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Magna Kaser
Nov 4, 2004



The tofu recipe didn't bother me at all and while that "kung pao" pastrami looks good and all, it does kind of irk me it's called "kung pao" when it has like nothing in common (outside of peanuts, I guess?) with actual kung pao [thing]. It's basically just a rando stir fry with kung pao in front to sound more chinese-y. I'll admit I just found a few, admittedly differing, recipes online for it and some more pix to come to this conclusion so maybe the real-deal is closer to the actual thing.

Like you could totally have kung pao pastrami, like you can already get kung pao chicken, pork, beef, shrimp, tofu, [deep fried root vegetables], fish, etc... and they all share a few commonalities outside of the protein which this doesn't have at all.

I'm willing to admit I'm being a weirdo about this but it did bother me a bit.


Amergin posted:

The gently caress?

Y'all, y'all, if you ever pay >$10 for mapo dofu anywhere in the US, you are getting ripped off to the point where you just lost all face for yourself, your family, and your entire lineage front-to-back. And even $10 is a rip-off, poo poo should be like $6 at most. That's like paying $10 for... I don't know, red beans and rice. I don't give a poo poo if they put a beer in it, that beer is probably worth more than mapo dofu should ever be (and is probably better just straight up drinking).

SF and NYC are a pricy places?? But yeah that's a pretty ridic price for mapo unless it's like 50% meat.

But even in China it's gone up to like 2-3USD now when it used to be like 20 cents

Magna Kaser fucked around with this message at Nov 20, 2017 around 08:23

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Amergin
Jan 29, 2013

THE SOUND A WET FART MAKES


Magna Kaser posted:

SF and NYC are a pricy places?? But yeah that's a pretty ridic price for mapo unless it's like 50% meat.

But even in China it's gone up to like 2-3USD now when it used to be like 20 cents

IMHO $10 for mapo dofu IS the pricy "SF/NYC" price, but maybe I just haven't had it at trendy places recently enough.
Around here you can still get it for $1-1.50 but we're sort of a cheap city anyway.

AnonSpore
Jan 19, 2012

Bear Witness

Amergin posted:

The gently caress?

Y'all, y'all, if you ever pay >$10 for mapo dofu anywhere in the US, you are getting ripped off to the point where you just lost all face for yourself, your family, and your entire lineage front-to-back. And even $10 is a rip-off, poo poo should be like $6 at most. That's like paying $10 for... I don't know, red beans and rice. I don't give a poo poo if they put a beer in it, that beer is probably worth more than mapo dofu should ever be (and is probably better just straight up drinking).

Yeah I was making faces looking at the numbers on the menu but I was already there and it was for science.

Grand Fromage
Jan 30, 2006

L-l-look at you bar-bartender, a-a pa-pathetic creature of meat and bone, un-underestimating my l-l-liver's ability to metab-meTABolize t-toxins. How can you p-poison a perfect, immortal alcohOLIC?


Mapo tofu is super easy you literally just throw stuff in a wok and simmer it a little bit. You can do it in stages with browning if you're fancy pants I guess. Gravity's recipe in the OP is pretty accurate to a generic one in Chengdu.

Human Tornada
Mar 3, 2005

I been wantin to see a honkey dance.


Magna Kaser posted:

The tofu recipe didn't bother me at all and while that "kung pao" pastrami looks good and all, it does kind of irk me it's called "kung pao" when it has like nothing in common (outside of peanuts, I guess?) with actual kung pao [thing]. It's basically just a rando stir fry with kung pao in front to sound more chinese-y. I'll admit I just found a few, admittedly differing, recipes online for it and some more pix to come to this conclusion so maybe the real-deal is closer to the actual thing.

Like you could totally have kung pao pastrami, like you can already get kung pao chicken, pork, beef, shrimp, tofu, [deep fried root vegetables], fish, etc... and they all share a few commonalities outside of the protein which this doesn't have at all.

I'm willing to admit I'm being a weirdo about this but it did bother me a bit.

Yeah that was my main gripe with the recipe. The peanuts and celery weren't enough to make it recognizably "kung pao", authentic or Americanized.

mich
Feb 28, 2003
I may be racist but I'm the good kind of racist! You better put down those chopsticks, you HITLER!


Counterpoint, pay Asian people more money for their food and be happy to do it. That applies to Mission Chinese, Danny Bowien was adopted by white Americans but he was born in Korea.

TychoCelchuuu
Jan 2, 2012

This space for Rent.

mich posted:

Counterpoint, pay Asian people more money for their food and be happy to do it. That applies to Mission Chinese, Danny Bowien was adopted by white Americans but he was born in Korea.
Yeah I mean frankly a restaurant is always going to cost stupid amounts of money because you're paying other people to rent out a space for you to eat, purchase and cook all the ingredients for you, serve them to you, and then clean up afterwards. If you want a good deal on food, don't go to a restaurant. It's even worse when it comes to Chinese food and Indian food because for some reason Americans are convinced these cuisines should be cheap even though nobody sneezes at paying some French restaurant ten billion bucks to dump some bechamel on foie gras or whatever it is French restaurants do. If Mission Chinese (in loving San Francisco of all places, where stepping outside to bask in the sun costs $45 plus tip) wants to charge less for mapo tofu than you'd pay for a plate of spaghetti and meatballs at the Cheesecake Factory, you loving pay them!

hakimashou
Jul 15, 2002
I LOVE MY ASSAULT RIFLE 15 WITH ITS HIGH CAPACITY CLIP/MAGAZINE


Upset Trowel

People are whining about paying 15 dollars for a plate of food at an acclaimed restaurant in San Francisco for real?

Because its cheaper in mainland china from a hole in the wall?

Stringent
Dec 22, 2004

The internet is the universal sewer.


No, not people. Goons.

emotive
Dec 26, 2006



TychoCelchuuu posted:

Yeah I mean frankly a restaurant is always going to cost stupid amounts of money because you're paying other people to rent out a space for you to eat, purchase and cook all the ingredients for you, serve them to you, and then clean up afterwards. If you want a good deal on food, don't go to a restaurant. It's even worse when it comes to Chinese food and Indian food because for some reason Americans are convinced these cuisines should be cheap even though nobody sneezes at paying some French restaurant ten billion bucks to dump some bechamel on foie gras or whatever it is French restaurants do. If Mission Chinese (in loving San Francisco of all places, where stepping outside to bask in the sun costs $45 plus tip) wants to charge less for mapo tofu than you'd pay for a plate of spaghetti and meatballs at the Cheesecake Factory, you loving pay them!

This has always irked me. People don't want to spend $10 on quality Asian food but have no problem blowing $25 on a plate of pasta.

Like, what?

PT6A
Jan 5, 2006

500 CIGARETTES!


emotive posted:

This has always irked me. People don't want to spend $10 on quality Asian food but have no problem blowing $25 on a plate of pasta.

Like, what?

The answer is racism.

Hauki
May 11, 2010



noods are just noods to me

Mr. Wiggles
Dec 1, 2003

I would never shop at Costco. The paper towels won't fit into my sports car!

PT6A posted:

The answer is racism.

This is actually the reason. Italian food used to be super cheap too, until Italians started to be considered "white".

Ranter
Jul 11, 2004



Though charging me $12 for steamed gai lan with oyster sauce when I can get a plate of char siu for less seems a bit sketch. Asian greens are waaaaaay cheaper than proteins no?

Casu Marzu
Oct 20, 2008

I'm rude now.


Ranter posted:

Though charging me $12 for steamed gai lan with oyster sauce when I can get a plate of char siu for less seems a bit sketch. Asian greens are waaaaaay cheaper than proteins no?

My off the cuff guess is because you can prep char siu in advance in bulk and reheat as needed well into the future. You gotta buy, store, and cook gai lan fresh.

hakimashou
Jul 15, 2002
I LOVE MY ASSAULT RIFLE 15 WITH ITS HIGH CAPACITY CLIP/MAGAZINE


Upset Trowel

Yeah Chinese restaurants here the greens are always quite expensive, I figure it's to do with it being special niche greens and them having to be fresh.

AnonSpore
Jan 19, 2012

Bear Witness

I didn't expect to spark a debate like this, I was just commenting on the prices because I've never seen them that high (especially for the amount I got).

The main thing I thought was strange was that the version I made following the restaurant's own recipe tasted and looked absolutely nothing like the version I got.

The Great Autismo!
Mar 3, 2007


im just here for the meltdowns

Arglebargle III
Feb 21, 2006



emotive posted:

This has always irked me. People don't want to spend $10 on quality Asian food but have no problem blowing $25 on a plate of pasta.

Who the gently caress orders pasta at restaurants?!

I mean, besides my brothers who grew up in a small town and think $16 entrees are too fancy.

Ranter
Jul 11, 2004



Arglebargle III posted:

Who the gently caress orders pasta at restaurants?!

Um do you want to clarify this question a bit? Because as someone that enjoys a good fresh pasta, has eaten in Michelin/top 50 restaurants and been to Europe....

Arglebargle III
Feb 21, 2006



Ranter posted:

Um do you want to clarify this question a bit? Because as someone that enjoys a good fresh pasta, has eaten in Michelin/top 50 restaurants and been to Europe....

Yes?

Ranter
Jul 11, 2004



OK go on then.

anothergod
Apr 11, 2016



Yeah, the one problem with the ubiquity of the Chinese restaurant in America is the inelasticity of American (this includes Chinese American) expectations. "Chinese Restaurant" to many Americans means cheap, fast, and flavorful. You might assume authentictechnique/higherqualityingredients/etc would demand a higher price, but that's actually narrowing a lot of your demographic (cheap, fast) without really satisfying the flavor demo (subtlety is lost on Americans, go figure). Mission Chinese made Punk Rock Chinese American Food which blew up the demographic (flavor, added novelty) while charging only marginally more. Of course, most of you probably know all this.

My favorite spot in Milwaukee sells their Ma Po for $10.95 which is pretty alright. They charge slightly more than the spot down the street that has arguably better food, but the service is way better, and I imagine better service is much better at attracting the why peephole money. Second comparison: Stephanie Izard is that Top Chef lady from Chicago that opened her "I love Chinese food" resto down there and sells for $17. I think the prices are 1) getting better 2) it's obvious where the money is going (landlords, credentials for other food).

Arglebargle III
Feb 21, 2006



Ranter posted:

OK go on then.

Pasta is cheap, and unless you're at a place that does its own pasta you're paying entre prices for a spaghetti that anyone could whip up at home for half the price.

If you order a $25 plate of pasta I'm not gonna say anything but I'll judge you anonymously on the internet!

Homemade pasta is still cheap, and should be cheap, and if it's the cheap thing on the menu great but there are too many congealed spaghetti lumps sold for $14.99.

Arglebargle III fucked around with this message at Nov 30, 2017 around 06:24

Stringent
Dec 22, 2004

The internet is the universal sewer.


Forums poster Arglebargle III, who regularly attends restaurants that serve plain pasta, just boiled and dumped on a plate.

hakimashou
Jul 15, 2002
I LOVE MY ASSAULT RIFLE 15 WITH ITS HIGH CAPACITY CLIP/MAGAZINE


Upset Trowel

As everyone knows food in restaurants is only more expensive than homemade food because restaurant chefs are greedy.

Easiest way in America to get rich, opening a restaurant.

Amergin
Jan 29, 2013

THE SOUND A WET FART MAKES


hakimashou posted:

People are whining about paying 15 dollars for a plate of food at an acclaimed restaurant in San Francisco for real?

Because its cheaper in mainland china from a hole in the wall?

I just think it's silly to take a dish like mapo dofu, add mushrooms and beer to it, and turn around and charge $15 for a plate of it.

It's not that I'm against charging $15 for authentic Chinese food, but it's like he's taking one of the most mundane, "throw whatever in it," "let's just make this because we don't have time/money to make something else," casual Chinese dishes and trying to sell it as this "ooh mystical authentic Oriental food! wow what flavor what spice!" to wealthy white hipsters. I mean sure, if you can do it and take their money, go right ahead. But instead of doing Chinese dishes that many actual Chinese chefs would be proud of, he's doing the equivalent of taking red beans and rice, adding beer to it and selling it for $15.

I'm all for giving Americans authentic Chinese food and I'm all for charging them a reasonable rate for it - increase exposure to Chinese food and make money doing it. I just think choosing that particular dish, fiddling with it and then selling it for that price is a bit silly. I think the same thing whenever I see some place try to throw truffles onto like cacio e pepe and sell it for $15+.

If you're going to choose a basic bitch Chinese dish and overprice it for hipsters, just skip the foreplay and sell them a porridge + napa cabbage soup + hot water meal for $20. Justify the price by adding a fistful of South China Sea salt, fresh from Chinese government tears over the Diaoyu islands.

EDIT: I hosed up, $15 for mapo dofu and $18 for pastrami.

Amergin fucked around with this message at Dec 1, 2017 around 03:09

CARL MARK FORCE IV
Sep 2, 2007

I took a walk. And threw up in an English garden.

I make less than 30k a year and will happily throw down $15 for a perfectly executed cacio e pepe at a restaurant.
You wanna throw truffles on there then feel free, but I don't even need em.

The Great Autismo!
Mar 3, 2007


this entire thread is such a beautiful mix of orientalism and cultural appropriation, it's super impressive

Arglebargle III
Feb 21, 2006



In the modem age you haven't really dunked on someone until you've diagnosed them with a mental illness.

TychoCelchuuu
Jan 2, 2012

This space for Rent.

Amergin posted:

I just think it's silly to take a dish like mapo dofu, add mushrooms and beer to it, and turn around and charge $18 for a plate of it.

It's not that I'm against charging $18 for authentic Chinese food, but it's like he's taking one of the most mundane, "throw whatever in it," "let's just make this because we don't have time/money to make something else," casual Chinese dishes and trying to sell it as this "ooh mystical authentic Oriental food! wow what flavor what spice!" to wealthy white hipsters. I mean sure, if you can do it and take their money, go right ahead. But instead of doing Chinese dishes that many actual Chinese chefs would be proud of, he's doing the equivalent of taking red beans and rice, adding beer to it and selling it for $18.

I'm all for giving Americans authentic Chinese food and I'm all for charging them a reasonable rate for it - increase exposure to Chinese food and make money doing it. I just think choosing that particular dish, fiddling with it and then selling it for that price is a bit silly. I think the same thing whenever I see some place try to throw truffles onto like cacio e pepe and sell it for $15+.

If you're going to choose a basic bitch Chinese dish and overprice it for hipsters, just skip the foreplay and sell them a porridge + napa cabbage soup + hot water meal for $20. Justify the price by adding a fistful of South China Sea salt, fresh from Chinese government tears over the Diaoyu islands.
Can you tell us what the proper amount to charge for mapo dofu in San Francisco would be? I might open a restaurant in the future and I want to make sure I'm not breaking your rules. I'm getting mixed messages because this post is complaining about an $18 price tag even though it costs $15, and earlier you suggested $6 right, which means you might have confused San Francisco for San Bernardino so I want to make sure you're clear on what we're talking about.

anothergod
Apr 11, 2016



The Great Autismo! posted:

this entire thread is such a beautiful mix of orientalism and cultural appropriation, it's super impressive

Lol.

Can you imagine paying immigrants good money for their family secrets? This is America, my man. Highly specialized labor is supposed to be cheap.

Edit: sorry to be clear this was a sarcastic post and i fully support spending money and respecting Chinese restos.

anothergod fucked around with this message at Nov 30, 2017 around 16:50

mich
Feb 28, 2003
I may be racist but I'm the good kind of racist! You better put down those chopsticks, you HITLER!


Adding mushrooms and beer to the dish in the way he did it is inconsequential to the pricing, which if anything, could stand to be higher in order to pay the cooks more money.

Ranter
Jul 11, 2004



Arglebargle III posted:

unless you're at a place that does its own pasta

That's the clarification you needed to make when writing:

quote:

Who the gently caress orders pasta at restaurants?!

Fucks like me, when I go and eat fresh raviolis or travel around Italy...

Meanwhile I ate $14 pea shoots with garlic last night.

Mr. Wiggles
Dec 1, 2003

I would never shop at Costco. The paper towels won't fit into my sports car!

mich posted:

Adding mushrooms and beer to the dish in the way he did it is inconsequential to the pricing, which if anything, could stand to be higher in order to pay the cooks more money.

But if you pay them a living wage they'll just get fired and every restaurant will have its orders taken by robots! Is this the future you and your fellow communists want, to make the blue collar worker extinct?!?

Carillon
May 9, 2014



If people are that upset over charging money for Mapo, imagine the shock and thinking pieces over what they charge for grilled cheese in SF. The horror!

Arglebargle III
Feb 21, 2006



Lol if you go out to order a grilled cheese.

caberham
Mar 18, 2009

by Smythe


Grimey Drawer

Whoa so many posts! As the resident Cantonese food snob who is really good at turning money into poop, I got to say more power to people trying to experiment and enhance food flavours.

Do I think itís odd to add tomato paste and mushroom powder to mapo tofu? Yes. Would I try it? Sure thing! Is it better than the regular? Maybe it is if it tastes better. Cooking at home sure beats going to a Chinese restaurant in America (because most of them are garbage and I grew up in Vancouver) downsrim:

I think itís actually good to experiment on new flavours and techniques. My biggest beef with the PURE TRADITIONALISTS is that tradition itself is a murky line based on a more limited world view. Nostalgia is nice at times but the old school kind of cooking is being phased out. Nobody needs to add lard to their rice anymore when everyone can afford meat. With globalization to source ingredients and the internet to spread information, chefs can cook tastier food if they wanted to.

I think this is what separates your 3 star or world top 50 chef from the rest. That they are experimenting with food to make new flavours that actually tastes good.

Besides regular mapo tofu is really subjective. I hate to say this but the mapo tofu and Sichuan food I had in Sichuan tastes way better than the other places I have been. Itís not just numbing spicy but also fragrant with subtle hints of a variety of spices.

I also donít mind paying 20 USD for a basic plate of Choi sum in Hong Kong. Then again that means they better only pick the center batches, deflower, trim the bottom stems, cook in superior stock, add shredded ham, remove extra fibers, and do whatever the gently caress they need to do to justify their price to my liking. Whereas if I buy some at the market itís probably only 1 or 2 USD.

Hole in the wall restaurants are so over rated. They compensate cheaper ingredients with skill but thatís not always the case.

Arglebargle III posted:

Who the gently caress orders pasta at restaurants?!

I do when Iím at Olive Garden

caberham
Mar 18, 2009

by Smythe


Grimey Drawer

And ďChinese personĒ is a bit of a misnomer because we all grew up with different regional references. It would take me a longer time to know good river crab from bad but Iím super duper picky on my steamed sea water fish and dim sum

Whereas someone from north west china would know their noodles and be a lot more sensitive with wheat and north east china people know their Korean food and guo bao rou.

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Nickoten
Oct 16, 2005

Now there'll be some quiet in this town.

Also maybe you ordered pasta at the restaurant because you really want to eat pasta and are unable to cook at home that day.

I've gone to a restaurant and ordered -- get this -- a sandwich before, too!

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