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Everything posted by rarerollingobject

  1. I've recently fallen in love with yuzu koshou mixed up with really salty grilled salmon and stuffed into onigiri. This has got me on a full-fledged yuzu koshou obsession: what's everyone else using their YK for lately?
  2. A bit of a Chinese/Thai hybrid: steamed chicken and prawn snowpea salad with coconut rice. The dressing was a potent mix of Lao Gan Ma, coconut milk, palm sugar, a dash of soy sauce and healthy sprinkles of deep-fried garlic and shallots. The Lao Gan Ma is my justification for it being in this thread!
  3. Something light-ish for a warm New Years' day in Sydney; Nam Khao Tod (Fried Crispy Rice Balls and Pork Salad). - with pork mince poached in stock as no sour sausage on hand - with cashew nuts instead of peanuts - no pork skin - with shredded makrut leaves, just because I like them - with chilli added at the table as boyfriend is a chilli wimp (though he DID accidentally chew on one of the long dried ones) But still good! (NOTE FROM MANAGEMENT: This topic is a continuation of Dinner! 2006)
  4. Thanks for the great suggestions, all! I'm going on a watercress hunt tomorrow. I figure if I buy enough I can get a soup and jo-mel's water chestnut salad out of it. jo-mel, would love your rec for Steampot Chicken!
  5. With a combination of summer approaching in Sydney, and feeling a little ill and under the weather lately, I'm starting to feel less and less like eating full, heavy-ish meals. I know this is a bit of a vague question, but I'm looking for some suggestions for "light" Chinese dishes; not necessarily cold, but just not overly fatty or necessarily requiring hot rice.. For example, I think of "light" in terms of things like steamed fish; bang bang chicken and cucumber salad; bittermelon soup. What other Chinese dishes do you find yourself gravitating towards in hot weather or when you're feeling a little delicate?
  6. You're very welcome. I don't think Lao Gan Ma is a good substitute for chili oil. Like hrzt8w said, it has tons of spices in it and not much oil. You can definitely use it in meat dishes. For instance, when I make braised ribs, I would also add a tablespoon or two of that stuff. Or even if you stir fry some five-spiced tofu with peppers and celery and chicken you can add some to spice it up. It's pretty versitile....well...atleast I think so... ← I love this stuff! I didn't know you could get it with beef slivers, I'm going to look for that - thanks, XiaoLing! Actually you can turn some into Lao Gan Ma chilli oil by scooping out a couple spoons into an empty jar, pouring peanut oil over it to cover and shaking it up. The flavour deepens over a couple days and really permeates the oil. Best of both worlds!
  7. I ate this a few months ago at Chen Ma Po Tofu in Chengdu and I'm pretty sure they told me it was pork! Then again, my Mandarin is pretty bad so they might've meant ME. The chilli bean sauce I like the best is this Pixian one as it has whole broad beans and a really balanced taste (ie. not just hot); thought I was being all clever smuggling two pots of the stuff back from Sichuan, only to find the exact same brand widely available in my local supermarket..
  8. Tonight's dinner was chicken rice, of a kind: rice cooked in fatty chicken stock, poached chicken breast and hzrt8w's delicious ginger/green onion sauce! That's why I love egullet..Tepee's chicken rice picture above gave me the motive, hzrt8w's pictorials gave me the means!
  9. Yes, I really do. I find the mix of hot and cold really gives it a springy lightness. It's not quite there yet but greatly improved on hot water dough alone. I did find however that 75ml water in the hot to 150ml in the cold was a little too wet, hence there's a little less than double (at 120ml). I haven't found different flours contribute all that much though that may say more about Australian flours than anything else. Am considering experimenting with maybe a couple tsps of potato starch and a little lard in the dough in future; kinda fusing a traditional jiaozi wrapping with a few har gau properties. Heretical maybe, but I can eat my mistakes. There IS a trick..I remember Amah would do something specific with the dough that involved a mix of hot and cold but not exactly what or what the proportions were...it's like remembering all a joke except the punchline! And she's long since passed away so I can't exactly ask.
  10. I really like grilled, fried or roasted eggplant slices, topped with crumbled sheep milk feta, lots of chopped fresh mint, and the juice of 1 pomegranate and a little olive oil drizzled over, with a few reserved pomegranate seeds scattered over the top.
  11. Thanks for your kind words, all! Have posted my rambling steps in the Cook-off thread. Next time, I will pictorial all the way through!
  12. Hi all I'm new to the forums but recently posted the following pic of some XLB I made for dinner and the good folks in the China forum suggested I post the steps here. Some qualifications: I'm a gweilo born in HK and raised in HK/China with Shanghainese and Cantonese nannies, so I learned anything I know about XLB by watching and being (reluctantly at the time) forced to help out; so I haven't really got exact measurements. I will also pictorial these next time I make them as the folding in particular is very hard to explain without sounding slightly crazy (see "hanging pork sack" below!) I'm also Australian, so, everything is in metric; I've converted where I can. And apologies for the length! I particularly need to tinker further with the dough recipe as I'm still not convinced it's elastic enough.. There is nothing earth shatteringly new here, these are just the steps I follow; I know I'm talking to XLB aficionados! Components: • Chicken stock – wings, feet, chicken backs, ham • Pork stock – the chicken stock, ginger, green onions, pork skin • Filling – ground pork or chopped raw pork belly, green onions or chives, black pepper, a splash of rice vinegar, a splash of Shaohsing, sugar, salt • Dough – 1 part hot water dough, 2 parts cold water dough (see below) 1. Make your chicken stock. Homemade is really preferable to canned or bouillon powder but I suppose if you’re time constrained and HAVE to cut a XLB corner, this’d be the one. You’ll need about 2 litres (0.5 gallon). I like to use a mix of wings, carcasses and chicken feet – the feet really add an unctuousness to the final product. And I throw in a bit of Chinese ham, or when that’s not on hand, some pancetta or prosciutto scraps I save in the freezer. Skim constantly and don’t overboil, so it stays clear. 2. Make your pork stock I use about .5kg (1lb or so) of pork belly or shoulder, with skin, and set aside the meat from the belly for the filling, after an initial blanching. I also buddied up to my local Chinese butcher, who gives me long sheets of pork skin – that's me, Will Smile for Pork! About 30cm(15 inch) worth. You could use ground pork for the filling instead, just try to finagle more skin from somewhere. If you can get a trotter, that’s fantastic to throw in too, as there is ALOT of collagen stickiness in them which is the main defining ingredient of a good XLB stock. Submerge the pork belly (if using), extra pork skin, a big knob of ginger unpeeled and cut into slices, 4 or 5 green onions into the 2L of chicken stock and bring to just below the boil. After 3 minutes, take the pork belly piece out and cut off the skin; set aside the meat and return the skin to the pot of stock. Simmer on medium heat for about 2 hours. Then fish the skin/s out, chop finely or puree in a blender and return to the stock for another 20 mins. Remove from heat, strain all but a half a cup into a shallow, oiled dish and let cool. When cool, put it in the fridge for 2 – 3 hours so it solidifies completely. Then turn out onto a board and chop into 1cm/0.5 inch cubes and return to the fridge. 3. Make wrapper dough. I used to use a half hot water, half cold water dough recipe but have been tinkering and tinkering lately trying to get it more elastic, less gummy. And am more or less happy with 1 part hot water, 2 cold for now but this requires further experiment as it's not quite silken enough. Hot water dough: 125gm plain flour (4.5oz) 1/8 tsp salt 75ml boiling water (2.5 fl oz) Hot water dough: Combine flour and salt in bowl. Make a well in centre and pour in boiling water. Mix with fork or chopsticks, turn out onto lightly floured work surface and knead for 5 minutes. Cold water dough: 250gm plain flour (9 oz) 1/4 tsp salt 120 ml cold water (4 fl oz) Do exactly the same for cold water dough, using the proportions above. Knead both balls together and leave to rise for 2 – 3 hours. Punch down dough ball and divide into 6 pieces. Roll each into a long sausage shape and then cut or pinch off into 1.5cm (3/4 inch) pieces. On a floured work surface, squash each piece lightly with the heel of your hand and roll out to about 9 cm (3.5in) in diameter – trying to get the edges thinner than the centre. Repeat until you have a tower of wrappers. 4. Make filling Chop remaining pork belly finely, or puree in food processor. Or get out your ground pork if using. Mix in some finely chopped ginger, chopped green onion or garlic chives, 6 turns of black pepper grinder, a splash of Shaohsing, a splash of rice vinegar, 1 tsp of sugar, ½ teaspoon of salt, a small splash of light soy sauce and the reserved ½ cup of stock to loosen it up. Beat furiously with a pair of chopsticks until mushy, in one direction (eg clockwise), to keep the meat fibres together 5. Forming the XLB This is the way I do it. Make an O with your thumb and forefinger; as if you were grasping a baton without the actual baton. Lay a wrapper on top of the O with the slightly thicker base resting over the hole created by your thumb and forefinger. Drop a heaped teaspoon of the pork mixture onto the O. Top with a cube of the jellied stock. Let the pork sag slightly through the O so that the ring created by your fingers helps form the ball shape. Still with the “sack” of pork hanging through the O (are these the weirdest instructions ever or what!!), use your other hand to start gathering the pleats around the neck. Fold a bit in, pinch, rotate, fold, pinch, etc. As you turn, start squeezing at the neck of the dumpling gently. Some pinch IN for a pointy tip. I think this contributes to the sensation of thick uncooked doughiness at the apex, so I was taught to pinch in at the top but with a little above that, like the neck of an urn or a little navel. This also has the benefit of ‘catching’ any soup that evaporates in the steaming process and condensation then deposits those precious droplets back into the ‘navel’. To wit: This is where you’d generally put a dab of crab roe if you were using it, but it’s tricky and I’ve been known to use a pair of scissors to snip off any side of the navel I extrude too much… It doesn’t really matter all that much, just convention I suppose. Whatever you decide to do, you shouldn’t be able to see the filling through the top. Repeat until all done, laying each on a sheet of baking paper as you go. Either steam straight away or freeze on the sheet and then once fully frozen, baggy up for later use. 6. Steam the XLB Line a bamboo steamer with baking paper and stab a number of slits through the slats with a sharp knife for steam vents. I prefer this to greasing the steamer or using cabbage as it's really the only way I've found that truly reduces the risk of the bottoms sticking and tearing and thus losing the soupy innards.. However, since 1 or 2 of them inevitably do, the baking paper allows one to pick it up carefully from the empty steamer, shape into a funnel and tip any collected soup back over the dumplings..hey, I'm a conservationist! You can't really do this with cabbage as it's porous anyway so doesn't collect the dribblings, but is too hot and soft to handle in any case. Baking paper is non porous and surprisingly any escaped soup rests on it, rather than dripping back through the slits you created lining the steamer..do I sound obsessive? I think I sound obsessive.. Bring a pan of water to boil under the steamer and then steam XLB for 5 minutes (if fresh) or 15 minutes (from frozen). Traditionally we ate these with a dipping sauce of shredded ginger mixed into some red vinegar, though I don’t do this anymore as I feel the vinegar obscures the taste of the sweet, sweet porkiness…
  13. C. sapidus, that looks delicious! Do you cook the sauce first and then braise the chicken in it? For dinner tonight, I made xiao long bao. I'm finally more or less happy with my stock recipe (mostly pork skin and chicken stock, with a trotter if I can get one) but am yet to close the book on the wrapper dough. It's still a bit thick and tacky, not the fine silken gossamer-ness my Amah would make.. Yes, they ARE overly-crowded in the steamer but that's because I'm both impatient and greedy..not, however, completely stupid: note the baking paper with a number of holes stabbed in it, to reduce the risk of the bao sticking to the bamboo steamer and tearing (gotta protect that precious soup! )
  14. That is exactly them! Thank you so much!!
  15. My chilli/heat obsession also makes its way into dessert snacking: 1. slice of red chilli squashed between two squares of dark chocolate 2. slice of raw ginger dunked in honey and chewed on 3. and the surprisingly good: powdered wasabi smooshed into vanilla ice cream. Now to get back on topic... Does anyone know what these HK Chinese snacks are or are called? They're like thin, purplish rounded flakes of something, that come in a roll (like Lifesavers, only very thin and flaky...and no hole). Sweetish and a little sour, maybe plum? A little bit yucky tasting after too many but you buy them in bulk packs of maybe six short, stubby rolls...anyone, anyone? I haven't seen them in years but am completely nostalgic for them so would love to know what to ask for.
  16. I suppose it's not really weird, or especially Chinese, but..I love snacking on red chillis: 1. Fresh chilli licked then dipped in salt 2. Fresh chilli licked then dipped in sugar And in summer: 1. Frozen chilli, straight from freezer. Mmmmmm. Like a hell-popsicle!
  17. Hi all First time poster here but loooong time lurker! I'm an Australian living in Sydney, but born in HK and raised between HK, China, Singapore and Japan...with Filipina, Shanghainese and Cantonese nannies so my cooking repertoire is..shall we say..Pan-Asian. I speak "yum cha Cantonese" (ie..I get by) and fluentish Japanese and since I'm not Asian, my friends think it's bizarre that I cook complicated Chinese dishes but go blank wondering how to cook a potato and have a real distaste for bread.. Nice to meet you all. Anyway, this is a FANTASTIC thread and my first contribution is twice-cooked pork belly. Often make it with garlic shoots but sometimes loooove the sweet slippery squelchiness of a well-cooked green onion:
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