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how many of you guys cook???

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  1. ProtegeManiac Contributor

    Okonomiyaki on carbon steel, right before I did a serious clean up on that stove


    Shoyu Ramen with a gentle braise 6hr pork and beef broth

    Hungarian sausages with a fried garlic, kimchi, and Sriracha relish

    What happens when I buy a pork loin cutlet for donkatsu, forget, and then prep katsudon
  2. Trihexagonal
    I've been cooking for myself since I was 8 years old.

    My mom worked the 3-11 shift as a nurse at a local hospital when I was in grade school so if I wanted something to eat besides microwave food or sandwiches when I got home I had to learn to cook it myself. It's a skill that has served me well my whole life.

    I live alone now and very rarely eat anything I don't cook myself. A lot of baked or broiled food, I hardly ever fry anything.
    Clayton SF likes this.
  3. ProtegeManiac Contributor
    Tonkotsu Ramen with pork jowl chashu

    Miso-gochujang sisig (chopped pork jowl chashu fried in fat with onions and garlic) ramen

    Roast Pork Belly, skin salted and dried out for three days in the fridge

    Miso pork belly, kimchi, fried egg

    Miso pork belly, Pork jowl "bossam," and a fried egg yolk (used the white for karaage)

    Milkfish Fish n Chips

    vibin247, ericr and Clayton SF like this.
  4. wink
    This stuff is edible.... right..?
    ericr likes this.
  5. Clayton SF
    You rock!
  6. Trihexagonal
    Not as exotic as some preparations presented here, I''m having barbecue seasoned pork roast baked on potato halves with boiled Brussels sprouts. Honey wheat bread and butter, Himalayan pink salt and cracked peppercorn on the side.



    I live alone, have to eat everything I cook and do all the cleanup so I shoot for easy prep/low mess food I can prepare in10 minutes and eat an hour or so later.
    Clayton SF likes this.
  7. ProtegeManiac Contributor
    Same reason why I eat a lot of ramen...and not the instant kind either. I can do the broth on a Saturday or Sunday (I even leave the house - I use the electric stove for this kind of cooking anyway) and end up with several bowls' worth of broth. (I use roughly 400ml in every bowl), braise the meat for 2hrs, prep the soft boiled eggs (they have to go into a marinade after cooking). When I eat on weeknights, I heat the broth, move it to my bowl to heat it up, cook the noodles in the sauce pan, empty it out to strain (for optimum results you need to do this simultaneously on two sauce pots, but I'm lazy about clean up on weeknights), then put the broth back on the pan to boil. The bowl is warm, so I can toss in some tare straight from the fridge, then toss the hot noodles in it, then pour the boiling broth all over. Sandwiches would have less mess but bread spoils too fast due to humidity, and better buns aren't easy to get between work and home (have to really go out of my way to get them fresh). Worst part is, I really don't like the taste of burgers I prep in advance (they get horrendously bland and chewy after getting frozen) and pastrami is about as out of the way as my favorite brioche buns.

    Here's what I got out of what I did last Sunday - a 10hr beef, tuna, and spice broth, with some of it cranked up at the end to squeeze the collagen right out of the rib bones. Toppings are short rib and brisket braised in soy sauce, garlic, and ginger, then that cooking liquid is frozen and the fat trimmed off the top (will use the beef fat for searing steaks). I still have enough left for four bowls.

  8. BunnyNamedCraig
    holy crap this thread is making me hungry... @ProtegeManiac you make some impressive stuff. You were talking about making nice ramen dishes- I also make ramen dishes but its with Instant! lol :0. I like to just put tons of veggies and crack eggs in it. Makes for a quick meal that is healthier then a lot of alternatives (just cant use much of the seasoning pack or all is lost). OH also I love fresh basil so that usually gets thrown is as well.
  9. ProtegeManiac Contributor
    There are a bunch of things you can do to improve instant ramen! Like:

    1. Braise meat in soy sauce, burned garlic and scallion oil for the toppings - pork shoulder, pork belly, brisket, short ribs, etc. You can then refrigerate the cooking liquid and then remove the fat, which will float and solidify on top, but not completely. Dig through it and scoop out the seasoning with a clean spoon, then put the fat back on, as it works as a barrier against anything that causes spoilage if you let it melt a bit so the fat covers it again. Same way you can keep a baking tray of confit meat in a cold spot until you fry it, except in that case it's almost completely fat and oil so when you dig out one piece of meat the rest is still covered by fat and oil. You can use this as tare for when using half the seasoning pack lacks flavor. Also makes a good substitute for oyster and soy sauce, especially if you cut it with bean paste for Korean (jjajangmyeon) stir fry or to make Japanese (yakisoba) stir fry meatier in flavor.

    As for veggies, apart from green onions that can be cut really thin and then cook when plunged into the hot broth, other veggies can either be poached in the broth or roasted. If you'll braise beef, add carrots and radish in there just like in Chinese braised brisket or the more broth-y Korean short rib stew.

    2. Depending on the brand of noodle packs, using half the seasoning pack or using half the seasoning and half the noodles in the recommended full serving of water will work. In some cases it's the noodles that are salty, or more specifically, northeast Asian wheat egg noodles (plus Philippine egg noodles) have a very high pH. It comes from how traditional northern Chinese noodles cooked in the Imperial palace use water from some lake in what is now Inner Mongolia, which is extremely basic. Not enough to dissolve your throat if you drink it, but basically imagine how Henry VIII and some Roman Emperors had gout, but that wasn't a thing for the fattest Chinese Emperors and Korean Kings, much less fit, military-trained Shoguns.

    I have the Ichiran ramen packs for when I really need something quick and my broth is frozen, and what I do is use the same 500ml of water for half the seasoning pack and half the noodles, otherwise it's salty as all hell. Other places like Ramen Nagi get around this problem by using lower pH noodles, and also because I order my noodles undercooked (note that fresh noodles when undercooked aren't stiff like dry noodles, just slightly harder than al dente). Instant Philippine noodles don't have this problem - the salt is in the seasoning packs - but cheap eatery noodles do if you order the ones that come in a broth. The dried egg noodles in that country have extremely high pH, which is why when I do Phl pork (bat-choi or batchoy) or beef noodles (bulalo; although this is usually served noodle-less) I use Korean buckwheat. Some laksa recipes can get salty too if you use a similar egg noodles, so same thing - use Korean buckwheat. Pho doesn't have this problem since it uses flat rice noodles. Stir fry noodles though typically do not have this problem, as long as it's cooked in the north Asian style, which is to toss cooked (very near al dente) noodles into the wok, but some SEAsian styles require cooking dried or fresh noodles in the wok, adding chicken broth after the stirfry then letting the water evaporate (and sometimes adding cornstarch), and it's this that runs the risk of making the high pH egg noodles make the whole dish salty as hell (also why this style is more commonly used with rice noodles).

    3. Other toppings: pork rinds and offal BBQ. Put pork rinds into a ziploc bag with the air squeezed out so it won't pop, then crush the rinds. If it's the all-skin Mexican/US style rinds, this will be easy, but if you use the harder crunch skin with fat on pork rinds from the Philippines (and Taiwan, HK, etc), my super lazy solution is to wrap the airless Ziploc in a thick kitchen towel, then drive forward then back over it using my car. You can use a meat mallet - I really just do it this way because I'm lazy as hell.

    Pork or beef offal work too, so in case you can find a food truck that grills these as a snack, grab a few extra and freeze them for noodle toppings, that way you won't have to deal with cleaning up or tenderizing these bits. Unless there's a deli or Asian grocery there that sells them cleaned up (and in case of intestines, already braised) near you, in which case you can just braise (or sous vide) then fry these up to go on top of the noodles. Headcheese works too - I like it better than Spam, regardless of what people around me here in the Pacific think (that canned stuff, Spam or Ma-Ling, are just salty as hell - which is why my instant meat here is Dak, except it's double the price per 100g). My personal favorite are pig small intestines and stomach-intestine meat lining that are braised then deep fried, but I either buy these already fried (then crunched up again in an oven-type toaster) or, when we buy fresh, it usually ends up as beer chow and I forget to set aside some for my noodles, because I'm too lazy to clean these up. They come frozen now ready to fry but they come in 2kg packs, and since I have a small freezer on my fridge, it's just going to take up too much space for something I won't have a lot of in one sitting.
  10. BunnyNamedCraig
    Wow that was a heck of a history lesson on food prep!!! The pork rind idea is so fascinating to me... sounds super good.

    I have to ask- you legit run it over with your car??? That's the coolest thing ever haha.

    I'm excited to try some of this. Especially the difference in noodles and also using brisket and other pork in it... YUMMM

    Thanks for all the tips!
  11. ProtegeManiac Contributor
    I'm a political science grad student and since college we've been the types who, when we empty the bottle of Caesar's dressing, stab it with our steak knives or pocket knives and then laugh. That Caesar is a popvlist has one thing to do about it, although of course when we recite Antony's speech we do it with all the feels. I even pause my phone to do the opening lines on that just before Iron Maiden plays "The Evil That Men Do," since that's where the chorus came from.

    Pork rinds in the Philippines aren't just bar chow - they're used as garnish for a lot of dishes. That includes most locally conceived stir fry noodle dishes. My favorite is the one with a shrimp gravy on it (the fast food chain Jollibee is the usual gateway to it), which I've been experimenting with on how to thicken it by emulsifying (like caccio e pepe or carbonara) rather than the Asian method of "add cornstarch slurry just before the noodles."

    Only when it's dry outside, otherwise any crack in the plastic and the dirty water goes through the towel and through the plastic bag. Started out because I don't have a meat mallet. I still don't - all other dishes that require it I just make diamond cuts on the meat then pound it with my santoku. Kind of like how some places cut the pork loin for tonkatsu, and when it's sirloin steak for chicken fry I just pound it with a sharpened but worn out cheap knife.

    Use tamari soy sauce for the best flavour, other than that, just make sure you get a soy sauce that's naturally brewed, with soy and water first on the ingredient list and nothing you need to check with a chemist for. LKK brand has some sugar already mixed in and I already like the flavor, so I don't add any sugar when I cook Japanese food like katsudon and gyudon. Do not ever use the soy sauce packets you get from take out food - that's too salty and it's chemically brewed.

    Just lay down the meat, cut to occupy as much of the surface of the sauce pot or Dutch oven (or pressure cooker) as possible, then fill in the sides with chopped garlic, chopped ginger, and some green onions All of the parts of the stalk. Fill in with soy sauce to cover, add Liquid Smoke too if you have it (roughly 1tbsp for every 10ml of soy sauce used). Then cook at 75C for two hours (if using pressure cooker, use max pressure, but test it at 1hr). Let it cool, then refrigerate, otherwise that meat can collapse even with a very sharp knife since it's going to be extremely tender. Put the liquid back on the heat and cook it down a little over high heat. As soon as it's starting to thicken take it off the heat, let cool, store. This is just to remove excess water and now you'd have a more concentrated flavor, even if it congeals into a jelly in the fridge.

    You can also do this sous vide but the thing is you'd want to be able to make the tare out of the cooking liquid.
  12. PpapaBearD
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