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Chinese Eats at Home (Part 2)


peony
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Hiya!

Sure, I don't have an exact recipe, but here is the best I can do :-).

Ingredients:

* Pork Spare Ribs (the ones with no bones but cartilage in them... if you look at this PDF file: http://www.apl.au.com/media/PorkCuts.pdf you can see them on Page 10 labelled "Spare Ribs")

* 400g-500g Chinese yellow rock sugar

* 1 Bottle Chinese rice wine (1 litre)

* Dark soy (250ml)

* Light soy (750ml)

* 1 " slice Ginger

* 3 cloves Garlic smashed

* Bunch of Shallots/green onions

* 2 pieces of Dried orange or mandarin peel

* 2 sticks cinnamon

* 5 star anise

Remove the skin but not the fat from the pork belly ribs.

Bring ingredients to a boil and taste for seasoning... should be sweet, salty and savoury... it should taste nice too, not bland or extremely overpowering.

Reduce heat to below simmering and put in the pork. Cook for 2 hours until the pork is tender (you may like it still with a bit of chew or chew, or you might like it falling apart... cook accordingly - 1-1.5 hours for firm, 2-3 hours for very tender).

Remove the pork and allow it to cool (put in fridge). This will firm it up for cutting.

Meanwhile, remove a few cups of the braising liquid (keep the rest, just boil it before you use it each time and check for seasoning.... may need to add more soy or ginger or garlic or rice wine or aromatics or water etc).. simmer it until reduced by about half. Taste to make sure it would make a kickass sauce.

Cut the pork ribs into big pieces and CAREFULLY remove the cartilage pieces (you don't want the pork to fall apart).

Heat a wok until SMOKING, add enough oil to coat the surface.

Put in the pork and cook until it is browned all over - it will go a lovely dark red all over... just make sure you keep tossing it as it WILL burn.

Add the reduced sauce and cook until boiling and the ribs are well coated (you can either have a runny sauce and thicken it with cornflour, or reduce the sauce heavily and glaze the ribs with it).

Edited by infernooo (log)
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For my wife and i today i cooked Razor clams in Black Bean sauce, Squid and Gai Lan in Oyster sauce, Pork Spring Rolls with dip. Very Cantonese, very full - i need to lie down....

gallery_52657_4505_1465582.jpg

Sorry about the blurry-ass pic, was in in hurry. It's that Chinese thing - have to eat it while it's hot!! :biggrin:

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They look absolutely fantastic, Prawncrackers!!! Now I know where to knock on the door when I fly across the pond. :biggrin: Forget about London China Town...

W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"
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Every weeknight I cook, I try to prep, cook and clean within one hour. That way when I sit down to eat, all I have to clean are the dishes I eat from. I tend to be overambitious and try to make 2-3 dishes each night. This is difficult given how small my kitchen is and how many dishes I use to prep and cook. I learned by chance that fried rice, if I have the right ingredients, is a good standby for a weeknight. That's why I've been eating it for the past two weeks!

Having grown up in a Chinese-American carryout, I feel my fried rice is incomplete without bean sprouts and egg. Alas, given that fresh bean sprouts are kinda hard for a singleton to keep (ie, schedules can change at the last minute) I subsitute frozen peas and carrots instead. But I have to have my egg. And Maggi sauce. Oh man. That's good stuff.

Anyone have any suggestions for a quick weeknight meal? I'm tired of spending too much time in the kitchen but I loathe to eat the same thing every day. Ah, well.

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GastroGirl, by the time you cook the rice, and boil some water, you can have a good tasty meal on the table, 25 minutes tops.

Boil some water in a large clean pot, 1)make up beef/pork patty with choong choy and steam, or 2) egg custard with some ground pork 3) steam a fillet of fish with ginger&scallions 4)pork patty with haum yu, etc. After you steamed the dish, lift it out and use the boiling water to blanch gai lan, broccoli, bok choy, etc. top the veggies up with oyster sauce and some hot garlic oil. Lop cheung on top of rice is no work at all. There's also the old standby of scrambled eggs with scallions. Before you go to work, you may want to marinate some pork/beef slices in whatever flavours and when you come home, as the rice is cooking, stir fry the meat slices and thicken with a little corn starch slurry. Tear up some iceberg lettuce leaves, heat up some oil with garlic in your wok/pan and wilt the lettuce, add a bit of soy/oyster sauce and voila, Bob's your uncle!! So many yummy possibilities.

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Tonight I made Sichuan water-boiled beef (shui zhu niu rou) – clickety. Definitely took more than an hour. :raz:

Gastro888: Ben types faster than me, and his suggestions are better, too. :smile: Are raw or boiled/steamed vegetables an option as your second or third dish? What about eating your main meal at lunch, and cooking rice and vegetables with a little pork for dinner? How do you feel about soup and rice for dinner - something like Napa cabbage and shrimp soup?

I ate a lot of quick veggie dinners when I was single. Also, a lot of frozen pizza. :rolleyes:

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Every weeknight I cook, I try to prep, cook and clean within one hour.  That way when I sit down to eat, all I have to clean are the dishes I eat from.  I tend to be overambitious and try to make 2-3 dishes each night.  This is difficult given how small my kitchen is and how many dishes I use to prep and cook.  I learned by chance that fried rice, if I have the right ingredients, is a good standby for a weeknight.  That's why I've been eating it for the past two weeks!

Having grown up in a Chinese-American carryout, I feel my fried rice is incomplete without bean sprouts and egg.  Alas, given that fresh bean sprouts are kinda hard for a singleton to keep (ie, schedules can change at the last minute) I subsitute frozen peas and carrots instead.  But I have to have my egg.  And Maggi sauce.  Oh man.  That's good stuff.

Anyone have any suggestions for a quick weeknight meal?  I'm tired of spending too much time in the kitchen but I loathe to eat the same thing every day.  Ah, well.

HAve you tried keeping you bean sprouts in water. Just change the water ever few days. They will last for at least a week.

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Thank you Ben Sook and C. Sapidus for your ideas! I appreciate it. I have trouble cooking during the weeknights as I can't seem to do things fast enough and without making a "mess". I use too many plates/bowls for my mise en place. Having a small kitchen is no benefit, either. I usually make a choy or I do the standard cucumber salad which is easy to do. I think with time and practice, I'll be better in a few months. I would like to do the steamed egg custard dish but my cholestrol's kinda high so I gotta be on guard.

(PS: I've been MIA on eG due to very strict 'net regulations at work. Long story short, I refer to work as prison now. It's not, "Honey, I'm going to work and I'll see you later." but "I'm off to prison, be free soon.")

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I like those blocks of S&B Curry sauce for a quick curry stir fry. Just marinate your meat the night before and chop up some veggies. Stir fry everything and add the curry blocks along with some broth. Easy and fast.

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Tonight it was Tea-smoked Duck Breast with Egg-Fried Rice.  Deliciously complex flavours make this dish a winner.  Have had several goes at this, tonights' was the best yet!!  Enjoy....  :biggrin:

gallery_52657_4505_194119.jpg

That looks beautiful. Do you mind describing how you cooked your duck (so to speak)?

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From Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook, Beef Selivers with Coriander.

This one was a real winner. As always, I took liberties. The inspiration for this dish was cleaning the fridge and the upstairs freezer (we have a side by side) and a pound and a half hunk of elk fell on my big toe. Then, I discovered in the veg bin that I had not one, not two, not three, but FOUR bunches of cilantro in the fridge. Since I had so much elk, I decided to double the recipe, so I'd make sure and have leftovers for breakfast. And, I didn't have any of the longer rec peppers she specifies, so I sub'ed thai birds (2 for 1).

gallery_6263_35_35262.jpg

And on the side, a stir fry (probably very not Chinese) of local asparagus and local ramps. The sweet of the smashed garlic cooked almost to char, the sweet of the aspargus, and the garlicy/onion bite of the ramps was a terrific compliment to this dish.

Oh, and I figued out that my market's bunches of cilantro are only 1/2 of what she calls a bunch, so buy plenty! I actually waitied until I turned off the burner before I added the cilantro, which was a fine move on my part.

I'm loving this book; I only have one gripe -- a very inadequate index.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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From Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook, Beef Slivers with Coriander.

. . .

And, I didn't have any of the longer red peppers she specifies, so I sub'ed thai birds (2 for 1).

Susan, that sounds delicious - and I'm guessing pretty spicy, with the Thai bird chiles. The adult members of our household would love it, but unfortunately our boys would shun the cilantro.

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From Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook, Beef Selivers with Coriander.

This one was a real winner.  As always, I took liberties.  The inspiration for this dish was cleaning the fridge and the upstairs freezer (we have a side by side) and a pound and a half hunk of elk fell on my big toe.  Then, I discovered in the veg bin that I had not one, not two, not three, but FOUR bunches of cilantro in the fridge.  Since I had so much elk, I decided to double the recipe, so I'd make sure and have leftovers for breakfast.  And, I didn't have any of the longer rec peppers she specifies, so I sub'ed thai birds (2 for 1).

gallery_6263_35_35262.jpg

And on the side, a stir fry (probably very not Chinese) of local asparagus and local ramps.  The sweet of the smashed garlic cooked almost to char, the sweet of the aspargus, and the garlicy/onion bite of the ramps was a terrific compliment to this dish.

Oh, and I figued out that my market's bunches of cilantro are only 1/2 of what she calls a bunch, so buy plenty!  I actually waitied until I turned off the burner before I added the cilantro, which was a fine move on my part.

I'm loving this book; I only have one gripe -- a very inadequate index.

ditto on the book, ouch on the toe Susan.....I'm finding it hard not to use the book every day, luckily I scored a green papaya yesterday so tonight guess what :smile:

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[That looks beautiful. Do you mind describing how you cooked your duck (so to speak)?

Of course i don't mind! I don't know where I got the original idea from but I’ve adapted this dish over a few years now and am happy that it's finally presentable!!

Firstly take two duck breasts and score the fat. I've only ever used English Gressingham duck breasts for this dish as they are much meatier than the Chinese ones. (Though I wouldn't recommend trying to roast Gressingham duck Cantonese style - far too fatty!). I digress already..., take two tbl of Sichuan pepper, two cloves, one quarter of star anise and heat in a dry pan till the pepper starts to pop. Remove the spices from the pan and grind them to a fine powder, discard any hard bits of clove or anise that is left. Mix the spices with a tbl of coarse sea salt and rub all over the duck breasts. Leave to cure overnight on some kitchen paper to soak up the juices.

Next day, take your duck breasts and wipe off as much of the cure as possible, though leave some of the spice in between the scores of the skin. The first complaint I had from my wife/guinea-pig was that it was too salty, so be careful with the salt and wipe as much off from the flesh side. Now it's time to prepare your wok-smoker.

Line your wok with at least two layers of foil (I’m assuming you are using a wok as I’ve never used a dedicated smoker), ensure you have a tight fitting lid and a rack for the meat that will fit inside comfortably. Mix together half a cup each of tea leaves & rice and a quarter cup of sugar and scatter evenly onto the bottom of your wok. What kind of tea leaves you are asking? To keep the Chinese theme, I originally started with Lapsang Soushong as I thought the already smoky flavour would enhance this dish. However, I found that this was far too strong. I now use ordinary English loose tea (PG Tips to be exact - but you can use any old Assam blend I suppose or experiment with flavoured tea). Always, the temptation with smoking is to get as much smoky flavour into the meat as possible but in this dish subtlety is the key. The rice gives the smoke a nutty edge but also acts to regulate the heat in the tea and sugar and prevents them from burning too quickly, nothing worse than the acrid smoke from burnt sugar. Start your wok up on a medium heat and put the lid on. Check, when the mixture starts to smoke gently then turn the heat down, place your duck breasts skin side down so the smoke permeates into the fat first. I smoke the skin side for ten minutes then flip it over to smoke to flesh side for a further five minutes.

When the smoking is done your breasts should be light golden colour. They should still be raw though as this is only a gentle smoking (half way between cold and hot smoking). Set the duck aside, discard all the smoking paraphernalia inside you wok and put it back onto a medium heat. No additional oil is required; fry your duck breasts skin-side down over a medium heat for about 6 minutes till the skin is crispy. Tip off the excess fat then fry the flesh side for further two minutes, then leave to rest in a warm place for 10 minutes or so… (In this resting time, I did some plain egg fried rice…) rare meat is anathema to most Chinese but this method gives a wonderful moist even pinkness to the meat with no hint of rawness.

Blimey, I’ve just realised how much I’ve written! Though I’m not that surprised as this is a truly wonderful dish with some amazing flavours. I’ve been toying with the idea of sauce but can’t think how one could enhance this dish. A sauce would confuse the balance of the sweet, savoury, spicy flavours and spoil the crispiness of the skin.

Please try this recipe out and let me know what you think. The flavours are pure Chinese but the techniques are a fusion of east and west. It’s really quite straightforward, in fact, it’s a one pot-dish!!

Edited by Prawncrackers (log)
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I made chicken cha-siu and ham fried rice last night. (Very peasant compared to the duck breast! Wow, it looks yummy!) I took boneless, skinless chicken thighs and marinated them in a homemade cha-siu sauce and then while it was cooking in the oven made the fried rice with garlic, shallots, onions, peppers, celery, carrots and ham. No egg this time but lots of white pepper as always.

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From Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook, Beef Selivers with Coriander.

And on the side, a stir fry (probably very not Chinese) of local asparagus and local ramps.  The sweet of the smashed garlic cooked almost to char, the sweet of the aspargus, and the garlicy/onion bite of the ramps was a terrific compliment to this dish.

I'm loving this book; I only have one gripe -- a very inadequate index.

I made the home-style tofu (the one with the shitake mushrooms and without the black beans) and added ramps instead of green onions and it really rocked. I think it's very Chinese to use what is local and in season! We've tried many of the bean curd recipes in this book and it's our favorite. The others are good, but for some reason this one is in constant rotation. I use store-bought fried tofu most nights, but it's even better with home-fried. I also use the ground Korean red pepper that Ms. Dunlop recommended on this forum during a discussion of her Sichuan book. I think in this recipe it's listed as optional red pepper flakes, but it's never really an option at our house, 'specially with a SE Asian involved. We've been eating it with stir-fried ong choy with stinky tofu and garlic. It's a nice match.

This week I also made the red-cooked pork belly and went crazy by adding not one but three of the optional add-ins (tofu skin, deep fried water chestnuts and deep fried garlic cloves). I used belly for the first time, last time I used shoulder, and I gotta say, authentic or no, I prefer it with shoulder, which is plenty fatty for me. I also doubled all of the spices and chillies this time, again, I blame a SE Asian influence. We also made the home-style stir-fried pork with peppers. She recommends Italian frying peppers, which you can't get here, but Anaheims worked nicely. I liked this dish, but it wasn't as WOW as some of the other ones, mostly because it tastes like similar to things we make as a matter of course, without a cookbook.

I hadn't noticed the indexing problem, but that's probably because I flip through the sections looking for a recipe instead.

regards,

trillium

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have been on a fish kick lately. And of course I have to "Chinafy" the dinner to satisfy the Chinese in me. :smile:

I recently made a stuffed sole with garlic egg fried rice and shitake stir fried with lettuce.

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And then the other day I made buttered cajun talapia with crab fried rice.

gallery_48325_4009_238895.jpg

Both were very good and felt sort healthy. :biggrin:

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That steamed bass looks delicious!

I was given 2 large pickerels last week. Tomorrow may be the night for steamed pickerel with ginger and scallions. :wub:

Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

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Dejah: Welcome back – you have been missed!

Tonight we made steamed chicken with chopped salted chiles (duo la jiao zheng ji) and stir-fried green beans with ground pork and preserved mustard greens, both from Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook. This was the first time we used Hunanese chopped salted chiles (duo la jiao), from a batch we made a couple of weeks ago. The chicken was OK, but probably not worth making again – it tasted of chiles and not much else.

I liked the stir-fried green beans with preserved mustard greens. We messed with the recipe, substituting green beans for green peppers, and chorizo for pork, salt, and chile flakes. Good stuff, and definitely worth making again (perhaps even making properly). :rolleyes:

gallery_42956_2536_48485.jpg

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That steamed bass looks delicious!

I was given 2 large pickerels last week. Tomorrow may be the night for steamed pickerel with ginger and scallions. :wub:

Thanks Dejah, i don't think you can go wrong steaming fish this way. If all the knowledge in the world was lost and the God of Food offered mankind only one way to cook fish, this would be the one way! Of course, you wouldn't need to cook sashimi but you wouldn't tell GoF that... :biggrin:

What's a pickerel btw, is it a cross between a pike and a mackerel? :blink: I thought I knew my fish - is it called something else?

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