Monthly Archives: May 2014


China’s Red Bean
Thursday, March 14, 2013 | BY: ORIANA LUQUETTA (刘安娜)
If you’ve ever had an authentic Chinese moon cake then you have more than likely tried the famous Chinese red bean paste. This red bean paste can also be seen as fillings for bread, sweet cakes, steamed breads, and of course dumplings. As a Hispanic- American, I had always seen the red bean as something you eat with rice and steak, or in a heavy meal. In China, however, it is seen as more of a sweet dessert. Most fall in love with the sweet red bean soon after they taste it.
The Adzuki Bean (Vigna Angularis) is said to be originally from the Himalayan foothills of China and has been grown and used for many centuries. It was introduced to Japan by the Chinese over 1000 years ago and is now its sixth largest crop. In Chinese, the beans are commonly termed hongdou (紅豆; hóngdòu) and chidou (赤豆; chìdòu), both meaning “red bean”. The vining types of the bean are cultivated in China, mainly in the Yangste River Valley. They are also cultivated in southern China. Harvested in November and December, these small, reddish brown beans with a white ridge have a sweet, nutty flavor when cooked. They are very versatile and can be eaten in a variety of ways, including ground to make the sweet cakes.
Health Benefits
Because Adzuki beans are rich in soluble fiber, they help speed up the elimination of waste from the body by promoting regular bowel movements. The soluble fiber further helps reduce the levels of “bad” cholesterol in the blood. They are a good source of magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc, copper, manganese and B vitamins. This enables them to prevent the body from absorbing harmful substances and helps reduce blood pressure. The beans act as a natural diuretic and contain the highest protein content with the lowest fat among various types of bean. Furthermore, the presence of phytrogens in the beans are said to help prevent breast cancer. According to Dr. Erika Schwartz, co-other of Natural Energy, these weak estrogens block receptor sites that would otherwise be filled by stronger estrogens, as stated in this article. In women, the phytoestrogens fool the body into believing it is still producing real estrogen.
Traditional Chinese Medicine Claims
The value of the adzuki beans has been acknowledged for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine. According to an ancient Chinese saying, the kidneys govern the emotion of fear. Because the adzuki beans benefit the kidneys, they are said to be considered a source of bravery. By consuming these red beans, you are empowered to meet challenges in a courageous manner. Ancient healers also used them to treat a variety of symptoms, such as colds and edema. They also benefit bladder and reproductive functions, so they are used to treat problems such as urinary dysfunction and bladder infections through traditional Chinese medicine. Read more about their healing powers here.
Different Styles of Cooking
The adzuki bean has been widely used in many types of Chinese soups, salads, gravy dishes, and even some types of tea. The bean itself is normally eaten after it has been sweetened. This is done by boiling it with sugar, resulting in a red bean paste. This red bean paste is then added to the many types of dishes. Sometimes, however, the bean is boiled with salt as well as sugar. This produces a sweet dish known as the red bean porridge. The red bean is also used as a type of flavoring in ice cream, waffles, and other sweet bakeries.
Below are some images of the red bean in its varying guises:
Red Bean Porridge

Red Bean Pancake

Red Bean Dumpling

Red Bean Paste Recipe
It is really simple to make the red bean paste used in so many of the pastries. The first thing you want to do is soak one cup of the beans in water over night, after having washed them first of course. The next day, bring the water to the boil and simmer for about an hour, or until you feel the beans are soft. If necessary, go ahead and add more water. Once you feel the beans are soft, drain them and place the beans in a blender. Make sure to blend until the beans are smooth. After you have removed the paste from the blender, add about 2/3 of a cup of sugar and slowly mix it in. Then take the mixture and fry on medium heat in a frying pan with a bit of oil. You can then cool them and use the paste as a filling to pancakes, sesame balls, or anything else you wish.




First choose an eggplant that has a smooth, glossy skin. Make sure the eggplant is heavy and firm, since lighter eggplants are overripe. Avoid any with blemishes or soft spots, making sure  it has an even, dark color.

The most important step in preparing the eggplant is to make sure to always slice and salt it before cooking. Young plants need no salting, however, larger and older eggplants should sit in colander for about an hour to extract the bitter juices.  Pat the vegetable dry with a paper towel before cooking it.

There are dozens of ways to cook the eggplant. Options include deep-frying, grilling, baking, steaming, sauté,  pickling, etc. Keep in mind that the eggplant soaks up oil like a sponge, especially good olive oil.

Di San Xian (地三鲜 ) 

Eggplant, potato, and green peppers recipe



1 eggplant, cut into cubes
1 green pepper, cut into squares
1 potato, peeled and cut into squares
2 cloves of chopped garlic
1 tbsp of soy sauce
salt, sugar, oil




  1. Deep fry the potatoes and eggplant separately in a deep-frying pan until each golden brown. Remove each and drain.
  2. Stir-fry the green peppers with a tablespoon of oil in a separate pan for a few minutes.
  3. Add the fried eggplant and potatoes to the green peppers, along with the soy sauce, chopped garlic, salt and a bit of sugar.
  4. Continue to stir fry for a few minutes.
  5. Remove off the heat and enjoy!

For another healthy vegetarian recipe, click here




Chinese Tea: 10 of the best

Thursday, November 14, 2013 | By:

Tea, that most elegant of restoratives. Forget coffee and its all caffeinated edginess; it is he who drinks tea that will truly find greatness. As the masterful Chinese writer, Lin Yutang said, “There is something in the nature of tea that leads us into a world of quiet contemplation of life.” And with that in mind, we here at the The World of Chinese bring you 10 of the best, classic teas:

[ Note: According to  fermentation-based qualification there are five types of tea: white, green, yellow, turquoise (oolong), red and black. In this list you will find them all.]


Ti Kuan Yin

(铁观音 – tiě guān yīn)

Iron Goddess. It is perhaps the most famous of oolong teas.  Originating in the 19th century and harvested in North Fujian, the tea has a subtle floral bouquet and is widely known for its significant health benefits; it increases energy levels in the body; it is a  a great antioxidant, serving to boost the immune system, while fighting cancer and heart diseases;  it increases bone mineral density, providing stronger bones; and finally, it provides anti-fungal support, meaning it can re-balance the body after taking antibiotics. If the health benefits aren’t your thing, well, we think it tastes pretty damn fine. The tea should be steeped at a relatively high temperature of 185 – 205 F degrees for 3-5 minutes.


Da Hong Pao

(大红袍 – dàhóng páo)

The Big Red Robe. This is another famous oolong tea from North Fujian. The origins of this tea date back to the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). It also has a pleasant floral fragrance and is known for being very costly. The benefits of Da Hong Pao are countless. Assisting with weight loss, strengthening teeth, curing skin disease, improving vitality, increasing brain power and lowering sugar blood levels, to name just a few. The best steeping temperature for this tea is 195 – 205 F degree; it shouldn’t be steeped for more than 3 minutes.


Pu Erh

(普洱茶 – pǔ’ěr chá)

Pu Erh is the most renowned of black teas. Originated in Yunnan province, in a village called, funnily enough, Pu Erh, it has been drunk for at least 1,700 years. It is also made in Sichuan, Hunan and Guangdong. Pu Erh got famous for one particular distinctive feature: like a fine wine it gets better with the age,  for other, more mortal teas, age is an enemy. In total, there are 120 types of Pu Erh Cha, including green and white varieties. The main health benefit of the tea is as a digestion aid. As a result, many use the tea as to help with weight loss; the tea can also significantly lower cholesterol levels and, in the long term, is as effective as many medicines. The tea should be steeped at a temperature of 200 – 210 F degrees for 3-4 minutes.


Molihua Cha

(茉莉花茶 – Mòlìhuā chá)

Jasmine tea is extremely popular both in and outside China. It can be of any kind: white, green and black. The base is formed from almost any type of tea leaves, which are then stored with jasmine leaves to impart that delicate flavor. The best jasmine teas are manufactured in Fujian and Sichuan. And while it is often claimed that Beijingers are the main consumers of jasmine tea, there is little evidence to support this claim. The tea increases body temperature, which is especially good for cold regions and cleanses the body of toxins, which suits people living in polluted areas (is this a clue to its claimed popularity amongst Beijingers?). Apart from that the tea is a great stress reliever and fights cold and cancer. The tea should be brewed at 175 – 190 F degrees for 2-4 minutes.


Bai Hao Yin Zhen

(白毫银针 – bái háo yín zhēn)

Silver Needles. This one is a legendary and most expensive white tea. The manufacturing tea is believed to have started during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). The tea is manufactured in Fujian and is believed to assist in preventing cardiovascular disease, cancer, osteoporosis and various infections. It should be steeped at a temperature of 167 – 176 F degrees for 1-2 minutes, however, some suggest that the steeping for Silver Needles tea should be slightly longer than for other white teas – up to 5 minutes.


Jun Shan Yin Zhen

(君山银针 – Jùn shān yìn zhēn)

Gentleman Mountain Silver Needles. The tea originates from Hunan province and is considered the most famous yellow tea or the King of Yellow teas.  It is also called ‘three climb-downs, three climb-ups’ due to the funny dance that tea leaves make during the brewing process. The taste, according to TeaSpring, is “smooth, light and sweet at first sip but finishes with a fleeting smoky taste. This smokiness is only apparent in the first infusion and is not offensive at all.” The tea belongs to a group of Chinese ancient teas revered for their long history and has been produced since the  Tang Dynasty and is famous for being the Chairman Mao’s favorite. As to the health benefits, apart from slowing the process of ageing it helps to prevent heart disease, liver disorders and the appearance of tumors; it regulates sugar levels, improves digestion and fights headaches and depression. The best steeping temperature here is 176 F degrees, and the tea should be steeped for approximately 5 minutes.



(滇红 – diānhóng)

Dark Tea. This type of red tea has been produced since the beginning of the 20th century in Yunnan province. It has a beautiful golden color and lacks bitter aftertaste some teas have. Apart from being a good refreshment during the hot summer times, Dianhong tea is famous for its ability to normalize blood pressure. It should be steeped at a temperature of 194 – 212 F degrees for 3-4 minutes.


Lapsang Souchong

(拉普山小種/正山小种 – lāpǔshān xiǎozhǒng)

This is a sub-Variety from Lapu Mountain and is a type of red tea. It is popular among westerners, especially, in the UK. It is produced in Fujian and is famous for its deep smoky flavor, which is a result of the way it is produced – it is dried over pinewood fires. The tea helps fight inflammation and cardiovascular disease and helps to strengthen the immune system. Some sources suggest that it can also help in maintaining the liver. It is better brewed at a temperature of 200 F degrees for approximately 2 minutes.


Qi Men Hong

(祁门红茶 – qímén hóngchá)

Great Gate Red Tea comes from Anhui province. It is a relatively young tea – less than 200 years. It is also a popular tea in the west and is a base for English breakfast tea. The taste is a heady mixture of orchid, pine and dried plum. This type of tea improves digestion and helps fighting inflammation. It also helps fighting urethral deseases. The best steeping temperature for this tea is 195 – 205 F degrees for 1-2 minutes.


Long Jing

(龙井茶 – lóngjǐng chá)

Dragon Well Tea. This is the most desirable of green teas and belongs to the roasted green tea group. “The aroma of the genuine product is warm, fresh, complex and with a note of baked mung beans, or chestnut, and a distinctive accent of bouquet,” according to the Tea Guardian.  Long Jing originated in 15th century Hangzhou and currently is produced in Zhejiang province. Apart from being a favorite tea of many emperors, it is currently widespread among both Chinese and foreigners alike. It is effective in deterring food poisoning, preventing cavities, fighting viruses and has  many more beneficial effects. 176 F degrees is considered to be the best temperature for steeping Long Jing– as if too high – it can kill the aroma and nutrients. The tea should be steeped for 1-2 minutes.

And there you are, 10 of the finest teas in China; go forth and drink, think, and be at one with the world…


Malaysia not democratic, Bersih tells Obama

Malaysia is Malay Communist.

Hornbill Unleashed

Hafiz Yatim

Bersih 2.0 chairperson Maria Chin Abdullah has pointed out to United States President Barack Obama that Malaysia is not a moderate and democratic country as many perceive.

Maria, who among the leaders of 10 Malaysian civil society organisations who met Obama yesterday, said she told the US leader that what Malaysia has at present is a minority government.

She voiced her concern that Malaysia under Umno and BN may move to extremism and this could be seen with Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s support for hudud.

“Malaysia is not a democratic or moderate nation, as we have a minority government that needs to cling to the Muslim base, and therefore allows religious extremism go unabated and without reprisals,” said Maria.

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Umno using hudud to break up Pakatan, say PAS insiders

True. UMNO using hudud to break up Pakatan

Hornbill Unleashed

PAS vice-president Datuk Husam Musa says Umno is determined to get PAS to fight with DAP on the hudud issue and break up the Pakatan Rakyat alliance. – The Malaysian Insider, April 29, 2014.AMIN ISKANDAR AND ZULKIFLI SULONG

PAS insiders are blaming Umno for incessantly goading the Islamist party to try to implement the Shariah capital punishment or hudud laws, leading to an open spat with its Pakatan Rakyat (PR) allies now.

Former Kelantan exco member and PAS vice-president Datuk Husam Musa told The Malaysian Insider that he believed Umno was trying to break up the PR alliance with the issue, which cropped up in 1990 and in 2001.

“They are determined to get us to fight with DAP. A break-up will naturally benefit Umno as both of us are Muslim parties,” he said, without wanting to be drawn further on the consequences of PAS leaving Pakatan.

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Court upholds decision in favour of Bar Council

DBKL is a gangster

Hornbill Unleashed

Bar Council DBKLBernama

The Court of Appeal today upheld a high court order which compels the DBKL to pay damages to the Bar Council for trespass and tearing down its banners at its premises in 2007.

The Court of Appeal here today upheld a High Court decision to order the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) to pay RM12,320 in damages to the Bar Council for trespass and tearing down three banners at its premises to celebrate Human Rights Day in 2007.

A three-member panel chaired by Justice Abdul Wahab Patail unanimously dismissed DBKL’s appeal to set aside the High Court’s decision.

Also presiding on the panel were Justices Azahar Mohamed and Hamid Sultan Abu Backer.

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