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Ben Hong

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Posts posted by Ben Hong

  1. Growing up, if we had rice it was probably Uncle Ben’s. :hmmm:  I will be interested to hear whether fond memories of Mom’s rice affect current preferences.

    Uncle Ben's for personal use has it's place...in the garbage can. But the restaurants catering to the loh fan love it because it makes no-clump fried rice. I would rather be jabbed in the eyeballs with an ice pick than eat brown rice.

    Growing up, we only had plain long grain, but that was in the village eons ago when most people grew their own or just bought from their neighbours. Speaking of which, you have not tasted good rice until you've eaten rice that's fresh milled one day after harvest. :wub:

  2. About 20+ years ago, I was exposed to jasmine (Thai) rice and although it took me several meals to convince the family that the stuff was good, everyone now loves the stuff, and would not buy anything else.

    Fast forward to last month when I brought home a 10 pound bag of Basmati for a change and after the first meal, my wife asked "how long does this &%@* bag last?" Needless to say that neither of us liked the stuff as much as the jasmine rice. But Basmati rice makes absolutely superb fried rice, what with the long loose grains.

    Last week friends and I took a long trek through 3 provinces and had meals in 3 different Chinatowns, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal. The common rice in the first 2 places was was jasmine. But, Montreal serve good old fashioned plain long grain. My brother called it loh wah kieu fan, meaning that the diehard Chinese thinking of an older generation (Toysan) still dominates and you can hear Toysanese on the streets of Chinatown in Montreal still.

    So, when you are eating a Chinese meal, what is your rice preference...Basmati, plain long grain, short grain or Jasmine?

  3. Uhhh...sweet potatoes are almost the perfect food, full of vitamins, minerals sugars and other good stuff. There have been a few threads about sweet potatoes in this forum, including one started by myself about post revolutionary hardships and how the sweet potato even made my family healthier than our persecutors who had the luxury of having rice to eat. But your relatives, and my family, have villified the lowly sweet potato unjustly.

  4. The ba ling mushrooms that we ate 3 times in the past 5 days, and have purchased to bring home, looked not at all like oyster mushrooms. The largest ones are about 4" tall, 1.5" thick around the extended barrel shaped stem and topped off with a small cap. The stem is creamy white and the cap is beige.


  5. What's a pickerel btw, is it a cross between a pike and a mackerel?  :blink:  I thought I knew my fish - is it called something else?

    A pickerel is what most Canadians call the stizostedion vitreum, a fresh water fish that is very highly sought for its sport and table "manners". Like many Chinese, I would rather have pickerel than any other fish for steaming. In fact I really believe that the pickerel should be bred with ginger and scallions attached :laugh: .

    Other names for the fish are walleyed pike, jackfish, and dore'., nomenclature is geographically specific.

    Google a picture for yourself.


    I am in Ottawa on a little driving trip with my brother. last night we had a family dinner and one of the dishes i recommended was Ba ling mushrooms. No one has heard of them before and when they were presented cooked like you would abalone, a couple of people thought that they were abalone. The texture is very dense. These were fresh mushrooms which in its fresh form stands about 4" tall and are pure white with a beige top. A perfect rendition of a delicious *ahem* phallic symbol. :shock::rolleyes:

  7. GastroGirl, by the time you cook the rice, and boil some water, you can have a good tasty meal on the table, 25 minutes tops.

    Boil some water in a large clean pot, 1)make up beef/pork patty with choong choy and steam, or 2) egg custard with some ground pork 3) steam a fillet of fish with ginger&scallions 4)pork patty with haum yu, etc. After you steamed the dish, lift it out and use the boiling water to blanch gai lan, broccoli, bok choy, etc. top the veggies up with oyster sauce and some hot garlic oil. Lop cheung on top of rice is no work at all. There's also the old standby of scrambled eggs with scallions. Before you go to work, you may want to marinate some pork/beef slices in whatever flavours and when you come home, as the rice is cooking, stir fry the meat slices and thicken with a little corn starch slurry. Tear up some iceberg lettuce leaves, heat up some oil with garlic in your wok/pan and wilt the lettuce, add a bit of soy/oyster sauce and voila, Bob's your uncle!! So many yummy possibilities.

  8. Wait a minute.... :hmmm:...I remember my parents giving me alcohol when I was 5 and every year after that during holidays!  :shock:  Isn't it illegal to start aborting your child at the 18th trimester???  :blink:


    All I can say is that you'd make a great dinner companion! :biggrin:

  9. I may be getting a little dumb in my dotage, but you keep asking for authentic ways to make ho fun and then you want to experiment with potato starch, tapioca starch, and all purpose flour!! Ho fun is made with rice flour only. Just like spaghetti made with anything else other than hard durum wheat would not be spaghetti. I can't imagine rice flour spaghetti. :blink::shock:

  10. unless the restaurants I buy from all buy their noodles from manufacturers.


    Most of the restaurants find that the process to be so labour intensive as to deem it counterproductive. Frankly, there is very, very little difference between the inhouse and outsourced noodles in taste and texture. In fact, manufactured ones have more consistency. There are a few (large) specialty noodle restaurants that still make their own, but even they are thinking of outsourcing, according to scuttlebutt.

    I remember a small wet, room with a couple of millstones, and a couple of people foot pedalling the millstone, and lots of water being used. I imagine that the rice has to be a special kind and a lot of experience required to judge the fineness of the flour slurry.

    Making these types of noodles with packaged rice flour is not the same. Close, but no cigar.

  11. Yes, it is bean flour or starch. The bean flour is most likely made from mung beans. It can be used the same way as corn starch. In all honesty, just use corn starch. It's just as good.

    I'm intrigued, though, by the Mr. Jun's comment that it'll help tenderize the meat. I'm putting Yoonhi, my resident food scientist, onto the enzyme hunt.

    Now, I'd better get back to writing up the last Chengdu meal.

  12. My people used to make a stew-like dish called gnow mei wu dou or oxtails and black beans (not fermented), and also chai yu mei dou, or dried (unsalted) fish with white beans, and there are more dishes. These are wholesome savoury dishes.

    China is a huge country with many regional differences. While one may be most familiar with sweet bean dishes/products, it is not wise to generalise.

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