about 2 1/2 to 3 minutes. Remove and set aside.

  4. Add the egg and spread it out to make a thin omelette. Once set, use a spatula to roll it up, remove from the wok and slice (while still rolled up).

  5. Return the wok to medium heat and add the remaining 1 tbsp of oil. Add the garlic, ginger and onion, cook for 2 minutes until onion is slightly softened.

  6. Add capsicum and cook for 1 minute.

  7. Add noodles and Sauce, give it a few tosses. Then add the egg, pork,  shrimp/prawns, chillies (if using). Toss until the sauce coats all the noodles and everything is heated through - about 1 to 2 minutes.

  8. Serve immediately.

Notes

1. I use all purpose soy sauce (Kikkoman) or light soy sauce. I don't recommend dark soy sauce, the flavour is too intense.

2. Also known as Shaoxing wine. Substitute with dry sherry, cooking sake or Mirin. If you can't consume alcohol, use chicken broth.

3. Any generic curry powder is fine here. I use Keens or Clives of India, both general curry powders sold at supermarkets. I use hot because I like the spice!

4. Wai Wai is the brand I recommend if you can get it, for both texture and also it holds up well to lots of tossing action. Rice vermicelli is very cheap - usually $2 for quite a large bag - and nowadays you'll find it at everyday supermarkets.

I know it doesn't sound like much noodles but it expands, almost doubles in weight.

5. If you don't have store bought or homemade Char Siu  substitute with diced chicken, bacon, ham or pork, leave it out and/or add more vegetables. For a quick Char Siu, make a small quantity of the Char Siu marinade, marinade pork chops for 20 minutes then pan fry on medium until caramelised, or bake at 180C/350F for around 20 minutes. Then use per recipe.

6. How to tell shrimp/prawns are perfectly cooked: raw prawns hang straight, perfectly cooked prawns form a "C" shape and overcooked prawns are tightly curled into an "O" shape.

7. Adapted from Singapore-Style Rice Vermicelli by Saucy Spatula

8. Nutrition per serving.

But if you don’t like to cook just come into Windchimes and order it!

What is Egg Foo Yung?
CU_egg.jpg

Egg foo young is an omelette dish found in Chinese, Indonesian, British, and Chinese American cuisine.

Literally meaning "Hibiscus egg", this dish is prepared with beaten eggs and most often minced ham. It may be made with various vegetables such as bean sprouts, bamboo shoots, sliced cabbage, spring onions, mushrooms, and water chestnuts. When meat is used as an ingredient, a choice of roast pork, shrimp, chicken, beef, or lobster may be offered.

In Chinese Indonesian cuisine, it is known as fu yung hai, sometimes spelled as pu yung hai. The omelette is usually made from the mixture of vegetables such as carrots, bean sprouts, and cabbages, mixed with meats such as crab meat, shrimp, or minced chicken. The dish is served in sweet and sour sauce with peas.

In Western countries, the dish usually appears as a well-folded omelette with the non-egg ingredients embedded in the egg mixture, covered in or served with sauce or gravy. Chinese chefs in the United States, at least as early as the 1930s, created a pancake filled with eggs, vegetables, and meat or seafood. In a U.S. regional variation, many American-Chinese restaurants in St. Louis, Missouri, serve what is called a St. Paul sandwich, which is an egg foo young patty served with mayonnaise, dill pickle, and sometimes lettuce and tomato between two slices of white bread.

In the Netherlands, which has a local variation on the Chinese Indonesian cuisine, it is known as Foe yong hai, and is usually served with a sweet tomato sauce. Strictly, according to hai in the name, it should contain crab, but it is often served without this ingredient.

There are several other variations in different countries of this dish but all have the simple start of an omelette. You should come in and try ours and see what you think!

Horoscope: Day of the Wood Pig & Month of the Water Dog
pig-boar-2018-chinese-horoscope-by-karmaweather.png

Chinese calendar:
Day of the Wood Pig
Month of the Water Dog
Year of the Earth Dog 2018

Polarity of the Day: Yin
Polarity of the Month: Yang
Polarity of the Year: Yang
Lucky directions: North-North-West
Lucky colors: All colors

Today's daily horoscope for October 10, 2018

Lucky are the friends of the Wood Pig!

Optimistic and open-minded with a touch of materialism, the Wood Pig is ready to accept the betrayals of his friends and family on condition that he gets compensation in return. In that case, his gullibility must probably be his biggest defect, for profiteers of all kind can sniff at a hundred leagues the generous nature of the Wood Pig.

Today, crafts requiring patience and precision are favored, especially craftsmanship, watchmaking, cabinetmaking and luthery. The Wood Pig being a great lover of good food, the job of pastry chef is also honored today, for the love and perfectionism that this culinary art demands from its practitioners. In love, it is a day (and an evening) during which the 12 signs of the Chinese zodiac can let their partner fully enjoy their insatiable appetite for the pleasures of life.

Daily Energetic chart: Balanced
Birth's character and destiny (BaGua): The Conflict

The lodge of the Neck is unfavorable. Friday, the Water element and the planet Mercury are symbolically attached to this house. The constellation of the Neck controls disease, the release of animals, trials and punishments. Not only one should avoid getting married on that day, but one must also avoid entering into conflict or initiating new projects, at the risk of attracting bad luck. In order to stay healthy, it’s advisable to consume ginger, onions, mustard, garlic and pepper during this day.

History of Sweet & Sour Cuisine
SWEETANDSOUR_text.jpg

Sweet and sour is a very popular Chinese dish and one of my favorite but how did it become so popular? Is it really something that’s traditional in China or was it adapted to American’s tastes?

Chinese cuisine uses a variety of ingredients and cooking methods that are very different from other cultures. Their own food and recipes vary according to the different Chinese regions, but generally speaking their basic diet consists mainly of rice and vegetables. Sweet and Sour chicken recipes in Western countries are not exactly what you would find in China. Usually the Chinese use the sweet and sour flavor for fish recipes rather than for chicken. Also, the Chinese, unlike the Americans, do not drown their food in the sauce; rather they serve it on the side for dipping. The sweet and sour recipes for fish are associated with the region of Hunan in China. The recipes that we use in America do however combine the classical combination of the five flavors of: sweet, sour, salty, pungent and bitter. The Chinese do not use as much sweet as we do, and their recipes tend to be more on the bitter side; to create the sweet and sour flavor they mostly mix vinegar with sugar. It is believed that the authentic cuisine of China developed during the Manchus Dynasty of 1644-1911; they introduced a life of decadence and leisure, where food became an important feature in their three day long Imperial Banquets. For the Chinese, food is treated with utmost respect, and is associated with health, luck and prosperity.

There are several different variations of this dish but for the most part it was created to satisfy Western tastes but still keeping the tradition and flavor of China.

Mid-Autumn Festival
2880px-Mid-Autumn_Festival-beijing.jpg

Monday was the Mid-Autumn Festival celebrated notably by the Chinese and Vietnamese people.

The Chinese have celebrated the harvest during the autumn full moon since the Shang dynasty (c. 1600–1046 BCE). Morris Berkowitz, who studied the Hakka people during the 1960s, theorizes that the harvest celebration originally began with worshiping mountain deities after the harvest was completed. For the Baiyue peoples, the harvest time commemorated the dragon who brought rain for the crops. The celebration as a festival only started to gain popularity during the early Tang dynasty (618–907 CE).One legend explains that Emperor Xuanzong of Tang started to hold formal celebrations in his palace after having explored the Moon-Palace. The term mid-autumn (中秋) first appeared in Rites of Zhou, a written collection of rituals of the Western Zhou dynasty (1046–771 BCE).

Of course there are certain types of food involved.

mooncake-festival-2015.jpg
 

Mooncakes: Making and sharing mooncakes is one of the hallmark traditions of this festival. In Chinese culture, a round shape symbolizes completeness and reunion. Thus, the sharing and eating of round mooncakes among family members during the week of the festival signifies the completeness and unity of families.

Imperial dishes: served on this occasion included nine-jointed lotus roots which symbolize peace, and watermelons cut in the shape of lotus petals which symbolize reunion.

Teacups & Wine: Teacups were placed on stone tables in the garden, where the family would pour tea and chat, waiting for the moment when the full moon's reflection appeared in the center of their cups.Owing to the timing of the plant's blossoms, cassia wine is the traditional choice for the "reunion wine" drunk on the occasion. Also, people will celebrate by eating cassia cakes and candy.

Food offerings: made to deities are placed on an altar set up in the courtyard, including apples, pears, peaches, grapes, pomegranates, melons, oranges, and pomelos.[25]One of the first decorations purchased for the celebration table is a clay statue of the Jade Rabbit.

western_lake_mooncakes.jpg

Nowadays, in southern China, people will also eat some seasonal fruit that may differ in different district but carrying the same meaning of blessing.

The festival celebrates three fundamental concepts that are closely connected:

  • Gathering, such as family and friends coming together, or harvesting crops for the festival. It's said the moon is the brightest and roundest on this day which means family reunion. And this is the main reason why people think mid-autumn is important.

  • Thanksgiving, to give thanks for the harvest, or for harmonious unions

  • Praying (asking for conceptual or material satisfaction), such as for babies, a spouse, beauty, longevity, or for a good future

Traditions and myths surrounding the festival are formed around these concepts, although traditions have changed over time due to changes in technology, science, economy, culture, and religion. 

Monthly Horozope: September
 
Screen Shot 2018-09-12 at 2.45.59 PM.png
 

The Month of the Metal Rooster of the Chinese calendar starts on September 10th, 2018 and ends on October 8th, 2018. On September 9th, the new moon announces the passage in the Chinese calendar from the Metal Monkey Month to the Month of the Metal Rooster of the Year of the Earth Dog 2018.

The return of the summer vacation is more often synonymous with excitement at the prospect of developing future vacation plans rather than the excitement of meeting one's office colleagues. It is important to always be conscientious during the 2018 Month of the Rooster, avoid making abrupt decisions and pay attention to words that may offend the sentience of loved ones. The dictates of accuracy and the requirement of perfection can compromise an ever-fragile harmony.

According to the monthly Chinese horoscope of September 2018, the Rooster reminds everyone of their sense of responsibility, commitment and the importance of striving towards an irreproachable organization of their business. Similarly, the Rooster (of the month) placed under the astrological sign of the Dog (of the year) has the potential to transform the beginning of autumn 2018 into moments of joy and sharing.

ENERGIES OF THE METAL ROOSTER MONTH 2018 FOR THE 12 SIGNS OF THE CHINESE CALENDAR

According to the Chinese horoscope, the excess of an element is always synonymous with a simultaneous deficiency. As of September 10, 2018, the Metal element is up sharply in the Chinese calendar. The Wood and Water elements undergo an important decrease in their respective levels: Wood and Water are periodically deficient in the energetic chart of the 5 elements of Chinese cosmology and Feng Shui.

A Month of the Rooster during a Year of the Dog is sprinkled with moments of stress and paranoia that can occur without warning in a professional context. Excess in Metal can cause big stock market fluctuations and an increase in financial risk-taking. At the same time, the decrease in Wood and Water during the Chinese month of the Rooster benefits business activity, which translates into a significant increase in productivity. However, it should be remembered that in the event of ethical misconduct during a Dog-controlled year, appetite for gain can quickly become an indigestible poison.

On the social level, excess in Metal can lead to a tendency to idealize luxury, opulence and temporal power. Similarly, if a lack of Wood can lead to feelings of guilt or a depressive crisis in the event of unresolved litigation, the lack of Water can cause anxiety or even panic in the face of events that rather deserve to be analyzed coldly.

What is Labor Day

This week seems to be flying by thanks to Mondays holiday but why do we celebrate it and how did it start? 

 
laborday.jpg
 

Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country. The first governmental recognition came through municipal ordinances passed in 1885 and 1886. From these, a movement developed to secure state legislation. The first state bill was introduced into the New York legislature, but the first to become law was passed by Oregon on February 21, 1887. During 1887 four more states — Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York — created the Labor Day holiday by legislative enactment. By the end of the decade Connecticut, Nebraska, and Pennsylvania had followed suit. By 1894, 23 more states had adopted the holiday, and on June 28, 1894, Congress passed an act making the first Monday in September of each year a legal holiday in the District of Columbia and the territories.

This day celebrates all working individuals in America from all nationalities and race. From moms to teachers to construction workers, we all deserve a break! So, I hope you got a cool beer and enjoyed the rest!!

 
Screen Shot 2018-09-05 at 10.45.16 AM.png
 
Honey in China's Culture
 
bee-wallpaper-14-e1481747720594.jpg
 
 

In the spirit of International Honey Day this Saturday I wanted to talk about the history of honey and how it plays into Chinese culture.

Talking about bees and honey in history must always include Ancient Egypt and Ancient China. But starting from the very beginning of times, we must say that bees are actually one of the oldest forms of animal life, since Neolithic Age, preceding humans on Earth by 10 to 20 million years. When they appeared, humans did whatever the other animals were doing at the time, meaning, stole the bees’ honey to feed themselves. Homo Sapiens and honey were together since the Stone Age.

As the centuries went on honey was considered an important medicinal remedy as shown in their writings dating from about 2000 BC. As with India, honey also occupied an important place in Chinese culture, another great eastern civilization. Honey is mentioned in the Shi Jing, or Classic of Poetry, an important book of Chinese theology written in the 6th century BCE. According to Ancient Chinese medicine, honey is a major component to earth, one of the five basic elements, and acts on the stomach and spleen meridians of the human body.


According to Chinese medicine, honey has a balanced character (neither Yin nor Yang) and acts according to the principles of the Earth element, entering the lung, spleen and large intestine channels. (as mentioned by earlier writings). During the Xin Dynasty, around 220BC, a book of Chinese medicine says: “Those who often take honey can keep fit, honey can cure indigestion, it can be used in medicaments to bind other ingredients together.”

 
traditional-chinese-medicine.png
 

Need your Honey fix today? Try out our Honey Glazed Shrimp. Doctors orders!

The Beauty of Take-Out
 
Sweet_Sour-Boxes-Large.jpg
 

Take out is one of the greatest inventions in the food industry and has brought so many fun flavors to so many people but where did it begin?

This concept of "take out" prepared meals can date back to antiquity times. It was very common in Ancient Greece and Rome for roadside stalls to sell food to passengers walking by. This can be seen in the ruins of Pompeii where archaeologists found a number of service like counters open toward the street to provide food to be taken away. They also saw that there was a lack of a kitchen like area in the homes of people who lived in Pompeii which could lead to believe that getting meals to take home was more common than not. This wasn't the only evidence. Places like Europe still to this day have several foods ranging from meat pies to tarts that can be purchased to go and enjoyed elsewhere. 

 
GT_Foot_blanket_3.jpg
 

Even with the popularity of other places and their take out/carry out foods nothing can compare to take out Chinese food.  I don't know if it's the dishes that seems so elaborate andd delicious or that it's just something that I don't regularly make but being able to purchase this food and bring it home to my house makes it not only special but also as a staple in our daily lives. It's something that has become a comfort to me. And don't get me wrong I love going out to eat as much as the next person but who doesn't love being able to bring some tasty food home and eat it on the couch while watching Netflix shows in the pjs with only their cats to judge them. 

Thank you take out gods by allowing us to enjoy a variety of foods that we couldn't even dare to dream could exist! I can't wait to order some Windchimes now and sit on my porch as I watch the sun go down. 

How do you like to enjoy your take out food? Also feel free to take pictures of where you enjoy your Windchimes meal and post them to our Facebook page! 

Color in Chinese Culture

China is a large and old country that has a lot of traditions and ties to culture that a lot of people don't know. One being the symbolism of color the meaning behind certain ones.

Each color represents one of the five elements that hold a special place in China's culture. Here is the break down :

Black

black-character-chinese.png

Black represents water. In China, as elsewhere in the world, black 黑 symbolizes something serious, very formal. It was the color wore by the imperial dignitaries,  much like the outfits of our lawyers back in the West. Black also expresses the secret in Chinese, something that is happening in the shadow like the mafia. Black is also considered as a neutral color. Thus, in modern China, people usually wear black clothes in their daily life and white is usually for funerals.

Red

chinese-culture.jpg

The second color is red. It represents fire. Chinese people usually believe that red can be a sign of joy and fortune. It has been common color in Chinese New Year and other official or traditional holidays. That is why many older people or people that have been married usually give red envelope as red is a sign of good luck. Red in Chinese culture is not usual for an event like a funeral because it  represents happiness. Thus, it can be pretty offensive to wear red clothes to the funeral ceremony.

Green

green.jpg

In China, green color usually carries a negative meaning. The Chinese think that someone who does not feel good has a green face. “Having a green face” also means to be angry. Another popular meaning is to cheat on someone. “Wearing a green cap” means being unfaithful to your husband. Generally this term is used for a woman who had a relationship with another man and therefore dishonored her husband.

White

chau_yum-nam_one.jpg

The fourth color is white. It strongly symbolized the purity and brightness of the metal. It is the official color of clothes in a funeral ceremony. The Chinese are also obsessed with the white skin, as it is usually related to your position in the society.

Yellow

a4d5385df5bb2a5bffa0650add564ede.jpg

The last color is yellow as a symbol of earth. This color, very important in Chinese symbolism, represents glory, wisdom, harmony, happiness, culture. Yellow is reserved for the Emperor, it is the color of royalty. Later, it took very different meaning as yellow is also the color of sex and pleasure.

As we quickly approach summer we are seeing all the colors that come out in nature and also our food. So, next time you are enjoying your delicious food from Windchimes take a look and see what colors your see and what they might mean!