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Chinese Eats at Home (Part 3)

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#1 junehl

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Posted 21 November 2007 - 03:16 AM

Host Note: Our servers could not handle the volume of posts so we had to split up the topic - the older posts can be found beginning HERE

 

why thank you mizducky. honestly, i'm trying to think of what else i can do with duck. i may attempt at making a roasted duck or crispy duck (steamed duck then fried til a crisp). All because I'm addicted to the duck fat that I got from the first duck.

I've put it in everything I've cooked recently...almost slathered it on the pancakes i made the other day.

It's not cold enough for hot chocolate, but a glass hot fresh soybean milk with cruellers....mmmm...



#2 hzrt8w

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 04:14 PM

Man, that is one bitter, um, y'know, melon. I cut it into sections, sliced it thinly, salted for 30 minutes, rinsed, and stir-fried it with chiles and scallions, finishing with sesame oil. Nice texture, but very bitter. After taking the picture, I added hoisin sauce for a little sweetness. That seemed to improve things.

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You need to cut the bitter melon diagonally to reduce the bitterness!!! :laugh:

No. Just kidding. But cooking the melon until soft does tame down the bitterness.
W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"

#3 Dejah

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 04:17 PM

Certainly looks tasty. Scrambled with eggs is a popular way to use it. Or stuffed with ground pork mixture and poached in a broth. Cut melon in 3 inch sections, clean out centers and stuff, cooking till quite tender. Really mellows it out.

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Thanks for the suggestions. I picked up the bitter melon on a whim, so stir-frying was easy. I could see it adding a nice something to scrambled eggs or a slow-cooked brothy concoction.

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Bitter melon is an acquired taste. The degree of bitterness depends on the melon. Sometimes, a quick blanch will tone it down.

For stir-fries I cook the slices with garlic, ginger, femented black beans, and beef. If available, I put this on top of ho fun. We also like it in a slow simmered soup with pork, rehydrated oysters, and lots of ginger.

It took a couple of looks to associate your slices with the whole melons. I've always cut them across to form little bumpy arches. :rolleyes:
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#4 heidih

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 04:43 PM

For stir-fries I cook the slices with garlic, ginger, femented black beans, and beef. If available, I put this on top of ho fun.

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That is how I had it from the street market in Singapore- called "Chinese style". Very very good. It was served with rice, but I can see ho fun being texturally nice with it. Does Chinese medicinal/cooking thought associate bitter melon with "good for women" as I have heard in other cultures?

#5 DylanK

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 07:00 PM

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烧辣椒 and,

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green beanz 炒肉.

#6 C. sapidus

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 07:38 PM

I appreciate all of the bitter melon advice. It definitely sounds like I need to cook it longer next time.

Tonight we made slow-braised beef with potatoes, from Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook. We reduced the oven temperature to 275F and the chuck roast turned out juicy and falling-apart tender. The sauce developed a remarkably complex flavor given the relatively short list of ingredients – dou ban jian, cinnamon, star anise, dried chiles, dark soy, light soy, and rice vinegar. No leftovers.

tu dou wei niu rou
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#7 Ben Hong

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 10:16 PM

Bitter melon is an acquired taste. The degree of bitterness depends on the melon. Sometimes, a quick blanch will tone it down.

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There is a reason for it to be called bitter melon, dontcha know :raz: . I have grown to love the bitter or leng taste.

Edited by Ben Hong, 12 December 2007 - 10:17 PM.


#8 junehl

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Posted 14 December 2007 - 08:18 AM

Peanut Lotus Mushroom Soup
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Black Bean Taro Root with Pork Belly - I was going to make Pork Belly and Taro Root w/ Nom Yu - but I bought the wrong one got Fu Yu instead so decided to steam the pork belly and taro root in black bean sauce. It tasted really good, wished it was more photogenic.
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#9 junehl

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Posted 14 December 2007 - 08:19 AM

With the mistakenly bought Fu Yu I made Chicken Fu Yu Hot Pot
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And Hot pot stuff
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#10 junehl

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Posted 14 December 2007 - 08:21 AM

Had Congee with Silkie chicken, but not sure you can really tell from the picture, the taste was fantastic.
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Had Chicken and Black Bean Sauce with it
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#11 Tepee

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Posted 14 December 2007 - 08:41 AM

Love this thread. My chinese food world has been rather small...mainly cantonese, with a bit of hakka and teochew thrown in. My eyes (and stomach) have been opened to so much more 'other' chinese food thanks to you guys sharing your dinners.

What are your plans for gaw dong (midwinter solstice)? We're probably doing pot-luck at my parent's home. Haven't decided what to make...

Edited by Tepee, 14 December 2007 - 08:44 AM.

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#12 prasantrin

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Posted 14 December 2007 - 10:10 PM

I started making some char siu bao the other night (instead of marking papers).

First the char siu--I couldn't get pork shoulder, so used pork belly. Mmmmm...I'm never using pork shoulder for this again! I used the recipe c. sapidus kindly pm'ed me. It was just as delicious this time as the first time I used it. (blurry pics--sorry!)

Pile of char siu--I made about 500g.
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Very moist, it was!
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I used junehl's dough recipe again, but this time I made 1/2 the recipe (last time I used it, I made 1/4). I had a much harder time with it this time. It's quite tough--perhaps I let it rest for too long. But it was still tasty, and I didn't have any spots on my cooked bao this time.

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I was in such a hurry to eat, that I under-steamed these ones a bit. But they were still tasty!

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I really liked the sauce for the filling. I just used the leftover marinade, plus 2T of flour mixed with 4T of oil (I found a recipe on the internet like that). I loved it! But perhaps I'll use less oil next time. It's a bit greasy. Also, because I had trouble with the dough, I have a much higher dough to filling ratio than I like, but as a whole, these bao are flavour perfect!

I also made chicken filling, but I only had time to make 8 bao before I really had to get back to marking, so I only made some char siu bao. I still have loads of dough (I hope it's not too tough to work with now) to fill, and a lot of char siu filling and chicken filling to use. Hopefully it will get done by the end of this weekend, and hopefully the dough will still be OK to use!

ETA: I also made hum sui gok that night.

Edited by prasantrin, 14 December 2007 - 10:13 PM.


#13 C. sapidus

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Posted 15 December 2007 - 09:45 AM

First the char siu--I couldn't get pork shoulder, so used pork belly.  Mmmmm...I'm never using pork shoulder for this again!  I used the recipe c. sapidus kindly pm'ed me.  It was just as delicious this time as the first time I used it. . . . Very moist, it was!
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Rona: I am so glad that you found the recipe useful. It looks like you got a wonderful juicy coating on your char siu.

I really liked the sauce for the filling.  I just used the leftover marinade, plus 2T of flour mixed with 4T of oil (I found a recipe on the internet like that).  I loved it!

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Making the marinade into a sauce is a great idea – I need to try that.

#14 Dejah

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Posted 15 December 2007 - 06:30 PM

What can be better than pork belly for char siu! It will stay moist even after sitting in the fridge for a day or so. Any other cut tends to dry out a little.

Rona: Your char siu looks great even blurry. :biggrin: Is your Momma proud?

June: Have you posted your dough recipe? It looks white and fluffy, and I'd like to try it.

What recipe did you use for the marinade, Bruce?
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#15 C. sapidus

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Posted 15 December 2007 - 06:41 PM

What recipe did you use for the marinade, Bruce?

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Dejah, I used the recipe from Into the Vietnamese Kitchen. Do you have that book? If not, I will be happy to PM it to you.

#16 Dejah

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Posted 15 December 2007 - 11:32 PM

What recipe did you use for the marinade, Bruce?

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Dejah, I used the recipe from Into the Vietnamese Kitchen. Do you have that book? If not, I will be happy to PM it to you.

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Oh! I actually have that book - from your recommendation.:biggrin: I'll look it up. Thanks!
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#17 prasantrin

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Posted 16 December 2007 - 04:46 AM

Bruce, thanks again! I do love that recipe--it's my second time using it. And my mother loved it so much that she not only wants a copy of it, but she wants me to use my leftover pork belly to make more. She's going to bring it to the Philippines to serve at a party she's having shortly after she arrives!

Dejah, June's recipe for the buns is here and some subsequent hints for making it are here. There may be a couple more hints a post or two later, too. It's really a very good recipe. It has just a touch of sweetness, just like restaurant bao, and it's pretty fluffy. I imagine yours would probably be fluffier than mine, too, since I suck at steaming!

I used up the rest of my dough making a few more char siu bao and some chicken bao, but I have quite a bit of the fillings left. I'm going to combine my remaining chicken filling with my leftover hum sui gok filling and use it in my sticky rice. Then I'm going to make a bit more bao dough for the char siu filling--I was thinking of trying a recipe that uses a combination of yeast and baking powder. Has anyone tried that type of bao recipe before? Any comments on it?

But then again, I like June's recipe so much...if it ain't broke, why fix it? :biggrin:

#18 junehl

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Posted 16 December 2007 - 08:26 AM

prasantrin - the dough was tough to work with? was it too soft? too hard to roll out?

Your idea about the pork belly is great for char siu bao. it didn't look too fatty either. You must of gotten some really good lean pork belly or did most of the fat drip out?

#19 prasantrin

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Posted 16 December 2007 - 07:47 PM

prasantrin - the dough was tough to work with?  was it too soft?  too hard to roll out?

Your idea about the pork belly is great for char siu bao.  it didn't look too fatty either.  You must of gotten some really good lean pork belly or did most of the fat drip out?

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The first day, after sitting for a few hours, the dough was just tough. It was quite difficult to break off pieces, and then it was difficult to roll out. I wondered if it was because I heated the milk (to help dissolve the sugar), but now I'm thinking I may have forgotten to add the oil. I thought I had, though.

After letting it sit for a couple of days (which is how long it took me to get back to them), it was a lot easier to work with. On both days, though, they still tasted great!

That particular piece of pork belly that I cut into was quite meaty, but the others were pretty fatty. I do find that in Japan, they trim more of the top fat off, so they were perhaps not as fatty as belly in Canada. I could only roast my char siu for 20 minutes, or it would have overcooked, so not much fat melted out.

Next time I'm going to roll the char siu in the marinade every 5 minutes during the roasting rather than every 10, to get more of the flavour of the marinade. It was still pretty tasty, but the first time I made it, it got dunked in the marinade twice while roasting rather than once, and it was definitely more flavourful.

Here are some of the Batch 2 bao before steaming:
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After steaming (not very pretty, I know):
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Filling--these were Tepee's chicken filling--tasty, but I had to use up some chicken breast, which I hate, so I used it instead of thigh, and I've also realized that I don't like Chinese mushrooms :wacko: .
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#20 snowangel

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Posted 16 December 2007 - 10:01 PM

Tonight we made slow-braised beef with potatoes, from Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook. We reduced the oven temperature to 275F and the chuck roast turned out juicy and falling-apart tender. The sauce developed a remarkably complex flavor given the relatively short list of ingredients – dou ban jian, cinnamon, star anise, dried chiles, dark soy, light soy, and rice vinegar. No leftovers.

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This was on the table tonight, made with "eternal venison" (I have four milk crates of the stuff in the freezer!).

This dish was a definite winner, and my parents, Paul and Diana (and I) pronounced it the best beef stew ever. I did up the quantity by a half, just to ensure leftovers for my breakfast.

You are right, Bruce. So complex, for such a simple list of ingredients, and such a simple technique. I used a mixture of russet and yukon gold potatoes, because that was what I had on hand.
Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

#21 C. sapidus

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Posted 17 December 2007 - 05:24 AM

Bruce, thanks again!  I do love that recipe--it's my second time using it.  And my mother loved it so much that she not only wants a copy of it, but she wants me to use my leftover pork belly to make more.  She's going to bring it to the Philippines to serve at a party she's having shortly after she arrives!

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Rona, you are quite welcome again :smile: I hope the next batch survives its trip to the Philippines. Thanks for the tip to dunk the meat in the marinade more frequently, too. If you have the opportunity, char siu grilled over a low-medium fire is particularly good.

Tonight we made slow-braised beef with potatoes, from Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook. We reduced the oven temperature to 275F and the chuck roast turned out juicy and falling-apart tender. The sauce developed a remarkably complex flavor given the relatively short list of ingredients – dou ban jian, cinnamon, star anise, dried chiles, dark soy, light soy, and rice vinegar. No leftovers.

View Post


This was on the table tonight, made with "eternal venison" (I have four milk crates of the stuff in the freezer!).

This dish was a definite winner, and my parents, Paul and Diana (and I) pronounced it the best beef stew ever. I did up the quantity by a half, just to ensure leftovers for my breakfast.

You are right, Bruce. So complex, for such a simple list of ingredients, and such a simple technique. I used a mixture of russet and yukon gold potatoes, because that was what I had on hand.

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Susan, I am glad that you liked the stew, and hope you are feeling better. What cut of “eternal venison” do you use for braising?

I am enjoying the cooking vicariously – we were without power (and internet :shock: ) for 24 hours after an ice/wind storm.

#22 junehl

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Posted 17 December 2007 - 05:53 AM

prasantin - ahh, I never had that problem with the bao dough and I never boil the milk, I just mix it in to the sugar and swirl them around to dissolve it. If a little sugar granule is left it'll get dissolved w/ the kneading and sitting. I have left the oil out before and it does make it a little tougher, but not too bad. If it's ever too dry you can add more milk until it's manageable. I've had to add up to 8 ounces depending on the flour I used. And the extra milk only makes the dough fluffier.

#23 sheetz

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Posted 17 December 2007 - 12:59 PM

Hmm, haven't visited this thread in a few days from being so busy with my other projects that I missed the char siu bao! Can someone tell me what's the secret to this awesome char siu recipe? I'm always looking for a new way of making char siu, but I've yet to find one I like more than the one I currently use.

Prasantrin, I've made baking power/yeast bao before, and it's more yeasty and less sweet than the baking powder only ones.

I have a question about chicken bao for all of you. I grew up eating these chicken bao where the filling was a type of patty made of chopped chicken and cabbage topped with chunks of hard boiled egg, char siu, and lop cheung. Is this a common way of making chicken bao, or is it just something peculiar to the bao made in Los Angeles' chinatown? Offhand I don't remember seeing in other places, but that might be because it's a more homey style of cooking and not what you'd typically find in restaurants.

Edited by sheetz, 17 December 2007 - 01:03 PM.


#24 heidih

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Posted 17 December 2007 - 01:52 PM

I grew up eating these chicken bao where the filling was a type of patty made of chopped chicken and cabbage topped with chunks of hard boiled egg, char siu, and lop cheung. Is this a common way of making chicken bao, or is it just something peculiar to the bao made in Los Angeles' chinatown?

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This is the way I find them in Vietnamese markets in the Los Angeles area

#25 bethpageblack

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Posted 17 December 2007 - 06:03 PM

I have a question about chicken bao for all of you. I grew up eating these chicken bao where the filling was a type of patty made of chopped chicken and cabbage topped with chunks of hard boiled egg, char siu, and lop cheung. Is this a common way of making chicken bao, or is it just something peculiar to the bao made in Los Angeles' chinatown? Offhand I don't remember seeing in other places, but that might be because it's a more homey style of cooking and not what you'd typically find in restaurants.

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They have this in New York C-town bakeries as well. It's called a dai bao, or big bun in Cantonese. I'm assuming they call it that because it's just bigger than a regular bao? Two of these and I'm set. With the other baos, I usually need 4-5.

#26 snowangel

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Posted 17 December 2007 - 08:18 PM

Tonight we made slow-braised beef with potatoes, from Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook. We reduced the oven temperature to 275F and the chuck roast turned out juicy and falling-apart tender. The sauce developed a remarkably complex flavor given the relatively short list of ingredients – dou ban jian, cinnamon, star anise, dried chiles, dark soy, light soy, and rice vinegar. No leftovers.

View Post


This was on the table tonight, made with "eternal venison" (I have four milk crates of the stuff in the freezer!).

This dish was a definite winner, and my parents, Paul and Diana (and I) pronounced it the best beef stew ever. I did up the quantity by a half, just to ensure leftovers for my breakfast.

You are right, Bruce. So complex, for such a simple list of ingredients, and such a simple technique. I used a mixture of russet and yukon gold potatoes, because that was what I had on hand.

View Post

Susan, I am glad that you liked the stew, and hope you are feeling better. What cut of “eternal venison” do you use for braising?

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Bruce, for this, I used some shoulder (see this for more details on how I decide what to use for what).

But, my leftovers for breakfast and dinner. Oh, me, oh my. I think my braise ended up wetter than she indicated in the recipe was just fine with me. Sure did a nice job of helping clear out my "sciences" (sinuses). This just maybe Chinese penicillin.
Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

#27 hzrt8w

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Posted 17 December 2007 - 11:06 PM

I have a question about chicken bao for all of you. I grew up eating these chicken bao where the filling was a type of patty made of chopped chicken and cabbage topped with chunks of hard boiled egg, char siu, and lop cheung. Is this a common way of making chicken bao, or is it just something peculiar to the bao made in Los Angeles' chinatown? Offhand I don't remember seeing in other places, but that might be because it's a more homey style of cooking and not what you'd typically find in restaurants.

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I agree with bethpageblack. What you described, a bao with chopped chicken, hard boiled egg, char siu and laap cheung sounds like Dai Bao (the "big" bao). As made in Hong Kong, China. I haven't seen them offered in the USA for the 20 some years that I have been here. Chicken bao, here in the USA (which is rarely offered but I did have them once in a while) and in Hong Kong (you can usually find), use chopped chicken (ground chicken?) and mixed with some kind of vegetable - depending on the chef... usually Chinese chives, cabbages or something like that. Even in Hong Kong you can rarely find Dai Bao any more. I guess they need to use so many ingredients that this dim sum item is not profitable. There is an old Cantonese saying "Mai Dai Bao", which literally meaning "selling Dai Bao" but the implied meaning is like "fire sale" (no profit).

Edited by hzrt8w, 18 December 2007 - 12:16 AM.

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#28 Tepee

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Posted 17 December 2007 - 11:59 PM

I think I can say that anywhere there's a char siu bao stall here, you'll be able to get dai bao, leen yoong bao (lotus seed paste), dou sar bao (red bean), kaya bao (coconut custard) and lor mai gai (glutinous chicken rice with a bit of pork/mushroom). :smile:
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#29 prasantrin

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Posted 19 December 2007 - 04:09 PM

I wanted to use up my char siu filling, so I made one last batch of bao. This one was perfect!

I was going to make a yeast and baking powder bao, but sheetz mentioned they're not as sweet as baking powder bao, so I stuck with junehl's recipe. I made 1/4 the recipe, this time not heating the milk and definitely putting in the oil. The dough sat for several hours, and when I finally got around to putting it to use, it was getting late so I didn't bother kneading it. It was a bit sticky, so I used more flour on the board and on my pin than I usually do.

The dough was very easy to work with (other than occasionally sticking to my pin), and it steamed beautifully. As a result, I have my fluffiest bao with the best dough to filling ratio I've ever had.

I can't wait to do this again! I keep saying I'm going to freeze my bao, but I've already eaten more than half of what I made. Oops...Oh well, at least my tummy is full and my taste buds are happy!

#30 Ce'nedra

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Posted 04 January 2008 - 09:17 PM

Wow much respect to everyone who went through the entire process of making those baos. I'm not one to get involved with looong cooking/preparation so I really wish I had your (everyone here) patience and talents!

Again, we had 'gai dan cha' for dessert (after Asian meatloaf for dinner -which is posted in the 'dinner' thread)
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