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hzrt8w

Pictorial: Salted Fish and Chicken Fried Rice

25 posts in this topic

Salted Fish and Chicken Fried Rice (咸魚雞粒炒飯)

Salted fish and diced chicken is a wonderful combination for making fried rice. The finished fried rice is full of fragrance from the salted fish.

Transparent: This pictorial is dedicated to you. I hope you like fried rice as much as you like pan fried noodles. :smile:

Picture of the finished dish:

gallery_19795_2073_7050.jpg

Serving Suggestion: 1 to 2

Preparations:

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Main ingredients: (From top left, clockwise) About 2 to 3 bowls of cooked rice, 1 piece of chicken breast (about 1/2 to 3/4 lb), 1 to 2 stalks of green onions, about 2 leaves from a lettuce, ginger (about 1 inch in length), 2 small eggs, 1 small piece of salted fish (haam yu).

Note: it is best to use one day old rice. If you use fresh rice, the fried rice tends to be overly moist and soft.

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Trim the fat off the chicken breast. Dice into 1 inch by 1 inch cubes.

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Marinating the chicken: Add the chicken cubes into a mixing bowl. Add 1 tsp of sesame oil, 1 tsp of ShaoHsing cooking wine, 1 tsp of light soy sauce, and 1 tsp of corn starch.

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Mix all ingredients well. Set aside for 20 minutes before cooking. Break and scramble 2 eggs.

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Trim the ends off the green onions. Finely chopped. Grate the ginger. Bone the salted fish and cut it into small pieces.

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Cut the lettuce leaves into fine shreds.

Cooking Instructions:

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Use a pan/wok, set stove at high, add about 2 tblsp of cooking oil, velvet the chicken meat until the pink color just starts to disappear. About 3 to 4 minutes.

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Remove chicken from pan when done. Drain the oil.

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Add 1 tblsp of cooking oil to pan. Cook the scrambled eggs. Add a pinch of salt. Remove.

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Add 3 tblsp of cooking oil. Keep stove setting at high. Add the chopped salted fish and grated ginger. Stir. Cook for 10 to 15 seconds and let the fragrance release.

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Note: one trick to speed up the cooking time is to pre-heat the day-old rice in the microwave. Add 3 tblsp of water to the rice. Set for high and heat for 3 minutes.

Add the rice and shredded lettuce on to the pan. Stir well.

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Stir and fry for a minute or two. Use the spatula and keep breaking up the rice lumps into smaller pieces.

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Re-add the chicken and eggs. Add 2 tsp of light soy sauce to darken the color of the fried rice a little bit. Stir and fry for another 2 to 3 minutes. Finished.

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The finished dish.


Edited by hzrt8w (log)

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

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Yum, this is one of my favourite dishes. the only thing I do differently is to use chicken thigh, rather than breast.

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Ah Leung:

I am convinced that your providing many eGulleters with your beautifully photographed dishes modernized healthier versions of what I consider "Hong Kong Style Nursery Food".

It's often dishes that we prepared at home or ate out in Hong Kong when my children were growing up that everyone enjoyed sharing family style.

The only difference is that with 5/7 sitting down for a meal we would actually prepare 3/5 of these dishes to eat at one meal with rice, or noodles together.

They would not be at the table long enough to be photographed so looking at your pictures allows me time to saviour that I never had at home.

The times I have gone out and ordered similar dishes at Restaurants they rarely looked as nice as yours.

Thinking about buying a wireless laptop so that I can actually show them what I want to order. Have any other tried or thought of this method to arrange a meal "Ah Leung" style ? [New Trend ?]

Irwin :biggrin:


I don't say that I do. But don't let it get around that I don't.

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Ah Leung:

I am convinced that your providing many eGulleters with your beautifully photographed dishes modernized healthier versions of what I consider "Hong Kong Style Nursery Food".

It's often dishes that we prepared at home or ate out in Hong Kong when my children were growing up that everyone enjoyed sharing family style.

The only difference is that with 5/7 sitting down for a meal we would actually prepare 3/5 of these dishes to eat at one meal with rice, or noodles together.

They would not be at the table long enough to be photographed so looking at your pictures allows me time to saviour that I never had at home.

The times I have gone out and ordered similar dishes at Restaurants they rarely looked as nice as yours.

Thinking about buying a wireless laptop so that I can actually show them what I want to order. Have any other tried or thought of this method to arrange a meal "Ah Leung" style ? [New Trend ?]

Irwin :biggrin:

Nice, the chicken is plump and chucky. What kind of salted fish did you used? I have tried it with smoked salmon and it came out not so bad.


Leave the gun, take the canoli

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Nice, the chicken is plump and chucky.  What kind of salted fish did you used?[...]

Same as what I used on the other pictorial (steamed pork). It's mackerel (but this one is not immersed in oil). Here is a picture:

gallery_19795_1976_11641.jpg


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

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Thinking about buying a wireless laptop so that I can actually show them what I want to order. Have any other tried or thought of this method to arrange a meal "Ah Leung" style ? [New Trend ?]

Irwin: Thank you very much for your testimonial! If you have a PDA, you can download the picture of the finished dish and keep it in your pocket. :biggrin:


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

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Irwin: How about sending it to a camera cell phone?

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Same as what I used on the other pictorial (steamed pork). It's mackerel (but this one is not immersed in oil).

I've been meaning to ask: Does this frozen salted mackerel qualify as ham yu?

Is it frozen salted fresh fish, like salted cod? :unsure:

Ham yu is salted and wind dried...


Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

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I've been meaning to ask: Does this frozen salted mackerel qualify as ham yu?

Is it frozen salted fresh fish, like salted cod?  :unsure:

Ham yu is salted and wind dried...

Not all are. There are salted fish (Haam Yu) immersed in oil, made in China. I am not sure if they have been wind-dried first then immersed in oil, or just go right into the oil. Irwin?

The package was refrigerated but not frozen.


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

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I've been meaning to ask: Does this frozen salted mackerel qualify as ham yu?

Is it frozen salted fresh fish, like salted cod?  :unsure:

Ham yu is salted and wind dried...

Not all are. There are salted fish (Haam Yu) immersed in oil, made in China. I am not sure if they have been wind-dried first then immersed in oil, or just go right into the oil. Irwin?

The package was refrigerated but not frozen.

Mackerel are not a standard type of "Salted or Dried Fish" offered in Hong Kong markets or dried Fish Stalls. These are the Air Dried or Salt Packed Varieties. The introduction of Mackerel is that it's a reasonably priced, oily fish adaptable to salting with a pleasant mild taste, but it's been a fairly recent arrival.

I stopped at a retailer today and after inspecting the fish in oil it appeared to look like the Atlantic Ocean species, that is oiler then the Pacific Mackerel's and lower priced.

I find that Mackerel are delicious after cold smoking with Little salt.

I still have some Dried Fish at home and will buy some Salted Mackerel to try in the future, if they are available as today they only had Oiled Mackerel and in my diet less oil is preferred unless it's a special occasion.

Edited: Not old enough for a cell phone, especially with all the gizmo's.

Ditto for a "PDA" are there any with large buttons, as I need a magnifier to hit the right ones.

Maybe after I learn how to cut and paste I'll take the next step. Or if your in Seattle I'll invite you to Dinner with all the paraphernalia.

Irwin :biggrin:


Edited by wesza (log)

I don't say that I do. But don't let it get around that I don't.

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Nice pix - makes me hungry too! Every country seems to have their version of salted fish. I remember when I was young and my parents eating "haam yu". To say it was fragrant and salty is an understatement! It's an acquired taste, which I slowly developed. I've never seen it packaged like in your pix, but then I haven't eaten or purchased any for a couple of decades. I too, remember it as air dried and sold in open street markets. I've also never heard of "haam yu" with fried rice. Is this a new thing in Hong Kong?

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I've also never heard of "haam yu" with fried rice. Is this a new thing in Hong Kong?

champipple: Welcome to eGullet!

"Haam yu" with fried rice may not be that recent. I have known it for over 15 years.


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

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I've also never heard of "haam yu" with fried rice. Is this a new thing in Hong Kong?

champipple: Welcome to eGullet!

"Haam yu" with fried rice may not be that recent. I have known it for over 15 years.

I could be wrong but I had the impression that it was a popular regional dish among Cantonese. It's something my parents like, so I never thought of it has nouveau/HK cuisine.


Edited by sheetz (log)

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I've also never heard of "haam yu" with fried rice. Is this a new thing in Hong Kong?

champipple: Welcome to eGullet!

"Haam yu" with fried rice may not be that recent. I have known it for over 15 years.

Thanks, this forum rocks. I hope you don't mind if I changed topics, but I'm looking for a wok burner. I noticed you used a pan in this dish. I'm sure you have a wok - any reason why you didn't use it for this dish? I find that using a pan for frying on top of an electric range will not do justice with Chinese stir frying. I can get by, but I must go outside and fire up my wok burner outside with the required high heat. Only then can I achieve "wok hay". Even with fried rice, I find it's hard to replicate the "wok hay" flavor that I experience in good restaurants. I think it's because my burner doesn't reach the high heat that restaurant burners achieve. Hence, I'm searching for a good wok burner. I haven't found an American made one that satisfies this requirement. I saw on another thread here and I also found a vendor online that sells Taiwan wok burners. Based on the descriptions, that may be the ticket. Anyone have any thoughts on this?

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[...] I noticed you used a pan in this dish. I'm sure you have a wok - any reason why you didn't use it for this dish?

... Hence, I'm searching for a good wok burner. I haven't found an American made one that satisfies this requirement....

It may surprise you. I have mentioned it before, but I know you are new to this forum. I don't currently own a wok. :smile:

When I see someone who got really interested in Chinese cooking, you know what is the first thing they do before even buying a cookbook? They go out and buy a wok! LOL! A wok is indeed very nice for making Chinese stir-fried dishes. But I don't think it is an absolute prerequisite. I have been cooking Chinese food on flat frying pans (over 90% of my home made meals) for the past 26 years since moving to the USA. I think what's important is the understanding of the techniques, ingredients and the processes. Cooking with a wok is not an automatic ticket to gourmet Chinese stir-fried dishes if it is not used properly. Without a wok, you can adjust and compensate. If you have a wok and a good burner, use them. Absolutely. But don't let lacking a wok stand in the way of making decent Chinese food.

So far I have been living in places equipped with regular gas stoves. Therefore I don't bother with getting a wok. But the turkey fryers (burners) that became popular in recent years may open up a possibility for me to cook with something much stronger than a regular household stove.

As for a burner on steroid, check out this topic from infernooo:

http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showto...81&hl=infernooo

Now, THAT is a burner! :raz:


Edited by hzrt8w (log)

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

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Ah Leung, another great thread! A question. I have previously thought that microwaving the rice before adding it to the wok can make it a bit sticky and overcook, especially if I'm not outside with my high-heat burner. Do you have that problem?


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Haam yu fried rice with pork/chicken, and haam ha fried rice with fatty belly pork are my personal "staples" and have been a maternally induced love from almost infancy. Both must have lots of ginger slivers and green onions, though. I had always thought that it was a "home" dish until a friend of mine introduced me to the "commercial" version in HK about 16 years ago. (First question in my mind was, Why go to a restaurant and "pay" for something so simple and basic?? How wrong I was. :biggrin: )

As for woks, I agree with Ah Leung, one doesn't need a wok to cook Chinese food. For small dishes I prefer a flat steel pan (not stainless steel, sticks too much). If you don't have a high BTU burner, a flat pan on the large burner of an electric stove works very, very, well. But the burner has to be at max heat, cherry red. A wok on a weak domestic gas range is worse than useless, but a flat pan on the same flame gets better results.

Someone mentioned taking the grates off a gas burner to get the wok into the flame. I don't know your particular stove, but generally a gas flame is hottest at the very peak of the flame itself, not low in the middle of the flame. Besides, there might be some safety issues with interfering with the combustion process. Gas burners, like everything else, are engineered to perform at optimum efficiency. It is not wise, sometimes, to monkey around with gas + flames.

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[...] I noticed you used a pan in this dish. I'm sure you have a wok - any reason why you didn't use it for this dish?

... Hence, I'm searching for a good wok burner. I haven't found an American made one that satisfies this requirement....

It may surprise you. I have mentioned it before, but I know you are new to this forum. I don't currently own a wok. :smile:

When I see someone who got really interested in Chinese cooking, you know what is the first thing they do before even buying a cookbook? They go out and buy a wok! LOL! A wok is indeed very nice for making Chinese stir-fried dishes. But I don't think it is an absolute prerequisite. I have been cooking Chinese food on flat frying pans (over 90% of my home made meals) for the past 26 years since moving to the USA. I think what's important is the understanding of the techniques, ingredients and the processes. Cooking with a wok is not an automatic ticket to gourmet Chinese stir-fried dishes if it is not used properly. Without a wok, you can adjust and compensate. If you have a wok and a good burner, use them. Absolutely. But don't let lacking a wok stand in the way of making decent Chinese food.

So far I have been living in places equipped with regular gas stoves. Therefore I don't bother with getting a wok. But the turkey fryers (burners) that became popular in recent years may open up a possibility for me to cook with something much stronger than a regular household stove.

As for a burner on steroid, check on this top from infernooo:

http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showto...81&hl=infernooo

Now, THAT is a burner! :raz:

I concur. One does not need a wok to learn Chinese cooking. That's like giving someone some paint, a paintbrush, and a canvas, and expect him/her to create a masterpiece. However, having the proper tools always make the experience much more enjoyable, if not easier. I've found throughout the years the secret in Chinese cooking is high heat (stir frying), food preparation, and the toughest part of all is the sauce mixtures. After being raised in my parent's restaurant environment growing up, my Dad (who cooked in the restaurant) told me the hardest part is mastering the sauces, which takes years, if not a lifetime. I can attest to that.

Back to the wok. Yes, I've done the pan thing, but now I cook on the turkey fryer outside, and I won't go back (it keeps the kitchen cleaner too). Having that instant high heat using a big round steel pan has spoiled me. Using a wok takes you to another level. In other threads, "wok hay" is spoken and is the holy grail for capturing that elusive, Hong-Kong (substitute with your favorite authentic restaurant or place) flavor. You can only attain that with a wok. So yes, a pan will do, but if you want "wok-hay", the wok's the only way to go! Also, I tend to cook a lot of food, so the wok can usually handle more quantities over a pan.

Thanks for the infernooo thread. I've already added my 2 cents to that.

hzrt8w, keep up the good work. I enjoy your contribution, as well as others in this forum.

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Using a wok takes you to another level. In other threads, "wok hay" is spoken and is the holy grail for capturing that elusive, Hong-Kong (substitute with your favorite authentic restaurant or place) flavor. You can only attain that with a wok. So yes, a pan will do, but if you want "wok-hay", the wok's the only way to go!

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Respectfully disagree. Wok hei is the "product" or effect of very high heat in the wok or pan. Wok is steel, pan is steel. I can achieve the identical "flavour" with either. Wok hei is achieved with the proper heat (high), and,  judicious and timely sequential addition of ingredients. It does not mean that you can't achieve the effect with another pan.

Respectfully agree. No argument here. Let me ask you if you wash your steel pan everytime to keep it shiny, stainless-steel "clean." If you do, don't you have a little bit of effort everytime you cook to season the pan first? Also, I would imagine part of the "wok hay" is attributed to repeated cookings on the same seasoned pan - just like in authentic wok cooking. Don't you think repeated soap-based cleaning of pans reduce that flavor? Cooking with a wok is like cooking with a cast iron skillet - don't have to season it as much as a steel pan; hence, less cleaning. I'm for that!

Btw, how does everyone deal with stir frying inside the house? Do you just put up with it or go outside, like I did? It keeps the oil splatter, heat, and odor under control when I go outside. Ideally, one would renovate the kitchen to have a commercial exhaust to take care of this problem. Most home kitchens are built for looks, not function - even highend homes. That's a personal gripe I won't get into here!

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One would never wash a wok or pan, whatever the material it's made of, with soap or soapy solutions. Just soak with water and wipe off, or, if the thing is really crusted, use a bamboo or natural vristle brush. I find that the plstic scouring pad does a good job without taking the patina off the pan/wok.

In our weather, we are condemned to inside cooking in the winter. There are really good exhaust fans for the home that can be had...up to 400 cfm, which is a goodly volume. Regardless, if you want to cook"real" Chinese food, there will be a certain amount of grease vapour floating around. Constant cleaning.... :shock:

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[...] A question. I have previously thought that microwaving the rice before adding it to the wok can make it a bit sticky and overcook, especially if I'm not outside with my high-heat burner. Do you have that problem?

chris: Since you have a high-heat burner, no need to bother with re-heating the rice in the microwave. Just add them on the wok and fry. (May add a bit of water to rehydrate the rice though). Microwaving is for those of us poor souls using only regular gas range to speed up the process a little bit. :smile:

Another thing I want to mention, since you are using a wok: You can skip the separate step of cooking the eggs. Pour the rice and lettuce to stir-fry first. When the rice is about ready, use the spatula to shuffle the rice on the side to form a "hole" in the center of the wok. Add 1 tblsp of cooking oil. Add the eggs right in center and scramble it. (Note: Do not add eggs onto the rice directly because that would make the rice soggy.) When the eggs are cooked, push the rice back in and mix with the eggs. This trick is more efficient and has less waste.

As for "wok hay", I think we can semi-achieve it with a pan on regular gas stove when we heat the pan very hot before starting, and add the sauce/aromatics in the proper sequence, and especially the step of dashing in the cooking wine or vinegar - and hopefully induce a quick fire on the pan.


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

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One would never wash a wok or pan, whatever the material it's made of, with soap or soapy solutions. Just soak with water and wipe off, or, if the thing is really crusted, use a bamboo or natural vristle brush. I find that the plstic scouring pad does a good job without taking the patina off the pan/wok.

In our weather, we are condemned to inside cooking in the winter. There are really good exhaust fans for the home that can be had...up to 400 cfm, which is a goodly volume. Regardless, if you want to cook"real" Chinese food, there will be a certain amount of grease vapour floating around. Constant cleaning.... :shock:

Yes, "real" Chinese food will generate a certain amount of grease vapor and odor (no way around it), which is why I demand an adequate exhaust or I take it outside. Down here in Florida, kitchen exhaust fans (that take the air outside) are an afterthought, even in luxury homes. That tells you where room design priorities are down here! :sad: Fortunately, winter temperatures are just right when toiling over a jet-flame wok! It's great to practice the stir-frying techniques in the back porch and you don't have to worry about smoke, oil or food splatter - just brush it into the dirt and hose everything down. :wink:

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Just to add my 2 cents about ventilation and cooking vessels. We use our big burner to stir-fry outside, especially we are doing something really spicy or in a large quantity (like chow fun). For that, we have a big ass wok and those long spatulas that tire your arms out from all that tossing, tossing.

But most nights during the rainy season we cook inside. We upgraded our exhaust to something that goes up to 400 cfm and bought a gas stove with a nice enough 20k burner (but not one of these "prosumer" ranges). We always use a flat pan even on this new stove. It works just fine, especially if you make sure to preheat very well. The thing that makes the biggest difference to me is that the screens for the exhaust fan are dishwasher safe, so you can plop them in the dishwasher every 2 weeks or monthly. Keeping them cleaner then I used to has made a huge difference in how well the grease and fumes are vented. Of course, there is always that fine distribution of oil all over the stove top and nearby counters to wash off...but that is just part of cooking/cleaning up for us.

regards,

trillium

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Back to the original topic, I love chicken and salted fish fried rice. Except I prefer the salted fish to stand out (it's the star of the dish, in my opinion), so I like smaller chicken chunks. In fact, I like them so small, that when I make it myself, I just leave them out. :biggrin:

I still have some of the salted fish my mother and I bought in Thailand last year. We soaked, dusted with cornstarch, fried it, then froze it to be used when desired, as per the shop lady's instructions. I kept the fish-frying oil for a good 6 months, and made other types of fried rice with it, or even just scrambled eggs. It added salted fish flavour without using up some of my precious salted fish.... :wub:

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      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.
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