• Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

junehl

Chinese Eats at Home (Part 3)

500 posts in this topic

Host Note: Our servers could not handle the volume of posts so we had to split up the topic - the older posts can be found beginning HERE

why thank you mizducky. honestly, i'm trying to think of what else i can do with duck. i may attempt at making a roasted duck or crispy duck (steamed duck then fried til a crisp). All because I'm addicted to the duck fat that I got from the first duck.

I've put it in everything I've cooked recently...almost slathered it on the pancakes i made the other day.

It's not cold enough for hot chocolate, but a glass hot fresh soybean milk with cruellers....mmmm...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Man, that is one bitter, um, y'know, melon. I cut it into sections, sliced it thinly, salted for 30 minutes, rinsed, and stir-fried it with chiles and scallions, finishing with sesame oil. Nice texture, but very bitter. After taking the picture, I added hoisin sauce for a little sweetness. That seemed to improve things.

You need to cut the bitter melon diagonally to reduce the bitterness!!! :laugh:

No. Just kidding. But cooking the melon until soft does tame down the bitterness.


W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Certainly looks tasty. Scrambled with eggs is a popular way to use it. Or stuffed with ground pork mixture and poached in a broth. Cut melon in 3 inch sections, clean out centers and stuff, cooking till quite tender. Really mellows it out.

Thanks for the suggestions. I picked up the bitter melon on a whim, so stir-frying was easy. I could see it adding a nice something to scrambled eggs or a slow-cooked brothy concoction.

Bitter melon is an acquired taste. The degree of bitterness depends on the melon. Sometimes, a quick blanch will tone it down.

For stir-fries I cook the slices with garlic, ginger, femented black beans, and beef. If available, I put this on top of ho fun. We also like it in a slow simmered soup with pork, rehydrated oysters, and lots of ginger.

It took a couple of looks to associate your slices with the whole melons. I've always cut them across to form little bumpy arches. :rolleyes:


Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
For stir-fries I cook the slices with garlic, ginger, femented black beans, and beef. If available, I put this on top of ho fun.

That is how I had it from the street market in Singapore- called "Chinese style". Very very good. It was served with rice, but I can see ho fun being texturally nice with it. Does Chinese medicinal/cooking thought associate bitter melon with "good for women" as I have heard in other cultures?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I appreciate all of the bitter melon advice. It definitely sounds like I need to cook it longer next time.

Tonight we made slow-braised beef with potatoes, from Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook. We reduced the oven temperature to 275F and the chuck roast turned out juicy and falling-apart tender. The sauce developed a remarkably complex flavor given the relatively short list of ingredients – dou ban jian, cinnamon, star anise, dried chiles, dark soy, light soy, and rice vinegar. No leftovers.

tu dou wei niu rou

gallery_42956_2536_38266.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bitter melon is an acquired taste. The degree of bitterness depends on the melon. Sometimes, a quick blanch will tone it down.

There is a reason for it to be called bitter melon, dontcha know :raz: . I have grown to love the bitter or leng taste.


Edited by Ben Hong (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Peanut Lotus Mushroom Soup

gallery_55860_5139_68136.jpg

Black Bean Taro Root with Pork Belly - I was going to make Pork Belly and Taro Root w/ Nom Yu - but I bought the wrong one got Fu Yu instead so decided to steam the pork belly and taro root in black bean sauce. It tasted really good, wished it was more photogenic.

gallery_55860_5139_573037.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With the mistakenly bought Fu Yu I made Chicken Fu Yu Hot Pot

gallery_55860_5139_85861.jpg

And Hot pot stuff

gallery_55860_5139_44989.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Had Congee with Silkie chicken, but not sure you can really tell from the picture, the taste was fantastic.

gallery_55860_5139_44156.jpg

Had Chicken and Black Bean Sauce with it

gallery_55860_5139_155729.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Love this thread. My chinese food world has been rather small...mainly cantonese, with a bit of hakka and teochew thrown in. My eyes (and stomach) have been opened to so much more 'other' chinese food thanks to you guys sharing your dinners.

What are your plans for gaw dong (midwinter solstice)? We're probably doing pot-luck at my parent's home. Haven't decided what to make...


Edited by Tepee (log)

TPcal!

Food Pix (plus others)

Please take pictures of all the food you get to try (and if you can, the food at the next tables)............................Dejah

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I started making some char siu bao the other night (instead of marking papers).

First the char siu--I couldn't get pork shoulder, so used pork belly. Mmmmm...I'm never using pork shoulder for this again! I used the recipe c. sapidus kindly pm'ed me. It was just as delicious this time as the first time I used it. (blurry pics--sorry!)

Pile of char siu--I made about 500g.

gallery_11355_5288_26134.jpg

Very moist, it was!

gallery_11355_5288_26316.jpg

I used junehl's dough recipe again, but this time I made 1/2 the recipe (last time I used it, I made 1/4). I had a much harder time with it this time. It's quite tough--perhaps I let it rest for too long. But it was still tasty, and I didn't have any spots on my cooked bao this time.

gallery_11355_5288_7060.jpg

I was in such a hurry to eat, that I under-steamed these ones a bit. But they were still tasty!

gallery_11355_5288_28564.jpg

I really liked the sauce for the filling. I just used the leftover marinade, plus 2T of flour mixed with 4T of oil (I found a recipe on the internet like that). I loved it! But perhaps I'll use less oil next time. It's a bit greasy. Also, because I had trouble with the dough, I have a much higher dough to filling ratio than I like, but as a whole, these bao are flavour perfect!

I also made chicken filling, but I only had time to make 8 bao before I really had to get back to marking, so I only made some char siu bao. I still have loads of dough (I hope it's not too tough to work with now) to fill, and a lot of char siu filling and chicken filling to use. Hopefully it will get done by the end of this weekend, and hopefully the dough will still be OK to use!

ETA: I also made hum sui gok that night.


Edited by prasantrin (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
First the char siu--I couldn't get pork shoulder, so used pork belly.  Mmmmm...I'm never using pork shoulder for this again!  I used the recipe c. sapidus kindly pm'ed me.  It was just as delicious this time as the first time I used it. . . . Very moist, it was!

gallery_11355_5288_26316.jpg

Rona: I am so glad that you found the recipe useful. It looks like you got a wonderful juicy coating on your char siu.

I really liked the sauce for the filling.  I just used the leftover marinade, plus 2T of flour mixed with 4T of oil (I found a recipe on the internet like that).  I loved it!

Making the marinade into a sauce is a great idea – I need to try that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What can be better than pork belly for char siu! It will stay moist even after sitting in the fridge for a day or so. Any other cut tends to dry out a little.

Rona: Your char siu looks great even blurry. :biggrin: Is your Momma proud?

June: Have you posted your dough recipe? It looks white and fluffy, and I'd like to try it.

What recipe did you use for the marinade, Bruce?


Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
What recipe did you use for the marinade, Bruce?

Dejah, I used the recipe from Into the Vietnamese Kitchen. Do you have that book? If not, I will be happy to PM it to you.

Oh! I actually have that book - from your recommendation.:biggrin: I'll look it up. Thanks!


Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bruce, thanks again! I do love that recipe--it's my second time using it. And my mother loved it so much that she not only wants a copy of it, but she wants me to use my leftover pork belly to make more. She's going to bring it to the Philippines to serve at a party she's having shortly after she arrives!

Dejah, June's recipe for the buns is here and some subsequent hints for making it are here. There may be a couple more hints a post or two later, too. It's really a very good recipe. It has just a touch of sweetness, just like restaurant bao, and it's pretty fluffy. I imagine yours would probably be fluffier than mine, too, since I suck at steaming!

I used up the rest of my dough making a few more char siu bao and some chicken bao, but I have quite a bit of the fillings left. I'm going to combine my remaining chicken filling with my leftover hum sui gok filling and use it in my sticky rice. Then I'm going to make a bit more bao dough for the char siu filling--I was thinking of trying a recipe that uses a combination of yeast and baking powder. Has anyone tried that type of bao recipe before? Any comments on it?

But then again, I like June's recipe so much...if it ain't broke, why fix it? :biggrin:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

prasantrin - the dough was tough to work with? was it too soft? too hard to roll out?

Your idea about the pork belly is great for char siu bao. it didn't look too fatty either. You must of gotten some really good lean pork belly or did most of the fat drip out?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
prasantrin - the dough was tough to work with?  was it too soft?  too hard to roll out?

Your idea about the pork belly is great for char siu bao.  it didn't look too fatty either.  You must of gotten some really good lean pork belly or did most of the fat drip out?

The first day, after sitting for a few hours, the dough was just tough. It was quite difficult to break off pieces, and then it was difficult to roll out. I wondered if it was because I heated the milk (to help dissolve the sugar), but now I'm thinking I may have forgotten to add the oil. I thought I had, though.

After letting it sit for a couple of days (which is how long it took me to get back to them), it was a lot easier to work with. On both days, though, they still tasted great!

That particular piece of pork belly that I cut into was quite meaty, but the others were pretty fatty. I do find that in Japan, they trim more of the top fat off, so they were perhaps not as fatty as belly in Canada. I could only roast my char siu for 20 minutes, or it would have overcooked, so not much fat melted out.

Next time I'm going to roll the char siu in the marinade every 5 minutes during the roasting rather than every 10, to get more of the flavour of the marinade. It was still pretty tasty, but the first time I made it, it got dunked in the marinade twice while roasting rather than once, and it was definitely more flavourful.

Here are some of the Batch 2 bao before steaming:

gallery_11355_5288_13839.jpg

After steaming (not very pretty, I know):

gallery_11355_5288_17259.jpg

Filling--these were Tepee's chicken filling--tasty, but I had to use up some chicken breast, which I hate, so I used it instead of thigh, and I've also realized that I don't like Chinese mushrooms :wacko: .

gallery_11355_5288_25556.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Tonight we made slow-braised beef with potatoes, from Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook. We reduced the oven temperature to 275F and the chuck roast turned out juicy and falling-apart tender. The sauce developed a remarkably complex flavor given the relatively short list of ingredients – dou ban jian, cinnamon, star anise, dried chiles, dark soy, light soy, and rice vinegar. No leftovers.

This was on the table tonight, made with "eternal venison" (I have four milk crates of the stuff in the freezer!).

This dish was a definite winner, and my parents, Paul and Diana (and I) pronounced it the best beef stew ever. I did up the quantity by a half, just to ensure leftovers for my breakfast.

You are right, Bruce. So complex, for such a simple list of ingredients, and such a simple technique. I used a mixture of russet and yukon gold potatoes, because that was what I had on hand.


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Bruce, thanks again!  I do love that recipe--it's my second time using it.  And my mother loved it so much that she not only wants a copy of it, but she wants me to use my leftover pork belly to make more.  She's going to bring it to the Philippines to serve at a party she's having shortly after she arrives!

Rona, you are quite welcome again :smile: I hope the next batch survives its trip to the Philippines. Thanks for the tip to dunk the meat in the marinade more frequently, too. If you have the opportunity, char siu grilled over a low-medium fire is particularly good.

Tonight we made slow-braised beef with potatoes, from Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook. We reduced the oven temperature to 275F and the chuck roast turned out juicy and falling-apart tender. The sauce developed a remarkably complex flavor given the relatively short list of ingredients – dou ban jian, cinnamon, star anise, dried chiles, dark soy, light soy, and rice vinegar. No leftovers.

This was on the table tonight, made with "eternal venison" (I have four milk crates of the stuff in the freezer!).

This dish was a definite winner, and my parents, Paul and Diana (and I) pronounced it the best beef stew ever. I did up the quantity by a half, just to ensure leftovers for my breakfast.

You are right, Bruce. So complex, for such a simple list of ingredients, and such a simple technique. I used a mixture of russet and yukon gold potatoes, because that was what I had on hand.

Susan, I am glad that you liked the stew, and hope you are feeling better. What cut of “eternal venison” do you use for braising?

I am enjoying the cooking vicariously – we were without power (and internet :shock: ) for 24 hours after an ice/wind storm.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

prasantin - ahh, I never had that problem with the bao dough and I never boil the milk, I just mix it in to the sugar and swirl them around to dissolve it. If a little sugar granule is left it'll get dissolved w/ the kneading and sitting. I have left the oil out before and it does make it a little tougher, but not too bad. If it's ever too dry you can add more milk until it's manageable. I've had to add up to 8 ounces depending on the flour I used. And the extra milk only makes the dough fluffier.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmm, haven't visited this thread in a few days from being so busy with my other projects that I missed the char siu bao! Can someone tell me what's the secret to this awesome char siu recipe? I'm always looking for a new way of making char siu, but I've yet to find one I like more than the one I currently use.

Prasantrin, I've made baking power/yeast bao before, and it's more yeasty and less sweet than the baking powder only ones.

I have a question about chicken bao for all of you. I grew up eating these chicken bao where the filling was a type of patty made of chopped chicken and cabbage topped with chunks of hard boiled egg, char siu, and lop cheung. Is this a common way of making chicken bao, or is it just something peculiar to the bao made in Los Angeles' chinatown? Offhand I don't remember seeing in other places, but that might be because it's a more homey style of cooking and not what you'd typically find in restaurants.


Edited by sheetz (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I grew up eating these chicken bao where the filling was a type of patty made of chopped chicken and cabbage topped with chunks of hard boiled egg, char siu, and lop cheung. Is this a common way of making chicken bao, or is it just something peculiar to the bao made in Los Angeles' chinatown?

This is the way I find them in Vietnamese markets in the Los Angeles area

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have a question about chicken bao for all of you. I grew up eating these chicken bao where the filling was a type of patty made of chopped chicken and cabbage topped with chunks of hard boiled egg, char siu, and lop cheung. Is this a common way of making chicken bao, or is it just something peculiar to the bao made in Los Angeles' chinatown? Offhand I don't remember seeing in other places, but that might be because it's a more homey style of cooking and not what you'd typically find in restaurants.

They have this in New York C-town bakeries as well. It's called a dai bao, or big bun in Cantonese. I'm assuming they call it that because it's just bigger than a regular bao? Two of these and I'm set. With the other baos, I usually need 4-5.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

  • Similar Content

    • By liuzhou
      Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in southern China, where I live, is sugar central for the country. Over two-thirds of China's output of sugar is grown right here, making it one of the largest sugar production areas on the planet. I have a second home in the countryside and it is surrounded by sugar cane fields.

      Much of this is produced by small time farmers, although huge Chinese and international companies have also moved in.
       
      Also, sugar is used extensively in Chinese cooking, not only as a sweetener, but more as a spice. A little added to a savoury dish can bring out otherwise hidden flavours. It also has medicinal attributes according to traditional Chinese medicine.
       
      Supermarkets have what was to me, on first sight, a huge range of sugars, some almost unrecognisable. Here is a brief introduction to some of them. Most sugar is sold loose, although corner shops and mom 'n pop stores may have pre-packed bags. These are often labelled in English as "candy", the Chinese language not differentiating between "sugar" and "candy" - always a source of confusion. Both are 糖 (táng),

      IMPORTANT NOTE: The Chinese names given here and in the images are the names most used locally. They are all Mandarin Chinese, but it is still possible that other names may be used elsewhere in China. Certainly, non-Mandarin speaking areas will be different.

      By the far the simplest way to get your sugar ration is to buy the unprocessed sugar cane. This is not usually available in supermarkets but is a street vendor speciality. In the countryside, you can buy it at the roadside. There are also people in markets etc with portable juice extractors who will sell you a cup of pure sugar cane juice.


       
      I remember being baffled then amused when, soon after I first arrived in China, someone asked me if I wanted some 甘蔗 (gān zhè). It sounded exactly like 'ganja' or cannabis. No such luck! 甘蔗 (gān zhè) is 'sugar cane'.
       
      The most common sugar in the supermarkets seems to be 冰糖 (bīng táng) which literally means 'ice 'sugar' and is what we tend to call 'rock sugar' or 'crystal sugar'. This highly refined sugar comes in various lump sizes although the price remains the same no matter if the pieces are large or small. Around ¥7/500g. That pictured below features the smaller end of the range.


       
      Related to this is what is known as 冰片糖 (bīng piàn táng) which literally means "ice slice sugar". This is usually slightly less processed (although I have seen a white version, but not recently) and is usually a pale brown to yellow colour. This may be from unprocessed cane sugar extract, but is often white sugar coloured and flavoured with added molasses. It is also sometimes called 黄片糖  (huáng piàn táng) or "yellow slice sugar". ¥6.20/500g.
       


      A less refined, much darker version is known as 红片糖 (hóng piàn táng), literally 'red slice sugar'. (Chinese seems to classify colours differently - what we know as 'black tea' is 'red tea' here. ¥7.20/500g.


       
      Of course, what we probably think of as regular sugar, granulated sugar is also available. Known as 白砂糖 (bái shā táng), literally "white sand sugar', it is the cheapest at  ¥3.88/500g.



      A brown powdered sugar is also common, but again, in Chinese, it isn't brown. It's red and simply known as 红糖 (hóng táng). ¥7.70/500g


       
      Enough sweetness and light for now. More to come tomorrow.
    • By Dejah
      [Host's note: This topic forms part of an extended discussion which grew too large for our servers to handle efficiently.  The conversation continues from here.]
       
       
      Supper: Yeem Gok Gai:

      Mock Fried Rice - grated cauliflower

      Baby Shanghai Bok Choy and ginger

    • By liuzhou
      eG member @Carolyn Phillips has just published her ten-year-long-gestated Chinese cook book, All Under Heaven. 500 pages on China's 35 cuisines. Gathering rave reviews. I've ordered my copy. Can't wait.

      Simultaneously, her "Dim Sum Field Guide is published.
       
      She hasn't posted much here recently, but who would or could while writing two books at the same time - one of them a huge tome?

      Congratulations Carolyn.

       
    • By liuzhou
      A few weeks ago I bought a copy of this cookbook which is a best-selling spin off from the highly successful television series by China Central Television - A Bite of China as discussed on this thread.   .
       

       
      The book was published in August 2013 and is by Chen Zhitian (陈志田 - chén zhì tián). It is only available in Chinese (so far). 
       
      There are a number of books related to the television series but this is the only one which seems to be legitimate. It certainly has the high production standards of the television show. Beautifully photographed and with (relatively) clear details in the recipes.
       
      Here is a sample page.
       

       
      Unlike in most western cookbooks, recipes are not listed by main ingredient. They are set out in six vaguely defined chapters. So, if you are looking for a duck dish, for example, you'll have to go through the whole contents list. I've never seen an index in any Chinese book on any subject. 
       
      In order to demonstrate the breadth of recipes in the book and perhaps to be of interest to forum members who want to know what is in a popular Chinese recipe book, I have sort of translated the contents list - 187 recipes.
       
      This is always problematic. Very often Chinese dishes are very cryptically named. This list contains some literal translations. For some dishes I have totally ignored the given name and given a brief description instead. Any Chinese in the list refers to place names. Some dishes I have left with literal translations of their cryptic names, just for amusement value.
       
      I am not happy with some of the "translations" and will work on improving them. I am also certain there are errors in there, too.
       
      Back in 2008, the Chinese government issued a list of official dish translations for the Beijing Olympics. It is full of weird translations and total errors, too. Interestingly, few of the dishes in the book are on that list.
       
      Anyway, for what it is worth, the book's content list is here (Word document) or here (PDF file). If anyone is interested in more information on a dish, please ask. For copyright reasons, I can't reproduce the dishes here exactly, but can certainly describe them.
       
      Another problem is that many Chinese recipes are vague in the extreme. I'm not one to slavishly follow instructions, but saying "enough meat" in a recipe is not very helpful. This book gives details (by weight) for the main ingredients, but goes vague on most  condiments.
       
      For example, the first dish (Dezhou Braised Chicken), calls for precisely 1500g of chicken, 50g dried mushroom, 20g sliced ginger and 10g of scallion. It then lists cassia bark, caoguo, unspecified herbs, Chinese cardamom, fennel seed, star anise, salt, sodium bicarbonate and cooking wine without suggesting any quantities. It then goes back to ask for 35g of maltose syrup, a soupçon of cloves, and "the correct quantity" of soy sauce.
       
      Cooking instructions can be equally vague. "Cook until cooked".
       
      A Bite of China - 舌尖上的中国- ISBN 978-7-5113-3940-9 
    • By liuzhou
      Introduction
       
      I spent the weekend in western Hunan reuniting with 36 people I worked with for two years starting 20 years ago. All but one, 龙丽花 lóng lì huā, I hadn’t seen for 17 years.  I last saw her ten years ago. One other, 舒晶 shū jīng, with whom I have kept constant contact but not actually seen, helped me organise the visit in secret. No one else knew I was coming. In fact, I had told Long Lihua that I couldn’t come. Most didn’t even know I am still in China.
       
      I arrived at my local station around 00:20 in order to catch the 1:00 train northwards travelling overnight to Hunan, with an advertised arrival time of 9:15 am. Shu Jing was to meet me.
       
      When I arrived at the station, armed with my sleeper ticket, I found that the train was running 5 hours late! Station staff advised that I change my ticket for a different train, which I did. The problem was that there were no sleeper tickets available on the new train. All I could get was a seat. I had no choice, really. They refunded the difference and gave me my new ticket.
       
       

       

       
      The second train was only 1½ hours late, then I had a miserable night, unable to sleep and very uncomfortable. Somehow the train managed to make up for the late start and we arrived on time. I was met as planned and we hopped into a taxi to the hotel where I was to stay and where the reunion was to take place.
       
      They had set up a reception desk in the hotel lobby and around half of the people I had come to see were there. When I walked in there was this moment of confusion, stunned silence, then the friend I had lied to about not coming ran towards me and threw herself into my arms with tears running down her face and across her smile. It was the best welcome I’ve ever had. Then the others also welcomed me less physically, but no less warmly. They were around 20 years old when I met them; now they are verging on, or already are, 40, though few of them look it. Long Lihua is the one on the far right.
       

       
      Throughout the morning people arrived in trickles as their trains or buses got in from all over China. One woman had come all the way from the USA. We sat around chatting, reminiscing and eating water melon until finally it was time for lunch.
       

       
      Lunch we had in the hotel dining room. By that time, the group had swelled to enough to require three banqueting tables.
       
      Western Hunan, known as 湘西 xiāng xī, where I was and where I lived for two years - twenty years ago, is a wild mountainous area full of rivers. It was one of the last areas “liberated” by Mao’s communists and was largely lawless until relatively recently. It has spectacular scenery.
       
      Hunan is known for its spicy food, but Xiangxi is the hottest. I always know when I am back in Hunan. I just look out the train window and see every flat surface covered in chilis drying in the sun. Station platforms, school playgrounds, the main road from the village to the nearest town are all strewn with chillis.
       

       

       
      The people there consider Sichuan to be full of chilli wimps. I love it. When I left Hunan I missed the food so much. So I was looking forward to this. It did not disappoint.
       
      So Saturday lunch in next post.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.