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Everything posted by Gastro888

  1. A picture of the bird's nest. A close up. Sorry about my hand; it's been dried out from all the Purell I was using in the hospital. Any comments on quality would be appreciated. I suppose since there is only a finite amount of bird's nest available, fake ones are bound to be on the market. This is something for yeet hay:
  2. Thanks for your help, Dejah, I appreciate it. Actually, I was thinking of you while my parents were in the hospital. Don't you volunteer/work at a language center that does medical translation? I vaguely remember something like that. I wished I had your number handy - translating congestive heart failure was rather tough.
  3. Thanks, aprilmei. I will try to add ham to the soup. That makes it sound like the shark fin's soup that we all have at wedding banquets. I just hope it works; at this price, it should be doing our taxes. I should upload a picture of it to get feedback on its quality. Again, I have no clue. It looks like shredded blue crab meat, actually. BTW, do you know of the "hoong che jai cha" my parents speak of? They are asking me to find it for them. All I find is Lipton from Asia, Ten Ren tea and other teas of questionable origin.
  4. My father had a massive heart attack, went into heart failure and a quadruple bypass. While my dad was in the hospital, my mother got hit in the head and fell, causing a concussion with a subdural hematoma. I want to make bird's nest tonic soup for them to improve their appetites, especially for my father. I was told yeen woh tong (Cantonese) would help stimulate an ill person's appetite. We got the shredded, separated "white" bird's nest, instead of the whole ones that were $600 for a box (A grade). First question(s): Does it matter if you get the shredded yeen woh? How much can/should one bargain the price for yeen woh at a reputable, high quality Chinese herbal shop? Do they really discount yeen woh that much? I guess as a Toisanese, I'm always wondering this question. The bird's nest shreds are pretty clean and they are in good condition. Then again, since I've never dun (double boiled) yeen woh tong (Cantonese), what do I know? Second question: What now? I was told to soak the yeen woh in several changes of cold water for at least five hours. Then make chicken broth (I have a stewing hen and broth from several young chickens), bring it to a boil, put that along with the yeen woh into my dhun bow (that ceramic vessel used for double boiled tonics) and dhun the tonic soup for about one hour and add a bit of salt to taste. Do this once a week for a month. Someone told me I could add Chinese slab sugar and egg whites as well. They are Malaysian so maybe that's why they do it that way. The main goal to put on the 20lbs that my father lost in one month. He's not gained one pound since he's been back home and we're all concerned. Thank you for your help. (My father promised my mother he'd go back to Hong Kong with her once he's fully recovered. We'll see if this helps him along. He keeps on talking about the "hoong chea jai cha" (little red car tea) that he would drink back in HK during the 1950-1960's. I told him when we go, we're going back to Toisan as well.)
  5. Not HK dish. It is called "gan xiao" [Mandarin] - meaning "dry cooked". I learned of it as a "Mandarin" style - not sure if it is Sichuan or Beijing or some other style. Just not Cantonese. Good to see you back Gastro mui mui! ← Ah Leung Dah Goh, happy holidays! Really, it's a northern style dish? That's interesting. I didn't know. The sauce is so yummy over rice. I tried making his dish the other night but I forgot one very important thing - SUGAR. ACK! I was wondering why it was so tart and tangy. My dad had a good chuckle on my behalf.
  6. For their mise en place, Chinese restaurants often marinate red meats in a mix of soy sauce, flour, white pepper and sesame oil to be used during service. So this, along with the soy sauce may trigger your wheat allergies.
  7. Thanks. Can you describe those black sesame rolls a little? They look moist. Are they agar agar with black sesame? [Edit: I realized I've gotten these elsewhere. But go ahead and describe them if you like.] ← Certainly not. Chestnut flour and sugar, I believe. ← Chestnut flour? Christ, if you're cooking at home. You know you only get the good stuff from grandma, momma and auntie. Nope. They're ground black sesame with glutinous rice flour. The chefs who are lazy may use gelatin but the "gee mah guen" are supposed to be made in the same way as cheong fun, with some tweaks.
  8. Hope everyone's having a wonderful holiday season! My father cooked twice this holiday - everything he cooks is great but there were two dishes in particular that were lovely. One was ketchup shrimp and the other was salt and pepper fried butter lobster. The ketchup shrimp were jumbo shrimp stir fried with garlic with a ketchup and Worcestershire sauce. Is this a typical HK dish? The lobster ("jew yem nyai yao loong ha") was great! He dusted the chopped up lobster with cornstarch, deep fried them for a few minutes and then stir-fried them with scallions, garlic, salt and butter. It was so tasty, we were gnawing on the shells. OK, it was just me.
  9. Gastro888

    Potato Salad

    Oddly enough, I can make Chinese roast pork belly but I'm a bit unsure of how to make a proper potato salad. I've eaten some in my life but I've never made it. Just wanted to get some hints on how to make a proper potato salad. For starters - -What's the "right" way to make it? -I'm using about 6 lbs of new potatoes, any hints on how to cook them properly without them getting mushy? -I have Japanese mayo and Hellman's to use - would this be bad if I mixed them both? -Are you supposed to put chopped celery in it? I was told that's necessary for crunch factor. True? False? -Are you supposed to peel the potatoes? Thanks for your help.
  10. It's a good point to make but nope, that's the standard letter. There might be some tweaks depending on your complaint but it's the standard letter that's sent out. Does anyone notice any difference in the honey that's used?
  11. That *is* the standard letter. Unfortunately, I doubt anyone's going to get much of any sort of response. At least they're offering a free case of yogurt. Kinda pointless if you're complaining about the quality of the yogurt in the first place. Still haven't tried Kessos. I'm tempted to make yogurt at home if I can find a tub of FAGE that was made in Greece and use that as a starter Maybe I'll just start saving up for a ticket to Greece so I can get my fix....
  12. This makes no sense at all. The product may or may not be the same, but it isn't because of the distribution infrastructure of upstate NY!... ← My previous post was in response to weinoo's post about logistics and distribution only, not how logistics affects quality. The fact that they're producing here is what changes the quality of the yogurt. Period, end of story. I was open minded to domestic production until I tasted the product. Maybe I'll give Kesso a second chance but to me it was watery/runny. I went to my local deli and saw FAGE yogurt that was still imported from Greece (!) mixed in with the domestically produced ones. I assume that they're only doing a certain level of production domestically and supplementing with imports when necessary. So read your labels and hope that you'll get one that's made in Greece.
  13. The logistics are easier if you import from Greece to a NJ port and then distribute the product out. It's harder from upstate NY because it's just so far out - the infrastructure isn't good. In the metro area, trucks can piggyback their pickups. Upstate, you have to spend one day going out for product and that makes it harder. Yes, making the yogurt stateside is fresher but IT IS NOT THE SAME. I noticed that all the fruit & honey yogurts are made stateside and *some* of the plain (whole milk, 5%, and 0%) yogurts are still made in Greece and imported here. Check your labels carefully and buy the real FAGE when you can. re: Kessos. It's not bad but IMHO original FAGE is better. Personally Kessos is watery to me.
  14. They opened they plant in NY because the product was doing so well and it was the natural next step in the company's domestic growth in the US. In regards to the company's planning and strategy - IMHO, it wasn't done properly and it wasn't well planned or thought out. But, who am I? It's not the same as it was before - I had the made in NY one tonight from Trader Joe's and it's friggin' AWFUL. Chalky, sour, and with a horrible texture. Hell, I might as well have been eating Dannon. It's not going to be the same if the cows and what the cows eat aren't the same. We may have good dairy in the States but the E.U. beats us every time in any dairy category. Their milk is just that much better than ours. You can write to them and they may respond. They may give you free product. But only time will tell if the product will return to its original quality or if we're screwed. *See, it's so bad I had to go and edit this post twice! The horror!
  15. I wanted I'd share this little nugget of information I learned yesterday from a ex-pat HK'er. She informed me that the cut of pork to use in congee is called "but geen tien"/"never saw the sky" cut. She told me it's essentially the armpit of the pig. Considering pigs don't have arms or armpits, I'm wondering if this is the same as pork shoulder/Boston butt. Also, you're supposed to salt whatever raw meat you're using for ten hours to overnight prior to cooking it in congee. This is very interesting for me and I wanted to pass it on in case anyone had the congee jones like I do. Sidebar: I thought this was a cut of bone & meat instead of just meat. When I asked for it at the butcher counter, I said, "but geen tien guot". The staff gave me a long winded lecture that it's "but geen tien YOOK" and not "but geen tien GUOT" (yook=meat; guot=bone). Actually, they were rather rude about the whole deal. So being the well raised American-born Chinese woman that I am, I told them alright, I was wrong, stop being so long-winded and give me the meat if you have it. Ah, Chinese service. Gotta love it.
  16. OK, so I'm still after my mother for the recipe. She will gladly make it for me but will not wait until I'm home to go through each step of the recipe. Oh boy. Anyways, in regards to the dough, she usues the ngoh mai foon (glutonous rice flour), a bit of cake flour and a bit of instant mashed potato flakes. Weird but oh so tasty. If you don't add the last two flours, it will not be golden. Also, she doesn't use sugar in the dough. Every time I taste one that has sugar in the dough, it doesn't taste right to me. Mom also said that fresh water chestnuts are key to this dish. Otherwise, there won't be that textural crunch. The filling needs to be well seasoned but DRY. Don't make a soupy filling. Mom usually does: Shiitake mushrooms Dried Shrimp Preserved turnips Scallions Cilantro Pork They're all finely minced and seasoned with soy sauce, cooking wine and a bit of sesame oil. When I get more information, I'll pass it on. Then again, I said this a few years back and I STILL haven't gotten a complete recipe. I know, I suck, I know...sorry!!!
  17. Well, I guess real egg yolks vary in terms of color & color variation. But regardless, they should be nice and oily. Definitely not crumbly. I wouldn't take my sewet rice and put it in the food processor. In the old days, they would use one of those large granite food mills that allows you to mill your rice & water to make some sort of flour. Or I could be wrong! Elders: How long would mooncakes last in the freezer? My four yolk white lotus paste mooncakes from Wing Wah have not yet been consumed. Considering how much I spent ( ) I would like to eat them but not all at once ( ). I am having a triple yolk white lotus paste mooncake for b-fast today with my coffee. Yay!
  18. I can tell you my personal preference which probably doesn't mean squat in regards to virtue! Thin pastry skin versus thick Thinner is better. The filling costs more to make (labor and product) so having a thick skin means the bakery's trying to cut corners. Plus, I would gather a thin-skinned pastry is more difficult to handle and therefore you need to be more skilled to create one. More skill=more money=more upscale. Hong Kong versus Cantonese Well, isn't that one in the same (almost)? If you mean HK versus China, it's HK all the way. Especially now given all the product recalls. Hell, I don't want some random thing in my moocake. Unless it's a 24K gold necklace. Now if you ask me ping pei versus traditional skin...I HATE PING PEI! Phwah, so dry!
  19. I made a quick dinner of baby Shanghai bok choy chowed in garlic with a dash of Maggi Seasoning. Oooooh yeah.
  20. Does JH have anything like what Kati Roll serves in the city?
  21. I wasn't sure as other places have it mentioned on the menu and Ham Ji Bak did one order on the grill in the past with no issue at all. I don't mind eating lots of pork belly if I don't want to eat anything else and they had a clear policy. I wanted to see if anyone else had a similar experience. BTW, it IS really good there...
  22. Not really reviewing or reporting on the restaurant, but I have a question. Went to Ham Ji Bak last night in the Murray Hill section of Flushing, Queens. This restaurant is the best place for samgyupsal (BBQ pork belly) in the area. They're generous with the panchan and service is usually friendly. We've been there several times before and normally, we usually order 1 order of samgyupsal which they grill at our table. Last night, they changed the rules on us and said we needed to order 2 orders of samgyupsal in order to have it grilled at the table. Begrudgingly, we orders a samgyupsal and a bulgolgi. I usually don't have a problem eating lots of meat but I didn't appreciate the new requirement. (Note: it was not mentioned anywhere on the menu) Is this normal at most Korean restaurants? Has anyone else been to Ham Ji Bak and experienced this? Just curious, thanks.
  23. I have some lying around and wanted to use it. I'm more of a savory person than a sweet person and thought that the mascarpone would add a nice smoothness to the sauce.
  24. Can I use panko breadcrumbs in lieu of regular Western breadcrumbs as a topping for my mac & cheese? I have that in my pantry instead of bread. Is that ok? ETA: Also, I have some marscapone in my fridge. Can I use it in the mac & cheese? I sound like a noob!
  25. I saw those pesto crossiants in the bakery yesterday afternoon and was tempted but unsure if it would really work. So you're saying it's worth it? Did it taste more like puff pastry than a crossiant?
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