Archive for the ‘Expat Bloggers’ Category

Transfer Handy Cookbook Recipes to the Paprika Recipe App

Posted on the July 23rd, 2017 under Expat Bloggers by

Transfer Handy Cookbook Recipes to the Paprika Recipe AppThe Handy Cookbook app will no longer be supported by Apple. Save all your recipes by following these directions to transfer them over to the Paprika app.
The Handy Cookbook app for iPhone was probably the first app I ever payed money for. It was 2 months after I had my first iPhone and free apps were the way to go for me. But that $1.99 (plus $0.18 tax) was a heavily researched purchase and probably the only app purchase for that and the next few years.
I transferred all my recipes onto Handy Cookbook and for the next 7 years, enjoyed having all my recipes at my fingertips.
But Handy Cookbook hasn’t been updated since October 2014 and my iPhone keeps alerting me that the app won’t be supported soon. I emailed the developer of Handy Cookbook for a help but have not received a reply. So I needed to find a way to preserve all my recipes.
After looking into alternative app options, I settled on the Paprika app and paid a whopping $4.99! A small price to pay though to avoid losing all of my recipes.
Continue reading at Ginger and Scotch…

How to Make Baked Baking Soda for Alkaline Noodles

Posted on the July 16th, 2017 under Expat Bloggers by

What are “alkaline” noodles and why are they prized in Asian cuisine?  How can you use baking soda to make these alkaline noodles? Continue reading to find out!
 
What are alkaline noodles?

Remember Chemistry 101? Water has a neutral pH of about 7. Adding alkaline salts to water changes its neutral pH of 7 to a basic pH of 9-11 and results in alkaline water. When we use alkaline water to make noodle dough, we get alkaline noodles like ramen which are chewier/bouncier than the softer noodles made without alkaline water.
Alkaline noodles are prized for their unique texture – a firm, chewy, springy, slippery-slurpy mouth-feel.
Alkaline noodles have a characteristic yellow color due to the higher pH levels. As the pH rises above 9.0, the yellow pigments that occur naturally in wheat react with the alkali salt to give the noodles it characteristic yellow color.
Alkaline noodles also have a characteristic smell that I find very hard to describe. It has an ever-so-slightly stringent smell.

What are the origins of alkaline noodles?

In Japan, alkaline noodles are now known as “ramen” and was introduced by the Chinese in 1910.

Continue reading at Ginger and Scotch…

How to Make Ramen Noodles From Scratch

Posted on the July 10th, 2017 under Expat Bloggers by

How to Make Ramen Noodles From ScratchRamen noodles is a type of Japanese noodle made from wheat flour. In Japan, it is eaten freshly made, not like the inexpensive packets of instant noodles we all know so well which are deep-fried and full of MSG. Ramen originated from China – the term “ramen” means “boiled noodles” and is the Japanese kanji pronunciation of the Chinese characters for “lo mein”.
To make fresh ramen at home, you need to use lye water (purchased from an Asian grocery store) or substitute with baking soda. 
Get your pasta machine ready – this dough is a stiff one!
When I first started this making-noodles-with-kids project, I wanted to make everything by hand using only a rolling pin and knife. Up until this ramen noodle recipe, I’ve been successful with my goal as the basic Chinese noodles, the udon noodles, and the egg noodles (recipe coming soon) have all been done by hand first and then machine second.
But this ramen dough was just way too tough to roll out. Even kneading was a challenge for the kids so we took a play out of the egg-noodle-making handbook and kneaded the dough by beating it with a large rolling pin.
Continue reading at Ginger and Scotch…

How to Make Chinese Noodles From Scratch

Posted on the May 31st, 2017 under Expat Bloggers by

How to Make Chinese Noodles From ScratchMake this simple Chinese noodle from scratch using just flour and water in about 30 minutes. Involve the kids as it’s a great family-bonding activity and also great for their fine and gross motor skills.
Noodles were one of those things I took for granted growing up. Whether, dried, frozen, or fresh, it was always readily available. Never in a million years did I every consider making it at home. No one I knew did it. My family also gave me the misconception that I needed this elusive ingredient called “kansui” to make Asian noodles which I now know is lye water but as a littlt kid, I thought it was “soap water” because the Chinese word for lye and soap sound the same and so put me off from wanting to make noodles.
But a few years back, when visiting my sister in Beijing, I took my first noodle making class and was totally amazed that noodles could be made from just flour and water. Who would’ve thought! No soap water needed.
It took me years before I got around to recreating that simple noodle recipe. 
Continue reading at Ginger and Scotch…

Where to Find Asian Ingredients in Dubai

Posted on the May 28th, 2017 under Expat Bloggers by

Where to Find Asian Ingredients in DubaiLooking for Asian ingredients in Dubai to make authentic Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai, Japanese, or Korean homemade meals? I’ve compiled a map of all the specialty grocery stores in Dubai that stock Asian ingredients. 
My parents and I were born in Vietnam but our ancestry is Chinese. So growing up, my mom prepared a mix of homemade Chinese and Vietnamese dishes every night.
Since moving to Dubai in 2007, I’m always on the lookout for specialty Asian stores as well as for the Asian ingredients aisle in Western grocery stores to make my own homemade dishes.
I’ve compiled all the specialty stores that I know of in this map here: MAP: Asian Grocery Stores in Dubai:

View Asian Grocery Stores in Dubai in a larger mapThese days, I find that it’s no longer necessary to drive all the way to International City for the Chinese supermarkets. In Al Barsha alone, there is one Chinese supermarket (called Wan JiaLe) across from LuLu’s Hypermarket and a Korean market (called 1004 Mart) by Al Khoory hotel apartments that also stocks other Asian products like Vietnamese rice paper, Japanese rice and sauces, miso, pandan leaves, dumpling wrappers, etc.
Continue reading at Ginger and Scotch…

Homemade Udon Noodles From Scratch

Posted on the May 22nd, 2017 under Expat Bloggers by

Homemade Udon Noodles From ScratchUdon are thick white noodles that originated from Japan. They are made with flour, salt, and very little water which can make it difficult to knead so traditionally it was kneaded with the feet! When I learned that little fact, I knew this was a perfect recipe for the kids!
This has been the kids’ favorite noodle recipe so far because they get to knead the dough with their feet (wearing socks) and then make the noodles with the pasta machine.
If I let them use the pasta machine every time, then they won’t think it’s as much fun so we alternate making some noodles with rolling pins and others with the machine. Because udon dough is tough to roll by hand, this dough is perfect to be worked in the pasta machine.
Due to the long resting time for the dough, you may want to make this recipe on the weekend when you have more time or have the kids feet-knead it first thing in the morning and then let it rest through the day so that the noodles will be ready by lunch or dinner.
I’ve written very detailed instructions below on how to make udon noodles from scratch.
Continue reading at Ginger and Scotch…

How to Make Hong Kong Egg Cakes (鷄蛋仔)

Posted on the May 1st, 2017 under Expat Bloggers by

How to Make Hong Kong Egg Cakes (鷄蛋仔)A popular street food in Hong Kong, I first came across these little egg cakes as a child growing up in New York City’s Chinatown. From a tiny red stall on Mosco Street, Cecilia Tam churned out pan after pan of these eggettes for over a decade but when she closed up shop, she left many die-hard followers forever craving her perfectly fluffy and heavenly egg cakes. This recipe is as satisfying for me as the Cecilia Tam original.

This post contains affiliate links where, at no additional cost to you, we receive a small commission when products are purchased through links on our blog. 
 
I’ve been reminiscing about a part of my childhood in New York’s Chinatown where I attended Chinese school every weekend. After class, mom or dad would walk me over to Mosco Street, where in a tiny red corner stall labored Cecilia Tam (aka the Egg Cake Lady), to buy a bag or two of her legendary egg puffs (aka eggettes) or 鷄蛋仔 – “gai daan jai” in Catonese.
Her stall became so popular over the years that more often than not there were more tourists waiting in line, clutching their cameras and tour books, than regulars.
Continue reading at Ginger and Scotch…

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How to Make Hong Kong Egg Cakes (鷄蛋仔)

Posted on the May 1st, 2017 under Expat Bloggers by

How to Make Hong Kong Egg Cakes (鷄蛋仔)A popular street food in Hong Kong, I first came across these little egg cakes as a child growing up in New York City’s Chinatown. From a tiny red stall on Mosco Street, Cecilia Tam churned out pan after pan of these eggettes for over a decade but when she closed up shop, she left many die-hard followers forever craving her perfectly fluffy and heavenly egg cakes. This recipe is as satisfying for me as the Cecilia Tam original.

This post contains affiliate links where, at no additional cost to you, we receive a small commission when products are purchased through links on our blog. 
 
I’ve been reminiscing about a part of my childhood in New York’s Chinatown where I attended Chinese school every weekend. After class, mom or dad would walk me over to Mosco Street, where in a tiny red corner stall labored Cecilia Tam (aka the Egg Cake Lady), to buy a bag or two of her legendary egg puffs (aka eggettes) or 鷄蛋仔 – “gai daan jai” in Catonese.
Her stall became so popular over the years that more often than not there were more tourists waiting in line, clutching their cameras and tour books, than regulars.
Continue reading at Ginger and Scotch…

You May Also Like:
Emirati Recipe: Fish Cakes (Sa-mak Koufta)
Inaugural Week, Day 7 – Ginger and Scotch Ice Cream
Wee Scotch Turns One Year Old!
Secret Ingredient Beer-Braised Chicken
Vietnamese Chicken Curry (Ca Ri Ga)

Where To Find Thai Basil and other Authentic Thai Food in Dubai?

Posted on the May 25th, 2015 under Expat Bloggers by

Fried Sweet Potatoes and BananasFried Sweet Potatoes and Bananas“Where in the world of Dubai do you buy your Thai groceries? Specifically Thai basil?”
That was the question I posed last week to the first Thai person that I had met in Dubai after living here seven years.
And so I learned that every Saturday, at the Royal Thai consulate in Dubai, a lady sets up a stand to sell Thai vegetables grown in her own garden.
I had so many questions for my new Thai friend:
-Can outsiders just walk in and buy these veggies?
-Will it be a problem that I don’t speak Thai?
-What time should I go?
-Are you sure it will be there next Saturday because I really want to check it out?!
And so this past Saturday, joined by Sally @ My Custard Pie, Little Ginger and I ventured into the Royal Thai Consulate in Umm Sequim hopeful for a glimpse of this market.
And we did indeed find it! Just past the security hut, under the car shades with the consulate villa in the background, we strolled into a mini Thai alfresco market.
Royal Thai ConsulateRoyal Thai Consulate (with the market on the left of pic)Sally and I made our rounds of the few vendors that were there while poor Little Ginger (in the yellow stroller below), tired and hot as the Dubai heat was in full swing, not-so-patiently waited for us to finish our gawking shopping.

There were maybe 9 or 10 folding tables manned by friendly Thai ladies who kindly welcomed us and who patiently answered all our questions about what they were selling.
I found the lady that grew her own vegetables and bought a packet of Gai Lan and Shanghai choy (similar to bok choy but with a light green stem instead of white) @ 10 dhs per bag. There were also bags of kang kong (aka water spinach), Sweet Thai Basil (horapha), and others I couldn’t identify.


The vegetable lady also sold beef ball and fish ball skewers and I bought 2 of each at 10 dhs per skewer.  The skewers came with a little baggie of spicy dipping sauce that had a soy sauce and tamarind (or maybe fish sauce?) base.
I enjoyed the fish balls better than the beef which were a bit dry but edible doused in the dipping sauce.
Left: Fried Bananas and Sweet Potatoes: Right: SkewersIt was very hot, at least 100°F (38°C), and although I didn’t mind the heat, Little Ginger being tired, hungry and grumpy began throwing a bit of a fuss. I tried to hurry through the different tables but I couldn’t help stopping at each one a few times because more and more food seemed to be coming out of their carrier bags.
In the end, I made away with more skewers of meat, a bag of deep-fried banana and sweet potato “fries” (for lack of a better word – which by the way, were AMAZING!), and a cup of grass jelly (known as chao kuai in Thailand; gulaman in the Philippines). Sally felt that the grass jelly beverage was too sweet for her taste but I quite enjoyed it. I’ve only tasted grass jelly in cans and this homemade version was different as it had a taste I could not completely identify – the closest flavor I can think of is Root beer.
Grass Jelly and Other Thai DrinksGrass Jelly and Other Thai DrinksSadly for us, the rice and salad dishes neatly packed in take-away containers were off limits as they were all pre-ordered but Sally and I placed a few orders of our own for pick-up next Saturday so…we will be back!

*    *    *    *    *
Practical info:  As far as I know, the market is held on Saturdays from 10:30am to 3pm.  Best to get there 11am onwards as the ladies were still setting up at 10:30am.  I don’t know how long the market will go for or if it will continue through the summer.
Note:  Thai basil and other Thai produce can also be found at Sunflower (aka “Queen Saba Grocery”) inside the Karama Fish Market. ?

Related posts:
Thai Basil, Taro, and Sugarcane
Chicken Stir-Fry with Thai Chilli Kaffir Lime Sauce
Ginger and Scotch Clams with Asian Basil
Eating Out for Under 100 Dhs
Asian Grocery Stores in Dubai