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Ben Hong

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Posts posted by Ben Hong

  1. If you check out hzrt8's cooking pictorials you will see what his "go-to" pan is. ..just some old beat up pan that I think I can replace for about $9.95 :biggrin: .

    *cough* *cough* ... (sound of clearing throat...)

    Don't under-estimate these stainless steel pans. We bought ours long ago as our wedding... ur... investment (is there such a thing?). Those were something like $80 a set - the 1980's dollars. Not just 2 pans but other pots as well. But I would challenge one to buy one for $9.95 today.

    Or has the price... really??? come down so much? Dunnno. Haven't shopped for pots and pans for ages.

    Don't take things so literally. My point was for people to think technique and skill instead of the shape of their utensils. (Emoticon inserted meant that the the statement was made with tongue in cheek).

    And yes, I have seen a China-made 10 inch stainless steel fry pan being sold at a "clearance sale" at $9.95 Canadian, which is about $8.50 US. (How long the handles stay on is another matter, though).

  2. If you check out hzrt8's cooking pictorials you will see what his "go-to" pan is. ..just some old beat up pan that I think I can replace for about $9.95 :biggrin: . If i am cooking a small dish for my wife and I , I do the Ah Leung thing and haul out my own beat up sheet metal "thing " that I got when I first started living alone.

    It is not about the pan, it's the technique and skill that is important.

  3. but until someone else writes a more authoritative book on Chinese cooking techniques Tropp's name will continue to be used.

    There is a plethora of Chinese cookbooks out there that describe the "velveting" techniques, some in more detail than others. If Tropp has misled you in calling guo yu velveting, then she is dead WRONG

  4. That's what Barbara Tropp calls it in Modern Art of Chinese Cooking.

    That's NOT what I would call it. Between Dejah and I, I think that we spent enough time over a wok to know the difference.

    Oil blanching is rarely, if ever, done with veggies. Water blanching is almost never done with meat. One of the reasons for oil blanching (guo yu pass through oil) is to set and seal the juices in the meat. The main reason for water blanching veggies is to cut down on wok (cooking) time.

    Velveting is a different process altogether.

  5. Before, way, way before, Japanese, Thai, Hawaiian, Vietnamese, Korean, etc. Chinese food was enjoyed in North America. Like, after the 1849 California gold rush. None of those othe "Asian" cuisines were around in any popular form until the middle of the 20th century. (Except for the Japanese cuisine, most of the others listed above can attribute most of their style to the Chinese way, due to the long historical hegemony of China in Asia). Each of the Asian cuisines have its own unique set characteristics and methods of using local ingredients, but the style is generally similar to the Chinese way...fresh, barely cooked veggies, flash wokking, pre-cutting ingredients, pervasive use of aromatics and condiments, etc.

    I have looked in my old (non -Chinese) cookbooks from the 50s and 60s and I cannot find any reference to ingredients like soy sauce, hoisin sauce, fermented black beans, fish sauce, doufu (tofu), Szechuan pepper, star anise, etc. Now, these Chinese ingredients are in general use along with a plethora of "new" and exotic fruits and veggies.

    In those same cookbooks, there weren't any reference to "stir-frying" (chowing), now it is one of the main cooking methods. Before that mainstream North Americans were doomed to eating cooked to death broccoli mush, greens that you had to eat with a spoon and huge chunks of meat that was boiled or roasted without even a "howdy-do" to a clove of garlic.

  6. I have no problem with M. Yan's accent. I don't believe that it's embellished or false in any way, shape or form. It's not cute or charming or quaint. It justis. A lot of my friends and relatives who grew up in HK speak with the same "accent", inflection and cadence.

  7. I guess I am a traditionalist and a dinosaur and a stickler for authenticity. I have not and will not ever use anything other than the cheapie carbon steel woks. The thinner the better. I may be all wet, but I do think that carbon steel adds a unique flavour to the food and cooked with the proper respect to heat and timing, it also helps me achieve that ephemeral essence of a well turned Chinese dish called wok hei. In my experience, nothing else will do quite as well. Apparently 99% of the Chinese restaurants and their chefs feel the same way. WOK = carbon steel.

    But I have nothing against anyone keeping the economy rolling by spending big dollars. :wink:

  8. I am grilling Vietnamese Lemongrass ribs tonight. The sun's out, so I will bundle up and be brave. What sacrifices I make to try new recipes. Food - the all powerful! :laugh:


    Do you know that it's not rising above -20 C. tomorrow in Brandon?? Talk about tough prairie women!! :shock: What's next?? You going out to hunt and butcher your own buffalo in a blizzard??? :raz:

  9. The problem with Cook's Illustrated is that they recommend a NONSTICK frying pan for stir frying, which I would definitely NOT recommend. For stir frying you will often be using very high heat, so a nonstick surface will be destroyed in no time.

    Not only that but it is almost impossible to achieve wok hei with a non-stick wok or pan. Neither are they good to get a proper fond.

  10. If the wok won't work in a american kitchen, could you get the same dishes simply by using a frying pan and sauteing your dishes. It seems like they're doing the same thing.

    With an electric burner and you are cooking a single serving, the fry pan is my preferred utensil. It gets heated more uniformly and hotter than a wok would.

  11. think they r called arrowroot.

    you can slice thinly and deep fried them like potato chips.

    arrowroot chips

    The tuber/corm commonly referred to as the see koo, popular at CNY cooked with lup yuk is in fact of the "arrowhead" plant or sagittaria sagittiflora. The Algonquin Indians of North America made use of the tubers (wapato) of a similar plant. This latter plant is indigenous to North America.

  12. Re: America's Test Kitchen, if they are anything like Cook's Illustrated, then I'm convinced they don't know sh*t about Chinese cooking. It's like the people who developed their recipes have never cooked Chinese food before in their lives.

    :laugh::laugh::laugh: Right on, Brother!!

    Seriously speaking, if you are spending more than $25-$30 on a cleaver and wok combo, you aren't shopping at an Asian store.

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