Peek into the Spice Trade

... and a few other articles on cooking with spices!

Recipe: Zongzi (chinese style dumplings)

five spice powder ginger recipes star anise

Both my Chinese and Japanese grandma make zongzi (or chimaki in Japanese). Yet, they differ quite a bit. The ones made by my Japanese grandma are very simple and eaten with sweetened kinako (roasted soy bean powder). On the contrary, the ones made by my Chinese grandma contain lots of seasoned ingredients. Today, I’d like to share the recipe for a Chinese version. It takes a bit of preparation time but it’s worth it.                                                Recipe: Zongzi Yield: About 10-12...

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Recipe: Tortilla Chip Dip

chilli cumin recipes

In the year Japan was struck with Tohoku-Kanto Earthquake, I was living in Tokyo. I used to go to Ueno Park often for a stroll and whenever I got hungry, I went into Hard Rock Cafe located in Ueno station. I always ordered the same dish, Nachos. The combination of crispy corn tortilla with slightly hot tomato salsa and melted cheese on top was a treat for me. It was one of the dish I had missed from the United States. Whenever my father bought tortilla chips and tomato salsa, they were gone in few days because I couldn’t stop...

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Recipe: Hibiscus & Rose Tea

hibiscus recipes rose buds

When my Japanese grandma was in her 30s, she used to make sweetened lemon water and drink it everyday for her skin. She wanted to make her skin lighter in tone. When I was still a child, she used to tell me my skin is too dark. As an Asian myself, I grew up in a culture which adored women with fair skin. According to her standard, my skin was way too dark (haha). When I reached early teen, she gave me a lemon squeezer made of glass so that I can make my own lemon water…makes me smile when...

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Recipe: Homemade Mayonnaise

fisherman's seafood spices recipes

In some dishes I use mayonnaise instead of cooking oil to fry meat. Yet, each commercially available mayonnaise in the market tastes slightly different from each other. Having tried Regency’s fisherman’s seafood spices, I’ve decided to add it to homemade mayonnaise for a hint of lemony herbs. If you want spicy mayonnaise then you can replace the herbs with cayenne pepper (Adjust the amount to your liking). If you don’t want garlic flavor, you can omit it Tips: (1) To avoid the mixture separate into liquid and oil, keep whisking vigorously at steps 3 and 4. The mixture tends to separate in the...

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Recipe: Guacamole

cayenne pepper dried lime recipes

Whenever I go to a supermarket for grocery shopping in Hong Kong, I always see some people buying avocado. What I find it very interesting is the Chinese characters used for avocado, 鳄梨. It literally means “crocodile pear.” It seems they were named that way because the surface of avocado skin resembles that of crocodile’s. It’s always interesting to learn something new. Anyway, I have always been a big fan of this crocodile pear, and I always make guacamole when I make tacos. The addition of lime juice and a bit of hot chili makes avocado dip tastes so good. Tips: (1) Some...

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