Peking Garden – Calgary, Alberta

This is interesting, as I’m not too sure how we ended up at Peking Garden for lunch one afternoon. We’re rarely in the area and would rarely go for Chinese food if I was in the car stating I was hungry! We also had to wait a good 20 minutes for a table, which I wouldn’t have done if I was that hungry! The place was packed and there was a constant order of take outs. We did get seated and the service didn’t see slow or rushed!

One of my favourite dishes to order are Dumplings as all my coworkers claim I make the best dumplings ever. I always want to find a comparable place to try to trick them… but they’re kind of right, I do make a great dumpling! Here, they make a good one as well, with skins a bit thicker than my own, but the filling is tasty and not dry. I appreciate a well seasoned dumpling then if the skin is thick, I wouldn’t mind. Just like the ones here!

My inlaws use to take me to eat Salty Soy Milk or some call it savoury soy milk. It’s not something I was familiar with until they brought me to experience this and now I love the uniqueness of it. They had it when we went to Shanghai a few years ago and I’d get it when I can. Both sweet and savoury.

Because I’m a huge fan of sweets, of course I needed to try their Sweet Soy Milk as well. Yes, we did order too much of this stuff!! LOL! But, surprisingly we finished it all!! One was more like a drink (the sweet one) and one ate like a soup! So, we separated the two and finished it.

Then, when we were in Shanghai, we ate TONS of Xiao Long Bao, and when I saw this on the menu, naturally I would order it as well. Haha, this lunch does get bigger as well… sadly. But, it was really well made xiao long bao’s, steamed nicely and it did have the soup inside the dumplings still! It’s not easy to make it like this, but they got it!

Alright, your little pig friend finally stopped ordering food. After the order of Sticky Rice. I loved zha choy, and sticky rice, and fried donut… and stick them together, I LOVE IT! So, yes, I ordered some Sticky Rice and it wasn’t as exciting as I’d hope. I was just glad to have some though as there’s really not many places that would make this for you, unless you come to my house, or T&T supermarket. So, just come to my house for my homemade soy milk, dumplings, xiao long bao and sticky rice! I don’t think I’ve ever made a meal JUST this for anyone yet.

Anyway, just rewriting my adventure here at Peking Garden stuffs my belly and makes me proud of what I’ve accomplished at home in my own kitchen. It was a great time here and to top it off, they give me Tofu Dessert! This place is wonderful! So, all and all, this place is fabulous!

Peking Garden

4625 Varsity Dr NW,
Calgary, AB
(403) 286-0488
Peking Garden Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Homemade Xiao Long Bao – 小籠包

Well, after we came back from Shanghai, China, we were really missing some delicious Xiao Long Bao so we decided to be adventurous and make some!

The process is time consuming, but it was delicious! We just enjoyed some frozen ones, and sadly, I had to say mine tasted better! Not bad for a first time attempt! There is 3 parts to making Xiao Long Bao, and it starts with the soup part

Ingredients for Soup:
Pork Belly Meat
1 Package of Gelatin
Water

First of all, make a soup with fatty meat so it solidifies. I boiled some pork feet with pork belly in water until it reduced to about half. When I claimed it was done, I seasoned it up as though I was about to drink it – with a little heavier hand of seasoning!

Now, we have to let the soup set and become “jello” so I add a package of flavourless gelatin just to make sure it sets. Put it in the fridge at least 3 hours before using it!

The next thing I did was to marinate the meat. I wanted the meat to be full of flavour so I did that before making the dough.

Ingredients for Filling
1/2 lb regular ground pork
2 tbsp 5-Spiced Powder
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp white pepper
1 tsp rice wine
1 tsp sesame oil
chuck of ginger (minced)
chopped green/spring onion
1 tsp salt

Basically here, mix everything together and let it marinate in the fridge!

If your soup has set at this point, pull back the layer of fat/oil and break down the soup jelly and mix it into the meat marinated. If you put this in at this point, make sure you keep the meat in the fridge so your soup doesn’t become “soup”.

Now, as everything is chilling and developing their flavours, we can make the dough!

Ingredients for dough:
200g A/P Flour
1/8 cup of cold water
1/3 cup of hot water (I used boiling water)
1 tsp salt

Making the dough is actually super easy! Basically you measure out the flour and pour the boiling water in. Mix until the dough is smooth and keep mixing as we’re trying to develop the gluten!

When it’s soft and smooth, add the cold water in and knead for a few more minutes! It will have a nice texture and bounce back when you poke it – then it’s ready. When you reach this point, let it rest in the bowl covered for at least 30 minutes.

After it’s rested, roll it out. I rolled mine out in a pasta roller to get the consistent thickness – and on my machine, I had it at setting “6” for the perfect thickness! I then cut out circles so I can fill the xiao long bao

Then, I get to fill the xiao long bao wrappers and place them on a cabbage lining to my bamboo steamer! I tried to make as many pleats as possible as that’s how it’s prettiest.

Now, we prepare the steamer and we’ll steam for about 15 minutes!

Now it’s done! Be careful, it’s hot and the soup you can see at the bottom of the dumpling — this means it’s really hot!! Enjoy!

Jiajia Steamed Tang Bao 佳家汤包 – Shanghai, China

We found this amazing tang bao location at Huang He Lu which is directly north of People’s Square, which is an amazing place recommended to us by our hotel concierege! It’s apparently very famous for not only their tang baos, but ji ya xue tang as well.

We of course started out with their regular Xian Rou Xiao Long which is their fresh pork buns which we think are made to order and then steamed to perfection! These were our favourite xiao long bao on the entire trip! They won first place in our books! The skin was super thin and delicate with lots of amazing stuffing and soup inside!

There were also 2 other flavours of these tang bao that we tried. One of them was their Hai Fen Xian Rou Xiao Long which translates to crab meat and fresh pork buns! These were amazing! When you bite into it, you definitely know there’s some crab/seafood in there – yet it’s not fishy or over powering! It was a great combination and something to drool over!

The last flavour of the tang bao we tried was their Dan Huang Xian Rou Xiao Long which this one translates to egg yolk with the pork bun! These were really good as well, yet not our absolute favorite, we still ate another 2 orders of this! 🙂 So, not our absolute favourite yet eating about 30 of them tells you something about this place! WE LOVE IT!

Lastly, here’s something that is special to this place and area. It’s Duck and Chicken Blood Soup which is also known here as Ji Ya Xue Tang. The chicken and duck blood was so soft and jello like, it was really good! The flavour of the broth was fragrant too! It’s not as gross as it sounds as I have some co-workers who think I’m nasty… but, they don’t know! 🙂

Now, with this blog post posted – this is our absolutely favourite place that we discovered on the trip! We highly recommend this place, and be aware it gets busy really fast!! So, be patient, you’ll love it!!

Jiajia Steamed Tang Bao 佳家汤包

90 Huanghe Lu, by Fengyang Lu

Shanghai, China

+82 21 6327 6878