Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Duanwu Jie, also called Dragon Boat Festival, is June 16th. With the date varying every year, the holiday completely snuck up on me this year. I didn't realize that it was coming up until I saw lots of "zong zi" which is the rice dumpling eaten during this holiday, on sale at Ranch 99.
During this day, it is traditionally celebrated with Dragon boat racing as well as the eating of zong zi. Last year I did a more thorough post about the holiday and various rice dumpling offerings. I'm going to keep this one simple since I didn't buy as many dumplings this year.
The story of why Dragon Boat Festival is a holiday goes something like this: It is to celebrate Qu
Yuan, who was a famous poet and scholar. He was an officer
for the Chu royal house during the Zhou Dynasty. When the king decided
to align with the state of Qin, Qu Yuan opposed the alliance and then
was accused of treason and banished. When Qin conquered Chu, Qu Yuan
committed suicide by drowning himself in the Miluo River.
As the story goes, the local people threw food in the river to feed
the fish so that the fish would not eat Qu Yuan's body. The food was
the zong zi. Local people also paddled boats to scare away the fish,
which is where the dragon boat racing came from.
The rice dumplings are wrapped in bamboo leaves. Inside is a ball of glutinous rice, which is a very sticky rice. The rice is cooked with different things. There are sweet ones which are usually filled with red bean paste. The savory ones can be filled with peanuts, mushrooms, egg yolks, meat, seafood, etc.
I've never seen them being made or tried to make my own. I usually just buy them at the store. The frozen ones are usually available year round. But during the holiday, you'll find fresh ones as well, and more variety for sale.
To cook them, the dumplings are usually steamed. I cooked mine in a bamboo steamer, which I placed inside a pot with boiling water.
This year I bought some seafood ones. Here is a picture of the inside.
For more pictures of different zong zi you can read my post from last year here.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Sushi Deli 3
7986 Armour St
San Diego, CA 92111
Boyfriend and I had friends visiting this weekend. Whenever they come, I always plan lots of food stuff, since that is about all I know. I had been wanting to take them to Sushi Deli 3 for a while now, so this was the perfect opportunity.
When they used to visit, one of the main rules for food spots used to be "No Seafood!" My friend "T" absolutely did not like any type of seafood. Then one time we went to go visit them and they were raving about this sushi joint. I couldn't believe my ears. Apparently T had developed a love for sushi. In fact they constantly want sushi. T's become more brave, trying all different types of fish. While she still doesn't like sashimi, she loves sushi rolls. Especially ones with sauce.
So I had a feeling that they would both like Sushi Deli 3 since they offer so many different types of rolls for super cheap prices, and the quality is pretty decent considering the cheap prices.
I remember when we first used to come to Sushi Deli 3 and we didn't even have to wait. Now this place is super popular. Perhaps not as popular as the one downtown, but there is still a bit of a wait. We arrived early on Saturday, a little before 6, but we had to wait about half an hour.
It's been a while since we paid Sushi Deli 3 a visit, so I was looking forward to this visit. I noticed quite a few new rolls, including "hot hot" versions of many of their rolls (they take the roll and put some spicy mayo and bake it), and some completely new rolls. The three Sushi Deli locations also now have a nice website which is updated with their hours and menu, including the monthly specials.
My friend "M" ordered a Pico de Gallo roll. I had a piece and I would order this again. There is mango inside as well as a mango sauce drizzled on top. It created a sweet and spicy combo that was really appealing for me.
M also ordered a seven spices seared tuna roll.
Boyfriend and I ordered a hot hot dynamite roll.
A crunchy roll.
The June special, which was four half rolls: Verano roll, Shrimp killer roll, sunshine roll, and smokey salmon roll.
The sunshine roll was a mildly sweet roll. It had sweet potatoes inside
and it had inari (sweet bean curd skin) on top. I liked this but
Boyfriend didn't. The smokey salmon roll was interesting. It had smoked salmon inside and raw salmon on top.
Spicy tuna roll. Boyfriend thought this was plain after all the other rolls. I thought it was weird that there was lettuce inside.
T ordered a Shauna roll and a San Diegan roll. I must have forgotten to take a picture of one of the rolls.
The service was pretty good as was the bill. 10 rolls for under $60. M and T seemed pretty happy with the place. They were really surprised at the cheap prices versus the quality and quantity of food.
My previous visit to Sushi Deli 3 can be found here.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
I love desserts with an interesting name or story. In my blueberry baking frenzy this weekend, I came across this recipe for Blueberry Boy Bait from Brown Eyed Baker. The recipe was entered into a Pillsbury Bake-off contest in 1954 by a 15 year old girl and was named this because it was the effect boys had when they ate her dessert. One bite and they were hooked! I wondered if the cake would have a similar effect on Boyfriend…
The cake tasted a bit like a coffee cake, but not quite as dense or sweet. I enjoyed the sugary cinnamony crust and the taste of blueberries in the batter. The cake was pretty simple to put together. I don’t know if I hooked Boyfriend with this cake, but it hooked me! I would definitely make this cake again to bring to a potluck or party.
Blueberry Boy Bait (from Brown Eyed Baker)
Print this recipe
For the Cake:
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus 1 teaspoon
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon table salt
16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup packed light brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
1 cup whole milk
½ cup blueberries
For the Topping:
½ cup blueberries
¼ cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1. For the Cake: Adjust the oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 13×9-inch baking pan.
2. Whisk 2 cups of flour, baking powder, and salt together in a
medium bowl; set aside. With an electric mixer, beat the butter and
sugars together on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add
eggs, one at a time, beating until just incorporated. Reduce speed to
medium and beat in one-third of the flour mixture until incorporated;
beat in half of the milk. Beat in half of the remaining flour mixture,
then remaining milk, and finally remaining flour mixture. Toss the
blueberries with remaining 1 teaspoon flour. Using a rubber spatula,
gently fold in blueberries. Spread the batter into the prepared pan.
3. For the Topping:
Scatter the blueberries over top of the batter. Stir the sugar and
cinnamon together in a small bowl and sprinkle evenly over the batter.
4. Bake until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 45 to
50 minutes. Cool in pan 20 minutes, then turn out and place on serving
platter (topping side up). Serve warm or at room temperature. (Cake can
be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3