China, here we come!

Chinese groceries
Getting ready for lunch in China

I’m starting to get ready for lunch in China, and have visited the Hiep Phat supermarket in Mitcham.

And what a great place to visit! Not only is there a stunning variety of completely unfamiliar sights and smells, but the staff are extremely helpful. I could browse through those shelves for hours.

I need lotus leaves for the Lotus Leaf Wrap Sticky Rice, and had no idea what to expect of a lotus leaf. Holy moly, they’re huge!

And then it was off to the North Ringwood Meat Supply to buy some belly pork for the crispy roast pork, and chicken and beef for the steamboat. Oh, and to scrounge some butcher’s string to tie the sticky rice in the lotus leaves.

I was a bit half-hearted about making fortune cookies (which aren’t Chinese at all – they originated in the US in 1920), but then found a website with fortunes, and couldn’t resist. I haven’t had fortune cookies very often, and remember not being at all impressed by the very bland taste of flour and water. The recipe I found includes almond essence, which upped the flavour considerably, and was supposed to make ten cookies. But I got 13 quite large ones, so when the real time comes, I’ll make them quite a bit smaller. Which means we’ll have more fortunes!

Other dishes on the menu are dumplings (of course), spring rolls (of course), steamed prawns with garlic, and spring onion pancakes.

I’m not even going to attempt to make Chinese desserts, and bought some pie cookies with mochi and blueberry and custard cream dai-fuku. I have no idea what they are or what they will taste like but, after all, the whole idea of 80 cuisines around the world is to step out of our food comfort zones.

Lani is very keen to write the quiz, so she and I will sit down together during the week and come up with 20 questions. I’m very glad that Lani chose China for her birthday month. I think we’re gunna have another great feast!

It’s Lani’s birthday on Monday. I’ll have to research if the Chinese have a special kind of birthday celebration cakes for six-year olds. Happy birthday for Monday, Lani-pops!











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