Category Archives: Sweet

Steamed sticky pumpkin balls

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In Chinese tradition, we don´t eat dessert after the main dish. We believe that eating sweet things after dinner will be difficult to digest.
But that doesn’t mean that we don’t have desserts. During big events or festivals, we make special snacks or food. The kind of food depends on which festival, like Mooncakes for the Moon Festival.

Sticky rice (glutinous rice) is used quite often for making desserts in southern China. Desserts made by sticky rice can be steamed, deep fried or cooked in a sweet soup.
Today I am going to make steamed sticky pumpkin balls, because now is the pumpkin season (okay, it’s a little late, I know.)

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What do we need

- pumpkin (peeled)                       500g
- sticky (glutinous) rice powder     400g
- sugar                                          50g
- grated coconut                           10g

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How to make it

First peel the skin of the pumpkin and cut into thin slices, so that they are easy and fast to steam.
Then steam 15 minutes until soft.
Take the steamed pumpkin and place in a big pot. Add sticky rice powder, stir good until it becomes like dough.
Roll small balls of around 4x4cm, then put them in a steamer and steam for 6 or 7 minutes more.
After the sticky balls cool down, brush a little water on them, and roll them in grated coconut.

TIP: You shouldn´t eat too much glutinous rice, because it is difficult to digest. If you have made too much dough, you can freeze it, but first make balls of it. Later you can steam them and sprinkle with grated coconut.

Caramel sweet potato

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At the end of May, we finished everything in Maastricht and moved to Nijmegen, where is the hometown of Bram, my husband.
Then we flew to China with his parents for one a month holiday. After traveling to a few beautiful towns and visiting my family, Annelies and J.W, my parents-in-law, flew back to Europe. Bram and I started our second time exploring in Thailand.
After a long holiday, we started our new life in Nijmegen, kind of sweet beginning.

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Ingredients:

- One large sweet potato (370g)
- 50g Sugar
- 20 ml Water
- Cooking oil
- 2 ts Sesame seeds
- 1 Pinch of salt

Step 1:
Peel the sweet potato, then cut it into blocks of 3×3 cm.

Step 2:
Heat some oil in a frying pan over a low fire, add the blocks of sweet potato. I have cut the sweet potato into small blocks so that they cook faster. You don’t need so much oil, just cover half of the blocks. After about 1 minute, stir so that the other side gets cooked too, and the salt. Fry 1 or 2 minutes more and check with chopsticks or a fork if the potato is cooked well, they should be soft when done. Turn off the fire.

Step 3:
Use another clean pot, add the sugar and water, stir and heat over a slow fire. Cook for around 4-5 minutes until golden bubbles start to appear, then add the fried sweet potato blocks and stir very well until each block is covered by caramel. Serve them on a plate and cover with sesame seeds. Done!

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Sweet and sour pork with pineapple

This is one of the most well known Cantonese dishes that you can get here in a Chinese restaurant, and it is also a popular dish in China among foreigners. Most people know it as Ku Lo Yuk (Gulaoruo), or sweet and sour pork. It is surprisingly easy to make, and yet will taste better that you’ve ever ordered in a restaurant!

Ku lo yukIngredients:

  • One fresh pineapple
  • Fillet of pork (or any other piece, but without too much fat, so no bacon, 350 grams)
  • Ketchup (100 ml)
  • Corn starch (2 tablespoons)
  • Shaoxing rice wine (1 tablespoon)
  • Wheat flour (3 tablespoons)
  • Sugar (2 tablespoons)
  • Red rice vinegar (2 tablespoons)
  • One red sweet pepper
Ku lo yukPreparation:

  1. Cut the pork into cubes of 2×2 cm. Marinade them with 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 tablespoon of Shaoxing rice wine and 1 tablespoon of corn starch. Mix everything well and put away for a while in the fridge
  2. Now take the pineapple and cut from top to bottom, at one third (see photo). Then cut out a large square (see photo) and cut the fruit in cubes of 2×2 cm.  The pineapple will be used as a dish to serve the meal in (so buy a large and nice looking one, and make sure it is ripe and sweet!)
  3. Also cut the pepper in pieces of 2×2 cm
  4. make the sauce: use the ketchup, sugar, vinegar, 1 tablespoon of corn starch and 4 tablespoons of cold water. Mix everything well until you get a smooth sauce
  5. Then take the meat from the fridge and rub it with wheat flour (use about 3 tablespoons of flour), until all pieces of meat are coated
  6. Take a frying pan and use sufficient oil (you’ll need to deep fry the meat). Heat the oil on medium fire and deep fry it until golden brown (SEE HERE) Then remove the meat from the oil
  7. Then take another pan and heat 1 tablespoon of oil and add the sauce. Later add the pepper and pineapple. Last, add the meat and stir for 1-2 minutes
  8. Done!

Serve this dish in the hollow pineapple (see photo above)

TIP: serve this dish together with fresh spring rolls

TIP: as a variation, you can use chicken meat or frog legs!