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I like turtles
Aug 6, 2009

"Wouldn't want to see an angry turtle with a gun, would ya? "

Well...


indoflaven posted:

I realized today there is just no reason for me to make some stuff myself. There is no way I could make a huge mound of chicken/shrimp/pork lo mein for $7.

I feel like this about my favorite thai dish, som tum, the green papaya salad. The dressing for it seems to a gigantic pain in the rear end to put together, in terms of finding ingredients, and I can get a good sized plate of it from the place down the street for $6.

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Bob_McBob
Mar 24, 2007


I like turtles posted:

I feel like this about my favorite thai dish, som tum, the green papaya salad. The dressing for it seems to a gigantic pain in the rear end to put together, in terms of finding ingredients, and I can get a good sized plate of it from the place down the street for $6.

Som tam is incredibly easy to make. All it involves is mashing a bunch of ingredients to varying degres in the same mortar and pestle, then seasoning with sugar, tamarind water, lime juice, and fish sauce.

TapTheForwardAssist
Apr 9, 2007

by R. Guyovich


Sichuan question: currently I often make "Sichuan food" by just getting various Sichuan ingredients from the Chinese grocery and just combining them however. For example, I'll get some "bracken pickle" (tasty, but no idea what it is), some salted black beans, and then just stir-fry them all up with some noodles, vegetables, etc. I guess it's "Sichuan" in the sense that anything involving white bread, ground beef, processed cheese, and mayo is going to end up tasting "American" regardless of what you do to it.

Anyone got a better technique (short of actually following recipes, I like to make shite up) to better capture the flavours which distinguish Sichuan from other regional cuisines of the Red Chinee?


Related question: I love wood-ear mushrooms, those black frilly things, but are the ones they serve in restaurants reconstituted from dried mushrooms, or is there just no way to make store-bought dry woodears have awesome taste/texture?

ForkPat
Aug 5, 2003

All the food is poison


TapTheForwardAssist posted:

Related question: I love wood-ear mushrooms, those black frilly things, but are the ones they serve in restaurants reconstituted from dried mushrooms, or is there just no way to make store-bought dry woodears have awesome taste/texture?

Maybe the stuff you're getting is old? Is the package covered dust in the store? You just soak them in boiling water for a bit and add them to whatever you're making. I use them all the time to make Korean japchae and they taste just like or better than the restaurant. If they aren't rehydrated properly or cooked well they can be very tough and almost plastic like in consistency.

NLJP
Aug 26, 2004




TapTheForwardAssist posted:

Sichuan question: currently I often make "Sichuan food" by just getting various Sichuan ingredients from the Chinese grocery and just combining them however. For example, I'll get some "bracken pickle" (tasty, but no idea what it is), some salted black beans, and then just stir-fry them all up with some noodles, vegetables, etc. I guess it's "Sichuan" in the sense that anything involving white bread, ground beef, processed cheese, and mayo is going to end up tasting "American" regardless of what you do to it.

Anyone got a better technique (short of actually following recipes, I like to make shite up) to better capture the flavours which distinguish Sichuan from other regional cuisines of the Red Chinee?

Well, it sounds to me like you fell into the Chinese Takeout Menu trap of thinking that calling something 'Sichuan', 'Cantonese' or whatever actually covers properly a whole style of food. This could just be me projecting since I hate bad chinese restaurants though

In the very very broadest sense this may be true but calling for one method to make any main ingredient you have on had end up as 'Sichuan' seems odd to me. It's a very broad family of ingredients and techniques. I guess the question is how genuine you want to be? Personally I still don't know a huge amount about Chinese cooking and the various families of it but I'm not sure there's a good answer to your question.

I guess I'd start with some genuine classic recipes first and only then make shite up on that basis later That's the best way I've found to get a little bit of a grip on a style of cooking/taste.

NLJP fucked around with this message at May 8, 2011 around 03:16

branedotorg
Jun 19, 2009


TapTheForwardAssist posted:


Anyone got a better technique (short of actually following recipes, I like to make shite up) to better capture the flavours which distinguish Sichuan from other regional cuisines of the Red Chinee?



Gravity posted two excellent & classic sichuan dishes in this thread, dan dan noodles & fish fragrant pork (eggplant is also often used with this sauce).
I'd also look for recipes for ma po dofu, kung pao & tea smoked duck/pork & sichuan hotpot with either beef or whole fish.

Other excellent sichuan styles include cold meats dressed with five spice & soy dressing, poached vegetables with garlic sauces (also cold) & the more rare braised meat & root vegetable stuff i think they call wet cooking.

The main flavours in my mind are hot, spicy, numbing & cold.

Kenning
Jan 10, 2009

I really want to post goatse. I wish I had 10bux


I feel like unless you make a few recipes at least you're not going to be able to do a lot better than "Sichuan ingredients in a pan + fire" in terms of making real Sichuan-style cuisine. I understand the desire to improvise, but you've gotta do a lot of drilling before you're good enough to actually improv well.

GrAviTy84
Nov 24, 2004



Cold Sliced Meats: Numbing and Hot

One of the most popular Sichuan appetizers, usually served cold. Its sauce is really easy to make and can be served with anything from the beginner friendly chicken and turkey leftovers to braised beef shank, tendons, or tripe.



1 lb meat, poached or braised until tender in water with scallions and ginger, cooled and sliced thin, or into uniform chunks, reserve broth for another use

8 scallions, sliced thin, on a bias

1/2-1 tsp Sichuan peppercorns, depending on how numbing you want it, toasted and ground
4-5 tsp sugar (I like mine with 5)
3 tbsp light soy sauce
3-6 tbsp chili oil with chilies, 3 is usually plenty
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 clove, garlic, minced fine (I like mine with garlic)
Salt to taste

Dissolve sugar in soy, add the rest of the sauce in a bowl, add half of the sliced scallions. Making the sauce ahead of time will allow the flavors to meld. Drizzle over sliced meat and toss, top with scallions. You can also let this marinate for a few hours before serving.

GrAviTy84 fucked around with this message at May 9, 2011 around 07:52

DragonWC99
Nov 4, 2004


Does anyone have a really loving good recipe for General Tso's sauce? Every time I make it...it just doesn't taste quite like the stuff you can get at the restaurants.

AriTheDog
Jul 29, 2003
Famously tasty.

I had that cold sliced meat dish made with stomach lining and what I think was beef heart the other day (not really sure) and it's very good, even with strange meats. I might try and make it with less strange stuff so it moves more towards delicious and farther from adventurous.

Force de Fappe
Nov 7, 2008



Fu qi fi pin (夫妻肺片 - "married couple offal sliced", don't know the etymology) can be made with tongue, tripe (stomach), sometimes liver or any other type of beef offal (fi) or just meat. I wouldn't skimp on using offal, it's quite tasty in a dish like this. Beef liver might be a bit too much for most, but tripe and heart is certainly nothing to be afraid of.

bamhand
Apr 15, 2010


Sjurygg posted:

Fu qi fi pin (夫妻肺片 - "married couple offal sliced", don't know the etymology) can be made with tongue, tripe (stomach), sometimes liver or any other type of beef offal (fi) or just meat. I wouldn't skimp on using offal, it's quite tasty in a dish like this. Beef liver might be a bit too much for most, but tripe and heart is certainly nothing to be afraid of.

Heart and tongue are both like regular beef but firmer and more delicious. white meat : dark meat :: beef : heart/tongue. Just try not to think about where it's coming from if that bothers you. Also, tendon is freaking delicious but I can see how that might not be as universally appealing, it's like a very very firm gelatin.

netmazk
Jun 15, 2003


Sjurygg posted:

Fu qi fi pin (夫妻肺片 - "married couple offal sliced", don't know the etymology) can be made with tongue, tripe (stomach), sometimes liver or any other type of beef offal (fi) or just meat. I wouldn't skimp on using offal, it's quite tasty in a dish like this. Beef liver might be a bit too much for most, but tripe and heart is certainly nothing to be afraid of.

At a local Sichuan place and they have this with beef tongue and tripe. The waitress referred to it as the "bride and groom".

kalicki
Jan 5, 2004

Every King needs his jester


GrAviTy84 posted:

Shredded pork with garlic sauce

Roughly made this last night. Used pork butt, and made it with bell peppers and white mushrooms instead of the bamboo and whatnot, and used mirin instead of the shaoxing because I couldn't find it in the 30 seconds I was at the store. Turned out great though.

bamhand
Apr 15, 2010


I think the key to Chinese cooking is that you can pretty much do whatever you want with it. Especially stir fry. My family has never followed a strict recipe for anything, it's always just been eye-balling a fist full of this, a dash of that and replacing one ingredient for another if something isn't on hand.

Jay Carney
Mar 23, 2007

If you do that you will die on the toilet.


bamhand posted:

Heart and tongue are both like regular beef but firmer and more delicious. white meat : dark meat :: beef : heart/tongue. Just try not to think about where it's coming from if that bothers you. Also, tendon is freaking delicious but I can see how that might not be as universally appealing, it's like a very very firm gelatin.

You have to be careful in how you cook heart or it's basically chewing rubber. Tongue needs to be scraped and cleaned or the mouthfeel is disgusting.

But yeah, both are awesome if done right.

bamhand
Apr 15, 2010


I've usually had it pressure cookered til it's nice and tender. And yeah, there's that prickly layer of tastebuds or something on the tongue that needs to be scraped off.

Culinary Bears
Feb 1, 2007



I live in an apartment with only a small and rather flammable balcony. Is there any kind of decent high heat burner that can be used indoors?

Force de Fappe
Nov 7, 2008



Halal to the Chief posted:

You have to be careful in how you cook heart or it's basically chewing rubber. Tongue needs to be scraped and cleaned or the mouthfeel is disgusting.

Yeah, heart is very lean so it needs to cook slow and low, or quickly.

Tongue is peeled after boiling, no scraping.

indoflaven
Dec 10, 2009


Goddamn posted:

I live in an apartment with only a small and rather flammable balcony. Is there any kind of decent high heat burner that can be used indoors?

The electric woks on Amazon don't seem to have bad reviews.

ZetsurinPower
Dec 14, 2003

I looooove leftovers!

gret posted:

Not to step on ZetsurinPower's toes, and I would also be very interested in his mapo tofu recipe, but I usually follow Chen Kenichi's mapo tofu recipe, which is very tasty. However when he says firm tofu I believe the soft tofu sold here in the U.S. is the closest approximation.

ok theres no point in me posting a recipe, this one looks better.

GrAviTy84
Nov 24, 2004



Salt and pepper (stuff)



Seasoning:
1 tsp kosher or sea salt
1/2 tsp Sichuan peppercorns, toasted and ground
1/2 tsp black peppercorns, toasted and ground

Garnish:
Chopped hot peppers (jalapeno, serrano, or thai bird, up to you)
scallions, sliced thin

1 lb pork:
pork spare ribs cut against the rib into 1.5 inch lengths then cut again into cubes.
pork shoulder steaks cut half inch thick then cut into manageable pieces
pork loin sliced against grain into 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick slices



Sprinkle 1 tsp baking soda over pork and mix to coat each piece. Let it sit for 1 hour. Rinse off baking soda thoroughly, pat dry. Add 2 tsp dark soy to pork, stir to coat evenly. Dredge in corn starch. Fry in neutral oil at 375 F until golden brown. Drain. Season with salt mixture, top with garnishes, serve.

Variations
You can also do this with chicken wings, squid (cut into rings), firm fleshed white fish like cod (sliced into bite size pieces), head on shrimp, or the San Francisco favorite, Dungeness Crab (broken down into individual legs and body segments, dredged then fried). Skip the baking soda and soy treatment for these, just dredge in cornstarch, fry and top with salt mix and garnishes


Vegetarians can also do this with tofu. Drain and press the tofu for 20 min or so. Cut into cubes, season with salt and a little bit of light soy. Let marinate for an hour or two. Drain then dredge in corn starch. Deep fry, top with salt mixture and pepper garnish.

GrAviTy84 fucked around with this message at May 12, 2011 around 22:43

Jay Carney
Mar 23, 2007

If you do that you will die on the toilet.


Sjurygg posted:

Yeah, heart is very lean so it needs to cook slow and low, or quickly.

Tongue is peeled after boiling, no scraping.

Huh, I always scraped it after peeling (yeah I forgot that step), guess I can save myself some work.

Hauki
May 11, 2010



GrAviTy84 posted:

baking soda
What purpose does this serve exactly? I've never heard of doing that before.

VVVV - ah, cool, good to know.

Hauki fucked around with this message at May 11, 2011 around 03:08

GrAviTy84
Nov 24, 2004



Hauki posted:

What purpose does this serve exactly? I've never heard of doing that before.

Tenderizes, gives the meat a sort of soft spongy texture. Good for making something like pork shoulder tender, even for only cooking for a minute or so.

ForkPat
Aug 5, 2003

All the food is poison


GrAviTy84 posted:

Tenderizes, gives the meat a sort of soft spongy texture. Good for making something like pork shoulder tender, even for only cooking for a minute or so.

Is that what they call "velveting" or am I thinking of something else? I'm guessing by over doing it, it will end up like how some cheap Chinese buffets have chicken that turns to mush in your mouth even though it was stir-fried?

Chemmy
Feb 4, 2001



Baking soda makes things slightly basic which speeds the maillard reaction:

http://blog.khymos.org/2008/09/26/s...llard-reaction/

Flash Gordon Ramsay
Sep 28, 2004



Grimey Drawer

GrAviTy84 posted:

Tenderizes, gives the meat a sort of soft spongy texture. Good for making something like pork shoulder tender, even for only cooking for a minute or so.

This sounds like bullshit to me. How could a little baking soda sprinkled on the meat significantly change the internal texture of the meat in any way?

branedotorg
Jun 19, 2009


Flash Gordon Ramsay posted:

This sounds like bullshit to me. How could a little baking soda sprinkled on the meat significantly change the internal texture of the meat in any way?
Only needs to go 1-2mm into the meat if it's cut from semi-frozen with a cleaver.
Whitebait is also excellent with a similar batter.

The Midniter
Jul 9, 2001



This kind of explains why baking powder (not soda, as it apparently imparts a metallic taste) can aid in the rapid browning of meat.

Ziir
Nov 20, 2004

by Ozmaugh


Do you know a recipe for lo mai gai?

bolo yeung
Apr 22, 2010


GrAviTy84 posted:

Pork and Shrimp Shumai

These look really good, and I'm thinking of making these this weekend. Do you have a recipe for a good veggie dumpling too?

GrAviTy84
Nov 24, 2004



bolo yeung posted:

These look really good, and I'm thinking of making these this weekend. Do you have a recipe for a good veggie dumpling too?

As in completely vegetarian? no. I think I've seen some filled with pea shoots sauteed with a bit of garlic, soy, and sesame oil. I believe these were wrapped in the tapioca starch wrapper like har gow. I've no experience working with that dough, but I'll post a recipe for the wrapper and you can try it if you like:

quote:

Dough
1/4 cup tapioca flour
3/4 cup wheat starch
10 1/2 tablespoons boiling water
1 tablespoon oil

* Sift flour and starch together; gradually add boiling water; add oil and let dough cool.
* Knead dough until smooth; divide dough in half and shape each half into a sausage; divide each sausage into twelve pieces (24 pieces total); when not working with the dough, keep it covered with a damp towel.
* Oil a cleaver and your work surface lightly; press a piece of dough, with the oiled cleaver, into a flat round circle.


I've watched videos of people making the wrappers. They form a ball, and use the side of a cleaver in a swooping motion across the cutting board to make a skin.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QS8hxtB8O6Q#t=2m50s
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V73_npaaL4s

I recall these pea shoot dumplings usually have shrimp in them, but maybe you can get away with just shiitake mushrooms. They are also closed differently. I think they are like little triangular shaped pouches.

Ziir posted:

Do you know a recipe for lo mai gai?

No I don't. They are so cheap at local Asian markets and restaurants that I never bothered. I may try it sometime though, for the purposes of .

GrAviTy84 fucked around with this message at May 12, 2011 around 21:59

breakfall87
Apr 22, 2004
ABunch7587's little bitch

PorkFat posted:

Is that what they call "velveting" or am I thinking of something else? I'm guessing by over doing it, it will end up like how some cheap Chinese buffets have chicken that turns to mush in your mouth even though it was stir-fried?

Velveting refers to the saucing of certain dishes. When you take those little deep fried chunks of goodness and throw them into a wok with hot, tasty sauce, tossing to coat, you are velveting.

geetee
Feb 2, 2004

>;[

I'm pretty sure velveting meat is done with corn starch. http://www.seriouseats.com/2011/04/...cornstarch.html

Sashimi
Dec 26, 2008


GrAviTy84 posted:

Hong Kong Egg Custard
Just tried out this recipe and it turned out really well, thanks!

However, it made far too much egg filling. Around twice as much as was needed was made.

GrAviTy84
Nov 24, 2004



Sashimi posted:

Just tried out this recipe and it turned out really well, thanks!

However, it made far too much egg filling. Around twice as much as was needed was made.

Awesome, glad it worked out well. I think the proportions of filling to crust is really dependent on how thick you make the walls and the geometry of the molds you use. When I made these I had a little bit extra crust.

Bob_McBob
Mar 24, 2007


Sichuan hot pot

Vlex
Aug 4, 2006
I'd rather be a climbing ape than a big titty angel.





What's with the split pot?

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LOO
Mar 5, 2004



Vlex posted:

What's with the split pot?


It's called a "Yuan Yang Pot" (AKA "Ying Yang" or "Yin Yan"). One side spicy, the other plain.

Edit: Sometimes one side will be mushroom based, and the other fish based. Any combination is possible.

LOO fucked around with this message at May 16, 2011 around 12:13

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