Chinese Food! :) 中國菜 I'm an American with questions.
Apr 2, 2008 at 11:30 PM Post #76 of 160

warubozu

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr. Tadashi /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Regarding the eating of the chicken feet, I don't know which one would be considered the proper method but, I use the first method you had described as does the rest of my family.


I also go about the same method when consuming chicken feet. If I'm eating it amongst immediate family members, then the etiquett is quite lax. Just seperate the bone from the meat in your mouth and spit out the bone. If I'm eating among guest, the I'll do just bout the same except I will grab the bone from my mouth with my chopstick and place it at the side of my plate.

As far as salted fish goes, I haven't found it being served at the finer or higher end Chinese restaurants here where I live. Most of the time my parents pick it up at the mom and pop Chinese grocery store and serve it up at home.
 
Apr 3, 2008 at 2:40 AM Post #77 of 160

Oistrakh

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Here are suggestions to find those authentic Chinese Restaurants:

1) They don't offer you bread rolls
2) They don't offer Pu-pu platter
3) They contain more chinese customers than caucasion
4) They already chopsticks set up on the table when you arrive
 
Apr 3, 2008 at 2:51 AM Post #78 of 160

milkpowder

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Quote:

Originally Posted by fureshi /img/forum/go_quote.gif
For meats with bones, such as chicken feet, you can eat it almost any way that you want. Most people just bite off a piece(digit) and spit out the bones.


I do exactly that (bite digit/joint, suck and spit), but not all the time because I'm really picky and like to eat only certain bits of the chicken feet (digits and top of the feet).
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鱼香茄子 is, at least in HK, so common to the point where most restaurants will have it. It's quite a cheap dish made with unexotic materials so I can understand why it might be left out of very high end menus. However, it is very common and easy to make so I've never ever been told I can't order it because the chef doesn't know how to make it regardless of the "class" of the restaurant. Do ask for it even if you don't see it on the menu.
 
Apr 3, 2008 at 3:43 AM Post #79 of 160

Fallen

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Last year in Shanghai, I had the Xiao Long Bao at this side street that is apparently famous throughout all of Shanghai (haven't a clue what the place is called). I was brought there by a local who insisted I would never find any better.

So far, he was right. ABSOLUTELY delicious. My girlfriend, who has been vegetarian since college, by the way, saw how much we enjoyed it and had a bite herself. Even she agreed it was heavenly.

Since then, I've had no luck finding any as good. I've had anything from decent approximations in HK and chinese restaurants in the Philippines to absolutely inedible stuff in less discerning establishments.

Aside from Xiao Long Bao in Shanghai, Roast duck or fried duck breast in Hong Kong is the other simple Chinese dish that I think everyone should try at least once in their lives. I don't know why they do duck so well in HK, but they simply do. I've only had it in the touristy areas again (the temple street food area) but it was plenty good enough for me.
 
Apr 3, 2008 at 4:51 AM Post #80 of 160

crazyface

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I love duck!
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Does "鱼香茄子" just refer to the fish, or does it stand for a complete dish? If so, what is in that dish?

I liked the chicken feet that I had, but I can see how they would be much better fried instead of just steamed (and room temperature by the time I got them. This was at a "Chinese buffet," and I normally steer clear of anything buffet, but this time I ate at one only because I was out of town and it was right next to a Viet-Namese market I was shopping at. On the subject though, from what I've read about Chinese food philosophy, wouldn't the idea of a pile-food-on-your-plate buffet be pretty horrendous to any self-respecting Chinese chef? Is the concept of a Chinese buffet wholly Chinese-American, or are they in China too? For my own part, I did what I could to keep dishes seperate and have a small amount at a time, but it's obvious that the modus operandi of patrons of Chinese buffets is basically to spoon onto the plate anything and everything.)

Unfortunately, yes, the Chinese restaurant that I am going to regularly now is the "Pu-Pu Platter" sort, and they've also "diversified" culinarily and offer a limited selection of sushi. But I get the impression that they are doing this mainly because the difficulties they face by operating a restaurant in an area with very conservative diners. For example, the most popular restaurant in my town is a hot dog restaurant, and the second most popular is "All-U-Can-Eat" American food (salisbury steak, macaroni and cheese, etc.) Next time I go (probably tomorrow) I'll ask for either the Sichuan eggplant or something with the 鱼香茄子, and I'll let you know how it turns out.
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I'll ask them how much an order of fried chicken feet would be, too.

Xiao Long Bao sounds awesome, but I doubt I'd find anything approaching the "real thing" in a town like mine. I really love the idea of working in China someday, but as an art student who does not yet know the language, I'm afraid I'd little to offer. But if by chance I should manage a trip there, I'll see what I can find.
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Okay, thanks again! Bye for now!
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Edit: New question! Seaweed seems to be utilized to any apparent degree only in Japanese food -- I've never heard of a Korean, Chinese, Thai, Malay, Viet-Namese or Filipino dish that uses seaweed. Am I just ignorant, or is it actually the case that only in Japanese cuisine is it used often?
 
Apr 3, 2008 at 6:10 AM Post #81 of 160

roastpuff

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Quote:

Originally Posted by crazyface /img/forum/go_quote.gif

Edit: New question! Seaweed seems to be utilized to any apparent degree only in Japanese food -- I've never heard of a Korean, Chinese, Thai, Malay, Viet-Namese or Filipino dish that uses seaweed. Am I just ignorant, or is it actually the case that only in Japanese cuisine is it used often?



Yes, the idea of a Chinese buffet is horrendous to most of us who are Chinese, excepting those times you just want to pig out on deep-fried foods that are very filling.
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Chicken feet is better steamed - you don't get the slightly chewy but melt-in-mouth soft texture otherwise, but chicken knees are killer when fried. Crunchy! I use method 1 when eating chicken/duck feet as well.

My friend, who lives in Revelstoke, BC (pop. 7000) also has the same problem with Chinese food as you, though there is one relatively decent Chinese restaurant there. I take her out to Chinese whenever she comes down to Vancouver, which on the West Coast has the best[/i] authentic Chinese food, I dare say.

There's this one little place in Vancouver which has excellent Xiao Long Bao - always busy, and you've got to wait for a good while for a seat (only 30-40 seats available or so). But man, are they good or what? They meet cheesebert and Milkpowder's criteria spot-on.
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I've had them quite a few times, and no other place comes close.

There is seaweed used in Chinese and Korean food - just not the usual "nori" kind that you find in sushi. Other types are used in soups and dishes, and Taiwanese cuisine often serve cold sliced seaweed (forget which kind) as an appetizer, along with marinated tofu, eggs and pig ears (yum!). The other cuisines you mentioned does not use seaweed very often, if at all.

I just had seaweed + pork + orange peel soup for dinner. And you all are making me hungry again!
 
Apr 3, 2008 at 9:09 AM Post #82 of 160

milkpowder

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Fallen:
I've had xiao long bao every other day for the past week at different restaurants in Hong Kong. So far, I've been disappointed. The closest so far were the ones at 北京楼 (Peking Garden) in Central, Hong Kong which I had just yesterday. Still, the pastry wasn't thin enough. Neither was the mince pork as tender as I prefer it to be.

I also had roast Peking duck (北京田鸭)and that was very well done indeed.

What else... oh yes, 葱爆牛肉, which is basically beef stir fried with spring onions.

roastpuff:
I had fried chicken knees today when I went for dim sum at the Causeway Bay branch of 聘珍樓 (Hei Chin Rou)! It was absolutely exquisite.

I prefer my chicken feet in a chilli 'n black bean or XO sauce
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crazyface:
鱼香茄子 literally translates into fish flavoured eggplant. It's generally taken for granted that dried, salted fish is used for that 'flavour'.

Re: Chinese buffet
It's not very common in authentic Chinese cuisine, but I have had it before albeit only in hotels. The Island Shangri-La (Admiralty) and Grand Hyatt (Central) in Hong Kong each have buffets which have very authentic Chinese food (steamed spotted garoupa, roast duck, soya chicken, chicken sauteed with celery & cashew nuts, lobster, etc etc).
 
Apr 3, 2008 at 3:12 PM Post #83 of 160

laxx

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If you're an art student, move to NYC. There's plenty of chinese restuarants for you to pick from. There's a few authentic Taiwanese restaurants as well, but they're pretty obscure and knowing the owner and chef is just wonderful. In the end, it's still not as good as certain ingredients aren't as fresh as they would be if in Taiwan, but none the less, it's still darn close.
 
Apr 9, 2008 at 8:38 AM Post #84 of 160

crazyface

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Hi again everybody!
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I found out that I misunderstood where the Chinese people who operate the restaurant are from. They are actually from a place quite far from the Sichuan region. Instead, they come from Anhui, which has a distinctly different cuisine. So - anyone here know much about that one?
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The Wikipedia page for it has very little useful info...

I'm going to stir-fry today, and had a question about cooking chicken. At various Chinese restaurants that I've been to, they succeed in cooking the chicken to be very soft, moist, and tender - almost as if it had been braised with meat tenderizer. One can get chicken of this variety in a lot of dishes, but I suppose the most common would be something like Moo Goo Gai Pan. When I put chicken into my wok and set it up on my outdoor burner, I get a very different result. Yet in none of the Chinese recipes that I've read can I find any instructions other than to just put the chicken into the wok with a bit of oil and seasoning and then take it off before it overcooks. I suspect that a different procedure is required for the softer style. Have you any idea what it is?

Additionally, of course the great wealth of complex and savory sauces is one of the hallmarks of Chinese cuisine in general - yet all the recipes in my books result in thin, runny, insipid liquids, and I have to resort to liberal quantities of potato starch to get them to thicken up to the point that they'll adhere to food.

Where can I find some really brilliant recipes for a range of Chinese sauces? Do you know any yourself?

Typically what I'll do, since the recipes that I have are so bad, is I'll start with a base of chicken broth, then take equal parts soy sauce and oyster sauce, add Sriracha and minced fermented black beans, a lot of black pepper, and then finish with ground-up chilis and peanuts that I've stir-fried together in oil. At some point, I'll also add just enough potato starch to get it thick enough. If the mood strikes me, I may squeeze in just a teaspoon or so of honey, but I never add sugar or corn syrup.

The resulting sauce is okay, but it does not taste very authentic, and I have gotten bored of it after so many times eating it.

I have a ton of sesame seeds that I'd like to use. Do you know of any sauces using them?

Okay, thanks again, bye!
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EDIT:

I thought of two more questions!
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Should I buy an electric rice-cooker? If so, do you know of any models that handle a wide variety of rice styles and work very well, with reliable mechanics and easy clean-up?

Also, I would like to buy a pair of chopsticks for personal use at home. Can you recommend any online vendors with good quality, sturdy manufacture, artistic aesthetic, and nice selection?
Thank you, bye!
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Apr 9, 2008 at 2:36 PM Post #85 of 160

scompton

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My Filipino stepmother-in-law gave us an inexpensive Sunbeam steamer that has an insert for cooking 1-2 cups of raw rice. It works pretty well and I like the fact that it can cook so little at a time. It cooks both white and brown rice.

This is the one I have. I couldn't find it for sale in a quick web search
 
Apr 9, 2008 at 5:12 PM Post #86 of 160

laxx

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I have this rice cooker and it's very good, but the one thing I hate about it is how long it takes to cook (about 45 minutes for white rice).

Zojirushi NS-TGC10

As for chopsticks, I like the ones made in Japan, they're much nicer imo.
 
Apr 9, 2008 at 5:51 PM Post #87 of 160

K2Grey

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Quote:

Originally Posted by crazyface /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I'm going to stir-fry today, and had a question about cooking chicken. At various Chinese restaurants that I've been to, they succeed in cooking the chicken to be very soft, moist, and tender - almost as if it had been braised with meat tenderizer. One can get chicken of this variety in a lot of dishes, but I suppose the most common would be something like Moo Goo Gai Pan. When I put chicken into my wok and set it up on my outdoor burner, I get a very different result. Yet in none of the Chinese recipes that I've read can I find any instructions other than to just put the chicken into the wok with a bit of oil and seasoning and then take it off before it overcooks. I suspect that a different procedure is required for the softer style. Have you any idea what it is?

Additionally, of course the great wealth of complex and savory sauces is one of the hallmarks of Chinese cuisine in general - yet all the recipes in my books result in thin, runny, insipid liquids, and I have to resort to liberal quantities of potato starch to get them to thicken up to the point that they'll adhere to food.



I have no stir frying ability but as for the first question, I thought it might be this technique (velveting) which I've heard about though never used:

Velveting Meat for Stir Fry Dishes - Chinese Food

As for the second, I would guess you are already attempting this, but if you are not, have you tried reducing the sauce in order to get it to thicken up that way before adding the cornstarch / thickening agent.
 
Apr 10, 2008 at 12:20 AM Post #88 of 160

NightWoundsTime

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I keep hearing wonderful things about authentic Pad Thai without the sweet red oil, more of a clean dish. Problem is even the Bhuddist Temple up the road serves it that way, and no restaraunt in town has been able to help. Tempted to go hunt down the ingredients and make it myself. There's a lot of crazy stuff that goes into it though.
 
Apr 10, 2008 at 3:21 AM Post #89 of 160

K2Grey

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Also I remember there are a decent number of buffets in Taiwan, and the Chinese buffets in the States commonly have more Chinese people than non-Chinese, I've never heard anyone complain about authenticity and I think it may be the case that non-Chinese care more about their food being authentic than the Chinese themselves.
 
Apr 10, 2008 at 5:36 PM Post #90 of 160

humanflyz

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Quote:

Originally Posted by K2Grey /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Also I remember there are a decent number of buffets in Taiwan, and the Chinese buffets in the States commonly have more Chinese people than non-Chinese, I've never heard anyone complain about authenticity and I think it may be the case that non-Chinese care more about their food being authentic than the Chinese themselves.


Chinese people go to Chinese buffets out of economic reason only: it's cheap, and it fills you up. But as a Chinese person, I don't know any other Chinese person growing up that actually thought Chinese buffet food is authentic, and I grew up in Monterey Park, California, a place with a 62% Asian population.
 

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