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An American (foodie) in China


ulterior epicure
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Don't think the ribs are like that.. but oh god i want those ribs now.

And you can buy the rice powder in powder form, but I haven't a clue whether this is the best way to make the fenzhenrou. But someone here knows, for sure. I've always been told that it is super easy though..

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And you can buy the rice powder in powder form, but I haven't a clue whether this is the best way to make the fenzhenrou. But someone here knows, for sure. I've always been told that it is super easy though..

Rice flours and powders I know of... but that's not what is used in feng zhen rou. Feng zhen rou is rolled in roughy ground glutenous rice - like dry rice that has been rougly ground in a food processor so that each kernel has been broken into a grits type of consistency - but not even that fine.

u.e.

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

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ah, sounds like what the thai/laos do for laab. I remember dry frying the raw rice until slightly brown and then using a mortar and pestle. Very easy with this method, but someone would have to confirm that these things are remotely similar. Definitely wouldn't look it.

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I've managed to upload a few pictures:

gallery_37441_3441_107364.jpg

Lotus root stuffed with glutenous rice

gallery_37441_3441_290586.jpg

Jiow Niang Tong Yuan: Fermented glutenous rice porridge with glutenous rice balls (just like mochi). The little bits of white are the rice kernels.

gallery_37441_3441_39531.jpg

Stinky Tofu: Can anyone tell me what the green stems are in the middle of the dish? I'll have to ask my friend again. They were very tough (inedible) on the outside (think extremely woody asparagus stalks), but the inside was meltingly succulent (think bone marrow). You suck the "marrow," which has an odor not to be out-stenched by the stinky tofu, out.

More later!

u.e.

Edited by ulterior epicure (log)

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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ah, sounds like what the thai/laos do for laab. I remember dry frying the raw rice until slightly brown and then using a mortar and pestle. Very easy with this method, but someone would have to confirm that these things are remotely similar. Definitely wouldn't look it.

...or, like the size-texture of Lebanese bulgar wheat salads.

u.e.

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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Don't think the ribs are like that.. but oh god i want those ribs now.

And you can buy the rice powder in powder form, but I haven't a clue whether this is the best way to make the fenzhenrou. But someone here knows, for sure. I've always been told that it is super easy though..

I've soaked sticky rice, then drained it and toasted it till golden and dry. Then it is made into a coarse powder in a blender or food processor and mixed with 5-spice powder. Takes time, but not labor-intensive.

I have also used the packaged prepared and seasoned rice crumbs. I usually look for the coarser crumbs as compared to fine crumbs. Not bad.

I've read that you can use Cream of Rice cereal in a pinch. Toast it and add the seasons. I haven't tried this one, tho.

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That doesn't look anything like 'stinky doufu'.

Can you elaborate? I know the fried version is very different looking and isn't as stinky.

u.e.

Edited by ulterior epicure (log)

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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That doesn't look anything like 'stinky doufu'.

It certainly looks like it to me...

The "stinkiness" of "stinky tofu", as far as I can tell, whether fried or otherwise has mostly to do with the stinkiness of the tofu you start out with, not how it's prepared necessarily. The stinkiest I've experienced was in Chang Sha, Hunan, where it is so fermented it is black... Crazy stinky...

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[...]As far as Wuxi ribs go - are they sort of like the small pork ribs that are served in Cantonese dim sum houses?  The tiny knuckle-sized ones that are impossibly (fatty) succulent?

u.e.

No, u.e. These can be bigger and are stewed in a rich, somewhat salty brown sauce seasoned with star anise, and the ones I had were accompanied by root vegetables (potatoes, carrots) and ginger, if I remember correctly. The ones I had weren't impossibly fatty at all, but were in fact falling off the bone from long cooking. The knuckle-sized spare ribs that are standard fare in Cantonese dim sum houses are cooked in black bean sauce. Looks like you had a great meal in Suzhou!

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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That doesn't look anything like 'stinky doufu'.

It certainly looks like it to me...

The "stinkiness" of "stinky tofu", as far as I can tell, whether fried or otherwise has mostly to do with the stinkiness of the tofu you start out with, not how it's prepared necessarily. The stinkiest I've experienced was in Chang Sha, Hunan, where it is so fermented it is black... Crazy stinky...

Yes, the dark purple (ie. "black") stinky tofu is quite an experience. It is exceptionally pungent.

re: Wuxi ribs. Yes, from Pan's description, I know them well - but not as Wuxi ribs. I think they might just be called hong sao pai gu: braised ribs. The five spice is a spectacular flavor element.

u.e.

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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I *love* having local friends! Tonight, my trusty family friends took me to a traditional Shing Jiang restaurant. Shing Jiang is an autonomous territory in the Western frontier of China - near Tibet. The food has a distinct Muslim as well as Indian influence.

Tonight, we feasted on Shing Jiang's famous "yiang rou tsuan" - lamb skewers, which could be ordered spicy or plain. Both were EXCELLENT - musky with spices. We also had a huge platter of "da pan chi" - or "big platter of chicken." The dish name describes it pretty accurately: a big a** plate o' chicken stewed in a dark (red) curry sauce with potatoes and onions. We also had a cold enoki mushroom salad, spicy mung bean vermicelli, and steamed chicken feat. We had a lamb soup - full of chunks of lamb short ribs. We had a spicy stew (or rather, pot o' chile oil) of fried fish (like sui tzu yu, "water cooked fish"). We also had a big plate of bok choy with a sesame-soy sauce sauce. A basket of thin sesame flat bread and a basket of batter-dipped and fried sweet corn kernels were among my favorites tonight. We had a plate of "moo shu beef" - slivers of beef cooked together with egg, chile peppers, and wood ear mushroom.

I'm about to keel over from exhaustion! More later.

u.e.

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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Was the "moo shu beef" anything like "moo shu" dishes prepared in the US?

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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Was the "moo shu beef" anything like "moo shu" dishes prepared in the US?

Honestly, I don't eat at a lot of Chinese restaurants in the U.S., so I can't be sure that my observations are correct here. To my knowledge, the moo shu I had last night was different from the U.S. in that:

1. There was no "pankcake" wrapper/crepe to fill.

2. The moo shu I had last night was more "rough" - full chunks of scrambled egg, large cuts of beef and wood ear mushrooms. The moo shu in the U.S. seems to be all chopped up with shoe-string slivers of wood ear and bamboo shoots - and sometimes Nappa cabbage and carrots.

The moo shu last night, I'll have to admit, wasn't that compelling to me. The traditional Shing Jiang stuff I had - like the lamb skewers, lamb soup and "big plate o' chicken" in red curry sauce - was the real pleasure.

u.e.

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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QUOTE(liuzhou @ Aug 18 2006, 02:07 AM)

That doesn't look anything like 'stinky doufu'.

Can you elaborate? I know the fried version is very different looking and isn't as stinky.

Sorry. The only stinky doufu (臭豆腐) I have come across here looks likes more this.

2006371353734.jpg

I was in Hunan just last week and ate some of the black stuff. Delicious!

http://liuzhou.blog-city.com/yuanling.htm

Edited by liuzhou (log)

...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

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QUOTE(liuzhou @ Aug 18 2006, 02:07 AM)

That doesn't look anything like 'stinky doufu'.

Can you elaborate? I know the fried version is very different looking and isn't as stinky.

Sorry. The only stinky doufu (臭豆腐) I have come across here looks likes more this.

2006371353734.jpg

I was in Hunan just last week and ate some of the black stuff. Delicious!

http://liuzhou.blog-city.com/yuanling.htm

Yes, this is the really pungent stuff - the really good kind! :raz:

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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i used to buy some vacuum sealed stinky tofu in beijing.. Always made in changsha.. But usually they were nearly 100% black and lighter on the inside.. also thin -- But not smelly at ALL. Really great snack!

I brought them on some trips out of china and everyone i gave them to loved them. Such a big difference from the real stuff though. A lot 'easier' to take. Look around for it in the numerous MSG snack shops you can find near all train/bus stations.

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Would "stinky doufu" be the Chinese equivalent of a "stinky cheese"?

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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when you walk by a guy frying the stinky tofu, you realize that 'stinky' exists on a whole new level. You can't begin to compare it to a bad smelling cheese. The taste however... that's a lot closer to the perception of cheese as a whole.

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Would "stinky doufu" be the Chinese equivalent of a "stinky cheese"?

Yes, but even more pungent than the smelliest cheese - it's like blue cheese meets very ripe Lindberger. :raz: It's so good. Speaking of stinky, have you had durian - that's the fruit version... I haven't had any of my beloved durian on this trip, though.

u.e.

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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So sue me... my last evening in China, I spent gorging myself on sushi. Yeah, I know, I know, for shame.... but it was great!! I had more sushi than you can imagine - and other assundries, including beef wrapped around asparagus and stewed in BUTTER.

Sukiyaki was great. So was the chawan mushi which was so soft, I had a hard time believing there was anything in the bowl when I cut through it with my spoon. At the bottom was a single gingko nut. Grilled leeks, yakitori style, as well as grilled garlic cloves. Grilled flying fish roe was particularly great - although a bit salty.

Salmon jowls and cheeks (and head), sashimi, nigiri, uni, ikura (salmon eggs), and on and on... we stumbled out stuffed. Hopefully, it'll tide me over the dreadful food on the airplane tomorrow.

See you all state-side! I look forward to reporting and posting (pictures) in more detail then!

Cheers.

u.e.

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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I'm finally state-side, after what seemed like the longest and most arduous return trip ever. Tightened security due to the recent bombing scares made things really rough - and the fact that John Mark Karr (J.B. Ramsey's supposed killer) arrived at LAX around the same time I did didn't help either.

So my last night in China was spent at a Japanese restaurant :shock:! I know, way to go, u.e., drop the ball on the last meal... but, I was with local friends who wanted to take me out for something different - I wasn't let down. We gorged ourselves on sushi, sashimi, yakitori, fish cheeks & jowls, grilled fish roe, grilled smelt, sukiyaki, and a lot of different things I'd never encountered before - asparagus stalks wrapped in fatty beef and poached in butter.

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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Alright, U.E., no more bandwidth or tourist-time issues :raz: Feed us! :biggrin: You know what I mean :wink::smile:

By the way, welcome back. Actually I think you did a great job getting this started while over there. I know that is not easy.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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