Saturday, November 19, 2011

NYC recap [Hawthorn Tea Recipe]

Warning: This is a photo intense post. If you just want the recipe, scroll all the way to the end.

When I visited New York last month, I was on a foodie adventure. Forget about the sights, it was all about the food. Why visit landmarks when there is a chance that a food establishment might close before you're able to visit again? I did visit a couple of landmarks... Rockefeller Center, High line, Charging Bull...that's about it...However, my friends and I did enjoy second and third lunches and dinners. Oh, shopping was a part of our day as well.

View from On Top of the Rock

Rockefeller Center

Shaved Iced Shop: So light and fluffy with awesome toppings. Perfect on a  hot day at Hester Street Fair.

This is indeed crack. I ate it for breakfast and  I was in heaven. (Yes, it is super sweet, but the crust, filling, and texture went so well together that the sugar rush wasn't even an issue)

Chinatown Ice Cream Factory

il laboratorio del gelato: mango

This was my 2nd dinner. I tried the wasabi tonkotsu ramen and the broth had a hint of wasabi...oooh sent me over the edge. The ramen could use some wasn't that chewy and the order wasn't piping hot.

Over-rated. Expensive and the pizza lacked the "wow" factor.

Nuts @ Times Square (get the pun?). Those nuts4nuts carts are crazy addictive. I LOVED the cashews. I bought some to nom at the airport.

Onya: I know you can't see the udon, but the fresh udon was chewy and full of flavor. SOOOOO goood. You see all the tempera crisps? yah, self-serve so I piled it on. 

Prosperity Dumplings: it doesn't look like much, but 5 potstickers for $1 tastes amazing. You can't complain about them when it's that cheap, yo. 

Mmmm....fresh takoyaki balls

High Line was gorgeous, but People's Pop made the visit even better.  I had the golden plum pop and it was full of plum-y goodness with hints of ginger and plum flesh. I NEED to go back to NY for some more of this!!

My friend ordered the grape shaved ice. (that's his hand over there). It was pretty interesting watching the guy scrape the ice from that ice block. 

One of the most memorable moments was eating at Xi'an noodles...the noodles were wonderful and everything the reviews says it is...but what stood out for me was their hawthorn tea. It tasted like hawflakes in liquid form. WTF. Mind blowing. (It's the equivelent of Startucks's apple pie in liquid form. Say what?) I fell in love. I had NO idea that hawthorn came dried and one could make a tea out of it, it became my mission to brew tea when I returned home.

HELLO noodles.

Typical asian plating, but the chewy noodles with the spicy cumin lamb sauce was a great combo. My tea on the upper left helped kill the tingling sensation from the spicy sauce. 

When I arrived back home, the first thing I did was drop by Chinatown to purchase dried hawthorn to brew tea.

The brand I use.

Dried Hawthorn for Tea.

Dried Longan
The Tea. P.S. Please excuse my dirty window in the back ground

Hawthorn Tea (sweetened with longan)

Note: This version is much tarter and less sweet than the store version, but I prefer it that way. If you prefer it sweeter, add some rock sugar. The great thing about making Chinese teas is that you can eyeball everything, but I did weigh out ingredients for those that work better with exact numbers (and I just wanted an excuse to use my scale).

Serves 1

2 1/2 cups water
25g or 1/2 cup or 2 small handfuls of dried hawthorn
30g or 1/4 cup or 1 handful of dried longan

  1. Boil water in a pot.
  2. While water is boiling, rinse  hawthorn and longan a few times and let it soak in water for 10 minutes. Rinse again.
  3. When the water is boiling, add the drained ingredients into the pot. Turn down the heat and allow it simmer for 30 minutes.
  4. When finished, it should be lightly sweetened by the longan. If you prefer it sweeter, add rock sugar. You can drink the beverage hot or cold.

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