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Wild Ginger

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Last night Katie and I hit ye old Symphony for the Requiem. Beforehand, we decided to try out Wild Ginger for the first time. Since time was somewhat short, we opted to sit in the bar and grab a bite. We went to the upstairs bar, which is non-smoking (yay) and plopped ourselves down at the two available seats right up at the bar.

Our bartender was great! He was very enthusiastic about the food and offered tips on ordering. He mentioned half orders that they can do since the portions are way too big for one person. Once we took in all the info, we ended up ordering: Peasant's Chicken satay w/ peanut sauce, Wild Ginger Fragrant Duck (1/2 order), and an order of some off the hook (I don’t remember the name) green beans. Our bar neighbors were so friendly and offered us a taste test of their green beans. They were so friendly I was surprised to hear they were from New York :raz::wink:

Peasant's Chicken Satay- Good mild coconut flavor that did not overpower the flavor of the chicken. Nicely grilled and was great with the spicy peanut sauce.

Fragrant Duck- Came out with a bunch of cilantro (word up to the cilantro thread) that mixed with the smell of the duck...this really was nicely fragrant. The duck came with four little steamed buns to eat it with as well as a plum sauce and Sichuan peppercorn salt (wonder if it is real...I have no basis for comparison). You are supposed to get a piece of duck, some sauce, some salt, some cilantro, and sandwich it in a bun. The rich duck and crispy skin were a very nice mix with the sweetness of the plum sauce, while the peppercorn salt made it pop a bit. Good stuff.

Off tha hook Green beans- I couldn’t find these on the menu, but they seemed to be prepared in a Szechwan style. A good blend of spicy and rich. I think that there was some pork in the dish, but can't confirm it. They might even be deep fried before stir-frying.

During the meal, our bartender gave Katie a sample of some Mango Daiquiri, which was quite lovely and we would have ordered a whole one if we hadn't been drunk already. :wink:

For dessert, we went with the blackberry sorbet swirl dessert. Our bartender had recommended it to our neighbors, who were thoroughly enjoying it. It was a swirl of blackberry sorbet and vanilla ice cream. This had shavings of lime zest on top. The texture of the ice cream/sorbet was very good and the flavors were nicely intense, although I might have wanted even more vanilla flavor.

I don’t know why it has taken me so long to eat at Wild Ginger, but I am happy that I did. I do think that we had a better experience in the bar than we might have had at a table. Since Katie works within two blocks of it, I see myself going back in the near future for a light dinner.


Edited for some bolding

Edited by Schielke (log)

Gimme what cha got for a pork chop!


I have two words for America... Meat Crust.


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When Laurie and I went we had the duck and the green beans. I wasn't very impressed with the satay, but I'd definitely get those two things again. I'm pretty sure there's no pork in the green beans but they are deep fried. You should try making these at home--they're incredibly easy and good. I like to throw in some szechuan preserved vegetable.

Matthew Amster-Burton, aka "mamster"

Author, Hungry Monkey, coming in May

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I'm pretty sure there's no pork in the green beans but they are deep fried.  You should try making these at home--they're incredibly easy and good.  I like to throw in some szechuan preserved vegetable.

Mamster, how about a recipe?

A palate, like a mind, works better with exposure and education and is a product of its environment.

-- Frank Bruni

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Although I don't have a recipe for Off the Hook Green Beans, I do have their recipe for their famous Sichuan Green Beans, courtesy of Best Places Seattle Cookbook by Kathy Casey, Cynthia C. Nims, and Sasquatch publishing copyright 2001 (w/ their permission to post it on eG).

A cut and paste from a year ago on the cooking forum...

Wild Ginger's Sichuan Green Beans

At Wild Ginger, the green beans are first deep-fried and then stir-fried with the remaining ingredients, using 2 separate woks.  If you have only 1 wok, use a saucepan for deep-frying.  Simpler yet, stir-fry the green beans in the wok until they begin to turn brown and blister, then continue as directed.  The double-whammy technique of deep-frying and stir-frying produces the best, most flavorful results, however.

Note that the green beans must be fully dry before adding them to the hot oil for frying.  If any water is clinging to the beans, they'll sputter violently when added to the oil.  You'll want to rinse the preserved vegetable under cold running water before using, to wash away excess salt.  Sichuan preserved vegetable is available in Asian markets and on well-stocked grocery shelves.

Peanut or canola oil, for frying

2 T soy sauce

2 t rice wine vinegar

1 t sesame oil

1 t sugar

1 lb. tender green beans, trimmed & thoroughly dried

2 T minced lean pork

1 T minced Sichuan preserved vegetables

1 t dried red pepper flakes

POUR THE OIL to a depth of 2-3 inches into a large, deep, heavy saucepan & heat over medium-high heat to 400 F degrees (the oil should come no more than halfway up the sides of the pan).

WHILE THE OIL IS HEATING, whisk together the soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, and sugar in small bowl.  Stir until the sugar is dissolved & set aside.

WHEN THE OIL IS HOT, fry the green beans, in small batches, until lightly browned & blistered, 1-1/2 minutes.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer the beans to paper towels to drain.  Allow the oil to reheat as needed between batches.

HEAT A WOK over high heat until very hot, then add 1 T oil (it will begin smoking right away).  Add the pork, preserved vegetable, and red pepper flakes & stir-fry for 10 seconds.  The pepper flakes will give off peppery fumes, so be prepared with an exhaust fan or nearby open window.  Add the soy sauce mixture & heat, stirring, for about 15 seconds, being careful not to burn the sugar.  Add the green beans & toss until most of the liquid is reduced & absorbed by the beans, about 30 seconds.

TRANSFER THE BEANS to a warmed platter & serve.

edit: Ben, you'll note, there is pork in this recipe. :wub:

Edited by Blue Heron (log)
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Oh, if you don't want to use a bunch of oil, you can just use a couple of tablespoons and stir-fry the beans over medium to medium-high heat for a long time, as much as 20 minutes. The frying is way faster, but I hesitate to deep-fry unless I'm going to be frying several things.

Matthew Amster-Burton, aka "mamster"

Author, Hungry Monkey, coming in May

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