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Posts posted by pcbilly

  1. simmer -> paitan soup

    rolling boil -> tonkotsu soup

    The name for the rich, creamy stock resulting from hours of boiling of pork bones is referring to as “milk soup” (奶湯) in Northern Chinese cuisine.

    In other region, the term Baitan (白湯) is also used instead of "milk soup”(奶湯).

    In classic Shandong cuisine, two different types of soup stocks are used. The “Clear Soup”(清湯) is made by simmering stock bones on low heat and the “milk soup”(奶湯) is made by boiling bones in higher heat to extract the rich creamy flavor from the bones.

    The Southern Chinese prefer their stock clear for lighter, subtler taste.

    In the North, maybe because the cold weather, people like to use the richer, bolder soup stock for their noodle.

  2. ...Toisanese=Hakka?

    No. Different. There are a few threads that talked about the origin of Hakka.

    True, but then what is the influence of Hakka food in Toysan/Taishan or Cantonese cuisine ?

    Hakka cuisine uses a lot of salted and preserved food in their cooking. Ingredients such as salted fish and preserved mustard green shows up in quite a few of the Cantonese dishes.

    For example, one of hzrt8w’s dish Secret Salt Baked Chicken (秘制鹽焗雞) is a re-interpretation of the Hakka dish Salt baked chicken (東江鹽焗雞 ) and another dish Fried Fish Cake with Puff Tofu (煎酿豆腐浦) is similar to the idea of Yong tao foo/ stuffed tofu (酿豆腐).

    I will think if one wants to market Toyson cuisine to people didn’t grow up on it, one will need to put it within the context of “Cantonese Food” for the general public.

    So, how does Toysan food fit into the whole “Cantonese” cuisine? And for that matter, what is Cantonese Food anyway? Are we talking about the food from the city of Canton, or are we talking about food from the province of Guangdong?

    Also, how do Chiuchow/Chaozhou/Teochew and Hakka influence the cuisine of Guangdong in addition to Canton and Toyson?

    Hzrt8w, maybe another thread?

  3. The "Private Restaurant" menus are contrived to apply to the same type of customers. If they wanted to be successful to local customers it would require much more panache and variety, but I wonder what their Chinese Menus look like, I'm sure that special menus are quite important.


    Are these the menus you were referring to?




    I don't recognize most of these dishes, are these “private recipes" ?

  4. For people who are curious about what HK$1000(about $130) will get you in some higher end restaurant in Honk Kong (although not the most expensive):

    The famous Jumbo Floating Restaurant (the one that in the shape of a boat):


    Under Dragon Court Menu

    Jumbo Special Set Menu in HK$980.00 per person (Minimum 2 persons)

    Braised Superior Shark's Fin w/ Brown Sauce

    Braised Abalone

    Sauteed Scallop & Prawn Ball w/ Vegetable in Black Bean Sauce

    Steamed Fresh Red Spotted Garoupa

    Scalded Seasonal Vegetable w/ Bamboo Fungus & Chinese Ham in Stock

    Deep Fried Crispy Chicken

    Braised E-Fu Noodle w/ Diced Seafood

    Double Boiled Harsma w/ Almond & Coconut Cream

    Chinese Pastries

    Fresh Fruit Platter

    Under their Shark Fin menu in HK dollars per person:

    "Jumbo" Supreme Shark's Fin $1,000.00

    Braised Superior Shark's Fin Soup $630.00

    Braised Shark's Fin Soup w/ Crab's Cream $420.00

    Braised Shark's Fin Soup w/ Crab Meat $285.00

    Braised Shark's Fin Soup w/ Shredded Chicken $240.00

    Braised Shark's Fin Soup w/ Albumen & Bird's Nest $280.00

    Double Boiled Shark's Fin w/ Cabbage, Bamboo Fungus & Chinese Ham $360.00

    OR a “private/underground” restaurant:


  5. Thank you for sharing your secret ingredients with us. :biggrin:

    Another clean, precise pictorial that clarifies the cooking steps for the rest of us who didn’t grew up on Cantonese cooking.

    It is a lot easier to see the steps in photo than to try to follow it from a cookbook.

    Is there a name for the condiment? It seems to be a standard dipping sauce for many Cantonese Chicken dishes.

    Also, waht is the difference between Cantonese Salt Roast Chicken vs. Hakka style Dongjiang (East River) Salt Rosted Chicken?

  6. .... it's hard to get very excited about Chinese food in New York. We just don't have the kind of monied, sophisticated Chinese eaters who support great restaurants.  So it's hard for me to get really enthusiastic about local Chinese restaurants.  They just don't have the same quality as those on the other coast - or those in Canada - where most of the big Chinese money resides........


    I remember reading a story by you years ago in the Times on Chinese haute cuisine.

    Considering that Michelin Guide didn’t give any star to the Chinese restaurant in the city and there is only a handful of one star Chinese restaurant in France, what do you think will take for Chinese food to be taken seriously?

    French/Michlin bias aside, what is it that prevent people from wanting that high-end dining experience that the Chinese cuisine, I think, is capable of providing.



  7. I like to cook the non-flowering chives when we have hot pot - toward the end, after everyone has had their fill of meat, but before we cook the noodles.

    This is a new one for me, is this a regional thing?

    How long do you cook the chives for and how do you eat it?

    Also, how does this make the soup taste?

  8. Interestingly (or maybe not.....geek-warning alert!!!), the characters la4腊 can be written 臘 and the former character used to be read xi1, for which it meant 'cured meats' while the la4 reading was reserved for the La Festival (which is rarely, if ever, celebrated now, but there are some really nice Tang poems about it....).

    Actually, the second la4 character is the more common ancient form of la4, but it appears that, in a great coalescing (sp?) of festival and what was prepared there, the association of the two became what it is today with 臘 and 腊 and la4 and xi1 all merging together (just like how the term la4 became associated with the twelfth lunar month).

    In the Shouwen Jiezi (說文解字), the character 腊 doesn't even appear, just the other - which indicates the sacrifice of la4, but even by this point (i.e. Han dynasty) it was associated with dried meat....

    [geek mode off]

    Fengyi is correct.

    The ancient form of the word for La festival is 臘; the simplified modern version is 腊 . The two words are interchangeable now but with people from mainland seem to use the simplified version more. In fact, the definition in Wikipedia for December uses the character 腊月.

    But the point of this Geeky discussion is not really about the Chinese characters themselves but rather about the cultural aspect of the food.

    Chinese bacon didn’t get its name because it was “spicy” nor it was “wax like” but rather because it was the meat ancient Chinese used to offer to the Gods/ancestors during the end of the lunar year.

    Why is this matter?

    Because food is a crucial part of Chinese identity for many people in this forum and some (OK, maybe just the really geeky one like me :blush:) may like the fact that the Chinese bacon has a bit more story to tell than the Oscar Myer kind.

    .......“Oh I wish I were an Os-car Mayer Wie - ner That is what I'd tru-ly like to be 'cause if I were an Os-car May-er Wie - ner Ev-ery one would be in love with me”....

    Darn it, now that song is going to be in my head for the rest of the day.

    It is hard to be a Chinese eater in the land of Hot Dog. :wink:

  9. If you are referring to "La Rho" (literal translation = spicy meat) the smoked pork belly specialty from the Hunan region, a classic Hunan preparation is stir fried with ginger, dried chiles, leeks, carrots, and bamboo

    Just to keep the record straight, the "la" in la rou does not mean "spicy" or "waxified" as some translation suggested.

    "la" is 腊 in 腊月, it is the month of December in the Chinese Lunar calender.

    The literal tranlation of la rou should be "December Meat".

    People in China used to make la rou in in December in preparation for the Chinese New Year.

  10. The name might have come from the idea that Ya Cai is as tender as young sprout.

    Dejah is right.

    Unfortunately, sometime the ability to read Chinese Characters on product names can actually mislead you more about what it is. :wacko:

    I also had the hardest time in trying to figuring out why Ya Cai , a fermented tender leaves of mustard green, is called spout vegetable in Chinese.

    This is another case of poetic Chinese name that has nothing to do with content of the dish; other examples such as Fish-Fragrant Pork, Lion’s Head and Lychee Pork come to mind.

    I guess this is why we have so many different topics to talk about on this forum. :biggrin:

  11. Qing, what do you mean by it resembling the germ?


    I think Qing used the term "germ" to mean spout, seed, as in germination.

    發芽 is germinate in Chinese

    芽菜/Ya Cai literally mean sprout vegetable in Chinese

    The name might have come from the idea that Ya Cai is as tender as young sprout.

    "碎米 Sui Mi" is indeed part of the brand name for Ya Cai, google returns close to 800

    search resaults for this brand; I guess it is the crème de la crème of Ya Cai.

    Qing, please correct me if this were wrong, I am here to learn. :biggrin:


  12. 糍粑辣椒 Zi Ba pepper

    糍粑 (Zi Ba) means the Fried ricecake cake, and actually, it is a chlli pepper combination.

    The Zi Ba pepper is a Guizhou standard seasoning. It has selects spicily but is not fierce. For process the fresh pepper, use clear water soaks , then enter the right amount spring ginger root,  and pound with the garlic cloves together. So it looks like the fried rice cake.

    Sometimes people add ground pork inside as well.


    Once again, thank you for the information.

    Guizhou food is not well known, in fact, I can only think of one dish - Sour fish Soup (hotpot).

    Maybe you or someone from the region can give us an introduction.


  13. The best quality of Ya Cai 芽菜 comes from Yi Bin, the same place where Wuliangye liquor was made. It became easy to find at most of Chinese supper markets in New York (Especially in Queens). Since four years ago, it was introduced  by one of the food import company I worked .

    Each package Ya Cai 芽菜 is 50 grams, and it says 四川宜宾碎米芽菜.

    By the way, Pcbilly, you did a really good research on Sichuan food, and I like your in-depth questions.


    Thank you for the information.

    I will look for it next time I go to my local Chinese market.

    Also, what else can you do with Ya Cai beside in DanDan Mein and why is it "碎米" Ya cai ? (You have notice that I like to ask questions :biggrin:).

  14. Two version of Kunpao chicken are all using diced chicken. Personally, I prefer dark meat better. For the usage of Zi Ba pepper, Sichuan chefs call Zi Ba Chicken for Guizhou version Kungpao Chicken. If you notes one of the most popular dish in Grand Sichuan, Guizhou chicken is very similar to Zi Ba chicken.

    I prefer the dark meat too.

    Can you list the Chinese name for Zi Ba pepper and how is it different from the Sichuan

    peppers ?

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