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Ben Hong

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Everything posted by Ben Hong

  1. Absolutely. I don't even store the stuff in my fridge because it is so salty and "drunk" that it would keep for years unrefrigerated.
  2. From what i remember the marinade last time was roughly five parts hoisin, one of honey, some soy and minced garlic. Just make enough to coat all your meat! Make it a little sweeter if you want, but use shoulder pork with some fat. If your inlaws are Chinese, they would appreciate a cube or two of fuyu in the marinade. Adds some depth to the flavour.
  3. Sure. sheetz: Hey Mom, since you're from Toisan, could you tell what you put in tsap sui? sheetz's mother: Don't be silly, you get whatever you have on hand, chop them up, and stir fry them together. Now get lost and stop bothering me! ← I am from Toisan and that would be the exact answer I would give, even though I am not your mother! As for that contentious word "authenticity", if I cook a "Chinese" dish it it IS authentic. I am Chinese dontcha know? Don't be too hidebound and purist over authenticity, to slavishly seek out authenticity and follow explicit directions in a recipe will kill any creativity that you have. Take mapo tofu as an example. I have eaten many versions of the dish; some use minced pork, others use minced beef, some use black beans, others omit it, some use mashed tofu, others use cubed firm tofu, some add scallions, others coriander, etc ad nauseam. Of all the combinations and permutations that could be derived, which one is "authentic"? In my estimation they all are, as long as each dish is toothsome and flavourful. Being Chinese is being pragmatic. The food reflects that characteristic because the rootstock of Chinese cuisine, the house wife, will use whatever is at hand to approximate a dish. Just don't tell her that it is not authentic.
  4. In family style cooking and eating, toasted sesame oil is almost never used. In fact I have a small 3 oz. bottle that has been with me for at least a decade.
  5. Teepee, those joong would almost make a trip to M'sia worthwhile!
  6. Back before the dawn of ...when I was living "light" as a bachelor and didn't want to encumber myself with a whole lot of accouterments, I had a good 12" fry pan, a 1 qt. pot, a 3 qt. pot, a medium wt.cleaver and a whole lot of creativity. Some of my best cooking chops were learned then. Ps: a frypan on a cherry-red hot electric burner will do better than a wok over a domestic gas burner any old day. To control the heat, just move the frypan off and on the burner
  7. Again, there are no hard and fast rules. The methods you describe are used by second and third rate take out places for a less discerning clientele. Nothing wrong with it, it's just not common in household cooking or in finer restaurants. Hard veggies like broccoli and carrots, etc can be blanched but NEVER, NEVER meats and fish...nor tender leafy veggies. Meats and fish should get the benefit of carmelization in oil over high heat. Please refer to wok hei.
  8. thanks folks, would using more corn starch reduce the problem? ← Yes...and no. You really, really do not want a gloppy dish, a better solution is to use less liquid. If your dish is a stirfry, the amount of liquid in the wok should be barely discernable at the end, just at the moment of adding thickening. Look up wok hei in this forum if you really want to achieve that kind perfection in a dish. Unlike western style dishes where the gravy or sauce is poured onto the food, the Chinese style requires that the sauce be made as an integral part of the dish, and as such will suffer the dilution caused by leaching out of liquids from the solid ingredients. Perhaps that why Chinese dishes should be eaten soon after it leaves the wok (to enjoy the wok hei); and that's why in most restaurants catering to the Chinese, dishes come out sporadically, as they are done, instead of all at once.
  9. The ingredients are still cooking even after you turn off the heat, cooking means leaching out moisture from your meats and veg., hence the dilution of the sauce. Can't be helped, happens to the best of us.
  10. Ben Hong

    Pork neck bones

    I can't make a decent (Chinese) soup stock without pork neck bones. Depending on your meat seller, you can pick up neck bones with lots of lean meat on them. That's when you cook them up as a main dish.
  11. Might I recommend a Chinese cleaver instead? ← For the price of one of those Japanese pretty things, you can have 5-6 real good quality Chinese cleavers of different sizes for different uses.
  12. Frozen tofu? I'd rank that up there with brown rice! eeEEeewwwwWWw.
  13. Back in the villages of Toysan, every house had an earthen hearth/wok stove and a 24" wok. The firebox was fed from the front and the fuel was dried brush that the women of the household cut from the surrounding hillsides. Sometimes to get good woody brush, the women would have to travel quite a distance and tote it back on shoulder poles. The brush was stacked in the style of old haystacks about 12 feet high, and depending on the size of the family there may be 3-4 of these stacks in back of the house. This practice still goes on, despite the advent of modern fuels. Days and days of work for the womenfolk. Dry cut brush is almost the ideal fuel for those conditions because it flares very hot and fast, and the cook controls the heat by controlling fuel supply...a handful of brush for more heat etc. I would assume that the people in the northern part of China would use coal, which is more abundant.
  14. Raisins were readily available in our region. I still remember that a handful of raisins was given to us after taking some gawdawful bitter medicine as a reward and to sweeten the mouth again. That was more that 60 years ago . To this day every time I eat raisins, I have "flashbacks".
  15. Izzat so? Who knows, there might be a wandering lo wah kieu from the east coming by to help you "dispose" of those horrible things.
  16. Yes, "teem" is used to not only describe sweetness but also to describe "full of natural flavour". ← The Chinese do not have a specific word for umami, so "teem" is used as Deja indicates.
  17. A good cook can adapt to any type of cooking utensil - wok, skillet, pot, frypan. Once upon a time, our restaurant's 4-wok system conked out at the height of rush hour but the cooks didn't even bat an eyelash. They used frypans and pots on the commercial range and one guy even produce excellent food on the flat griddle. Adaptability is a great word, no?
  18. I don't wish to go on a limb and say that 5 spice powder is used indiscriminately nor do I want to say that it is never used, but it is used. In my experience I can readily name several instances where the spice powder is used. My mother and all the ladies in our small corner of Toysaan made a glutinous rice, deep fried , half moon-shaped pastry with meat and chive filling flavoured with 5 spice; sometimes lazy restaurant cooks would freshen up and renew their loo sui with a spoonful of 5 spice powder; I have tasted and made for myself a green bean/ground meat dish using 5 spice as a flavouring agent. Of course if anyone is familiar with the Chinatown cooking of Toronto vs. Montreal the use of 5 spice is definitely evident in the Montreal version of crispy skin roast pork...at least you can get it up to 5 years ago. But alas, more and more restaurants are bowing to the more refined tastes of the newer immigrants Toysaanese are fast disappearing from the restaurant sector.
  19. But, if you speak "proper" Toysanese, then it is doong .
  20. Just a couple of decades ago we could not get Chinese noodles of any kind in places where I lived, and some of these were small cities. Pasta was a very appropriate stand-in for Chinese noodle dishes, even in the restaurants where I worked. To this day, I almost prefer lo mein done with linguine or spaghettini. Hell didn't the Chinese invent noodles?
  21. And pray tell, uh..er...why are you rejecting all those boys clamouring at your door? Hmmmm...???
  22. I do both quite frequently. Agree with your opinion on fuyu with beans...or zuchini...or cucumber...ong choy...amaranth...peashoots etc... drool*drool* .
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