Saturday, February 6, 2016

Chocolate Bao

Nod if you like to eat anything that's stuffed... stuffed pizza (a.k.a calzone), stuffed croissants (a.k.a chocolate croissants), and fruity hand pie like my apple hand pie. See, all stuffed foods are fun to eat.

I posted steamed bao recipe about two years ago, and let me tell you. I've been having a lot of fun stuffed the bao with savory and sweet you-name-it-I'll-stuff-it items.

After teaching Grandpa how to make the bao dough, he decided to stuff the bao with something sweeter like chocolate and sweet taro root butter (that he magically cooked up one day).

I've steamed and baked the chocolate bao too many times, and my kids always ask for more. To no surprise, Camden asked Grandpa to stream some more chocolate bao. And he did... for lunch. For this Chinese New Year or Valentine's day, how about steaming these chocolate bao for someone special.

Chocolate Bao
makes 15 (2 to 2.5 oz. each)

1 my bao dough recipe
15 teaspoons semi-sweet or dark chocolate
  1. Make the bao dough according to my recipe's instruction.
  2. Cut out fifteen 1-inch square parchment papers.
  3. Place a steamer One the dough is ready, divide them into 15 equal parts.
  4. For each dough ball, roll it out into a small round.
  5. Place a teaspoon of semi-sweet chocolates.
  6. Gather up the edges of the dough and pitch to seal. TIP: When making more than one flavor, add a chocolate chunk on the top of the bun to label the filling.
  7. Place the dough seam side down on a prepared parchment paper and place it in the steamer.
  8. Steam the dough for 12 minutes. NOTE: Start the clock when the steam is visible.  
  9. Serve the bao warm. Keep them in the steamer to keep warm. 
STORING: Keep these chocolate bao in a container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Reheat by microwaving it for 15 seconds or steam it until warm.

Allergy Info: This chocolate bao recipe is free from or can be made without dairy, egg, corn, legumes (soy and peanuts), nuts, and fish. 

Monday, February 1, 2016

Classic BBQ Spareribs

Since Chinese New Year is coming up soon (Feb 8th), I would like to post a recipe that I tested many years ago, Classic BBQ Spareribs. I don't have a lot of say about this recipe, except that it is better than ordering a take out.

When my mom visited us three years ago, I made these BBQ spareribs for dinner. She luvs the sweet and salty taste, and she kept mentioning the smoky aromatic from the grill was awesome. Since she's currently staying with us, she asked me to make her some more.

The taste of sweet honey combined well with the salty soy sauce. With no food color, the spareribs still have the deep dark red color from the burnt sugar. Hey, who wants to eat red dye. These are betta for ya!!! The recipe calls for a lot of Asian ingredients. If you don't have them, no worries. I'll help you make do with typical Asian ingredients like soy sauce.

Now, let's talk about cooking these spareribs. I personally don't like an outdoor grill. Well, I like to eat anything off the grill but to have me grill anything outdoor is out of the question. I'm afraid of an open flame and propane tank. With my husband's help, my family's are able to enjoy these BBQ ribs. Without my husband's grill expertise, I'll have to rely on a broiler or a slow cooker. That's everything outdoor grill, by the way, not just ribs.

Classic BBQ Spareribs
adapted from The Chinese Takeout Cookbook
serves 6-8

3 Tablespoons honey
2 Tablespoons Chinese rice wine
2 Tablespoons ketchup
1 Tablespoon oyster sauce
1 Tablespoon dark soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
1 rack of spareribs, about 3 pounds

Alternatively, skip the following ingredients if you cannot find them. Skip Chinese rice wine and no need to add an alternative. Omit the oyster sauce and add dark soy sauce of the same amount. If you don't have dark soy sauce, use regular or low sodium soy sauce instead. Be sure to use a really good ketchup like Whole Foods 365 or Sir Kensington brand. I find these ketchups to be the most flavorful.
  1. In a large bowl (with lid), whisk all of the ingredients together to make a marinade. Set aside.
  2. Prepare the spareribs by cutting them into 2-3 ribs.
  3. Coat the ribs with the marinade.
  4. Cover and place the whole bowl in the fridge overnight.
  5. When ready, grill the ribs using a charcoal or an outdoor gas grill. NOTE: My husband grilled these in both charcoal and gas grill. Both cooking methods make delicious ribs.
  6. Enjoy them while they are hot with jasmin or sticky rice or any sides.
STORING: Place the leftover BBQ spareribs in a container in the fridge for up to a week or freeze them for up to 3 months.

Allergy Info: These classic BBQ spareribs are free from dairy, egg, corn, wheat, and fish. Be sure to use wheat free (or gluten free) and/or corn free ingredients. For honey, be sure it is from wild flower fed bees as some honey is from bees that are fed corn syrup.