This is the Ho Chi Minh mausoleum ...... the first stop on arrival at Hanoi on 23rd Dec., temperature was around 15 deg C at about 10.00 am. There was security check at the entrance before we were allowed in to view the embalmed body of Ho Chi Minh.
We had a sumptuous reunion dinner at Sun Lee How Fook on 'Dong Zhi'. It was a warm and joyful reunion as this was the first time that all my 3 children were back together for a short holiday. I couldn't post this earlier as we had to go down to Kuala Lumpur very early next morning to join a tour to Hanoi.
Today is 'Winter Solstice' festival or 'Dong Zhi' and making and eating Tang Yuan/Tong Yuen in Cantonese, or glutinous rice balls, which symbolises reunion is customary. In Chinese culture, by eating Tong Yuan, you welcome in the winter and become 1 year older. Also families would gather for a sumptous dinner, celebrating the arrival of winter and the lengthening of days. According to Chinese custom, every year on 'Dong Zhi' people make these Tong Yuen as an offering to Buddha and/or their ancestors. Traditionally, Tong Yuen are just plain colourful glutinous rice balls but nowadays they are readily available with peanut, red bean paste and black sesame fillings. Personally, I still prefer the authentic plain ones.
Snow Fungus, 'Suet yee' in Cantonese ...... Tremella fuciformis and other names like Silver Tree, ear fungus, white muer, are wobbly fungus commonly found on various types of trees especially in Asian countries and other warmer climates worldwide. The name is probably derived from its white pale colour and more or less ball shape.
There are 2 types of this edible fungus, one is crunchy and the other is jelly-like, a 'poor' man's substitute of Birds Nest! The superior quality is light yellowish. It's tasteless, almost transparent, enjoyed for its jelly-like texture in savoury soups or desserts and also for its supposed medicinal benefits.
Snow fungus contains iron, vitamin C, calcium, phospherous and the gum like proten in it is especially nourishing to the body. It's supposed to lower cholesterol, fight inflammation, cure dry cough, may slow the aging process, helps strengthen the respiratory system and help prevent cold. A word of caution, take it before catching cold and NOT while having a cold.
Bok Choy is a member of the cabbage family, sometimes referred to as 'Pak Choy', is low in calories, fat but high in calcium, potassium, vitamin C and A. There are 2 varieties of Bok Choy, large and small, the larger one being 10m inches in length while the 'baby bok choy' being 6 inches long and some may have small yellow flowers too.
There's also the dehydrated Bok Choy, aka 'Choy Kon' in Cantonese, which is commonly used in soup but I personally prefer to make soup with fresh bok choy. The dehydrated type takes a longer time to boil to bring out the flavour, while the fresh one is best cooked for a shorter period of time in order to retain its firm, crunchy texture.
Made this simple pie, sometimes referred to as a 'peasant dish' ..... easy, just pile up mashed potatoes over a bed of cooked meat and vegetables, leftovers also can be put to good use. But, mine is not from leftover meat, or leftover mashed potatoes, all freshly cooked specially for this pie, and with a touch of Oriental flavour.
Ipoh Bean Sprouts Chicken ....... Ipoh, the capital of Perak, a northern state in peninsular Malaysia is famous for its food. Salt baked chicken/duck, Ipoh white coffee, Gunung Rapat Heong Paeng, kaya puff , Tau Foo Far and the most well known is the 'Kai See Sar Hor Fun' aka Rice noodles with shredded chicken.
Another novelty dish is the famous Bean Sprout Chicken with Hor Fun or popularly known as 'Ngah Choy Kai'..........
Made this for dinner recently ......... Pan seared Mackerel aka Ikan Tenggiri with Teriyaki marinade. In Cantonese, this is called 'Kau Yu'. Very simple and quick to make, with a minimum of ingredients and olive oil resulting in a healthy, light and nourishing meal.
Cooked this Yam dish recently ...... the meat has assumed the colour of the yam, so it's pretty difficult to distinguish the meat from the yam pieces, but nonetheless, this is a delicious dish, goes well with rice.