Published: November 9, 2021

Long time no see. It’s been months since my last post. I wasn’t unwell but am pregnant. My early pregnancy was tough and unstable so I spent quite a lot of time resting. I am feeling alright now and even start yoga. I must keep myself strong and healthy, eat well, exercise regularly, and keep positive.

I have kept posting daily dinner on Instagram (ycluvlife) but because I wouldn’t record the measurement and photograph the procedure, I didn’t produce any new recipes in my page. Friends encouraged me to write a bit more here, such as ingredients and general recipes. Actually I am still reluctant because I think this is very personal. Like myself, I used to prepare different cuisines. But for these several months, I tend to have more appetite on the most typical Cantonese home-cooked food, the taste rooted in my gene. Thus I assume this is not everyone’s cup of tea, or even not many interest in it.

Anyway, I consider this post a record or a diary. The following dishes are in my dinner meals. Ingredients in these dishes are in balanced combination. They are packed with protein, mineral, vitamins, fibre, nutrition that one needs during pregnancy. Some may wonder what I have for breakfast and lunch. If you have read my previous posts you may know I have kept a LowCarb, LowGI diet for quite a while. I even did two meals a day or fasting before. However this diet had to be changed. I still do LowGI diet since I am still in a low risk of gestational diabetes mellitus, but I have increased my consumption of carbohydrate a little bit as my doctor suggested. Carbohydrate is necessary in pregnancy.

I now have more meals a day but less food each. For breakfast and lunch, I usually have eggs, scrambled or over-hard, a small piece of wholewheat toast, an apple, or orange, or kiwi, or some blueberries, a glass of hot milk or freshly squeezed grapefruit juice. Sometimes I will switch the bread and fruit with a small bunch of soba noodles or rice noodles, with a large bunch of green leafy vegetable, such as spinach, choy-sum or bok-choy. Steamed sweetcorn is also an option. A bowl of Greek yoghurt with granola, berries and nuts is easy to prepare. I also cook muesli. If I am unable to prepare lunchbox, I would buy salad. For snack in between meals, I have nuts, hard-boiled egg, or some fruits, no biscuit or candy.

There is something I also have regularly – black sesame soup /芝麻糊. This is a popular Cantonese dessert. Black sesame is good for hair loss prevention and bowel movement during pregnancy. I toast the black sesame and grate them finely into powder form. In my version, I only add a little sugar and rice flour. I also grate nuts and seeds into smooth powder and add in the black sesame powder, half portion each. I sometimes add 3 or 4 tablespoons of this powder when making hot milk. Read more about similar black sesame soup recipe – Healthy Black Sesame Sweet Soup with Small Tang Yuan.

 Generally speaking, these are my regular food consumption – lots of protein, such as lean meat, fish, egg, tofu, beans; loads of vegetables, green leafy vegetable particularly, mushrooms and fungus; lowGI fruits, such as apple, citrus fruits, different berries; nuts and seeds; small portion of lowGI or midGI carbohydrate, such as brown rice, soba noodles, rice noodles, wholewheat bread.

Apologize for not having measurement in the recipes below. I attach similar recipes under some of the dishes. As a matter of fact, these dishes are very easy to prepare, simple ingredients and easy instruction. Thus I think you are able to make them without too much direction.

Lotus Root and Pork Bone Soup 蓮藕豬骨湯

Ingredients – lotus root, pork bone, ginger, dried jujube date

  1. Lotus root washed thoroughly, peeled and cut into big chunks;
  2. Pork bone (lean spare ribs or mallow bone) rinsed in running water, then blanched in boiling water;
  3. Put lotus root, pork bone, a big chunk of peeled ginger, 4 dried jujube dates in a big soup pot and add enough water to cover all ingredients, bring it to boil then simmer in 1h30mins, season with a nip of salt and sprinkle some sliced green onion for garnishing.

Read more about similar soup recipe – Pumpkin Soup in Chinese soup style

Fish Head and Tofu Soup 豆腐魚頭湯

Ingredients – grass carp head, firm tofu, ginger, coriander

  1. A big grass carp (or use salmon) head halved, washed thoroughly; tofu cut into chunks; a big chunk of ginger peeled and sliced; a small bunch of coriander washed and cut apart roughly;
  2. Heat some oil in a pan or wok, seared the fish head till golden; add enough water to cover the fish head, bring to boil in high heat, keep boiling for a coupe minutes till the soup turn white;
  3. Transfer the soup and fish head in a soup pot, add tofu and ginger, simmer for an hour.
  4. Season the soup with a little salt and add the coriander. You may also sprinkle some white peppercorn powder.

Steamed Chicken with Tofu Puff 豆腐卜蒸雞

Ingredients – boneless chicken thigh, fried tofu puff, ginger, dried goji berry

  1. Remove chicken skin and cut the meat into bite size. You could use chicken with bone and skin. Marinade the chicken with a little soy sauce, oyster sauce, a nip of salt, cornstarch and ginger slices for 20mins;
  2. Wash a generous handful of fried tofu puffs in warm water to remove the oil on the surface, then halved them apart, layer them on a deep plate; (I like to have tofu puff or tofu to absorb the juice from the chicken, but this is optional.)
  3. Put the chicken on the tofu puffs and sprinkle a small handful of goji berries on top;
  4. Steam it over boiling water in high heat for 20mins.

Read more on similar dish – Steamed Chicken with Chinese Sausage

Braised Dried Shitake Mushroom on Broccoli
冬菇扒西藍花

Ingredients – dried shiitake mushroom, broccoli, ginger, abalone sauce

  1. Dried shiitake mushroom soaked in water for 2 hours till soft, change water once or twice, keep the infused water, cut off the stem;
  2. Broccoli cut apart into small pieces; a big chunk of peeled ginger sliced thickly;
  3. In a small casserole, heat some oil and put in ginger and mushrooms, stir-fry till fragrant, add infused water to cover the ingredients, season them with abalone sauce (or oyster sauce), soy sauce, sugar. Bring to boil then simmer for half an hour. Thicken the sauce with cornstarch slurry, and reduce the sauce in high heat;
  4. Broccoli blanched in boiling water, put them on a plate, pour the mushrooms and sauce on top.

Read more about similar dish – Braised Dry Shiitake Mushroom and Fried Tofu Ball

Chinese Radish and Pork Bone Soup 蘿蔔豬骨湯

Ingredients – Chinese white radish, pork bone, carrot, potato, dried jujube date

  1. Radish, carrot and potato, peeled, and cut into big chunks;
  2. Pork bone rinsed in water several times, then blanched in boiling water;
  3. Put all ingredients in a big soup pot, add enough water to cover all ingredients, bring it to boil then simmer for 1h30mins;
  4. Season the soup with a nip of salt.

Read more about similar soup recipe – Pumpkin Soup in Chinese soup style

Teochew Cold Grey Mullet 潮式凍烏頭

Ingredients – grey mullet (or use big eye, or fish in similar size), ginger, soy bean sauce (Pu-ning soy bean sauce普寧豆醬)

  1. Grey mullet cleaned and dressed, rubbed some salt on the fish, marinated for an hour;
  2. A big chunk of peeled ginger sliced;
  3. Wipe off the salt from the fish. Put the fish on a plate and insert ginger in the fish and put some underneath; steam the fish over boiling water for 15mins in high heat;
  4. Remove the ginger and chill the fish in fridge for 2 hours or overnight;
  5. Eat the fish meat with soy bean sauce. Skin and bones can be easily removed.

Chi-qua (jointed wax gourd) and Tofu Soup
節瓜豆腐湯

Ingredients – Chi-qua, tofu, ginger, chicken broth

  1. 2 small chi-qua peeled and cut to big chunks; a piece of tofu, firm or silky, cut into thick slices; a big chunk of peeled ginger sliced;
  2. Put them all in a soup pot, pour in homemade chicken broth or packed chicken broth, bring to boil then simmer for half an hour till chi-qua turn soft;
  3. Season salt to taste. Sprinkle some sliced green onion for garnishing before serving.

Korean Spicy Pork Bone Soup (unauthentic)
韓式豬骨湯

Ingredients – pork bone (neck, spine or rib), white bok-choy, potato, soybean sprout, green chili, ginger, garlic, Korean chili paste, Korean fermented soybean paste, dried kelp

  1. Generous pork bone rinsed in running water several times, then blanched in boiling water;
  2. A generous bunch of bok-choy washed; 2 large potatoes peeled and cut into big chunks; 2 green chili sliced; a large chunk of ginger sliced, 5 garlic finely chopped;
  3. In a big soup pot, put in ginger, garlic, 5 small sheets of dried kelp, pork bones, 3 generous tablespoons of Korean chili paste and soybean paste, and add enough water to cover all ingredients. Bring it to boil and simmer in medium-low heat for an hour;
  4. Add potatoes and bok-choy, keep boiling for half an hour till vegetable turn soft;
  5. 2 handful of soybean sprout rinsed in clean water several times, and blanched in boiling water; add them in the soup and boil for 5 minutes;
  6. Transfer the soup to a casserole, sprinkle green chili on top, and serve with portable hub, heat the soup in low heat.

Usually napa cabbage is used instead of bok-choy. My recipe is inspired by my favourite Korean chef Maangchi, read her recipe – Pork bones soup

Pork Spare Ribs and Kimchi Hotpot  排骨泡菜鍋

Ingredients – spare ribs, kimchi, napa cabbage, tofu, fish dumplings 魚皮餃, green chili pepper, udon, Korean red chili paste, garlic, kelp broth

  1. Pork spare ribs, about 500g for 2 serving, chopped into big bite size, marinated with 2tbsp of soy sauce, 1tsp of sugar, 1tsp of chili flake, and 1tsp of cornstarch, for half an hour;
  2. 1 small napa cabbage washed and cut into big pieces; tofu sliced; 1 cup of kimchi cut into bite size; chili pepper sliced;
  3. In a pan, pan-fried ribs in medium heat till golden and half cooked;
  4. In a flat bottom pot, layer cabbage at the bottom, then put ribs and other ingredients on top;
  5. Mix 3tbsp of Korean red chili paste with 1tbsp of minced garlic and 3 cups of kelp broth (or just water), pour the mixture into the pot, bring to boil. Add more water if necessary.

Gai-lan (Chinese broccoli) and Walnut Stirfry
核桃炒芥蘭

Ingredients – gai-lan, walnut, ginger

  1. A generous bunch of gai-lan rinsed and cleaned in water several times, removed some tough leaves, and torn into bite size;
  2. A handful of walnut toasted, or use toasted walnut;
  3. A small chunk of peeled ginger thinly sliced;
  4. Heat some oil in hot wok, add ginger and gai-lan, stir-fry for a couple minutes till soft, seasoned with a nip of salt and sugar, sprinkle the walnut in and mix well.

Read more about similar dish – Stir-fried Chinese Broccoli with Mini Dry Fish.

Note – I don’t add cooking wine in this dish since I am pregnant.

Cabbage Stirfry 炒手撕包菜

Ingredients – cabbage, red chili, garlic

  1. Cabbage hand-torn apart into bite size pieces, rinsed in water several times;
  2. 3 cloves of garlic sliced, 3 red chili sliced;
  3. Heat some oil in hot wok in high heat, stir-fry garlic and chili till fragrant, add cabbage and stir-fry for a couple minutes till soft;
  4. Season with some Chinese dark vinegar and soy sauce.

Choy-sum Stirfry 蒜蓉炒菜芯

Ingredients – choy-sum, garlic

  1. A generous bunch of choy-sum rinsed in water several times;
  2. 4 cloves of garlic minced;
  3. Heat some oil in hot wok, stir-fry garlic till fragrant, add choy-sum, stir-fry for a few minutes till soft, season them with a teaspoon of salt.

Read more about similar dish – Stir-fried Chinese Broccoli with Mini Dry Fish.

Note – I don’t add cooking wine in this dish since I am pregnant.

Tomato and Egg Soup 番茄炒蛋湯

Ingredients – tomato, egg, ginger

  1. Tomato peeled (this is how I prefer); eggs whisked and seasoned with a nip of salt; a small chunk of peeled ginger sliced thickly;
  2. Heat some oil in hot wok, stir-fry eggs till cooked, remove from the wok;
  3. In the same wok, heat some oil, add ginger and tomato, in medium-high heat, stir-fry for a few minutes, then add some water, bring to boil and simmer for 5 minutes;
  4. Season the soup with a nip of salt and sugar, transfer the egg in, mix well.

Read more about this classic Chinese dish – Tomato and Egg Stir-fry without Ketchup

Sponge Gourd and Chicken Breast Soup
絲瓜雞片湯

Ingredients – sponge gourd, chicken breast, ginger

  1. One sponge gourd (si-gua, loofah) peeled and sliced into bite size; One piece of chicken breast sliced, marinated with a little salt, sugar and cornstarch; A chunk of peeled ginger sliced;
  2. In a soup pot, put in ginger and sponge gourd, add enough water to cover the ingredient. Bring it to boil and simmer till the gourd turn soft;
  3. In high heat, put in the sliced chicken, boil for about 2mins till they are cooked thoroughly;
  4. Season the soup with a nip of salt and sugar, sprinkle some chopped green onion for garnishing.

Pork Ribs Clay Pot Rice 豉汁排骨煲仔飯

Ingredients – pork ribs, fermented black bean sauce, jasmine rice and brown rice

  1. Pork ribs chopped into small bite size, marinated with minced garlic, fermented black bean sauce, sugar, cornstarch, for 30mins;
  2. 1 portion of jasmine rice and 1 portion of brown rice rinsed in water and soaked in water for half an hour.

(For 2 serving, 200g of rice with 350ml of water. Read more about how to make pot rice –How to cook steamed rice with cast iron pot, Spare Ribs Claypot rice)

  1. Use a small clay pot, earthen pot or cast iron pot, drizzle some drops of cooking oil on. Bring the rice to boil in high heat then lower to low heat, steam for a few minutes till rice half set. Put the pork on top of the rice and keep steaming in medium-low heat for 20mins;
  2. Heat off and keep the lid on for 20 more minutes, then sprinkle a pinch of sliced green onion for garnishing before serving.

Cantonese Chicken Pot 廣式雞煲

Ingredients – fresh whole chicken (medium size), potato, Chinese celery, chili, shallot, garlic, ginger, Cantonese rice wine (or any Chinese cooking wine), douban sauce, light and dark soy sauce, Chinese lettuce or fried stick tofu skin (optional)

  1. Chicken chopped into big bite size pieces, marinated with soy sauce, sugar, cooking wine and cornstarch for half an hour;
  2. Potato peeled and cut into chunks; ginger, garlic and chili sliced; shallot peeled; Chinese celery washed and roughly chopped apart;
  3. Heat a little oil in a wok in medium high heat, pan-fry chicken till golden; add ginger, garlic, shallot and potato, keep stir-frying well; add douban sauce, soy sauce, sugar and generous cooking wine, mix well and put on the lid, let it cook for 10 minutes till ingredients cooked thoroughly;
  4. Add Chinese celery and chilies, mix well then good to serve;
  5. You could transfer it to a casserole with portable hob and serve as hotpot. After finishing the chicken, hotpot the lettuce and fried stick tofu skin with the leftover sauce.

For a more detailed instructions and measurement, see recipe – Cantonese Chicken Casserole

Steamed Fish 清蒸魚

Ingredients – one medium size red bigeye (golden threadfin bream, or fish in similar size), ginger, garlic, green onion, light soy sauce, sugar

  1. Fish dressed; a big chunks of peeled ginger sliced; 3 cloves of garlic peeled and sliced; a small bunch of green onion chopped;
  2. Put the fish in a flat plate, insert ginger in, on and underneath the fish, steam it over boiling water in high heat for 10 minutes;
  3. Remove the ginger and fish juice in the plate;
  4. Heat 3tbsp of oil in a sauce pan, sauteed garlic and green onion till fragrant; add 2tbsp of light soy sauce and 1/2tsp of sugar. Immediately pour the sauce on the fish.

Mushroom and Cucumber Stirfry 香菇炒青瓜

Ingredients – fresh shiitake mushroom, cucumber, garlic

  1. A large handful shiitake mushrooms cleaned and sliced, or use any mushroom you like;
  2. 1 cucumber washed and also sliced;
  3. 3 cloves of garlic minced;
  4. In a hot wok, heat some oil and add garlic, stir-fry till fragrant; add in mushroom and cucumber, stir-fry in medium-high heat for a few second till soft; season them with a sprinkle of salt.

Braised Goose with Suan-Cai 酸菜鵝煲

Ingredients – whole goose, suan-cai, ginger, garlic, small red chili, soy sauce, mi-jiu

  1. Use half a whole goose, about 1kg, chopped into big pieces. Goose is a fat meat so sear them to release some fat. Heat a pan, sear the goose till golden brown, skin side down first. You could keep the goose fat for baked potato or stir-fried veggies;
  2. Suan-cai, about 250g, rinsed in water several times and soaked in water for 15 minutes, then cut into bite size;
  3. A big chunk of ginger sliced thickly; 10 cloves of garlic peeled; 3 chilies roughly sliced;
  4. Heat a little oil in a casserole, stir-fry garlic, ginger and chili till fragrant; Put in suan-cai, stir-fry away the moist;
  5. Transfer the goose in the pot, add 1tbsp of dark soy sauce, 4tbsp of light soy sauce, 1tsp of sugar, half cup of mi-jiu (or any Chinese cooking wine), and half cup of water, mix well. Lid on, bring to boil and simmer in medium heat for at least 40mins till tender, stir constantly.

You could use duck or chicken which are more commonly seen. A similar recipe here – Chinese Braised Chicken with Suan-Cai.

Dumpling Hotpot 餃子鍋

Ingredients – jiaozi (dumpling), fish ball, fried tofu, mushroom, napa cabbage, broth (any type), udon (or any noodles)

  1. This is a simple winter hotpot. Use dumplings with fillings you prefer, fresh or frozen;
  2. Generous napa cabbage washed and cut into big pieces, layered at the bottom; put dumplings and other ingredients on top. You could choose whatever you like, such as fishcake, tofu, different mushrooms, or sliced beef;
  3. For the soup base, chicken broth, vegetable broth, kelp broth are usually used. Served with portable hob. Add noodles and more vegetable if needed.

Garlicky Shanghai Bok-choy  蒜蓉小唐菜

Ingredients – Shanghai bok-choy, garlic, salt

  1. A large bunch of shanghai bok-choy, about 400g for 2 serving, halved it or torn the big leaves apart, rinsed and washed them in water several times, then soaked them in water for half an hour, drained;
  2. 3 cloves of garlic minced;
  3. Heat 2tbsp of oil in hot wok, stir-fry garlic till fragrant; put in bok-choy, stir-fry in high heat till turn soft; then season with 1tsp of salt, flip the wok and mix well; serve right away.

In similar method, you could make stir-fried white bok-choy, napa cabbage, or choy-sum.

Laver and Fishball Soup 紫菜魚蛋湯

Ingredients – dried laver, Cantonese fishball, dried mini shrimp, Chinese celery

  1. Put one sheet of dried purple laver, some fishballs, and a small handful of mini shrimps into a soup pot, add 4cups of water for about 2-3 serving;
  2. Bring the soup to boil and simmer in medium heat for 20 minutes;
  3. Add a nip of salt for seasoning; sprinkle a handful of diced Chinese celery (or green onion) on and serve hot.

Dried purple laver (zi-cai)is usually for making soup in Chinese food and sold in large round shape with a few sheets in a package. Don’t mistake it for snack seaweed.

Diced Vegetable Stirfry 炒粒粒

Ingredients – boneless and skinned chicken, carrot, celery, sweetcorn, frozen peas, toasted cashew nut, oyster sauce

  1. Chicken, carrot and celery cut into dices;
  2. Marinade the chicken with a little soy sauce, sugar and cornstarch for 15 minutes;
  3. Heat a little oil in hot wok, pan-fry chicken in medium high heat till cooked, removed from the wok; in the same wok, add in carrot, stir-fry for a minute; add celery, sweetcorns and peas in, stir-fry for a few minutes till cooked but still crunchy;
  4. Transfer the chicken in the wok, flip the wok and mix well; season with 2tbps of oyster sauce, stir well;
  5. Heat off and sprinkle a small handful of toasted cashew nuts in, roughly mix them well.

You could replace chicken with beef or pork, and use other roasted nuts, such as peanuts, pine nuts, or pistachio. If you are vegetarian, skip any meat and use vegetarian oyster sauce or soy sauce for seasoning.

Steamed Pork Ribs with Meigan-cai 梅菜蒸排骨

Ingreidents – meigan-cai, pork ribs, tofu (optional)

  1. About 1 cup of meigan-cai, rinse it in water several times to wash off the sand, soak in clean water for 15 minutes, squeeze out water, then roughly chopped;
  2. 500g of pork ribs chopped into bite size, marinated with 1tsp of minced garlic, 2tbsp of soy sauce, 1/2tsp of sugar, and 1tsp of cornstarch, mix them well and marinate for half an hour;
  3. Mix the meigan-cai with the pork ribs. In a deep plate, place some sliced tofu or fried tofu puff underneath, and pork ribs on top;
  4. Steam the ribs in boiling water for 20 minutes in high heat. Sprinkle a pinch of chopped green onion on top before serving.

Meigan-cai, or mei-cai, is a type of dried Chinese pickled leafy mustard. You might find chopped and cleaned meigan-cai in Chinese grocery store, they are very handy.

Tofu can absorb the sauce, but is optional.

Similar recipe – Steamed Pork Ribs with Sour Plum

What do you think? Share your ideas below.

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