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Tips on Chinese cooking techniques


hzrt8w
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Getting back to the question about shredding and technique:  How do you achieve those lovely curled ends on the scallions for the pictures linked above?

You shred the ends of the scallions with a sharp knife, then drop the scallions into a bowl of ice water. Magic!

(You can make carrot curls by dropping long strips of carrot -- easiest way is to make with a vegetable peeler -- into ice water, too.) :cool:

SuzySushi

"She sells shiso by the seashore."

My eGullet Foodblog: A Tropical Christmas in the Suburbs

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Getting back to the question about shredding and technique:  How do you achieve those lovely curled ends on the scallions for the pictures linked above?  Thanks for the pictures, BTW.

Could I run the tines of a fork down a split and flattened scallion?

Also, any pictures to demonstrate what I should be doing with my gingerroot?

(I have to leave, but will check back later.)

Use a needle, plain sewing needle, to "score" the green part of the scallion. Put these into ice water, leave for about half an hour.

You can cut lengths of scallion, including the white part and score both ends with a solid part in the middle. This will produce curls at both ends.

For the green stalks, slice them lengthways into thin strands of different lengths, soak them in ice water, and they will form lovely curls to toss randomly on top of dishes.

Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

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Thanks, everyone. Looked closer at first link to find what I should be aiming for with the gingerroot, too, if with guarded fingers.

(Suzy--completely forgot those about those decorating tips found in domestic literature for gals around the time we were first allowed to wear slacks ( :rolleyes: ) to school.)

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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....

A tiny bit of soy sauce is poured over fish while it steams.

Then only 2 T sesame oil is poured over the scallions and gingerroot placed on top of plated fish.

Are you saying this recipe sounds suspect?

Hmm....adding soy sauce while the fish steams...will discolour the flesh of the fish. It should be added after the fish is done, whether by steaming or frying.

Sesame oil is fine, a slight drizzle will do. Cooked sesame oil smells a bit off, pungent. I do use it to lightly oil my dish though.

Oh, I never knew that! My mom's the one in charge of cooking fish so I don't know exactly how she does it. Thanks, Tepee!

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Oh, Tepee, I got distracted. Forgot to say that I meant the soy sauce (just a T) gets poured onto the fish before steaming. Fish did not discolor. If you check out your own (? I think) demo, you'll see you add soy sauce before steaming, but around the fish and not directly on the skin as I did. I only wish my fish was as fresh as the glistening one you photographed.

BTW, I love the ingenuity of your set-up for steaming!

Edited by Pontormo (log)

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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Well... I think we have a mixed conversation. Different fish dish requires different techniques.

The typical Cantonese style of "plain steaming" - just the fish with some ginger and nothing else - you add more ginger and some green onions and splash fuming hot oil on top then add some soy sauce.

Then there is Cantonese style steamed fish that you steam the fish with fermented black beans and ginger. This dish can be consumed as is or some can add the ginger/green onions and splash fuming oil on top at the end too.

Not wise to heat sesame oil - the smell is bad and heating turns the oil taste to bitter.

Cutting ginger into slivers, shreds or to mince it or to grate it is a matter of preference.

W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"
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The typical Cantonese style of "plain steaming" - just the fish with some ginger and nothing else - you add more ginger and some green onions and splash fuming hot oil on top then add some soy sauce.

Then there is Cantonese style steamed fish that you steam the fish with fermented black beans and ginger.  This dish can be consumed as is or some can add the ginger/green onions and splash fuming oil on top at the end too.

Not wise to heat sesame oil - the smell is bad and heating turns the oil taste to bitter.

Cutting ginger into slivers, shreds or to mince it or to grate it is a matter of preference.

There is a third way of steaming fish, especially if the fish is extra oily or too "aromatic". Panfry and brown with a little soy sauce first, then steam normally.

I (being Cantonese, specifically Toysanese) have never used sesame oil on any steamed fish. As Ah Leung says once you heat it to a sizzling temp., it smells and tastes awful. (Must be the technique of those barbaric Northerners :raz::wink::unsure: )

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Oh, Tepee, I got distracted.  Forgot to say that I meant the soy sauce (just a T) gets poured onto the fish before steaming.  Fish did not discolor.  If you check out your own (? I think) demo, you'll see you add soy sauce before steaming, but around the fish and not directly on the skin as I did.  I only wish my fish was as fresh as the glistening one you photographed.

BTW, I love the ingenuity of your set-up for steaming!

lol, Pontormo, tks. I need a bigger wok, though. I have a stainless steel steamer, which I use to steam rice, and smaller plates, and bamboo baskets for dimsums.

My bad, about the sauce. Happens when you're posting past your bedtime. Pouring soy sauce during steaming isn't good only for skinless fish, like steak cuts, as the sauce also gets soaked into the meat...too salty.

I'll go dig up the pictorial I did on the curly scallion (though, I think you know how to do it now) and the tomato flower.

TPcal!

Food Pix (plus others)

Please take pictures of all the food you get to try (and if you can, the food at the next tables)............................Dejah

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I recently had Steam Pot Chicken at a Yunnan style place in Monterey Park, CA which is the first time I'd ever seen a Yunnan steam pot actually used and I've seen those and that method of cooking discussed around here.

But can anyone elaborate on the technique of "Double Steaming"? Where a vessel of food is filled with water and then lidded and the vessel itself steamed.

Does anyone here use this method for any dish in particular ?

I can understand the benefits of cooking with wet heat over dry heat especially for long/slow cooking or for making certain types of sauces (in the west we call it using a double boiler) - and they've even started to make steam ovens.

But does anyone do this at home and if so - for what?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double_steaming

"At the gate, I said goodnight to the fortune teller... the carnival sign threw colored shadows on her face... but I could tell she was blushing." - B.McMahan

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I think that's called "dun" in Cantonese. I think it would translate into "double boiling". We usually "dun" tonic soups - my mom did fa kei sum (Chinese ginseng?) that way when I was growing up. I've never seen her use it for anything other than medicinal herbs.

When I was a kid and I saw my mom breaking out the vessels to "dun tong" (double boiling of soup) I'd groan. That was a signal that for three days I wouldn't be allowed to eat anything foreign, junky or "yeet hay". Which to an eight year old would be akin to torture!

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I think that's called "dun" in Cantonese.  I think it would translate into "double boiling".  We usually "dun" tonic soups - my mom did fa kei sum (Chinese ginseng?) that way when I was growing up.  I've never seen her use it for anything other than medicinal herbs. 

When I was a kid and I saw my mom breaking out the vessels to "dun tong" (double boiling of soup) I'd groan.  That was a signal that for three days I wouldn't be allowed to eat anything foreign, junky or "yeet hay".  Which to an eight year old would be akin to torture!

That's the only time I use my ceramic steamer - for "go lai tam" - Korean ginseng "tea". I use thinly sliced portioned ginseng root in water, and steam it for 4 hours for the tonic. Gastro - your mom was really strict. It was 24 hours without root vegetables and "yeet hay" foods for me. :raz:

I have heard of people steaming a small chicken with some ginseng - a strength building food for some one convalesing.

Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

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Oh, I think it was go lai tam. I think. All I know is that it was ginseng, it was bitter and I was miserable for 3 days afterwards. No fun foods for the little girl.

Yeah, my mom was really strict. I appreciate it now that I'm grown and I see a bunch of spoiled brats running around. Ugh. The gai mo sow works wonders.

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My little brother had to drink double-boiled crocodile meat soup. On those days, I'd go without dinner rather than have to drink the soup.

Supposed to be good for asthmatics--I'm not, but both my little and not-so-little brothers were.

Is crocodile meat readily available in Singapore? My mom used to "oon'd" a specific kind of dried lizard/salamander with yeuk toy (herbs) for my grandfather who was asthmatic. These lizards are dressed, stretched out and dried, and I have seen them still in Chinese herbal shops.

Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

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My little brother had to drink double-boiled crocodile meat soup. On those days, I'd go without dinner rather than have to drink the soup.

Supposed to be good for asthmatics--I'm not, but both my little and not-so-little brothers were.

Is crocodile meat readily available in Singapore? My mom used to "oon'd" a specific kind of dried lizard/salamander with yeuk toy (herbs) for my grandfather who was asthmatic. These lizards are dressed, stretched out and dried, and I have seen them still in Chinese herbal shops.

It's dried, and yes I've seen them in Chinese herbal shops here. Think that's where my mom bought the stuff.

I only eat chicken, pork and seafood, and nowadays, a little beef, so I really couldn't take the awful gamey smell of the soup.

May

Totally More-ish: The New and Improved Foodblog

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So I take it double boiling is the preferred method of making tonics out of all the herbs and various dried creatures I see in the Chinese Medicine places around here, I've only had a very limited range of things in soups and hotpots - but it makes more sense now what can be done with those dried sea cucumbers and mysterious animals in those shops.

I was actually just in one this weekend, they had packages of various leaves and herbs and roots that had - of all things - the molted shells of Cicada.

If I ever have trouble with my hearing - I know just what kind of soup I'll be making.

Edited by sizzleteeth (log)

"At the gate, I said goodnight to the fortune teller... the carnival sign threw colored shadows on her face... but I could tell she was blushing." - B.McMahan

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My mom used cicada shells one time when I was a kid (eons ago) for something.  I think it was for the skin, if I am not mistaken.

Oh of course I'm not sure exactly what it's for - I was commenting on the Wikipedia article. It seems that some of the Chinese medicine treatments translate literally to an illness, like the Cicada plays a song so if eaten will help you with your hearing.

I'm not sure if that is actually the case - it just seems so sometimes.

Though I'm just beginning to scratch the surface of the 5 Elements Theory so perhaps there is some correlation to the controlling of or giving birth to some other elements.

Pretty complicated - but very interesting - I'd appreciate it if anyone can comment on the addition of specific things to specific dishes for these reasons - because that is definitely something that doesn't show up in most cookbooks.

"At the gate, I said goodnight to the fortune teller... the carnival sign threw colored shadows on her face... but I could tell she was blushing." - B.McMahan

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I was working with a bunch of young Chinese bachelors once and they had access to an endless free supply of bull penises from the local abattoir. They had the delicacy at least three times weekly in hopes of...err..ahh, improving on their abilities and dimensions. Last I heard they were still suffering from the same inferiority complex that drove them to seek such remedies in the first place. :wink::laugh:

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My mom used cicada shells one time when I was a kid (eons ago) for something.  I think it was for the skin, if I am not mistaken.

Oh of course I'm not sure exactly what it's for - I was commenting on the Wikipedia article. It seems that some of the Chinese medicine treatments translate literally to an illness, like the Cicada plays a song so if eaten will help you with your hearing...

:laugh: No, no, no, that's not what I meant at all when I posted! :laugh: I was recalling a childhood memory that you brought back when you mentioned the cicada skins. I think I was 5 at the time. I think.

Yeah, some Chinese medicine match the ailment but others don't. When I was a teen, my mom would give me sort of cow's stomach for my acne. That didn't help much.

We've got a place up here in NYC that serves bull's penis. I don't know if I should be eating that if I believe the whole "Chinese medicine matching" theory. I'll sneak some to my male friends and ask their girlfriends if there's any difference! :raz:

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We've got a place up here in NYC that serves bull's penis.  I don't know if I should be eating that if I believe the whole "Chinese medicine matching" theory.  I'll sneak some to my male friends and ask their girlfriends if there's any difference! :raz:

Heh, didn't see any of those in the Chinese Medicine store - maybe there's a special room for that kind of stuff - behind the red curtain.

Though next time I'm in Chinatown in NYC I'll make sure the English translation on the menu is accurate, maybe that "Beef Shank in XO Sauce" isn't quite what I thought it was. :wink:

"At the gate, I said goodnight to the fortune teller... the carnival sign threw colored shadows on her face... but I could tell she was blushing." - B.McMahan

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