Cute Decorative Sweet

Bouquet de Macaroon Made by A Pastry Shop in Sapporo, Japan

Braised Tofu with Day-lilies and Black Fungus


1 pack soft tofu
25 g dry day-lilies (金針)
25 g dry shredded black fungus


1½ cup vegetable broth
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp mushroom essence


  1. Soak day-lilies and fungus in cold water until soft. Drain and squeeze out water.
  2. Cut tofu into strips.
  3. Heat 2 tsp oil in a wok. Stir-fry day-lilies and fungus briefly. Add tofu and sauce ingredients. Simmer until the sauce reduces by half. Remove and serve hot.

Source: Vegetarian Tofu

Six Wonderful Citrus You Have to Try

Sweet’s great and salty’s nice, but nothing comes close to the lip-puckering, forehead-furrowing tang of fresh citrus. The fragrant lemon and its sweeter green cousin, the lime, have always been essential for both chefs and home cooks, giving everything from seafood to desserts to cocktails a bright, acidic punch.

But the world of citrus is much bigger, and with easier access to produce from all over the globe, chefs are introducing strange-but-familiar flavours to curious diners. “A few years ago, pomelo would be a seasonal thing, but now I can get them year-round,” says Nick Liu, of the restaurant DaiLo in Toronto. “It’s way easier to find these citrus, especially with the growth of big Asian supermarkets like T&T.”

You may have been wondering about that lavender-scented lemon shaped oddly like a hand, or those fat, elongated limes hiding hundreds of juicy little beads. Inside, a guide to giving your palate a little summer zing with a bushel of unusual fruits.


In brief: One of the most peculiar fruits in existence, this citrus was named after the long, finger-like segments that split from the main body of the fruit. It’s believed to have been brought to China from monks in India some time around the 10th century.

What chefs do: “Buddha’s hand has a subtle citrus flavour that does not denature the flavour of artichoke and brings the perfect balance to the creamy risotto,” says Sylvain Assié, sous chef at Toronto’s Café Boulud. His artichoke risotto dish featuring Buddha’s hand zest is currently on the restaurant’s special Winterlicious menu.

What you can do: There is very little juice or flesh to the Buddha’s hand, but it’s prized for the lemony, lavender fragrance of the peel. The zest can be added to vinaigrettes, desserts, cocktails or waffles, as well as making jam. It also looks quite fetching as an ornament on the kitchen counter.


In brief: An incredibly aromatic, yellow-orange fruit originating from East Asia, with strong grapefruit flavours and some mandarin thrown in. The juice and rind are tart, more bitter than sweet, and commonly used in Japanese desserts, cocktails and fish dishes.

What chefs do: “I’ve been using yuzu for some 20 years now and it’s really one of my top 10 favourite ingredients,” says chef Claudio Aprile, MasterChef Canada judge and head of Origin in Toronto. “We’ve done sorbets with it, cocktails, a kombu-yuzu dressing, which has been on my menu for as long as I can remember. It’s also amazing with steamed fish and sashimi. It’s one of the most fragrant and intense citrus out there.”

What you can do: If you can get your hands on a fresh yuzu from a Japanese market, Aprile suggests turning the rind into marmalade, grating the zest atop raw seafood or steaming a trout with a bit of olive oil, salt and grated yuzu.


In brief: An extra-sour cross between a mandarin and a kumquat, these tiny fruits are commonly used in Filipino cooking and are bursting with acidic juice.

What chefs do: “It’s great for desserts,” chef Andrea Carlson of Vancouver’s Burdock & Co says. “The rind is so intense and is great for meringues and marshmallows. We also use the juice to make curds. It has a warmer fragrance, much more tropical with less bitter, astringent tastes than you’d get from a lemon.”

What you can do: Squeeze out the juice from a couple of these fruits for a super-puckery lemonade.


In brief: A large, almost melon-sized pale-green or yellow fruit that originates from Southeast Asia. Underneath a very thick layer of pith is the flesh, which tastes like a less acidic, less bitter version of a grapefruit.

What chefs do: “I love the texture and that it has such an intense sweet flavour without the overpowering bitter notes that you’d get in a grapefruit,” chef Liu says. “At our restaurant we peel the pomelo and separate the segments. We then add it to a salad with green papaya, bean sprouts, coriander, chili, lime leaf, lemongrass, Thai basil, mint and a coconut-caramel dressing. We also infuse palm sugar with the pith for desserts to give some citrusy, floral flavours.”

What you can do: At home, the pomelo is typically peeled and eaten like an orange. If you want to make a salad out of it, Liu recommends drizzling a dressing made of sweet chili sauce, lime juice and fish sauce on top.


In brief: Resembling a tiny orange, the kumquat hails from South Asia and the Asia-Pacific region. Its super thin pith means you can eat it whole, peel and all. Expect delicate, sweet notes of tangerine when you bite in.

What chefs do: “We add sliced kumquats to our Old Fashioned because they’re a little sweeter than oranges and you don’t have to worry about the pith,” chef Sean Murray Smith of Les Deux Singes de Montarvie in Montreal says. “Once in a while, I’ll make a kumquat gastrique, which is a sauce of vinegar and sugar, and it goes great with chicken-heart pâté.”

What you can do: Kumquats make a great addition to salads and can also be made into preserves.


In brief: Grown in the subtropical rainforests of Australia’s eastern coast, these long, fat limes reveal tiny, individual caviar-like bits of pulp when cracked open.

What chefs do: “We’ve put it on raw oysters for a vibrant acidity,” chef Carlson says. “They have that beautiful cellulose structure that gives a bursting, popping taste of lime juice. They really enrich the flavours of raw seafoods.”

What you can do: Use the delicate pale-yellow or pink pearls as an extra fancy garnish for seafood, fruit and vegetable salads or cheesecakes, or in summery cocktails such as mojitos and margaritas.

Source: The Globe and Mail

Healthy Diet May Be Linked to Lower Risk of Lung Disease

Enlarge image ….

A healthy diet low in red meat and rich in whole grains might reduce the risk of developing the crippling chronic lung disease known as COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), new research suggests.

Researchers tracked more than 120,000 men and women and found healthy eaters were one-third less likely to develop COPD compared to big consumers of red meat, refined grains, sugary drinks and alcohol.

“The predominant risk factor for COPD in the developed world is cigarette smoking,” said study lead author Raphaelle Varraso, a researcher with the unit of aging and chronic diseases at the National Institute of Health and Medical Research in Villejuif, France.

“But up to one-third of COPD patients have never smoked, suggesting that other factors are involved,” Varraso said. “This novel finding supports the importance of diet in COPD development.”

The study was published online in the British Medical Journal.

The finding builds on a wide body of prior research suggesting that a healthy diet lowers the risk for heart disease and cancer. And good eating habits seem to lower COPD risk for both smokers and nonsmokers alike, the researchers found.

COPD is an umbrella term for several chronic lung diseases, including emphysema and bronchitis, that lead to blocked air passages and restricted oxygen flow. Routine breathing can be difficult and painful for someone with COPD — the third leading cause of death in America, according to the American Lung Association.

To explore the impact of diet on COPD risk, the investigators focused on the health and eating habits of more than 73,000 women who participated in the U.S. Nurses’ Health Study between 1984 and 2000. They also looked at the nutrition profiles of over 47,000 men enrolled in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study between 1986 and 1998.

Most of the participants were white, and all worked as health professionals.

By the end of each study’s time frame, 723 women and 167 men developed COPD. The subsequent analysis indicated that COPD risk was far lower among those whose diets were light on red meat, sweetened drinks and alcohol, and rich in vegetables, complex carbohydrates such as green vegetables and whole grains, and polyunsaturated fats and nuts.

Polyunsaturated fats include soybean, safflower, corn and canola oils, and fish such as salmon, trout and herring.

The finding that a healthy diet was independently related to lower COPD risk appeared to hold up even after accounting for other factors, including smoking history, age, race, exercise habits and being overweight.

Nevertheless, Varraso cautioned against concluding that diet has a direct impact on COPD risk, given that the study participants were medical professionals with a presumably greater focus on health and healthy behavior than the general public. However, the findings underscore the need for more research into how eating patterns affect lung health, Varraso suggested.

“Although COPD prevention efforts should continue to focus on smoking cessation, our results encourage clinicians to consider the potential role of the combined effect of foods in a healthy diet in promoting lung health,” said Varraso.

Lona Sandon, an assistant professor of clinical nutrition at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, called the findings “reasonable.”

“As always, we need to keep in mind that this type of study suggests potential causes or factors, but does not prove cause,” she noted. She also stressed that healthy eaters are also more likely to engage in other healthy behaviors.

“With that said, a healthy diet pattern has been connected with decreasing risk of several other chronic diseases that develop over an extended period of time,” said Sandon. “So why should it be any different with COPD?”

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

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