chinese egg tarts

Chinese Egg TartsChinese Egg Tarts

i’ve been watching
PBS’s The Great British Baking Show
every monday
(our sundays were taken up
with Football or the Walking Dead)
sure, i realize the series aired
during the summer
across the pond,
i’m upset about things
that have blown over already
but that doesn’t stop me from
taking to twitter
to wax poetry about
all things #GBBO
have you seen it?
who are you rooting?

Chinese Egg Tarts

Chinese Egg Tarts
dough adapted from Use Real Butter

*note: i made these tarts mainly to see if i could, because we so very rarely go to dimsum. i’d say it’s a great dairy free option, a little time consuming, with two types of dough to work with. the lunar new year is a week away, these would make a great addition to the 15 3 day feast that usually takes place to celebrate all things new.

water dough
1 cup AP flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
5 TBL lard
10 TBL water
1/4 tsp salt

fat dough
1 cup AP flour
5 TBL lard

egg custard
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups full fat, lactose free milk (i used organic valley)
pinch of salt

preheat oven 350F.

to make the water dough, mix all the ingredients in a bowl. mix it until smooth, let stand for 20 minutes covered with a damn towel. roll into log and cut into 20 pieces. set aside, covered.

to make the fat dough, mix all the ingredients until smooth. don’t be stressed, it will be crumblier than the water dough. roll into a log and cut into 20 equal pieces, them into small balls.

to make the pastries, first roll out the water dough piece, flatten into a disk about 3″. put a fat dough ball into the center of the disk and wrap the ball completely to make a ball. now flatten it again, rolling it out about 4″ long. fold it into thirds, turn 90 degrees and flatten/roll out again 4″ long. fold into thirds, turn and flat out, though aim for a circle/disk this time, about 4″ wide (or however big your molds are. mine were about 3″) line a mold with the pastry dough, crimp edges. do this for the rest of the dough.

to make egg custard: in a sauce pan heat up the milk very very gently. add the sugar and salt and mix until completely dissolved and incorporated. take off the heat. in a bowl with the egg yolks, very gently pour in a ladle of the warm sweet milk, all the while stirring the yolks. you don’t want to scramble the yolks, add another ladle for good measure, stirring continuously. finally, add in the rest of the mixture, stirring constantly. if you want, strain through a sieve, though i’ll tell you i didn’t bother. set aside until ready to fill pans.

when ready, fill the pans with the custard filling, about 3/4 of way up, don’t overflow it.

bake 30-35 minutes.

these will keep in fridge, covered for a week, though they taste best the day made, about 20 minutes out of the oven.


Chinese Egg Tarts

i was included on the worktop recently, a lovely roundup of other lunar new year goodies.

savory sticky rice

Savory Sticky Rice

did you guys see
Fresh Off the Boat last week?
i don’t like the show
(it gives me a vague sense
that i’m being side-eyed
and laughed at)
there was one scene
that rang true:
the lunch scene.
it was common that my lunch
consisted of
whatever was leftover
from the dinner table the night before.
which you can imagine,
while super tasty at home
did not translate in the school cafeteria.
i got side eyed
and one time
an entire table left,
after making a fuss.
that was high school.
(specifically, freshman year,
2nd semester where i was the NEW KID,
fresh from ethiopia
and in deep culture shock,

this particular dish
was something i brought to school
in third grade.
i was so excited.
i was too young to realize that
pb&jelly sandwiches were de rigueur
and when i busted this sticky rice
out of its wrapper
and offered it to my bff
she wrinkled her nose.
i was crestfallen,
though i rallied and figured:
more for me.
(just kidding.
i threw it away)
but thus began my
battle with home brought lunches.
the struggle was real people.

Savory Sticky Rice

xôi or 糯米饭 no mi fan, or, Savory Sticky Rice
from memory, and a combination of woks of life and le jus d’orange

*note: nowadays, i have an office i can hide in if my food is on the strong side, though i do err on the side of safe foods. (there was that one time, years ago at another job, i brought dumplings and the odor caused my coworkers to pause. i was so embarrassed.) you won’t ever find fish in my lunch box. this, thankfully, did not disrupt anybody’s olfactory senses the week i brought it for noshing.

3 cups of brown sticky rice, soaked overnight
5 lap xuoung links, chinese pork sausage, sliced on a diagonal
3 garlic cloves, minced fine
2 cups worth of fresh shiitake mushroom caps, (reserve the caps in a freezer bag to make stock), sliced
1 cups worth of dried wood ear mushroom, sliced (reconstituted in hot water)
1 cups worth of enokie mushrooms, cut in half
2 cups of liquid, you can use stock for flavor or leftover water from soaking the mushroom, or just water
1/2 dried shrimp, reconstituted in hot water
4 stalks of green onions, sliced on a diagonal, divided, half to cook and half for garnish

light/thin soy sauce
dark soy sauce
shaoxing wine
sesame oil
oyster sauce

night before, soak the rice.

when ready, prepare your mis en place:
for the sauce, refer to the links for exact measurements. i won’t lie, i winged the proportions and guessed on amount. basically, shoot for a tablespoon of each, except for the sesame oil. mix it all together and taste, add more of whatever you want until you reach desired flavor. you’re aiming for salty sweet. add in the sesame oil last, my guess: about 1/2 TBL. set aside.

have all your components ready sliced/minced/soaked and close at hand. strain the soaked rice.

in a large skillet, cook up the lap xuoung, it is going to give up so much fat. don’t be alarmed. when sufficiently cooked through, remove from pan onto paper napkins. pour out excess oil/fat, leaving behind about a tablespoon. throw in a handful of sliced scallions and garlic, mix. next add in the mushrooms and dried shrimp, and mix. remove from heat and last, add the rice and sauce. mix it all thoroughly together.

transfer entire contents of the pan to a rice cooker. we have a fancy rice cooker that has a STICKY RICE feature. if you’re incensed that i’m using a rice cooker, or you don’t have a rice cooker with that feature, or you want something more authentic, refer to the links of the original recipes for those instructions.

add in two cups of liquid (we used a combo of water and leftover mushroom water) and set timer accordingly. i think it was done after about an hour.

when cooked through, adjust seasoning to taste. serve garnished with leftover green scallions.


Savory Sticky Rice

other asian delights, or stank food:
vietnamese bò kho – beef stew
Vietnamese Vermicelli Noodle Bowl {bun thit ga nuong}