I have a confession to make. I have an uncanny liking for anything with glutinous rice in it. It can be just plain savory version of steamed glutinous rice topped with shallot crisps and roasted peanuts, or a slightly jazzed up version of my grandma’s wicked “zok bee png“. Otherwise, a bak chang or two comes easily as a meal replacement for me anytime of the day. I also love it in sweet desserts, be it in Kueh Sarlat or the Japanese Sakuramochi a la Kansai Regardless of the form, I just love ’em all. Despite the high glycemic index glutinous rice purportedly has which can cause all of us to fatten up quickly, nothing really beats the sticky, chewy and a somewhat down-to-earth sensation glutinous rice provides that fills the tummy and the appetite at the same time. Perhaps I’d inherited my tastebuds from my mum, because she loved glutinous rice dishes as well. Or perhaps that is just the old soul in me, that constantly yearns for traditional flavours that many glutinous rice dishes are embodied with.
Like me, many Taiwanese are also particularly fond of dishes using glutinous rice. I’m pretty sure this is a very Asian thingy, or perhaps even a Hokkien thing. Like I’d mentioned previously, many Taiwanese signature dishes originated from Tainan, being the earliest urbanised regions in all Taiwan. 台南米糕 Tainan Glutinous Rice Bowl is one of them. One of my all-time favorites!
I bought quite a number of packets of these coral seaweed last year at a food fair. Touted as “sea bird’s nest“, these wobbly translucent branches immediately caught the attention of many
housewives aunties ladies, thanks to the high content of carrageenan, which has textural properties likening collagen. Well, truth be told, it isn’t the real deal as collagen is found only in animals, specifically vertebrates. But its pretty yummy and I’m sure being a seaweed, it has many beneficial qualities as well!
Making lunch for one is often a simple yet ironically troublesome affair. When I’m at home over lunchtime, its usually involves whipping up a simple fried rice or instant noodles to be enjoyed with luncheon meat, chicken franks or CP shrimp wantons! Instant gratification I tell you… well, its more like less washing up for me afterwards! A couple of days ago, Eelin from the batter baker was asking me over MSN what she could do with hoisin sauce and leftover tau kwa and there could only be one answer, 炸醬麵 Zha Jiang Mian! Its easy to prepare as long as you have all the ingredients in place and yet, it could easily be tailored to suit your own liking or more importantly whatever’s in your fridge. Today I found myself craving for this dish which I hadn’t made in quite a while. So here goes!