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junehl

Chinese Eats at Home (Part 3)

500 posts in this topic

Oh no! Is the Chinese cooking thread dead?! Someone revive it...revive it!

Oysters are kind of expensive at the moment so we bought a load of mussels, which I'm not very fond of cleaning (well, to be fair, mum did most of that...).

Decided to cook them Chinese-style -an eensy weensy bit of salted black beans, some chilli garlic sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil and a teeny weeny bit of sugar (enough to mellow out the flavours).

Served with bottles of beer or West Coast!

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Musings and Morsels - a film and food blog

http://musingsandmorsels.weebly.com/

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I hear you Ce'ndra. It is shameful that i've not cooked anything Chinese for while. So as this thread is a little thirsty here is another of my mum's meals from last week! Chicken, Turbot, Prawns & home-grown Choi-sum:

gallery_52657_5922_2023.jpg

Even if none of us gulleters are cooking Chinese, you can trust my mum to be :biggrin:

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I haven't done much cooking either as I'm really feeling lazy these days (actually, when am I not) and mum's been Queen of the Kitchen as of late.

Anyhow, very simple dinner. Bought fresh Chinese bbq duck and served it with egg noodles and bok choy. Lovely sweet soy sauce with a hint of smokiness from the duck marinade (comes with purchase of the duck in a small container) was drizzled over.

2762790046_4332b1c93c_o.jpg


Musings and Morsels - a film and food blog

http://musingsandmorsels.weebly.com/

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Dinner from Breath of a Wok:

Martin Yan’s Mandarin five-flavored pork chops: Pound pork chops with the back of a cleaver, marinate, pat dry, sear over high heat, and then braise. I’m still not a big fan of pork chops, but they were remarkably tender cooked this way.

Sweet and sour cabbage: Napa cabbage and thinly-sliced carrots, quickly stir-fried with ginger, and then moistened with soy sauce, Chinkiang vinegar, sugar, salt, and cornstarch. Topped with chopped scallions, these were quick and very popular with the family.

Jasmine rice, but no cucumbers.

gallery_42956_2536_47757.jpg

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Fisherman’s shrimp with Chinese chives (yu jia chao xia qiu), from Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook. Coat shrimp in a mixture of egg white and potato flour, then deep-fry until shrimp turn pinkish. Drain the oil and stir-fry shrimp with garlic, chiles, Chinkiang vinegar, and Chinese chives. Finish with sesame oil.

We found the Chinese chives at an H-Mart between here and grandma’s house. Man, I was like a kid in a candy store. The fish section was amazing, and the produce section alone is bigger than our local Asian market.

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Fisherman’s shrimp with Chinese chives (yu jia chao xia qiu), from Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook. Coat shrimp in a mixture of egg white and potato flour, then deep-fry until shrimp turn pinkish. Drain the oil and stir-fry shrimp with garlic, chiles, Chinkiang vinegar, and Chinese chives. Finish with sesame oil.

We found the Chinese chives at an H-Mart between here and grandma’s house. Man, I was like a kid in a candy store. The fish section was amazing, and the produce section alone is bigger than our local Asian market.

gallery_42956_2536_3964.jpg

Chinese chives are an amazing flavor ingredient. What they do for eggs! Just curious how the shrimp held up with 2 aggressive treatments. Looks great as always.

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Chinese chives are an amazing flavor ingredient. What they do for eggs!  Just curious how the shrimp held up with 2 aggressive treatments. Looks great as always.

Thank you, heidih. I look forward to trying Chinese chives with eggs.

The shrimp held up nicely. They were deep-fried just long enough to crisp up the coating, but not long enough to cook them through, and then stir-fried until the chives just softened.

Before cooking the shrimp, I did brine them for about 10 minutes (a teaspoon of salt per half cup of water – see Kasma Loha-Unchit here). I don’t know whether brining helped the shrimp remain tender, or whether it simply added flavor. Anyway, the procedure was simple enough that I will probably experiment more.

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Nice dish Bruce, you can do a similar thing with salted duck egg yolks instead of egg white and it gives an extra richness. I too was taught to salt my prawns before frying them as it firms them up and gives them a "song" (爽 - i think) "mouth-feel". Hard to describe that word - kinda pleasantly crisp (like an apple)!!

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Nice dish Bruce, you can do a similar thing with salted duck egg yolks instead of egg white and it gives an extra richness.  I too was taught to salt my prawns before frying them as it firms them up and gives them a "song" (爽 - i think) "mouth-feel".  Hard to describe that word - kinda pleasantly crisp (like an apple)!!

Prawncrackers, thanks! I will keep an eye out for duck eggs on my next H-Mart pilgrimage.

You described the effects of brining far better than I did. I brined shrimp for a Thai salad tonight, and the texture matched your description again. The shrimp were firm without being tough, with a texture reminiscent of a ripe grape bursting with juice.

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Nice dish Bruce, you can do a similar thing with salted duck egg yolks instead of egg white and it gives an extra richness.  I too was taught to salt my prawns before frying them as it firms them up and gives them a "song" (爽 - i think) "mouth-feel".  Hard to describe that word - kinda pleasantly crisp (like an apple)!!

Prawncrackers, thanks! I will keep an eye out for duck eggs on my next H-Mart pilgrimage.

You described the effects of brining far better than I did. I brined shrimp for a Thai salad tonight, and the texture matched your description again. The shrimp were firm without being tough, with a texture reminiscent of a ripe grape bursting with juice.

I don't brine shrimp, but I do soak them in cold water/cornstarch solution for about 15 minutes, rinse off the use with whatever recipe. This also produces "song" - mouth feel as Prawn describes.

I'll have to try your salted egg trick! :biggrin:

Bruce: Your cooking is always so pict-o-licious! I know they'd taste delicious too. :smile:


Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

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My uncle like to use the term "daan ngaa" 彈牙 (bouncing teeth) to describe the sensation of eating good fresh prawns/shrimps.


Best Wishes,

Chee Fai.

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That's a good one too! Though i like to associate that daan ngaa feeling with something like good fish balls. Maybe we should compile a list of Chinese textural descriptions. As we all know, texture is almost as important as flavour in Chinese cookery. I'm always a little amused when trying to explain to people how to appreciate the different textures.

"Waat" (滑 ?) - smooth & slippery, is one of my favourite descriptions, like with perfectly poached chicken thighs - yum yum.

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This topic is very inspiring. Everyone needs some authentic Chinese home cooking in their lives. I love serving a whole fish with greens and other ingredients common to Chinese cooking. I also like using duck eggs but I can only get them in early summer - is this a common problem?

Scrolling through this topic made me wonder about contemporary Chinese kitchens. Seeing all those new residential buildings in Beijing and the other Olympic cities - Qinhuangdao, Shanghai, Shenyang, and Tianjin - made wonder what I might find in a new well-equipped home kitchen. For example, would there typically be an oven big enough to roast a big bird?


Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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[...] Seeing all those new residential buildings in Beijing and the other Olympic cities - Qinhuangdao, Shanghai, Shenyang, and Tianjin - made wonder what I might find in a new well-equipped home kitchen. For example, would there typically be an oven big enough to roast a big bird?

Those kitchens most likely have gas stoves - either pre-piped from the gas company or using portable gas tanks.

I think by and large the big ovens roomy enough to bake a turkey are probably not common in China. Both because of spatial constraints and impracticality (how often do we bake?).


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

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[...] Seeing all those new residential buildings in Beijing and the other Olympic cities - Qinhuangdao, Shanghai, Shenyang, and Tianjin - made wonder what I might find in a new well-equipped home kitchen. For example, would there typically be an oven big enough to roast a big bird?

Those kitchens most likely have gas stoves - either pre-piped from the gas company or using portable gas tanks.

I think by and large the big ovens roomy enough to bake a turkey are probably not common in China. Both because of spatial constraints and impracticality (how often do we bake?).

I suppose I was thinking of a goose not turkey, but all the same I'm not surprised big ovens are rare. Seeing Hiroyuki's new kitchen was very informative. I've got a counter top electric convection oven that's a lot smaller and cheaper to operate than the 220V beast on the floor.


Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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gallery_19795_3932_60244.jpg

This is a Cantonese style dish: Steamed shrimp with garlic. Each shrimp is split in halves. This dish is available in many Cantonese style live seafood restaurants. I did this with a twist: I like to caramelize the minced garlic first with a bit of cooking oil before using it for steaming. This makes the garlic taste a bit better. I also added some caramelized shallot slices (the dark brown bits). Chopped green onions sprinkled on top. Mung bean threads were used to lay as a bed at the bottom. They would soak up the steaming juice.


Edited by hzrt8w (log)

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

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That's a good one too!  Though i like to associate that daan ngaa feeling with something like good fish balls.  Maybe we should compile a list of Chinese textural descriptions.  As we all know, texture is almost as important as flavour in Chinese cookery.  I'm always a little amused when trying to explain to people how to appreciate the different textures. 

"Waat" (滑 ?) - smooth & slippery, is one of my favourite descriptions, like with perfectly poached chicken thighs - yum yum.

We should totally compile a list of textural descriptions! Maybe "song" or "cheui" would be a better describing word for fresh shrimp?

Speaking of "daan nga", man, I miss the good fish balls in HK...

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That's a good one too!  Though i like to associate that daan ngaa feeling with something like good fish balls.  Maybe we should compile a list of Chinese textural descriptions.  As we all know, texture is almost as important as flavour in Chinese cookery.  I'm always a little amused when trying to explain to people how to appreciate the different textures. 

"Waat" (滑 ?) - smooth & slippery, is one of my favourite descriptions, like with perfectly poached chicken thighs - yum yum.

We should totally compile a list of textural descriptions! Maybe "song" or "cheui" would be a better describing word for fresh shrimp?

Speaking of "daan nga", man, I miss the good fish balls in HK...

I don't think you would use cheoi (脆) to describe prawns. I would use it to describe crispy pork crackling.

Nyum nyum, chicken thighs - probably the most under-rated part of the chicken. You can keep the breast, even the vaunted drumstick.

Does anyone use sweet (甜) to describe their soups, even though they are savoury soups?


Edited by CFT (log)

Best Wishes,

Chee Fai.

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chocomoo:

Does anyone use sweet (甜) to describe their soups, even though they are savoury soups?

Yes, "teem" is used to not only describe sweetness but also to describe "full of natural flavour".


Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

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Nice dish Bruce, you can do a similar thing with salted duck egg yolks instead of egg white and it gives an extra richness.  I too was taught to salt my prawns before frying them as it firms them up and gives them a "song" (爽 - i think) "mouth-feel".  Hard to describe that word - kinda pleasantly crisp (like an apple)!!

Aren't salted duck eggs kind of solidified though?

I tend to add salted duck eggs to my claypot rice to give it that wonderful richness, but my only wish is for a non-solid version so that the egg simply mixes through smoothly, rather than me having to slice it into small pieces.

It's a pity really.

On another note, is anyone familiar with this dish and know how it's made?

It's duck on a layer of taro crisp fried with some sort of batter and served with a mushroom (?) gravy...realllllllyyyy delicious.

11v5gn4.jpg

2v0kiki.jpg


Musings and Morsels - a film and food blog

http://musingsandmorsels.weebly.com/

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Aren't salted duck eggs kind of solidified though?

You're right, the ones i used to buy range from semi-liquid to waxy hard. But if you salt them yourself you can control that. Plus it's cheaper.

On another note, is anyone familiar with this dish and know how it's made?

It's duck on a layer of taro crisp fried with some sort of batter and served with a mushroom (?) gravy...realllllllyyyy delicious.

11v5gn4.jpg

I too would love to know the recipe for this dish. The last time i had it was at my wedding banquet and i remember it was one of the food highlights. The Western contingents were all amazed at dish and not with the lobster, suckling pig, shark fin etc - go figure!? Anyway, i've never seen this dish since and would love to learn to cook this.

Keeping with the taro theme, i posted this meal on the Dinner! thread but it really deserves to be here: Kau Yuk, Fried Bream & Green Beans:

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The main Hakka dish of Kau Yuk was actually leftovers made by my mum and was one i've not had for ages. Forgot how good it was, i will post the recipe as soon as i get the chance to interrogate her!


Edited by Prawncrackers (log)

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Prawncrackers, I spend many days daydreaming about that duck taro dish haha. Mum knows it MUST be ordered every time we have Chinese out. Hopefully somebody knows a thing or two about the preparation...

and I'll be dribbling and waiting for that Kau Yuk recipe ;)


Musings and Morsels - a film and food blog

http://musingsandmorsels.weebly.com/

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chocomoo:
Does anyone use sweet (甜) to describe their soups, even though they are savoury soups?

Yes, "teem" is used to not only describe sweetness but also to describe "full of natural flavour".

The Chinese do not have a specific word for umami, so "teem" is used as Deja indicates.

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Now, you see i always thought that "seen" (?) translated to that umami flavour. That extra special taste. Mind you it's mostly used in conjunction "seen teem" - umami sweetness, or "sun () seen" - fresh umami taste. So what do you folks think, how would you describe "seen"?

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