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  1. Try switching out the bread. It's more than half the sandwich, and easy to do if you're time pressed. I prefer sourdough if I can get my hands on a nice loaf, but there's an almost endless variety of breads in every market nowadays, at least in the U.S.
  2. Wow. I remember seeing those as transport/storage jars for thousand year eggs and other dry ferments a zillion years ago. Sadly, they were replaced by styrofoam and plastic packaing. They were much more attractive than what we have today.
  3. Weinoo, it certainly does look like Boba is the provider of rebranded chickens. I'm actually reassured to find that they're raising them under Buddhist practices and using (presumably) chicken with an ancestry from China. Kind of reinforces my findings that these strains/brands of chicken are uniquely suited for white cut chicken, since the chicken and the recipe evolved together. Yes, I've tried other high end birds but we're talking about white cut chicken. I'm sharing my failures and successes with this particular recipe. And again yes, I've eaten just the white cut chicken and nothing else. My point isn't that you shouldn't have accompaniments, it's that the chicken is good enough to stand on it's own.
  4. Weinoo, Buddha and Lucky appear to be the dominant whole chickens sold in Manhattan Chinatown. The only branding is a little metal tag on the wings, which I've bitten into more than I like. I've never heard of Bobo. I'll have to take a closer look at the tag the next time I buy a chicken to verify the names, it's gotten to the point where I just discard it without even looking at it. Hopefully before I bite into it. I've tried Bell & Evans, Empire Kosher and some other premium chickens. They're not great for White Cut Chicken. Your mileage may vary, as I tried this many years ago and quickly gave up. Cooking expensive premium chickens unsuccessfully was making me cranky. I stopped experimenting when I moved back to the east coast and could access the chinatown meat markets. Taking a raw chicken back to California wasn't a great idea, but grabbing chicken and throwing it into the cooler for an hour in the back seat is fine. Mom doesn't need sauce and rice. The chicken stands alone And of course I'll never tell mom I'm sous viding. I am cheating thoroughly to get the results I want to eat, because I tried and failed for decades to use her methods. I nailed it on my second attempt with sous vide; the only adjustment was pushing the temp up a few degrees.
  5. Wow. Rough conversation. Liuzhou has been cranking accurate and incisive food information for at least the past decade that I've read. White cooked chicken is a brutally hard art to master. My 95+ year old shanghainese mom does it perfectly, and I strive and cheat to replicate anything close to what she makes. I've been to the best 'local" places in Taiwan and Singapore for chicken rice and mom blows them all away. It's not about rice or sauce. Forget that noise. Perfect chicken is tender, the skin is crunchy crispy after a perfect poach without being browned, and rice is...whatever the heck you want it to be. The skin is still perfectly moist, limp and crunchy at the same time. A better description might be "snappy". Sauce is soy or oyster/soy sauce. Salt is optional because mom is a genius and she don't need a crutch. Shaoxing wine might be part of the braising liquid, although that is my addition to the recipe and perhaps not part of mom's. She also makes perfect first generation chicken stock out of the poaching liquid. Second generation/reinforced stock comes about when additional chicken parts are boiled in the first generation stock. So....perfect chinese white cut chicken: Free range chinese chicken. I'm in the NYC vicinity, so the buddha brand is the standard. Bell and Evans kosher chicken is cottony. Yuck. Don't even waste your time with supermarket chicken. Double yuck. They're fine for other dishes, but they won't work for white cut chicken. I've found that anything frozen/mass market won't work. You MUST HAVE superior chicken. Try to find something your local chinese population will use, because anything else I've tried just fails. Poaching liquid is 2-5 gallons of water. Additives are ginger, salt and shaoxing wine. Bring to a boil and place chicken in, take off heat, and wait until perfect. More liquid is better to maintain an even temperature, but skill and technique make smaller amounts of liquid better to achieve a tastier stock. Yup, that's the recipe that mom gave me. Hit or miss gets reasonable results sometimes, and just atrocious and perfect results part of the time. Timing and technique are everything. Here's my cheat. I've had better results by placing the chicken in a bag and sous viding everything at 148F for 2 hours. The meat is good, the "broth" still needs to be cooked to coagulate the proteins out of the liquid. Yeah, mom is perfect and I'm not so I cheat. She can do everything in one pot and all at the same time. Mom just touches the chicken and says it's done. Use a thermometer or learn to determine the texture of the chicken when it's done to replace her expertise. It only took her 70+ years to figure it out.
  6. It wasn't the first food memory I had, but certainly the most vivid. My dad was in the hospital, and mom was holding down the fort. Taking care of the kids, working a full day, shopping and cooking for us at night. As a stupid kid, I didn't realize how serious the situation was - dad had been in the hospital for weeks, and we were just told, "he'll be fine". Watching mom getting more and more tired, I got up and started cooking breakfast and lunch to take to work for her. I made a mess, of course. I had no idea what I was doing, and I'm pretty sure the food was both burnt and raw when I finished. She ate every crumb and told me it was delicious.
  7. I've actually had really good results for grilled pizza, without a lot of extra equipment. I used a Weber silver genesis (the old one with grill tubes running the long way) for all my experiments. I think the grill is a great standin for a pizza oven with an intense heat source on the bottom of the oven. The heat from the bottom really blasts the crust and makes it crunchy and crispy. method 1: thin crust pizza, lightly dressed Put entire pre-dressed pizza directly on a pre-heated grill. Cover and blast at full heat until the crust is set and starting to show nice grill marks. Lower heat until toppings are heated and melted. method 2: normal and thick crust pizza. Heavier toppings, pre-cooked. Preheat grill at high, turn heat to medium. Oil pizza round for extra browning and flavor. Place undressed pizza round on grill at medium heat. The high heat start will put some nice marks on the dough, and give the dough a hit of oven spring. Grill until half cooked and grill marks are apparent. Flip and dress pizza, or hold dough until needed. You can dress the pizza on the grill, or take it off and allow your guests to have a pizza dressing experience. Works great for the kids! Grill covered until toppings melted. You can get great char and crust on the bottom of the pizza by turning the heat back up to high for a bit.This requires some pretty good timing, since it's easy to overcook and burn the crust at this point. I think it's worth it to get the browning on the bottom as well as the top of the dough, but you're going to play with it and overcook some pizzas along the way. Also, I think stones or steels work great. I used to use a cast iron Lodge grill heated for 15 minutes at max grill temperature to cook the dough round. I stopped using it because it was just so unwieldy and heavy to move and clean. If you want top browning on the toppings, grab the blowtorch!
  8. Mom and dad are from the Shanghai region. I'm actually a New Yorker.
  9. Thanks! Looks like I missed this thread, and its pretty close to what I'm looking for. Thanks Anna N and to everyone else who replied!
  10. Interesting. My personal experience (admittedly limited) has been wholly vegetarian dishes at Chinese temples, with a lot of interesting tofu and soybean product based dishes that I've never seen anywhere else. Those dishes in particular stick in my memory and palate. As for non veg Buddhists, well the middle path has lots of room. But if you look at some the purported "Buddhist Cuisine" recipes on the web, they're just plain nasty. I'm having a hard time believing the equivalent of ham and cheese roll ups are good eats in any cuisine.
  11. Because I'm chinese and I liked the food More seriously, I've been examining vegetarian diets more carefully for the ethical and ecological implications. On the side of good eats, I've been decidely unimpressed by western mass market vegetarian thoughts - bean burgers, impossible burgers made from beets, chicken shapes made of out of seitan and bad stereotypical bean/rice/tofu/sprouts. The chinese vegetarian dishes don't try to imitate meat, they're just tasty and satisfying on their own. Even if they're named mock duck or chicken, it's pretty obvious they've got nothing to do with the real animal. It's different food that tastes good, not some insane chemical filled patty imitating a slab of meat.
  12. I remember eating vegetarian food at a Buddhist temple at events such as (sadly) funerals. It was fantastic. There's plenty of discusion about the cuisine, but I can't find any cookbooks or even recipes online to recreate these dishes. Can anyone point me in the right direction? p.s. I should point out that the "Buddhist" recipes that show up on an easy google search are, shall we say, of questionable authenticity. Hot chiles, garlic, cheese, meats and seafood shouldn't be at all involved in this type of food.
  13. I'll chime in for a Panasonic as well. My original Panasonic microwave went from 1986 to roughly 2010. I did a fuse change somewhere around 2000 for under a buck, and it served faithfully until the day I retired it. It was still working, but I'd noticed cook and defrost times had gotten ridiculously long. My best guess is I'd actually worn out the magnetron with my usage. Barbara Kafka's Microwave Gourmet put a lot of extra hours on the microwave, as did my experiments with accelerating dough rises with bursts of microwave heating. My new Panasonic microwave has been almost as reliable as the first one. The door latch is a little sticky, otherwise everything's working fine. Let's see if I can hit 25 years of usage this time.
  14. I replied to a query asking what was my other favorite chinese cookbook. All Under Heaven is definitely in print, Barbara Tropp's masterpiece The Modern Art of Chinese Cooking is sadly out of print.
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