China is simply too big to choose 1 dish, it would be cruel to choose 1 dish while China has sooo many good dishes! So I split China up in 4 parts. And I know there are 8 culinary regions in China I will start with Hong Kong!
Soooo Hong Kong… Hong Kong is the most western orientated province in China. Officially known as Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China but that doesn’t fit on passports or official documents so let’s just keep it casual and call it Hong Kong! When people think about Hong Kong they think about: growing Chinese economy, THE foodiecity in Asia, skyscrapers, expensive hotels,… but what they seem to forget is that Hong Kong has been around for a while (5000 years). So how did Hong Kong become so businesslike? Well after the first opium war (1839-1842) the British took control of Hong Kong. That way it became sort of a European city in Asia! Only in 1997 Hong Kong became a part of China! The city became China’s first Special Administrative Region on 1 July 1997 under the principle of “one country, two systems”.
Here are some things you didn’t know about Hong Kong:
- Hungry? Hong Kong is home to around 11,000 restaurants – almost one for every 680 residents – In fact, there are so many eateries that you could dine at a different restaurant every night for the next 30 years.
- Fire up your Rolls-Royce. It’s said that Hong Kong boasts more Rolls-Royces per capita than anywhere else in the world.
- Vertical horizons. To match its thick population density, Hong Kong boasts the highest number of skyscrapers in the world by far.
- The fragrant harbour. Oh the irony. Hong Kong actually translates as “fragrant harbour”.
Hong Kong food or Cantonese food is enjoyed all over the world and is closest to the flavor of Chinese takeaway food. It is the sweetest and is the most similar to the Western palate. This week I made dim sum. I love dim sum and I have been looking forward to this for a while now! My mom always has a plater of dim sum in the freezer just in case we have guests, but my brother, sister and I often eat them for lunch or a quick snack. Which she doesn’t make a fuss about because it’s pretty healthy, at least better then devouring a bag of chips. This particular type of dim sum is called siu mai. I didn’t get the shape right because my wonton sheets were round instead of square, but honestly they were delicious! I had never tasted the homemade ones because even restaurants buy them most of the time but you do actually taste the difference.
Ingredients: 150gr of king prawns, 150 gr of pork mince, 1 clove of garlic, minced, 1 chunk of ginger, grated, 1 spring onion, 2 water chestnuts, 1 tbsp roasted chopped peanuts, 2 tsp soy sauce, 1 tsp sesame oil, 2 tsp cornflour, 20 wonton wrappers, sweet chili sauce (for dipping), 1 tbsp brown sugar, 1 red chilli, 1 spring onion
Chuck the prawns, mince, garlic, ginger, spring onion, soy sauce, sesame oil,red chili, cornflour into a food processor and pulse into a rough paste. Chop the water chestnuts and roasted peanuts as finely as possible and mix into the paste. Transfer the mixture into a bowl and cover it with clingfilm. Leave it in the fridge for 30 minutes. Lay out the wonton wrappers on a surface and place a heaped teaspoon of the mixture into the middle of each wrapper. Fold the edges up of the wrappers up around the mixture, leaving a hole in the top (brush the pastry with water if it struggles to stick). Cut away any excess wrapper. Boil a little water in a wok or saucepan. Sit your steamer over the water (You could also use a sieve over a deep saucepan). Place a square of greaseproof paper into the steamer and add the dumplings. Put the lid on the steamer and cook for 10 minutes.
Exactly 1 year ago I started this blog!!!!! Not my Around The World project but the blog itself is 1 year old! You can’t see it in the archives because I switched I have been looking forward to this for soo long! I absolutely love Brazil and not just because I have some really really awesome friends living there. Who I met during my gap year in Spain. I went to Brazil when I was 14 with an international summer camp called CISV. I immediately fell in love with Brazil: I love the language, I love the vibe on the street, I love the music, I love the people, I love the weather and I love the food! Eventhough I have only been to 1 city Brasilia, I still loved it! Okay enough about me loving Brazil! Here are some reasons why you should totally visit Brazil!
- The world’s best beach – according to TripAdvisor – is Baia do Sancho, in Brazil. Here, 21 islands form a marine park that draws divers from far and wide to see green and hawksbill turtles, whales, lemon and reef sharks, clownfish, anemones and parrotfish.
- Tours of Brazil’s favelas, have become popular in recent years. Among the most famous is colourful Santa Marta in Rio de Janeiro.
- With 82 per cent of its population tracing their ancestry back to the days of slavery, Salvador is described as “the biggest African city outside Africa”.
- The amazing Amazone rainforest is located in Brazil!!! The biggest rainforest in the world.
- Fishermen in Laguna, in the southeast of Brazil, are able to use dolphins to help them catch dinner. The animals will herd fish towards waiting nets, even flicking their head to indicate that the trap has been set.
So because of the anniversary of my blog I made these delicious pao de queijo! I have been dreaming about them since the first time I tasted them! So here is how you make them! The texture of pao de queijo is chewy. Chewy, cheesy and delicious.
This recipe makes 16-24 cheese breads.
Ingredients: 1 large egg, 1/4 cup of olive oil, 2/3 cup of milk, 1 1/2 cup of tapioca flour, 3/4 tsp salt, 1/2 cup shredded parmesan
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C. Lightly grease a mini muffin tin (this makes about 16-24 little breads so if you don’t have a muffin tin large enough, you can just make separate batches after the first ones come out). In a blender, combine the egg, oil, milk, flour and salt. Process until the mixture is smooth, scraping down the sides of the blender once or twice. Add the cheese and process for just a short bit, 5-10 seconds or a few short pulses, until the cheese is in small bits all throughout the batter. Give the batter a good stir to get any solids off the bottom and pour the mixture into the prepared muffin tin filling the cups nearly to the top. Bake the pao de queijo until very lightly golden brown, 15-20 minutes. Don’t let them get too brown on the bottom or they will be too crusty and not as chewy. Remove them from the oven and let them cool for just a minute or two. They are best eaten warm! Don’t worry if the cute little puffs fall a bit in the middle – that’s completely normal.
So recipe number 2 I made coxinhas they are little chicken croquets chapped in a tear because they are so good that they make you cry! The salsa I made to accompany the coxinhas is to die for! My dad now eats it on toast because he loves it that much! The salsa recipe make a lot of salsa because I use it for other food aswell! I got this recipe from sorted food by the way!
Ingredients salsa: 8 tomatoes, 1 red chili, 1/2 red onion, 5 sprigs fresh parsley, 5 sprigs of fresh coriander, 1 pinch of sugar (I used stevia), 1 pinch of salt, 1 shot of white wine vinegar.
Grab a saucepan and place the chicken breasts in. Cover with the chicken stock and heat to a boil. Reduce the temperature and simmer gently for 15 minutes until the chicken is just cooked. Remove the chicken to cool slightly and boil the stock to reduce by half, then strain the stock to save for later. Strip the chicken into very fine strips and mix with the cream cheese, juice of the lime and plenty of finely chopped coriander. Season the chicken mixture well and leave to one side. Heat 250ml of the chicken stock in a pan and add in the flour, stirring continually and beating well until it thickens and is smooth. (This will be very stiff) Cook over a heat for a minute, then transfer to a bowl to cool. Mould a golf-ball sized piece of the dough into a flat, very thin disc in your hand. Spoon a tablespoon of the chicken mixture into the middle and carefully bring the dough up around the chicken to form a dome. Pinch the top to seal the chicken in and remove any excessive build up of dough at the top. Dunk the tear-drop shapes into the beaten egg, then into the breadcrumbs to coat. Leave the coxinhas to set for an hour if you have time. Heat some oil to 170°C in a fryer or a half-filled pan, but never leave it unattended. Fry them for 3-4 minutes until golden all over. Blitz the tomatoes, de-seeded pepper, onion, coriander, parsley, salt, sugar and vinegar up in a food processor to form a course salsa. Adjust the salsa to taste and serve alongside the golden coxinhas. Makes 12
So the 3th recipe is FEIJOADA obviously! it is the national dish of Brazil!
Ingredients: 450 g of dry black beans (I apparently took red beans, they were so dark that they looked black, but it tasted good anyway so no problem!), 4 tbsp olive oil, 450 g pork shoulder cut into chunks, 2 large onions sliced, 5 cloves of garlic, 3 fresh sausages, 3 smoked sausages, 3-4 bayleaves, water, 1 can crushed tomatoes, salt.
Pour boiling water over the black beans and let them sit overnight. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat and brown the pork shoulder. When it has browned, remove the meat from the pot, set aside and add the onions to the pot. Brown them, stirring occasionally, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Sprinkle a little salt over the onions and add the garlic. Stir well and sauté 2 more minutes. Add back the pork shoulder, and the other meats and add enough water to cover. Add the bay leaves, cover and bring to a simmer. Cook gently for 1 hour. Drain the black beans from their soaking liquid and add them to the stew. Simmer gently, covered, until the beans are tender, about an hour and a half. Add the tomatoes, stir well and taste for salt, adding if it’s needed. Simmer this, uncovered, until the meat begins to fall off the ham hock, which will probably take 2-3 hours. Serve with rice and veggies.
And now for the dessert
Ingredients: 1 can of sweetened condensed milk, 6 tablespoons cocoa powder, 2 tablespoons butter, chocolate sprinkles
In a small sauce pot combine the sweetened condensed milk and cocoa powder. Place the pot over medium high heat and bring to a gentle boil, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook 10 to 15 minutes, stirring constantly, until mixture is thick and shiny and starts to pull away from bottom and side of sauce pot. The mixture is going to get thick. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter until melted and smooth. Pop the pot into the fridge for at least a half an hour to cool.
Once the mixture is cool, place the sprinkles in a shallow bowl. Rub some softened butter onto your hands and scoop out rounded teaspoon of the chocolate mixture and roll into 1 to 1 1/2 inch balls. Roll each ball in the chocolate sprinkles, and place on a platter.
Makes 2 or 3 dozen brigadeiros, depending on how big you make them.
Belarus also being reffered to as White Russia, I asked a lot of people what they think about if I say White Russia and they don’t have no idea! These are some of the answers I got: 1. “Next to Ukraine and Russia right?” 2.”White Russia was in the Sovjetunion!” 3. “Aren’t they the same as Russia, isn’t it a province or something?”. Nobody seems to have a clue about what’s been going on in Belarus in the present. Where does that name even come from “White Russia”? Thank god for Google I found the answer! It’s actually pretty funny! Flax is the plant from which white clothes were made and it grows in Belarus ,during the Tsarist regime, and that is how Belarus got its name.
- In Belarus every year people find the most treasure (compared to the rest of Europe)
- Birch sap – one of the favorite drinks of Belarusians. It is sold in packs and large glass jars. In the village people harvest birch sap every spring.
- Belovezhskaya Pushcha (Please dont ask me how to pronounce this because I don’t have a clue!) is the largest ancient forest in Europe
- No Street Food If you are hungry in Brussels and don’t want to spend 30 Euros on mussels, there will always be a kebab nearby. The Berliners joke that their national dish is now a döner, which completely pushed out currywurst. But the Berliners still had currywurst in the beginning and then döner; the residents of Minsk have neither döner nor currywurst. (what do they eat after clubbing? Here in The Netherlands it’s almost tradition to eat street food after clubbing!)
I found a playlist with Belarussian Rockbands I really like them!
So about the Belarussian cuisine, I was quite surprised about this one! I made 2 Belarussian recipes this week! a main cours and a dessert or sweet treat. Especially the dessert was sooo good, and it’s really cheap and easy to make!
Ingredients: 7 ounces mushrooms sliced, 2 garlic cloves choppe, 1 knob of butter, 1/2 cup sherry wine, 1/2 cup chicken stock or 1/2 cup pork stock, 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch, 4 pork chops
Melt half of the butter in a frying pan and add the mushrooms and garlic. Keep stirring until the mushrooms start to shrink and soften. Add the sherry, the stock, the cornstarch and a little salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook for five minutes. Meanwhile, melt the rest of the butter in another pan. Brown the pork chops on both sides, then pour the sauce over the chops. So really really easy right?!
Ingredients: 4 apples, good quality honey, icing sugar (optional) Scoop out the core from each apple, leaving the rest of it whole. Pour honey into the hollows of each apple where the core was.Bake at 350 degrees for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. The texture should resemble the apple slices in a pie. Sprinkle over the icing sugar although you don’t really need it! It’s sweet enough with the honey! I will definitely make this again for my friends! My mom loved this so much she almost licked her plate! YES IT’S THAT GOOD!
That’s it for Belarus for now! Hope you liked it please comment below if you have any suggestions or other belarussian recipes! Speak to ya next week!