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Touch Your Heart: 5 Easy Dim Sum Recipes That You Can Make At Home

Touch Your Heart: 5 Easy Dim Sum Recipes That You Can Make At Home

If you have ever had Chinese food, you may know that each region of China is famous for its own local delicacy – Sichuan for its spicy and numbing hot pot, Zhejiang for its Ningbo salty crab, Beijing for its crispy and juicy Peking roast duck, and the list could go on and on. And if you are a big fan of Cantonese cuisine, there’s no way you wouldn’t know what it is best known for: yes, its dim sum – the little dishes with different varieties that are well liked by people of all ages.

Dim sum is a Cantonese local specialty that is served in bite-sized portions in steamer baskets or on small plates. It is very popular in the Guangdong province of China, especially in Hong Kong. It is usually available from early morning, for elders to have their breakfast after morning exercises, to mid-afternoon, for families to enjoy their get-together time on the weekends. With its versatile cooking methods, from steaming and sautéing to deep-frying, dim sum might seem like the kind of dish that you would never think of making at home. But with the following five easy and crowd-pleasing dim sum recipes, you don’t have to go out to Chinese restaurants to satisfy your dim sum cravings!

1. Cheung Fun Recipe (homemade rice noodles), Two Ways

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    1-b

      Cheung fun, a.k.a. rice noodles, is a very common dim sum that you can have at Chinese restaurants. They come with fillings of different kinds – beef, barbecue pork, shrimp, mushrooms, and sometimes even just plain cheung fun! In this recipe, you’ll learn two ways to make this hearty dim sum at home.

      The first one uses dried shrimp and scallions as the ingredients wrapped inside, while the second one entails rolling together with Chinese crullers, a form of Chinese fried dough, to make a nice side dish to go with congee. As for the rice noodles, you can either make them at home using a wok and a pan for the steaming, or if you are feeling a little lazy (as we all do sometimes), store-bought ones work just fine! To make the dipping sauce, just mix together some raw sugar, water, dark soy sauce, and oyster sauce (all of which are available at your local Asian grocery stores) and this silky smooth cheung fun dim sum is ready to be served.

      2. Pan-Seared Egg Tofu “Scallops” with Sweet Chili Sauce Recipe

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        This dim sum recipe calls for a special type of tofu – not your usual soybean tofu, but egg tofu. Egg tofu is originally from Japan but is now very popular among people in Hong Kong and Taiwan. It is often used for dim sum in Chinese restaurants as well. Unlike the regular soybean tofu that we all have tried, egg tofu has a firmer silken texture. Since it usually comes in a tube, each piece of tofu resembles a scallop when you slice it, hence the name of this recipe.

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        Simply pan sear the egg tofu for 1 to 2 minutes per side or until they turn golden brown, then serve them with sweet chili sauce (which can be homemade or store-bought). This pan-fried egg tofu is crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Perfect as a snack for summer days.

        3. Steamed “Longevity” Peach-shaped Buns

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          If you have ever been to a Chinese banquet for someone’s birthday, you must have tried these peach-shaped buns for dessert. Embedded with wishes of “longevity,” these cute little steamed buns are usually stuffed with red bean paste, lotus paste, or custard, which are very traditional fillings for Chinese desserts. Although people usually had them only for ritual events or birthdays in the old days, you can pretty much find them on any restaurant dim sum order sheet nowadays.

          Don’t be fooled by the appearance of the buns, they look adorable and they are easy to make! Prepare the dough and let it rest for around 30-40 minutes. At the same time, heat a Chinese steamer (if you don’t have one, a large pot with a steaming rack also does the trick) and steam the buns until they are done. A plus point for this recipe: if you have extra red bean paste or lotus paste left, you can save it for making other Chinese desserts, like moon cakes and sesame balls!

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          4. Dim Sum Spare Ribs with Black Beans

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            This dim sum may look complicated at first glance, but if you take a look at this recipe, you will be blown away by how effortless it is to make these flavorful spare ribs with black beans. Being a classic dim sum, it uses Chinese fermented black beans, which are enriched with flavors, and Shaoxing wine, which is a common kind of wine used in Chinese cuisine to spice up the dish.

            There might be quite a lot of seasonings going on in this recipe, but all you need to do is marinate your pork ribs (which are cut into 1-inch pieces) with them for at least 30 minutes. If you’ve got the time, marinating them in the fridge overnight will yield the best results! Once they are ready, put them on small plates, like how Chinese restaurants would do, and steam them for around 10 minutes. You can have them alone or you can put them on rice!

            5. Shrimp Wrapped in Tofu Skin

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              Yes, finally a recipe for a crunchy dim sum that’s sure to be a crowd-pleaser! Tofu skin (a.k.a. bean curd sheet) is used as the wrapper for this crunchy, savory snack. As the name suggests, tofu skin is actually the skin that forms at the top of fresh soy milk. It is a very popular ingredient in Chinese dim sum dishes. Again, lots of different fillings can be wrapped inside, such as chicken, pork, bamboo shoots, carrots — you name it!

              In this recipe, shrimp is mixed with seasonings like chicken bouillon powder, Shaoxing wine, sesame oil, and white pepper powder. The pieces are wrapped with both ends twisted so that the oil won’t seep in when you deep fry them. Once they turn golden brown, take them out and absorb the excess oil with paper towels. Now you can sit back, take a sip of pu-erh tea, and enjoy this crunchy dim sum at home!

              Featured photo credit: CNN via i2.cdn.turner.com

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              Last Updated on January 17, 2019

              8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

              8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

              In life, we all need to be conscientious of what we are doing. You don’t need to live a life of stress if you don’t want to. You can achieve peace and happiness in life by carefully building mindfulness exercises into your life’s routine.

              Exercising mindfulness isn’t rocket science and as importantly, you can do it. It will, however, take a few tries to get into the groove of things but once you get it, it is like riding a bike, you will never lose it.

              Trust me. It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. In this article, I will share with you 8 mindfulness exercises that will help you to boost your energy, vitality and live a more peaceful and happier life.

              Why Is It Hard to Live A Peaceful And Happy Life?

              Our Habitat Has Become Too Technological

              The world has accepted the idea that technology is often the cure for all evil. We have accepted, as a society, that everything technological will make us live a better life without fully investigating the many side effects that modernity brings.

              There are a number of technological side effects that have a tremendous impact on your life that the media rarely tells you about.[1] Some of them include self-harm, economic inequality, having less sex, and even suicide. The global community is becoming less happy because of technology.

              How can anybody live a peaceful and happy life when they are depressed? Technology advancements, ladies and gents, is a major reason for why we are living a poor life because it has infiltrated our lives too much.

              According to my research, Americans spend an average of 8 hours a day looking at the computer screen — The average screen time spent on smartphones alone is about 20 hours per week. That’s a lot! No wonder why living a happy and peaceful life is so difficult these days.

              Too Many People Don’t Want to Unplug

              Americans check their phones an average of 80 times during vacation.[2] Some admit to checking their smartphones 300 times every single day. In countries like Brazil, India and China, the situation is no different.

              The reality is that people are constantly plugged into technological devices and this behavior is literally making people all over the globe fight an inner war with themselves, which consequently makes them very sad. As we know, war is the enemy of peace which won’t make anybody happy.

              Listen carefully:

              We have a global anxiety epidemic because people don’t want to unplug from their smartphones and most people aren’t doing anything to fix it. It is a sad state of affairs but very real. This obsession with technology is turning us into perishable robots who live terrible lives.

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              The era of anxiety is here to stay. There is little doubt about it. We can, however, fight back with the best remedy of all — We call it mindfulness!

              Thank God there is an antidote to this whole technological madness. Without further ado, let’s go straight to the mindful exercises.

              8 Mindfulness Exercises to Start Practicing

              There are tons of mindfulness exercises available for you to engage with out there.[3] In the paragraphs below, I will include the best ones I’ve personally tried or have seen my close friends and family members try.

              Are you ready for it? Let’s go!

              1. Pray Daily

              You should pray on a daily basis. Why is that you may ask — Well, because science has told us to do so.

              When people pray, they feel peaceful, almost eliminating anxiety. Worries become secondary, and often gives people energy and hope to cope with the difficulties of life.

              Prayer can make you more confident and focused. Prayer also helps you with self-control, helps to control pain, and can protect you against illnesses and disorders like cancer and high blood pressure. At least, this is what researchers from Harvard Medical School have said.[4]

              Pray. You won’t regret it.[5]

              2. Pay Attention to Your Inner Thoughts

              A lot of people allow themselves to be influenced by their negative thoughts. Be different and resist believing in them. It is a bad habit that can lead to unhappiness.

              By the way, if you do feel this way, chances are high that somebody other than you put these thoughts into your head.

              Here is my secret to combat this cancer — look at things objectively. I bet that if you look at things as they are, you will realize that most if not all of your negative thoughts are only inside of your head.

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              If you pay close attention, you will quickly realize that these voices aren’t worth your time. Believe me — Ignoring them and looking at things with objectivity is often the best course of action.

              This article can guide you to beat negative thoughts:

              How to Stop Automatic Negative Thoughts When You’re Overwhelmed

              3. Smile Often

              Smiling will slow down your heart. It will also relax your body because when you smile, your body releases endorphins which in itself has a number of positive benefits for you as a person.

              Smile often! You may want to smile early in the morning, during the day, and late in the evening. It is amazing what happens to you when you decide to smile instead of being grumpy.

              Surrender your problems to a nice smile. You will notice two things. First, most people just don’t which makes them live a miserable life. Second, if you decide to smile often, you will eventually smile unconsciously which is the ideal.

              The moment that you smile unconsciously, you then know that you are truly happy.

              4. Organize Your Working Desk

              A messy desk will make you less productive and can agitate and overstimulate you. You don’t want that.

              When you clear your desk, you engage in deep inner-thinking and your systematic decision making ends up becoming therapeutic.

              Most people realize that they are most creative when their creative space is clean and organized. The former often makes people more aware of what they are doing which lends to less stress and more productivity.

              Organizing your desk will also make you more energetic and focused because order often decreases chaos which is a condition that often slows down daily progress.

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              5. Celebrate Your Friend’s Victories

              I love this mindful exercise. One of the best ways to live a happy and peaceful life is to celebrate the victories of others. When you do that, you automatically make your friends in a better mood which makes you in a better mood, as well.

              Happiness is contagious! We might as well celebrate others as much as we can. If you find out that your peer has won an award, celebrate with him! If your friend is the recipient of a local charity award, celebrate with her!

              What is also awesome is that when you celebrate with others, they often celebrate with you in return. This, ladies and gentleman, will make you feel fantastic. You can’t go wrong with this one, period.

              6. Listen to Your Spouse/Partner

              God put someone in your life for a reason. You might as well listen to him or her.

              I listen to my wife everyday. In fact, I often ask the following question to her, “Amanda, what are your thoughts about…” or “What am I missing about…” It is shocking what I hear back from her. Without her having much context and perspective, by the art of observation in my own nonverbal behavior and the behavior of others, she accurately gives me incredible insights which helps me out with living my life to the fullest.

              I’m a firm believer that spouses are supposed to engage in interpersonal communication every day. I most definitely do and will continue doing it. You should do the same.

              7. Give Yourself a Break from Technology

              You can’t be in total equilibrium if your computerized devices control your life. You must get away from technology on a daily basis.[6]

              How do you do that? This is my formula:

              First, take this smartphone control test. It is only ten questions but this test will place you somewhere in the human robot cycle continuum.

              If your score is between 25-30, take a break from the computer (or smartphone, pad, laptop/desktop) every twenty minutes and stop being on a computerized device after 8:00pm.

              If you score between 30-35, still take a break every 20 minutes but stop being on these devices at 5:00pm.

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              If you score more than 35, you need to take action immediately.

              Limit computer use as much as possible throughout the day. Give yourself as many breaks from the computer as possible. Are you ready for the challenge?

              8. Go Exercise

              Go exercise at least three times a week. I don’t care if you need to workout early in the morning, late in the evening, on the weekends or during work days. Working out is absolutely imperative for you to live happy and peaceful life.

              The stresses of the modern world are too much for you to neglect this important mindfulness exercise. When you go to the gym, you burn calories, focus on activities one step at a time, your mind relaxes, anxiety decreases, you sweat and often think about topics unrelated to your work place among many other benefits.

              You must exercise at least three hours each week for optimum results. Why? Just take a look at all the benefits of regular exercising:

              12 Benefits of Regular Exercise You Should Know

              The Bottom Line

              It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. Now that our habitat has become too technological and many people just don’t want to unplug, engaging in daily prayer, celebrate your friends’ victories, and listening to your spouse are among the best ways to be mindful about what you are doing and how you are living.

              It is possible to live a happy and peaceful life. It only depends on you.

              Go exercise! Take a break from technology and invest in you! Life is too short for distractions.

              More Resources About Mindfulness

              Featured photo credit: Lesly Juarez via unsplash.com

              Reference

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