|Photo Credit: Creative Commons Open Cage Togenkyou’s Potstickers Jiaozi|
It’s soon to be Father’s Day and I realize that I miss my Grandpa Paul and Dad Peter very much. Dad has been gone for four years. Grandpa Paul has been gone for more than a decade. Certain childhood Chinese foods remind me of them.
For example, it was a family tradition for Dad Peter to pack mom, my siblings and me into the minivan after church to visit his parents in Berkeley. Before stopping by the grandparents’ home Dad would make sure to buy Grandpa Paul’s favorite dim sum to bring in a large pink pastry box.
|Photo Credit: Creative Commons MapoTofu by Avlxyz|
Deep fried savory-sweets would be nestled together in white cupcake liners. Eventually, the paper box, wrapped with red string, would show darkened grease spots on the 20 minute ride from Oakland Chinatown to their home on Acton Street. Disclosure: I have not received payment to endorse any company, product, brand or blog.
1. Baked Tapioca Custard Christine’s Recipes has images that remind me of my “dim sum days” in Oakland Chinatown on the weekends with my parents
2. Chinese Fruit Flavored Beef Jerky. What?! Yes, you heard that right. I remember going to Chinese supermarkets and finding boxes of vacuum sealed beef jerky next to the dried melon and lotus seeds.
3. Chinese Pork Floss. This is also a version of jerky. My Greatgrandmother on my mom’s side would make this in a wok by dry frying pork until it became dehydrated and easy to shred.
4.Black Sesame Pudding. When I read about gruel in German fairy tales I wondered if German children had sweet gruel the color of charcoal.
5. Chinese Dan Dan Noodles. This is close to spaghetti if it were seasoned with sweet chili sauce and covered with toasted peanuts.
6. Lo Dan Soy Sauce Eggs. I ate dyed hard-boiled eggs all year long not just during Easter.
7. Five Spice Soy Sauce Duck. I used to eat chilled duck wings like other kids enjoy buffalo wings.
|Photo Credit: Creative Commons Open Cage Rice Congee with Pork Floss|
8. Rice Porridge. I like these Chinese breakfast rice soups with “century duck eggs”.
9. Siu Yuk Crispy Pork Belly. Better than bacon or crackin’.
10.Steamed Egg with Dried Scallops. This will change a picky eater’s mind.
11. Braised Beef with Daikon. Daikon was my favorite vegetable as a kid. It has a mild horseradish bite.
12. Pressed Tofu with Chinese Celery Stir Fry. Excellent vegan protein.
13.Salted Eggs. Salt-pickle eggs at home. Serve with steamed white rice or use in festival pastries.
14. Eggplant with Garlic Sauce. Great for winter meals with hot rice.
15. Hainanese Chicken. Pandan leaves are essential to this dish.
16. Ginger and Black Vinegar Dip for Crab. The only way to enjoy crab in the summer.
17. You Tiao Savory Chinese Crullers. Like savory beignets to eat with rice soup and green onions.
18. Braised Pork Belly with Preserved Mustard Cabbage. Easy to chew for toddlers.
19. Beef Chow Hor Fun. Soft, flat, rectangular rice noodles. A kid’s favorite.
20. Stir Fried Bitter Melon with Black Beans. Enduring a bitter flavor can be as exciting as a hot sauce eating contest.
21.Mapo Tofu. Spicy tofu dish that kids love.
|Photo Credit: Creative Commons Jbcurio Har Gow Shrimp Dumplings|
22. Har Gow Shrimp Dumplings. The #1 favorite of kids when visiting a dim sum restaurant.
23. Ha Cheung Rice Rolls. The #3 dim sum favorite.
24. Potstickers. Easy to hold for toddler hands.
25.Won Ton Noodle Soup. A mild and unintimidating introduction to Chinese food.
Consider treating your dad or grandpa to his favorite Chinese restaurant for lunch on Father’s Day!