Categories
Taiwanese cooking

Liu’s braised red yeast chicken feet 劉家紅麴辣豆瓣魯鳳爪

Braised red yeast chicken feet
Braised red yeast chicken feet

Back when I was little, my grandmother would always use this special red yeast sauce to marinate all kinds of meat in preparation for Chinese New Year (We have an especially big family.) After moving to England, I started craving that special taste one day and had to ring back home to find out the secret of making the sauce.

記得小時候阿嬤總是會用這特製的紅麴醬 醃漬各種肉類以備過年時的不時之需(咱家的家族特別的大),來英之後有天突然憶起那特別的味道,趕緊打回台灣問那密方

The good news was that my auntie actually remembered being taught my grandma’s recipe and was able to send me the ingredients from Taiwan. After receiving it, it took me a few attempts but I was finally able to bring back that taste that has been long stuck in my distant childhood memory. Since then, I have been using this sauce whenever I am missing home, and of course, during special days and the festive season.

還好! 我家四有得到阿嬤的真傳給了我這秘方!收到從台灣來的材料後不敢怠慢的趕緊動手做,當然是經過了好幾次後才大功告成。

Today, I will be showing you how to slow cook chicken’s feet with our special sauce, in preparation for a party I have set up to treat my best friends.
Traditional Liu’s Red Yeast Spicy Bean Curd Cured Chicken’s Feet.

現在,每當年節想家時必會以此紅麴醬來滷些家香味以安胃內心思鄉之苦!今天魯的是~~鳳爪!!堪稱人間極品講用它來招待我金愛的朋友們!!

Categories
Taiwanese cooking Taiwanese Culture

How to make Spring Rolls 春捲 for Taiwanese, and Chinese, New Year

Here’s some great Spring Rolls my mother made. These are beef and onion ones but you can alter the recipe to include any sorts of other fillings including the likes of pork, chicken, bamboo and bean sprouts – whatever you like. Chinese (Taiwanese) New Year is almost here and these would be a great addition to your dinner table spread!

Please watch the video and you will be able to see the cooking method and technique for making beautiful, golden crispy spring rolls at home – using the best ingredients from your local shops.

In my mother’s recipe the following ingredients were used:

  • 500g beef mince,
  • sliced spring onions,
  • spring roll pastry,
  • salt, pepper,
  • egg for ‘glue’
  • sesame oil, rice wine, a little sugar
  • + dipping sauce made from ketchup, lemon & sugar

 

Spring rolls, ready to eat!
Spring rolls, ready to eat!

As mentioned above you can change the contents to suit your own taste and also you might like to use chilli or sweet chilli in the dipping sauce. Hope you like it!

Categories
Taiwanese cooking Taiwanese fruit and vegetables

Favourite special fruits of Taiwan

I’ve been to Taiwan this summer as readers will know. Now I’ve been back a couple of weeks but really miss a couple of fruits that are really hard to find in the UK. It’s a shame because it includes two of my favourite fruits.

fruitandveg1

I went to see my great-uncle one day and he runs a very small scale farm, you might call him a market gardener, with a smallish plot but a big variety of fruits and vegetables all together. Some of the fruits come from trees that have been established for many years but there are also things that need planting every year like the vegetables. In the picture above you can see the beautiful collection of vegetables I gathered that day.

longan

Let’s move on to my favourite fruits, the ones I miss so much. The first is called the longan and it is a close relative to the lychee but grows wild in Taiwan. The name is pronounced “Long -yen” in Taiwan. Though Lychees are specially bred trees to produce this kind of fruit; the cultivation over the years has produced a fruit with a minimal ‘stone’ or ‘pip’, I find them to be unsettlingly fleshy and watery. Longan have a very large black stone in the middle and the layer of flesh is relatively small but it’s flavour is much better in my opinion!


I have found longan for sale in the UK on vegetable stalls in Markets which sell Thai food and ingredients. There is a season for these fruits and in the northern hemisphere it’s just about over now.

custard-apple

My second favourite fruit from Taiwan is the ‘shi jia’ which is pronounced “ser jia” and known by English speakers as the Custard Apple. This fruit seems to be a popular one in Australia but I’ve never seen it in the UK. However ‘custard apple’ is a pretty good description of the overall flavour of the fruit. To my tastebuds the best description would be “rice pudding with a teaspoon of apricot jam”. It’s really delicious and once it is ripe I will put one in the fridge to eat cold, picking up the flesh covered seeds with my chopsticks!

I’m surprised there aren’t so many ‘custard apple’ flavoulred drinks and desserts but I did find one I particularly liked in Hualien, in eastern Taiwan. Here you can buy shi jia ice cream. If you ever go to Taiwan’s east side I recommend you try and find some pots of this tasty ice cream. I bought some, very easily, when we stopped to fill up at a CPC petrol station.