14 February 2010

Lee Kum Kee: Plum Sauce & Pandan Rice Cakes { via @Nli10} (Sing Fat, Birmingham)

"Kung Hei Fat Choi, Fung Bao Giam Loi" - for today marks the start of the Chinese New Year of the Tiger.

I decided to make an authentic style Chinese meal last night to mark this occasion, and because I haven't had decent homemade Chinese in a while. I used the plum sauce on Quorn pieces (due to a vegetarian partner) and served with fresh Shanghai noodles (pretty much the same as Udon noodles but a little more floury) and a few leafy greens.

I've never tried the plum sauce variety from Lee Kum Kee - they do a very wide range of sauces and accompaniments - but I am familiar with the flavour from many take-aways. I'd say that a fair few of them may well have been using this exact sauce as it is of take-away standard. I haven't seen many of these sauces in the normal supermarkets, but they are well worth hunting down as they always seem to provide the definitive version.

For afters I bought the Pandan Rice Cakes. These are glutinous rice based snacks covered in flour. They were available in a variety of colours but I chose the green ones. I remember eating similar at university, but without added colours and with a centre of something like peanut or jam. These did not taste the same.

On opening the packet I got an odd vegetable based smell wafting up and although the texture and feel of them was identical to the ones I remember, the flavour was really off-putting. Between the two of us we didn't manage to finish one. I'm sure that it's just my delicate western palate rejecting new and unusual flavours, and I think that the version I had previously may have been a Japanese one made to a different recipe.

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