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Everything posted by XiaoLing

  1. I think this may fall into the dumplings category but have you made Chinese Chive Pie (韭菜盒子)? It's usually made with lots of chives, egg, vermicelli and dried shrimp with a thin crust like a calzone. Another way to use it is in noodle stir fry. Koreans use a lot of it in their jap chae and their pancakes. Or you can make mi fun (rice noodles) with chives or just do a simple stir fry of julienned pork and chives with chilis (optional) or a vegetarian stir fry of green bean sprouts and chives. And you can also chop up some chives and made a simple savory Chinese egg crepe.
  2. Looks like it's made out of rice flour with some chilis in the middle. Can you tell us which region of China this is from?
  3. I love lao po bing. Seems like this recipe is working well for a lot of people: http://bakingoncloud9.blogspot.com/2008/11/lao-po-bing-wifes-biscuit.html Good luck!
  4. Looks Delicious Dejah!!! My mouth is watering especially for the shrimp. Can't wait to see your pics Chocolate Lover. So for another dinner during the CNY celebration this is what we had: From the bottom left corner and going clock-wise: Chilies and garlic stir fried A-Choy, Salty/Sour pork with green peppers, broccoli with garlic, potatoes, steamed pork belly with spiced rice and taro, stir fried three strips (five spiced tofu, peppers, and preserved vegetables), homemade meatballs with woodear fungus, steamed fish with black bean sauce, and steamed yu-shiang asian eggplant.
  5. Ben sook!! You always put a smile on my face. I did have a guest over for my meal away from my family so it was all good! You have to share good food! hathor - I too wonder if it was okay to eat the animal that the new year is suppose to celebrate. I understand that there's no way to eat tiger, rat, or dragon but what about the other stuff that are eaten all around the world?? Is it wrong to eat rabbit on the rabbit's year? I can't imagine not eating chicken when it's the year of the rooster. DeliciouslyLekker - Meatballs is yummy as long as you are eating it with the New Year in mind. I also had meatballs this year. We make homemade pork meatballs with chestnuts every new years. chocolate lover - I would LOVE to see Jakarta for CNY! Do you have any pics? I am salivating just thinking about all the possibilities. Back to my celebration, besides the lunches and dinners at home, we had a constant array of watermelon seeds, pumpkin seeds, candies, varies fried pastries to munch on throughout the day. I didn't take a pic of the snacks since I figured everyone probably knows what they look like and we didn't make them from scratch. Here's one of my lunches. My uncle cooked it for me one day. It's homemade lotus root and rib soup with store bought cheong fun and for more flavor my uncle added homemade meatballs and some leftover hot pepper and water spinach dish from the previous night. Oh...and a perfectly poached egg. So tasty!!!
  6. Happy New Year!! It's been quite a while since I have started a post and what better way to do it than with a New Years post?! I have been eating a ton of food and it hasn't stopped since New Years eve. Not that I am complaining... What has everyone been eating for this celebration? I have a bunch of pics. I'll start off with a few from New Years Eve. I wasn't able to go home that night so I had to cook my own CNY dinner. Four dishes were made with a Wuhan and Canton fusion. hehehe... And here are the close ups. (sorry, was lazy and used my iphone camera instead of a real one.) Fa Cai with lotus root and fresh shitake mushrooms Braised white perch. It came out a bit darker than I wanted but it was still delicious! Cellophane noodles with dried shrimp Braised chicken with chestnuts I'll be back to post more. In the meantime...what did everyone else have??
  7. My mom made that one but it's a common dish that we all make for dinner often. The key here is to cook the eggs first then remove from the heat and then cook the tomatoes. Start with a very hot wok and then heat up quite a bit of vegetable oil (do not use olive because that will burn). Don't worry about it being too much oil because you will remove it later. And the oil prevents the eggs from sticking. After both wok and oil is really hot, slowly pour in the scrambled eggs. Let it boil and bubble and fluff up then turn over. The important thing here is to not allow the eggs to burn or crust up but also giving it a good color. Once the eggs have turned almost solid, you can now break up the eggs to your desired size. Remove from the wok by gently putting the eggs to the side of the wok to kind of drain the excess oil. Put in a plate or bowl and set aside. With the left over oil in the wok, cook your tomatoes. (Should be about 1-2 tablespoons.) I like to let it caramelize in the wok on both sides a bit. Once it gets semi-soft add water and a tiny bit of salt and sugar. At this point press down on the tomato to almost puree it and make a thick soupy sauce. Once the sauce is to the consistency you like and bubbling away, put the eggs back into the wok. Let it simmer and "boil" in the liquid so it soaks up all the flavor. Add soy sauce, salt, and white (or black) pepper to taste. Once the taste is to your liking, add fresh green onions and serve immediately! I hope this helps. It's really a simple home dish with really simple ingredients but the technique is the key here. Once you master the art of these eggs, you can cook any veggie with them. For instance, tonight, I made those eggs with Chinese chives.
  8. Nakji, does your tomato and egg dish look like the one in the pic on the bottom right?
  9. Can I ask which Walmart is this? I wanna go! The smoked, salted cured pork belly can be cut up in small slices and stir fried with chinese broccoli or even leeks or big scallions or peppers. Yum...I have some homemade salted dried chicken drumsticks...I might have to pull them out of the fridge and eat some now. Thanks for the reminder!
  10. Coming from a family that makes and eats sesame noodles for generations, I can say that we never ever use peanut butter. In fact, growing up in China as well as many visits in China, I have never seen peanut butter in anyone's kitchen. This is a very popular dish eaten for breakfast, lunch or as a snack. You can buy sesame paste in your Asian grocer, it is usually packed in sesame oil. As soon as you open it up and take a swiff you will notice the difference between that and peanut butter. The key to using sesame butter is to make sure that you "stir" (with gusto) the oil with the sesame paste. This process is critical to make a nice smooth paste. You can also add more sesame oil during this process. As for thinning it out. While I have never heard of using tea, it does sound interesting. However, my family as well as the regions around Wuhan and Sichuan, use a different method. We would slice up a whole bunch of garlic and scallions then submerge it in hot water. This allows the water to take on all the flavors of the garlic and scallions. Let the water cool to room temp and then use that as your thinning agent. This method will also add more garlic and scallion flavor to your noodles without having the pieces in your dish.
  11. My family and I are from the western and northern region of Wuhan and Shangdong. We hardly ever use sesame oil. We will use it in sesame noodles, dumpling and bao fillings, and some soups. For stir fries we would only use it in certain recipes like 3 cup chicken or in sauces for seafood and dumplings. All in all, if you like the taste of sesame oil, then use it right before the food comes out of the wok. That way it retains its flavor because the more you cook it, the strength of the oil decreases. In authentic cooking, you won't really use sesame oil in most homestyle everyday dishes. But if you like it, use it!
  12. Hi Andy, Welcome! I am from Wuhan so my method of cooking might be different from others who cook from different regions. But the general rule is that for fish and meats, you want to use ginger to get rid of the "meat" or "gamey" taste and smell. And garlic can be used in everything and anything. You can combine with ginger or just use it alone. I have even had whole cloves of garlic in soups before. I hope this helps. Xiao Ling
  13. I also saw something similar on Anthony Bourdain's show when he went to Tibet. They also had a cheese (made from Ox's milk) that looked like a block of tofu but you ate it as is with a sugar dip. Wonder if it's the same type of cheese?
  14. I have a cast iron wok made from Le Creuset. All I have to say is that it's REALLY heavy!! My initial thought when I bought it was bc my heat source was so small that I can heat up the wok to really high temps so I can make better stir frys but now I realized that even though I can do that, it's kinda difficult to scoop up all the liquids and washing the wok between dishes kinda defeats the whole purpose and cools down the wok. I do love my wok but my parent's black carbon steel wok is a lot lighter and heats up faster.
  15. I am so glad you enjoyed it!!! I was hoping for some pics but I guess there's always next time!
  16. Yummm....I love red braised fresh ham.... My grandmother makes one of the best. In restaurants, you will see that a lot of times they have fried it to reduce the cooking time. But either way, it's a tedious process since we usually cook it until it the fat has melted and the meat falls off the bone. Yummmmmmmmmm..... A simple but delicious recipe would be to par boil the ham. Afterwards, cut the skin in cross hatches so that the sauce can go into the meat. In a pot big enough for the ham, add soy sauce, stock, water, star anise, asian cinnamon stick, dried red chillis, sugar, rice wine, ginger, garlic, and pepper. Once the sauce has been heated up, submerge the entire ham in the liquid and turn down the heat. Let it simmer in low heat for a couple of hours. (Yea, it takes a while. The time might change depending on your stove and heat. A slow cooker/crockpot might be useful in this. ) Make sure to check to see that the liquid hasn't compeltely reduced, if it has reduced, please add water. For veggies, I would just do a simple green veggie garlic stir fry to compliment the dish. Since the pork would be highly spiced, a simple stir fry would work perfectly. Post pics to let us know how it turned out!
  17. Mesona, the reason why I don't crips up the bottom first is because a lot of the time, if you do, you'll end up burning it towards the end. And you don't want to crisp it first especially if you are using frozen homemade dumplings. After the water evaporates, the bottoms will automatically crisp up because of the oil on the bottom of the pan. I think I saw a documentary on this once - it's like getting the correct number of pleats in har gau prawn dumplings; you'd have to dedicate your life to being a master baomaker with years and years of practice... ← My mother's baos come out the way it looks in the restaurants. Her's look like professional baos. My dad and I tried to imitate her process since it was our first time and it wasn't very pretty as you can see from the pics above. But my Dad kept saying that practice makes perfect. The way to get the indent is to just hold your thumb and forefinger on the side of the dough and keep pleating the dough into the thumb all the way around and as you go around gently twist the dough. As my Dad says, "Lift up the dough, DON'T stretch it!" I had holes in some of mine as I was over stretching it because I was greedy with the filling. I also realized that my long finger nails has become a handicap to my baos. Kept poking holes on top of the baos too. We plan on making more baos this coming weekend. So the question now is..."To cut or not to cut", my nails that is. Sigh...all for a pretty bao.
  18. Big Bunny doesn't have a working camera?!? Noooooooooooo.... Please find one soon!! I know what you mean by stir-fries make good, I mean GREAT, spahetti sauce! I love taking left overs and boiling some plain flour noodles and then mix all the left overs together. 30 minute meals?! HA! I'm talking 10 minute meals here! Rachel Ray can eat my dust! I agree with you Mr. Ben! The lo mein I did on my original post, I really do prefer it with thin spaghetti. There's a certain chew to it that really gives it more bite. WE did invent noodles! (I take any opportunity to use my Chinese status to take credit for things. WE also invented gun powder, fireworks, modern paper, silk, etc. ) Oooo....couscous in wontons. Interesting. I'm not a big fan of the usual American couscous we see all over the place but the Israeli couscous is delicious! I would love to try that sometime, I bet it would be very good!
  19. To get the cripy crust, you want to do what you would for potstickers. You get a nice cast iron pan, drizzle oil all over the pan and then layer the baos, raw, very snuggly all around the surface of the pan. Then fill the pan with water covering the baos just slightly. Then cover the pan. wait until you start to hear a sizzle, then you can optionally put sesame seeds and scallions on top of the baos. Lift cover and then make sure all the surface areas has been equally crisped up. Then shovel them out and eat them!
  20. Really?! Interesting. I never thought to use Angel Hair for that dish. I usually use cellophane or yam potato noodles for that. Do you have a pic to share with us? Ants climbing a tree or 螞蟻上樹 is a traditional Sichuan dish made with minced pork and usually mung bean noodles (cellophane). The minced pork in a bed of noodles make it look as if there are ants on a tree, hence the name. It's a quick and very flavorful dish.
  21. If you noticed the trend on my posts, you can see that my family is kinda partial to carbs. Really, we don't eat that many carbs....really.... I went back home for a weekend one day and as I was trying to decide what to make for dinner for the entire family, my cousin insisted on fried noodles instead. Apparently, the other dishes I was calling out to make wasn’t very appealing to her. So we decided on fried noodles. And since I didn’t feel like going to Chinatown (even though it’s like a 5 min drive) to get fresh noodles, we decided on Italian thin spaghetti. (I just got back from a 3 hr drive!! Okay, fine, so I'm lazy.) Now, this isn’t the first time we’ve done this and quite frankly, I find using Italian pasta easier to move around the wok than the fresh ones I get in Chinatown. Plus it gives more of a chew and bite. *Please don’t hate me* After adding a whole bunch of ingredients, that includes Chinese sausage, egg, carrots, celery, cabbage, spam (yes, I said SPAM, the other white meat), etc. I quickly fried everything together with great wok hei. The results were very tasty and cousins approved. Even my Dad said “Hey! Your noodles are better than your Mom’s!” Funny he should take the opportunity to say that when the woman is thousands of miles away in China. Here’s my finished product: Here’s her close up: Now, here’s my question. What do YOU do with your Italian pasta? Any other ideas? I have another plan for Italian pasta that I will be trying out soon, so I will keep you guys posted.
  22. We honestly didn't do any secrets or techniques. And my Dad just used regular all purpose flour. It did come out off white and maybe a bit grey. I have a new master plan for that next time. MUAHAHAHAHAHA.... I will learn the secret of WHITE baos even if it takes my Dad a hundred dough makings! Gonna put that man to work! A V-1 plum sauce?? That's just....not right....LOL. I don't dip my baos because they are seasoned enough so that there's really no need for dipping. My brother however sometimes likes to dip baos into hot bean paste. However, for dumpling dipping, I like to use soy sauce, black vinegar (heavy on that), sesame oil, chili sauce and ginger. junehl, you shouldn't use rice wine for potstickers. You can use them for baos though. However, I think there might be a bit of confusion with the term rice wine. There's a special type of rice wine that is made from sweet rice and left to ferment. So the resulting product is also rice wine but it's sweet and there's rice in the "wine." You won't really get drunk from drinking it but it is fermented so that is the rising agent to the dough if added. That's what my Dad meant when he said rice wine (mi jiu.)
  23. Ok...so I stand here in front of all you guys corrected... I asked my dad about the whole pot sticker dough thing and he said "Aye ya, ben ya tou! You don't put yeast in pot sticker dough!" Nerve of my old man to call me "ben ya tou" (dumb girl.) You make one illogical train of thought and you get labeled! For potsticker dough you just mix flour with water and then let the dough rest for a bit. However, he did say that if you are making steamed dumplings then you should use a bit of yeast. In the north, we make steamed dumplings that are similar to baos. He also said that if you use mi jiu (home-made fermented rice wine which my mom makes for desserts) and mix it with the flour, you would get a much better dough. Although it will be a bit sweet but it would be a great dough for man tou. (Not to be mistaken for ben ya tou. )
  24. I'm so glad you're going to try your own baos Mesona! The simple flour and yeast dough can be used for pot stickers. However, I don't think you can use the same dough for xiao long bao. They require a different dough mixture. I'm not sure what that dough is yet. I haven't been experimenting with making xiao long baos yet.
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