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Ben Hong

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Posts posted by Ben Hong

  1. **Sighhh**

    Here I am stuck in the frozen Great White North with no access to fine restaurants and good eats. Now you are telling me you are going to be embraced by the warmth of OZ.

    Cruel, I tell ya. Just cruel.

    Ahh, what the hay, enjoy your trip TP Mui.

  2. Jeeeeze Sue-On, I can't believe that you are doing the same thing that I do. About 25 years ago, I bought quite a bit of fatt choy for my mother. After 18 CNYs she died in 2000 leaving me to take the contents of her pantry. Yup, there was the remainder of the fatt choy, about a soccer ball volume of the stuff. Nobody eats that stuff except at CNY. :sad:

  3. Gastro Girl I realize that sometimes we Toysanese can't really transliterate the sounds of our speech. The wolfberry plant in Toysanese is gow ghee (hard "G"), the berries are gow doo. Gow=dog, same tone. Doo same tone as "left", gee is same tone as "Gee do goi?" How many?

    Your Mom would understand perfectly. :rolleyes:

  4. At home and in restaurants, we usually look for a balance of dishes(series of courses) rather than looking at have a main dish and side dishes as accompaniments.

    Absolutely right Anna. A traditional family meal has to have minimum of 3 dishes plus the rice. These three dishes do not have to be big productions. Typically:


    Salty small dish (can be steamed on top of rice). This is usually called the "extender" in case company drops in unexpectedly.

    Stir fried dish

    Stewed or moist cooked dish

    Vegetable dish

    Meat Dish


    Think variety and small dishes, one for each member.

    The main cooking methods, ie: steaming, moist cooking, stirfrying, frying, should be used for each separate dish. For example, you wouldn't want three deep fried dishes at one meal.

    Aren't you glad you asked? :raz::shock: .

  5. Thank you sheetz!  Niu lan is beef flank or brisket with the tendon and silver skin/sheet of cartilage (not sure what it's called?) attached.  It's common in Cantonese restaurants to have a rice plate with niu lan.  It's stewed for hours until it is really soft and flavorful.

    Niu lan is Mandarin for gnow lam Cantonese or gnow nam Toysanese. It is the belly flap of beef, sometimes mistakenly called flank. It is a cut consisting of layers of lean meat, sinews, white membrane, fat, gristle and is probably the choicest cut for many Chinese. All texture and goodness. Does NOT mean flank steak.

  6. I was working with a bunch of young Chinese bachelors once and they had access to an endless free supply of bull penises from the local abattoir. They had the delicacy at least three times weekly in hopes of...err..ahh, improving on their abilities and dimensions. Last I heard they were still suffering from the same inferiority complex that drove them to seek such remedies in the first place. :wink::laugh:

  7. On the last bit, I concur. Most (not all) of the chinese food we have tried in NYC and LA was...not what we call real chinese. For that matter, what we call real chinese here, may not be considered authentic by a mainland chinese.  :wink:

    Strictly speaking, any food that is consumed by a Chinese person is indeed "Chinese food". :rolleyes::raz::laugh:

  8. The typical Cantonese style of "plain steaming" - just the fish with some ginger and nothing else - you add more ginger and some green onions and splash fuming hot oil on top then add some soy sauce.

    Then there is Cantonese style steamed fish that you steam the fish with fermented black beans and ginger.  This dish can be consumed as is or some can add the ginger/green onions and splash fuming oil on top at the end too.

    Not wise to heat sesame oil - the smell is bad and heating turns the oil taste to bitter.

    Cutting ginger into slivers, shreds or to mince it or to grate it is a matter of preference.

    There is a third way of steaming fish, especially if the fish is extra oily or too "aromatic". Panfry and brown with a little soy sauce first, then steam normally.

    I (being Cantonese, specifically Toysanese) have never used sesame oil on any steamed fish. As Ah Leung says once you heat it to a sizzling temp., it smells and tastes awful. (Must be the technique of those barbaric Northerners :raz::wink::unsure: )

  9. There is a saying in Chinese that wherever there's chimney smoke, you would probably find a Chinese presence. The Chinese presence and influence is very, very evident in most of the Caribbean island/countries and have been for centuries. On a business trip to Mauritius some years ago, I was absolutely gobsmacked to find that the Chinese and their descendants made up a great part of the population. Their food, though delicious was quite a bit "changed" from the original. Mauritius is a small island off the east coast of Africa.

  10. but I don't think its a stretch to say that carbon steel woks aren't ideal for most home stovetops.

    It is for me and every single one of my friends and relatives. We leer at SS with disdain, scoff at nonstick, spit at cast iron, laugh uproariously at electric woks, and sniff at induction woks :laugh::biggrin: .

    I have a gas range with a 15K btu burner now, but my second choice for home cooking would be a flat bottomed carbon steel wok over the large burner of a home range. When that burner gets cherry red, wok hei is a cinch when cooking one or two portions.

    As for good tools for any job, no need to buy a $2000. camera when your skill is at the Brownie level.

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