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Ben Hong

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  1. Methinks bwv544 needs to get some life experience. Getting back to the original premise asserted by the bragging restaurant operator, every cuisine, art form, school of philosophy, national literature, etc. has it's simplistic forms and it's complicated constructs. Outwardly a piece of fish on a bit of sweet rice is easy to make, but it takes literally years to learn how to make good sushi.
  2. Pork stomach is the actual stomach, not belly pork. Best way to cook it (for me) is to long simmer it in "loo Sui", or master sauce.
  3. How to Cook and Eat in Chinese by Bu Wei Yang Chao was my bible almost 50 years ago when I was a peripatetic young adult who needed a Chinese food fix once in a while, and my elders weren't there to guide me. I will freely admit (confess) that I have a very extensive collection of Chinese cookbooks which are neatly shelved in my kitchen, but rarely used, Buwei is my "go to" girl if I ever need a reminder of a procedure or ingredient.
  4. Just a couple of observations on this excellent thread: ...arrowhead and arrowroot are two different plants ...the reduction method of thickening a dish will work, but only with those dishes (like Chris' originally mentioned dish) where the vast bulk of the ingredients will not deteriorate with the reduction process. For example, if you served me a dish of peashoots or water spinach thickened by the reduction method, I would be calling you all sorts of uncomplimentary names. The reduction method is not recommended for stir frying as it is contradictory to the whole idea of a quick, hot procedure yielding crisp results with good mouth feel. Buerre maniere in Chinese cooking? Another argument against the melting pot approach to a culturally inclusive society.
  5. I beg to differ from this view and I agree with Liuzhou. Ramen is from the northern Chinese' "la mein", or pulled noodles. You and liuzhou may disagree all you want, that is your prerogative. I always forget to use it, but let wikipedia be your friend: enter ramen, scroll down to the "history" chapter and it's there in black and white, second last sentence of the paragraph. In this case we are all correct in our own way, but maybe, just maybe, you should be more certain before you call an old geezer out. I suppose an apology from either of you would be out of the question.
  6. No they don't. Some Cantonese speakers do. There is an [r] sound in Mandarin. I've been living in China for 15 years and have met only one or two people who couldn't say [r]. No. It's much more likely to be a 'corruption' of "la mian" (拉面), something quite different. Speaking as a Toyshanese speaking almost 70 year old "loh wah kieu", I have fallen into that group's mindset that anyone who doesn't speak Toyshanese (or at least Cantonese) really isn't speaking Chinese at all!! As for the la mian vs lo mein topic, I will stick by my original explanation, as it was explained to me by one of my learned Japanese diplomat colleagues. If he was wrong then I am wrong, but what the hey, I prefer his side of things. But I like your certitude in correcting me. Me, I like to be a little more circumspect - the result of years training and working in a profession that deals in things which are much more nebulous and nuanced than some internet bulletin board .
  7. And how do you prepare yours? Heidih, "lo mein" means mixed noodles, which in all its permutations and interpretations is akin to the generic "fried rice" ie: there is no set recipe. Reduced to its basic connotations, it means stir fried noodles to me (and most people). But, there is always a "but" in any argument, interpretations can trump the standard orthodoxy of what we normally assume is the "correct" form and format. Like this: the Japanese term "ramen" is in fact the corruption of the Chinese term "lo mein". Most native bred Japanese cannot produce the "L" sound, just as most native Chinese speakers have trouble with the "R" sound. We all know of the various guises and forms that the humble "ramen" can assume. To answer your question, I would have to reply: "Whatever ingredients I have on hand would determine how I cook my meatless lo mein, or soy sauce noodles. Or, better still whatever my wife feels like having - dry-ish, moist, wet, or crisp. I hope that I have answered your question.
  8. This dish is nothing more than meatless lo mein.
  9. I doubt if 99 out of 100 people could detect the difference. Please excuse the cynicism...
  10. Ben Hong

    Pig head

    Mention a pig's head to a "real" gastronome of Chinese heritage and be ready to catch him as he swoons. I have sat at a table where the head was the featured (only) meat. Except for show at the beginning, we never saw the full head again, what we did see was about 20 different dishes using every constituent part of the head, in about 12 different cooking methods. Probably as good a meal as I have eaten anywhere.
  11. The absolute essential fermented ingredients in any Cantonese pantry are: fuyu, salt fish, ham ha, choong choi, and ja choi. There are no nor can be ,substitutes
  12. If you find that NY Chinese foods have a different taste than that of Singapore, you should keep in mind that Singapore and New York received Chinese people from different parts of China in the diaspora. New York Chinese back 75/100 years ago were mainly Toyshan people and the Singapore Chinese were of TeoChow, Fujian stock. Sometimes they have very different customs, styles and cuisines... The tray of goodies in the photo was most definitely lovingly made by a li'l ole popo from Toyshan. Delish!!
  13. Goodness Ling! With the culinary skills and beauty that you are endowed with, why are you eating alone?? (Please take this question as if it were from your very own aged Ben sook!) As for me, there is just my wife and I living in the country an hour away from Chinese friends and relatives...and it just so happened that there was a storm on the night we were to get together. Real bummer. With this unexpected change of plans, I thawed out some char siu, loo'ed a chicken and blanched some wilted gai lan. Delish.
  14. Tedious?? Let geometry be your friend. Cut 10 strips of 12"wide parchment paper 3" wide, stack the strips, double, cut, stack again, double and cut again. Presto ! 40 pieces of 3X3. Total time =3minutes. NOT EXPENSIVE!
  15. There can be no real cuisine in "Chinese Cuisine" without chicken feet. One cannot claim the appellation of "Chinese food gourmet" if one does not appreciate chicken feet, you would be only nibbling at the edges...so to speak! Now that the levity requirements for this topic has been met, let me say that chicken feet, or "Phoenix claws" has divided the foodie culture of China neatly (!) into two, half loving it and the other half unable to countenance the stuff. In Chinese cooking, chicken feet is used much like in other cuisines, but where Chinese cuisine trumps all others is in the dim sum restaurant. "Phoenix claws" slow braised in aromatic soy sauce redolent with star anise, Ginger, pepper, Szechan pepper corns, etc. till the gristle and sinews have been denatured into unctuous, velvety, aromatic lusciousness transcends the ugly English term that it has been cursed by. You have probably guessed which camp I fall in.
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