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Old 01-17-2007, 11:55 PM   #1
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Oriental Dessert

I have never been to an oriental restaurant that had an oriental dessert on the menu. Generally they have a dessert bar with thawed restaurant vendor desserts like cheese cake, carrot cake, vanilla/chocolate pudding and ice cream. Those pillsbury biscuits fried and dipped in sugar are not dessert nor original.

Mayby I have just overlooked a recipe here or in a cookbook so can anybody point one out to me?

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Old 01-18-2007, 02:16 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StirBlue
I have never been to an oriental restaurant that had an oriental dessert on the menu. Generally they have a dessert bar with thawed restaurant vendor desserts like cheese cake, carrot cake, vanilla/chocolate pudding and ice cream. Those pillsbury biscuits fried and dipped in sugar are not dessert nor original.

Mayby I have just overlooked a recipe here or in a cookbook so can anybody point one out to me?
StirBlue, there may be some other recipes for oriental desserts posted in this forum. Here is one of mine.

I can think of two reasons why oriental desserts are not common in restaurant menus. One is that ingredients are not readily available outside Asia. The second one is that perhaps they do not appeal widely to non-Asians. They are very different in taste and texture than what the rest of the world perceives as desserts. I have the experience of my DH to back me on this as he loves practical all oriental dishes I cook for him but, with rare exceptions, he will never touch oriental desserts although he is a dessert person when it comes to the standard fare.
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Old 01-18-2007, 03:35 AM   #3
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At the dim sum joint I love in London the sweet trolley contains (among other things) beautiful layered jellies, lime and cream, red (a red berry, who knows what!) and cream and coconut and cream. They are served in blocks of three and look like little sky scrapers, so beautiful. Then there are the sesame paste balls crunchy and sweet on the outside, then glutinous then sesame paste on the inside. Snow balls - glutonous balls rolled in cocnut and filled with chopped peanuts and sugar, then there is a sort of coconuty tapioca type pudding which I have never tried, custard tarts (DH's favourite), a trpe of sponge cake, an odd fried thing the nearest thing I can think is a doughnut and a few other things I cannot remember now. Just down the road there is an Oriental patisserie too. :)
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Old 01-18-2007, 04:06 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by lulu
At the dim sum joint I love in London the sweet trolley contains (among other things) beautiful layered jellies, lime and cream, red (a red berry, who knows what!) and cream and coconut and cream. They are served in blocks of three and look like little sky scrapers, so beautiful.
Lulu, this is a simple test of authencity. If any of the cream you mentioned is whipped dairy cream, it is most unlikely that the corresponding sweet is a typical Asian dessert. This is so because whipped cream is not very much in traditional Asian cooking/desserts.

As for the layered jellies, I hope it is not normal gelatine or jello. Asian jellies are made out of agar or similar seaweed products (such as the Japanese Konnyaku). These gelling agents make Asian jellies a bit harder in texture and different in taste as well than jellies made out of gelatine/jello.
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Old 01-18-2007, 04:26 AM   #5
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Its not a dairy cream, its a set cream coloured and not quite opaque jelly...goodness knows what its made of, it is elatively flavourless, unlike the strong coloured flavoured jellys it is layered with, and is used mainly, I think, to create the amazing layered effect, which is simply beautiful. And yes, they are very firm, they would have to be to stand in the little towers there do, especially while being pushed around in a trolley, lol!
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Old 01-18-2007, 04:33 AM   #6
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Lulu, it all sounds delightfully mysterious but there is nothing more I can say about authencity without tasting them. Could you possibly post some of them for me to eat here or better still PM them to me?
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Old 01-18-2007, 04:40 AM   #7
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If I were in London Boufa I would! Ooooo, now i want to go....oh well, I am in Italy until late summer/autumn I think!

Edited to add: I just went to google to see if I could find a picture, and anyone wondering about Oriental desserts should try. I specifically googled for the layered jelly, and haven't yet found it, but my goodness, there are a lot of beautiful things coming up.


My guess is that Chinese food in particular, consumers tend to go for the familiar dishes, and to turn a profit most Oriental restaurants are producing what they know they'll sell, and puddings are uless familiar to us as a market and so they don't bother.....yet!
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Old 01-18-2007, 05:00 AM   #8
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You are spot on, Lulu! Even in Asia, if you go to a buffet spread in one of the major hotels, you are most likely to find mixed fare rather than strictly traditional oriental food.
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Old 01-18-2007, 06:18 AM   #9
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I find that Asian restaurants aren't big on desserts. It is usually a pudding sort of thing or small cookies--and as Lulu says, very bland in flavor. And I found that true IN China also.
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Old 01-18-2007, 09:07 AM   #10
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stir blue, i've had lots of desserts in asian restaurants. everything from lychees and ice cream to steamed sweet buns (chinese), to mochi or red bean/green tea iced cream (japanese), to puffed rice cookies or syrup and fruit over rice cakes (korean), to mango and sticky rice with sweet coconut milk (thai).

sorry i have no recipes, except for the mango and sticky rice with coconut milk. but they are out there.

try a search using the specific ethnicity, like "korean desserts", or "chinese desserts".
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Old 01-18-2007, 09:13 AM   #11
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Oh yes, BT, steamed lotus buns! And steamed red bean buns....oh no, I must not open this thread again, lol - my tummy is growling!
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Old 01-18-2007, 12:46 PM   #12
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I'm a big fan of both Green Tea & Red Bean ice cream at Japanese restaurants, but the only Chinese dessert I can recall my mother serving were either sweet bean paste cakes she purchased from the local Asian market, or chilled canned lychees & mandarin oranges mixed together.
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Old 01-18-2007, 06:07 PM   #13
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I've eaten lychees and rambutam and kulfi and green tea ice cream and Gulab Jamun, but not being a "sweet" person, I don't bother much.
An Indian client just gave me her recipe for Gulab Jamun if you're interested!
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Old 01-18-2007, 09:50 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cliveb
I've eaten lychees and rambutam and kulfi and green tea ice cream and Gulab Jamun, but not being a "sweet" person, I don't bother much.
An Indian client just gave me her recipe for Gulab Jamun if you're interested!
I have a pen and paper ready; I would love to have the recipe.

And by the way, Thank You for your post about tofu. I have a vegetarian in the house now so I am converting my kitchen and cooking to accomodate my son. I have been collecting recipes and ingredients for a few weeks. I made a fried rice dish yesterday with tofu. It was totally good.
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Old 01-19-2007, 02:27 AM   #15
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Well if Indian is included there are loads of Indian sweets....I do not know what they are all called but the variety is amazing, they are all intensly sweet. Cubes of milky sweets, a variety fried batters with honeys and syrups, and of course gulab jamun and kulfi....please post the recipe Cliveb!
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Old 01-19-2007, 03:12 AM   #16
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I have a Japanese friend who told me that they traditionally dont eat desert after a meal. If they have sweets they will have it seperately perhaps with tea but not after a meal. If they do have desert is is usually fruit. Other deserts such as green tea ice cream etc are more recent inclusions.
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Old 01-19-2007, 09:27 AM   #17
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Martin Yan has some great easy, fast recipes in his book - "Quick meals" (can't remember the exact title and I'm not home). One for a banana split with Asian flavors we make over and over - it's delicious.

Red Bean Buns - oh, we love those!!! Steamed or baked!
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Old 01-19-2007, 09:37 AM   #18
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Its not a dairy cream, its a set cream coloured and not quite opaque jelly...goodness knows what its made of, it is elatively flavourless, unlike the strong coloured flavoured jellys it is layered with, and is used mainly, I think, to create the amazing layered effect, which is simply beautiful. And yes, they are very firm, they would have to be to stand in the little towers there do, especially while being pushed around in a trolley, lol!
This sounds similiar to a dessert I make we call Rainbow Jello. It is made with different flavored jello and sour cream. When you make it you mix up the box of jello and divide in half. Pour half into your container and refridgerate. Other half let cool on counter and add sour cream. When first layer set, gently pour second layer on top and refridgerate until set. While this is setting make next box of jello so it can be cooling. It's not a hard thing to make but it usually takes all day! When you serve it you get beautiful stripes of clear and creamy colors alternating and the sour cream is very mild and unites all the flavors of the jello. I'll pull out my recipe and get you the exact measurements if any one is interested.
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Old 01-19-2007, 07:03 PM   #19
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Look on the " Desserts, Sweets and Baking" forum for the recipe! Here we go!
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Old 01-27-2007, 02:30 PM   #20
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I thought at a chinese restaurant, dessert is going to Ben and Jerry's across the street...

Both gulab jamon and kulfi are covered in earlier threads on this board. Probably better to search this, I know there is a good thread or two out there on this.
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