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Everything posted by dmreed

  1. maybe you could simply ask the restaurant what the ingredients are...maybe a white lie that you have food allergies would help!
  2. yes, the Japanese Iron Chefs. any idea why short grained rice should be used warm?
  3. I have always used cooked cold rice for fried rice because it breaks up into individual grains. I was initially surprised when the Iron Chefs used freshly steamed rice for fried rice. Does anyone else here use cold cooked rice?
  4. check Thanks, very informative. I would never have thought of putting tofu with meat.... I also have some hints and preferences regarding mapo dofu on my site.
  5. Ha! LOL. Well Mr. Reed... you can imagine my surprise when I went to San Diego State from Hong Kong in 1979 and read what's on their menu! Chow Mein - San Diego "choy suey" Chinese restaurant style - means vegetable stir-fries with no noodle. Lo mein means noodles. I think that's from old-school choy-suey Chinese food. (Is that where you dined at?) I would imagine that the new generation Chinese restaurants along Convoy... chow mein is noodle. San Diego is probably not alone. In most non-Chinese populated places (like most of the USA) where Chinese food is handed down from the early 1900's... that's probably the way it still is.
  6. but what I what is choy sum without garlic...just oil and salt! what would be the name and the Chinese characters. BTW I got my original name from a cookbook and it said that this was the best way to test the wok hay capabilities of the chef.
  7. I thought the Cost book did have the Chinese/Asian names and characters for most of the ingredients but I can't find my copy to check. I know I have some cookbooks which provide good ingredient lists with Chinese/Asian names/characters for use when shopping in Asian markets but I am not sure which books they are. I will attempt to provide create such a list as I come across these particular books again. I will probably put the list on my site along with the other Chinese/Asian food info pages. But I doubt it will be very soon :>(
  8. I am curious...I have only tried a few different Chinese/Asian starches as stir-fry sauce thickeners and so far none of them can handle reheating (I know, I know, stir-fries should be eaten immediately but sometimes there are left overs which are too good to throw away!)...all the sauces turn to liquids when reheated. Does anyone know of a sauce thickener which allow the sauce to be reheated without turning to liquid? For example, most American gravies made with wheat flour maintain their consistency when reheated.
  9. I am definitely not an expert but I will attempt to answer to the best of my acquired knowledge and I am definitely open to corrections. salt: I have not seen many Chinese recipes which use salt but I have some Asian salt called "Muói Bién" (not accurate accent marks) (Thien Nhien) "Natural Salt" packed for Yue King Fung Trading Co., Hong Kong. The name "Muói Bién" is kind of funny, in Spanish, "Muy Bien" means "very good"! Is this just a Chinese marketing joke or does the name have a Chinese meaning? sugar: Chinese recipes usually use a sort of yellowish rock sugar. pepper: I have seen recipes which use white pepper and recipes which use black pepper (maybe it depends on the region of China as to which may be preferred or which is readily available?); there are also the famous Szechuan/Sichuan pepper/peppercorns which are not really pepper and provide a "numbing" efffect rather than a "spicy hot" taste. starch: many starches are/may be used in Chinese cooking; corn starch is probably most used in the West, tapioca, arrowroot, mung bean, potato, sweet potato, and others are used in Chinese and other Asian cooking. Many Asian and Chinese cookbooks list ingredients often with Chinese and other language names. I would recommend "Asian ingredients : a guide to the foodstuffs of China, Japan, Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam" by Bruce Cost as a good reference book which might meet your need.
  10. I read in one of my cookbooks, that this is the way to order it if one wants to check out the wok expertise of the chef! I have yet to try it because none of the restaurants have had it...so I ordered Chinese Brocolli plain instead. Apparently I will have to buy some choy sum and cook it myself.
  11. thanks for the review and for documenting your personal experiences. I have the book and was intrigued by some of the recipes but I have not yet tried any of them. your post prompts me to find the book and try some recipes. thanks.
  12. except that the "chow" or "chao" simply means stir fried if I understand correctly. I would think that "chow mein" without noodles would be "stir fried vegetables" with/without tofu, beef, pork, chicken, seafood, etc. and such a dish might be called Chinese Toisanese "tsap sui" or American "chop suey".
  13. I often have chili on spaghetti, in fact, one can order it at many restaurants!
  14. that is my thought as well...but I became a little bit unsure when 2 different Chinese restaurants told me the same thing, i.e., chow mein does not have noodles, lo mein has noodles! thanks everyone for your explanations which confirmed my previous understanding that "chow mein" does indeed mean "fried noodles"!
  15. when I make mapo dofu at home, if I don't have Chinese or appropriate Asian noodles available, I use spaghetti...al dente, of course! noodles/spaghetti absorb enough sauce for my taste/preference.
  16. when you say crispy noodles do you mean the deep fried noodles like shoe string potatoes or the pan fried disk of noodles which are crispy on both sides oand soft inside?
  17. I currently have cataloged at http://dmreed.com: 747 Asian cookbooks with 610 cover pictures 5 downloadable OLD Asian cookbooks 278 Non-Asian cookbooks with 269 cover pictures I do not catalog a cookbook until I have perused it and there are several cookbooks which I have not yet perused.
  18. Why would it be weird to serve mapo dofu over noodles? IMHO it is quite good...better than over rice. I will have to be sure to check chow mein recipes when I reread the books in my Chinese cookbook collection to see if any do not use noodles. It is interesting to me that the only places I have eaten where chow mein does not have noodles are the two restaurants in El Cajon, CA! I just checked and found this http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/629916 which discusses chow mein without noodles in NYC! If anyone is interested, my site, http://dmreed.com, contains my cookbook collections (about 750 Asian cookbooks, predominatly Chinese), a discussion regarding "tsap sui"/"chop suey", recipes, etc.
  19. any additional information regarding chow mein without noodles would be greatly appreciated. the same for mapo dofu served over soft noodles.
  20. My wife and I ate at Chinese restaurants yesterday and today. The wait-persons at both places said chow mein does not have noodles (it has bean sprouts) and that lo mein is the same dish with noodles! I have never heard/read of such a description of chow mein which I thought meant fried/stir-fried noodles! BTW yesterday the water told me that he knew that in northern China mapo dofu is frequently served over noodles! This has been a hunch of mine for quite a while and the way I prefer mapo dofu! Nice to find some validation.
  21. are those the characters for Yow Yim Choy Sum? that is the way Yow Yim Choy Sum was described in one of my cookbooks but when I have asked for it at a restaurant, I have been asked which sauce, garlic or oyster sauce, I want the vegetable with...I have had to specify that I want it plain!
  22. Yow Yim Choy Sum I would like to have the Chinese characters for one of my favorite dishes, Yow Yim Choy Sum, which I now order to check the quality of the cooking especially the wok hay when I visit a Chinese restaurant for the first time. so far, I have had to specifically order the dish as "plain" rather than with garlic or oyster sauce so I would appreciate any further Chinese characters which specify "plain", i.e., just salt and oil!
  23. I recently got a sample of a semi-dried Ghost Chili (also know as Naga Jolokia and Bhut Jolokia) which currently holds the world's record for Scoville units...over 1 million units...more than 4 times the heat of the Habanero and twice that of the Red Sevina Habanero! I cut off a piece about the size of a large pin head and put it on my tongue without chewing and I had to spit it out after about 5-10 seconds...it was that HOT! if the seeds from the Ghost Chili grow and produce peppers, I will make chili oil with the Ghost Chili and Sichuan peppercorn! just an update: I bought a pound of the Ghost Chilis and have made chili oil using about a quart of canola oil heated until almost smoking and then cooled for a couple of minutes and then I added a couple of handsful of dried Ghost Chilis, a handful of dried Chilis Japones, and 1/2 cup Sichuan peppercorns (obviously not really pepper). I then strained the oil through a colander which allowed some chili sediment to pass through. Then I put the chili oil into empty bottles and added a few larger pieces of chilis and then screwed on the bottle tops. It is indeed more picante than any chili oils I had bought or made before with a nice reddish color and it has a very nice flavor as well. I will try again to grow some Ghost Chilis this year!
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