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Everything posted by hzrt8w

  1. Congee (Jook) with Salted Pork and Thousand Year Eggs (皮蛋瘦肉粥) Congees, or Jook in Cantonese, are day-to-day food in Hong Kong as breakfast, lunch or a mid-afternoon light snack. There are many ingredients you may choose from, ranging from pork, beef, fish filet to the more exotic "pork blood" and "chicken intestines". You may find congee in restaurants specialized in dim sum or Cantonese style cooking. Have you ever thought of making congee at home? It is really easy if you have a crockpot. The basic steps for making congee from rice grains are the same. This time, I made congee with salted pork and thousand year eggs (pei dan [Cantonese]). You may substitute them with different ingredients. The easiest way is to start making congee the night before. Then you can have congee in time for a late breakfast or brunch. Serving suggestion: 4-5 Start the night before. I used 1 lb of pork loin. Cut the pork into thick, roughly 1 inch by 1 inch cubes. Use a mid-size tupperware to hold the pork. Add about 1 cup of salt. Slightly bury the pork with salt. Don't worry, you will rinse off the salt the following day before using it for cooking. Seal the container and leave it in the refrigerator overnight. Use a small size crockpot (slow cooker). Mine is about 3 quarts. Fill it with water to about 80% full. Set for "auto" (the crockpot will switch between high and low automatically). Use 2 small cups of rice (note the size of the measuring cups for rice cookers). Slightly rinced. Add to the crockpot. Close the lid. Leave it on overnight. Note: If you don't want to leave the crockpot on all night, or to speed up the process, set it at high and cook for 3 to 4 hours. The next morning, about 2 to 3 hours before serving: Take out the container from the refrigerator. Rince away the salt from the pork. Add the pork to the crockpot. Close the lid. Change the setting to "high". Let it cook for 2 to 3 hours. Prepare some gingers, about a 1/2 inch cut, shred it. Use 1 green onion, finely chopped. Use 2 thousand year eggs. Peel and use a small knife to cut into small wedges. Scoop up a bowl of congee with salted pork. Add the thousand year eggs, ginger shreds and green onions. Finished. Customery condiments: salt, light soy sauce and ground white pepper
  2. Many who know me on EGullet know that I don't use a wok to cook Chinese food. I have been using flat frying pans to cook all my meals since I came to the USA for college back in the late 70's. I didn't bother with getting a wok primarily because I feel that using a wok without an adequate heat source is not effective. One thing that I always amused myself with is reading online bulletin board comments, that when someone is getting excited about learning how to cook Chinese food... before he/she even buys any Chinese cookbook, the first thing he/she would do is to buy a wok! And... typically... a "non-stick" wok with flat bottom so one can use it over an electric stove, and a plastic spatula. Anyway, things are about to change... All because I happened to see this gas burner for sale in the local grocery market at only US$32.00: It has 4 rings. The diameter is about 8 inches. Just use a portable natural gas tank. Nice. I was hoping to find some burner that uses compressed air to boost the heat but so far I haven't seen one available in the USA. That just got me interested to start a project on my stove and wok shopping. I am posting my photo journal to share with all of you on my thought process in evaluating different burners/woks and related equipment. The burner that I saw, of course, is far less powerful than the one posted by infernooo: My new wok burner, 120000 BTU/hr! but it is still pretty nice to have. Assuming that I am going to get that burner, my next task is to shop for a good wok, then go through the proper way to season it, etc.. In the same shop, I have found only 2 different models. The first one: is a cast-iron wok, about 28 inches in diameter. I rejected this wok right away because: 1) It is very heavy. There is no way to pick up the wok and toss the food around. 2) It has 2 small "ears" but no handle. I like to use the handle to toss the food around when cooking, the same way I do with the frying pans. The second model: is a stainless-steel (I think - but it's all black in color) wok, about 18 inches in diameter. This looks promising. It is not too big, and not too small. It looks just about right. It has a round bottom, not flat. I picked it up with my left hand and practice the tossing motion and it felt about right. I took the second wok to placed it on top of the burner. It wasn't a perfect fit. The wok was too small to rest on the outer tripod. It was resting on the smaller, inner tripod. The wok could wobble a little bit. I am not sure if this would cause problems. I haven't come to any conclusion yet. I need to shop around some more for different wok models and, possibly, burner models. I will make a trip to San Francisco to see better selections if I have too... Any comments and idea sharings are appreciated!
  3. Pork Neck Bone Soup with Lotus Root (蓮藕豬骨湯) Today is Chinese New Year. I would like to present a soup that is typical for the new year. Lotus roots and dried oysters are very common in dishes served around the new year. Lotus root symbolizes "continuous", while dried oyster symbolizes "prosperity". I wish everyone to have a prosperous year in the Year of the Dog. Picture of the finished dish: Serving Suggestion: 10 Preparations: Main ingredients: (From left, clockwise) - Lotus roots, about 3 to 4 lb - Pork neck bone, about 2 lb - 1 dried squid or dried octopus - 6 to 7 dried oysters - 5 dried conpoy (dried scallops) - 12 dried black mushrooms - A handful of raw peanuts (about 1/4 cup) - A handful of red beans (about 1/8 to 1/4 cup) - 3 pieces of dried tangerine peels (Chan Pei) - (Not shown in picture) About 20 dried jujube dates Use a mixing bowl, soak the red beans, dried tangerine peels and dried black mushrooms for at least 4 hours. (Drain before cooking.) Soak the dried squid/octopus. (Drain before cooking.) Use a small bowl, soak the dried conpoy (scallops) separately. (You can add the soaking liquid to the soup.) After the reconstituted black mushrooms turn soft, trim off the stems and cut into halves. Cut the reconstituted squid into a few big pieces. Trim and discard the connecting ends of the lotus roots. Cut into slices, about 3/4 inch thick. Cooking Instructions: The following is to illustrate the "double boiling" technique in Cantonese soup making. First, place the pork neck bones in a pot. Fill with just enough water to cover all bones. Set for a boil. Boil the pork neck bones for about 3 minutes. Use a strainer to drain off the hot water. Rinse the bones and cleanse off any suds. Clean the pot. Add about 15 cups of water (1/3 of this pot). Return the pork neck bones to the pot. Bring to a boil. Then turn down the heat to a simmer. Simmer the bones for 1 to 1 1/2 hour. Add the soaked red beans, reconstituted black mushrooms, squid, dried conpoy, dried oysters, dried tangerine peels, raw peanuts and dried jujube dates. Continue to simmer for another hour. This is what the soup looks like after 2 1/2 hour of simmering. Finally, add the lotus root slices. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer. Simmer for another 1 to 1.5 hour. This is what the soup looks like when it's ready. Add 1 to 2 tsp of salt (or to taste). Stir well. Scoop onto serving bowls. Picture of the finished soup.
  4. 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.
  5. I would like to start this thread to post some guides to buying ingredients to cooking Chinese food, such as sauces, fresh produce and dried goods. This is for the benefits of those who are not familiar with Chinese cooking ingredients. Each page will have a picture accompanying with the description of the item, and some tips on where to find them and what to look for, and (if any) my favorite brand. Feel free to add comments. At some point, I will create an index page for easy references. Over time, we will have a comprehensive list.
  6. 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.
  7. Soy Sauce Chow Mein with Chicken (豉油王鸡丝抄麺 ) There was a question about "Soy Sauce Chow Mein" brought up on this board. I have decided to show you my way of making this dish. I also have decided to cook it with some shredded chicken meats. You may use sliced beef, peeled shrimp, sliced BBQ pork or other meats of your choice. The process is very similar. Or leave it as plain soy sauce chow mein. They all taste wonderful. CAUTION: The sequences shown illustrated using cooking wine over a pan of hot oil to induce a flame. If you have poor ventilation or do not want to risk fire hazards, skip the part of using cooking wine. Serving Suggestion: 2 to 3 Main ingredients: Cantonese egg noodles, 1 piece of boneless chicken breast (about 1/2 to 3/4 lb), 1/2 of a small onion, 2 green onions, bean sprouts (only a handful). If the noodles are curled up into fist-size balls, use about 4 to 5 of them (about 1/2 to 3/4 lb). Uncoil and shake the noodles with your fingers. Make them a little bit fluffy. Take the chicken breast. Trim off the fat. Cut up the meat into long and narrow strips. Use a small mixing bowl to marinate the chicken meat. Use 1 tsp of ground white pepper, 2 tsp of sesame oil, 1 tsp of ShaoHsing cooking wine, 2 tsp of light soy sauce, and 1 tsp of corn starch. Mix well. Set aside to marinate for at least 20 minutes. Meanwhile, boil a small pot of water. When the water is boiling, add the noodles to the pot. Cook the noodles until el dante. Cooking time depends on the types of noodles used. If those are fresh noodles, which cook very fast, only 1 to 2 minutes. If those are dried noodles, it may take up to between 5 to 10 minutes. Adjust your cooking time accordingly. Do not overcook the noodles. Immediately remove the noodles and put them on a strainer. Run them under cold water and drain. (Set noodles on a strainer and drain well.) Prepare the other ingredients: Cut 1/2 onion into small wedges. Cut the green onions diagonally (trim the ends). (Not shown: wash and drain the bean sprouts). Use a small bowl, mix 3 tsp of light soy sauce (for saltiness) and 3 tsp of dark soy sauce (for rich flavor). Prepare about 1 to 2 tsp (no more) of ShaoHsing cooking wine (shown contained in the bottle cap). Use a pan/wok, set for high heat over the stove. Use about 2 tblsp of cooking oil to velvet the marinated chicken. Cooking until the meats show no more pink color. Remove. Note: The following sequences of photos occurred during a very short time frame. The technique is important. So I have slowed down the process for you, frame by frame. Start with a clean pan/wok. Set for high heat over the stove. Add a generous amount of cooking oil, about 3 to 4 tblsp. Keep heating up the pan/wok until the oil start fuming. Don't start prematurely or else you won't achieve the desired taste. You have to do the following 5 steps very quickly. First: add the wedged onions and sliced green onions onto the pan. Stir for about 3 seconds. Immediate add the capful of cooking wine. CAUTION: This will induce a big flame. If you don't have good ventilation or do not want to risk fire hazards, skip the cooking wine. I tried to take a picture of the flame. But during the half a second that it flared up, the flame overexposed the image. I ended up with a picture where every looked dark. Second: The flame will last for only about half a second. When it has subsided, immediately add the bowl of light soy and dark soy sauce mixture. Third: The mixed soy sauce will boil almost instantly. That's a desireable effect. Stir once very quickly. Fourth: Immediately, add the noodles to the pan. Fifth: Also add the bean sprouts. Stir the noodles and bean sprouts and toss. Make sure that the soy sauce is evenly distributed in the noodles. Cook for about 1 to 2 minutes. Re-add the chicken shreds to the pan. Stir-fry for another minute or 2. Finished. (Note: the quantity shown here is about half of the quantity made.)
  8. Pictorial Recipe Joong/Jongzi (Sticky Rice Wrapped in Bamboo Leaves) (鹹肉粽) The fifth day of the fifth month (Lunar Calendar) is Dragon Boat Festival. The traditional treat for this festival is "Joong" [Cantonese], or "Jongzi" [Mandarin]. It is made from sticky rice and other ingredients/seasoning wrapped in a few bamboo leaves and boiled for a couple of hours. When ready to serve, simply heat up the joong and peel off the bamboo leaves. I made 40+ joongs this year. This is a series of illustrations on how to make joong (with salted pork and other ingredients (we call "liu")). The cooking part is easy. Most of the efforts goes into preparations. If you are learning how to make joong, don't need to make that many. Try making 5 or 10 to practice. Reduce the ingredient quantities proportionally. Picture of the finished dish: Serving Suggestion: 40 Preparations: Main ingredients: - Sticky rice (5 lb bag), use 2 1/2 bags (about 12-13 lbs) - Mung beans (12 oz package), use 3 packs - Salted eggs x 18 (3 packs, 6 eggs in each pack) or more - Dried conpoy, about 30 - Dried black mushrooms, about 30 to 40 - Pork butt or pork shoulder, about 2 lb - Raw peanuts (12 oz package), use 2 packs - Chestnuts (ready to eat, 12 oz package), use 3 packs - Dried shrimp (12 oz package), use 2 packs - Laap Cheung (Chinese sausage). Use 10 (1 pack) - 1 bag of dried bamboo leaves, about 150 Qty - 1 roll of small strings to tie the joong This is a bag of sticky rice, 5 lb package. Use 2 1/2 bags. These are mung beans, 12 oz packages. Use 3 packs. These are salted eggs, 6 eggs in each package. Use 3 packs (or more). A close-up view of the salted eggs. Dried conpoy. Use about 30. Dried black mushrooms. Use about 30 to 40. Pork Butt. Use about 2 lb. Raw peanuts. 12 oz in a package. Use 2 packs would be enough. Close-up view of the raw peanut package. Chestnuts, already shelled and cooked, ready to eat. Use 3 packs. Close-up view of the chestnut package. Note: If you use raw chestnuts, you need to precook them and shell them before wrapping. Dried shrimp, 4 oz in a package. Use 2 packs. Laap Cheung (Chinese sausage). There are different flavors. I used the ones made with duck livers. There are 10 sausages in a package. Use 1 pack. Dried bamboo leaves. Depending on how you wrap your joongs, you use 2, 3 or 4 leaves to wrap each one. I used 4 because my joongs are big. You may use 3 if they are smaller. Budget about 10% extra because some leaves do break during wrapping and cannot be used. Left-over, soaked bamboo leaves can be dried and store away for next year. They are very inexpensive anyway. (US$1.50 for a bag of 150 leaves or so). Close-up view of the dried bamboo leave bundle. The preparation of making joong starts the day before because many ingredients need to be soaked in water overnight. Day 1: Soak the sticky rice. Make sure you have enough water to cover the top. Soak the mung beans. Make sure you have enough water to cover the top. They expand quite a bit. Soak the dried conpoy. Soak the black mushrooms. Soak the raw peanuts. Cut the pork butt into big pieces (1 inch by 2 inches). 1 piece of pork per joong. To marinate (for 2 lb of meat): Add 2-3 tsp of light soy sauce, 2-3 tsp of dark soy sauce, 1-2 tsp of salt, 4 tsp of Shao Hsing cooking wine, 1 tsp of ground white pepper, 3-4 tsp of five spice powder. Mix the ingredients well. Store in the refrigerator overnight. Soak the bamboo leaves overnight in a small water bin. Use something such as a soup bowl to weigh down the leaves to make sure they are all immersed in water. Day 2: (1 hour before wrapping) Soak the dried shrimp. It doesn't take long for them to become soft. Drain the water from the soaked black mushrooms. Trim ends and cut mushrooms into thin slices (or dices). Cut the Chinese sausages diagonally into 1/4 slices. Break open all salted eggs. Separate the egg white from egg yolk. (Only use the egg yolks to make joong.) I cut the yolks into halves. You may use whole ones if you like. Open the packages of the ready-to-eat chestnuts. Drain the water from the soaked dried conpoy. (You may save the soaking liquid for cooking other dishes.) Pul the conpoy into shreds by hand. Use a pan/wok. Set stove to high. Wait until pan is hot. Add 3 tblsp of cooking oil. Drain the water from the soaked dried shrimp. Add the shrimp to the pan. Fry for a minute or two. Add the sliced black mushrooms. Mix well and stir-fry for another 2 minutes. Dash in 2-3 Shao Hsing cooking wine and 3 tsp of dark soy sauce. Mix well and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside. Drain the water from the soaking sticky rice. For each 4lb portion (there are 3 portions total), add 3-4 tsp of dark soy sauce, 1 tblsp of cooking oil and 1/2 to 1 tsp of salt. Mix the dark soy sauce, oil and salt with the stick rice well. Also, drain off the water from all other ingredients (e.g. mung beans, peanuts, etc.). Retreive the marinated pork from the refrigerator. This is how the bamboo leaves look after being soaked overnight. Drain the water from the bin. Boil one pot of water. Pour the pot of boiling water onto the bin. There are 2 reasons for this: 1) Sterilizatoin - killing off the molds that reside on the bamboo leaves. 2) Makes the leaves soft to make wrapping easier. (Note: Many recipes call for boiling the bamboo leaves in a big pot or on a wok. Chef Dejah also suggested adding a little bit of vinegar in the water to make the leaves softer.) Day 2: Wrapping of a joong There are different wrapping methods. I am showing mine which uses 3 to 4 bamboo leaves. There is an excellent web page (produced in Taiwan) that shows a video on how to wrap a joong. The page is written in Chinese. Click on the link at the upper left corner to view the video (about 7 minutes). The video was narrated in both Mandarin and English. They wrap a small joong with only 2 leaves, but form a perfect tetrahedron shape. Perhaps I should do that next year. http://edu.ocac.gov.tw/culture/chinese/cul...ml/vod14_09.htm Take one leave. Make it into a U-shape. Take a second leave. Wrap on the outside of the first leave. This extends the "wall" to surround the joong ingredients. Hold the 2 leaves in one hand. It becomes easier to hold them when you have added the ingredients onto the leaves. First add a few tblsp of sticky rice. Add the mung beans. Add the "highlight" ingredients: salted pork, salted egg yolk (half), 2 pieces of laap cheung. Add shreds of conpoy, 1 or 2 chestnuts. Add the stir-fried dried shrimp, black mushrooms and peanuts. At this stage, add a third bamboo leave to extend the "wall" to hold the ingredients. Add more mung beans. Finish off with adding more sticky rice. You may add a fourth leave to make it easier to close the joong. Just close the side and hold on to it in one hand. Start to tie the string but wrapping it around the bamboo leaves. Wrap it around by 7 to 8 times or so. Close out the bottom of the joong by folding the leave ends back up towards the center. Wrap the string around the leave ends to secure. This is how the joong looks like when the string is tied. Repeat the same process to make more joongs until the ingredients are used up. Cooking Instructions: Cooking is the easy part. Just use a big pot. Lay the joongs inside the pot. Fill the pot up with water. Boil the joongs (with lid on) for about 2 hours. Add more water once about an hour into boiling. Reduce the stove setting to medium from high after the initial boil. Remove the joongs from the pot and serve. You may need to divide the joongs into different batches and boil them one batch at a time, as most of us don't have a pot big enough to hold 40+ joongs. Joongs may be kept in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. They also survive the freezing process rather well. If you make a big batch, you may spread it out the next couple of months to enjoy. Serve each joong individually. Cut the strings and unwrap. Discard the bamboo leaves. Picture of the finished dish. Serve with some slightly sweetened dark soy sauce.
  9. Hairy Melon Stir-fried with Mung Bean Threads (蝦米粉絲炒毛瓜) This is a very simple recipe: stir-frying hairy melons with dried shrimp and mung bean threads, flavored with oyster sauce. Picture of the finished dish: Serving Suggestion: 2 to 3 Preparations: Main ingredients: (from top left, clockwise) 2 hairy melons (about 1 1/2 lb), 2 bundles of mung bean threads, 3 to 4 cloves of garlic, a handful of dried shrimp, about 10 dry black mushrooms. Hairy melons: peel, trim both ends, cut into roughly 1 inch by 2 inch pieces. Soak the black mushrooms in warm water for about 1 to 2 hours. Trim off stems and cut into thin slices. Soak the mung bean threads in warm water for about 1 hour. Soak dry shrimp in warm water for about 15 minutes. Mince the garlic. Cooking Instructions: Use a pan/wok, set stove at high, add about 2 tblsp of cooking oil, wait until oil starts fuming. Add minced garlic, soaked dry shrimp and sliced mushrooms. Add a pinch of salt (suggest: 1/4 tsp). Stir-fry for 30 seconds and let the fragrance release from the dry shrimp and dry mushrooms. Dash in 1 tsp of ShaoHsing cooking wine. Stir well. Add the hairy melon. Pour in about 3 tsp of oyster sauce, 1/4 cup of chicken broth and 1/4 cup of water. Stir well. Bring the mixture to a boil and continue to cook with the lid on. About 10 minutes. Stir occassionally. Add more water if the mixture becomes too dry. When the hairy melon is about done, create an opening in the middle of the pan. Add the soaked mung bean thread. Continue to cook for a few minutes until the bean threads turn soft and soak up the liquid in the melon mixture. Note: You may want to use a pair of scissors to cut the mung bean thread after it softens up. This makes serving this dish easier. The finished dish. The quantity of food made in this recipe is about twice the portion shown in this picture.
  10. I want to dedicate this thread to share some Chinese cooking techniques, some of which may be handed down from one generation to another... tips that you don't normally find in cookbooks. Some of these steps may seem insignificant, but they can make the difference between a mediocre dish and an extrodinary dish.
  11. Chicken with Lemon Grass and Black Bean Sauce (香茅豉汁鸡) I have tasted one dish in a Vietnamese/Chinese restaurant. They used lemon grass to stir-fry diced chicken with fermented black beans. The fragrance of lemon grass has given this dish a characteristic taste. I really love it. Suggested serving size: 4-5 Ingredients: Chicken breast (1 1/2 lb, about 4 pieces), lemon grass (use 1/2 stalk), onion (1 small-size), garlic (about 5-6 cloves), fermented black beans (2 tblsp). Not shown: chili pepper or jalapeno (1/2). Trim the fat and dice the chicken breast into 1 inch cubes. Sauces to marinade the chicken: Sesame oil (3 tblsp), fish sauce (3 tblsp), Shaoshing cooking wine (1.5 tblsp), ground white pepper (1.5 tblsp), corn starch (2 tblsp). Use a mixing bowl. Combine the diced chicken with all marinade ingredients. Mix well. Set aside to marinate for 30 minutes to 2 hours. Minced the garlic. Chop 1/2 stalk of lemon grass. Discard the most outer layers and trim off the top 4 inches. First make about 3 cuts along the stem, then make the cross cuts in very fine increments. Peel and wedge 1 small onion. (Not shown: cut 1/2 chili pepper (e.g. jalapeno) into thin slices. Also, rinse, drain and mash the fermented black beans.) Velvet the marinated chicken first. Use a pan/wok over high heat, add 3 tblsp cooking oil. Add chicken. Stir. Cook until chicken is closed to done (pink color just disappeared). Remove from pan and drain. After removing the chicken, add 1 tblsp cooking oil. Heat until oil starts fuming. Add minced garlic, lemon grass, mashed fermented black beans and sliced chili pepper. Add a pinch of salt (to taste, or skip). Stir and cook for 20 seconds. Add wedged onions. Stir. Cook for 1 minute. Dash in 1 tblsp of white vinegar. Stir. Add about 1/2 cup of chicken broth (or water if you don't have chicken broth). Add 2 tblsp of fish sauce and 1 tblsp of sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil. Add cornstarch slurry to thicken the sauce to the right consistency. Re-add the chicken back in the pan. Stir well. Cook for another minute to heat up the chicken. Finished. The finished dish. Notes: This dish is basically the same as the Cantonese Chicken with Black Bean Sauce, with the addition of lemon grass. Variations: you may add green bell pepper to this dish, or use other types of meat instead of chicken (e.g. beef, shrimp).
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Pictorial Recipe Stir-Fried Chicken and Asparagus with Black Bean Sauce (豉汁蘆筍炒鸡片) Asparagus is not a vegetable used in traditional Chinese cooking, but it is a wonderful adaptation to traditional Chinese recipes such as stir-frying with chicken and black bean sauce. Picture of the finished dish: Serving Suggestion: 2 to 3 Preparations: Main ingredients (from right, clockwise): - 3 chicken breasts, about 1 1/4 lb - Asparagus, about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 lb - Garlic, use 4-5 cloves - (Not shown) Ginger, about 2-inch in length - (Not shown) Fermented black beans, about 4-5 tsp Trim fat off the chicken breasts. Cut into thick slices, about 1/4 inch thick. Trim the tough ends off the asparagus and discard. Cut into roughly 2 inches in length diagonally. Peel and mince about 4-5 cloves of garlic. Grate the ginger (use about 2-inch in length). Slightly rinse about 4-5 tsp of fermented black beans in a small bowl. Use the back of a metal spoon to smash the fermented black beans into a paste. Add the minced garlic and grated ginger. Press and stir the mixture into a paste. Place the chicken slices in a mixing bowl. To marinate the chicken, add 1 tsp of ground white pepper, 2 tsp of light soy sauce, 1 tsp of corn starch, 1-2 tsp of oyster sauce, 1-2 tsp of ShaoHsing cooking wine, 1 tsp of sesame oil. Mix well. Set aside for about 30 minutes before cooking. Cooking Instructions: Use a wok/pan, set stove at high temperature. Add 3-4 tblsp of frying oil, wait until oil gets hot. Velvet the chicken slices in oil. Remove the chicken when there is "no more pink color". Continue cooking with the wok/pan. Add 2-3 tblsp of cooking oil. Heat for 30 seconds or so. Add the black bean, garlic, ginger paste. Add 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste). Stir well. Fry the black bean paste for 20-30 seconds until the fragrance is released. Dash in 2 tsp of ShaoHsing cooking wine. Add the asparagus. If you like this dish dry, add only 2 tblsp of chicken broth. If you want a saucy dish, add 1/4 cup of chicken broth. (Near the end add some corn starch slurry to thicken the sauce.) Bring the mixture to a boil. Asparagus cooks rather fast. It takes only 2 to 3 minutes. Don't overcook. Return the velveted chicken slices. Stir well and cook for another minute or two. Dash in 1 to 2 tsp of dark soy sauce. Thicken the sauce with corn starch slurry if necessary. Finished. Transfer to a serving plate. Picture of the finished dish. (Note: The quantity of food made in this recipe is about twice the portion shown in this picture.)
  15. hzrt8w

    Radish/Turnip Cake

    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
  16. 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.
  17. hzrt8w

    Dried Stockfish

    Maybe trying to keep out the small bugs. If so, apparently didn't work.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. On second thought, the cummin spice may be too overpowering.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. Ma Po Tofu (麻婆豆腐) Ma Po Tofu is a Sichuan specialty. There are many versions of the Ma Po Tofu recipe. This pictorial is my interpretation of it. Dedicated to SuzySushi. Picture of the finished dish: Serving Suggestion: 3 to 4 Preparations Main ingredients: (From upper right, clockwise) 1/2 to 3/4 pound of ground pork, 2 stalks of green onions, 4 to 5 cloves of garlic, 5 to 6 small dried red chilies, ginger (about 1 inch in length), Sichuan peppercorn powder, 2 packs of silken (soft) tofu, 16 oz each. Note: You may use ground beef in place of ground pork, or use pressed tofu if you are a vegetarian. I like to use silken tofu for its soft and smooth texture. You may use firm tofu or regular tofu if you like. Roasting and grinding whole sichuan peppercorn is the best if you have time. I use Sichuan peppercorn powder for convenience. Marinating the ground pork: Use a mixing bowl. Add the ground pork. Add 1/2 to 1 tsp of ground white pepper, 1 tsp of sesame oil, 1 tsp of corn starch, 1 tsp of light soy sauce, and 1 tsp of ShaoHsing cooking wine. Mix all the ingredients. Set aside for 20 to 30 minutes before cooking. Meanwhile, trim off the ends of the green onions. Finely chop. Peel and mince the garlic. Grate the ginger. Cut up the dried red chilies into 1/2 inch pieces. Open the tofu packages. Use a small knief to make roughly 3x4 cross cuts. These silken tofu will break apart during cooking. No need to take them out of the box for cutting. Cooking Instructions: Use a wok/pan, set stove to high temperature. Wait until pan is hot. Add a generous 3 to 4 tblsp of cooking oil. Velvet the ground pork until cooked, about 5 minutes. Use the spatula to cut up the lumps of the ground pork. Try to break up the pork as much as you can. Remove the pork and drain the oil with a strainer. Start with a clean wok/pan, set stove to high temperature. Add 2 to 3 tblsp of cooking oil. Wait until oil starts fuming. Add cut dried red chilies. They will turn black very quickly. You need to act fast. Add minced garlic and grated ginger. Add 2 tsp of chili bean sauce, 4 to 5 tsp of hoisin sauce, perhaps 1 to 2 tsp of brown bean sauce too. Stir. Dash in 2 tsp of ShaoHsing cooking wine and 1 tsp of white vinegar. (Optional: add some chili sauce if you like it hot and spicy. No need to add salt because the chili bean sauce and chicken broth are already salty, or you may add a pinch of salt to taste.) Stir well and let the sauce/garlic/ginger cook for 10 to 15 seconds under high heat. Add 1/2 cup of chicken broth, 2 tsp of sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil. Fold in corn starch slurry (suggest: 1 to 2 tsp of corn starch and 1/8 cup of water) to thicken the sauce to the right consistency. Add the 2 packages of tofu. After you put in the tofu, minimize the stirring. Silken tofu breaks apart very easily. Wait until the mixture boils again. Finally, re-add the ground pork. Add the chopped green onions. Add 1 to 2 tsp of ground Sichuan peppercorn powder. Stir and mix. Cook for another 2 minutes or so. Finished. The finished dish. The quantity of food made in this recipe is about twice the portion shown in this picture.
  24. Ginseng Chicken Soup (人参雞湯) Dejah: This pictorial is dedicated to you! Ginseng Chicken Soup is actually very easy to make with a slow cooker. You may set up everything in the morning, get it started, go to work and come home to some delicious chicken soup. Finished soup: Serving suggestion: 4 to 5 Major ingredients: Chicken - about 2 lb, about 10 dry black mushrooms, 1 piece of white fungus, 4 to 5 pieces of ginseng, about 3 tblsp of wolfberries. The white fungus does not add any taste to the soup but offers a nice crunchy texture. I normally would use a cornish hen, about 2 pound, to make this pot of soup. This time I could only find some very small game hens. So I used two of them. Together they weighed about 2.5 pound. A close-up on the dry ingredients: (From top) about 10 dry black mushrooms, 1 piece of white fungus, 4 to 5 pieces of ginseng, about 3 tblsp of wolfberries. Soak the black mushrooms, white fungus in water for about 2 hours before cooking. Wolfberries just need to be soaked for a few minutes (or you may skip soaking entirely). The ginsengs don't need to be soaked. Trim the fat off the hens before cooking. First boil a pot of water. Cook the hens for about 3 minutes. Remove and place on a strainer. Rinse under cold water to wash away the blood and impurity. Note: I gave the second boiling a kick-start by boiling the hens in a second pot of water over the stove. This would save about 1 to 2 hours. You may start the second boiling in a slower cooker. Adjust for additional cooking time. Put the hens in a second pot of water, bring to a boil. Meanwhile, trim the stems on soaked black mushrooms. The stems can be added to make the soup but are not for consumption. Transfer the hens and boiling water to a small-size slow cooker (crockpot). Mine is about 3 quart. Add the soaked black mushrooms, wolfberries and ginsengs. Fill the cooker to about 90% full with water. Add a pinch of salt to taste (suggest 1/4 tsp). If the slow cooker is set for "high", prepare to cook for 6 hours. If the slow cooker is set for "auto shift", prepare to cook for 8 hours. If the slow cooker is set for "low", prepare to cook for 10 hours. Cut the soaked white fungus into bite-size pieces. Discard the portion near the bottom core. White fungus does not need to be cooked as long. Add to the slow cooker about half way through. If you won't be home to put it in half way through, just add it at the beginning. A picture of the soup when it's done. Scoop and serve on medium size bowls. The finished soup.
  25. Steamed Shrimp with Garlic (粉絲蒜蓉蒸蝦) This classical Cantonese steamed shrimp with garlic dish takes a little bit of work - mostly for slicing each shrimp in half. The rewarding taste of fresh shrimp in rich garlic steamed to perfection is well worth it. The mung bean threads placed at the bottom of the dish would soak up the juice from the shrimp and they taste wonderful. Picture of the finished dish: Serving Suggestion: 2 to 3 Preparations: Main ingredients: (From top right, clockwise) About 1 1/4 lb of medium size shrimp (with head). The larger the size the better (less work). About 1/4 of a stick of butter. At least one whole head of garlic (or maybe even 1 1/2). 3 bundles of dry mung bean threads. Some salt and light soy sauce. Not shown: 1 - 2 stalks of green onion. Soak the mung bean threads in warm water for at least 2 hours before cooking. This is the time-consuming part: cut each shrimp right in the middle into 2 halves. Use 2 steaming dishes/plates. Drain the soaked mung bean threads and lay half of them on each plate. Lay the halfed shrimp on each plate. It is easier (and better for presentation) to lay them one by one next to each other, with one plate of shrimp going clockwise and the other counterclockwise. Peel the garlic and mince them with a garlic press. Use at least 1 whole head of garlic. May be even 1 1/2 to 2 heads. You cannot get too much garlic with this dish. Also, finely chop 1 to 2 stalks of green onion. Cooking Instructions: Use a wok/pan. Set stove at high. Wait until pan is hot. Add 3 tblsp of cooking oil. Slice the 1/4 of a stick of butter and melt it in the cooking oil. Add all minced garlic. Add 2 to 3 tsp of salt. Sautee the garlic for about 2 minutes. Dash in about 2 tsp of light soy sauce. Stir well. Use a small spoon to spread the butter/garlic/salt/soy-sauce mixture onto the shrimp. Try to spread as even as you can. Use a double deck steamer (or steam the 2 plates separately if you don't have a double deck steamer), pre-boil the water. Steam the plate of shrimp for about 10 minutes. Finished. Sprinkle some chopped green onions on top before serving.