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hzrt8w

Tips on Chinese cooking techniques

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I had some finely chopped preserved vegetables with tofu at a local Shanghainese restaurant - Ma La Tou with Tofu.

I love the subtly herbal flavor of the green. Has anyone else had this or used it at home?

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I had some finely chopped preserved vegetables with tofu at a local Shanghainese restaurant - Ma La Tou with Tofu.

I love the subtly herbal flavor of the green.  Has anyone else had this or used it at home?

Was it crispy/crunchy? If it was a light green with darker green leaves (kind of like bok choy's coloring) it might have been chopped and preserved mustard greens.

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Thanks hzrt8w, another "great thread" vote.

Peeling ginger

Another easy way to peel ginger is by scraping it with a spoon. (Although I must admit to cutting off the skin with a knife myself usually, as I cannot be bothered to grab a spoon out of the drawer.)

Salting oil to prevent splattering

Dejah - or Dejah's Mom - I have heard this "tip" before, but cannot figure out what the basis for this is scientifically. Admittedly I have never tried it, but can anyone confirm 1. if this is true, and 2. why?

Here's a question that I'm sure someone here can answer:

Does anyone have a good method for removing steamed plates / bowls without one of those three-pronged grabbing contraptions that my parents used to have but I have not personally seen for about 12 years? Especially if there is little room between the bowl and the pot. I inevitably spill some liquid contents when trying to remove manually. TIA.

a google search:

http://www.amazon.com/Joyce-Chen-Steamer-P...r/dp/B0000CFM81

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This might be obvious, if so ignore me!

When steaming fish, once it is done make sure to heat up the oil you used to cook the garlic/ginger in your wok to almost smoking and then pour it over top the fish.  This gives a satisfying sizzle and makes the meat tender and infuses some of the flavours already present in the oil.  Of course it also adds a bit of that shine.

No, it isn't obvious to neophytes!

I just steamed a whole fish in a wok for the first time this weekend. My recipe called for shredded gingerroot & scallions to be placed on the fully cooked fish and then toasted sesame oil to be heated "until nearly smoking" (a little hard to gauge except retrospectively) before being poured over the fish.

Needless to say, a little oil poured over a little fish did not frizzle either seasoning or release their flavors.

1. Should I have cooked the gingerroot & scallions in the heated oil for just a few seconds and THEN poured all on top of the fish?

2. Are there any tricks or tips to shredding gingerroot or scallions? I ended up cutting slivers of each, though I did attempt to use a zester for the gingerroot.

And Ah Leung, again, thanks for blogging this week. I'll try to return to the Asian cooking threads a bit more reqularly.

retrospectively? look for a shimmering sheen on the oil which should appear just before it begins to smoke.

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Hi, Everyone!

I would like to make a few dishes:

Steamed Eggplant with Preserved Vegetables

and Green Soybeans

or

雪 裡 紅 枝 豆 蒸 茄 子

なすとザーサイの枝豆入り蒸し物

Braised Eggplant with Crabmeat and Dark Vinegar

or

蟹 肉 黑 醋 燒 茄 子

茄子と蟹肉の黒酢の煮

Looking for original recipes, as well as any other suggestions, please.

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Not sure if this is found in cook books, but when cooking see-goo (arrow root), don't cut them into slices before cooking. Instead, cut them only into halves, then smack them with the flat of the cleaver before cooking. otherwise, they can retain that bitter taste.

With leen gnow (lotus root), the same thing - cut each lobe into halves length-wise, then smack with the flat of the cleaver. Cook them in soup this way and they have a better texture.

I know there are two different types of leen gnow - crispy textured and more powdery ( fun gnow). Perhaps cooking them smacked retains more of the tender powdery texture?

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but when cooking see-goo (arrow root),

See goo is "arrowhead" corms, Dejah Mui . I kinda like the slightly bitter taste.

See-goo and lop yuk is what I am having tonight. :wub:

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Not sure if this is found in cook books, but when cooking see-goo (arrow root), don't cut them into slices before cooking. Instead, cut them only into halves, then smack them with the flat of the cleaver before cooking. otherwise, they can retain that bitter taste.

With leen gnow (lotus root), the same thing - cut each lobe into halves length-wise, then smack with the flat of the cleaver. Cook them in soup this way and they have a better texture.

I know there are two different types of leen gnow - crispy textured and more powdery ( fun gnow). Perhaps cooking them smacked retains more of the tender powdery texture?

That's what my mom says, because we generally prefer the powdery texture.

Also, if you buy them already washed, apparently there's a chemical they use nowadays that stops it from becoming powdery.

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I recently prepared a replica/interpretation dinner of a few things we had at the Spring Moon in Hong Kong's Penninsula.

Few observations:

Daughter Red five-year Shaoxing wine - more expensive than your average every day brand, but what a difference in taste!!! I'll use it in every sauce I make till I run out.

Use ClearGel (modified corn starch used by pastry chefs - check http://www.kingarthurflour.com/) as your sauce thickner. Amazing difference in both taste and sauce clarity.

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I look at my brother-in-law.  He owns a set of many different knives held on a nice wooden block.  Whenever he cuts something different, he needs pick a different knief.  Aiya!  :laugh:

Nowadays I see shops like Sur La Table carry so many kitchen gadgets... most of which are designed for one single purpose!  ($$$ for the manufacturers, and the kitchen furniture builders)  We Chinese do with the minimal.  (e.g. do we really need an "egg beater" when we can use our chopsticks?   Persuade my aunt! )

I think a lot of aspiring cooks should clean out their kitchen drawers and jettison a lot of the toys therein, and really start to learn techniques. Like you said Ah Leung, is there really a need for egg beaters, garlic presses, 5 different tongs, mandolines, 20 different knives, etc., ad nauseam? A pair of chopsticks, a sharp medium Chinese cleaver (or a heavy 8" chef's knife) will meet 95% of my needs. I absolutely hate wasting time looking for, setting up,and washing the "toys".

Garlic press indeed :raz::raz:

I love kitchen gadgets! I understand what you are saying about minimalistic kitchenware and useage. But some things are considered progress...maybe you would like to have to raise all of your food or walk down to the market to buy what you need or buying meat that has not been refrigerated...how about giving up you computer and using a messenger on foot or horseback or a carrier pigeon?

IMHO gadgets for gadget lovers...minimalist tools for those so inclined...do not make fun of either extreme...maybe there is some kind of middle ground!

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Oops.

My bad. Sorry iii_bake! Will read posts twice before posting next time.

It is kind of everyone to pitch in with info.

Thank you.

When i was talking a bout the flame...if you have seen the flaming stir fried vegetable...the flame does go very high. Not just at the edge.

Further...can anyone say how high the heat should be?

My burner is a gas stove double the size of the notmal home kitchen one but not as powerful as the restaurant version.

if I understand correctly, you are asking if it is necessary for the 1) vaporized or 2) spattering oil droplets from contact with water wok oil to ignite above the cooking food to get the wok hei/hay taste...I would think that it is not the flaming oil above the wok because it is above the food but the very intense heat of the wok which causes the wok hei/hay.

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%7Boption%7Dhttp://dmreed.com/images/z_chinese_pot_large_MED[1].jpg

for what is this kind of pot used?

never mind! I finally found a reference and it is used for cooking up medicinal potions!

When herbs or whatever boil inside it, the steam comes out that "funnel-spout" and you can breathe it in.

thanks for the additional info...that makes sense...a Chinese medicinal humidifier!!!

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I want to dedicate this thread to share some Chinese cooking techniques, some of which may be handed down from one generation to another...  tips that you don't normally find in cookbooks.

Some of these steps may seem insignificant, but they can make the difference between a mediocre dish and an extrodinary dish.

I love cooking Sichuan and one trick that I use when making hearty dishes with dou ban jjang (fermented bean paste) is to push aromatics and other fragrant things to the side of the wok and fry the dou ban jjang for about 20-30 seconds before mixing it into everything else. Gives a nice caramelized and smoky flavor to the sauce. Also colors the oil a nice ruby red.

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My uncle in Shandong taught me a browning technique which works great for rabbit or chicken wings. A small amount of sugar is added to the bottom of a round bottom, wok-type pan; oil for frying is added and then heated. The sugar at he bottom gradually turns brown like caramel, and then the protein is fried a little at a time. As it cooks, the meat pieces "bump" into that bubble of caramel, and it gives the meat and skin a light, very mild burnt sugar flavor that adds a lot of complexity. What is this technique called?

There's one more thing I haven't seen in any cookbooks. It is a type of preserved egg. We took uncooked, farm-fresh chicken eggs and added them to a brine for a couple of weeks. The eggs are not coated with anything special, and I think the brine was just salt and some spices. When done, the whites were firm, and the yolks had this incredible, almost lava-like consistency. I'd like to make this again, but I've long since forgotten the technique.

Thank you! :smile:

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There's one more thing I haven't seen in any cookbooks. It is a type of preserved egg. We took uncooked, farm-fresh chicken eggs and added them to a brine for a couple of weeks. The eggs are not coated with anything special, and I think the brine was just salt and some spices. When done, the whites were firm, and the yolks had this incredible, almost lava-like consistency. I'd like to make this again, but I've long since forgotten the technique.

Thank you!  :smile:

Sounds like Salted Duck Egg.

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One of my favorite techniques is to put my cast iron wok in the oven to get it good and hot and then put it on my electric stove. This makes up for my lack of BTU's from my stove.

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There's one more thing I haven't seen in any cookbooks. It is a type of preserved egg. We took uncooked, farm-fresh chicken eggs and added them to a brine for a couple of weeks. The eggs are not coated with anything special, and I think the brine was just salt and some spices. When done, the whites were firm, and the yolks had this incredible, almost lava-like consistency. I'd like to make this again, but I've long since forgotten the technique.

Thank you!   :smile:

Sounds like Salted Duck Egg.

The salted duck egg has "firmed yolk" and the white is just the same white. :wub:

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After adding the corn starch and water to a dish to make the sauce, while heating and stiring the sauce thickens as expected but, after about 3-5 minutes, it becomes non-thick (runny) again. Why does this happen and what can be done to prevent this from happening?

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dmreed - this same thing happened to me a couple of days ago. And it made me confused too. My sauce because watery again after 10 minutes (I used potato starch to thicken it).

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