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Everything posted by jokhm

  1. http://www.foodsubs.com/Rice.html Quick link on rice types.. though doesn't really show nutritional properties much. For some reason I always had it in my head that aged Basmati rice was always the best choice to balance nutrition and flavor.. though I personally think it has the best flavor out of all rice varieties. Either way, brown rice is something i normally wait to hear about from my vegan friends just to get a nice big laugh out. I guess it comes down to that whole Eat to Live or Live to eat classification, and no one who swears by brown rice is going to wake up in a cold sweat in the middle of the night craving a poutine.
  2. Damn good thread. This is on every white person's mind the moment they step into their first mainland china restaurant experience: "how the hell are these people stuffing themselves with so much food...!? and look at them!" (observation by another white person.... though if I haven't shaved everyone always asks if I'm iraqi (??) ) hah. Makes sense that the changes will be apparent after 2 generation wealth, I imagine. And When I mentioned how I stuff myself silly with lamb skewers... I don't mean the tourist kind.. I only go to the Cab driver hangouts in beijing or some real popular muslim places recently in Xi An that serve the sticks by the 20+!...side order of suanmeitang only. The food is strong there. Easy to stuff it. mmm. I love all the MSG talk too. Someone at my table asks for no msg and I'll just revoke the person's ordering rights. Reminds me of all the Chinese guesthouses catering to foreigners that always have a jam-packed resto with 50 foreigners constantly ordering the dish written on the wall "Stir fried noodles with vegetables". That's just what I traveled 15 thousand Km for. They call me a food snob here. meh.. I say Feed me. Oh.. And I love Anzu's thinking on reporting vs. incidence. Look around in China or India... can you actually believe statistics!? Really dead-on observation. I'm going to link to your post everytime someone shoots a blanket stat across this 1.3billion population. Always good to keep in mind that 1/8th of the world is a poor/hardly accounted-for chinese farmer.
  3. this all makes perfect sense... but what about the northern areas of china. I just got back from xi an and I think in 3 days i consumed over 100 skewers of beef/lamb. Beijing is no different, though the people are larger than those in xi an. However the diet is far 'worse' than that of any southern chinese'. So why aren't people 'american-sized'? I see quite a few large one here and there in Beijing, but people are still generally skinny in comparison to the average person in north america. Those cab drivers sit in their car all day long and only stop for breaks to feast on 20 skewers of lamb and a few beers. They aren't large by any means!
  4. the method we've been using here for the baby ribs is dumping them in a bowl, adding some ginger, a ridiculous amount of garlic, about 10 dried chili peppers coarsely chopped, a tablespoon or more of black beans that have been densely marinating in chili oil, salt, white pepper, white part of the chinese leeks chopped up, a dash of dark soy sauce and a bit of MSG.... Then steam for a long long time.. Dont' think i'm missing anything, but i'll think about it a bit more. It's steamed enough once the garlic is practically melted internally.. fantastic. The meat should fall off the bone in your mouth and the large amount of sauce should be kept until the morning when it should then be dumped on top of some cooked rice or wheat noodles in broth with a fried egg inside.. mmm Now I go wait until my stomach is truly hungry and I get to wish I had actually done this tonight, rather than simply write it!*(&$@ )-- keeping in mind that anyone chinese is likely quite familiar with this... aside from the fiery additions that make this dish without a doubt Hunan style. Joel
  5. jokhm

    Beijing dining

    Beijing is fantastic for Halal food.. It's everywhere. Not much in kosher food as far as I know, but an israeli resto that happens to be also kosher is currently in the works by two people i know. We'll see if that happens. Anyway if you can resort to Halal, it is everywhere. Let us know where you plan to be staying and I'll see which good Xinjiang (halal) places are nearby. My favorite is in the west side near Nanlishilu subway. The Lamb nearly melts off the stick. If you'll be here on a friday you can also come join a truly kosher meal at the chabad on the north east side. Check out chabadbeijing.com The rabbi is really fantastic and there are generally 50-60 people there each week; mostly israeli and mostly expats.. really interesting stuff.
  6. jokhm

    Beijing dining

    He's talking about Houhai, or sometimes some restaurants are located in Qianhai, they are adjacent and separated only by a bridge really. I wish I got here earlier, but I was taken out on monday to the absolute best restaurant I've yet been to in Beijing. It was way out in the north-west 4rth ring area, a massive Hunan restuarant. It was too good for pictures, really. I'll post more when i think about it more. Blew my mind...
  7. damn.. too small an oven to add anything else without it catching fire. Well.. its nice to think that bagels would be marketable here. I would consider it actually if some bagel people at home took interest (money and planning-wise).. but you must imagine that the average city here makes montreal look like all the food just got up and left. Food culture is VERY advanced (despite people commonly drinking red wine but making sure to add sprite 1:1). There is so much bread products already. mmm.. some of it is great stuff. Hard for most people back home to register. People don't eat rice here much... just bread. And yes, if it is western style then its exactly as described in my previous post! Anyway.. I get new flour and see what happens.
  8. Hey Well I discovered a lot about my oven. Firstly, it exceeds 600 degrees with the dial turned up half way. Also the temp. dial for the second gas burner couldn't take the heat, so it melted all the way to the floor. As for the bagels, despite having only enough room to make 6 at a time, they turned out quite good - inside. I specifically got bread flour but it is obvious that I need to buy foreign imported bread flour, since the supposed bread flour is really cake flour. But then again, who would know the difference here when sliced bread has a crust texture that a baby can easily squeeze into a tiny ball. It's really bad stuff. So despite having an extremely hot oven, even if the bagels come out black they still won't be crispy on the outside. However, the taste that the honey and malt give to the batter is dead on. Like being back at st. Viateur and eating the bagels too soon after coming out of the oven. As for controlling squishyness and density, I remember a time watching the guys at a R.E.A.L bagel place rolling the bagels and immediately tossing them to the guy putting them into the honey-water pot. So no rising, or if there was any it was minimal. Naturally since my oven could only bake 6 at a time my results are quite different per batch. I'll let you know how they go as I eat them. Anyway.. I'll see if I can get a better flour, if you have any ideas how best to make anything baked 'crispy' or have any resemblance to crust, let me know. No one here has a clue despite the millions of chinese bakery shops all making western-looking treats. Gross.
  9. Yeah I'd second that thought on Yiyuan.. I wish this thread had come a few weeks ago when I was in Shanghai for a few days. Anyway I"ll be back. Those xiaolongbao were definitely very good but I've had far better ones in Hong Kong. Oh... I love the pictures .. a lot! One thing I note every time I'm in Shanghai is how much better all the little snacks and cheap local fast foods are compared to Beijing. Though the one thing missing is yangrouchuan which I practically live on here in Beijing.
  10. :) No not Yuyuan.. YiYuan. If it took me an hour to get to YuYuan then I was invariably doing circles.
  11. Last year when i was there I was taken to a small garden.. I think the name was Yiyuan, maybe an hour out of the city. Most Shanghainese consider the park and it's adjacent dumpling shop to be the best place to eat Xiaolongbao. You can see tons of Chinese tourists there with bags of the stuff to take home. Quite funny. And the dumplings were fantastic, though they didn't blow my mind and make the 1 hour bus ride worthwhile. Had I gone in a better season when the garden would have looked nicer, that might have helped. Other things to look for are the ubiquitous Shaomai dumplings with dark and fragrant sticky rice. Only in Shanghai and the surrounding area do they look like that. Other things I've had around there.... Great Shanghai style salted chicken (cold dish). Also the lizibaozaiji.. chestnut chicken in claypot, fantastic. Had some red-cooked squid (cold dish) that amazed me. I'll get the name of one of the restos that some shanghainese took me to a few weeks ago. Great fun, despite the fact that 99% of Chinese around here will always agree on hating Shanghai food. No sugar tolerance at all. Joel http://www.jjd-distribution.com/thetrip
  12. Hmm.. seen that one recently too.. How were the results exactly, compared with those in the good bagel shops? What were the differences. I'm quite curious as to what they do differently. Starting to buy the stuff to make it here but i know that I might have problems just based on the oven being a 20 year old chinese gas oven with barely any temp controls. Just High and Ridiculously High. But what's a wood oven? 500?800?
  13. Is this possible.. ? I've seen a recipe or two online but figured before i choose which one to try out I should probably ask on egullet Only thing I have going for myself is a lifetime of eating montreal bagels nearly everyday and I've baked tons and tons of bread... Otherwise I'm stuck here in Beijing - see what the local ingredients and fiery hot oven can produce. And no comment on the st. viateur s fairmount variety.. I can't seem to choose between the two usually so a recipe that comes close to either would be great! Thanks Joel
  14. jokhm

    Beijing dining

    oh here's a quick one... ZuiSanJiang in the old torn down sanlitun area. Only a couple of bars standing still so if you ask about the area you should find it quick. It's great Guizhou food, and their fish is fantastic.
  15. ah wow.. forgot i posted this. These ideas are fantastic. I still have a few left from last week so I'll see what works. And yes, these are definitely the same ones everyone's talking about. These are the 0.7 inch thick bright red/pink and sweet sausages. Next time I buy the fat sichuan ones that were sitting next to them.
  16. jokhm

    Beijing dining

    ... yikes... I don't know where to begin. Let me think about it and i'll get a list together
  17. mmm these weren't vacuum packed. But they are dried... wind dried? not sure. But they taste very similar to the ones I've had in HK. Lot of fat, not a chewy texture, just feels like it melts in your mouth.
  18. HI Sitting around now wondering why I bought so many of these sausages.. just in case I got the name wrong or I am referring to too large a group of sausages, they are the sweet guangdong style ones. I picked them up to fry them with garlic shoots and .. garlic. But haven't too many ideas of what else to do with the remaining ones. I remember having them a few times in HK baked with rice and pork on a super hot fire. mm, that was fantastic, but not sure I have the right tools to play like that. THough I am working with a fully stocked chinese kitchen :) (and boy is it fun) joel
  19. Wow, great stuff. Thanks for the search help. Made the stuff tonight.... Though since returning home from China I have noticed that my Sichuan peppercorns taste like sawdust... So didn't use it as part of the five-spice powder this time around. Hmph.. I'm above the border though, can't be too hard to find some fresher stuff! :)
  20. I am sure there are a dozen ways to do them... and I'm not sure if there is a specific difference between the terms pickled and tea eggs. But I'm talking about the ones that you can find simmering in pots everywhere with a brown broth that I imagine is scented with star of anise and ///...... So what is the procedure? For some reason I can't find anything in egullet about this, and it is ubiquitous all around China Thanks Joel
  21. This is a great topic... I remember checking out a lot of Thai dishes that often required a dark soy sauce, a lighter one AND a thick sweet one. I'd love someone to break it all down further. In Beijing, the table soy sauce used for dumplings is always referred to as Jiang You... So I am not sure what's going on here exactly, as this was always quite dark and salty. Anyhow.... keep it coming Joel
  22. I managed to spend all the high holidays through sept/oct in Beijing.. Quite an interesting mix of Jews spread throughout the city. Though from what I've seen in Shanghai, it did not have much history attached.. There you can find several synagogues and some numbers to fill them. I'm far from the religious side, but I find myself often wondering what the hell is wrong with me and all the Jews around me with this deep-seated fascination with Chinese cuisine. I am always having to answer to non-jews that ask me to explain to them 'what's up..' from the Jewish perspective. But beyond Chinese food... as others mentioned here, Sushi, thai, vietnamese, etc. I can't figure this out. I think when I take these cuisines at their base and then stick them next to typical ashkenazi fare everything becomes far too obvious. Zimmes, latkas... Come on...%^@#& Israeli/Sephardi cooking is another story... joel
  23. Thanks everyone for all the great tips... though I must say that things started leaning towards the lazy side once I really settled into Beijing X-ist life. I don't know what to call it actually. I wasn't a tourist, nor was I an expat with real work in beijing, nor was I a student by any real standards. Though, I still ate well even on those days where I slipped and went for easier/cheaper (!!) food. Right now I'm back in HK, wasting time before my 23 hour journey home. Luckily I have nearly decided for certain that by March 2005 latest, I will return to Beijing and set up a new business. Yeah, something got to me.. but more than anything I think it was the idea of being so close to all this great food for the near future. If I can get onto east Asia for an extended period of time, who knows how much more food I can enjoy. Anyway, 3 months in one city with the purpose of exploring the language, culture and the city's pulse was more than extremely productive and insightful. Hopefully there's room there for some of my work.. (which is essentially all food related - but that would have to explored elsewhere/later). until then...... Joel
  24. ahh chengdu food. I wish I could get back there now. I'm still in Beijing.. ! no - really. I will be heading to pingyao in a week or so to restart my travels. Plane leaves for home on december 11th. So I have just about 1 month of regular china travel which should include Pingyao, Xi'an, shanghai and not sure what else. I was initially thinking that I would limit it to that, but maybe that's more time than I need in some of those places. I will probably spend the last week or so in Guangzhou getting a tiny bit of work and a lot of eating done. As for beijing in the last 2 months... I've eaten sooooo much. And it shows.. ! Sitting here on my behind eating and studying the entire time has been absolutely fantastic. I love this city... though I'm scared what it might look like next year when I return. I think that even the chinese that occasionally pass through end up always losing their way. Everything that could be under construction or set to be torn down - is. Anyway.. if anyone has any last food tips in Beijing.... write them now! joel
  25. Well.. I mooncaked for the first time these past few days. I won't eat another for quite a while hopefully. Not that I didn't enjoy them... well a few I really didn't..!! But a number of them were fantastic. The first one was given to me three days ago simply out of amazement that I had yet to eat one. It was green tea flavoured with an egg yolk inside. Very good, but not sure I understand what is behind the egg yolk, flavourwise. Didn't appear to offer much of any kind of complementary taste to the cake. Two nights ago I had dinner with a group of well-settled Canadian expats here in Beijing and amidst the shuffling of business cards I came away as a winner of a large box of expensive-looking MCs. I ate one, and it indeed was delicious, not grainy in any way, just one solid multi-pound mini cake. There were also some large ones in the box.. and following the traditions here I made sure to get them sent out to all the people that I have contact with day to day here at the hotel. Security, clerks.. but especially the two girls who have spent the last month teaching me bits of chinese. I must say.. I am very impressed with the density of these cakes. Not a gram of air anywhere inside them. Solid cake through and through... Now If I could just find a second cake with identical filling. Until now every single one has been entirely different. Had a date one, I think. Another with nuts, or seeds, or I don't know what. Another with yellow fruity filling..... on and on.. Fun. Each one's a surprise for me.
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