Monday, 7 May 2007

Dou Hua 豆花 - Soy Bean Curd and Tea Leaf Eggs 茶葉蛋

Dou Hua 豆花 - Soy Bean Curd

Dòufǔhuā (Chinese: 豆腐花, literally "bean curd flower"), also called Dòuhuā (豆花) or dòufǔnǎo (豆腐腦), is an extra soft form of doufu (tofu) that is used in both desserts and salty dishes. It slightly resembles a custard.

In Taiwan, douhua is served with toppings like cooked peanuts, azuki beans, cooked oatmeal, tapioca, mung beans and a syrup flavored with ginger or almond. During the summer, douhua is served with crushed ice; in the winter, it is served warm.

In Hong Kong it is known as bean curd dessert, or by the name dau fu fa (豆腐花) in Cantonese. There, it can be served with ginger or syrup, and sometimes as a mixture with black sesame paste, and sometimes also with coconut milk. Traditionally it is made with wooden bucket, which is sold as dau fu fa in wooden bucket (木桶豆腐花). Dau fu fa is also sold as packed cold dessert at supermarkets.

In northern China, douhua is often eaten with soy sauce, thus making a salty flavour.
Douhua is also served as a sweet dessert in Singapore and Malaysia. In those countries it is more commonly known by its names tow huay or tau huay in Southern Min Chinese, or by the name in Cantonese. It is usually served either with a clear sweet syrup alone, with Ginkgo seeds suspended in the syrup, or in a sugar syrup infused with pandan. In Japan, this style of douhua is known as "annin dofu."

In the Philippines it is known as taho and sold by hawkers in the mornings. It is served warm with a dark brown syrup and sago or tapioca balls.

Tea Leaf Eggs 茶葉蛋

This article is about the Chinese egg-based snack. Tea egg is sometimes also used to refer to a Tea infuser.

A peeled tea egg
Tea egg (Traditional Chinese: 茶葉蛋; pinyin: chá yè dàn; literally "tea leaf egg") is a typical Chinese savory snack commonly sold by street vendors or in night markets in most Chinese communities throughout the world.

In Taiwan, tea eggs are a fixture of convenience stores. Through 7-Eleven chains alone, an average of 40 million tea eggs are sold per year. The price of tea eggs in convenience stores also serve as an important price index. In north-east China and Hong Kong, tea eggs are often privately made and sold; one might also see street vendors cooking and selling steaming-hot tea eggs. In Shanghai, tea eggs are sold by both convenience stores and private street vendors, where the tea eggs are often cooked together with dried tofu.

Tea eggs are simply hard boiled eggs that have been further stewed in a salted tea liquid. Other flavourings such as soy sauce and Chinese five-spice powder are often added as well. The egg is actually boiled twice. After the first boil, when the insides are harder, the shell of each egg is lightly cracked without peeling, then the eggs are further boiled. This serves the dual purpose of letting the flavour of the tea into the egg, while colouring the surface egg white with a blurry cracked pattern that is somewhat reminiscent of marble.

The tea used in making tea eggs are usually low in quality but high in dark brown tannins. Green tea leaves are considered too bitter for the use of making tea eggs.
Typical ingredients for the stewing liquid include:
Oolong tea leaves
Minced black tea leaves
Star anise
Sichuan peppers
Soy sauce

Thank you to Wikipedia for the descriptions.