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CommissionerLin

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Everything posted by CommissionerLin

  1. I would recommend Cantinetta Antinori, Buca Lapi, Procacci and Osteria di Passignano - all Antinori-owned, all superb. Ate at all 4 establishments when I was there 2 weeks ago. Had an amazing bottle of Chianti Classico '67 at Cantinetta followed by a '77 Vin Santo (both by Antinori) at Cantinetta A. Now trying lamely to shed inches off my bistecca-enhanced waistline.
  2. Bingo!!! Thats the one. Thanks Cats2! Thanks Hiroyuki-san for providing the links to the actual recipes. Armed with the recipes, I made a sanbaizu and turned it into a tosazu and then into something else with a dash of bottled yuzu juice (kaori yuzu kaju). Trotted down to the local Japanese supermarket, no zuwai kani but there were 3 live King crabs (advertised as taraba kani from Alaska) that looked totally appealing. I picked one, averted my eyes as it was swiftly despatched, dismembered and saran wrapped in polystyrene trays. The legs were grilled on a robotayaki, dunked in the tosazu-mutant sauce, wolfed down and pronounced as amazingly delicious. Should have taken photos but I forgot. Only remembered after the legs had been devoured. Here's a picture of the shell with somen stirred in with the crab tomalley and garnished with coriander. Should have bought all 3 crabs.
  3. Hi, Does anyone have a recipe for zhuhai kani vinegar sauce? This is the vinegar sauce that they serve with steamed or grilled zhuhai kani.
  4. Do a batch of Oyster Tempura. Many recipes for this on the net. http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/database...chi_85286.shtml
  5. Amaze your fellow diners with apoms... click here
  6. I didn't catch the show but sounds like a Japanese mandolin to me... Click here And here
  7. Here's a slow-cook recipe that I've used and modified over the years with much success. Slow Cooked Lamb Shanks (Ottoman/Greek - style) 1-1.5 kg lamb fore shank (4-5 pieces) ½ cup onions, coarsely chopped ½ cup capsicum, coarsely chopped ¼ cup olives (preferably green Kalamatta) 1½ cups plum, honey or cherry tomatoes, halved 6 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed 2-3 whole green chillies, seeds removed (optional) 1 punnet brown or white button mushrooms, quartered A sprinkling of Mediterranean herbs/herbs de Provence (oregano, rosemary, thyme, sage etc) ½ cup corn flour 1 cup Visado from Santorini or Vin Santo fromTuscany (if unavailable, substitute with any sweet white dessert wine, White Port or sweet sherry) 2-3 cups chicken or pork stock Method 1. Season lamb shanks with herbs, salt, pepper and a dash of EVOO. Coat with corn flour. 2. Refrigerate for 6-48 hours. 3. Bring lamb shanks to room temperature (around 24 - 26 deg C) either by resting on the kitchen counter or under a griller/salamander set at low heat. 4. Warm up oven at 180 deg C setting for 30-45 mins. 5. Brown shanks in vegetable or peanut oil under high heat, in a wok or skillet. 6. Place shanks on kitchen towels to drain oil. 7. Transfer shanks to a Dutch oven or cast iron pot with a tight-fitting lid. 8. Add all vegetable ingredients (except mushrooms), wine, stock and aromatics. The shanks do not have to be completely immersed in liquid. 50 per cent immersion is sufficient. 9. Place pot in oven with lid on. 10. Reduce oven setting to 120 deg C. Bake for 1 hour. 11. Remove from oven, rotate shanks to avoid uneven browning, baste shanks with liquid from the pot. 12. Replace pot in oven. Reduce oven setting to 110 deg C. Bake for another hour. 13. Repeat step 11. Add mushrooms. 14. Bake for another hour or until meat is fork tender and separates easily from the bone. 15. Ladle into bowls, and serve with Turkish bread, ciabatta or other flat bread, pilaf rice or pasta. I would add that this recipe is geared for foreshanks. If using hind shanks adjust proportions and cooking times accordingly. The corn flour should result in a nice thick gravy but if a thicker gravy is desired (for example if serving with pasta), ladle the gravy into a saucepan and reduce over the stovetop. Using a cast iron pot makes a great difference to the outcome. I have tried this recipe using various receptacles ranging from pyrex to clay but the most jubilant results have come from a cast iron pot.
  8. I would recommend: Kahala for fusion Kaiseki - 8 seater so reservations are essential Ron for Teppanyaki Ando for Sushi - lunch only, queue at the door, they don't do reservations apparently.
  9. How bout:- 1. Cold Japanese buckwheat soba to start, 2. Eggplant, potato and smoked fishhead curry, served with a slither of basmati rice 3. Goats cheese with honey and jellied quince ensconsed in a griddle cake 4. Rhubarb and pecan pie
  10. The term covers a number of species of fish worlwide but in a North American context it most often refers to the the Goliath Grouper (Epinephelus itajara). In Australia its another name for the Mulloway (Argyrosomus hololepidotus Lacepede). I am not sure which fish was on the menu but it is quite unlikely to be the Goliath Grouper as it is a protected species in most countries. As the name suggests these fish can get quite big - exceeding the size of a VW Beetle. Do you recall the Spanish term for this fish in the menu?
  11. kiwi Sav Blanc and goat's cheese - surely a marriage made in heaven like lamb and Aussie shiraz.
  12. Good for you BarbaraY. Um... I get an impression from reading this thread that cooking rice without washing it first appears to be an option within contemplation. Much against my laissez-faire instincts, I can't resist delivering a tiny admondishment against this practice. Anyone who has been remotely involved in the farming, production or storage of rice will know that a major challenge in the production/storage logistics chain is keeping rodents and insects from coming into contact with the rice. In places where production and storage standards are less than fastidious, you can imagine that this goal is seldom met. Anyone who has watched "Fast Food Nation" can surely accept the notion that shoddy practices in food production can occur anywhere. Hygiene aside, even rice produced under the most stringent conditions still needs a wash - to remove the film of rice talc (and surely dust?) from the rice grains. Use calrose rice to up the stickiness quotient and use glutinous rice to really scale the pinnacle of stodginess. But not washing rice in order to make it stickier ought not be regarded as an acceptable option.
  13. Try using short grain or calrose rice.
  14. That variety of rice noodles typically doesn't need soaking and cooks in a jiffy. Toss the noodles into a pot of boiling water. The noodles are cooked when they change colour, typically 1-2 minutes depending on temperature, atmospheric pressure and the water to noodle ratio in the pot. Once the colour begins to change, toss the noodles into a colander and place it under cold running water. Rice noodles are invariably starchier than wheat based noodles and washing them gets rid of excess starch. I am not sure that you can ever coax this variety of noodles to a "semi-chewy state". If you're after a more al dente mouthfeel you might consider using Chinese rice noodles ("Hor Fun" in Cantonese) or Chinese egg noodles ("Mien" in Cantonese) which is made from wheat.
  15. Yeah, I'm really happy with the 1,000 yen knife I bought at Muji. Sharpest knife I've ever owned, which I suppose is not saying much. But now Prasantrin has championed Aritsugu, I'll have to check it out. Check out 100 yen shops for fun gadgets. There's a big Daiso in Harajuku, on the main shopping street, which has a large selection. ← I can second Prasantrin's advice re Aritsugu. I have a 10" deba and a 8" santoku bought at their main store in Nishiki last year. I use them in preference to every other knife in the cupboard. These knives are made of soft carbon steel and require a higher degree of care and maintenence than those made from stainless steel. If you plan to own one you need to invest some time in honing up your knife-sharpening skills. Well-sharpened Japanese knives are a real joy to use and this alone justifies the investment.
  16. Here's one modern day account of how fish sauce is made in Thailand. Click here. I think William Dampier was accurate in his account as the process he describes is not very different from how fish sauce is made today in South East Asia, taking into account advances in technology and modern production methods employed to replace outmoded artisanal practices. What is interesting though is his usage of the word 'belachaun' (belachan) to describe the residue. As far as I can ascertain belachan is a Malay word and its use in 17th Century Vietnam (if Dampier is correct) suggests a Malay influence in fish sauce-making. Ironically, although belachan is produced and eaten (with relish) throughout the Malay Archipelago, there are only a handful of fish sauce producers. Today, most people associate fish sauce with Thai and Vietnamese cuisine and not necessarily with Malay cuisine. I am curious how Dampier described Vietnam in the 17th Century. I think the country received its modern name only in the 19th Century. Southern and Central Vietnam would have been called Champa in the 17th Century. Is it possible that Dampier got his geography mixed-up? Is it possible that he was witnessing the production of belachan in the Malay Archipelago where the fish sauce/liquor is drawn off as a byproduct? ← In "A New Voyage Round the World" Dampier described Tonquin (Đông Kinh), Malacca, Achin, so parts of Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia. The description of the fish sauce (pg 28) seems to be from Tonquin (Vietnam), but as you say he could have confused terms or used a term that he had heard elsewhere in the wrong context. ← Fascinating read. I got as far as page 28 and I am convinced he got his geography right. His nomenclature may have been faulty though. Perhaps he picked up the term 'belachan' earlier in his journey - having gone round the Straits of Malacca with various stops in Malacca and Johor (Pulau Tioman, Pulau Aur) it is not unlikely that he would have come across belachan in any of those places. Even today Malacca is famous for its top-grade belachan. In Pulau Tioman and Pulau Aur fishermen still make belachan for their own consumption or as a cottage industry. As for the etymology of the word belachan, it may well have Portuguese roots as the Malay language assimilated many Portuguese words after the conquest of Malacca by Vasco da Gama in 1511.
  17. I called them about 4:30 today and got through after about 10 minutes of trying off and on. I was then on hold for another 10 minutes (mostly a recorded message telling me about the Christmas closing, but that was replaced by a different recorded message half way through). I finally got through to someone who told me they had no spaces available on any day for the next two months but put me on a waiting list for the days I wanted. ← I'm on the waitlist as well. Does anyone have any idea whether there's a good chance of getting in once you're on the waitlist? I mean are there a certain number of places which are held back for VVIPs which are released a day or two before the appointed day or do places arise only in the event there are actual cancellations?
  18. I called them about 4:30 today and got through after about 10 minutes of trying off and on. I was then on hold for another 10 minutes (mostly a recorded message telling me about the Christmas closing, but that was replaced by a different recorded message half way through). I finally got through to someone who told me they had no spaces available on any day for the next two months but put me on a waiting list for the days I wanted. ← I'm on the waitlist as well. Does anyone have any idea whether there's a good chance of getting in once you're on the waitlist? I mean are there a certain number of places which are held back for VVIPs which are released a day or two before the appointed day or do places arise only in the event there are actual cancellations?
  19. Here's one modern day account of how fish sauce is made in Thailand. Click here. I think William Dampier was accurate in his account as the process he describes is not very different from how fish sauce is made today in South East Asia, taking into account advances in technology and modern production methods employed to replace outmoded artisanal practices. What is interesting though is his usage of the word 'belachaun' (belachan) to describe the residue. As far as I can ascertain belachan is a Malay word and its use in 17th Century Vietnam (if Dampier is correct) suggests a Malay influence in fish sauce-making. Ironically, although belachan is produced and eaten (with relish) throughout the Malay Archipelago, there are only a handful of fish sauce producers. Today, most people associate fish sauce with Thai and Vietnamese cuisine and not necessarily with Malay cuisine. I am curious how Dampier described Vietnam in the 17th Century. I think the country received its modern name only in the 19th Century. Southern and Central Vietnam would have been called Champa in the 17th Century. Is it possible that Dampier got his geography mixed-up? Is it possible that he was witnessing the production of belachan in the Malay Archipelago where the fish sauce/liquor is drawn off as a byproduct?
  20. It's gotta be Osaka. Give Kahala (8-seater fusion kaseiki) a try the next time you're in Osaka. Endo for Sushi and Ron for Teppan-yaki.
  21. ← Hi Ah Leung, "Crazyeatinglover" is referring not to the Shanghainese hairy crab ("tai chap hai") but to a group of delinquent Pearl River delta crabs. He or she is referring to a group of badly behaved jenny crabs which the Cantonese refer to as "wong yau hai" or "yellow oil crab" who get that way (ie. turn yellow) ostensibly because they stay out in the sun too long. Well thick carapace notwithstanding, apparently these crabs get their liver or roe or whatever zapped by an overdose of ultraviolet rays with the result that a yellowish "oil?" (anyway some kind of yellow pigmentation) infuses into the entire flesh of these wayward jennies. In Hong Kong (gourmand capital of China) these quirky coloured rarities command a hefty premium over all other crabs including the already impressively priced Shanghainese hairy crab Is the "wong yau hai" worth its price? Well I would put it this way - they're like white truffles - one can't eat them every day (not only because of its astronomical cost but also because of ephemeral supply). To the crab cognoscenti in Hong Kong it is an annual ritual to be relished like white truffles. To the uninitiated, it is the surest way of getting a heart attack from sticker shock. These crabs seem to be export-proof (I have not seen them on any other menus outside Hong Kong and China) presumably because its price point quite effectively chokes off demand.
  22. Funny my wife's like that also. No cross-over of any kind is allowed or tolerated. Thus in my, no, her kitchen, there are 3 types of Japanese soya sauce (shoyu) no, make that 4 - just remembered the super premium version for sashimi and 5 (count carefully) types of "Chinese-styled" soya sauce ranging from super light to the dark treacle that I am sure could be used for road-making if one ran out of tar. Add to that the myriad chillie sauces, 7 at last count, including 2 different types of tabasco (1 green, 1 red), 4 different kinds of mustard, 5 if you count wasabi as mustard (surely at the risk of another lynching), and a host of other sauces and concentrates (3 for dashi stock alone) and I reckon my wife is the leading candidate for recruitment into the Saucemakers' Association Hall of Fame - Lifetime Acheivement Award.
  23. Yes it is Tiparos aka Tang Sang Hah Co. Ltd. reputed to be Thailand's largest producer of fish sauce (nam pla). My personal favourite is Golden Boy produced by Tang Heah Seng Co. Ltd. I tend to avoid this brand precisely because the label proclaims that it's processed in Hong Kong. Fish sauce is made by fermenting a mixture of fish and salt in a large urn. If done properly/authentically the process can take up to 12 months. Given that rents in Hong Kong are astronomical compared to retlatively inexpensive Thailand, it would not make much economic sense to have the fermentation done in Hong Kong unless the fermentation process is speeded up artificially using enzymes and other additives. Fish sauce on steroids? A look at the list of ingredients on the label shows up other extraneous ingredients apart from fish, salt and sugar.
  24. Hi can I confirm that you bought the SANETU ZDP189? I have been eyeing that knive but haven't quite taken the plunge yet. I look forward to hearing your views on whether its worth its price. How does does its edge retention properties sit with ease of sharpening?
  25. Anyone tried nouveau peidan? Pioneered in Taiwan, they require 10 mins of boiling, but the white is clear like perspex and the centres are runny. Haven't tried them myself but have been looking out for them since I first came across them in a book.
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