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Cooking oil and Chinese food


hzrt8w
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No olive oil for me in Chinese dishes. I have some recipes that call for finishing with a bit of chicken fat or lard. I often use sesame oil as a finishing touch. Love that flavor as long as it's not overdone.

I use plain vegetable oil if I can't get good peanut oil.

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I use safflower oil as a neutral oil for just about everything. Used to use peanut oil until my oldest showed a peanut allergy. Canola oil tastes fishy when heated to high temperatures, at least to me.

Funny how different people smell/taste different things.

The store was out of peanut, and I recently tried safflower. To me it has a bitter unpleasant smell when heated. I'll be glad when I finally get to the bottom of the bottle.

---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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I was in the main city supermarket today here in downtown China, and thinking of this thread wandered over to the oil section just to see what they had.

Lots of oil. A big aisle of oil.

90% peanut/groundnut oil.

9.9% Corn Oil

2 bottles of Camelia Seed Oil

1 bottle of Olive Oil (Italian)

Edited by liuzhou (log)

...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

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Lots of oil. A big aisle of oil.

90% peanut/groundnut oil.

9.9% Corn Oil

2 bottles of Camelia Seed Oil

1 bottle of Olive Oil (Italian)

Interesting. In the US supermarkets, one will find a distribution like this:

40% corn oil

20% olive oil

15% canola oil

15% vegetable oil

5% lard

5% peanut oil and others

W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"
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In the old days, pork fat and chicken fat might be the only source of grease. I remember when I was small, most Chinese stir-fries and dim-sums were cooked with pork fat in the restaurants. In those days people loved to eat dishes made with fatty pork. And I remember reading something about people in those days did not get enough vitamin A (a good source of it is from oil?), which caused eye-sight problems. The eyes of a person who lacks vitamin A look dull, not shinny.

When I was small, my father forced me to intake fat... :wacko:

W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"
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Never really had a problem finding peanut oil. It's just a little more difficult to find in larger quantities unless you go to a wholesale supply. Gallon sizes can usually be found more easily around Thanksgiving because it's being sold for turkey fryers.

;)

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My daughter is allergic to peanuts .... not mildly, but severely-- she carries an epinephrine injector in her purse and has a MedicAlert bracelet.

I love Chinese cuisine. My cooking at home is done with canola oil for high smoke point cooking (e.g., stir frying) and usually olive oil for lower heat cooking. The stir fries come out with adequate wok hai (for stir frying, I use a propane cooker and a hand hammered cast iron wok, so I'm generating 65,000 BTU at the wok surface, not the 20-30,000 of a typical home kitchen gas stove). With other cooking styles (braising, steaming, etc.), the oil doesn't impart a significant flavor.

I can tell the difference in certain dishes -- my favorite Hunan restaurant uses peanut oil and when they make Mapo Dofu and when I make it at home, the sauce in the restaurant version has a nutty flavor I just can't duplicate ...

JasonZ

Philadelphia, PA, USA and Sandwich, Kent, UK

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Never really had a problem finding peanut oil. It's just a little more difficult to find in larger quantities unless you go to a wholesale supply. Gallon sizes can usually be found more easily around Thanksgiving because it's being sold for turkey fryers.

;)

Although it is peanut oil, the "regular" stuff does not taste near as good as the Chinese peanut oil...not as distinctively nutty. Not the same at all.

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Peanut Oil for me, an oil that fills the kitchen with the warm aroma of peanuts when splashed into a hot wok or pan. Sometimes I use corn oil in a pinch, but I prefer peanut for anything that will be mainly "asian" in character.

As many others have mentioned, Lion & Globe out of Hong Kong is an excellent brand. I buy 2700mL cans from asian grocers here in montreal for 15-16$ canadian. If these were not available, I would look for a darker oil (if I could see it) that was cold-pressed or pressed at low temperatures and refined as minimally as possible. It is my understanding that the it is refining and high temperature/high pressure that "neutralizes" the peanut qualities of peanut oil. I don't use my peanut oil for foods where I wouldn't want a peanut taste.

I don't ever really use olive oil, though I see how it could be used in some applications (not stirfrying!).

I just started to render my own pork fat, and look forward to trying it out. It seems many traditional chinese recipes call for pork fat.

One of my chinese cookbooks, "the Chinese Kitchen" by Eileen Yin-Fei Lo, advocates the use of infused oils. These are peanut oils that have been infused with scallions, onions shallots, or white peppercorns. Does anyone have any experience with these?

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My cooking oil of choice for all chinese food is almost always a blend of pork fat and peanut oil. I do love combining pork fat and tea oil though for some dishes... Fantastic. Though in my opinion in an ideal world of fun and happiness, we'd have far more dead ducks! Cause duck fat 100% reigns supreme as far as cooking grease of choice goes! The french we're always onto something with that.

mmm.. In the mood for some of that TingZaiZhou... with slivers of fish and duck fat/skin.. ohh,, ygaisdhfkjldf precious rendered duck

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My cooking oil of choice for all chinese food is almost always a blend of pork fat and peanut oil. I do love combining pork fat and tea oil though for some dishes...

What is "tea oil"? I don't think I had that before.

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