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Everything posted by missdipsy

  1. Two of my family members are pescetarian, one of whom is my picky daughter who only likes a few types of fish cooked in very specific ways so to all intents and purposes is mostly vegetarian. Many Chinese soup recipes involve meat or fish, or at least meat broth, so I'd love to find a few more recipes that would suit my whole family (I also don't eat much pork as it doesn't always agree with me, and a lot of soups involve pork so this is also for my benefit!). Vegetarian would be best, or pescetarian soups that are not obviously seafood based (I could get away with sneaking a small amount of dried shrimp in, for instance, but not much more than that!). Any kind of soup will do, although I'd particularly like some simple recipes that could be served alongside a multi-dish meal. But I'm always interested in new recipes so any good soup recipes would be welcome! Any suggestions?
  2. Oh yes, you're right, Haggis man, I forgot to say you should leave it for at least 10 mins or so to allow the flavours to develop! But equally, don't leave it too long or it will lose its flavour (unless you've added vinegar, which extends it a bit). And thank you for the condiments course, andiesenji, very interesting! I'll have to try making Aioli sometime, I absolutely adore it! And the mustard looks good too...
  3. Technically, chinese mustard powder is slightly different to Colman's; it's all down to the blend of different types of seeds. Colman's combines brown & white, whereas I think the authentic chinese powders only use brown (which is more pungent). But there's very little in it, and Colman's is still very pungent when mixed fresh, so it is a perfectly good substitute. Personally, I have been mixing hot water with it to make "chinese" mustard, as it tastes more like what I would describe as chinese mustard. But I don't know exactly what it is you've tasted, so it's hard to compare. Colman's mixed with cold water, to me, is "english" mustard (well, that's what we've always had, and what my Grandpa had with his boiled egg & ham in the morning!), so the hot water version tastes sufficiently different to distinguish it from the "english". It doesn't seem to make a huge difference to the heat level, though, they're both pretty pungent! I've come across recipes for chinese mustard which use cold, warm, hot & boiling water, so I'm not sure which is really the "correct" version. Vinegar is sometimes added to preserve the flavour for longer, but if you're eating it stright away I don't think it is strictly necessary. Some people add a little oil & salt. The pre-prepared versions often come with all sorts of things added: turmeric (mostly for colour), sugar, vinegar, garlic, spices etc, although I once read the ingredients on an S&B one & it was just mustard & turmeric. It's hard to say what goes into a "chinese" mustard, as I'm pretty sure there isn't just one "official" version, and the types you have tasted may be different to the ones I've tasted. But I'd hazzard a guess that, much like the "english mustard" I grew up with, the simpler recipe (i.e. plain mustard flour with water) is closer to a "real" homemade chinese mustard.
  4. Thankyou very much! I'm going to buy the mystery vegetable next time I'm passing the shop, and (after comparing it to the pictures of Kantola on the web, just to double check that it is what I think it is!) I'll try your recipe, milli, it sounds nice. Although I'm fairly adventurous when it comes to food & cooking, I do prefer to always follow a tried & tested recipe when using an ingredient I'm unfamiliar with - it tends to save dissapointment! Thankyou to everyone who replied; sorry I haven't been very conscientious about replying straight away, the whole christmas/new year thing got in the way slightly!!
  5. Sorry for the delay in replying to you all, I've been caught up in christmas preparations & haven't had time to do anything but the essentials on the computer! Well, thankyou very much for all the suggestions! The closest seems to be the kantola/spiky gourd/spiny gourd/ghee korola (or whatever it's called!). Unfortunately that is also the one which I can't find any really good pictures for on the internet, most images I've come across (including in the link given by Gingerly) are all rather blurred & unclear, plus the nomenclature is confusing since there appear to be more than one variety of "spiny gourd", which all look slightly different. I found one pic, though, that did look very similar to the things I saw (Latin name is Momordica cochinchinensis, apparently). So that may be it! Anyone have any idea why it would be floating in water? I had wondered if it was some relative of the jackfruit or durian, as it is vaguely reminiscent of them, but much smaller. The "spikes" aren't quite the same, though. It's definately not a karela; I've tried them before. This is much spikier, and a different shape. Judging by the picture linked to by jackal10 & a quick look on the internet, it wasn't much like a Kiwano Melon -it was entirely covered in spikes, without the roundedness of the Kiwano's spikes, and was green rather than yellow (although there was a yellowish tinge in places). I think I might actually just go and buy one next time I'm passing and they have them in stock. Even if it turns out to be disgusting at least I will have come closer to settling a nagging question! It would also be a lot easier to compare it to pictures on the internet if it was in front of me rather than working from memory. The only thing that would concern me about doing that is the slim possibility it might be one of those things you have to prepare in a certain way before you can eat it (you know, like how some things are poisonous or just very unpleasant unless they are cooked in a particular way?). I know that's fairly unlikely but a little bit of paranioa can be healthy when it comes to unknown foodstuffs! If it is the Kantola (spiny gourd), how similar is this to Karela (bitter gourd)? I have read that they are related, and that the Kantola is slightly less bitter, but how much less bitter?! When I prepared the Karela myself, it was "interesting", though not nessecarily "nice"! I'm fairly open minded about foods, and usually don't take long to aquire aquired tastes, but there are some tastes that take longer to aquire than others! Would you be able to use the Kantola as a direct substitute for Karela in recipes? Thanks for the help everyone!
  6. I'm trying to work out what a particular fruit/vegetable that I saw in a local asian (indian/pakistani) grocers is, can anyone help me? It is quite a bright slightly lime-ish green (with yellow tints), about the size of a large kiwi fruit and the skin is spiky & tough looking. It was also floating in a tub of water! It is more spiny than a lychee, but the spikes aren't as long as something like a rambutan. It was near the vegetables rather than the fruit, so I assume its a vegetable, but I can't be sure! I did actually try asking someone who worked there but he couldn't remember, although he was quite young so maybe not the best person to ask! I know that the owner is quite friendly & helpful, but he hasn't been around the shop recently to ask. Anyone have any ideas? And if so, do you have any recommended recipes/serving suggestions? Thanks!
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