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Kaohsiung Ambassador Hotel's Cream of Almond/高雄國賓大飯店 杏仁香奶露

 

Kaohsiung Ambassador Hotel's Cream of Almond

◎English translation: Peng Hsin-yi 

 

  Cream of almond (the Chinese name, literally translated, is "almond tea") is a very popular Chinese dessert dish. In fact, it was voted no. 1 in the 2014 Printed Media Best New Year's Special Dish event. Take one taste of Kaohsiung Ambassador Hotel's Cream of Almond and you will know why. Each sip is a sensuous experience of creamy almond fragrance that goes smoothly down and warms you right up.

  Mr. Chen Yuan-jian, the hotel's dessert chef, says that this seemingly simple item is actually very demanding both in terms of ingredient selection and making. In Kaohsiung Ambassador Hotel, the process starts with soaking sweet almond (not the same kind commonly eaten as a snack food) and glutinous rice for six hours, then slowly grinding it down to a milky texture. Next, the liquid is placed in a double boiler to cook and stirred constantly until it reaches almost-boiling point. It is important to never let it boil because the aromatic agent would breakdown and the cream of almond would lose its most alluring feature. In other words, perfection is only achieved by absolute concentration and extensive labor.

  A spoonful of the cream is enough to fill the room with a tantalizing almond aroma. Traditionally, it is served with youtiao (fried dough sticks). Many people eat it by dunking the crispy youtiao in the warm cream of almond, and consuming it immediately. The dough absorbs just the right amount of cream; the silkiness of the cream and the crispness of the youtiao makes for a perfect combination of sweet and savory. It is a dish that appeals to all of your senses; it is emotionally satisfying, too. People love it for its charm and simplicity. In recent years, it has also gained popularity among Japanese tourists.

  Almond Tea
  Kaohsiung Ambassador Hotel
No. 202, Minsheng 2nd Road, Kaohsiung City  

 

高雄國賓大飯店 杏仁香奶露

◎文/林昀熹

 

  杏仁露(或杏仁茶)是一道很常見的中式甜湯,能夠獲得今(2014)年平面媒體年菜評比點心類第一名,高雄國賓的杏仁香奶露講求濃、醇、香。高雄國賓川菜廳點心主廚陳源堅說,高雄國賓的杏仁露用料紮實,選用香氣較濃郁的南杏搭配糯米,一起浸泡六小時,再研磨成稠汁,接著用細火隔水加熱,煮的過程必須有專人不斷攪拌,同時必須掌握火候,萬一滾開了,香氣也就散掉了,因此必需仔細觀察,得在將滾未滾之際即刻關火,才能製做出最美味的杏仁露,每個環節都得拿捏地恰到好處。

  舀起一匙杏仁香奶露,空間漫著杏仁純正濃郁的香氣,口感相當細滑。飲用杏仁露時,搭配油條,是正宗的古早味吃法;以油條沾著杏仁香奶露一口咬下去,油條呈現酥脆卻不軟爛的口感,杏仁露的香甜滋味與油條又脆又紮實的口感,使得這道甜點層次豐富,讓人的感官與心情都大為滿足,不只台灣客人豎起大姆指,甚至日本客人都十分喜愛,只要試過就念念不忘呢!

  杏仁香奶露
  高雄國賓飯店
高雄市民生二路202號    

 

Jiading Dashu's Delicious Cuttlefish Balls

◎English translation: Peng Hsin-yi

 

  Singda Port is a place where visitors can explore a genuine Taiwanese fishing port. The port also offers a seafood market where people can pick from the catch-of-the-day and then have it prepared as a fresh seafood dinner. The market is particularly busy at dusk and the various booths provide a variety of choices.

  One particular vendor that comes highly recommended by the locals and maintains a great deal of repeat business is Jiading Dashu Cuttlefish Balls. Here the cuttlefish comes from the Indian Ocean, off the coast of Vietnam. The fish is hand-chopped on site fresh every morning and made into a flavorful sailfish paste. They are then rolled into the size of golf ball, with a generous amount of cuttlefish chunks in every serving. They are then carefully measured between the thumb and index finger and dropped into boiling water. They are sold immediately after they are cooked and cooled. The vendor also offers fried balls. Some customers like to get take away and use the cuttlefish balls in homemade soups.

  Owner, Mr. Ou Dashu's father was a fisherman and learned never to buy fish paste products. His father taught him that many manufactured balls were mixed with lower grade fish and some even used unsavory additives. Mr. Ou then began making his own fish balls, with only sailfish in the fish paste. The only additive in his puts in his cuttlefish balls is a small amount of imported starch to help with shaping. They never use bleach, so therefore the color is not as white as his competition's generic products. It has a slightly beige color which ensures food safety and customer confidence.

 

  Jiading Dashu Cuttlefish Balls
 

No. 95, Dafa Rd., Jiading Dist., Kaohsiung City  

 

茄萣大樹花枝丸

◎文/林昀熹

 

  興達港是體驗漁村悠閒風情的最佳選擇,傍晚後人聲鼎沸的觀光漁市,各種新鮮的漁獲或海鮮熟食,讓人每攤都想嚐一嚐。

  在觀光漁市中有個非常醒目的大招牌:「茄萣大樹花枝丸專賣店」,不但吃過的人都會一試成主顧,更是當地漁販都會私下推薦料好實在的花枝丸。

  大樹花枝丸相當於高爾夫球大小,個頭比其他業者來得更大,每天早上店裡的員工會將自越南、印度海域捕獲、由前鎮漁港上岸的花枝剁碎,與旗魚漿混合,然後熟練地從虎口捏出一顆一顆圓滾滾的花枝丸,隨即放入滾水中煮熟,放涼後就成了美味的花枝丸。

  民眾可以買花枝丸回家煮湯,店裡也販售可以即食的炸花枝丸,花枝丸中不但吃得到滿口彈牙的花枝塊,新鮮的漁獲也讓滋味格外鮮甜。店老闆歐大樹說,父親以前是討海人,自小就叮嚀他不要隨便吃外面賣的黑輪,避免吃到混入劣質魚肉的產品。因此歐老闆自行製作百分百旗魚漿製作的黑輪,而花枝丸除了僅使用最小必須用量的進口澱粉用以黏著外,沒有其他添加物和漂白劑,因此大樹花枝丸雖然不是漂白過的雪白色,卻是讓客戶吃得安心的海味美食,深受消費者青睞。

  茄萣大樹花枝丸
 

高雄市茄萣區大發路95號