January 22, 2012
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I live in a family whose cooking is predominantly Cantonese, even if it isn’t my dialect group. Heck, I even know more about Cantonese cuisine than Hakka (which is strictly – sadly – confined to Suan Pan Zi/Abacus balls). The dishes that appear in my home pretty much run the gamut from all variants of steamed dishes, to wholesome desserts, only stopping short from anything spectacularly roasted. Notice that I said ‘spectacularly’, because roasting, while possible with an oven, just isn’t the same when it’s not done the expert way (whatever that is). So Siu Ngor (roast goose), Siu Yok (roast pork), and Siu Ngap (roast duck), have unfortunately eluded us. But today’s not a day for roasting woes because, as you can see, I’m determined to finish off the posts of my Hong Kong trip in 2011 (last year, gasp!).
Let’s talk about desserts.
Tong Sui (any kind of soupy dessert/custard in the Cantonese cuisine) was what I grew up with. Desserts like Beancurd Skin Soup with Barley and Gingko Nuts, Sweet Potato and Ginger Soup, Papaya and White Fungus Soup? Pfft! We make them with our eyes closed! Now steamed egg/milk puddings however, that’s another story. The ingredients are simple, but the technique and process are tedious. Trust me, I’ve had my good share of watery, lumpy, sludgy ‘custards’ during our experimentations. I shiver at the thought.
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