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Chinese Eats at Home (Part 3)


junehl
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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...

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  • 3 weeks later...
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"
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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

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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?

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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

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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)
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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

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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

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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.

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Very moist, it was!

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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)
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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.

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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

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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

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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:

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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?

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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:

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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

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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"
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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.

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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.

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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)
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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

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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.

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