Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Revealing my Cantonese roots

Although Singapore is the place I call home, it's not where I was born. When I was 5, my parents uprooted & moved the family & their business from Hong Kong. We used to make regular trips back there to visit family & friends, of which I have very hazy memories of.

Then in order to get to know the place that I was born, I decided to go work in Hong Kong for a while & ended up being there for 9 years. Which may help to explain why Cantonese food will always hold a special place in my heart.

This past week, I was craving for Cantonese & got busy in the kitchen preparing some of my favorites.

I always look forward to eating Lor Bak Go (Radish Cake) when I'm at a dimsum restaurant. I particularly like the steam ones that come in bowl - flavor is the same as fried radish cake except the texture is smoother & melts in your mouth. I have yet to attempt that at home.

I made the regular Lor Bak Go but Hong Kong style of course, with lots of lup cheong (chinese sausage), dried shrimps & chinese mushrooms. This freezes very well which is why I always make extras so that when craving strikes, I just need to defrost & fry them up.

Lor Bak Go

600g radish grate finely
125 ml water
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp pepper
5 chinese mushrooms, diced
1 lap cheong (chinese sausage), diced
handful of dried shrimps, soaked in water then diced

Mix together
250g rice flour
625ml water

1. Drain radish, put in pan with 125ml of water, salt, sugar & pepper. Cook over medium heat until most of the water has evaporated

2. Pour the rice flour mixture into the pan & mix well

3. On a separate pan, fry sausages, dried shrimps & mushrooms. When done, add to the radish batter

4. Mix everything thoroughly & keep stirring until the mixture becomes a thick paste. Add more salt if necessary

5. Transfer to an oiled pan & steam for 30-40 minutes till done (poke with a chopstick, if it comes up clean, it's done)

6. Cool thoroughly before cutting

Note : I use a round cake pan for my lor bak goh. You can also use a longer & deeper dish but would probably have to steam it longer.

Yet another dish that has the classic Cantonese lup cheong, chinese mushrooms & dried shrimps. Lor Mai Fun or Glutinous Rice. I'm embarrassed to admit how much of this I can eat at one go.

In a previous entry, I had used this as stuffing for quail which you can find the recipe
here. I would normally also add diced chicken - just fry it together with the mushrooms & lup cheong.


Anonymous said...

You should seriously think about opening a small cafe, to introduce such authentic Chinese food to people living around you. Maybe serve breakfast and lunch only?

Gene said...

Wow, I loved lor-bak-go too! Possible to share the receipe? :D

Beau Lotus said...

You know what they say - great minds think alike and all? :-)

I was craving for loh bak koh too a few days ago and was thinking of making some (even had the rice soaked for making my own rice flour) - but just couldn't find any white raddish in the supermarkets!

But like you, I did fry some green beans (found the organic ones to try out) and I did mine with some tiger prawns. Very simple and satisfying indeed.

If I lived near you I could have saved myself the trouble and just share yours haha.

SL said...

I'm quite lucky as there is a great dim sum restaurant about 40 mins drive away. I usually stuff my face with lor bak ko and the lo mai fan in lotus leaf. I'm the same, rather embarrassed at how much Chinese/ Singaporean food I can put away! (altho I always have difficulty finishing half a bag of fish and chips or a fried breakfast!)

BeLive said...

Wow, wow, wow. Your lor-bak-go sure looks superb! So fortunate of you to have all the ingredients. Yum...mi!!!

petite fleur said...

anonymous - Thanks for the vote of confidence but I'm really not that good besides we already have a chef in the family. Plus I'm not sure if authentic Chinese food will go down well here

gene - I'll post it up soon

lotus - It would be great if we were neighbours cos you always have delicious stuff cooking in your kitchen.

sl - Oh how I miss dimsum restaurants

belive - It was yours that made me crave for some

petite fleur said...

Gene - Sorry it took so long but I've just updated with the recipe