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nakji

eG Foodblog: nakji (2011) - Gong Xi Fa Cai - goodbye Tiger; hello Rabb

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See Goo / arrowroot are like a tulip bulb - with a little tuft on the top. They are tan in colour. Lily BULBS are formed in layers, and can be two or three separate bulbs grown together. They are shaped like a closed up flower blossom and are white. Does that help?

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heidih: The lily buds in darch's pictures are the fresh ones. Dried ones look like over-sized golden needles, thus the name "golden needle" or gum choi - golden flower. These arefrom the same plant. What I was quizzingErin about was the "BULBS" with green tops in the above picture. Sorry to be driving you crazy! :laugh:

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I'll take some pictures of my roots, and we can have at it.

I had some tomatoes kicking around the kitchen, and I wanted to deal with them before they got too soft, so egg and tomato seemed perfect for breakfast. I have to admit, I love this kind of food the best in life - the kind of dish that can be turned out with minimal prep, minimal equipment, can expand or contract, depending on the crowd, and can be called in at the last minute to round out more impressive dishes if unexpected guests turn up for dinner. Learning to turn out a dish like this consistently and expertly is my kind of kitchen feat.

There seems to be two school of thought in our Egg & Tomato topic - Eggs first or Tomatoes first. I suppose practically, it doesn't matter, since the whole thing comes together in under five minutes. I started out doing tomatoes first, but today switched to eggs first under Xiaoling's direction.

I used three eggs, one tomato, some chicken powder, sugar, and two garlic chives. (I store my eggs in the fridge, mainly because I lack counter space!)

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I fry in peanut oil, which is not so easy to find. Most of the local shops sell a mix of vegetable/soy bean/sunflower oil. I had to go to Carrefour for this. Nobody seems to bother with quantities of oil under 3L, unless it's an expensive oil like olive.

Into the wok:

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Flip:

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Rest:

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Tomatoes: (I sprinkled in a teaspoon of chicken powder and a tablespoon of sugar at this point)

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Together!

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And garnish!

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I served with a sliced of some no-knead bread I made up last night. I've been experimenting with different dumpling flours, but was getting quite a wet product - obviously that's more desirable in dumplings. On Saturday, I gave up and bought some Gold Medal Unbleached. I got a much drier crumb with this, so I guess I'll be paying the premium.

gallery_41378_6890_14909.jpg

Finding what I'd consider proper bread is difficult downtown where I live, for obvious reasons. There's a German bakery out in the SIP, but it's not practical to get out there regularly, so I think I'm going to become a regular bread baker. I'm tempted to start a sourdough, but what with the mold problem in the flat, I worry.

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Most of our friends have fled the country for a beach somewhere, or have gone home to their families. We have a friend in town from Shanghai, though, coming over for dinner.

I put out the nuts and oranges from yesterday as a snack - unlike Doritos or Cheetos, they don't gunk up your fingers. Since there's not much to do right now, aside from watch CCTV New Year Specials, there will be Xbox.

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Makes me think of "The Pistachio Prescription".

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I think Barbara Tropp has a recipe for these nuts somewhere. If you have her book, and you haven't tried these, I urge you strongly, strongly to try them. I am a complete convert. Every time I have foreigners over, I put these out and they disappear in ten seconds flat, while people beg me to tell them where I got them from. They are a bit pricey, though, at 45 yuan/jin. (A jin is about 500g?)

These are incredibly sweet, but full of seeds. I eat them like candy, usually at my desk - spraying orange oil over my students' papers.

gallery_41378_6890_59995.jpg

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Right - no foodblog is complete without a look into the larder, I suppose. I had to tidy mine up a bit to make anything visible.

Dry goods:

I have a lot of spice overflow in here, purchased in Beijing. There's an Indian grocery supply in Shanghai somewhere that will deliver, so when I run out of this lot, I'll have to reload there.

gallery_41378_6890_139901.jpg

My meager, meager cookbook collection. I'm ashamed to post it, really, but there it is. I have more left at home with my parents- like Thomas Keller's Ad Hoc. There just aren't the ingredients to cook like that here, so I'll save it for sometime when I can.

gallery_41378_6890_44573.jpg

Fridge: It's quite small by NA standards, and I don't keep much in it, really, aside from condiments. Vegetables keep happily in bags on the floor this time of year, when it's cool.

gallery_41378_6890_25455.jpg

gallery_41378_6890_184773.jpg

I won't show you the freezer, which is iced over. I'm waiting until just before I travel to thaw it out. There are, in the bottom drawer, however, several bags of Mexican chilis I brought with me back from Toronto that are past due for attention. I'd like to crack Diana Kennedy this week for the first time. Any suggestions out there?

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gallery_41378_6890_14909.jpg

How funny, I baked a no-knead yesterday too! Looks almost identical. Great work so far, really enjoying checking out your world!

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What's the name of the nut recipe?

"Fire Dried Walnuts or Pecans", p. 105 in my edition. I haven't made them myself, but I expect they're meant to produce this kind of nut.

I think they're featured on the cover of the book, too? Because when I saw them in the shop, I thought, "Hey - those are Barbara Tropp Nuts!" That's why I bought them the first time.

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gallery_41378_6890_14909.jpg

How funny, I baked a no-knead yesterday too! Looks almost identical. Great work so far, really enjoying checking out your world!

Thanks for following along!

A recipe like that is a life saver for me - not a lot of work; small yield; can be done with minimal ingredients and give a taste of home. I'm forever in debt to Jim Lahey.

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Wow. Another slice of a completely different life than mine. I'm excited about this as well, since it so far removed from everyday life in the US.

I'm cracking Diana Kennedy this week for the first time, as well. I've read through the book several times, but haven't made anything from it. I'm doing a casserole of Swiss chard and macaroni that's on page 130 of "The Art of Mexican Cooking". It sounds like a Mexican-spiced mac & cheese that has shredded & sauteed chard mixed into the bechamel. The chard was in my CSA box last week, and I'm flailing about trying to find new uses for it, since it's been in EVERY CSA box I've gotten since mid-December.

I've also got chiles rellenos on the agenda, using a hybrid of Diana Kennedy's (from the same book) and one I found on the web. *AND*, I had some pseudo-sorta-Asiany-fusion pork ribs for dinner tonight, and I have some left over, so I was planning on trying to make bao latter in the week to use up the meat. I know it won't be true char sui bao, but...well, it's in the interest of using leftovers. So your blog is timely for me, for sure.

Loved the pix from the markets, and I've never seen bamboo shoots "on the hoof", as it were before. Only seen 'em in cans, and I bet the fresh ones are way tastier. Do they have to be cooked before you use them in your ultimate dish, or do they go in raw?

Edit to add---Yes, Jim Lahey's recipe rocks ! I make that bread about once a month, and though I make other, more complex bread recipes as well, that one is one of my favorites.


Edited by Pierogi (log)

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Wow. Another slice of a completely different life than mine. I'm excited about this as well, since it so far removed from everyday life in the US.

I'm cracking Diana Kennedy this week for the first time, as well. I've read through the book several times, but haven't made anything from it. I'm doing a casserole of Swiss chard and macaroni that's on page 130 of "The Art of Mexican Cooking". It sounds like a Mexican-spiced mac & cheese that has shredded & sauteed chard mixed into the bechamel. The chard was in my CSA box last week, and I'm flailing about trying to find new uses for it, since it's been in EVERY CSA box I've gotten since mid-December.

I've also got chiles rellenos on the agenda, using a hybrid of Diana Kennedy's (from the same book) and one I found on the web. *AND*, I had some pseudo-sorta-Asiany-fusion pork ribs for dinner tonight, and I have some left over, so I was planning on trying to make bao latter in the week to use up the meat. I know it won't be true char sui bao, but...well, it's in the interest of using leftovers. So your blog is timely for me, for sure.

Loved the pix from the markets, and I've never seen bamboo shoots "on the hoof", as it were before. Only seen 'em in cans, and I bet the fresh ones are way tastier. Do they have to be cooked before you use them in your ultimate dish, or do they go in raw?

Edit to add---Yes, Jim Lahey's recipe rocks ! I make that bread about once a month, and though I make other, more complex bread recipes as well, that one is one of my favorites.

I'll see you over in the Diana Kennedy topic, then!

And don't worry about the authenticity of your baozi- just about anything seems to go in.

As for the bamboo shoots, I'm not sure. I've never cooked with the big ones like that before - just the slender new shoots. Those I cut up and add to curries or stir-fries like I would asparagus or green beans. Can anyone help us out for the big ones?

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As for the cane juice, I haven't actually had any in Suzhou! I'm not much of a juice person. I used to drink it in Hanoi, and there I had it mixed with fresh ginger juice and rhum agricole from a Rhum bar run by some French guys - and yeah, it's as good as you can imagine. Have you tried that pirate-themed rum bar, "Bounty", in the French Concession, near Fu Xing lu? They do rums mixed with fresh juice, although I can't remember what kind of rums. Research, man!

Yeah, I just went to Rhumerie Bounty a few nights ago. Lots of crap drinks, but they do make a good ti punch with Damoiseau agricole. It was filled with French people. They seem to love their rum. Carrefour (French supermarket) also has a good selection of agricoles, St. James, Damoiseau, Rhum JM.

Finding what I'd consider proper bread is difficult downtown where I live, for obvious reasons. There's a German bakery out in the SIP, but it's not practical to get out there regularly, so I think I'm going to become a regular bread baker. I'm tempted to start a sourdough, but what with the mold problem in the flat, I worry.

I'm thinking about getting bread delivery from Abendbrot. I see they also deliver to Suzhou.

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Right - no foodblog is complete without a look into the larder, I suppose. I had to tidy mine up a bit to make anything visible.

Dry goods:

I have a lot of spice overflow in here, purchased in Beijing. There's an Indian grocery supply in Shanghai somewhere that will deliver, so when I run out of this lot, I'll have to reload there.

gallery_41378_6890_139901.jpg

My meager, meager cookbook collection. I'm ashamed to post it, really, but there it is. I have more left at home with my parents- like Thomas Keller's Ad Hoc. There just aren't the ingredients to cook like that here, so I'll save it for sometime when I can.

gallery_41378_6890_44573.jpg

Fridge: It's quite small by NA standards, and I don't keep much in it, really, aside from condiments. Vegetables keep happily in bags on the floor this time of year, when it's cool.

gallery_41378_6890_25455.jpg

gallery_41378_6890_184773.jpg

I won't show you the freezer, which is iced over. I'm waiting until just before I travel to thaw it out. There are, in the bottom drawer, however, several bags of Mexican chilis I brought with me back from Toronto that are past due for attention. I'd like to crack Diana Kennedy this week for the first time. Any suggestions out there?

Great larder! And, I'd say that a small cookbook selection just shows that you're selective :biggrin:

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As for the cane juice, I haven't actually had any in Suzhou! I'm not much of a juice person. I used to drink it in Hanoi, and there I had it mixed with fresh ginger juice and rhum agricole from a Rhum bar run by some French guys - and yeah, it's as good as you can imagine. Have you tried that pirate-themed rum bar, "Bounty", in the French Concession, near Fu Xing lu? They do rums mixed with fresh juice, although I can't remember what kind of rums. Research, man!

Yeah, I just went to Rhumerie Bounty a few nights ago. Lots of crap drinks, but they do make a good ti punch with Damoiseau agricole. It was filled with French people. They seem to love their rum. Carrefour (French supermarket) also has a good selection of agricoles, St. James, Damoiseau, Rhum JM.

Finding what I'd consider proper bread is difficult downtown where I live, for obvious reasons. There's a German bakery out in the SIP, but it's not practical to get out there regularly, so I think I'm going to become a regular bread baker. I'm tempted to start a sourdough, but what with the mold problem in the flat, I worry.

I'm thinking about getting bread delivery from Abendbrot. I see they also deliver to Suzhou.

I'll have to pick some rum up the next time I'm at Carrefour. I like a good Ti punch, when I can get limes. What's with the limes in China? Any idea what variety they are?

Abendbrot looks like FrancoPapa, the German Bakery we have here. Actually, I've never thought of looking into whether they deliver. They might.

What I really want is for Baker & Spice to deliver from Shanghai. Their olive bread is...wow. A piece of that, spread thickly with Lurpak? I'm good for the night.

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Great larder! And, I'd say that a small cookbook selection just shows that you're selective :biggrin:

Please, please don't look too carefully at the titles! :biggrin:

Here are the controversial lily bulbs:

gallery_41378_6890_147873.jpg

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Erin,

I see many American/'western' brands in your pantry (Gold Medal, C & H, Clabber Girl...). Did you bring these with you, or buy them in China?

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Remove cupboard doors and hang curtains....don't do it!! Or at least, I wouldn't. The more solid the barriers between Asian wildlife and your food and crockery, the better. And I'm not just talking about what my sons refer to as "the black six-wheelers", I'm talking about gentlemen who come visiting in tails...


Edited by helenjp (log)

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Erin,

I see many American/'western' brands in your pantry (Gold Medal, C & H, Clabber Girl...). Did you bring these with you, or buy them in China?

They're purchased here. There are Chinese products available as well, usually for much cheaper, but the dumpling flour isn't great for bread. The baking powder and baking soda I bought because they came in larger sizes for Christmas baking. I usually buy whatever's available when I'm at a certain shop. I rotate between going to different shops for different staples. Carrefour is good for bulk rice, peanut oil, spices, and wine. Summit I go to for SE Asian ingredients, cheese, and meat. I bought those baking supplies there as well. If my husband and I have a lot of time, we'll take a cab out to the Sogo, a Japanese department store in the SIP. Very good for senbei, sake, miso...and Greek yogurt for 70 yuan. I don't know who buys it. Somebody does. Vegetables I get delivered or buy at the wet market.

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The lily bulbs that I have seen (through gardening rather than cooking) are more segmented, like a head of garlic. I know, you want to know what your bulbs are, rather than what they aren't.

Re Diana Kennedy: I grabbed my well-worn Art of Mexican Cooking to see where the pages fell open.

Bricklayer’s eggs (huevos al albanil) are a revelation. The recipe tolerates chile substitutions pretty well, although the sauce is best with pasilla chiles in the mix. Potatoes fried with chile sauce (papas chirrionas) are also wonderful if you can find tomatillos.

If you can spare a few hours and can find raw pumpkin seeds or something similar, chicken in red country mole (pollo en mole rojo sencillo) is delightful and relatively simple for a mole. Ms. Kennedy also blesses using the sauce with pork loin, although I think it would be killer (if apparently non-traditional) with slow-cooked cubes of pork butt.

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Remove cupboard doors and hang curtains....don't do it!! Or at least, I wouldn't. The more solid the barriers between Asian wildlife and your food and crockery, the better. And I'm not just talking about what my sons refer to as "the black six-wheelers", I'm talking about gentlemen who come visiting in tails...

This is a very good point. Although the "black six wheelers" aren't nearly as bad here as they were in Hanoi.

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Since I'm not Chinese, there's a lot that I see and experience here that I don't have much or any understanding of - I hope that everyone who does can weigh in on things.

I'm certain I have far, far less understanding of the things you show us. That's why I'll weigh in and say that I love to cook and test my comfort zone with things I barely recognize and can't pronounce. A little bit of knowledge can be the perfect thing.

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The lily bulbs that I have seen (through gardening rather than cooking) are more segmented, like a head of garlic. I know, you want to know what your bulbs are, rather than what they aren't.

Re Diana Kennedy: I grabbed my well-worn Art of Mexican Cooking to see where the pages fell open.

Bricklayer’s eggs (huevos al albanil) are a revelation. The recipe tolerates chile substitutions pretty well, although the sauce is best with pasilla chiles in the mix. Potatoes fried with chile sauce (papas chirrionas) are also wonderful if you can find tomatillos.

If you can spare a few hours and can find raw pumpkin seeds or something similar, chicken in red country mole (pollo en mole rojo sencillo) is delightful and relatively simple for a mole. Ms. Kennedy also blesses using the sauce with pork loin, although I think it would be killer (if apparently non-traditional) with slow-cooked cubes of pork butt.

I have pasillas, actually. I think. And there are pumpkin seeds everywhere at the snack shops. Do they have to be raw? How can you tell if they're raw? And, well, pork...yeah, I can probably get my hands on some.

As for tomatillos...interestingly enough, in "Beyond the Great Wall" by Alford and Duguid, they recommend substituting tomatillos for hog plums in a hog plum salsa. If I could figure out what hog plums were, I might be able to make a reverse substitution.

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No comments on those fish? Did you buy one?

Looks like more than one type of Asian Carp in the buckets. Bubbling air is a good sign, along with clear eyes, moist pink gills, and of course the lack of stink. I wouldn't order an upside fish from a restaurant tank.

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Right, so I invited a few friends around for dinner, and I wanted to tackle Tamasin Day-Lewis's recipe for Butter Chicken from the December Saveur. My friends called and suggested we go out for a walk along the moat to the old city wall, to enjoy the fine weather.

"Sure," I said - "Just let me put the chicken in to marinate."

So a key ingredient in the marinade is garam masala - which I had a bottle of. I thought.

gallery_41378_6890_19022.jpg

J'accuse, empty garam masala bottle. J'accuse!

Right - to Google, and to a garam masala recipe. Fortunately, I had the components.

gallery_41378_6890_1626954.jpg

Toasting:

gallery_41378_6890_1487302.jpg

And blended:

gallery_41378_6890_38184.jpg[/url

That Vita-mix is looking more and more attractive.

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No comments on those fish? Did you buy one?

Looks like more than one type of Asian Carp in the buckets. Bubbling air is a good sign, along with clear eyes, moist pink gills, and of course the lack of stink. I wouldn't order an upside fish from a restaurant tank.

Actually, Peter, I don't enjoy the taste of the fish available in Suzhou at all - it tastes...earthy, for lack of a better word. I prefer ocean fish from clean waters. The only seafood I have enjoyed here was the Yangcheng lake crabs, which live up to their reputation.

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