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branedotorg
Jun 19, 2009


fatherdog posted:

There's a dish I've had at several chinese restaurants called, variously, "Singapore Mei Fun", "Singapore Chow Mei Fun", or just "Singapore Noodles". It has a very consistent flavor across several different restaurants in different areas. However, I've been unsuccessful in attempts to reproduce it at home.

I've found a number of recipes online and most of them look accurate as far as I can tell. All of them involve curry (the dish definitely involves a light yellow curry). It seems like I can't find the correct brand or type of curry to produce the flavor I'm looking for.

Does anyone have any experience with this dish?

It's standard 'yellow' curry powder. Any generic western curry powder will do or use one of the vietnamese brands if you can get it (although they are essentially the same as a madras style curry powder). In Australia i'd use Keen's or Clive of India brands. White sugar too.

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fatherdog
Feb 16, 2005

*RONK, RONK*
Make that three rard-boiled eggs.


I tried "regular" curry powder, madras, and this -



the flavor was significantly different.

angerbot
Mar 23, 2004


plob


Sharwoods maybe

ookuwagata
Aug 25, 2007

I love you this much!

The moon festival came and went, but does anyone know how to make the pastry dough for Cantonese mooncakes? All the recipes I seem to find are all home approximations more or less based on generic pie doughs. None of them use lye water which gives the dough its chewiness (like how lye water gives ramen noodles the same quality).

Happy Abobo
Jun 21, 2007

Looks tastier, anyway.

Ok, so I was strolling through Chinatown today, and walked by a Chinese BBQ joint just as the door opened and caught a massive whiff of char sui aroma, and just thought "Ok, this is going to happen. I just bought a 4 pound pork butt, broke it down into small-ish strips, and grabbed what seems like a million different ingredients that I've read go into char sui.

I've got soy sauce, hoisin sauce, fermented red bean curd, sesame oil, sherry honey, and more pork than I've ever had at one time.

Now what the hell do I do? There are a few commonalities in all of the recipes I've read. Marinating the pork overnight being one of them. Other than that though, they all seem radically different. Some recipes call for broiling the pork for a relatively short time, basting with the reserved marinade. Some call for a much longer bake with tons of basting. Some call for no basting at all.

Is there any consensus on the best way to do this?

AIIAZNSK8ER
Dec 8, 2008


Where is your 24-70?

Kung Fu Jesus posted:

Is there a secret to making the batter/crust for orange/lemon/general tso's chicken stay crunchy? I have tried every recipe out there with flour and cornstarch in various degrees but nothing stays crunchy. They all turn spongy within 2 minutes of cooking. I know its possible because Panda Express has orange chicken sitting in a steamer all day, soaking in sauce and that stuff is thick like lacquer and crunchy when I buy it.

It's pretty simple, dredge your chicken in a little bit of egg wash and corn starch and then deep fry until crispy, then make the sauce and put the fried bits in the sauce. It should stay crispy and crunchy while you eat it.

Mach420
Jun 22, 2002
Bandit at 6 'o clock - Pull my finger

Happy Abobo posted:

Ok, so I was strolling through Chinatown today, and walked by a Chinese BBQ joint just as the door opened and caught a massive whiff of char sui aroma, and just thought "Ok, this is going to happen. I just bought a 4 pound pork butt, broke it down into small-ish strips, and grabbed what seems like a million different ingredients that I've read go into char sui.

I've got soy sauce, hoisin sauce, fermented red bean curd, sesame oil, sherry honey, and more pork than I've ever had at one time.

Now what the hell do I do? There are a few commonalities in all of the recipes I've read. Marinating the pork overnight being one of them. Other than that though, they all seem radically different. Some recipes call for broiling the pork for a relatively short time, basting with the reserved marinade. Some call for a much longer bake with tons of basting. Some call for no basting at all.

Is there any consensus on the best way to do this?

Assuming that you don't have a grill or smoker, do it in the oven. After the marinade, put it on a wire rack over a pan so that it doesn't sit in the juices. You want the outsides to brown and char slightly, after all. You don't want to braise it.

Broiling will give you a really nice piece with a good amount of charring. Done right, it's very tasty and gives you better char siu. It's the riskier method since you can take it too far and end up with a lump of charcoal. You'd want to keep a close eye on your meat while doing this.

Baking is safer, more hands off, and will give you less charred bits.

I personally baste it once with reserve marinade during the first 1/3 to 1/2 of the cook, then a final baste with honey about 10-15 minutes before it's done and I take it out. That gets you the final shiny sweet glaze that you want.

Not basting it is a sin.

Happy Abobo
Jun 21, 2007

Looks tastier, anyway.

Mach420 posted:

Assuming that you don't have a grill or smoker, do it in the oven. After the marinade, put it on a wire rack over a pan so that it doesn't sit in the juices. You want the outsides to brown and char slightly, after all. You don't want to braise it.

Broiling will give you a really nice piece with a good amount of charring. Done right, it's very tasty and gives you better char siu. It's the riskier method since you can take it too far and end up with a lump of charcoal. You'd want to keep a close eye on your meat while doing this.

Baking is safer, more hands off, and will give you less charred bits.

I personally baste it once with reserve marinade during the first 1/3 to 1/2 of the cook, then a final baste with honey about 10-15 minutes before it's done and I take it out. That gets you the final shiny sweet glaze that you want.

Not basting it is a sin.

Sounds like a plan. How long and at what temperature do you usually put it in for?

AriTheDog
Jul 29, 2003
Famously tasty.

I have about 1.5 lbs pork belly, rind on. What in the hell should I make with it? Already making Red Braised Pork, but I kind of wanted to split it up so as not to eat so much pork fat all in one meal.

Mach420
Jun 22, 2002
Bandit at 6 'o clock - Pull my finger

Happy Abobo posted:

Sounds like a plan. How long and at what temperature do you usually put it in for?

When I do the oven baking method, I do 325F. After 45 minutes, I use a digital thermo and check temperatures. When they hit 145F, I take them out, because I like them a bit on the medium side for more tenderness. You can take it all the way up to well done if you want. In any case, that takes approx 45-60 minutes to cook.

My secret weapon is doing them on the smoker with hickory and cherrywood smoke. I love that taste, but it's not Chinatown authentic. Does anybody know if char siu was cooked over hardwood fires back in the old country, before natural gas and propane?

Genewiz
Nov 21, 2005
oh darling...

ookuwagata posted:

The moon festival came and went, but does anyone know how to make the pastry dough for Cantonese mooncakes? All the recipes I seem to find are all home approximations more or less based on generic pie doughs. None of them use lye water which gives the dough its chewiness (like how lye water gives ramen noodles the same quality).

My mom used to make mooncakes and they were a family event because they are quite labor intensive. I remember having to stir/knead/blend the lotus paste in her wok until my arms wanted to fall off. There are several Asian/Chinese books that will have the recipe and I found this from my trusty Malaysian recipe site:

http://kuali.com/recipes/view.aspx?r=524

The recipe sounds like what my mum used to do. I cannot vouch for the accuracy of the ratios. However, on the syrup part, she insists (as do other chefs) that it needs to cured for at least 1 year before being used to make the skin. So, make it now for next year's batch.

I hope this was helpful.

Casu Marzu
Oct 20, 2008

me larvae long time


AriTheDog posted:

I have about 1.5 lbs pork belly, rind on. What in the hell should I make with it? Already making Red Braised Pork, but I kind of wanted to split it up so as not to eat so much pork fat all in one meal.

It's not Chinese, but samgyeopsal gui is absolutely delicious.

Also, the green onion salad she makes in this is awesome on everything.

Sjurygg
Nov 7, 2008



AriTheDog posted:

I have about 1.5 lbs pork belly, rind on. What in the hell should I make with it? Already making Red Braised Pork, but I kind of wanted to split it up so as not to eat so much pork fat all in one meal.

Roast it. This renders the fat and makes it less hefty on your stomach.

wei
Jul 27, 2006


Seconding roasting if you wanted to do something Chinese too. If it doesn't have to be Chinese, there's this dish from the Filipino food thread I've been itching to try: http://forums.somethingawful.com/sh...0#post381509621

Do it before the very informative thread with lots of positive discussion within is moved to the archives forever!

fatherdog
Feb 16, 2005

*RONK, RONK*
Make that three rard-boiled eggs.


angerbeet posted:

Sharwoods maybe

I will try this thing.

Happy Abobo
Jun 21, 2007

Looks tastier, anyway.

I just finished my first batch of char sui. The results seem to be a bit mixed.

I baked it on a rack in the oven at 325-350 for about 40 minutes, turning and basting a few times, then stuck the pork under the broiler for a few minutes, flipping and basting frequently, to build up a nice layer of sauce.

On one hand, the sticky glaze is spot on and tastes great. However, the meat itself is a lot chewier than what I typically get in Chinatown. Normally, I get it in a soup, so maybe that tenderizes it or something, but it's definitely not the super-tender stuff I'm used to.

Mach420
Jun 22, 2002
Bandit at 6 'o clock - Pull my finger

Happy Abobo posted:

I just finished my first batch of char sui. The results seem to be a bit mixed.

I baked it on a rack in the oven at 325-350 for about 40 minutes, turning and basting a few times, then stuck the pork under the broiler for a few minutes, flipping and basting frequently, to build up a nice layer of sauce.

On one hand, the sticky glaze is spot on and tastes great. However, the meat itself is a lot chewier than what I typically get in Chinatown. Normally, I get it in a soup, so maybe that tenderizes it or something, but it's definitely not the super-tender stuff I'm used to.

You may have made it out of a boston butt. Those are usually used for braising and barbecue, aka the low and slow type of cooking, which melts all of the fats and connective tissues inside of it. Otherwise, you get a ton of chewy tendons inside of it.

Try going for pork loin cuts instead. I'll also ask my father whether he uses tenderizer at the restaurant.

VVV I'll ask about the meat cut too.

Mach420 fucked around with this message at Sep 20, 2011 around 02:23

Happy Abobo
Jun 21, 2007

Looks tastier, anyway.

Mach420 posted:

You may have made it out of a boston butt. Those are usually used for braising and barbecue, aka the low and slow type of cooking, which melts all of the fats and connective tissues inside of it. Otherwise, you get a ton of chewy tendons inside of it.

Try going for pork loin cuts instead. I'll also ask my father whether he uses tenderizer at the restaurant.

Yeah, I used pork butt. A few recipes I found used tenderloin, but I wanted something like the char sui at my favourite places, which tends to be pretty fatty. Would that be a separate cut, or are the restaurants just using butt but cooking it in a different way?

Mach420
Jun 22, 2002
Bandit at 6 'o clock - Pull my finger

Happy Abobo posted:

Yeah, I used pork butt. A few recipes I found used tenderloin, but I wanted something like the char sui at my favourite places, which tends to be pretty fatty. Would that be a separate cut, or are the restaurants just using butt but cooking it in a different way?

Ok, he said that he prefers using country style ribs, no tenderizer. He goes for cuts that are fatty but don't have much connective tissue. Depending on the store, they're cut from either the loin or the boston butt, and they are fairly fatty. There's some connective tissue on my boston butt-based CSRs but it's not as chewy as roasted full boston butt. Maybe a butcher would know? In any case, try using CSRs for your next batch.

As far as how the restaurants cook it, the one that I grew up in had a big vertical natural gas oven, like the one shown here, and the strips are hung as shown. Other than that, there's nothing that special about how they roast them.

Happy Abobo
Jun 21, 2007

Looks tastier, anyway.

drat, I was worried that might be it: country-style ribs are a cut, like large briskets and decent shortribs, that are tough to find in Canada for whatever reason. I'll see if I can hunt some down: I still have tons of the char sui marinade/sauce ingredients left over so I might as well try as many times as possible to nail this. Thanks for the tips!

AIIAZNSK8ER
Dec 8, 2008


Where is your 24-70?

Did you cut it up at all? We use pork shoulder(butt), and butcher it into strips that include some fat and some lean, which is then skewered and hung in a roasting rack in the oven, basting occasionally.

ForkPat
Aug 5, 2003

All the food is poison


Mach420 posted:

Ok, he said that he prefers using country style ribs, no tenderizer. He goes for cuts that are fatty but don't have much connective tissue.

That's what I use. Cheapest, tender, fatty cut you can get. And the fat is in big enough strips that you can pull it away easily before eating if it's not your thing.

Happy Abobo
Jun 21, 2007

Looks tastier, anyway.

Ok, I just had my first actual meal of char sui, and it came out much better than I originally thought. Maybe the piece I tried was just overdone; the rest of it is actually quite tender. It doesn't have that bright red hue a lot of takeout char sui has, but I couldn't be bothered to go out and buy red food colouring just to replicate that. Definitely needs a bit of tweaking, but I'm really happy with it, for a first try.

Just chopped some up and threw it on rice with some steamed gai-lan for an easy meal.

ForkPat
Aug 5, 2003

All the food is poison


Finally broke out the wok after dying for some home-made food. I've been living on Clif bars, cereal and sandwiches since the semester started. I call it everything from the garden and pork stirfry.
The pork is sliced country ribs and the veggies are baby potatoes, kohlrabi, carrots, spinach, garlic and green onions. The meat marinade was vodka, corn starch soy sauce, garlic, ginger and black pepper. The sauce was soy sauce, oyster sauce, corn starch, sesame oil and garlic and a squirt of sriracha. It turned out lovely:



For the first time extra sauce didn't scorch on the bottom of the pan into a pile of carbon. I eased back on the sauce amount and the end result was more subtle, less American "pour on the sodium/gloop."

ForkPat fucked around with this message at Sep 22, 2011 around 00:29

Panax
Aug 16, 2007



Sjurygg posted:

What you have here is essentially spaghetti with meat sauce. It is wildly popular in the North of China, and has also spread into Korea where it has turned into the national dish under the koreanized named of jjajangmyeong. I much prefer the Chinese original, though - the Korean version is way too "saucy" and is cut with sweet potatoes which I don't care for in this dish.

Great post, but I'm going to go on a bit of a derail and correct some things about the Korean version. It's called jjajangmyeon (no "g") and it traditionally does not have sweet potatoes.

There are a few differences from the Chinese version: the Korean recipe contains a larger volume of vegetables--mostly onions, but also squash and potatoes. Chunks of pork are used instead of ground meat, and the sauce is thickened a bit with starch. It's otherwise prepared in much the same way.

Definitely leads to a more velvety and saucy mouthfeel, as you say.

ForkPat
Aug 5, 2003

All the food is poison


Panax posted:

Great post, but I'm going to go on a bit of a derail and correct some things about the Korean version...

I'm not sure what you mean by traditional, but everywhere I've had this dish (and I've had it a lot) in Korea had sweet potato in it. But yeah, onion is the dominant vegetable by far. The seafood version is my favorite but it's usually 7000krw as opposed to the vegetable version at <4000krw. What better food to fill your belly than a giant bowl of noodles for less than $4 plus banchan and all the water you can drink?

ForkPat fucked around with this message at Sep 22, 2011 around 00:34

Panax
Aug 16, 2007



PorkFat posted:

I'm not sure what you mean by traditional, but everywhere I've had this dish (and I've had it a lot) in Korea had sweet potato in it. But yeah, onion is the dominant vegetable by far. The seafood version is my favorite but it's usually 7000krw as opposed to the vegetable version at <4000krw. What better food to fill your belly than a giant bowl of noodles for less than $4 plus banchan and all the water you can drink?

Traditional, as in the classic, comfort food version of jjajangmyeon. That's odd that you've always seen sweet potato in it, because I've actually never had it with sweet potato.

But I haven't been in Korea proper for a little less than 5 years so I could see that being a new fad (probably health-related to substitute sweet potatoes for regular taters) going around. Casual Korean cuisine is extremely susceptible to fads. Last time I was in Korea bul-jjajang (literally "fire" jjajangmyeon) was all the rage, basically it was jjm with what I have to assume is tiny amounts of pure capsaicin added to make it super blisteringly spicy even by Korean standards.

Cizzo
Jul 5, 2007

Haters gonna hate.


I honestly think the only real similarity is that they all use the same base ingredients. I prefer mine smothered with onions since onions are awesome. But I've had jjm where it was actually filled with hobak. That's good too. In all honesty, the only thing that matters to me in terms of what goes in it is the jajang itself. If that tastes bad, it will ruin everything else.

ForkPat
Aug 5, 2003

All the food is poison


Cizzo posted:

In all honesty, the only thing that matters to me in terms of what goes in it is the jajang itself. If that tastes bad, it will ruin everything else.

And don't forget to fry the jajang before you thin and add it.

ookuwagata
Aug 25, 2007

I love you this much!

3lfangor posted:

My mom used to make mooncakes and they were a family event because they are quite labor intensive. I remember having to stir/knead/blend the lotus paste in her wok until my arms wanted to fall off. There are several Asian/Chinese books that will have the recipe and I found this from my trusty Malaysian recipe site:

http://kuali.com/recipes/view.aspx?r=524

The recipe sounds like what my mum used to do. I cannot vouch for the accuracy of the ratios. However, on the syrup part, she insists (as do other chefs) that it needs to cured for at least 1 year before being used to make the skin. So, make it now for next year's batch.

I hope this was helpful.

Ah cool! Thank you so much!

Sjurygg
Nov 7, 2008



M p dufu

Probably one of the most well-known Sichuan dishes in the west, second to Kung Pao chicken. Essential ingredients are good tofu of either the firm or soft variety (I prefer a little firm), lots of sour, tongue-numbing Sichuan peppercorns and blisteringly hot chili peppers, and dubnjing, a kind of fermented bean paste seasoned heavily with chilis. It looks like this:



Most recipes include a little minced pork or beef, in the manner that Chinese vegetable dishes often use minced or finely shredded meat as a seasoning more than as a main ingredient. It can be made vegetarian, in which case I recommend adding a little MSG and a little more chili bean paste.

If you're the "gently caress it, bring it on" type when it comes to chilis, I recommend you actually go heavier on the Sichuan peppercorn than the chilis for this dish. Sichuan cuisine isn't about dry-angerfistfucking your tongue in the rear end, figuratively speaking, and while a good heat is appreciable by any true gentleman, you should still realize that a lot of the "Sichuan heat" phenomenon is as much about marketing and restaurants trying to compete as it is about authenticity.



Recipe

Roast in a dry pan until fragrant, crush and sift out black seeds
2-4 tbs Sichuan peppercorn

Brown over high heat
100-300g ground pork, beef (or even chicken or turkey)

Add and fry
2-4 tablespoons minced garlic
1-3 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
2-4 tablespoons chili bean paste
1-2 tablespoons finely chopped hot bird's eye chilis, or more to taste

Add a cup of chicken stock, and
4-600g good-quality tofu in die-sized cubes
half the ground Sichuan peppercorns
a splash of rice wine or dry sherry, if liked
a teaspoon of sugar

Simmer for a few minutes. Thicken with cornstarch slurry, season with salt, soy, chili bean paste and MSG. You are looking for sour, tongue-numbing savouriness with a good heat from the chilis to it.

Serve garnished with scallion greens, chopped chilis and a dusting of ground Sichuan peppercorn. If you have some good chili oil, sprinkle some of that on top.

Variations are welcome, if anybody wishes to bring them up. I think this is a pretty good recipe, and it's officially approved by the Chinese in-laws.

Sjurygg fucked around with this message at Sep 25, 2011 around 20:13

Jose
Jul 24, 2007



Since we're getting some really good, authentic recipes in here, I'd like to ask. Please don't probate me for being a loving moron but, for anyone who watched An Idiot Abroad, is that what its like in China? Stuff like fried/deep fried scorpians on a stick being standard street food fare or did they deliberately film at somewhere to get this kind of video?

Mach420
Jun 22, 2002
Bandit at 6 'o clock - Pull my finger

Jose posted:

Since we're getting some really good, authentic recipes in here, I'd like to ask. Please don't probate me for being a loving moron but, for anyone who watched An Idiot Abroad, is that what its like in China? Stuff like fried/deep fried scorpians on a stick being standard street food fare or did they deliberately film at somewhere to get this kind of video?

Well, the locals won't bat an eye at that kind of stuff. It's not like it's all deep fried bugs. There's plenty of other, more "appetizing," street food too.

It's not like your state fair food consists of nothing but deep fried mars bars and twinkies.

In HK, there are street-side wok carts, soup carts, and all kinds of yummy things.

Blots of Ink
Mar 3, 2011


Mach420 posted:

Well, the locals won't bat an eye at that kind of stuff. It's not like it's all deep fried bugs. There's plenty of other, more "appetizing," street food too.

It's not like your state fair food consists of nothing but deep fried mars bars and twinkies.

In HK, there are street-side wok carts, soup carts, and all kinds of yummy things.

I would also like to add that some street-side carts also have some dim-sum, sometimes great seafood, and the occasional beer at night.

Sjurygg
Nov 7, 2008



Jose posted:

Since we're getting some really good, authentic recipes in here, I'd like to ask. Please don't probate me for being a loving moron but, for anyone who watched An Idiot Abroad, is that what its like in China? Stuff like fried/deep fried scorpians on a stick being standard street food fare or did they deliberately film at somewhere to get this kind of video?

Snakes and bugs are something you're most likely to find down south in Guangdong. On the streets of Shanghai you'll typically find noodle soup, grilled meats (check which ones get a lot of business from the locals), youtiao and pancakes, various baozi and similar stuff.

Jose
Jul 24, 2007



I'm curious, check for what exactly? I mean now I'm of the view if its meat I'll try it unless its something like rat. Is it something like rat?

Gorfob
Feb 10, 2007


Jose posted:

I'm curious, check for what exactly? I mean now I'm of the view if its meat I'll try it unless its something like rat. Is it something like rat?

He means to check which ones popular with the locals. Locals know what's good.

Sjurygg
Nov 7, 2008



Yeah. Meat origin is one thing, hygiene and quailty another.

NLJP
Aug 26, 2004



Sjurygg posted:

M p dufu


Recipe

Roast in a dry pan until fragrant, crush and sift out black seeds
2-4 tbs Sichuan peppercorn


This looks really great but just a quick question, what's the best way to sift out the seeds in this case? I'm probably being dumb but either I separate the skin from the seed at the start or I end up with the occasional gritty bit later. Can you just pound them in a mortar? I'd assume a grinder would grind too much gritty stuff in with it all, which is basically what happened the first time I tried to use sichuan pepper since I didn't know about the grit and haven't used them much since.

Just wondering what the most convenient way to sort these buggers out is

NLJP fucked around with this message at Sep 26, 2011 around 22:10

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branedotorg
Jun 19, 2009


Sjurygg posted:


Variations are welcome, if anybody wishes to bring them up. I think this is a pretty good recipe, and it's officially approved by the Chinese in-laws.

I usually put in a tbl of fermented black beans, gently mashed with the back of the cleaver, you can rinse off the packing salt or not depending how salty your broth is. I also use dried chillis in the initial aromatic fry off to heat the oil rather than fresh chilli, remove them & add a few back on later as a garnish. Otherwise it's the recipe i got from an old lady in a sichaun restaurant (in australia). The black beans seemed pretty common in the south of china when i was there too.

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