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China Food Deliveries


liuzhou
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On 10/15/2022 at 7:43 AM, liuzhou said:

 

Thanks for asking. It's slow, but they warned me of that. But I see small improvements.

 

I'd love to get back to cooking, but I can't go shopping or stand up for very long. I can't cook sitting down! I tried! So, for now I'm stuck with delivery food, although to be fair today's experience was atypical.


When I broke my leg, I moved my desk chair to the kitchen, adjusted it to its highest point, and wheeled about. It wasn’t optimal, but it served. Plus, I could stand with my weight on the other leg when I needed to.

Don't ask. Eat it.

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This is a version of the Sichuan classic you may well know as Kung-P(a)o Chicken, a name no one in Sichuan (or anywhere else in China) uses. It is 宫保鸡丁 (gōng bǎo jī dīng). 

 

2079844116_.thumb.jpg.7b390c917d2c0c68588a34e9f8804e71.jpg

 

Whatever you call it, this is a strange version. The basic flavours were on point and the chicken was nicely cooked. What threw me was the amount of clery throughout the dish. Little cubes of celery. Cubes are appropriate. That is what (dīng) means, but so many?

 

1649539068_2.thumb.jpg.3a9f698db6378d4bf26020138af0113a.jpg

The chef at Panda Cafeteria, the local Sichuan restaurant, was also a little heavy-handed with the Sichuan peppercorns, but that's OK by me. Maybe not for everyone.

 

All in all, I was happy, although I can see that there was room for improvement.

 

Edited by liuzhou (log)
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Lunch was confused and confusing.


2121678362_VietnameseSpringRollswithChickenBurrito.thumb.jpg.8a468fe3590b3955da6cf5e29c4ffe08.jpg

 

鲜虾的蔬越南春卷 (xiān xiā de shū yuè nán chūn juǎn)- Fresh Shrimp and Vegetable Vietnamese Spring Rolls.

 

香煎鸡胸菠菜卷 (xiāng jiān jī xiōng bō cài juǎn) - Fried Chicken Breast Spinach Roll. This I can only describe as being like a burrito, with the spinach a component of the wrapper skin. Inside was salad and the cubed chicken.

 

With a spicy dipping sauce.

Bizarre meal, but  very good!

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Food today was mostly repeats of favourites from the last few weeks of survival on delivery. A couple of newbies, though.

 

内蒙牧场羊排肉中串 (nèi měng mù chǎng yáng pái ròu zhōng chuàn) - Inner Mongolian Ranch Lamb Chop Meat Skewers

 

碳烤牛蛙年 (整只) (tàn kǎo niú wā nián (zhěng zhǐ) - Grilled Bullfrog (Whole) 

 

Both were sprinkled heavily with cumin and chilli.

 

skewers.thumb.jpg.673c005a470c1d808125dd9931cbbc3c.jpg

 

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16 hours ago, liuzhou said:

Food today was mostly repeats of favourites from the last few weeks of survival on delivery. A couple of newbies, though.

 

内蒙牧场羊排肉中串 (nèi měng mù chǎng yáng pái ròu zhōng chuàn) - Inner Mongolian Ranch Lamb Chop Meat Skewers

 

碳烤牛蛙年 (整只) (tàn kǎo niú wā nián (zhěng zhǐ) - Grilled Bullfrog (Whole) 

 

Both were sprinkled heavily with cumin and chilli.

 

skewers.thumb.jpg.673c005a470c1d808125dd9931cbbc3c.jpg

 

 

Whole bullfrog! I'd have assumed the innards needed to be removed, as with fish. It's so long since I ate frog that I can't remember what my hosts did.

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1 minute ago, Smithy said:

 

Whole bullfrog! I'd have assumed the innards needed to be removed, as with fish. It's so long since I ate frog that I can't remember what my hosts did.

 

Yes. The 'whole' is a bit misleading (I just translated the Chinese as on the listing). They mean not  just  the legs. That said, there isn't much in the way of innards with frogs.

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Lunch (and dinner):

 

新疆大盘鸡 (xīn jiāng dà pán jī) - Xinjiang Big Plate Chicken

 

I seem to be on a Xinjiang cuisine trip. No apologies.

 

Actually invented by a Sichuanese chef who emigrated to Xinjiang, China's north-western mainly Muslim province  bordering Mongolia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India, this dish is of chicken and potato* with typical Sichuan flavours - chilli and Sichuan peppercorns. It is normally served over noodles or these are served separately at the end to mop up the juices. It is a huge robust dish.

Most Xinjiang restaurant s here in town offer two versions the standard and a small. It is always amusing to watch a couple come in and the man (always the man) insisting that he is hungry so must order the larger one and a few side dishes. They are never able to put much of a dent in it. The restaurant is happy!

Hence, this will do me for two meals. It heats up well.

 

That dish / container is 10 inches / 255mm in diameter.

 

1295839438_dapanji.thumb.jpg.b86a60d8aedb516551f973c5d236ef4c.jpgBig Plate Chicken 大盘鸡

 

*The potato marks it out. Potatoes are not particularly common in most Chinese cooking. In fact, they are looked down on upon as peasant food by many. Only one other dish springs to mind. These slivered potatoes (often mixed with carrot slivers) with chilli and vinegar. Delicious.

 

potato.thumb.jpg.1e57c187f47a70bb21c2a468d18632bd.jpg




 

 

Edited by liuzhou (log)
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12 minutes ago, liuzhou said:

Only one other dish springs to mind. These slivered potatoes (often mixed with carrot slivers) with chilli and vinegar.

How would the potatoes be cooked in this dish? 

 

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Just now, SusieQ said:

How would the potatoes be cooked in this dish? 

 

 

Sorry, of course I should have said. Round here they are normally stir fried in shallow oil. I know that in the west many Chinese restaurants deep fry them. Never seen that here.

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2 hours ago, liuzhou said:

Round here they are normally stir fried in shallow oil.

 

That's ok, thanks! One more question, please. Would it be started in cold or hot oil? I would assume hot oil but these days you never know.  😄

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35 minutes ago, SusieQ said:

 

That's ok, thanks! One more question, please. Would it be started in cold or hot oil? I would assume hot oil but these days you never know.  😄

 

Always hot oil in Chinese cooking. Heat the empty wok, then add oil, when shimmering / beginning to smoke it's ready to fry.

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Dinner:

 

Still working my way through the big plate chicken! I'll be here for days!

 

I was concerned that it might be too potato-ey (they are cheaper than chicken, of course) but  I found otherwise. It is full of chicken (on the bone, of course). In fact, I would have liked more spuds! They soak up the flavours.

 

1355113777_dapanji2.thumb.jpg.29b9d797314dec8c261fb0ab38e85f6d.jpg

 

1763152541_dapanji3.thumb.jpg.ffb3cebeb636e350464a6aaea7ab502f.jpg

 

Washed down with my nice 20-year old Shaoxing.

 

983437766_20Shaoxing.thumb.jpg.a8e42bcd59dbe94eccc7a7d677ea0c27.jpg

 

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Lunch:

 

lunch.thumb.jpg.343fd2516f2b2a32add3c665bff48958.jpg

 

土匪猪肝 (tǔ fěi zhū gān) - Bandit Liver

 

North-western Hunan, known as Xiangxi, was one of the last places to fall under Mao's communist control. For decades it had been bandit country, ruled over by warlords and the lawless.  Whether that gives its name to this dish, a specialty of the region, is open to debate.

 

One legend claims that the artist and gourmet, Zhang Daqian, was kidnapped by bandits as a boy and 'employed' as a scribe/teacher due to his ability to write. While he was in captivity, the cook taught him this among many other dishes. He went on to claim "As far as art is concerned, I am good at cooking and I am better at painting."

 

On the other hand, there are many dishes known as bandit something in the area. Bandit chicken, bandit duck, bandit fish etc. He didn't come into possession of all their secrets. More likely, the dish is so named because of the lack of finesse. It  is a hearty rustic dish of quick-fried sliced pork liver with dried chilli as well as both fresh red and green peppers*, shallots, ginger and garlic.

 

* Hot chilli peppers; not those bell monstrosities!

 

1786268166_LiverandOnions.thumb.jpg.238aefc7dd05ce2607b4504841b3cae3.jpg


肉末香辣土豆丝 (ròu mò xiāng là tǔ dòu sī) - Minced Pork with Potato Slivers

 

I mentioned these recently. Simple slivered potatoes, here with minced pork,  stir-fried with a little white rice wine vinegar and served, not as a staple as in western cooking, but just as another accompanying vegetable.

 

1349968252_potatoslivers.thumb.jpg.6a8cc6ee4d810e79336f30e847732459.jpg

 

Hunanese comfort food

 

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4 minutes ago, liuzhou said:

Yellow Soy Beans.

Whew!  At first glance, I thought these were the dreaded c$rn. 

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I know I haven’t duly recovered from my recent spell in hospital – I keep making uncharacteristic errors of judgement.

 

Today I fancied a salad and, like an idiot, decided to search my delivery app. The alarms screaming “China doesn’t do salads!” went unheeded. I searched high and low through the western-type salads they had on offer, trying to find just one that didn’t include c@rn. I was just about to give up, when I spotted one. I ordered it.

 

The salad consisted of (in order I found the ingredients as I dug through) some rather nice roast chicken surprisingly free of bones, skin and gristle; a boiled egg (halved); shredded carrot, kidney beans, wood ear fungus, raw broccoli, rice noodles and C@RN!

 

This was not shown in the image or listed in the ingredients. I should have known some donkey in the kitchen would improve' destroy the salad.

 

Everything was unseasoned and undressed (if you pardon the expression!) However, when ordering, I was given my choice of dressing – 1000 island, ‘salad dressing’, zephyr vinaigrette, baked tahini, Caesar salad dressing, Korean hot sauce, mustard salad dressing, millet chutney, Low calorie orange tahini sauce or low calorie yoghurt blueberry sauce.

I had no idea what zephyr vinaigrette was so I ordered that – seems ‘zephyr’ is a Chinese synonym for ‘sickly sweet’. Apparently this sauce is a thing, but the only reference I can find is of a Chinese company pretending claiming it’s Japanese. It's in the bottom left of my image

I dressed it instead with some Sriracha I happen to have and ate around the dreaded yellow pellets from purgatory. I also added some 'sea grass' which I also ordered and they threw in for 1 元 (i.e. free). It's top left. Best part of the meal.

Never again.

 

1424771828_ChickenSalad.thumb.jpg.0cd257a14aad18566705385f03f643b6.jpg

 

Get well soon my poor me!

Edited by liuzhou (log)
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I  woke this morning absolutely starving. I'm not sure why.

 

So I ordered breakfast. I ordered two!

 

1. 皮蛋瘦肉粥 (pí dàn shòu ròu zhōu) - Pidan (Century Egg) Lean Pork Congee. Doesn't look like much, but it was tasty and filled most of  the void. This, I'm told, is the most popular of all the congees locally.

 

165296412_.thumb.jpg.8ddecbd99c9f5ca631c75c84e066d776.jpg

 

2. 上海汤包 (shàng hǎi tāng bāo ) - Shanghai Soup Dumplings. These had suffered in the journey and a couple had burst spilling their soupy contents. Came with my dip of choice. You can have no dip, vinegar, chilli oil or vinegar and chilli oil. I chose the latter. It comes in these little catering packs. I should have said no dip - I have better vinegar and chilli oil at home, anyway! It also came with an unadvertised pack of Chillied Dried  Daikon Radish - the Chinese pickle Korea likes to claim to have invented. Yes, It's basically what they call 'kimchi' but has been known in China much longer as 泡菜 (pào cài).

 

tangbao.thumb.jpg.a48599f9db6cc2c0f6cd408cfbecf9e5.jpg

 

So having had two breakfasts and started a war, I'll go off and think about lunch.

 

Edited by liuzhou (log)
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1 hour ago, liuzhou said:

I  woke this morning absolutely starving. I'm not sure why.

 

So I ordered breakfast. I ordered two!

 

1. 皮蛋瘦肉粥 (pí dàn shòu ròu zhōu) - Pidan (Century Egg) Lean Pork Congee. Doesn't look like much, but it was tasty and filled most of  the void. This, I'm told, is the most popular of all the congees locally.

 

165296412_.thumb.jpg.8ddecbd99c9f5ca631c75c84e066d776.jpg

 

2. 上海汤包 (shàng hǎi tāng bāo ) - Shanghai Soup Dumplings. These had suffered in the journey and a couple had burst spilling their soupy contents. Came with my dip of choice. You can have no dip, vinegar, chilli oil or vinegar and chilli oil. I chose the latter. It comes in these little catering packs. I should have said no dip - I have better vinegar and chilli oil at home, anyway! It also came with an unadvertised pack of Chillied Dried  Daikon Radish - the Chinese pickle Korea like to claim to have invented. yes, It's basically whatthey call 'kimchi' but has been known in China much longer as 泡菜 (pào cài).

 

tangbao.thumb.jpg.a48599f9db6cc2c0f6cd408cfbecf9e5.jpg

 

So having had two breakfasts and started a war, I'll go off and think about lunch. 

 

 

I would love this breakfast and would eat most all of it in one sitting. That's really interesting about the kimchi -- er, pào cài.

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9 hours ago, SusieQ said:

 

I would love this breakfast and would eat most all of it in one sitting. That's really interesting about the kimchi -- er, pào cài.

Me too. A few months ago in Asheville we frequented two restaurants that featured soup dumplings, both with different strong points.  But we learned our lesson: soup dumplings don"t like to travel. So, both of us with lousy colds, we dragged ourselves a few blocks for dinner. No walkable Chinese restaurants where we live. Well, that's not really true. There is one up and down a steep hill, but it is pretty bad. @liuzhou, I want to live in your apartment building.

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