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  1. There are all kinds of combinations you can do and I think most are around using chili sauce, light soy sauce, diluted with water and add some other things. You can try something like this: Get a jar of garlic chili paste. Many Asian stores have them. Some taste better than the others. Use about 2 spoonful of garlic chili past. Dilute it with boiled water, ratio about 5 to 1. Then add in 3 spoonful of light soy sauce (the salty one). Add in some aromatic things to jazz up the taste: suggestions - fried garlic, fried shallot, chopped green onions, small amount of grated ginger, chopped cilantro, etc.. Can add a little bit of ground black pepper, or freshly chopped Sichuan peppercorns (Hua Jiao) on top.
  2. Lao Gan Ma (老干妈) is the brand name. They do have different products, all using "old god mom"'s picture in the label. Personally I think their chili staff is a bit overly MSG-ish. Taste good but I don't use too much in one setting. Typically as a condiment/add-on when eating soup noodles and such. You can certainly use it for cooking if you like. This jar - the label said "chicken oil" chili. Supposedly they used chicken fat. I think they do, but not entirely 100% chicken fat. Probably some. I don't think they would add chicken meat in it though.
  3. Thanks xiaobao. The heat was on high. I wish I have a wok burner but I don't. That's just a regular gas range in American kitchens. How not to burn the meat? Stir it often I guess. Never thought of it.
  4. Yeah... I only surface for air once in a while and go back to a deep dive. Those fermented black beans dry out over time. Still edible but lost a good amount of the flavor. The best is to consume within a few months. I used to think I could keep cheese forever too, LOL.
  5. Welcome back from the world to California, aznsailorboi! Glad to see some old handle names. You experiment and adjust the rice-flour ratio. More rice flour, more hard. Less rice flour, more soft. The rice flour is the "binding agent" to glue all ingredients together. Because it tastes bland, more rice flour also takes away the flavor from the daikon. Here is a series of pictures where someone made daikon cakes. It's in Chinese but you can get the idea on the process if not the exact recipe. http://www.wretch.cc/blog/mitong/22955321
  6. Wow these are really huge shiitake mushroom! About 2 decades ago these mushrooms used to be very expensive. But these days, perhaps due to technology advancement in growing them, prices on flower mushrooms have come down significantly.
  7. Maybe trying to keep out the small bugs. If so, apparently didn't work.
  8. I am so glad that you like it, Alcuin. I vary the dry spices to put in sometimes. A little bit of black pepper. Coriander seeds. Cinnamon versus Chinese cinnamon. The only one that I found not working quite well was cumin. Even dried sliced licorice - I found it soothing.
  9. On second thought, the cummin spice may be too overpowering.
  10. Alcuin: What you mentioned... I posted a recipe a while back: Beef Shank Braised with Five Spice and Soy Sauce (五香牛腱) In that recipe, I used Lee Kum Kee's bottled "master sauce". You actually can forgo that. Just create your own master sauce using the ingredients and method listed in the opening post.
  11. I just made some soy sauce chicken last night. I am happy with the result. I am jotting down the ingredients and portions I used to make the "Master Sauce" (Lo Shui). My measurements are approximate. You don't need to follow them to the exact. In fact, alter it and experiment with it to create your own. The "Master Sauce" - the initial pot: - 2 cups of dark soy sauce - 1 cup of light soy sauce - 1 cup of sweet soy sauce (kecap manis) - 3 cups of water - 1/2 cup of Shao Xing rice wine - 1 small whole onion, peeled and wedged - 4 to 5 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed - 1 green onion, cut in about 1-inch pieces - 3 to 4 inches length of fresh ginger, cut into thick slices For the spices: - 3 teaspoons of fennel seeds - 3 teaspoons of cloves - 3 to 4 whole cardamom - chop them into big pieces or crack them - 20 star anises, break them up - 2 sticks of cinnamon, hand-break them into small shreds - 3 teaspoons of Sichuan peppercorn - 2 to 3 pieces of dried tangerine peels (chan pei) - About 3 big cubes (each about 2-inch x 2-inch x 1-inch) of rock sugar (Note: you may also add cummin seeds, white or black peppercorns if you like.) (Note 2: If you want to take time to cook, use whole spices. Don't use the powder form. The result from cooking with whole spices is so much better.) Pour all the ingredients into a medium-size pot. Bring the sauce to a boil. Do an initial boiling for about 5 minutes. Then reduce the heat to a simmer. Let it bubble for about 3 hours. There... you have a pot of "Master Sauce" freshly made. You may use the sauce for flavoring all Cantonese braised dishes (e.g. beef brisket, abalone, pork belly, etc.)... or use it to cook soy sauce chicken. Or use it to cook tea eggs. For home-cooked soy sauce chicken... I only do split chicken breast with ribs and not a whole chicken. You may cook a small whole chicken with it. (I am not sure if the above portion is enough to cover the chicken, so adjust if needed). Bring the sauce to a high-heat boil. Add the chicken/breasts/thighs. Boil for about 13 minutes or so. Turn off the heat. Let the chicken/breasts/thighs continue to cook in the sauce for about 15 to 20 more minutes at least. Remove, chop up and serve with some braising liquid. This pot of "Master Sauce" is like the mother dough of your sour dough bread. Filter out all the spices and residues. Save the liquid only in the freezer. (It won't even freeze up) Next time you make another round of soy sauce chicken: add more ingredients of everything. The soy sauces - probably use about one quarter of the portion suggested above. Spices - about the same. Rock sugar - only 1 cube.
  12. The problem with this recipe is that it uses too little ingredient portions to make the eggs. I can understand it... someone wants to make 4 to 5 eggs, so they use a little bit of this a little bit of that, and so not ending up with a big pot of sauce after cooking. But think about it... if the simmering sauce is only like 1-inch deep in the pan/pot, how can the eggs be flavored fully? The cooking time seems too short too. A better approach is: use more soy sauce, water, spices, etc.. Make a big pot of tea-egg braising sauce. Make sure each egg is fully submerged in the sauce. Simmer them for a few hours (min 2 to 3 hours). Let the eggs cool and soaked in the sauce. (But 2 to 3 hours should be long enough that the eggs are ready to be served.) Afterwards, you filter out the residue from the sauce and save the sauce in a plastic container. Put it in a freezer and re-use it next time you make the eggs again. Each time you cook tea eggs, put in more soy sauce, water, spices, etc. and repeat the cycle.
  13. What you had described seemed to be the common "red braised" cooking method. There are many different recipes to "brew" you own brown sauce, or "seasoned broth", or "red braise liquid". Typically it is a combination of thick/dark soy sauce, "five spice" combination, rock sugar, water. The meat or protein you cook using the red braise liquid will in turn add flavor to the liquid and shall be kept and re-used the next time. The process is repeated. And with each time you add some more soy/spices/sugar/water. Take a look at a post I made a while back. That should give you a starting point. I cooked beef shank in the recipe but it should suit you well. Use pork stomach instead of beef shank. Beef Shank Braised with Five Spice and Soy Sauce (五香牛腱)
  14. hzrt8w

    Four banquets

    Ha! The joke was on me! Sorry I didn't read carefully enough.
  15. Thanks for your kind words Big Joe. I expected that Sa Cha sauce is probably not common "up north" from Guangdong. Red Vinegar? Really? I thought that is a pan-China thing like rice wine. Are there local grocery markets geared for southerners? There should be as there are plenty of Cantonese restaurants in Beijing these days too, no?
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