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Posts posted by jokhm

  1. Hah.

    Great stuff!

    That's right though.. the object of soy products are to absorb and become the meat which we abhor so much and therefore choose to replace with something not meat-related but which we want to taste, look and feel just like the meat we abho&*(@%(...

    yeah. This is one of the issues that keeps me eating a huge hunk of the light and fluffy bricks covered in garlic, green onions and sesame oil... mmm.

    Its true.. proselytizing is a fruitless effort. But I've been asked with open eyes by some foodies, despite their mediocre experiences up to this point.

    Plus, I want to learn more myself... and hopefully figure out if don't need to take some dried fuzhu with me on the plane home!

  2. OK after looking up some photos of the DouJin i've come to something slightly different.. or very different. It isn't what I was thinking of... but its another to add to the list.. Kind of thick and rolled up. These are fantastic as well! I had them once fried with chilis, garlic and ginger and there was a slight cheesiness to the taste, which i was told was due to it being fermented a tiny bit. Amazing

  3. ahhh that's it. Nice!

    Ooh yeah.. the reaaally soft stuff.. yes I'll have to mark that one down

    The stuff in the liangpi is soy-based, but the bulk of the liangpi is potato flour noodles, i think.. possibly sweet potato flour.. and I'm pretty sure it isn't rice flour. Of course that's in beijing...! In Xi'an, the source of liangpi, the noodles come in dozens of varieties, and I've never seen the soy-product used in the dish! Great fun

  4. Right

    well, its the soy products themselves that are more of the concern. Back in Montreal I remember easily finding variations of firm and silken tofu.. If they were western brands then they were usually either too firm or too soft and meant only for desserts. The shops in areas with more chinese usually have tubs of really good soft tofu, but I never looked or knew much about any other varieties before settling in China. Maybe upon returning home I'll easily find it all,... easy to find when you suddenly know what you are looking for! But perhaps I'm wrong. I remember when I was in Vancouver last year the supermarket truly amazed me - i could find nearly anything related to CHinese/japanese/korean cuisine. But I fear Montreal isn't quite the same. Maybe i'm wrong..

  5. oh... i have bad memories of 'tofu' cooked back in Canada... so bad.. so bad..

    the firm crumbly stuff with no taste.. uch. It's no wonder that people aren't too thrilled with Tofu in general.

    The only firm stuff you see regularly all over china is the one that is braised with dark soy and tons of chilis... mmm

    Oh and I didn't even get into choudoufu!


    there you go..

    this one's fiery spicy, no real bad smell--!

    and then there's namyu-fuyu-furu etc.. I'll leave that to the other current thread

  6. heh sounds amazing

    Yeah I've had some of that here and it is unbelievable. However, what I would like to do is show people that even the raw/simple/everyday type products can be impressive with simple cooking.... and some interesting ways of cooking them as well.

    Though, since you mentioned it, anyone know a good place for the buddhist-style stuff in Beijing?

  7. So in about 2 weeks I'll be back in Montreal for a month and I've been told to cook dinner for some friends and co-workers, some of which are proud vegetarians. When they come to meet me in China/HK we mostly avoid Chinese food since so far they are unimpressed with what they find in comparison to their favorites faux-meat veg places in Montreal. We have one Thai place in particular that is famous for what they can mimic.. and for their outrageous prices. But a lot of their criticism of eating veg in China stems from the fact that they believe Chinese-style soy products are no good, too simple... and most of the time just soft white bean curd. My answer is usually

    --the soft-wide beancurd is the best...!!

    --tofu is not a meat subsitute (that puts some into shock)

    -- and you haven't seen 1/10th of what is commonly done in Chinese food with soy products...

    and when they say 'what is commonly done?'

    I go blank..

    I can only describe the textures and look of this and that... practically no names. There isn't a chance they will be able to go to the chinese grocery shops and find anything based on what I told them.

    So, I would like to now create some form of list with english and chinese names and maybe photos, for all the real Chinese soy products used in general chinese cuisine. I don't really mean the buddhist styles that do similar things of faking textures.

    What I'm referring to are things like:

    1) frozen tofu - 冻豆腐-dongdoufu- basically soft or semi-soft tofu thrown in the freezer and used later (awesome stuff, especially for hotpots and soups)

    2) ? -fuzhu - tofu skins tightly wrapped and then dried.. millions of uses for the stuff once you rehydrate it later. (scares some veg friends of mine because they are certain it must be a random animals offals)

    3) tofu skins 豆腐皮 - doufupi - Good for wrapping pieces of meat.. Usually they come in super thin or in the thicker and more dotted textured varieties (the latter of which is sliced super thin to become..

    4) shredded tofu skins 豆腐丝 - doufusi - usually served cold with fresh coriander, garlic, spices, vinegar, sesame oil and light soy - I think. Good with cooked dried chilis and coriander.. mm

    5) deep fried tofu puffs - don't remember Chinese.. Good in Malatang or nearly anywhere.. sometimes in Hot pot..

    6) oh this one is amazing... don't know the english or the Chinese! they often come in small 4-5" rounds about 1/2" thick, and in Beijing they throw them in chunks into LiangPi 凉皮。I've also seen it as a cold sweet dark soy-cooked appetizer in Shanghai or further south. I think KFC (!!) also has it now as one of their appetizer. What is it?!

    It is really spongy in texture, lots of holes. Another one of those freak out the vegetarians soy-product.

    Any others?? I'm sure...

    Now if everyone can continue to add whatever I've missed.. that'd be great. Especially different uses for these things.. and some assurances that they can be found in a city like montreal. I know many of them can..

    Anyway.. I want to return home with some food that can impress these people on the topic of Chinese soy stuff without needed a chemistry degree to reprocess the tofu into fake t-bone steaks and cheesecake(uchh).

  8. doesn't sound too sacriligeous. The best tieguanyin starts off strong and unbalanced, with a perfect second cup, and then gradually becomes very subtle.. eventually very sweet. And a good tieguanyin is not bitter at all. OK, maybe occasionally a hint of bitterness, but not much more than any green tea. mmm now i will go have some.

  9. yes that description of strong and bitter and concentrated dose preceded by Tiekuanyin (Tieguanyin) doesn't do the stuff justice!! Though some Dimsum places give you a pretty poor rendition of TGY. As far as oolong teas go, it is actually less oxidized or 'strong' than the majority of oolongs. But avoid drinking it on too empty a stomach since it will make your head spin a bit.

    but we like that...

  10. I would find it hard to compare much of the Japanese hotpots to what is available in China, or HK for that matter.. Too much variety on this side. The northern vs southern is only one large grouping, but also the more broth-dependent inner mongolian.. like xiaofeiyang for instance. I'm not sure if they have a branch in HK, but the Shanghai and Beijing branches are outstanding while never being too spicy. That being said, I still think some of the southern style hotpots are brilliantly simple often without relying at all on a dipping sauce either. By contrast the japanese ones are quite bland, and almost a totally different species.

    While you are in HK check out Gecko bar! great jazz... no shabu shabu though.

  11. Not so crazy to stuff it with pork, as long as you stuff it, then cook it and finally slice it! Yes, doing it backwards will make a mess. And the lotus stuffed with fermented sticky rice in syrop is a typical zhejiang/shanghai appetizer. mm Good but sweet!

    I've also often had it sliced, with groud pork in between two slices, battered and then deepfried.

    But the absolute BEST lotus-anything I've ever eaten was at a Hunan/Hubei restaurant in Beijing that consisted of rice powder, chopped up chilis, garlic, ginger, and chopped up lotus... all mixed together into a highly textures mass and then ... fried.. maybe...?

    I will be in Changsha, Hunan next week for Chinese new years.. and I'm told that this is one dish that might be able to find in the nearby villages. Interesting timing, considering the OP's original location of interest!

  12. I'll have to figure this one out. No more picture posting without at least the restaurant name! One of the problems I had with this one is that the main floor was under construction. The restaurant was on the second floor, as many asked about... but then again, most good restaurants are on the 2+ floor! (??)

  13. Yes I will take out the camera more. Its my new years resolution. I took 9 thousand pictures last year that remain on my computer, and aside from some work-related shooting I have hesitated taking pictures much since then. But now I'm going to actively shoot food photos; big time.

    This place was on the second floor... near TianHeLu.. But I'm not sure of the specifics. I will find out.. I just remember Guo in the name..

    And for some reason I only remembered to take the camera to the LAST meal. Oh, you should have seen the Dimsum and Hunan food etc.

    麻辣田鸡火锅。Frog hotpot... out of this world good.

    And Qing, in my opinion Guangzhou indeed offers the best selection of Chinese foods from all over. The food we ate there was simply amazing.. and in April I'll be back! Yessss.

    Oh, and about the Shuizhuyu, I don't remember the fish but I will ask. The chef did put some cabbage, but what was unique was the inclusion of 1cm thin strips of cucumber in there as well. Never had that. Was definitely one of my best shuizhuyus. Far better than what is universally declared best in beijing at Feitengyuxian.. which I don't understand myself.

    Yeah I missed the noodles and green vegetables, among other things. I try to avoid keeping people waiting all that much!

    Sichuan food is very attractive, often due to the beautiful red chilies. But we do NOT eat them all! Aghhk! Some can be eaten, and they are never nearly as hot as some other kinds of dry red chilies. These burst with flavour, but they still have lots of kick! Eating even half would require new plumbing in my apartment.

    -- The drinks over to the side were just plain old beer. Nothing fancy.. but works with Chilies.

  14. Here's a brief glimpse of one meal out of about 8 total, had last week in Guangzhou. I'll try and get the name of the place soon... but very well known, and absolutely packed. I get distracted coming in or out of restaurants like these, either from hunger, excitement or that stuffed feeling.


    here's one cold and a few hot dishes


    Koushuiji. Cold marinated chicken in chili oil.. best version I've had


    Excellent Shuizhuyu hot oil fish


    Slightly sweet beef rib slices on the bone, with little northern-style fried twisted breads


    Pork belly thin sliced, similar to kourou, coated with rice powder and sitting on top of chunks of sweet potato


    Really excellent Malamoyu.. Super hot, and extremely numbing cuttlefish!

    Great stuff... the last few items were some fried greens, two plates of steamed beef(hamburger-like) stuffed into sticky rice hunks. And everything finished off with little coconut sago's.

    Someone remind me to take my camera out more.

  15. ah.. these trips are 'often' business, but Always leisure. This one in particular started with an active food-vacation in Guangzhou and Shenzhen, followed by 'work' in HK. OK.. Time to post some Guangzhou pictures... at least from one meal.

  16. Great stuff! Thanks!

    Right up my alley... literally.

    And yes, the language is always a fun issue. Here in HK it is the traditional characters that make my head spin. But regardless of my understanding of the character itself, Chinese menu items change in meaning drastically from one place to another. I can't remember how many times I've been with Chinese that have no comprehension of much of the menu. And just the other day I took someone from Hunan out for dimsum and had to explain each item to her! She was scared to eat the luobogao. Hah, this part of the world is a dream for food lovers. People actually think I am here on business...


  17. I did a lot of wandering from Tsim Sha Tsui up to Prince Edward station area. Also here and there closer to the base of the mid-levels elevators. This city is really huge for these short visits of mine. I have been taken to a few notable places in Tsim Sha Tsui east and center, as well as just below Jordan. mmm.

    My hotel is the Miramar right on Nathan rd.

    I'll check out that thread. Though, my tendencies are more to play with snacks and cheaper meals. Fancy dinners in HK are rare for me unfortunately. In the mainland however...

    (time to start posting pics)

  18. ...! I hope someone fills ME in on what is going on with food in HK. I'm just a visitor too. I had a terrible claypot rice last night while wandering on my own. Lots of people does not always equal good food. My friend who usually shows me around isn't available this week!

  19. Ah I'll look into that, sounds great.

    As for the debate as to whether better Chinese food can be had in Vancouver.... I think people miss the fact that even if some of you have grown up in HK or China, when you visit you are limited to only a few meals and you only have a chance in hell of being pleased if you have friends living there to show you around. If you do, without a doubt the food should be better than Vancouver, Toronto, San Fransisco or New York. There are just too many restaurants, and similar to in North America, there are so many BAD ones! Also, I won't hesitate to say that some of the best food in China has yet to even make appearances in the capital cities of their respective provinces, let alone North America!! But anyway, we are talking now about Cantonese food mostly, so that doesn't really apply.

    And yes, Shenzhen is a truly weird city. Don't be fooled by the population size though. It might be 7 or 8 million, but most people in the province in general have their meals of rice + simply cooked protein paid for by their factory employers. Though a friend of mine in Guangzhou told me that she thinks Shenzhen has more restaurants than Guangzhou to choose from (??).

  20. Oh this stuff looks great.

    I just got into HK two days ago, with one other vegetarian co-worker. So that makes two other Canucks in HK. The seafood looks fantastic in the photos. I'm often so depressed looking at similar tanks on the mainland. In the north the fish are usually already dead or close to it. Had really dissappointing seafood in Shenzhen... Maybe I'll get out to SaiKone to grab a bite.

    Oh.. and we overloaded with Indian food in the last two days, and now hoping to find some other veg-friendly places for my friend. He's a Thai nut, but I don't understand how without fish sauce.

  21. Green tea is not oxidized, just like White tea except that green tea requires a few more steps during production. In the process the leaves can become minorly oxidized but nothing close to a baozhong oolong, which one of the lesser oxidized oolongs. And there you have it, oolongs are any tea that is partially oxidized. I would also say that this allows oolong teas to have the greatest range in flavours, by far. Going from a Dongding to a Tieluohan and then to Tieguanyin... there is hardly anything comparable between them, other than the species of leaves used. Pu'er is the one that often is seen in giant hunks of compressed balls/bricks/discs etc. The average weight of one of the discs is about 350g. They are usually packed in 7's and labeled accordingly. Dragon pearls is one english naming convention for a generic Fujian green tea. But those names get thrown around a lot, so it is hard for me to specifically say what they will always show up as. And as for the price of pu'er... it can be cheap, like $10 for a whole disc.. and I've seen as high as $10,000 for an 80 year old untouched piece. Pu'er teas are very strange indeed. When they are released from the factory they are almost always already aged 3 years. The cooked variety have a very dark, muddy, medicinal flavour; but it grows on you. They are consumed for many health properties including weight loss. The raw variety produces a cup that ranges from pale green to light orange in colour and can produce a wide range of slightly medicinal flavours. I've tried some that were intensely sweet, and others equally sour or bitter. The thing with pu'er teas is that they are still alive and fermenting. Each tea, similar to wine, has a ripening period. I wouldn't say that they deteriorate..just change.. but some shouldn't be consumed all that early. Raw cakes have a much later ripening period, say 10 years minimum. I have a few 17 and 18 year old ones here with me, some raw and some cooked. Quite an interesting range of flavours! OK, that's quite enough for now...... (!!?)

  22. Well luckily if you are talking about tea, as opposed to a herbal, it is always from the same leaves. It is only what is done to them after really that identifies them uniquely. As for the teas I mentioned, Tieguanyin and Wuyi oolongs.. they are two specific classes of oolongs. TGY is actually a very typical but unique tasting oolong from fujian; very common in those parts. It has large, often bruised, slightly red-tipped leaves and a very bright floral flavour - usually. I find they are unbelievably different from one another depending on grade AND where they were harvested. The most popular high-end TGY comes from Anxi region in Fujian province. As for Wuyi teas. They are sometimes all classed together as 'Wuyi Yan Cha', but this usually refers to a much lower quality 'export-only' grade. Whereas in China, Wuyi tea can be broken down into at least 15 sub-varieties. 4 of which are very famous in China: Dahongpao, Tieluohan, Baijiguan and Shuijingui. The ones you will see most often are usually the cheaper Shuixian and Rougui. As you can see many many types. And I'd imagine that upon trying any of the teas I mentioned, you most easily fall in love with the Tieguanyin teas. The Wuyi teas take a lot longer to appreciate as a whole and exponentially longer to appreciate individually from one another. Of those, my favorites (at the moment) are Dahongpao (and Qidan) and Tieluohan. They are unbelievable. Deep red, roasted, and extremely complex floral flavours.

    The last one I mentioned was Pu'er tea, which is a whole class of tea, just as green is another. In China they are considered the Black teas actually. And to risk going on forever, I'll just explain that they are aged 3 years minimum, and come in a cooked and raw variety, either loose or in the form of compressed discs or bricks suitable for storage and transportation. They deserve a thread of their own. In fact all these teas do. Hope I didn't push the headache in even deeper!

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