Tag Archives: dumplings

Dragon Boat Festival – Tuesday May 30th

This week coming we have the celebration known as Duānwu Jie (pronounced ‘dwann-woo-jyeah). This festival is traditionally celebrated on the 5th day of the 5th month of the Chinese Lunar Calendar. It has a history of over 2000 years. And it’s time for Sticky Rice Balls and Dumplings! There are Dragon Boat Races and other healthy outdoor pursuits in honour of Wu Zixu, the loyal courtesan to the Emperor in 340-278 BC.

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Dragon Boat Racing in Melbourne

Wu Zixu ended his life when the Emperor King Fuchai ignored his advice to the detriment of the Kingdom. He leapt into the Miluo River. When his body couldn’t be found, the people fed Sticky Rice Balls to the river fish so that his body would not be consumed.

 

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This tradition continues today and is known as Qu Yuan Commemoration – Sticky rice is eaten in memory of this loyal servant to the Emperor. The favoured form of serving is as Zongi (or Zongzi). Traditionally many families make Zongi themselves but now with everyone having busy lives it is also convenient to buy Zongi ready made. At Tang we have a great range of delicious Zongi – Packaged ready to heat and eat.

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For those not familiar with Zongi, it presents as a pyramid of glutinous rice wrapped in reeds or bamboo leaves. Various fillings are added to the rice – such as jujube in the North of China. In the South sweetened bean paste, fresh meat or egg yolk are preferred.

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The festival is often called the Dumpling Festival. Dumplings and Sticky Rice Balls are very popular and very delicious. Here at Tang we have a wide variety to choose from in our freezers. You can look here on our website to make your selection. Ask our knowledgable staff as to which they prefer. All are high quality and very flavoursome. It’s time to choose your Zongi and Dumplings!

 

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It is also traditional to drink Realgar Wine. ‘Realgar Wine drives evils away’. This is a fermented alcoholic drink made form cereals and realgar powder. In ancient times everyone believed that realgar was an antidote for all poisons, that it killed insects and it ‘drove away evil spirits’.

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This year on Saturday May the 27th you can view Dragon Boat Racing at the Docklands Boating Hub. This is located at the end of Collins St in the old North Wharf Harbour.

It may be cold, so make sure you have filled up with savoury and sweet Zongi and the many dumpling treats at Tang: The Asian Food Emporium, located at 185 Russell St, Melbourne. We look forward to seeing you soon.

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Christmas and Dongzhi – The Chinese Winter Festival

dongzhi-chinese-charactersWith the festive season just around the corner for most, it’s Christmas with all its trimmings. For people from China and those following Chinese traditions there is also a very special time just before Christmas. It’s a much older tradition with the festival known as Dongzhi. Dongzhi is the celebration of the Winter Festival and it occurs each year at the time of the Winter Solstice – the 21st of December.

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Tangyuan glutinous rice balls are traditionally served during Dongzhi in Southern China

Tangyuan – Glutinous Rice Balls

Families in China, Taiwan and all across Asia gather to celebrate. The celebration originated in Southern China. Food is shared and wine consumed to celebrate the lengthening of the days and winter starting its pathway into spring. positive Yang energy is revered as the families share Tangyuan. These are balls of glutinous rice, often brightly coloured. Each family prepares at least one large Tangyuan in addition to several small ones. The Tangyuan (rice balls) may be plain or stuffed. Plain or flavoured Tangyuans are stocked at Tang: The Asian Food Emporium at 185 Russell St for your convenience. [See map]

The Tangyuan are cooked in either a sweet soup or savoury broth depending upon preference, with both the rice ball and soup/broth being served in the one bowl. There are plain Tangyuan as well as with delicious fillings of Red Bean, Coconut and Yam, Sesame, Peanut and Taro. These are served along with Juiniang, a mildly alcoholic, unfiltered Rice Wine containing whole grains of glutinous rice (often with sweet osmanthus flowers).

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Dumplings and Dumpling Soup are another traditional Chinese dish served during Dongzhi

 

Dumplings and Dumpling Soup

In Northern China during Dongzhi, the preference is for Dumplings or Dumpling Soup. This tradition originates from from the story of Zhang Zhongjing in the Han Dynasty who saw the poor suffering from chilblains on their ears and had dumplings made and distributed to them to warm them, and so to this day people from this region celebrate by eating dumplings or dumpling soup to celebrate Dongzhi. You’ll find a great range of delicious dumplings at TANG The Asian Food Emporium, try cucumber, prawn and pork, leek, mushroom or vegetable, pork and prawn, Chinese cabbage and pork, pork and spinach, fish, shrimp and pork, fish and pork, mushroom and chicken, mushroom and pork or seafood and pork dumplings.

All are quite delicious, choose your favourites, available now at Tang: The Asian Food Emporium.

Authentic Vietnamese, Chinese, Thai, Korean, Malaysian and Japanese Cooking Ingredients

Ingredients for Japanese Sushi

Ingredients for Japanese Sushi

Vietnamese, Chinese, Thai and Japanese cuisine is very popular in Melbourne Town and there are many restaurants that serve these dishes. Korean and Malaysian cuisines are also delicious and you will also find a number of restaurants specialising in these dishes. With so many cooking shows on TV these days, such as Master Chef and My Kitchen Rules people are becoming more experimental with their own cooking at home. One of the secrets to cooking your own tasty dish with authentic flavours is using the right ingredients. To ensure you have the authentic taste you need to find an Asian supermarket that sells groceries sourced directly from the country where the cuisine is served.

 

You will be delighted  when you see, taste and smell the array of authentic Asian foods and popular brands from countries such as China, Japan, Vietnam, Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia and Korea when you visit TANG The Asian Food Emporium. Situated at 185 Russell Street, Melbourne their selection of spices and sauces to flavour your dishes is vast, as is the choice of tinned and frozen foods. You will also find many ready to eat dishes such as tinned milk peanut soup, vegetarian chop suey, Ichibiki brand instant soups and easy to cook noodle dishes to suit students. Sweet and savoury snacks are plentiful and beverages range from tinned coffees to exotic teas, fruit juices, coconut water, iced teas, aloe vera drinks, root beer, grape fanta and cherry coke.

 

If you have enjoyed yum cha and want to repeat the taste experience at home you will find a fantastic selection of dumplings in the freezer section, anything from prawn, pork and chives to chicken and mushroom and vegetable. So call in from 10am to 11pm any day of the week (open 7 days) and ask the friendly staff for help with any of your Asian cooking needs.

 

Auspicious & Delicious TANG Brings You an Array of CNY Food & Produce

Chinese New Year is around the corner, and it’s time to get everything prepared. TANG The Asia Food Emporium has selected a wide range of Chinese New Year seasonal food & produce, where you can shop & purchase to add flavour & festivity in marking the great new start of the Year of Monkey.

Year Cake – Higher & Better

year-cakeOne of the favourite Chinese New Year dishes must be “Nian Gao”, literally “Year Cake”. According to tradition, Chinese families enjoy preparing different kinds of Chinese cakes, some are savoury like Turnip Cake, while some can be a bit sweet in taste, such as Year Cake. Among all these special Chinese cakes, Year Cake is the most popular New Year treat. No matter you are from the North or the South, live near the seashore or by the river, a dish of Year Cake seems to be an inevitable custom during New Year season. So what indeed makes Year Cake so significant?

Some say the history of Year Cake can be dated back to ancient China, to the time of Spring & Autumn Period, ie around 500 BC. A famous politician of Wu Kingdom, Wu Zixu, was forced to commit suicide under the order of the King of Wu. Before his death, Wu Zixu reminded his followers to “go & dig & find food for the citizens should there come a famine”. This was like a prediction. Sooner or later, King Goujian of the Yue Kingdom invaded Wu, and there was not much food left. Facing such a big threat, Wu Zixu’s followers recalled what the great politician has once said. So they went to the designated place, dug & discovered some “food bricks” that Wu Zixu has stored. These “food bricks” were indeed kind of cakes made of special rice, and by then were turned into food that rescued thousands of lives. In commemorating the wonder deed of Wu Zixu, Chinese people started preparing steamed cake at Chinese New Year, which then became nowadays Year Cake.

Another story of Year Cake is related to good fortune. Some say Year Cake was first mentioned during the Zhou Dynasty. Ancient Chinese believed that eating Year Cake at New Year implied the blessing of great harvestry. Of course we can’t verify whether any of these speaking is true or false, yet we shouldn’t ignore the lucky meaning of the name itself. The Chinese name of Year Cake is pronounced as “Nian Gao”, which is a homophone of “Year High”, meaning “Higher & Better Every Year”. What a fortunate food that brings hope, luck & longevity to the recipients! No wonder Year Cake, aka “Nian Gao” is the most popular cuisine at this festive season of the year.

Nowadays, not just people in China will prepare glutinous rice made Year Cake at the start of a new year, Chinese all over the world will use their own recipes in steaming & preparing such wonderful New Year treat, savoury & sweet alike. What’s more, manufacturers have also brought forth pre-packed Year Cake, where customers can simply buy from the grocery shops, bring home, steam it, and conveniently savour the authentic taste of this fortunate “Nian Gao”.

Lo Hei – Prosperity & Abundance

sashimiWhile Year Cake is a traditional Chinese New Year cuisine, Lo Hei for sure is a modern treat. “Lo Hei” literally means to toss well, which also implies “Prosperity”. It is a dish made of raw fish, with fish carries a homophone of “Abundance”. Lo Hei is believed to be originated in South East Asia, and has been very popular in Singapore & Malaysia for a few decades. In recent years, Lo Hei has become a new trend. Even restaurants in other parts of the globe also started introducing Lo Hei into their Chinese New Year menu, where Chinese all over the world can enjoy a fortunate start of “Prosperity Toss”.

Authentic & traditional Lo Hei dish applied specific kind of raw fish. The modern twist is another popular raw fish choice – Salmon. Orange in colour, salmon adds festive tone to the dish. Indeed, Lo Hei has always maintained a close linkage to vibrant colours. Besides raw fish, its ingredients include: shredded lettuce, celery, carrot and ginger, as well as chopped peanuts, etc. All these ingredients add colour to the cuisine, enhancing joy & bringing luck. Even the steps of eating Lo Hei have its own ritual. The ingredients will be added to the pot one by one, and be well tossed with the sauce made of plum & kumquat. Whenever one adds a new ingredient to the pot, all those involved are requested to say some auspicious words. And when all ingredients are ready, all people need to use their chopsticks to stir & toss up the food, while voicing out loud the phrase “Lo Hei!” “Lo Hei!”. Literally it means “Scoop Up” but as well implying the meaning of “Prosperity Toss”. It is believed that the higher the food being tossed, the better the new year will be.

With so many different ingredients required, many families may not be able to afford time in preparing. Thanks to the manufacturers who introduced pre-packed Lo Hei, customers can simply share the fun of such “Prosperity Toss” & “Wishful Abundance”, comfortably with friends & relatives at home.

Come to TANG The Asia Food Emporium, your one-stop shop for Chinese New Year food & produce, snack & drink. Bring home your most cherished taste at this festive start of the year.

 

意頭好‧味道佳 運時賀年美食齊備

農曆新年轉眼將至,家家戶戶正忙於辦年貨及預備賀年食品,與家人親友迎接猴年,歡度喜慶滿堂的新春佳節。運時特備多款應節食品,不管您是持家有道的家庭主婦、思鄉情濃欲與好友共賀新禧的留學生,還是二人前浪漫新派小家庭,運時的賀年小吃及美食定能讓你大顯身手、回味無窮。

年糕年年高

year-cake新年「蒸糕」是傳統習俗,除了廣東人最愛的蘿蔔糕外,相信年糕必定是指定賀年糕點。不管您來自北方或南方、內陸或沿海,農曆新年吃年糕絕對是常識吧!那為甚麼新春要吃年糕呢?

據說吃年糕的歷史可追溯至春秋時代。相傳身為吳國大夫的伍子胥,被吳王夫差賜劍,要他自刎,伍子胥死前囑咐,如國家有難民眾缺糧,便往象門城牆挖地三尺,自然可覓得糧食。伍子胥死後,吳國被越王勾踐進攻,糧食耗盡,軍民生命危在旦夕。伍的親信想起其遺言,於是前往象門挖掘,真的發現不少「城磚」,原來是伍子胥以江米粉蒸製後壓製而成的食品,這些「城磚」救回不少人命。為紀念伍子胥,從此以後每逢新年,各家各戶皆會蒸製江米年糕,流傳至今,成為新年必備的年糕。

另一個說法是自周代開始,中國人已經在過年時吃年糕,有祝賀五穀豐登之意。當然傳說屬實與否,無從稽考,但年糕與「年高」同音卻是鐵一般的事實。新春當然要吃好意頭的食品,年糕年年高,有年高長壽之意,自然成為賀年佳品。

時至今日,中國各地甚至東南亞各國民眾,在過年時皆會蒸年糕與親友共享。年糕大多以糯米磨粉製成,但不同地區的年糕有其獨特秘方及風味。為了方便普羅家庭可隨時在家輕鬆即蒸年糕,市面有不少口味的預製年糕,只須開爐蒸熟,即可品嘗。

撈起風生水起

sashimi如果年糕屬於傳統,那麼撈起絕對是新興賀年美食。撈起全名是撈起魚生,又稱七彩魚生,是馬來西亞及新加坡的特色新年食品,流行超過數十載,近年開始在東南亞以外華人地區風行,不少餐廳食肆也會在農曆新年期間推出撈起,取其「風生水起」之意。

「撈」在廣東話裏有「拌」之意,而「撈起」意思則代表「愈做愈旺」,故撈起魚生可說是意頭十足,非常適合新春享用。按傳統撈起所採用的魚生為九江魚生,近年開始選用三文魚魚生,橙色魚肉令整碟佳餚更具色彩。撈起魚生又名七彩魚生,皆因材料包括生菜絲、西芹絲、紅蘿蔔絲、薑絲及花生碎等,七彩繽紛,奪目燦爛,別具意頭。傳統的撈起魚生會將各材料逐一加進碟上,再混和以酸梅膏及桔子汁添加糖水調製而成的醬料。每加進一款材料時,圍桌而坐的眾人要說一句吉祥說話。而當所有材料加好後,眾人便要「起筷」,用筷子將所有材料撈起拌勻,同時說出「撈起」「撈起」,祝願眾人風生水起、愈撈愈旺。

要預備撈起的材料也頗費時,因此坊間備有預製撈起禮盒,只要買一盒回家,加進醬料便可與親朋好友同心起筷,齊齊撈起。

運時備有不同款式口味的賀年食品,不管您來自中國南北那一方,或自東南亞那一國移民至此,我們的應節美食定能讓您於新春佳節,重拾家鄉風味。

Chinese New Year’s Traditions, Family Meals, Fire Crackers, Lions, Dragons & Lanterns.

Lion Dance Fed Square, pic Juile Renouf

Lion Dance Fed Square, pic Juile Renouf

The Chinese New Year festival covers many days of festivity, clearing out the old year and welcoming in the new. ‘Hoi Nin’, the opening of the year, signifies continuous celebrations! Often there is a decorative fish jumping over the front door to symbolize that the New Year is ‘going up a level’, as the fish jumps to reach new heights.

 

The first day of the New Year, on February 8th, is a most important occasion, as it’s a time for the entire extended family to gather for a celebratory meal. Usually this will be with the Father’s side of the family first, including Grandparents, Uncles and Aunties and all of the children. On the second day celebrations continue with the Mother’s family. The traditional meal is vegetarian with chives often used as a garnish because phonetically the Chinese word for chives sounds like ‘long’ – a long life, in friendship, with family and business. Dumplings also are served and, in special dishes, these symbolise gold and silver.

Year of the Monkey Red Packets

Year of the Monkey Red Packets

On New Year’s Eve ‘Red Packets’ are prepared for the young people visiting their older relatives and all (except those married) receive ‘Red Packet’ gifts from the adults, which symbolise blessings in health, study, happiness and good luck. Tang, The Asian Food Emporium in Melbourne have a gorgeous range of Red Packets symbolising the year of the monkey as well as traditional foods, decorations and cards at 185 Russell Street Melbourne.

Firecrackers are let off with dragon and lion dancers to scare off evil spirits, traditions much loved by everyone; catch these at Queen Vic Markets on 6th Feb, Federation Square on 6th/7th Feb, Docklands 8th Feb and the Dragon Parade starts in China Town on 14th Feb. Crown will put on fireworks on 6th Feb and the lanterns are out today (2nd February) at the Emporium. There are many Chinese cultural festivals on in Melbourne during this time to celebrate.

The Tang Family from TANG The Asian Food Emporium wish all their patrons a very happy and prosperous New Year!

 

Celebrate Dongzhi with Tangyuan, Jiuniang and Dumplings from TANG

Coloured Tangyuan At Donghzi

Coloured Tangyuan At Donghzi

Today is Dongzhi , the celebration of the Winter Festival. This is an important festival celebrated for the winter solstice in the northern hemisphere in China, Taiwan and other Asian countries, which usually falls around the 21st or 22nd December and this year it falls on 22nd December. The origins can be traced back to the principles of yin and yang. The days start getting longer, bringing in positive yang energy after the winter solstice. In southern China It is a time for families to gather together and they celebrate with tangyuan, balls of glutinous rice, which are sometimes brightly coloured. Each family member receives at least one large tangyuan in addition to several small ones. The tangyuan balls may be plain or stuffed. They are cooked in a sweet soup or savoury broth with both the ball and the soup/broth served in one bowl.

Tangyuan is often served with Jiuniang, a mildly alcoholic unfiltered rice wine containing whole grains of glutinous rice (and often also sweet osmanthus flowers). Available at TANG The Asian Food Emporium (formerly Great Eastern Food Centre) at 185 Russell Street, Melbourne. Plain or flavoured Tangyuan are also stocked here; some of the scrumptious fillings are red bean, coconut and yam, sesame, peanut and taro.

At Dongzhi people from northern China typically eat dumplings or dumpling soup. This originates from the story of Zhang Zhongjing in the Han Dynasty who saw the poor suffering from chilblains on their ears and had dumplings made and distributed to them to warm them, and so to this day people from this region celebrate by eating dumplings or dumpling soup to celebrate Dongzhi. You’ll find a great range of delicious dumplings at TANG The Asian Food Emporium, try cucumber, prawn and pork, leek, mushroom or vegetable, pork and prawn, chinese cabbage and pork, pork and spinach, fish, shrimp and pork, fish and pork, mushroom and chicken, mushroom and pork or seafood and pork dumplings.