Participating in Appetite for China’s Chinese New Year Virtual Potluck – Chinese Marbled Tea Eggs


For my third entry in the virtual potluck over at Appetite for China , I know I don’t want another meat dish. The Chinese Tea Eggs recipe appealed to me because the marbled effect looks so much prettier that the convenience store tea eggs I’m used to growing up in China. If I hadn’t read Diana’s post I would’ve never guessed how easy it was to create the “spiderweb” look for these healthy and delicious eggs!


Chinese Marbled Tea Eggs

recipe clipped directly from ; my notes/changes are marked in red below)

  • 6 to 8 eggs, any size
  • 2 tea bags of black tea (I used organic black tea leaves)
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 2 pieces star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon cracked black peppercorn (optional) (I didn’t have any, so I used Sichuan pepper instead)
  • 2 to 3 strips dried mandarin peel (optional) (I omitted)
  1. Add enough water to a medium pot to cover the eggs. Bring the water to a boil, then lower the heat to simmer for 10 minutes, until the eggs are hard-boiled.
  2. Remove the eggs with a strainer and run under cold water until they are cool enough to handle. Tap the eggs with the back of a butter knife to crack them evenly all around, being careful not to peel off the shells. Return the eggs to the pot.
  3. In the same pot, add the tea bags, soy sauce, brown sugar, star anise, cinnamon, black peppercorns, and orange peel (if using). Add enough water to cover the eggs by an inch. Bring the liquid to a boil, then lower the heat to a bare simmer. Allow the eggs to simmer for 1 to 2 hours, longer for a more intense flavor and color.
  4. Remove from the heat and drain the eggs, saving a little of the liquid to serve with the eggs if you choose. You can either peel and serve the eggs immediately or store them in the fridge for up to 4 days in a tightly covered container. Serve as a snack as-is or as an addition to rice or noodles.

Updated February 19, 2013. Original recipe posted May 8, 2008 (the update is for the video instructions, wish I would’ve seen this before making them, but oh well, I know I’ll make this over and over again!)

My thoughts on this recipe:

  • It sure was a lot of fun to tap and crack the hard boiled eggs before simmering them and just watch the beautiful marble effect create itself after a couple of hours. Who would’ve thought!
  • The idea of adding a cinnamon stick was strange to me at first, because in the past, I’d think the only acceptable ingredient would be Luo Han Guo, which would add a nice sweet touch to the liquid. But I’m sold as soon as the liquid reached a boil and it smelled so good I almost helped myself to it! I bet if I had dried mandarin peel on hand it would be even more wonderful. Next time I eat mandarin oranges guess what I’ll be saving!
  • I followed the steps religiously and turned off the heat at the 2 hour mark but left the eggs submerged in the liquid for another 2 hours. Next time I’ll probably let it simmer for much longer as the eggs didn’t taste as salty as I expected them to be.
  • Maybe if I didn’t drain the liquid, but I got another use out of it: I blanched some Kombu and used the remaining liquid to cook it, that was my veggies for last night! After that though, I couldn’t possibly reuse the liquid because it’d turned slimey.

I love recipes where ingredients can be reused. I’m already planning for the next dish before the deadline of the virtual potluck. I’ve been having such a blast and I encourage anybody to participate! Don’t forget to check out Diana’s book “The Chinese Takeout Cookbook” on Amazon where this recipe can also be found.

Participating in Appetite for China’s Chinese New Year Virtual Potluck – Chinese Barbecued Pork (Char Siu)


Since I had so much fun making the Dan Dan Noodles for the virtual potluck over at Appetite for China during the week, I thought I’d give another recipe a shot over the weekend.  The Chinese Barbecued Pork (Char Siu) jumped out because, well, we are meat lovers! And I loved the idea of being able to tell my mom, see, you really don’t need to buy those Lee Kum Kee Char Siu sauce to make Chinese BBQ Pork, all can be made from scratch:


Chinese Roast Pork / Chinese Barbecued Pork

(recipe clipped directly from ; Don’t forget to check out Diana’s book “The Chinese Takeout Cookbook” on Amazon where this recipe can also be found.)

Serves 4 to 6 as part of a multi-course meal

  • 1 pound pork belly, unsliced with skin trimmed off (we left the skin on since it’s my boyfriend’s favorite!)
  • 2 tablespoons Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
  • 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce, or substitute regular soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons white granulated sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • ½ teaspoon five-spice powder
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  1. In a large bowl, mix together the rice wine, dark soy sauce, sugar, garlic, hoisin sauce, and five-spice powder. Rub the pork belly with the marinade mixture and marinate for 2 to 3 hours in the refrigerator.
  2. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Rub the excess marinade off the pork belly (but don’t rub it all off!) and place in a roasting pan. Brush the top with the honey. Roast the pork for 40 to 45 minutes, flipping the pork belly over half-way through and brushing honey on the other side. The pork is done when the outsides begin to crisp and blacken, and the center of the pork belly strip feels firm.
  3. Remove the pork from oven and let it cool for a 5 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and cut into thin slices. Arrange the slices on a plate and serve, either plain as part of a multi-course meal, or with rice or noodles.

I used every listed ingredients and left the meat in the marinade for about 8 hours. The pork belly in my freezer was already sliced. Next time though, I’ll probably go for a much leaner cut. As roasting the pork belly really makes the fat parts chewy, not like braising would make it soft. Our entire kitchen was filled with authentic Chinese BBQ aroma and it was so hard to wait for the Char Siu to cool off before digging in. The Chinese five spice powder was a killer touch! Thanks to Diana. It reminds me of the meat in Cantonese style Zongzi (rice dumplings or Chinese tamale).

We ate about half of it in one sitting! The next day, I sliced the leftover very thin (much easier to slice now that they’ve been in the fridge and had time to harden up), added a little bit of red food coloring to make it look more like Char Siu in a BBQ-joint, and made a delicious stirfry with asparagus and fermented black beans. Now that’s something we could eat all week long!


Participating in Appetite for China’s Chinese New Year Virtual Potluck – Dan Dan Noodles


I am so excited about this virtual potluck over at Appetite for China! What a wonderful idea! Before this, I’d already clipped tons of recipes from the ingenious Diana, this event pushed me to finally make a few of them. My boyfriend and I are definitely noodles people, and we happened to have some ground pork on hand, naturally, we went for the Dan Dan Noodles.


Dan Dan Noodles

(recipe clipped directly from ; I’m glad small adjustments are allowed, I’ve marked them in red below)

Serves 4 as part of a multi-course meal, or 2 to 3 as a single dish

  • 6 ounces ground pork or beef
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic (about 2 cloves)
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 2 scallions, white and green parts chopped used 2 tablespoons minced onions instead
  • 2 tablespoons chopped Sichuan preserved vegetable (optional) used finedly minced Taiwanese preserved cucumbers instead, one of his dad’s secret ingredients!
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or salt to taste
  • 8 ounces dried Chinese egg noodles
  • 1 handful dry-roasted peanuts, finely chopped (skipped because of allergy)
  • 1 small chunk of rock sugar (another one of his dad’s secret ingredients, it makes a world’s difference!)


  • 1/4 cup chicken stock or water
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon Chinese sesame paste or tahini
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese black rice vinegar, or substitute good quality balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons chili oil (adjust according to your tolerance of spiciness)
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground Sichuan pepper didn’t have this, used a mixture of ground black and white pepper instead
  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil and cook the noodles according to package instructions. Drain the noodles, rinse under cold water, and drain again. Transfer the noodles to a serving dish.
  2. Prepare the sauce: In a medium bowl, whisk together the chicken stock, soy sauce, sesame paste, vinegar, chili oil, sesame oil, sugar, and Sichuan pepper. Pour the sauce over the noodles and toss so the sauce is evenly distributed. Set aside.
  3. Heat a large wok or skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil and swirl to coat the base and sides. Add the garlic, ginger, white parts of the scallions, and optional Sichuan preserved vegetable and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the meat and stir-fry until the meat is a little crispy on the outside and no longer pink. Add rice wine to deglaze the pan. Season with salt to taste.
  4. Spoon the cooked meat mixture over the noodles, sprinkle the chopped scallions greens and chopped peanuts on top, and serve.

We followed Diana’s directions pretty closely. Since the meat sauce is very similar to a Taiwanese minced pork dish, I asked my boyfriend’s dad for advice. And he strongly recommended using onions (since it’ll blend “right in” to the meat sauce) and said a little bit of rock sugar and some finely minced Taiwanese preserved cumcumbers (photos follow) would create a wonderful contrast to the meat. He was right on!

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These Dan Dan Noodles are a real treat! If you walked right into our dining room at dinner time you’d have to excuse us because we were slurping so loudly on the noodles! We had some more meat sauce left so the next day for lunch, I poured it over white rice, it was just as yummy and hearty! Now that lead me to think it might work on other grains such as couscous and quinoa. I know I’d be making this over and over, it’s definitly a recipe worth keeping! Don’t forget to check out Diana’s book “The Chinese Takeout Cookbook” on Amazon where this recipe can also be found.

English snack: Sweet Tart Slices


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My friend shared a recipe with me for Date and Pistachio Honey Slices, from her favorite cookbook “Baking Bible-From The Oven To The Table”. It’s published in the UK, so although all the cooking units have been converted to U.S. volumes, treats like this one have a British touch to it. I Googled it and found the exact recipe here:

Since I’ve already tried what she made using that recipe, and I did not have all the ingredients for the filling, I had to improvise and cut the recipe in half to create my own little snack, that I call Sweet Tart Slices. The adapted recipe looks something like this:

3/4 cup grape jelly (or any flavor of jelly/jam/marmalade/preserve)
1 tbsp. water
3/4 cups cashew nuts, chopped
1/2 tbsp. honey
milk to glaze

1 cups flour
1 tbsp. powdered sugar
5 tbsp. butter
2 1/2 tbsp. cold water

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Microwave grape jelly until it’s warm enough to stir in cashew nuts and 1 tbs. honey (I heated the jelly a little too long and it became runny, so I added a teaspoon of cornstarch to thicken it). Let cool.

Combine flour, sugar, and butter in a bowl of food processor, pulse until it resembles coarse crumbs. Add just enough cold water to bind into a soft, nonsticky dough.

Roll out the dough on a floured surface to two rectangles. Spread the jelly/nut mixture to within 1/2 inch of edges. Top with the second piece of dough. Press edges to seal together and then impress with a fork. Glaze with milk.

Transfer to baking sheet and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until light, golden brown. Brush with honey and cool for 5 minutes. Cut into 6 slices.

I have to confess, the original version is better, even though I’m not a dates fan, you could manage the amount of sweetness with the filling (the honey called for in the original recipe really isn’t that much, particularly when lemon juice is used). With the store-bought jelly, I really have no control over the sugar level. Pistachios are crunchier than cashew nuts, for the next tart, I will make sure to stock up on pistachios! The tart shell is as delicious as homemade can get, in my opinion. It’s going in my book as a base pie/tart/shell recipe, I’m so excited to have found it!

Gunther Toodys: 五十年 代的主题餐饮店


Sat Jan 21 2012

My Yelp Review:

If you crave greasy diner food and nostalgia with 50’s themed props and costume, this is the place to check out. The set-up is not that different from Johnny Rockets, maybe with a little less pricey menu.

To break it down, the The Hang Ten Burger is very similar to Red Robbin’s Banzai burger, but it can’t even compete, that’s why I couldn’t understand why my boyfriend would even consider ordering that, after having tried it at Red Robin’s and knowing how good it is. We ask to upgrade our fries to the Elvis fries, meh, not that special. Probably wiser to stay with regular fries because their sweet potato fries are really good. Probably the best I’ve ever had. Thin cut almost like McDonald’s fries, they were very crispy all the way through. They were alongside a Monte Cristo sandwich which was so doughy you could taste the baking soda! But my first time trying a fried sandwich dipped in jelly was still a somewhat great experience!

To balance it a little, we asked for a Popeye salad, the ingredients were great but the dressing sucked – too tangy, all you taste was sour, sour, sour. Couldn’t really savor it, downed the veggies with a frown. However, the Jalapeno Cornbread Muffin that came with the salad was delish! One of the best I’ve had. The sweet and savory and spicy flavors were held in very well with a perfectly baked cornbread muffin. Mmmmmm, if they have a drive-thru, I’d be using it for just the muffins and sweet potato fries.

We couldn’t leave without trying the shake. Maybe it was wrong to get a fancy Fudge Brownie Shake? Everybody here says the basic chocolate shake is very good. But I remember having much better shakes at Chili’s and Cheeburger Cheeburger.

Andy今天生日,本来在他家有个party,结果无端取消。也罢,正好有张团购券将要过期,想带老爸去见识一下Gunther Toodys diner:一家五十年代主题的典型美国餐饮店。唉,现在的男人都特别扭,到了中午他才说胃不舒服不想去,叫我带妈妈去好了。其实两年前我就跟老妈和大头来过了。

看过六人行的人都应该记得Monica认识那个有点自虐倾向的百万富翁时期在一间叫Moondance Diner的餐厅打工,戴着假发和假胸,还被逼穿溜冰鞋和在柜台上跳YMCA. Gunther Toodys就是差不多这样的一间连锁Diner (米国的重要饮食文化之一;Diner:最早期指快餐车,后来进化到所谓的廉价餐厅;到现在还是有固定的菜式让人一看菜单就知道是Diner!)







照片看不出来,牛肉和芝士中间还夹了块菠萝的,目的是让汉堡更多汁。想学人家Red Robins的Banzai Burger呢。可人家那个除了菠萝还有秘制的酱料充当“润湿”,比它好吃10倍!薯条我也要了升级版的,名叫The Elvis (难道是猫王最爱这样吃法?) 脆脆的薯条上淋满了Gravy肉汁和溶掉的碎芝士。搞屁啊,这样薯条不就变软了!?后来上网查了一下,加拿大发明的这种吃法,叫Poutine,那个才是正宗豪华版的。GT的太过牵强。

Diner food就是煎炸物多,横竖横的我们就给它来多一盘。这个叫Monte Cristo,米国版的Croque Monsieur(有名的法国三明治)。没吃过后者,用前者充当一下。概念跟西多士差不多,两片面包夹着ham and turkey然后点满鸡蛋再放到油里炸,蘸果酱吃。又咸又甜的肥死人不偿命玩意儿:

结论是我还得到别的地方尝试Monte Cristo,GT的苏打粉味太重,三明治本来的味道都被遮盖了,可惜呀。值得欣慰的是炸甜薯(地瓜)条很不错。这个不好做,因为地瓜本来就比马铃薯湿,很多餐厅都选择切粗条,中间炸不透,整个儿软啪啪的怪恶心。GT的切得跟麦当劳的薯条差不多,根根儿都炸得脆卜卜的,洒些他们自制的Seasoning(调味粉),口感甚佳!

终于吃到一样好的了。最后上来的菠菜沙拉用料听起来都很不错,可惜沙拉酱太酸,吃得我们眉头拧紧。幸好附送的Cornbread Muffin(玉米面包松饼)很好吃!哈哈,可是里面呀,含了Jalapeno(墨西哥辣椒),老妈不知道,啃到一小块,辣得差点哭出来!我学乖了,先把绿色的辣椒粒抠出来再慢慢品尝黄油香和玉米香十足的甜滋滋的松饼和辣椒的余辣碰撞出来的鲜味,一点都不夸张!



Recent musings





出书以前他在自己的网站 上就post过很多照片;有在外面买的sandwich,但更多是自制的。书里较为详细地介绍了作者选出来的人为具代表性的三明治的来历,名称,和成分,材料等的变化。虽称不上妙语连珠,读起来还是很风趣的。而且见识长了不少哦!比如英国除了下午茶时间的tea sandwich,原来还有一款俏皮的三明治叫Butty:

*Scanwiches Book Sneak Peak! Chip Butty: Hot Chips, Ketchup, on White Bread. 

Chip Butty: Hot Chips, Ketchup, on White Bread. (photo taken from



最让我心动的是Sandwich Loaf。Google翻译为夹心面包,看它的样子我认为叫“蛋糕面包”更确切吧:

据说这款用面包代替蛋糕,Cream Cheese代替奶油,中间随你加什么咸的沙拉(青豆啊,午餐肉啊,蘑菇啊,蛋,鱼等)都可以的party food很难在外面买到,只能自己在家做了。可要很有技巧才能把它“化妆”成跟个蛋糕一样吧:




"Bacon and Egg" Candies

看起来很像荷包蛋对不对?呵呵,博文的题目是”Bacon and Egg” Candies,是模仿西方经典早餐“培根鸡蛋”的糖果。蛋白部分是化掉的白巧克力,蛋黄则是黄色的M&M糖衣巧克力。培根部分博主用了两根Pretzel Sticks(椒盐脆饼条),个人认为其实可以用真的培根,撕成小碎片就好了。当下不是很流行把培根混到甜食里吃吗?听到到处都在卖培根圣代,培根纸杯蛋糕,培根味甜甜圈等等,虽然我一样都还没试过…