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Everything posted by rarerollingobject

  1. Apart from Temasek, my favourite HCR places are Singapore Shiok, in the Eating World Foodcourt at the city end of the Chinatown mall, and Malay-Chinese Takeaway on Hunter St (not in the arcade). Malacca Straits on Broadway is also good (though it's all dark meat, with bone, which is good or not depending on personal taste).
  2. Sounds great..the flavour boost of roasted tomatoes is amazing. (Love your username too, I grin every time I see it!) Feeling slightly wan in the Sydney heat, I made a cold freekeh (roasted green wheat) salad, with barberries, preserved lemon, minced parsley stems and green onion. Topped it with caramelised eggplant and cayenne'd yoghurt.
  3. Good stuff! I haven't been so surprised by a 'recipe' in a long time, either.. bring on the broccoli, I say!
  4. I have an aversion to any mention of a 'gastrique' in a dish's menu name. I KNOW what a gastrique is, I know I'll generally like the taste of it if I do order it, but it's too close to 'gastric' for me to not associate it with stomach sickness. Charming, huh?
  5. Even though it's called tea oil (茶油) or tea seed oil, I believe it's typically a different camellia than the tea plant (c oleifera vs. c sinensis). I have been using it on my carbon steel cleaver recently. Seems to work very well for that... after I wipe it off, it doesn't leave a sticky residue at all. Hey, it's my delusion and I'll cling to it if I want to! Glad you posted this though..was just pondering how to better maintain a carbon knife I've just had repaired and picked up this morning (a houseguest put it in the dishwasher!!) and will give the camellia oil a go.
  6. I use Evernote. It's a online service with the same principles as Google Docs but with more functionality - for food, I use it to either bookmark URLs or 'clip' images and text from a webpage and using a one click browser add-in, export it straight into an online repository. This syncs to my iPhone so I can call the recipe up when out and about shopping for ingredients etc. The benefit of this clipping thing of course is that if the original website is taken offline, you always have a copy with the appropriate images. Liks Google Docs, it also has full 'search within' capabilities but what sets it apart for me is that I can scan printed recipes from books and magazines and Evernote makes these searchable, even though they're essentially images (using OCR character recognition). Or you can type them in and convert them to shopping lists etc. This functionality also extends to images you snap with your cellphone - I've taken a photo of the label of a bottle wine I've liked and wanted to remember later, synced it into Evernote, it automatically OCRs the image, and you can then search on any text in that image! I think that's pretty cool for a free program. I also like its tagging features, and that it's free for the basic version, which has all the functionality I need anyway. If you have recipes from a mix of online and printed sources, Evernote is great. I used to use a huge Google Docs Word doc I'd copy paste everything into but Evernote's functionality blows it away. I actually use it to store and capture just about everything in my life these days. I know I sound a bit evangelical here, but I love it, most especially for my miasma of recipes/food ideas/musings!
  7. I have this problem too..it doesn't reduce their counterspace footprint THAT much, but I keep my bottles in a wide bamboo steamer, the normal Chinese kind, just standing up in it. I have one maybe 25cm across and you'd be surprised how many bottles fit into it, snugly. This not only keeps them corralled into a compacted mass that is surprisingly easy to pull things out and fit them back into, but means they're not sitting ON the countertop getting grotty with drips etc. It has also reduced the number of times I've turned around in my tiny kitchen and knocked a tall bottle of fish sauce off the counter to smash all over the floor to nil.
  8. Like Beebs, I also go savoury with my oatmeal..cook up a batch of pinhead oatmeal with slices of ginger, chicken broth (or bouillon powder in a pinch), sliced ginger and white pepper, sometimes a star anise to fish out at the end. That's the basic "mix ins", along with a spoon of duck or goose fat. Toppings vary but generally include one or more of sesame oil, chilli oil, chopped green onions, crispy fried shallots, Chinese leek flower sauce, toasted sesame paste, black beans, gochujang, soy sauce, leftover shredded chicken.. People (around me) seem pretty grossed out by the idea of savoury oatmeal but it's not that different from congee IMO. The Scots also do a couple of savoury porridges with onions mixed in, like skirlie.
  9. This is more about ageing BEFORE baking, but the whole 36-hr chocolate chip cookie palaver that hit the net awhile back is worth considering. The original NYT article suggests that pre-ageing is "allowing the dough and other ingredients to fully soak up the liquid — in this case, the eggs — in order to get a drier and firmer dough, which bakes to a better consistency.” The consensus of the blogosphere seems to be that the maturation makes the cookie dough taste fuller, rounder, deeper. Thisis a nicely detailed comparison of pre-aged versus cookies straight away.
  10. Harris Farms Broadway, of all places, right next to the loose salad mix..! I do know you can order it for delivery from this website, at $55 a kilo - in the 'Prices at farm gate' section (warning: terrifying website music and design) Thanks for the info. What were they on when they designed that website <shudder>? Yes, I was especially taken aback by the eye-catchingly named links to their other businesses at the bottom of the Samphire page...!
  11. It's worth seeking out Satsuma cuisine type stuff in Kagoshima. Apart from the inevitable fishcakes, they also do lots of braised melting pork belly (kakuni). I remember (sort of) being intoxicated a lot, on what I think was shochu rather than sake, since it's even more like firewater in Kyushu. Two places I tried were 'Satsuma Ebisu' and a yakiniku place south of the city centre called, oddly, 'Juan'. I used this link to ID places at the time.
  12. Nothing, now that you've said that. Please take pictures. Oh, I'm fairly confident it will end in disaster!
  13. Yes - I'm going to jimmy up a rig involving a big wide pan of water, an old cotton tea towel stretched across it, and an extra large rubber band I have fiendishly been saving expressly for this purpose. Plan is to smooth the batter across the tea towl, swirl it into a perfect circle, let it steam through the cloth and then lift it off in a seamless motion like I'd been a Hanoi foodhawker all my life. What could possibly go wrong??
  14. Harris Farms Broadway, of all places, right next to the loose salad mix..! I do know you can order it for delivery from this website, at $55 a kilo - in the 'Prices at farm gate' section (warning: terrifying website music and design)
  15. Spicy Goan Prawn Curry, which I adapted from '1,000 Indian Recipes, by Neelam Batra' and kindly shared with me by C. Sapidus. And when I say 'adapted', I mean "Operator error - misread recipe entirely and hence did all steps in wrong order". Tasted great though. Thanks Bruce!
  16. PS. Check out VRBO.com for places to stay in Kyoto - these are 'vacation rentals by owner' and are either apartments or houses, with kitchen. Some very reasonably priced.
  17. If you're going west from Tokyo, consider Kanazawa. It's a compact city on the West coast of truly great seafood, fascinating samurai-era architecture (albeit small pockets of it) and a beautiful garden, Kenrokuen. Also specialises in gold leaf. Second the rec for a place with cooking facilities for Kyoto..I was just there in November and rented a house with a kitchen and loved trawling through Nishiki Market for produce and ingredients. If you go to Mt Koya (highly recommended after the frenzy of the cities), definitely try one of the specialties of the area, gomadofu - ground sesame thickened into 'tofu' that is the creamiest and most unctuous mouthful..yum. If I was planning a no holds barred eating tour of Japan (who am I kidding, I have had two eating tours of Japan in the last two years!) it would look like: Sapporo - seafood (crabs esp.) and milk (fabulously creamy dairy) Aomori - seafood and apples (I LOVED Aomori apples). Even the water is supposed to be notably tastier here though with all the sake I was drinking, I can't say I noticed! Kanazawa - seafood, again especially crab, and jibuni, a duck stew from the cuisine of the region known as Kaga. Wagashi sweets are also a specialty. Koya - shojin ryori (the food of the vegetarian temples), including all sort of interesting tofu preparations (like the gomadofu above, and koyadofu, a freeze dried affair with a chewy texture) Osaka - just about anything really, but famous for takoyaki octopus balls and ika-yaki grilled squid. Tokyo - again everything, but as for department stores I too love Isetan in Shinjuku, Tokyu Food Show in Shibuya the most. Tokyo is also insanely great for French pastries; total macaron frenzy - I was eating macarons three times a day! There's even a Laduree in the Nihonbashi Mitsukoshi. Pierre Herme's shop in Aoyama for more pastries. Tsukiji of course but also Kappabashidori, as Chris said, for kitchenware and stuff you've never seen before but instantly need. Backstreet yakitori around the train tracks in Yurakucho and West Shinjuku. Tonkatsu from Katsukura at the top of Takashimaya Times Sq. Tonkotsu ramen (boiled so long it's an exercise in collagen and fat) is also worth seeking out in Tokyo (my picks are Ichiran and Ramen Jiro, for hardcore tonkotsu-lovers), though it's better in Fukuoka/Hakata. Monjyayaki, a kind of pancake similar to okonomiyaki, is a Tokyo specialty. Korean-style BBQ in Tokyo is also great for a bit of a meat-henge. Kyoto - better for produce than restaurants I've found. But here would be where I'd stop for kaiseki/tofu/eel restaurants. I love pickles and adore the specialist pickle restaurant in Kyoto Station. There's also a whole floor (level 10) in Kyoto Station devoted to ramen restaurants (with English menus) so that could be a low-stress way to explore ramen. There are a growing number of specialist yakitori places in Kyoto now too it seems, proper restaurants as to the more traditional barstool format. Hiroshima, Miyajima and Kumamoto are famous places for oysters, there are even a couple of moored barges around Hiroshima that specialise in oysters. Kagoshima also has alot of seafood and astoundingly delicious pork, Berkshire black pigs sort of thing. Okinawa has quite interesting cuisine and would be worth investigating. My next Japan food plan involves the eki-ben lunch boxes sold at train stations - each station or region will usually have a lunchbox of incredible local specialties on sale, and can get quite competitive in their effort to be considered the 'most delicious'. I found a book in Tokyo of a collection of the nation's most renowned eki-ben, and would one day love to do a massive eki-ben tour of Japan, tasting as many regional delicacies as I can while flogging the hell out of a JR railpass. Happy to give specific recs too, when you're up to that, I have a spreadsheet to keep track of them all!
  18. Drizzle it over sliced cucumbers, with some sesame oil, salt and garlic. Use it as a dipping sauce for dumplings. Use it in place of balsamic for salad dressings, it is interestingly different. Mix it with grated ginger, honey and some soy sauce and use it as a syrupy sauce for grilled chicken. You can braise pork in it, a la Filipino adobo, cut with a little sugar.
  19. I have about 150. And just ordered the Greens Cookbook by Deborah Madison, Fat by Jennifer McLagan, a very intriguing one by Rozanne Gold that I can't recall the name of, and another copy of my favourite vegetable cookbook of all time, Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi, to replace the one I gifted to a friend.
  20. I wish I hadn't waited so long to make this. It is so luscious and couldn't be easier to make! That looks REALLY good. I snaffled some of this beautiful cavolo nero (aka Tuscan/lacinato/dinosaur/black kale): Shredded it (and I'm a heathen, I LIKE the stem so keep it in), braised it with chopped shallot, garlic and a dried chilli, then stewed it in a little cream. Topped with a panko and parmesan mix and browned. Love the panko - extra crunchy and therefore addictive, as evidenced by the naked spot in this photo that my boyfriend had started picking at before I had time to take a picture!
  21. These look great. Have been trying to find short ribs in Sydney without much success..must try harder. Dinner tonight: lamb cutlets marinated in rosemary oil, cavolo nero gratin and zucchini carpaccio with feta, preserved lemons and dill.
  22. A friend's grandfather, who was a tuna fisherman in his day (here in Australia), told me that they used to slice off the heads and bellies and throw them away or turn them into chum for bait..considered them unfit for eating. Of course, now, the belly and the cheeks/throat/collar of the tuna are the most prized and delicious parts. I nearly cried thinking about it.
  23. Nakji, I'm beginning to think you're my food-twin! I made these this morning too and it's also become my default cucumber method, getting smacky. I vary it with shredded ginger, Lao Gan Ma chilli oil, and that Sichuan pepper oil I talked about in the New Ingredients thread. Back to the topic of Vietnamese, on the weekend I'm going to attempt one of my favourite snacks from Hanoi, banh cuon..that's thin, thin rice crepes wrapped around a filling of minced pork and woodear fungus. I'm worried about getting the crepe batter thin enough to be pliable, without ripping them in the steaming..wish me luck. Will report back!
  24. I did know that, but I've never had it, not the proper sort. Would love to tho, might research how to make it. It's the quintessentially English smoked haddock/cod and boiled eggs version I know well, though I DID depart from my mother's recipe in refusing to use the traditional mild Keen's Curry Powder in favour of better and fresher spices and some heat from the chilli...my Indian riff on the English riff of an Indian dish..!
  25. If you're making the Gordon Ramsay soup, start with way less cooking water in the blender than he recommends, his was too thin (for my taste) and I put it back on the stove to rethicken..just put a ladle or two and then add more if need be.
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