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  1. Note: This follows on from the Munching with the Miao topic. The three-hour journey north from Miao territory ended up taking four, as the driver missed a turning and we had to drive on to the next exit and go back. But our hosts waited for us at the expressway exit and lead us up a winding road to our destination - Buyang 10,000 mu tea plantation (布央万亩茶园 bù yāng wàn mǔ chá yuán) The 'mu' is a Chinese measurement of area equal to 0.07 of a hectare, but the 10,000 figure is just another Chinese way of saying "very large". We were in Sanjiang Dong Autonomous County, where 57% of the inhabitants are Dong. The Dong people (also known as the Kam) are noted for their tea, love of glutinous rice and their carpentry and architecture. And their hospitality. They tend to live at the foot of mountains, unlike the Miao who live in the mid-levels. By the time we arrived, it was lunch time, but first we had to have a sip of the local tea. This lady did the preparation duty. This was what we call black tea, but the Chinese more sensibly call 'red tea'. There is something special about drinking tea when you can see the bush it grew on just outside the window! Then into lunch: Chicken Soup The ubiquitous Egg and Tomato Dried fish with soy beans and chilli peppers. Delicious. Stir fried lotus root Daikon Radish Rice Paddy Fish Deep Fried in Camellia Oil - wonderful with a smoky flavour, but they are not smoked. Out of Focus Corn and mixed vegetable Fried Beans Steamed Pumpkin Chicken Beef with Bitter Melon Glutinous (Sticky) Rice Oranges The juiciest pomelo ever. The area is known for the quality of its pomelos. After lunch we headed out to explore the tea plantation. Interspersed with the tea plants are these camellia trees, the seeds of which are used to make the Dong people's preferred cooking oil. As we climbed the terraces we could hear singing and then came across this group of women. They are the tea pickers. It isn't tea picking time, but they came out in their traditional costumes to welcome us with their call and response music. They do often sing when picking. They were clearly enjoying themselves. And here they are: After our serenade we headed off again, this time to the east and the most memorable meal of the trip. Coming soon.
  2. I have just returned home to China from an almost two week trip to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam. To get there I first travelled by train to the provincial capital, Nanning. The local airport only does domestic flights, whereas there are direct flights from Nanning. The flight time required that I stay overnight at the Aviation Hotel in Nanning, from which there is a regular direct bus to the airport. The trip to Nanning is about an hour and a half and passes through some nice karst scenery. After booking into the hotel, I set off for my favourite Nanning eating destination. Zhongshan Night market is a well known spot and very popular with the locals. I had forgotten that it was a local holiday - the place is always busy, but that night it was exceptionally so. It consists of one long street with hundreds of stalls and is basically a seafood market, although there are a few stalls selling alternatives. Filled myself with seafood (and some of that blood sausage above), slept soundly and, next morning, flew to Ho Chi Minh City. The rest of my trip can be seen here:
  3. Years ago, when I visited Tokyo, I ate in a small but fascinating restaurant called 'It's Vegetable' which is now, unfortunately, closed. The chef was from Taiwan, and he made Buddhist vegetarian and vegan dishes that resembled meat. During my visit, several monks wearing robes stopped in to eat dinner. The dishes were pretty amazing. I understood some of them, like using seitan to mimic chicken in stir fry dishes, others used tofu products like yuba, but, others were complex and obviously difficult. One very notable dish we enjoyed was a large 'fish' fillet designed to serve several people. It had a 'skin' made of carefully layered 'scales' cut from nori and attached to the surface. Inside, the white 'flesh' flaked and tasted much like a mild fish. Anyway, apparently Buddhist fake meat meals are very popular in Taiwan and many places, cheap through to fine dining serve them. Yes, if I worked on it for a while, I could probably refine one or two dishes on my own, but, I am wondering if there's a Modernist Cuisine type cookbook for skillfully making these mock meats from scratch? (I have heard that some items are commercially made and available frozen there, much like soy-based burgers are in the US.) I am willing to try almost any offering, even if it's entirely in Chinese. And, I know how to use remailers to purchase regional items from the various local retailers worldwide who do not ship to the US.
  4. China television is currently showing a series "A Bite of China" on everyday cooking. It's in Chinese, of course. But even if you don't know Chinese the images will have you drooling. Episode one is on YouTube here. To find further episodes search YT for 舌尖上的中国
  5. Today is 元宵 yuán xiāo, the Lantern Festival marking the 15th day of the first lunar month and the last day of the Spring Festival (春节 chūn jié) which begins with the Chinese New Year on the 1st of the lunar month. Today is the day for eating 汤圆 tāng yuán, sweet glutinous rice balls. I was invited to take part in a celebration ceremony this morning in what is considered to be the city's most beautiful park. I half agree. It lies in the south of the city, surrounded by karst hill formations, but for me, the park itself is over-manicured. I like a bit of wild. That said, there are said to be around 700 species of wildlife, but most of that is on the inaccessible hills. There are pony rides for the kids and some of the locals are a bit on the wild side. Park Entrance Karst Hill Although the park has beautiful flower displays and great trees, what I love most is the bamboo. Such a beautiful plant and so useful. They had also hung the traditional red lanterns on some of the trees. The main reason for us to be there was to be entertained by, at first, these three young men who bizarrely welcomed us with a rendition of Auld Lang Syne played on their bamboo wind instruments - I forget what they are called. They are wearing the traditional dress of the local Zhuang ethnic minority. Then some local school kids sang for us and did a short play in English. Clap, clap, clap. Then on to the main event. We were asked to form groups around one of four tables looking like this. Appetising, huh? What we have here at top is a dough made from glutinous rice flour. Then below black sesame paste and ground peanut paste. We are about to learn to make Tangyuan, glutinous rice balls. Basically you take a lump of dough, roll it into a ball, then flatten it, then form a cup shape. add some of each or either of the two pastes and reform the ball to enclose the filling. Simple! Maybe not. Some of us were more successful than others These are supposed to be white, but you can see the filling - not good; its like having egg showing all over the outside of your scotch eggs. Modesty Shame prevents me telling you which were mine. At least one person seemed to think bigger is better! No! They are meant to be about an inch in diameter. Sometimes size does matter! Finally the balls we had made were taken away to be boiled in the park's on-site restaurant. What we were served were identically sized balls with no filling showing. They are served in this sweet ginger soup. The local pigs probably had ours for lunch. The orange-ish and purplish looking ones are made in the same way, but using red and black glutinous rice instead. Fun was had, which was the whole point.
  6. Wowotou buns ( 窝窝头 wō wō tóu), also known more simply as wō tóu are originally from northern China. The name means "nest" and they come in many forms. These are the ones I use. As you can see, they are usually stuffed with whatever the cook decides. These are stuffed with spicy pork and pickled greens, but I've also served them with a seafood stuffing. This is the recipe I usually use. 窝窝头 350 grams all-purpose/plain flour 150 grams black soya bean flour 3 grams instant yeast 260 grams milk Mix the flours well, dissolve the yeast in the milk and stir into the flour until a dough forms. Knead the dough until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and leave in a warm place until double in size. Sprinkle flour on the chopping board, knead the dough, adding more flour if too wet. until all air is expelled and the dough has a smooth surface. Form the dough into six even-sized balls and rub between the palms until smooth and round. Flatten slightly, then use your thumb to press the dough into a nest shape. Steam covered for 30-35 minutes. Note: The flours used vary a lot. Corn or sorghum flours are very popular, but I don't like corn and sorghum isn't the easiest to find here in southern China. Use what you like, but the overall quantity for this recipe should be 500 grams. It has been suggested that pure corn flour is too sticky, so probably best to mix it with regular wheat flour. They freeze well. Recipe adapted from 念念不忘的面食 by 刘哲菲 (Unforgettable Wheat Foods by Liu Zhefei). This isn't a direct translation, but retelling of the gist. Any errors are mine. Not Ms. Liu's.
  7. Beef with Sa Cha Sauce Clay Pot (沙茶牛肉粉絲煲) This is a Cantonese clay pot dish that is very easy to make at home. Picture of the finished dish: Serving Suggestion: 2 to 3 Preparations: Main ingredients: (From upper-right, clockwise) - Beef (flank steak), about 3/4 lb - Garlic, about 5-6 cloves - Shallot, 4 cloves - 2 bundles of mung bean threads - 1 chili pepper (jalapeno) - 2 small egg plants - "Sa Cha" Sauce (Chinese Barbeque Sauce - named by Bullhead brand) Cut the flank steak into thin slices (across the grain). To marinate the beef: Use a mixing bowl. Add the beef slices. Add 1/2 tsp of ground white pepper, 1 tsp of sesame oil, 2 tsp of ShaoHsing cooking wine, 1 tsp of light soy sauce, 1-2 tsp of oyster sauce, and a pinch of salt (suggest: 1/4 tsp). (Not shown in picture): add 1-2 tsp of corn starch. Mix all the ingredients. Set aside for 30 minutes to 1 hour before cooking. Trim off the ends of the egg plants. Cut into long and slender wedges. Peel and mince the garlic. Peel and finely chop the shallots. Cut the jalapeno pepper into thin slices. Soak the mung bean threads in a bowl of warm water for at least 30 minutes before cooking. Cooking Instructions: Use a medium size Chinese clay pot, pre-heat it over medium high heat for 5 minutes. Add 1 - 1.5 tblsp of cooking oil. Add the minced garlic, chopped shallots, and sliced jalapeno pepper. Add 1/4 of salt (or to taste). Add 2 to 3 tblsp of "Sa Cha" sauce (or called "Chinese Barbeque Sauce" by the Bullhead brand). Note: This is the main feature of this dish. Dash in 2 tsp of ShaoHsing cooking wine. Stir well. Add 1/2 cup of chicken broth and 1/8 cup of water. Add the wedged egg plants. Bring the mixture to a boil (may take about 5 minutes), then reduce heat to medium-slow. Cook with lid on for another 10 minutes or so until egg plants turn soft. After 10 minutes or so has passed, use a second stove to heat up a pan/wok. Add 2 tblsp of cooking oil. Sear the marinated beef slices for a few minutes. Remove the beef from pan when it is still slightly pink. Drain off excess oil. This is how it looks when the egg plants have turned soft. Drain off the water from the soaked mung bean threads. Add mung bean threads to the pot. Cook for about 3-4 minutes until the threads turn soft and transparent. Test the sauce. If the sauce is too runny, add corn starch slurry (e.g. 1-2 tsp corn starch dissolved in 3 tsp of water) to thicken the sauce. Usually the mung bean threads are quite long and difficult to scoop at the dinner table. Use a pair of kitchen sears to cut up the mung bean threads. Give it about 3 to 4 cuts. Return the beef to the pot. Mix well with the egg plants and mung bean thread. Bring the whole pot to server at the dinner table. Picture of the finished dish.
  8. hzrt8w has made some incredible pictorials of various Chinese dishes, I am going to use this thread to post links to all of them so they are easier to find. #1 Fish Cakes with Sa Cha Sauce #2 Soy Sauce Chicken #3 Stirfried Bitter Melons, Foo Yu
  9. hi just got back from holiday in Hong Kong and had one of my favourite desserts there. I'm back in london and am in seperate need of it. 桂花果凍 桂花 jelly "gwai fa go" ? osmanthus jelly? "Kwai hua" jelly? "Quan fa" jelly? can't find anything google . anyone know how to make it? got a recipe pretty please
  10. Here's a few pics of the cake I made for a Chinese New Year's party. It's the first time I've done modelling; as it's year of the dog I made a few doggies. Dogs, kennels, lanterns and firecrackers made from modelling paste, 'grass' of royal icing mounted on a plaque. The cake itself turned out gargantuan. The bottom layer is chocolate (as per 'Finding the Best Chocolate Cake Recipe' thread, Epicurious tweaked version), middle layer is Amanda Hesser's mother-in-law's Almond Cake which I read about on Amateur Gourmet and top tier was a hazelnut cake. The chocolate cake was excellent, quite rich, the almond cake very nice too and a keeper. I made some whipped white chocolate/creme fraiche ganache which went between one layer, however second batch curdled on me, as did the white chocolate ganache which I had been planning on covering the outside. Originally, I was planning on hanging down the side some red fondant banners to look like traditional chinese new year banners (like the ones in this pic but when things started going pear shaped, I scraped that idea. So going to Plan B, I made some chocolate plastic which I'd never done before. What a waste of 300g of Lindt couverture! Oily melted chocolate everywhere, with the plastic of a peculiarly teeth-cementing texture. Never making that again. Frustrated, sweaty and tired with less than one hour till party time, I swore never to work with chocolate again, rushed to the shops and got some double cream, whipped it into espresso cream, which worked beautifully and tasted great. Perhaps someone could advise, given that whipped double cream tastes great, is easier to make than buttercream and stands up to being left at room temp for almost as long, I'd say, as buttercream, what are the advantages of using buttercream over whipped double cream? Despite my oath above on never to work with chocolate again, any tips on how to make (whipped) ganache without it curdling would be appreciated. When I made it the night before, left in fridge and whipped morning after, it worked. However, subsequent attempts without leaving overnight curdled. Or could it be that I was using creme fraiche, which seemed more watery than heavy cream? Wishing you all a healthy and prosperous Year of the Dog.
  11. Hey y'all! I've got an itching for duck bone soup, but I can't seem to find any recipes for it. Are there any special flavors for it? I'm guessing....scallions and ginger? Anything else? How long do I simmer it for? In restaurants, I've had it after having my peking duck. Would it taste any different if I used my roast duck bones? Also, is it supposed to be cloudy/milky looking?
  12. Ben will attest to this: one of the best dim sum items At Kum Koon Restaurant in Winnipeg is their Phoenix Shrimp sui mai. We thought we were full when the cart with these delectable shrimp came along. The batter(cornstarch based?) is lace-like, melt in your mouth, with the shrimp tail curving up for a handle. Inside is a juicy pork/chives? filling, covered I think, with taro paste. Any recipes? Ideas?
  13. I have difficulties shopping for some special ingredients for Chinese cooking. I would like to ask the board for some tips. I thought others may have difficulties finding certain ingredients too so feel free to ask in this thread. In general, you can find many grocery items and dry goods for cooking Chinese food in an Asian grocery market in the USA/Canada/etc.. If you live in an area populated with Chinese immigrants (e.g. Bay Area, Los Angeles), those grocery stores are very comprehensive. There are, however, some special items that you would not find in general Asian grocery markets. Examples: bird nest, dried oysters, dried conpoy, ginseng (maybe). In Hong Kong, these special items are carried in what is called hoi mei [Cantonese] (dry seafood) shops. There are plenty of these specialty shops along Stockton Street in San Francisco China Town. But in Sacramento where I live, they are far and between. And for some herbal types of ingredients, you may need to go to a Chinese herbal medicine shop to purchase. Recently, what I have been unable to find in my neighborhood Asian grocery markets are: 1) Dried shrimp roes (Har Gee [Cantonese]) - to be used to braise with sea cucumbers. 2) Dried fish maw (Yu To [Cantonese] - literally this is a fish's stomach. To be used to in a steamed dish with chicken. Has anybody purchased the above items for cooking? Where did you find them? In specialty stores or general Asian grocery stores (which section)?
  14. Steamed Ground Pork with Salted Fish (鹹魚蒸肉餅) Irwin: You are an honorable Toisanese. This pictorial was produced in your honor for your Happy Birthday. Many people who live in Hong Kong and the vincinity of Guangzhou would know about this steamed pork dish. It is a comfort home-style cooking for many Cantonese. Serving suggestion: 2 Basic ingredients: 1 lb of ground pork (with a little bit of fat), some ginger, salted fish and some seasoning. I usually use salted fish immersed in oil. This time, I had chosen a refrigerated package of salted mackerel. The fish pieces looked very appealing. Marinate the ground pork: Use a mixing bowl. Add 1 lb of ground pork. Add 2 tsp of sesame oil, 2 tsp of light soy sauce, 2 tsp of Shao Hsing cooking wine, 2 tsp of corn starch, 1 tsp of ground white pepper and a pinch of salt (to taste - suggested 1/8 tsp). Shred about 1 inch of ginger. Add about 1/2 of the portion to the mixture. Mix all the ingredients. Set aside for about 20 to 30 minutes. Transfer the marinated ground pork to a steaming dish. Use a spatula to press the ground pork against the dish, spread the pork evenly on the dish. I used only 1/2 a piece of the salted fish in the package. The fish was a bit thick. I sliced it into 2 halves. Lay salted fish on top of the ground pork. Spread the remaining ginger on top. Steam this dish in the steamer for about 15 minutes. Finished dish. Sprinkle some fresh chopped green onions on top.
  15. Salted Fish and Chicken Fried Rice (咸魚雞粒炒飯) Salted fish and diced chicken is a wonderful combination for making fried rice. The finished fried rice is full of fragrance from the salted fish. Transparent: This pictorial is dedicated to you. I hope you like fried rice as much as you like pan fried noodles. Picture of the finished dish: Serving Suggestion: 1 to 2 Preparations: Main ingredients: (From top left, clockwise) About 2 to 3 bowls of cooked rice, 1 piece of chicken breast (about 1/2 to 3/4 lb), 1 to 2 stalks of green onions, about 2 leaves from a lettuce, ginger (about 1 inch in length), 2 small eggs, 1 small piece of salted fish (haam yu). Note: it is best to use one day old rice. If you use fresh rice, the fried rice tends to be overly moist and soft. Trim the fat off the chicken breast. Dice into 1 inch by 1 inch cubes. Marinating the chicken: Add the chicken cubes into a mixing bowl. Add 1 tsp of sesame oil, 1 tsp of ShaoHsing cooking wine, 1 tsp of light soy sauce, and 1 tsp of corn starch. Mix all ingredients well. Set aside for 20 minutes before cooking. Break and scramble 2 eggs. Trim the ends off the green onions. Finely chopped. Grate the ginger. Bone the salted fish and cut it into small pieces. Cut the lettuce leaves into fine shreds. Cooking Instructions: Use a pan/wok, set stove at high, add about 2 tblsp of cooking oil, velvet the chicken meat until the pink color just starts to disappear. About 3 to 4 minutes. Remove chicken from pan when done. Drain the oil. Add 1 tblsp of cooking oil to pan. Cook the scrambled eggs. Add a pinch of salt. Remove. Add 3 tblsp of cooking oil. Keep stove setting at high. Add the chopped salted fish and grated ginger. Stir. Cook for 10 to 15 seconds and let the fragrance release. Note: one trick to speed up the cooking time is to pre-heat the day-old rice in the microwave. Add 3 tblsp of water to the rice. Set for high and heat for 3 minutes. Add the rice and shredded lettuce on to the pan. Stir well. Stir and fry for a minute or two. Use the spatula and keep breaking up the rice lumps into smaller pieces. Re-add the chicken and eggs. Add 2 tsp of light soy sauce to darken the color of the fried rice a little bit. Stir and fry for another 2 to 3 minutes. Finished. The finished dish.
  16. I want to dedicate this thread to link to some really outstanding Chinese food recipe websites for easy searches.
  17. My go-to Chinese grocery store recently went Latino and Korean. Maxim's and the "International" grocery across University both went 100% Latino, and the Aspen Hill oriental grocery (Han Ah Reum) is now 100% Korean. Any recommendations for Chinese (Cantonese, Sichuan) groceries in the Silver Spring-Wheaton-Takoma Park areas? edited to add name of Aspen Hill store.
  18. Soy Sauce Chow Mein with Chicken (豉油王鸡丝抄麺 ) There was a question about "Soy Sauce Chow Mein" brought up on this board. I have decided to show you my way of making this dish. I also have decided to cook it with some shredded chicken meats. You may use sliced beef, peeled shrimp, sliced BBQ pork or other meats of your choice. The process is very similar. Or leave it as plain soy sauce chow mein. They all taste wonderful. CAUTION: The sequences shown illustrated using cooking wine over a pan of hot oil to induce a flame. If you have poor ventilation or do not want to risk fire hazards, skip the part of using cooking wine. Serving Suggestion: 2 to 3 Main ingredients: Cantonese egg noodles, 1 piece of boneless chicken breast (about 1/2 to 3/4 lb), 1/2 of a small onion, 2 green onions, bean sprouts (only a handful). If the noodles are curled up into fist-size balls, use about 4 to 5 of them (about 1/2 to 3/4 lb). Uncoil and shake the noodles with your fingers. Make them a little bit fluffy. Take the chicken breast. Trim off the fat. Cut up the meat into long and narrow strips. Use a small mixing bowl to marinate the chicken meat. Use 1 tsp of ground white pepper, 2 tsp of sesame oil, 1 tsp of ShaoHsing cooking wine, 2 tsp of light soy sauce, and 1 tsp of corn starch. Mix well. Set aside to marinate for at least 20 minutes. Meanwhile, boil a small pot of water. When the water is boiling, add the noodles to the pot. Cook the noodles until el dante. Cooking time depends on the types of noodles used. If those are fresh noodles, which cook very fast, only 1 to 2 minutes. If those are dried noodles, it may take up to between 5 to 10 minutes. Adjust your cooking time accordingly. Do not overcook the noodles. Immediately remove the noodles and put them on a strainer. Run them under cold water and drain. (Set noodles on a strainer and drain well.) Prepare the other ingredients: Cut 1/2 onion into small wedges. Cut the green onions diagonally (trim the ends). (Not shown: wash and drain the bean sprouts). Use a small bowl, mix 3 tsp of light soy sauce (for saltiness) and 3 tsp of dark soy sauce (for rich flavor). Prepare about 1 to 2 tsp (no more) of ShaoHsing cooking wine (shown contained in the bottle cap). Use a pan/wok, set for high heat over the stove. Use about 2 tblsp of cooking oil to velvet the marinated chicken. Cooking until the meats show no more pink color. Remove. Note: The following sequences of photos occurred during a very short time frame. The technique is important. So I have slowed down the process for you, frame by frame. Start with a clean pan/wok. Set for high heat over the stove. Add a generous amount of cooking oil, about 3 to 4 tblsp. Keep heating up the pan/wok until the oil start fuming. Don't start prematurely or else you won't achieve the desired taste. You have to do the following 5 steps very quickly. First: add the wedged onions and sliced green onions onto the pan. Stir for about 3 seconds. Immediate add the capful of cooking wine. CAUTION: This will induce a big flame. If you don't have good ventilation or do not want to risk fire hazards, skip the cooking wine. I tried to take a picture of the flame. But during the half a second that it flared up, the flame overexposed the image. I ended up with a picture where every looked dark. Second: The flame will last for only about half a second. When it has subsided, immediately add the bowl of light soy and dark soy sauce mixture. Third: The mixed soy sauce will boil almost instantly. That's a desireable effect. Stir once very quickly. Fourth: Immediately, add the noodles to the pan. Fifth: Also add the bean sprouts. Stir the noodles and bean sprouts and toss. Make sure that the soy sauce is evenly distributed in the noodles. Cook for about 1 to 2 minutes. Re-add the chicken shreds to the pan. Stir-fry for another minute or 2. Finished. (Note: the quantity shown here is about half of the quantity made.)
  19. I have a craving for shrimp toast (except not shrimp toast, because I'll be using ground pork), and being in Japan, I think I'll have to make my own. But what kind of bread should I use? I could use a wonder bread kind of bread (soft and squishy), or I could use Japanese shokupan, which is still a bit soft, but is more substantial than wonder bread, or I could use French bread. Any suggestions? And if anyone knows the proper oil temperature to prevent super oily bread, I'd appreciate knowing that, too! (350F?)
  20. Hi everyone!!!! I know new year havn't even passed yet but I'm more excited about Chinese New Year, Lunar New Year for other SEA nations celebrating it on the same day(Didn't want to offend no one ). Anybody have an idea for their menu's yet? I do but it's still very incomplete, I wanted to do a nine course banquet, and I need help with ideas. Auspicious symbolic dishes. So far the only thing I'm definitely serving is 8 treasure chicken (pa po kueh), coz its been served on my family's CNY spread every year since the 1930's when my family moved from XiaMen to the Philippines, dunno how my grandparents managed to make that happen during WWII, but thats irrelevant since they survived and the recipe survived and we still continue that family tradition. Our version of Thanksgiving turkey asian style. hehehe This yummy chicken deal is stuffed with sticky rice, chinese sausage, shallots, lotus seeds, chestnuts, black mushroom, black wood ear mushrooms, the rice mixture is seasoned with dark mushroom soy sauce, xiaoshing wine, star anise, and a small piece of ginger. All of this goodness is slow baked or double steamed for a few hours, till the chicken is tender melt in your mouth. collect the juices at the bottom as there will be alot, add young corn, button mushrooms, leeks, more soy sauce if needed(use light soy so it doesnt turn black) and a little bit of sugar to balance all the flavor, thicken with slurried cornstarch and pour all over the chicken. (I'll post a more detailed recipe form if requested)
  21. I find that metal spoons have an unpleasant taste, while porcelain is much more "taste inert". This is especially apparent when using the spoon to eat a soup as there is more mouth contact.
  22. So, I'm not going to let Hz have all the fun, am I? Just kidding...I wanted to see if I can handle taking pics and cooking at the same time. Sometimes, during the weekends, we buy some siu yoke (3-layer pork) to store in the freezer for lazy days. It's quite versatile; this is only one of the dishes which you can use it in. Ingredients: siu yoke, chopped garlic, dark/black thick soya sauce, pepper, dried chillies (optional). I ran out of the dark soya sauce, so I used molasses instead..not much difference in the taste. And, I'm definitely not as organized as Hz, forgot to get the sarawak pepper to pose. Fry pork together with garlic in 2 tblsp oil. I don't fry the garlic on its own for this dish, because it'll end up too burnt when combined with the meat later on. Besides, some oil from the siu yoke will join in the fun along the way. Fry till the skin turns crackly. Add 3 tblsp dark soya sauce, pepper to taste and chillies if you want. Dish done in a minute or 2....slight exaggeration but it's really quick. Shown here with blanched broccoli, plumped up microwaved (I did it!) gei chee (boxthorn berries), drizzled with teelseed oil and oyster sauce.
  23. Fried Fish Cake with Puff Tofu (煎酿豆腐浦) Fish cakes (fish paste) are made by grinding fish meat. They are sold in most Asian grocery markets. Puff tofus are deep-fried tofu with many air bubble trapped inside. They are very light and puffy. Here are the main ingredients. To enhance the taste of fish cakes (top center, about 1 lb), I used some dried shrimp (middle right) - presoaked in water for about 30 minutes, dried black mushroom (middle left) - presoaked in water for a couple of hours, and some cilantro (not shown). At the bottom center are some puff tofus. Use 1 to 1 1/2 bag (each bag contains about 12 puff tofus). Dice the black mushrooms into small pieces. Drain the dried shrimps after soaking. Finely chop some cilantro. Use a mixing bowl. Add the fish paste. Add the dice black mushrooms, dried shrimp and chopped cilantro. To enhance the flavor, I added about 2 tsp of sesame oil, and 1 tsp of ground white pepper. Mix all the ingredients and seasoning. Cut each puff tofu into two halves. Use your thumb to depress a cavity in the center of the puff tofu. Use a spoon to stuff the fish paste mixture onto the puff tofu. Continue to stuff the puff tofu until fish paste is all used. Heat up a pan/wok over medium fire. Add some cooking oil. Fry the stuffed puff tofo (with the stuffing side down) until the fish paste has turned brown. Check by flipping over each puff tofu. Remove when done. Lay the cooked stuffed puff tofu on the serving plate, with stuffing side up. The sauce is very simple. Here are the ingredients: garlic (mince it), salt (not shown), white vinegar, oyester sauce, chicken broth, dark soy sauce, sugar (not shown) and corn starch (not shown). Use the same pan/wok, add 1 tblsp of cooking oil. Add minced garlic and a pinch of salt. Cook for about 20 seconds. Dash in 1 tsp of white vinegar. Add 1 to 2 cups of chicken broth. Add 2 tblsp of oyster sauce. Add 1 tblsp of dark soy sauce. Add 2 tsp of sugar. Bring to a boil. Use 3 tsp of corn starch, dissolve in water, gradually add to the pan. Keep stirring. Add enough corn starch slurry until the sauce has thicken to the right consistency. Pour the sauce on top of the stuffed tofu. Finished. 1 lb of fish paste yields about 30 to 40 stuffed puff tofu. Variations You may use the same basic technique to stuff other ingredients. Examples are: red/green bell peppers, anaheim peppers, egg plants, firm tofu, geet gwa, etc..
  24. Anyone have a recipe?I don't like the texture, colour or flavour of the commercial article.
  25. Hi all, I bought a dried sea cucumber the other day, hoping that my mom would know how to prepare it, I left the store without asking for directions on how to reconstitute the creature...went home then called mom....alas, she doesn't know either. She said we always bought ours ready to cook. GUYSSSS I NEED HELP!!! Pleeeeeezeee! I tried looking it up on line and all it says that its tedious preparing a dried one, but none of the sites bothered putting it to detail.
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