Monday, 30 May 2011

'Encounters' at the Ruins of St. Paul, Macau

Check out these videos by geochoi136 of an amazing light show on the remains of St. Paul's church in Macau.  It tells the story of Macau, from the arrival of the Portuguese to the modern day.  Enjoy! 

Homemade jerky from soup meat

The Chinese soups that we make at home, using pork or beef, are usually done by boiling pieces of boneless, fat-free meat in a large volume of water for several hours with other ingredients.  The soups are very tasty but the pieces of meat are now very dry, very tough, almost tasteless and are destined for the bin.

 Pork, leftover from making soup

However, instead of throwing it away, you can make a very tasty snack from these leftovers!

To do this you will need:

A chicken stock cube (or MSG, depending on your preference)
Satay powder
Satay sauce (Jimmy's is pretty good)

Firstly, chop the pieces of meat, taken not long after being in the soup, into bite-size chunks in a dish or a bowl.

Add salt and one teaspoon of satay powder.

Break up the chicken stock cube in a separate bowl and add one tablespoon of satay sauce (if you are using MSG add one teaspoon to the satay sauce).  If you have some licorice powder, add a little bit of this too.  Mix these ingredients together and spread all over the meat.

 Mix everything up well and leave (preferably covered) at room temperature for one hour.  You can marinade the meat longer by leaving it in the fridge for several hours or even overnight (uncovered).

Place the pieces of meat on a baking tray that has been brushed with a little oil and grill until the pieces of meat are dry.  Turn off the grill and keep the meat in the oven for a bit longer and let the heat absorb into the meat.

And there you have it, homemade jerky!


Warning: Very morish!  If not paying attention you can find the whole box disappears......

and it is you who has eaten it all!!!

Many thanks to my Aunty in HK for first recommending this idea. And many many thanks to my Mum! ;) 

Friday, 27 May 2011

The Apprentice - Susan Ma

I've only just noticed that on the latest series of The Apprentice one of the candidates is BBC!

Susan Ma was born in Shanghai before settling in the UK at the age of 13.  Here, she eventually went on to study philosophy and economics at university and now runs a lucrative business selling skincare products.  On The Apprentice website she is described as an "adrenaline junkie" and is "ambitious, optimistic and easy-going".  So far she has only been in the boardroom once with Lord Sugar but has succeeded already to impress her colleagues with her good managerial skills and sell tactics.

So here's to you Susan, best of luck! Here's hoping that you get the job!

Source: The Apprentice - Susan Ma

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

A taste of Ireland!

Ireland is quite popular in the press right now, what with the Queen's historic visit to the country to help strengthen Anglo-Irish relations.  Today the news reports that she was treated with the ultimate taste of Ireland - a perfectly pulled pint at the Guinness storehouse.

Back in the Motherland, the taste of Ireland is also being offered - at KFC of all places!! Chinasmack reports that KFC China is launching for a limited time only a "taste of Ireland", where in the video it seems the chef is fusing Irish whiskey with Baileys Irish cream to create this taste in the chicken! The customer seems to be impressed!

Yummy yummy yummy -hic!

So when will we get this I hear you cry?? Well, you know what they say, good things come to those who wait! ;D

Source: Chinasmack

Saturday, 14 May 2011


Goji ( 枸杞) or wolfberries refer to the berries of Lycium barbarum or Lycium chinense; woody perennials with thick, white, thorny stems and thin and spear like leaves.  Purple flowers appear around June to September, followed by berries in October.   Lycium chinense originates from south China and can grow between 1-3m high.  It is shorter than its relative that comes from Ning xia (宁夏), north west China.  In the UK, goji was imported into the country in the 1730s and was known as the Duke of Argyll's Tea Tree.  It can be found growing wild and in hedgerows, particularly in coastal regions.  We have several plants growing in the garden.  They are pretty hardy!

 Goji berries and goji leaves has long been used for food and traditional medicine in Asia.  Li Ching-Yuen (李清雲), who was supposedly born in 1677 and died in 1933 (and thus had the world's longest human lifespan of 256 years!) attributed his long life to various things, one being drinking tea brewed with goji berries.  Published studies have since shown that the berry and leaf components of the plant has antioxidant properties and potential medicinal benefits. These include preventing/improving cardiovascular and inflammatory diseases vision-related diseases, such as age-related macular degeneration and glaucoma.  Goji is also cited to have a neuroprotective effect and may act as an anticancer and immunomodulatory agent.

However, there are safety issues associated with goji consumption.  It has been reported that for some people, particurlarly the elderly, the blood clotting process can be effected.  This is reportedly due to components of the goji (phytochemicals) interferring with warfarin metabolism.  As with any foods or medicines, one should take care and consult a specialist or a qualified doctor.

To make one bowl of goji soup you will need a piece of ginger, pigs liver chopped into small pieces and seasoned with salt, an egg, a good bunch of goji leaves and 5-10 goji berries (for people with heart or cholesterol problems, it would be better to leave out the liver or any other meats).  First, boil a bowl-and- a-half's worth of water and add the ginger and berries.  Allow these to boil for a few minutes before adding the washed goji leaves. Continue boiling for 5 minutes then simmer for 15 minutes or so to release the flavour.  Then to this add the pieces of liver - these don't take long to cook so probably give this 3-5 minutes.  While this is cooking, crack an egg, whisk and add to the soup.

Finally, season with salt to taste.  Enjoy!


Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Asian models on the rise in 2011

Asians are rarely represented in western fashion, and when they are they are merely to add an ethnic balance to a campaign.  Now, the situation is changing and models from the Far East are becoming a regular feature on the catwalk and the faces of some major designer fashion campaigns.

"Redefining traditional concepts of beauty." L–R: Du Juan, Tao Okamoto, Lee Hyun, Hyoni Kang, Liu Wen, Bonnie Chen, So Young Kang, and Lily Zhi. Photo by Steven Meisel for American Vogue 2010.

Fei Fei Sun (孫菲菲) is a rising Chinese star on the runway.  Photo from New York Magazine

In the UK we are only just getting news of this now through the latest edition of British Vogue, where the Article 'The New Guard' is examining the rise of the Asian model and how they are - as quoted from its American counterpart - "redefining traditional concepts of beauty." Hmmm, not sure what these are!  Still, this is pleasing news - here's hoping that more of our own to make it up there in the lights and on the runway! 
Source: British Vogue    


Friday, 6 May 2011

Juk - the ultimate sunshine food!

Juk (粥) is the cantonese name for a type of rice porridge.  It is something that my family always have at home and is the perfect thing to have for lunch (or even breakfast, if you have time for it!)  You can have it as a main or side dish, served alongside dumplings, dimsum and noodles. 

A bowl of juk, served with a fried cruller 

It is also something you can have on an off-day.  Plain juk on its own is well-known to be kind to the stomach and is full of nutrients.  Asia's answer to chicken soup, you can say!  

To make juk at home, you will need a cooker (better still, a rice cooker) that has a 'congee' setting.  At home we find that American long grain rice is best for this.  Normally the rice has to be soaked in water overnight to soften the rice in preparation.  However, my genius mother has found that by putting the freshly washed rice  in a blender, you can skip this step.  You then put the rice in the cooker, with many times its weight of water and press the button.  Hey presto! Steaming hot Juk!

A (very fancy!) rice cooker with a congee setting

Being at home a couple of months ago we were out in Liverpool's St. Johns Market.  We bought pork mince, and pig innards (liver, stomach and kidneys) and made Pig innards juk (猪杂粥 - jeu-jap-juk).  The pork, that had been rolled into meat balls and cooked within the juk, was moist and tender.  The pieces of liver, kidney and stomach were treated with rice wine, salt and ginger before being added.  These were tender, smooth and melt-in-the-mouth, and with the pork added a nicely rounded meaty taste to the juk.  The steaming juk, made aromatic by the wine and ginger, with spring onions to garnish and served with cruller (油炸yow jaa gwuy) home made dim sum made a wonderful healthy and delicious lunch.  A lunch made even more special that it was made and had amongst family.