Tag Archives: Hoy Ping Benevolent Association

Another Cooking Class at HPBA. The theme: Eggs!

It’s been a while since our first cooking class in November but we thought we’d wait until the holiday season(s) were over (Christmas, New Year’s, Lunar New Year, Clan Association Spring Banquets and Chingming) and the commotion settled down before we started another class. This time around, we focused on the theme of eggs – quick, accessible and cheap. 

We made a simple homemade meal consisting of 2 dishes and a dessert. See the recipes and pictures below. If you try any of the dishes at home, please let us know how you did! If it doesn’t taste right, let us know and we can do some “troubleshooting”!

RECIPE #1  Tomato Cooked Egg – The sweet and sour flavours of this saucy dish make it appetizing and great to accompany rice (soong faan). A simple, fast dinner that kids love. In the absence of a wok, we used a frying pan, which also works.

Serves 4
3 eggs
¼ tsp chicken bouillon powder, optional
¼ tsp + ¼ tsp salt
canola oil for stir-frying
3 slices ginger
1 green onion, cut into 1-inch lengths
3 ripe tomatoes, cut into large cubes
2 tsp sugar
3 tsp ketchup
½ c water
1 tsp cornstarch

Tomato and Egg prep
Whisk eggs with ¼ tsp salt and optional ¼ tsp chicken bouillon powder. Heat canola oil (about 1 Tbsp) in wok or large frying pan on high. (The key to cooking great eggs is to make sure your pan/wok is hot before you pour in the eggs. To test if it’s hot enough, you can flick a couple drops of water onto the pan or put the end of your egg covered chopstick on the pan. If the water or egg sizzles, it’s ready) Pour in egg mix and cook as you would scrambled eggs until just barely cooked through, being careful not to overcook. Remove to your serving dish.

Give the pan a quick clean if needed and return to high heat. Add canola oil (about 1 Tbsp) and when hot, add ginger and green onion and let them sear for a few seconds. This is where lots of the flavour comes in – the “wok hay”. Add cubed tomatoes and ¼ tsp salt and stir in pan for 1 minute. Add sugar and ketchup and stir to combine flavours, for 1 minute. Add water. Cover and lower heat to medium-high, simmering for 2 minutes to break down the tomatoes.

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Prepare cornstarch with a little water in a small bowl making sure the cornstarch is dissolved, not settled on the bottom. Uncover and stir in reserved eggs, breaking them up a bit with your wok chaan. Slowly mix in cornstarch to thicken and create a sauce. This is called “da heen” which is to make a thick sauce. Make sure it is evenly mixed through.
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Serve with rice and lots of sauce!

 

RECIPE #2 Steamed Egg Trio 蒸三色蛋 – A great contrast of comforting flavours and textures across the three types of eggs in this dish. The saltiness of the ducks eggs make it great to soong faan too. 

Serves 4
2 century eggs 皮蛋, shelled and chopped
2 salted duck eggs 鹹蛋, separated and yolks chopped, whites in a seperate bowl
3 chicken eggs 雞蛋
1 14 oz can chicken stock
1 green onion, sliced
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp light soy sauce

Equipment needed:
– Deep plate, about 9 in. diameter
– Flat plate wide enough to cover
– Steaming apparatus: My mom uses a wide, flat-bottomed wok with a metal wire steam rack stand and about 4 cups of water. Too much and the water may boil over into the plate, too little and the wok may dry out.

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Spread out chopped century eggs and duck egg yolks in deep plate. Bring steamer to boil at maximum heat. Add plate of century and duck eggs. Steam with the wok lid on for 5 minutes. 

In medium bowl, combine duck egg whites, chicken eggs, chicken stock and green onion. Beat together well.
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Once the 5 minutes are up, uncover the steamer and slowly pour the egg mix into plate. Cover carefully with a flat plate turned upside-down. This will ensure a smooth surface in the end. Cover the steamer and steam for 15 minutes.
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Uncover steamer and flat plate and check to see if the eggs have set. Eggs should be springy. If still wet/wobbly, steam for 5 minutes further. 

Remove dish from steamer. Finish by drizzling olive oil and soy sauce over top. 

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Serve hot.

 

RECIPE #3 Dried Beancurd and Ginkgo Nuts Dessert 白果腐竹雞蛋糖水 – A personal favourite of mine, an easy and refreshing dessert that can be served hot or cold. Vacuum-packed, pre-shelled ginkgo nuts can be used, but are not nearly as fresh/fragrant/fun as peeling your own. Once shelled, soaking in a little hot water makes it easier to peel off the brown inner skin.

ImageServes 4
6 cups water
4 slices ginger
1/3 box of rock sugar, or to taste
20 to 25 gingko nuts (5 to 6 per person), shells removed 
50g dried beancurd sheets (not sticks) 
eggs, 1–2 if using as egg cloud, 2 if ½ egg per person, 4 if one egg per person

Bring water to boil in a large pot. Add ginger, sugar and gingko nuts. Turn stove to medium-low and simmer covered for 15 minutes. 
ImageSoak dried beancurd in a bowl with cold water for 15 minutes to soften, with optional 2 tsp salt to prevent the beancurd from breaking up too much. Rinse and drain in a sieve. 

Add beancurd to pot. Turn heat to medium-high and cook partially covered for 15 minutes until beancurd breaks into pieces. Watch the pot as it will easily boil over at this stage.

Add eggs according to your preference.

To create egg cloud, beat eggs in small bowl and add to pot in slow stream while stirring. 
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For soft-boiled eggs, turn off the heat and break and add whole cooked eggs individually to the pot, letting the heat in the pot cook the eggs, for about 5 minutes. 

For hard-boiled eggs, cook eggs separately. Serve with ½ or 1 egg per person. 

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Are you interested in joining our cooking class? Is there a dish you would like to learn how to cook? Feel free to email me and we’ll try to find someone who can teach! We are thinking of holding these every 2 months and currently exploring the possibility of doing Zhong for our next session June 1st. Interested??? 

First Chinese Community Kitchen at HPBA

 

I know I’ve completed neglected this blog, but now seems to be the perfect time to revive it with so much happening in the Chinatown community this past year and my increasing involvement as well. Since my last post, my sister and I got elected to be new members on the Hoy Ping Benevolent Association (HPBA) Board of Directors, I’ve been participating at the Vancouver Chinatown Revitalization Committee meetings and am connecting with more people to discuss some of the invisible issues amongst the Chinese community.

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In the past year, I’ve met many young Chinese-Canadian youth like myself, looking for opportunities to get involved in the Chinatown community and wanting to “get back to their cultural roots”. In October, after prancing around in our navy blue suits and giant HPBA badges at the 64th Anniversary dinner of the People’s Republic of China, my sister and I met another pair of sisters who are young board members of the Lee Benevolent Association. What was supposed to be a meeting of a few young board members turned into a meeting with about a dozen others! While sipping on milk tea and eating egg tarts at the back of Newtown Bakery in Chinatown, we discussed our concerns around the lack of young talent and engagement in Chinatown benevolent associations/societies. Filled with inspiration, ideas and passion from the group, my sister and I revived the idea of coordinating an Intergenerational Chinese Community Kitchen at the HPBA and invited those from the meeting to come participate. As a pilot, we wanted to test the level of interest among youth, the level of interest from the elder chefs and the possibility of turning this into an ongoing program of the HPBA as a means of getting more youth involved. Participants from other associations/societies came to see how it could be done in order to implement it at their respective organizations.  

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So, the result? Some good learning lessons, but fairly good success! There was lots of interest from youth with many RSVP-ing. Some couldn’t make it because of the semi short notice (an email notification was sent out 1 week prior), but nonetheless, the interest was there. And though we had a menu planned around the theme of eggs, again, due to short notice, our chef was unable to make it. So first lesson – give people time! 

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Despite this hiccup of having the chef abandoning the task, we thought of the best chef we knew – our mom. Enlisting her help, she came and taught everyone how to make Ground Beef & Cilantro Egg Drop Soup. It’s simple, fast and cheap to make. The recipe can be found below.

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Following the soup, everyone pitched in to help dice ingredients for BBQ pork fried rice (my lazy man’s recipe can be found here). 

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And last but certainly not least, many thanks to Josie Pure Souls Media for taking all the beautiful photographs from the cooking session!

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Ground Beef & Cilantro Egg Drop Soup

Egg drop soup is a Chinese soup featuring wispy beaten eggs. It makes a quick, easy, comforting meal.

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Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Makes 4 servings

 

Ingredients:
1 14oz can chicken broth
1 can water
½ lb ground beef, or other ground meat of choice
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp cornstarch
A few drops sesame oil (optional)
2 heaping Tbsp water chestnut powder (see Variations notes)
½ cup water
2 eggs, beaten
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
Salt
White pepper (optional)

 

Directions:

Marinate the ground beef with soy sauce, sesame oil and cornstarch to tenderize. Brown the beef in a small saucepan over medium high heat.
In a large soup pot, bring the chicken broth and water to a rolling boil. Add the cooked beef.
Mix the water chestnut powder with ½ cup water in a small bowl until smooth, or shake up in a small jar. Add slowly to the boiling soup while stirring to thicken to the desired consistency.
Add the eggs slowly in a thin stream while stirring the soup. The eggs should cook immediately, creating thin, silken strands of cooked egg that float in the soup.
Stir in cilantro. Season with salt. Serve with white pepper.

 

Variations:

  • Create a heartier soup by adding cubed tofu.
  • This soup can be made vegetarian by substituting vegetable stock for the chicken stock, and cubed tofu for the ground beef.
  • Cornstarch can be used as a substitution for the water chestnut powder if the soup is consumed immediately; otherwise any leftover soup will liquefy again. Water chestnut powder can be found in Chinese grocery stores for less than $3 for a Jello-sized box.

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Seeing the success of this first session, we’ll be opening it up to invite others to join us. I know some of you are anxious to come participate!