3 Traditional Chinese Desserts

When most people think about Chinese desserts, the first thing that pops into their mind is the fortune cookie. While eating fortune cookies is a lovely tradition with a lot of fun, they are in fact not Chinese at all. Fortune cookies were invented in the United States. If you want to learn about some real traditional Chinese desserts, here is a guide to some of the tastiest Chinese desserts around.

Photo Courtesy: ©daily-motivational-quote.com/
Photo Courtesy: ©daily-motivational-quote.com/

Steamed or Poached Pears One of the favourite traditional desserts in China is the steamed or poached pear. The pear is a very important fruit in Chinese culture, and it was used traditionally for desserts during special occasions and holidays. There are many ways to prepare the pears, but they are usually filled with honey, other fruits and even flowers to create an aromatic dessert that is a spectacle for the eyes. If the pears are poached, they are usually poached in plum wine to give them a delicious flavour.

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Red Bean Paste To Western palates, one of the odder notions in traditional Chinese cooking is the use of red bean paste as a key ingredient in many Chinese desserts. It just seems strange for most Westerners that beans could actually be an ingredient in a dessert. However, some of the most beloved Chinese desserts incorporate red bean paste into them. One of the most popular desserts in China is sesame seed balls. There are also a number of sweet soups served at nearly every Chinese restaurant in central Hong Kong that are made with red bean paste. Perhaps the most famous red bean paste dessert is the simple steamed bun that is filled with the sweet red bean paste.

Photo Courtesy: ©abagofwisdom.blogspot.com/
Photo Courtesy: ©abagofwisdom.blogspot.com/

Mooncakes Arguably the most important traditional Chinese dessert is the mooncake. These cakes are made all over China during the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival. This is a time when Chinese families come together to enjoy feasting, dancing and gazing at the moon. Moon cakes are made by everyone all over the country for this festival. These mooncakes are filled all kinds of things, including egg yolk, red bean paste, fruits, nuts and black bean paste.

Photo Courtesy: © kaleidoscope.cultural-china.com
Photo Courtesy: © kaleidoscope.cultural-china.com

Green Tea-Coated Chocolate Mousse: A dessert that’s on the rise

Photo Courtesy: ©Mott32.com
Photo Courtesy: ©Mott32.com

As a veteran of the culinary industry, I pride myself to have “seen and tasted it all.” But I can fully admit that this dessert really captured my taste buds. It’s a little unusual on paper since green tea and chocolate aren’t known to be mixed together, but thanks to the genius of Mott 32’s Chefs, the dish has been getting a lot of buzz lately. They did a great job of combining the two mouth-pleasing flavours. They are shaped like a normal cookie and it’s beautifully sprinkled with sesame seeds. Upon biting, a burst of chocolate goodness will explode in your mouth, and it’s euphoria from there. Posted by: Lea Andersen


How to Order Dim Sum

Dim sum is a traditional Chinese style of meal with a characteristic presentation. It takes the form of several small dishes, each with a different food, rather than one large plate with a single main course. The roots of dim sum are relatively recent- it arose in the late 1800s near Hong Kong, in tearooms that had previously been involved in serving opium. The original meaning of “dim sum” in Mandarin is “to eat something small” in literal terms, which when interpreted more poetically as a meal of many small servings is quite descriptive.

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The modern version of dim sum appeared in the middle of the 20th century in Hong Kong. Nowadays, it has become quite popular both in China and countries with Chinese immigrants, such as the United States. Dishes can be categorized by their cooking method. For example, a common category of dim sum dish is steamed dumplings, which can hold a meat, usually pork or shrimp, and vegetable fillings. Many variations on the basic theme of “wrapping of dough containing mixed fillings” exist, and every dim sum restaurant should have plenty of options. Other dishes are pan-fried- a simple example is the potsticker, which is very similar to the steamed dumpling, but is pan-fried with the fillings rather than steamed, giving it a crispy crust. Still other dishes might be baked or deep-fried. All are generally small bite-sized portions, often some variant on wrapped fillings or a cake. Dim sum also includes sweet offerings, like mango pudding and custard tarts, to finish the meal.

As for how to actually order dim sum, a little research is a big help before jumping into fine dining in Hong Kong. The way dim sum works appears informal compared to other sit-down restaurants. The diners sit down at a table and wait- usually, tea is served. Servers push carts full of dishes around the dining room, and the diner needs to point to a dish he or she wishes to eat when the cart comes near. It can be chaotic to newcomers, especially if they don’t know the dishes. Each cart will be loaded with a few different varieties and carry several plates or bowls of each variety. Most dim sum restaurants allow guests to ask for a dish that isn’t on an active cart, and often a diner will get up to catch a cart they like on the opposite side of the room.

The server will hand the selected dish to the diner, who eats it with chopsticks. The food is quite good, despite its humble origins. The best dim sum in Hong Kong is at Mott 32, which has an extensive menu and great service. If you haven’t tried it before, dim sum can be a really fun way to eat and experience new dishes. The variety of food makes dim sum the best way to try out a lot of unfamiliar food without spending too much money. It’s a unique Chinese way to enjoy some new tastes!

Enjoy more about dim sum and read: Getting to Know Your Dim Sum!

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What you need to know about “Barbecue Prime Iberico Pork with Yellow Mountain Honey”, Barbecued Pork at the Best Chinese Restaurant in Hong Kong

Mott32 is named as an homage to a grocery store by the same name, which started by Hong Kong immigrants in New York City in 1851; it was New York’s first Chinese convenience store and became the center of what would become the vibrant Chinatown neighborhood. At Mott32, in Central, that heritage is continued and amplified on, with the finest Chinese cuisine available in Hong Kong, typified by one dish that only has eight servings available nightly, “Barbecue Primer Iberico Pork with Yellow Mountain Honey.” Here’s how it all comes together.

All About Spanish Pork

Know as producers of fine pork product, the country of Spain has two types of well-known hogs that result in the finished product. “Jamon Serrano,” which is cured from a special breed of mountain raised white pigs that are mainly fed cereal grains and cured from 7 – 16 months.

Photo Courtesy of JTgastrosexualcooking

Iberico pork comes from hogs limited to being bred and raised in the Southwestern portion of Spain or Southeastern Portugal. Also fed grains, Iberian hogs are allowed to roam and graze freely, often dining on acorns. The breed has a healthy appetite and a propensity towards obesity, thereby leading to extreme marbling, and a more intense flavor, which is added to by an extra long cure period, up to 36 months in length.

The Process

Mott32 imports the best in Iberico pork and begins with a special marinade. The science of marinating serves two purposes, to tenderize a meat and also to add enhanced flavors. Marinating accomplishes these tasks by utilizing a combination of ingredients that work to break down the meat at a cellular level, eliminating any remaining “muscle-like quality.” Simultaneously the flavors chosen for the marinade are flowing throughout the flesh to heighten the dining experience. While of course the ingredients of Mott32’s marinade are a trade secret, since the Iberico pork is so tender and flavorful to begin with, the marinade for the pork is designed to simply enhance the natural flavor and texture in the cured meat.

Photo Courtesy of C.Lidgate

After the pork has marinated for the specified amount of time, it is cooked at high heat, and during cooking receives a second marinade on the exterior, with brushes of elegant Yellow Mountain Honey. The honey seals in the flavor of the pork, while caramelizing during cooking, and creating a crispy, somewhat sweet exterior on this extremely tender dish that has become the talk of Hong Kong culinary circles.

Mott32 Dim Sum Restaurant

dim sum

Open for lunch and dinner, in addition to enhanced Cantonese cooking, with the addition of a some signature Sichuan and Beijing dishes, Mott32 offers traditional dim sum daily. In addition to the exciting food offerings, Mott32 has created signature cocktails to be paired with their dishes. Whenever possible, drinks are mixed from spirits and ingredients indigenous to the region.

Read more about: Delectable Peking Duck – Prepared with Precision