Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sweet Vinegar with Ginger, Knuckles and Eggs

In Cantonese culture, there are specific foods that we distribute to relatives, friends and almost anybody to celebrate the birth of a new family member. They are namely:

  • Chicken Wine Soup (when the baby is 12-day old)

  • Sweet Vinegar with Ginger, Knuckles and Eggs (any time after the baby’s birth)

  • Red Eggs (when the baby is one-month old)

Recently my niece gave birth to a baby boy and I was promoted to a grand-mom level. All of our family members were invited to her house to taste the sweet vinegar and the chicken wine soup to celebrate her baby’s 12-day.

While the baby’s parents are usually busy taking care of the baby, it is usually the grand parents taking care of the cooking of sweet vinegar. They started cooking the vinegar a month ahead of the baby’s birth. They kept cooking and cooking day after day to achieve the dark color. The longer the vinegar is cooked, the better it will be.

Sweet Vinegar with Ginger, Knuckles and EggsDon’t be scared by its dark color. It is very delicious. It is so delicious that some people like to eat it even though they don’t have a new born baby at home. And they don’t have friends or relatively with new born babies at home to give them this delicious food. Some restaurants therefore serve this as a dim sum. So next time when you are in Hong Kong, if you are lucky enough to go to a dim sum restaurant serving sweet vinegar with knuckle, ginger and eggs, make sure to order it.

I love these eggs so much. They are so yummy!

Me and My 12-Day-Old Grand-Nephew (No Name Yet!)

We were even given some to take home. Note: vinegar cannot go with plastic utensils. So the host gave us glass jars.

Why is this combination: sweet vinegar, knuckle (pig’s rear leg), ginger and eggs? It is a matter of Chinese wisdom. This combination is mainly for the benefit of the new mother. Sweet vinegar and ginger has medical functions of warding off body cold and rheumatism, it also improves digestive system. It generally strengthens the new mother’s metabolism. Knuckles will compensate her lost of collagen during pregnancy. Eggs are of course to give her extra protein.

Hong Kong Food Blog - Foods To Celebrate The Birth of A New Family Member

Saturday, March 19, 2011

How to Say Cha Shao Bao in Cantonese?

Cha Shao Bao, an extremely popular Cantonese dim sum in Hong Kong. How to say it in Cantonese? Want to shock the waiters at the restaurant? Let's learn to say it. To continue my restaurant Cantonese lessons, you are going to learn two terms today – cha shao bao and la jiu cheung!! To make it more sensible – Steam Roast Pork Bun and Chili Sauce.

Cha Shao Bao 义燒飽

Dim sums are made to order. Look at the steam from the bao I am eating!. Let’s learn how to say Chao Shao Bao义燒飽 in Cantonese and see my greedy eating show. Click on the video.
Anna Eating Cha Shao Bao

The other time one of my blog readers said he could not say chili sauce in Cantonese. Today I’m at a Chiu Chau restaurant and their chili sauce is quite unique – not extremely hot however very aromatic. It's excellent to go with my turnip pudding, and many other dim sums. So next time when you want to order a dish of chili sauce, say this:

Chili Sauce 辣椒醬 with Turnip Pudding

Hong Kong Food Blog - Cha Shao Bao - Learn Restaurant Cantonese

Warning: Do NOT Use These Cooking Oils