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nakji

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

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Great blog and beautiful city.

Are there any restrictions on bringing food into China, or does anything go as long as it fits into the suitcase?

I'm sure there are laws on the books - but in practice, it's likely even the people manning the customs desk don't know the extent of them. Information is a difficult commodity to come by, even for officials. Calling and asking would yield you different answers on different days.

Suzhou is a beautiful city; I feel really lucky to be living here.

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Now we're talking! One of my favourite lunch sandwiches. But I am so jealous of all the amazing food you are buying and preparing. Thanks for taking us all along.

Thanks - I realized this is one of the best holidays I've had in a while - just staying at home and tackling some kitchen projects I've been meaning to get around to.

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Great blog.

Who knew? Mexican recipes from the Haligonian girl who lives in China. :smile:


Darienne

learn, learn, learn...

Cheers & Chocolates

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The sky is lit up...like the fourth of July, I guess.

Happy real New Year!

-------

On my way out the door, my neighbours were putting up their "antithetical couplets" for luck. The diamond has the character "fu" - "luck" on it. I'm not sure why it's posted upside down. Anyone?-------

It is upside down because in Chinese, upside down sounds the same as "Arriving" So it is " Blessings Arriving".

Also, Check out this amazing video on youtube while you are enjoying your New Year's meal:

dcarch

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I was wondering about the aluminum pan usage. Are they super cheap there? I have to admit to using them because my cookware collection is absent and I actually love not having to clean. Perhaps you re-use them. I do within reason.

I also wanted to ask about the last salad dressing you posted about. Sounded like you blended raw onion along with the oil and lemon etc? I have just come to the concept of whizzing the onion for marinades and sauces.

Of course I am enjoying everything. No detail is too boring for us eGers!

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Somehow I've just discovered you are doing this, nakji, and just read from the beginning. All wonderful, but I have to say, the "pig leg tied to the bannister" made my day. The photos of your easily obtainable snacks--I would give anything for some of those crispy chive dumplings--are wonderful. Great insight to a place I've never been. Thank you.

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I was wondering about the aluminum pan usage. Are they super cheap there? I have to admit to using them because my cookware collection is absent and I actually love not having to clean. Perhaps you re-use them. I do within reason.

I also wanted to ask about the last salad dressing you posted about. Sounded like you blended raw onion along with the oil and lemon etc? I have just come to the concept of whizzing the onion for marinades and sauces.

Of course I am enjoying everything. No detail is too boring for us eGers!

I do re-use them, until they get bent out of shape. I don't think they're very expensive - a pack of 10 costs around 10 RMB - slightly over one USD?

I love the grated onion trick. My mother used to do it for poppyseed dressing when I was a kid, but I find it works for a plain lemon dressing, too.

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The sky is lit up...like the fourth of July, I guess.

Happy real New Year!

-------

On my way out the door, my neighbours were putting up their "antithetical couplets" for luck. The diamond has the character "fu" - "luck" on it. I'm not sure why it's posted upside down. Anyone?-------

It is upside down because in Chinese, upside down sounds the same as "Arriving" So it is " Blessings Arriving".

Also, Check out this amazing video on youtube while you are enjoying your New Year's meal:

...

dcarch

Thanks! I knew it had to be something like that. And thank you for the video. I'm going to do some canal walking this afternoon, so I'll see if I can get some real-life shots for everyone.

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Somehow I've just discovered you are doing this, nakji, and just read from the beginning. All wonderful, but I have to say, the "pig leg tied to the bannister" made my day. The photos of your easily obtainable snacks--I would give anything for some of those crispy chive dumplings--are wonderful. Great insight to a place I've never been. Thank you.

You know - that wasn't the last pig leg we saw, either. Yesterday, I counted three different families going into flat in our apartments with them. It must be the gift to give for New Years.

Actually, I looked up the regional menus that Yan-Kit So provides in the "Classic Chinese Cookbook" a baked ham hock is included, so maybe its a Jiangsu thing.

I do appreciate the amazing food here, but on some days I feel like I could sell my soul for a blueberry muffin and a drip coffee. But the feeling usually passes, especially if I feed it a baozi.

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Wow, this is amazing. Just catching up on this blog now after getting back from skiing, this is amazing!

I was planning on cooking some Chinese food tomorrow for New Years and this has given me a lot of inspiration!

Looking forward to the next few days.


John Deragon

foodblog 1 / 2

--

I feel sorry for people that don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day -- Dean Martin

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Wow, this is amazing. Just catching up on this blog now after getting back from skiing, this is amazing!

I was planning on cooking some Chinese food tomorrow for New Years and this has given me a lot of inspiration!

Looking forward to the next few days.

I'm glad I could inspire - what are you thinking of making?

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I wish someone would give ME a pig leg :angry:

:biggrin:

Well, no one's given me a pig leg, either. I may have to go source my own. :biggrin:

The thing is - how the heck is everyone cooking it? No one has an oven here, and I don't care how big your wok is, a whole leg isn't going to fit. (Although that is a great mental picture)

Kent - help us out. What's happening to those legs?

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Breakfast of champions: leftovers.

A (thin) wedge of pineapple cake; a small bowl of potatoes guisadas. Bruce - I have to say again what a great recipe this is! You've got to give it another go!

gallery_41378_6890_204702.jpg

gallery_41378_6890_1210353.jpg

Now off to meet friends for lunch and hopefully a (long) walk.

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Breakfast of champions: leftovers.

Absolutely!

. . . a small bowl of potatoes guisadas. Bruce - I have to say again what a great recipe this is! You've got to give it another go!

I am so glad that you liked the potatoes. I usually feel uneasy about recommending a recipe – what if it goes horribly wrong? :unsure: Anyway, Art of Mexican Cooking was one of my first cookbooks, so my note may have dated back to when I first started cooking and had no idea how to adjust seasoning and such.

I will definitely give it another go.

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Oh, did you forget to take a picture of the fresh noodle maker?

Kent - help us out. What's happening to those legs?

I'm not sure. The legs must be fairly dry, cured, and salty so that they're shelf-stable, like jamon serrano, so that would preclude a lot of options such as baking them. My family (from Shanghai) primarily uses it by cutting up a few slices and putting it into soups, braises, or on steamed fish. But you use up very little at a time. Maybe you would use an entire leg in a year, but it seems inconvenient to have a store a leg for that long, and would be worrisome during the summer months. Some cuisines, like Yunnan, which is renowned for producing these hams, will slice them very thin and steam them, or toss it into a stir-fry. That would use it up at a faster rate.

I personally buy the 1 kg (or so) vacuum-sealed packs of the ham from the supermarket. That usually lasts me a month or two. It's great for making a fast and easy stock. Of course there's a ton of other dried Chinese goods for that purpose like dried shrimp, mussels, fish, duck.

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Thanks to the mole, my range now looks like an out-take from Dexter.

Yes, I made the mistake of cooking my first mole (many years ago) the day before checking out of my apartment. It looked like a particularly brutal murder had taken place at the stove, so I had to do some serious scrubbing to get my security deposit back.

The mole: . . . Hmm. I expected it to have more heat. Since I've never tried a mole before, I was surprised.

In my somewhat limited experience, moles are more flavorful than spicy. I recall being similarly surprised the first time I made one. Moles do take a fair amount of salt to really draw out their full flavor, though, as I have learned the hard way.

The Huevos: . . . This recipe threw me. She says break up the eggs, but not to beat them. But then to stir them into the chili sauce? Are they supposed to remain whole eggs? Or are they more of an omelet? I semi-scrambled them, then let them set. I'd appreciate any guidance. They were delicious, either way - this proportion of guajillos to pasillas made an excellent sauce.

Semi-scrambled sounds about right. That sauce is delicious, isn't it? Chile pasilla is one of my favorite flavors, ever.

Looks like a great meal, and I would love to try some of that pineapple cake!

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Happy New Year, Erin ! This has been so much fun already, I can't wait to see what you're going to give us the rest of the week.

Unfortunately, my Diana Kennedy excursion yesterday wasn't so hot....it was one of those recipes where, as you're putting the final steps together, the BIG VOICE OF DOOM in your head goes...."this is really not going to work". But I ate it anyway, fortunately it was just me, so no one else had to know how badly it sucked !

Tomorrow is my experiment with baozi. My first time making them. I'll let you know how it goes.


--Roberta--

"Let's slip out of these wet clothes, and into a dry Martini" - Robert Benchley

Pierogi's eG Foodblog

My *outside* blog, "A Pound Of Yeast"

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Oh, did you forget to take a picture of the fresh noodle maker?

Kent - help us out. What's happening to those legs?

I'm not sure. The legs must be fairly dry, cured, and salty so that they're shelf-stable, like jamon serrano, so that would preclude a lot of options such as baking them. My family (from Shanghai) primarily uses it by cutting up a few slices and putting it into soups, braises, or on steamed fish. But you use up very little at a time. Maybe you would use an entire leg in a year, but it seems inconvenient to have a store a leg for that long, and would be worrisome during the summer months. Some cuisines, like Yunnan, which is renowned for producing these hams, will slice them very thin and steam them, or toss it into a stir-fry. That would use it up at a faster rate.

I personally buy the 1 kg (or so) vacuum-sealed packs of the ham from the supermarket. That usually lasts me a month or two. It's great for making a fast and easy stock. Of course there's a ton of other dried Chinese goods for that purpose like dried shrimp, mussels, fish, duck.

Thanks, I knew you'd come through!

I love preserved ham in a stir fry, mixed with another non-preserved meat. I think Dunlop has a recipe that has smoked pork, pork belly and green peppers in Revolutionary cuisine that's a keeper.

I want to learn more about Yunnan cuisine, though; especially the minority tribe dishes.

I forgot to say - the noodle maker was shut for the holidays - taken over by an opportunistic longan seller for the holidays, by the looks of it.

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Breakfast of champions: leftovers.

Absolutely!

. . . a small bowl of potatoes guisadas. Bruce - I have to say again what a great recipe this is! You've got to give it another go!

I am so glad that you liked the potatoes. I usually feel uneasy about recommending a recipe – what if it goes horribly wrong? :unsure: Anyway, Art of Mexican Cooking was one of my first cookbooks, so my note may have dated back to when I first started cooking and had no idea how to adjust seasoning and such.

I will definitely give it another go.

No, thank you for your recommendations. I was completely at sea looking through that book. It's quite intimidating, especially since I have no sense of how the recipes are supposed to taste. Kent and I'll have to get together for a Mole night, and he can school me in authenticity. :biggrin:

Actually - doubled that recipe and fried the potatoes in batches - which I recommend, if you're going to serve it to teenage boys.

And that stove? Yeesh. The red didn't come out of the cutting board I keep behind the burner. My ayi's going to have a start tomorrow.

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Happy New Year, Erin ! This has been so much fun already, I can't wait to see what you're going to give us the rest of the week.

Unfortunately, my Diana Kennedy excursion yesterday wasn't so hot....it was one of those recipes where, as you're putting the final steps together, the BIG VOICE OF DOOM in your head goes...."this is really not going to work". But I ate it anyway, fortunately it was just me, so no one else had to know how badly it sucked !

Tomorrow is my experiment with baozi. My first time making them. I'll let you know how it goes.

Like my eggs? What were you cooking? How did it get botched? We need to know!

What kind of baozi are you going to make? Don't forget to post about them in the baozi topic!

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Apologies all - I wanted to show you some pictures of the teashops along the canal, but - I brought my camera WITHOUT the memory card. s-m-r-t. I managed to snap a few pictures on my husband's iPhone, though.

It's okay, though, because after three days of frantic activity and cooking, I decided to kick back and enjoy the warm weather we had. We ended up back at the Bookworm, one of the teashops along the canal on Shi Quan Jie, since pretty much every Chinese place was shut. It was nice enough to spend the whole afternoon on the patio, so we did. So much for my walk!

I, uh, had the burger.

photo(14).JPG

And a coffee.

photo(15).JPG

And, my breakfast beer of choice:

photo(13).JPG

Tonight, we're going to go out to dinner to a local Chinese Muslim place called Yakexi. And I will bring a memory card.

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Erin, I'm really enjoying the blog. I've always admired your adventurousness and how you approach every different culture that you end up living in, I think that's an amazing quality.

I'm envious of a supermarket that sells 36 kinds of tofu!

Oh, and about the mole: did you have any left over? In my experience mole tastes SO much better the next day. It becomes more balanced, and the heat level changes (it becomes spicier). I never make mole and serve it the same day. The best mole I ever tasted had lived in my fridge for 4 days or so.


Edited by Chufi (log)

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