• 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.

hzrt8w

Tips on Chinese cooking techniques

162 posts in this topic

A hot wok is the key to good stir fry. Normal home ranges only put out up to 16,00 BTUs. Get yourself a propane tank and fire element from the hardware store. This can put out up to 30,000 BTU's close to what good Chinese restaurants use. Oh, and I'd recommend using this outside.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Velveting/Hot Oil Blanching

Not sure if anyone mentioned this but it's the method of cooking meat and seafood also in hot oil about 240F until it's almost cooked. It's suppose to give it a luxurous look

I've only seen this mentioned in a Chinese Cookbook I picked up for 50 cents at a public library sale, the book is from the 70s or very early 80s. I forget who it was by.

It is also mentioned in the Wein-Chaun cookbooks.

-z

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Going back to the plate-lifters, I just bought something very similar to this Joyce Chen plate lifter. I chose it over the three-pronged model because it seemed sturdier and would seem to work with both oblong and round plates. (I was in the store lifting different things, testing their weight and balance. I haven't tried it yet with steaming hot food, but hey, it was only $1.50, so I figured what the heck.


Karen C.

"Oh, suddenly life’s fun, suddenly there’s a reason to get up in the morning – it’s called bacon!" - Sookie St. James

Travelogue: Ten days in Tuscany

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sequim mentioned a dislike for the black bean sauce purchased..

Can I add.. please please try this one!!

It is called Lao Gan Ma's Feng wei dou chi... or 老干马风味豆豉。

It is a bit spicy, but not much and from Guizhou. I use it nearly everywhere...and it is definitely the best one I've ever tried. It is VERY different from the Lee Kum Kee stuff that crowds the aisles.


Edited by jokhm (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Velveting/Hot Oil Blanching

Not sure if anyone mentioned this but it's the method of cooking meat and seafood also in hot oil about 240F until it's almost cooked.  It's suppose to give it a luxurous look

I've only seen this mentioned in a Chinese Cookbook I picked up for 50 cents at a public library sale, the book is from the 70s or very early 80s.  I forget who it was by.

It is also mentioned in the Wein-Chaun cookbooks.

-z

Sort of off on a tangent: does anyone know why this technique is called "velveting"? Is it called "velveting" in any of the Chinese dialects, or does the word or words for this translate literally as something else? Just curious, as the texture it gives to meat doesn't necessarily make me think of velvet (the fabric).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Velveting/Hot Oil Blanching

Not sure if anyone mentioned this but it's the method of cooking meat and seafood also in hot oil about 240F until it's almost cooked.  It's suppose to give it a luxurous look

-z

Sort of off on a tangent: does anyone know why this technique is called "velveting"? Is it called "velveting" in any of the Chinese dialects, or does the word or words for this translate literally as something else? Just curious, as the texture it gives to meat doesn't necessarily make me think of velvet (the fabric).

Velveting required marinating with oil, seasonings and cornstarch first before cooking the meat. This process gives the texture known as " wat in Cantonese, wot in Toisanese". These terms translate to smooth, silky. The surface of the meat, I suppose, reminds one of the texture of the surface of velvet. It's a mouth-feel. "wat or wot" does not translate to the English word velvet.


Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Velveting/Hot Oil Blanching

Not sure if anyone mentioned this but it's the method of cooking meat and seafood also in hot oil about 240F until it's almost cooked.  It's suppose to give it a luxurous look

-z

Sort of off on a tangent: does anyone know why this technique is called "velveting"? Is it called "velveting" in any of the Chinese dialects, or does the word or words for this translate literally as something else? Just curious, as the texture it gives to meat doesn't necessarily make me think of velvet (the fabric).

Velveting required marinating with oil, seasonings and cornstarch first before cooking the meat. This process gives the texture known as " wat in Cantonese, wot in Toisanese". These terms translate to smooth, silky. The surface of the meat, I suppose, reminds one of the texture of the surface of velvet. It's a mouth-feel. "wat or wot" does not translate to the English word velvet.

Aha. Now "silky" as a descriptor does make sense to me. Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One cookbook author called the technique 'oil poaching' rather than velveting. Same technique, tho.

The oil is actually not that hot and the technique is described as passing thru warm oil. I mean, if you put your finger in the oil, it will be HOT, but not hot enough to really fry the meat. It simply seals the outside and lets the inside warm up. The meat inside is still raw, but finishes cooking at a later stage.

Definite difference in texture between 'velveted' snd 'non-velveted'.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Put a little beans in your soup

I learned from my MIL, who makes really good Chinese tonic soups. Her secret: put some beans in the soup. Typically red beans, but it could be black-eye peas, black beans, etc..

e.g. Lotus root soup with pork - red beans

winter melon soup with chicken/pork - black-eye peas

Don't need too much, just 1/4 to 1/3 cup would do. Soak the beans for a couple of hours before cooking to achive the best result.


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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Put a little beans in your soup

I learned from my MIL, who makes really good Chinese tonic soups.  Her secret:  put some beans in the soup.  Typically red beans, but it could be black-eye peas, black beans, etc..

e.g.  Lotus root soup with pork - red beans

winter melon soup with chicken/pork - black-eye peas

Don't need too much, just 1/4 to 1/3 cup would do.  Soak the beans for a couple of hours before cooking to achive the best result.

Why?


Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Why?

Because it makes the soup taste good.


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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In answer to Dejah's(?) question, you can get knife blocks that are made to take cleavers. Mine does: I got it in a local place in Hong Kong for around HK$100 (about 12 US). A couple of things I liked about it were that it's upright, not angled (knives are stored pointing straight down), it's reasonably solid, one end has a receptacle for other utensils like chopsticks or stirrers, and it has a cleaver space - the main reason I bought it, in fact.

I couldn't tell you who the maker is, or how to get hold of one, though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, all. I'm new to this site and forum but am delighted by the find. This Chinese food forum is a treasure.

For some time now, I've been trying my hand at imitating the clams in black bean sauce dish at a San Francisco restaurant called Yuet Lee (they used to do the dish so well, it was like seafood-crack), and will usually soak the black beans in shaoxing wine while prepping everything else. But from what people are posting here it sounds like the black beans should maybe be fried a little along with the garlic before the liquid elements get introduced. Will be sure to try the pre-frying method next time.

Also, I don't know if this is an obvious one: store ginger in the fridge wrapped in aluminum foil. Plastic wrap for some reason makes it mushy.

For stir frying, I try to make sure the ingredients are as dry as possible, either patted down with a paper towel or given a whirl in the salad spinner.

For seafood in wet sauces (like clams or scallops), my usual procedure is oil + dry sauce ingredients, then wet sauce ingredients, then seafood, finish cooking, then remove seafood, thicken sauce and pour over seafood before serving immediately. This is just to take pains to insure that the clams or scallops don't overcook.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For seafood in wet sauces (like clams or scallops), my usual procedure is oil + dry sauce ingredients, then wet sauce ingredients, then seafood, finish cooking, then remove seafood, thicken sauce and pour over seafood before serving immediately.  This is just to take pains to insure that the clams or scallops don't overcook.

For scallops, I like to sear them in oil with aromatics until they are about half way done. Remove the scallops, add the wet sauce ingredients, bring to a boil, return the scallops, add the cornstarch heavy slurry, and toss gently to thicken. The scallops would finish cooking quickly without fear of becoming a tough hockey puck.

For clams in the shell, I like to toss them in with the aromatics, stir fry them together, then add the wet sauce ingredients. I love the sound of the shells clattering against the wok! The lid would go on then to steam the clams open. Thicken with slurry and serve.

When I make the cornstarch slurry, I use stock rather than water. There is more cornstarch than the usual ratio(can't remember what Ah Leung uses), so the thickening process is very quick.


Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Also, I don't know if this is an obvious one: store ginger in the fridge wrapped in aluminum foil.  Plastic wrap for some reason makes it mushy.

fellowpeon: Welcome to eGullet!

I don't store ginger in the fridge. I found that, as with most things, storing ginger in the fridge will introduce water moisture on the ginger which causes it to sprout or go mushy as you said. I found that doing what the stores do is more effective: leave the ginger in a plastic wire mesh bag and leave it in the open (best where the air circulates a bit). The skin may go a little bit dry but it lasts for weeks.

As far taking scallops/seafood out of the wok, thicken the sauce, then pour on top... that seems more like western cooking technique. (I do use the technique in braised dishes but not stir-fried dishes.) In Chinese cooking, we typically thicken the sauce first before you return the scallop/seafood. Once the scallop/seafood is coated evenly with the sauce, we can transfer the ingredients to the serving dish. Timing is crucial. In order not to overcook the seafood, it should be removed when it just turns cooked (or slightly undercooked) to compensate... just as Chef Dejah said.


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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Also, I don't know if this is an obvious one: store ginger in the fridge wrapped in aluminum foil.  Plastic wrap for some reason makes it mushy.

fellowpeon: Welcome to eGullet!

I don't store ginger in the fridge. I found that, as with most things, storing ginger in the fridge will introduce water moisture on the ginger which causes it to sprout or go mushy as you said. I found that doing what the stores do is more effective: leave the ginger in a plastic wire mesh bag and leave it in the open (best where the air circulates a bit). The skin may go a little bit dry but it lasts for weeks.

As far taking scallops/seafood out of the wok, thicken the sauce, then pour on top... that seems more like western cooking technique. (I do use the technique in braised dishes but not stir-fried dishes.) In Chinese cooking, we typically thicken the sauce first before you return the scallop/seafood. Once the scallop/seafood is coated evenly with the sauce, we can transfer the ingredients to the serving dish. Timing is crucial. In order not to overcook the seafood, it should be removed when it just turns cooked (or slightly undercooked) to compensate... just as Chef Dejah said.

Thanks for the welcome, Ah Leung. I've been really enjoying your pictorial walk-throughs, by the way. Am looking forward to trying my hand at bitter melon.

If I can remember, I'll try storing ginger both ways the next time I buy some and report back later.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not being near a Chinatown when I first started cooking Chinese -- (in the 50s) When I was able to get a piece, I peeled it, sliced it, and stored it in a jar with sherry -- in the refrig. It lasted forever. When it first started appearing in the stores I found about the mush when I just put the root in a drawer in the refrig, but soon found that storing it in paper and plastic helped hold it longer. I read that technique somewhere. The paper absorbed the moisture and the plastic kept it from drying out. But for years now, I just put the roots in my onion/potato drawer in the cabinets. As Xiao Lueng says, they will shrivel up after a while, but now that it is available everywhere, I just get a fresh ones.

And --- there is always planting it. Tried that, too. Interesting plant!


Edited by jo-mel (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Also, I don't know if this is an obvious one: store ginger in the fridge wrapped in aluminum foil.  Plastic wrap for some reason makes it mushy.

We store ginger in sealed clear plastic pint containers soup comes in from takeout Chinese.


Herb aka "herbacidal"

Tom is not my friend.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just the other day I was watching a cooking show from Hong Kong off livestream and the host made scrambled eggs with shrimp. One of her tips was to make sure to beat as little air into the eggs as possible. To accomplish this she separated the eggs first and then beat the yolks separately before gently stirring them into the whites. Also, instead of salt she used light soy sauce because it blends in easier.

Anyone else ever watch this show? It's in Cantonese w/ Chinese subtitles and is on Friday night 9pm-10pm Pacific time in the US, so I guess that would be midday Saturday in Hong Kong. This was the first time I had ever watched the program, but my impression is that while the host is extremely chatty and can go off topic a lot (she only made 3 dishes in the whole 60 minutes) she does give some cooking tips that I had never heard anywhere else. Also, one of the reasons the program is 60 minutes is that none of the prep work is done ahead of time. For example , another dish she made was steamed pork cake and they showed the entire process of very finely mincing the meat with a single cleaver from start to finish, a process that took about 15 minutes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Anyone else ever watch this show? It's in Cantonese w/ Chinese subtitles and is on Friday night 9pm-10pm Pacific time in the US, so I guess that would be midday Saturday in Hong Kong.

I have not watched the particular program that you mentioned. But when I was dining at JJ Cafe in Monterey Park one night about 2 weeks ago, the Jade channel (I think it was Jade) was showing a program that looked very much like "Iron Chef". Maybe they had franchised it. Or maybe they just had copied the format. 2 ladies were competing to make 3 dishes out of some feature ingredients. All in Cantonese.


Edited by hzrt8w (log)

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have not watched the particular program that you mentioned.  But when I was dining at JJ Cafe in Monterey Park one night about 2 weeks ago, the Jade channel (I think it was Jade) was showing a program that looked very much like "Iron Chef".  Maybe they had franchised it.  Or maybe they just had copied the format.  2 ladies were competing to make 3 dishes out of some feature ingredients.  All in Cantonese.
Ah Leung, I think it might be "Beautiful Cooking" from the TVB channel. Here is a clip from youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P3_J0DQAvlw

Best Wishes,

Chee Fai.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ah Leung, I think it might be "Beautiful Cooking" from the TVB channel. Here is a clip from youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P3_J0DQAvlw

Yeah, Chee Fai. That's exactly what I saw the other night. I recognize the crazy "I don't need to comb my hair" hair style on one of the hosts. Thank you.


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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, I've some questions for y'all:

1) Can I do anything with the dong goo stems after I've reconstituted them in water? I hate wasting them.

2) How long does naow mai fan keep for in the fridge after it's been cooked?

Oh and a hint from my mama - she keeps all her dried goodies in fridge instead of the pantry for freshness. We've a mini-fridge for this purpose!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1) Can I do anything with the dong goo stems after I've reconstituted them in water?  I hate wasting them.

Back in the old days, people use the dried mushroom stems for making soups. They do carry some mushroom fragrance. These days, as the price of good dried Japanese Shittake mushrooms have come down so much, I don't bother with that any more.

2) How long does naow mai fan keep for in the fridge after it's been cooked?

That depends. The sticky rice itself, even after fully cooked, can be kept for a long time in the fridge. But it's the "meat" that would go bad first. If "meatless", can be for one to two weeks. If "meat-ful", I don't trust it any more than a few days. Unless you put it in the freezer. If the rice is cooked with Laap Cheung (preserved meat), then it could be longer. The rice tends to dry up over time, though.


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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would agree with Ah Leung on the mushroom stems. You could throw them into soup, but I would hate to bite on one! Even with long time simmering, they remain tough. Considering the price of mushrooms now, I don't think you should worry about "wastefullness", but your elders would be proud of your thriftiness. :wink:

Nor Mai fan would never stay long in my fridge. But, when my sister brought out three dozen foil trays of nor mai fan from their favourite restaurant in Richmond, B.C., we did freeze them. They had a cardboard lid on top. When we wanted some, we'd let them thaw at room temp. then steamed them before eating. They were fine even after a month.


Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Similar Content

    • By liuzhou
      I think you’ll see in a moment why I didn’t just post this on the Lunch! topic. It was exceptional. An epic and it has been an epic sorting through the 634 photographs I took in about three hours. If I counted correctly, there are only 111 here.
       
      Like so many things, it came out of the blue. I was kind of aware that there was a Chinese holiday this week, but being self-semi-employed I am often a man of leisure and the holidays make little impact on my life. This one is in celebration of the Dragon Boat Festival (端午节 duān wǔ jié) and although it features nothing boat-like, it was festive and there is a dragon link.
       
      It started with this invitation which appeared on my WeChat (Chinese social media) account.
       

       
      Longtan (龙潭 lóng tán) means Dragon’s Pool and is more of a hamlet. It is about an hour’s drive north of Liuzhou city. I’d never heard of it and certainly never been there, but a friend of a friend had decided that a “foreign friend” would add just the right note to the planned event. I’ve seen many pictures of such “Long Table“ lunches and even attended one before – but this one was different and I was delighted to be invited.
       
      So, I was picked up outside my city centre home at 9 am and the adventure began. We arrived at the village at 9:45 to be met by the friend in question. He led me to what appeared to be the head man’s home, outside which was a large courtyard with a few men sitting at a trestle table seemingly finishing a breakfast of hot, meaty rice porridge washed down with beer or rice wine. I was offered a bowl of the porridge, but declined the beer or rice wine in favour of a cup of tea. After downing that and making introductions etc, I was left to wander around on my own watching all the activity.
       
       

       

      Rice Porridge
       
      Here goes. I'm posting these mostly in the order they were taken, in order to give some sense of how the event progressed.
       

       
      These two men were the undisputed kings of this venture, organising everyone, checking every detail, instructing less  experienced volunteers etc. It was obvious these men had been working since the early hours. and their breakfast was a break in their toil. There were piles of still steaming cooked pork belly in containers all over the courtyard.
       

      Some of this had been the meat in the rice porridge, I learned.
       
       

      This young lad had been set to chopping chicken. Not one chicken! Dozens.
       

       

       

       

       

      Entrails, insides and fat were all carefully preserved.
       
      In the meantime, the two masters continued boiling their lumps of pork belly. This they refer to as 五花肉 - literally "five flower" pork", the five flowers being layers of skin, fat and meat.
       

       

       
      Another man was dealing with fish. Carp from the village pond. He scaled and cleaned them with his cleaver. Dozens of them. 
       

       

       

       

       
      And all around, various preparations are being prepared.
       

      Peeling Garlic
       

       

      Gizzards and intestines.
       

      More Pork . You can see the five layers here.
       
      to be continued
       
    • By Soul_Venom
      The best Chinese food restaurant I have ever been to is a place called the Imperial Buffet in Aberdeen SD. Their General Tso's is unlike the Tso's anywhere else. The closes comparison I could make is the Orange Chicken at the Panda Garden only 3x better. Their Lo-Mein Noodles are done with the skill of a master Italian pasta chef & perfectly seasoned. They also used to do a mean fried squid. I say used to because they had it when I lived in Aberdeen from 02-04 but didn't when I visited in 15'. One of their other discontinued specialties was a dish advertised as 'Golden Fried Cauliflower'. Note, this was NOT a breaded product. The cauliflower was cooked as though it had been boiled perfectly. It was not greasy as I recall but was a golden orange color as was the sauce it was evidently cooked in. I never could identify the flavors in that sauce. I wish I could describe it better but it has been well over a decade since I had it. Is anyone familiar with it or something similar? I can't seem to find anything like it online & all my searches just bring up links to breaded deep-fried crap.
    • By liuzhou
      An old friend from England contacted me yesterday via Facebook with a couple of questions about Five Spice Powder.

      Thought there me be some interest here, too.

      Is there anything more typically Chinese than five spice powder (五香粉 - wǔ xiāng fěn)?
       
      Well, yes. A lot.
       
      Many years ago, I worked in an office overlooking London’s China town. By around 11 am, the restaurants started getting lunch ready and the smell of FSP blanketed the area for the rest of the day. When I moved to China, I didn’t smell that. Only when I first visited Hong Kong, did I find that smell again.
       
      In fact, FSP is relatively uncommon in most of Chinese cuisine. And if I ever see another internet recipe called “Chinese” whatever, which is actually any random food, but the genius behind it has added FSP, supposedly rendering it Chinese, I’ll scream.

      I get all sorts of smells wafting through the neighbourhood. Some mouth-watering; some horrifying. But I don't recall ever that they were FSP.
       
      But what is it anyway? Which five spices?
       
      Today, I bought four samples in four local supermarkets. I would have would have preferred five, but couldn’t find any more. It's not that popular.
       
      First thing to say: none of them had five spices. All had more. That is normal. Numbers in Chinese can often be vague. Every time you hear a number, silently added the word ‘about’ or ‘approximately’. 100 km means “far”, 10,000 means “many”.
       
      Second, while there are some common factors, ingredients can vary quite a bit. Here are my four.

      1.


       
      Ingredients – 7
       
      Star Anise, Fennel Seed, Orange Peel, Cassia Bark, Sand Ginger, Dried Ginger, Sichuan Peppercorns.
       
      2.
       

       
      Ingredients – 6
       
      Cassia Bark, Star Anise, Fennel Seed, Coriander, Sichuan Peppercorn, Licorice Root.

      3.
       

       
      Ingredients – 15
       
      Fennel Seeds, Sichuan Peppercorns, Coriander, Tangerine Peel, Star Anise, Chinese Haw, Cassia Bark, Lesser Galangal, Dahurian Angelica, Nutmeg, Dried Ginger, Black Pepper, Amomum Villosum, Cumin Seeds, Cloves.

      4.
       

       
      Ingredients – 6
       
      Pepper (unspecified – probably black pepper), Sichuan Peppercorns, Star Anise, Fennel Seeds, Nutmeg, Cassia.
       
      So, take your pick. They all taste and smell almost overwhelmingly of the star anise and cassia, although there are subtle differences in taste in the various mixes.
       
      But I don’t expect to find it in many dishes in local restaurants or homes. A quick, unscientific poll of about ten friends today revealed that not one has any at home, nor have they ever used the stuff!
       
       
      I'm not suggesting that FSP shouldn't be used outside of Chinese food. Please just don't call the results Chinese when you sprinkle it on your fish and chips or whatever. They haven't miraculously become Chinese!

      Like my neighbours and friends, I very rarely use it at all.

      In fact, I'd be delighted to hear how it is used in other cultures / cuisines.
    • By liuzhou
      For the last several years Cindy's* job has been to look after me. She takes care of my residence papers, my health insurance, my travel, my housing and associated repairs. She makes sure that I am supplied with sufficient cold beer at official banquets. And she does it all with terrific efficiency and great humour.
       
      This weekend she held her wedding banquet.
       
      Unlike in the west, this isn't held immediately after the marriage is formalised. In fact, she was legally married months ago. But the banquet is the symbolic, public declaration and not the soul-less civil servant stamping of papers that the legal part entails.
      So tonight, along with a few hundred other people, I rolled up to a local hotel at the appointed time. In my pocket was my 'hong bao' or red envelope in which I had deposited a suitable cash gift. That is the Chinese wedding gift protocol. You don't get 12 pop-up toasters here.
       
      I handed it over, then settled down, at a table with colleagues, to a 17 or 18 course dinner.
       
      Before we started, I spotted this red bedecked jar. Shaking, poking and sniffing revealed nothing.
       
       
      A few minutes later, a waitress turned up and opened and emptied the jar into a serving dish. Spicy pickled vegetables. Very vinegary, very hot, and very addictive. Allegedly pickled on the premises, this was just to amuse us as we waited for the real stuff to arrive.
       
       
      Then the serious stuff arrived. When I said 17 courses, I really meant 17 dishes. Chinese cuisine doesn't really do courses. Every thing is served at roughly the same time. But we had:
       
      Quail soup which I neglected to photograph.
       
      Roast duck
       
      Braised turtle
       
      Sticky rice with beef (the beef is lurking underneath)
       
      Steamed chicken
       
      Spicy, crispy shell-on prawns.
       
      Steamed pork belly slices with sliced taro
       
      Spicy squid
       
      Noodles
       
      Chinese Charcuterie (including ducks jaws (left) and duck hearts (right))
       
      Mixed vegetables
       
      Fish
       
      Cakes
       
      Fertility soup! This allegedly increases your fertility and ensures the first born (in China, only born) is a son. Why they are serving to me is anyone's guess. It would make more sense for the happy couple to drink the lot.
       
      Greenery
       
      Jiaozi
       
      There was a final serving of quartered oranges, but I guess you have seen pictures of oranges before.
       
      The happy couple. I wish them well.
       
      *Cindy is the English name she has adopted. Her Chinese name is more than usually difficult to pronounce. Many Chinese friends consider it a real tongue-twister.
    • By liuzhou
      A few days ago, I was given a lovely gift. A big jar of preserved lemons.
       
      I know Moroccan preserved lemons, but had never met Chinese ones. In fact, apart from in the south, in many parts of China it isn't that easy to find lemons, at all.
       
      These are apparently a speciality of the southern Zhuang minority of Wuming County near Nanning. The Zhuang people are the largest ethnic minority in China and most live in Guangxi. These preserved lemons feature in their diet and are usually eaten with congee (rice porridge). Lemon Duck is a local speciality and they are also served with fish. They can be served as a relish, too. They are related to the Vietnamese Chanh muối.
       
      I'm told that these particular lemons have been soaking in salt and lemon juice for eleven years!
       

       

       
      So, of course, you want to know what they taste like. Incredibly lemony. Concentrated lemonness. Sour, but not unpleasantly so. Also a sort of smoky flavour.
       
      The following was provided by my dear friend 马芬洲 (Ma Fen Zhou) who is herself Zhuang. It is posted with her permission.
       
      How to Make Zhuang Preserved Lemons
      By 马芬洲
       
      Zhuang preserved lemons is a kind of common food for the southern Zhuang ethnic minority who live around Nanning Prefecture of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in China. The Zhuang people like to make it as a relish for eating with congee or congee with corn powder. This relish is a mixture of chopped preserved lemons, red chilli and garlic or ginger slice in soy sauce and peanut oil or sesame oil.
       

       
      Sometimes the Zhuang people use preserved lemons as an ingredient in cooking. The most famous Zhuang food in Guangxi is Lemon Duck, which is a common home cooked dish in Wuming County, which belongs to Nanning Prefecture.
       
      The following steps show you how to make Zhuang preserved lemons.
       
      Step 1 Shopping
      Buy some green lemons.
       
      Step 2 Cleaning
      Wash green lemons.
       
      Step 3 Sunning
      Leave green lemons under the sunshine till it gets dry.
       
      Step 4 Salting
      If you salt 5kg green lemons, mix 0.25kg salt with green lemons. Keep the salted green lemons in a transparent jar. The jar must be well sealed. Leave the jar under the sunshine till the salted green lemons turn yellow. For example, leave it on the balcony. Maybe it will take months to wait for those salted green lemons to turn yellow. Later, get the jar of salted yellow lemons back. Unseal the jar. Then cover 1kg salt over the salted yellow lemons. Seal well the jar again.
       
      Step 5 Preserving
      Keep the sealed jar of salted yellow lemons at least 3 years. And the colour of salted yellow lemons will turn brown day by day. It can be dark brown later. The longer you keep preserved lemons, the better taste it is. If you eat it earlier than 2 years, it will taste bitter. After 3 years, it can be unsealed. Please use clean chopsticks to pick it. Don’t use oily chopsticks, or the oil will make preserved lemons go bad. Remember to seal the jar well after picking preserved lemons every time.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.