Porridge, sweet or salty?

Porridge is a nice warm bowl of grains typically cooked in water or milk. It is often served for breakfast. Depending on where you live, it could be salty or sweet.

In Asia, porridge is also known as congee (粥). Uncooked rice to water ratio is often 1 to 10. They are cooked on stove on high until water is boiled. Then, fire is turned to low, rice is slow cooked for 90 minutes to 2 hours. The side dishes are savory. You could make your own savory dish, or go with the store brought toppings. In the left picture, there are the three most common toppings: pork floss, salted kale, and pickled mustard plant stem. I like the last one the best, it is salty and crunchy. It balances perfectly with the congee. For salty congee, the choice of grains is not just limited to white rice, other popular choice are millet, glutinous rice, brown rice. You can cook them in chicken stocks. You can even cook them with chicken or with pumpkin. Congee in China can also be sweet, ba bao zhou (八宝粥)has eight ingredients including goji berries, chinese red dates, black rice. Ingredients are cooked together on the stove. A simplified version of sweet congee is black rice boiled in water. You could add granulated sugar during and after the boiling.

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Tea leaf eggs

Tea leaf eggs is a direct translation from the Chinese word 茶叶蛋, pronounced as, Cha Ye Dan. They are sold over the street venues and they are absolutely delicious, healthy, and good for gains! The eggs are often steep with black tea leaves, five spices and soy sauce. As they are steep with cracked shell, the sauce leaves marble patterns on the eggs. Because of this, they are also referred to as marbled eggs. Perhaps this can be your new Easter egg decoration?

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Sesame walnut lava tang yuan

So… The Chinese Lunar New Year celebration has almost come to an end. In case you have missed it, it started on the 8th of February, lasting for a period of 15 days, until 23rd of February. On the last day, the full moon appears again and this day is called Lantern Festival. Traditionally, people solve lantern riddles, go out at night and watch lanterns. It is also a time for family reunion. Of course there will be delicious food! What better way to conclude Chinese New Year than making some Tang Yuan? These glutinous rice ball very much resembles the full moon. They are typically filled with wonderful things such as sesame walnut,  red bean paste, peanut butter  or creative fillings like green tea, chocolate.

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