5-Spice Dried Tofu (Jen’s mom)
Man, time really flies doesn’t it?
I can’t believe it’s already been a year since I wrote my first Mother’s Day post. As I get older, I appreciate more and more what our mothers have done and still do for us. Many of my friends are young mothers right now, and it amazes me how much work goes into raising good, happy, and healthy children. It’s a bummer it takes us so long to realize and truly appreciate it.
5-Spice Soy Braised Beef Shank and Tendon (Bryan’s Mom)
This post is dedicated to our moms (Bryan’s mom and my mom). Last year I had highlighted some favorite family recipes that our moms made. I ended the post by pointing out two special ones that had been passed down through multiple generations. At the time, I had no recipe to share. Ha ha, in fact, I had never tried making those dearly-loved family treasures!
Soy Braised Pigs Feet – Jen’s Mom
Thankfully, since then, I have not only successfully conquered the dishes, I have written blog posts about them as well! (both were entries in Project Food Blog). In case you missed it last fall, below are two of our favorite family recipes, passed down through many generations from China and Taiwan.
Chinese Rice Dumplings (Bah-Tzang)
My mom makes the yummiest Bah-Tzangs (Chinese rice dumplings), tweaked and modified to suit our tastes. This particular rice dumpling is a mix of various regional nuances. It incorporates chestnuts, peanuts, and also the classics ingredients (pork, mushrooms, shrimp). My mom’s version is healthier because it removes some of the pork fat which was used in my grandmother’s original version. Of course, there’s tons of flexibility in how you fill this thing, so it’s really up to you! Add back in the fei zhu ro (fatty pork) if you want. 🙂
It took years to perfect this, but I’m finally pretty comfortable making these dumplings from start to finish. Click here to see step-by-step instructions for the fillings as well as how to wrap these Taiwanese Rice Dumplings (Bah-Tzang).
Savory Pan Fried Pumpkin Cakes
Bryan’s mom makes these awesome pumpkin cakes every year for the extended family. She’s the only one who knows how to make them, after learning the art from Bryan’s paternal grandmother. Bryan’s grandmother learned it years before from her own mom, who brought the recipe over from Xiamen (Amoy Island) in Southern China.
This is one of the most popular dishes in the extended Che family, and everybody requests it all the time. I finally buckled down and learned how to make it myself this past fall. Click below for the full details on how make these famous Che Family Pumpkin Cakes.
In loving memory of . . .
Finally, I wanted especially to honor Bryan’s maternal grandmother, who passed away in March. She was an amazing mom of SEVEN kids! (Six girls no less!) She lived a full and wonderful 90 years, growing up in China and then eventually moving to the US. I was privileged to know her and had many chances to talk to her this past decade while she was living in California. It’s funny, she only speaks Chinese, and since Bryan’s Chinese is awful but mine’s decent, she actually talked to me a lot more than she talked to Bryan.
Soon after she passed away, one of the aunts found her handwritten recipe collection. She was so kind to scan each page and send it to all of us! I can’t wait to try some of the dishes in that notebook. I’ll be sure to share some of them with you.
Heh, but first thing’s first. I can’t really read Chinese very well. Ha ha, I guess I should get working on those translations.
Rest in peace Grandma, and Happy Mother’s Day to you too.
Chen Tuan Chao
December 20, 1920 to March 14, 2011
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