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Force de Fappe
Nov 7, 2008



Grey Mage posted:

Is there any good substitute for sesame oil if we're allergic? I can manage simple stir fries at home with just canola oil, but it seems like everything else requires sesame and I'd rather not eat tasty food only to end up grabbing my Epi-Pen afterwards.

You don't use sesame oil for frying, it's a seasoning. It's by no means universal.

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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.

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.

Force de Fappe
Nov 7, 2008



Zha jiang mian ("Fried sauce noodles")



So I promised grav a write-up on this, and I may as well contribute.

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.

There is no set recipe, but the principle is this: ground pork (or chicken or turkey) and a load of chopped scallions are sauted in oil until the meat is slightly browned. To this we then add and fry further bean sauce ("jiang4"), soy sauce, and some seasoning. Bean sauce is usually in the form of "yellow bean sauce" or "sweet bean sauce". Koon Chun is a well-known trademark, with their distinctive hourglass jars and blue-yellow labels.



A note on jiang4

For lack of yellow bean sauce, we can substitute hoisin sauce instead. In particular if we are using Koon Chun hoisin, which seems to be way easier to find than yellow bean sauce. Simply reduce the amount of sugar to add. Others use duck sauce, one jar per pound/500g of mince. There will no doubt be a load of comments on this recipe, and I welcome them all. Note: there is a reason my Chinese relatives, no matter if there's talk of hoisin sauce, sweet bean sauce/paste, yellow bean sauce/paste and so on, refer to them all simply as "jiang4" - they are all closely related, and one can usually easily substitute for another with the inclusion or exclusion of sugar and/or dark soy sauce and/or chili paste. Black bean sauce, on the other hand, is another animal entirely, with an intensely salt flavour where "jiang4" in it's various forms usually leans towards sweet umami-ness.

Method

Seasoning can be be white pepper, maybe a little MSG, a little salt if you use hoisin, and maybe a splash of rice wine. Maybe you need a little acid? Toss in some xinkiang vinegar or ordinary apple cider vinegar. I like a teaspoon of my black-tar Thai chili oil as well. What you are looking for is salty, sugary, fatty savouriness, with little morsels of meat and scallion suspended in the oil seeping from the cracked sauce, infusing the soft noodles, and cut by the freshness of the cucumbers. Nom nom nom.

This is not a recipe, as I said, but a guideline. You get the idea, I guess.

4-500 g/1 lb ground pork or chicken
1 bunch scallions
a bit of chopped fresh ginger (omit as you please)

a good splash of oil

Fry the above ingredients together in deep pan until meat is lightly browned.

Add

3-4 heaped tablespoons hoisin or yellow bean sauce
1-2 tbs dark soy sauce, or to taste
1ts - 2tbs sugar, to taste
salt to taste
chili to taste
1/2 ts white pepper
a cup of water

and boil together for at least 15 minutes, stirring and scraping. Adjust seasoning, and server over freshly cooked wheat noodles with a heaped topping of sliced cucumber on top.

Mix up and eat.



Variations

This dish comes in as many forms as there are cooks in China. Personal favourites of mine are these :

- cutting the meat/lightening the dish with some scrambled soft doufu, added at the end of cooking
- using bean sprouts and/or shredded summer cabbage and/or radishes on top in addition to or instead of cucumber
- using good fettuccine, linguine or spaghetti noodles instead of Chinese wheat noodles (I basically always do this - they're hella better)
- using ground beef instead, making the sauce even heftier
- adding some roughly chopped mushrooms (I always do this if I can)
- adding some roasted peanuts to the sauce

- If you have leftover zhajiangmian sauce, but not enough for a whole meal, it can make a royal sandwich topping, especially if it's made Vietnamese banh mi-style in a crusty baguette with lots of fresh vegetables and herbs.

Force de Fappe
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.

Force de Fappe
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.

Force de Fappe fucked around with this message at Sep 25, 2011 around 20:13

Force de Fappe
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.

Force de Fappe
Nov 7, 2008



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

Force de Fappe
Nov 7, 2008



I crush them in the pan, and shake the pan back and forth a little while. The round seeds roll, the crushed hulls stay mostly put. After a few shakes, the seeds gather up and you can pick them out easily. It's no crisis if one or two remain.

Also, of course, buy good quality stuff if you can find it. Less seeds and often more flavour.

Force de Fappe
Nov 7, 2008



Aero737 posted:

It's time to get a REAL Chinese recipe in this thread.

地三鲜 Di San Xian (Yes mother loving PINYIN not Jyutpingffffttttt or whatever pansy "Chinese" those other recipes are in)


D sān xiān, shǎ bī

Force de Fappe
Nov 7, 2008



Or red wine

Don't ask, won't tell. (I have beer, like a normal person.)

Recipe: toss one of these in a pot.



Add more stock as required. Usually this means stock from chicken feet and spare rib stubs.

Shiitake (xianggu) mushrooms, soaked overnight, are usually the first to go in the pot to simmer for a good while as people arrive. These turn out ridiculously good. Same goes for winter melon (donggua), which is kinda expensive imported but a thick slice goes a long way, really really great stuff. You can get frozen thinly sliced lamb up here, usually it's meant for flash frying but it goes well in this, too. Enoki mushrooms aren't really that interesting, but they seem to be obligatory. Of course huge amounts of fish, this being Norway and all. Just thick slices of cleaned and scraped cod. Head goes in first, usually the women start bickering over it so we just leave it alone. Salmon too, of course. Sausages. Fish balls. Spinach leaf. For some reason my people don't seem too crazy about daikon radish which is weird, because it's delicious when it's cooked until buttery and soft. On the other hand, there's always somebody coming back from China with a bag full of doufu si

Basically, doufu si is thinly sliced flakes of tofu skin, which in turn is a by product of soy curd production. It looks like noodles, and I guess it must be a low-carbo dieter's wet dream. They look like noodles, they're a little chewy just like noodles. They're really good in hotpot, but tossed with lots of fresh coriander, chili, sesame oil and light soy it's so loving delicious. I think it's considered a Hunan dish prepared this way, but my FiL still loves it even if he's a solidly chauvinistic Shanghainese.

Force de Fappe
Nov 7, 2008



branedotorg posted:

Lee Kum Kee brand has toban dai written on the label

Old-fashioned transliteration? Better ask the Chinese thread about that.

Force de Fappe
Nov 7, 2008



Shanghainese cuisine uses a lot of sugar, usually rock sugar or caramelized sugar. Could be another cuisine, the use of sugar is by no means restricted to the Whore of the Orient but it's the place that is the most known for it.

Force de Fappe
Nov 7, 2008



Beijing cuisine, or Mandarin cuisine since it's the cuisine of the capital, is distinctly influenced by the other cuisines of the North and features both rustic staple dishes as well as traces of former aristocratic glory with refined and elegant presentations at the restaurants who specialize in it.

Staples are noodles and bread instead of rice. Other dishes include The hot and sour soup and mu shu pork. Lamb and beef dishes. Potato dishes. Cabbage and bok choy, sometimes pickled. Guo tie (potstickers) are popular over most parts of China but could arguably be identified as typical of Mandarin cuisine.

Force de Fappe
Nov 7, 2008



Really really really easy Chinese rice recipe:

By weight 1 part rice to 10 parts water. Boil poo poo out of until turns into thick soup. Eat for breakfast with a little soy sauce, fried bread strips, fried eggs with soy sauce, pickles or even just plain like it is. Congratulations, you are now partaking of Zhou Almighty. Wanna go fancy? Use chicken stock instead of water. Or add boiled bits of pork innards. Or hundred-year eggs in pieces (those are very good in a completely non-machismo kind of way).

Force de Fappe
Nov 7, 2008



Treating the meat slices with a little corn or potato starch. It's a quite common way to treat meat in China.

Force de Fappe
Nov 7, 2008



Mach420 posted:

Right. Think of plain sliced homemade oven roasted turkey breast, how rough it can be, then think how much better the mouthfeel would be with a bit of gravy on it. That's what will improve by mixing a bit of cornstarch slurry into the meat slices before you stir fry it. It smooths out the mouthfeel of the meat, and also helps contribute to the natural gravy or sauce that coats everything in the stir fry.

Also it cuts expensive meat to make it go further, and makes the most of what little there is

Force de Fappe
Nov 7, 2008



Good quality dark soy sauce. Lee Kum Kee is our favourite. Lots of sliced ginger, too. If you can, use rock sugar.

Force de Fappe
Nov 7, 2008



Century eggs will last about a month.

Chinese fish dishes usually make use of semi-firm white fishes of either salt or sweet water variety. Codfish works nicely.

Force de Fappe
Nov 7, 2008



Good spaghetti or linguine is way better than dried Chinese noodles

Really good fresh wheat noodles can't be beat, of course. If you really want dried Chinese, get wide wheat noodles without egg.

Force de Fappe
Nov 7, 2008



It's 葱 (cong1). It's thinner and more slender than spring onions but has the bulb in place unlike chives.

Force de Fappe
Nov 7, 2008



I fry the egg first. Makes for better fried egg and bigger egg morsels. Really hot pan, some oil, then the eggs in to bloom. They blow up spectacularly, take about fifteen seconds to get done. Then I add rice, pinch MSG, pinch salt, shaking white pepper and fry for a couple of minutes. Usually I add a bit of chopped scallions as well. I usually never add anything else, egg fried rice 4 lyfe (it's AWESOME with fried sausages and Heinz chili sauce on the side )

Force de Fappe
Nov 7, 2008



Secret cheat mode for tasty Thai-style fried rice: tom yum paste. I'm goddamn serious.

Force de Fappe
Nov 7, 2008



Jiaozi. Empires have been built in those.

The first syllable has a dipping tone, the second one has a "neutral" tone and has a vowel sound that's articulated a bit further into the mouth than the normal American "ee" sound.

Ginger and garlic paste is just as easily substituted by chopping the fresh stuff. It's hella better, but if it's right for you that's good The sauerkraut is a cool combo and sounds pretty good to me. I'd add some boiled napa cabbage as well, though.

My favourite dipping sauce with jiaozi is xinkiang (hshin-kyang) vinegar, a black, savoury rice vinegar.

Force de Fappe
Nov 7, 2008



Sjurygg posted:

egg fried rice 4 lyfe (it's AWESOME with fried sausages and Heinz chili sauce on the side )


I gave myself twelve hours, I lasted even longer. I so deserved this.



Goddammit I love egg fried rice. Keep your ham and shrimp and chicken and peas and whatever. The sausages are not Chinese, but at the same time, they are also very much so. It's difficult to explain.

Force de Fappe
Nov 7, 2008



GrAviTy84 posted:

Tamarind should be at any Asian or Latin American grocery. I don't know for sure but if I had to guess, I'd guess that tamarind would be in some southern and south western Chinese foods, as it is an important ingredient in both south east asian foods, and in north indian foods.

South Indian too, it's what you base sambar and rasam on. Tamarind pulp can be had dried at any Vietnamese or Thai supermarket, and also at most generic Asian stores.

Force de Fappe
Nov 7, 2008



Love mung bean soup, especially when it's luke-warm temperature. My mother-in-law makes it with pearl barley and dried Chinese dates (aka jujube or zao qian) as well. It sound strange, but it's incredibly refreshing, with extremely sweet dates in between for contrast.

And yeah, has to be yellow rock sugar.

Force de Fappe
Nov 7, 2008



GrAviTy84 posted:

Unless you bought some really good shaoxing, which is doubtful, you should not drink it. Use only for cooking. It goes into the usual marinade for things, can be used to mellow out the harsh fishiness of seafood, and can go into "drunken" things.

Shanghainese people put wine into loving everything. Look up recipes for red-braised (red-cooked) pork and go to town.

Force de Fappe
Nov 7, 2008



I don't know if it's what you're used to, but Shanghai-style steamed fish is a splash of wine, splash light soy, light sprinkling sugar, salt & MSG, scatter julienned scallions and ginger on top. Garlic if you feel like it. The wine and the soy "purify" the flavour of the fish and enrichen it.

Oh, and remember not to turn the fish over when you've eaten one side - remove the bone and continue. The bones are a special treat, chew and suck on them then spit out like a total pro

Force de Fappe
Nov 7, 2008



Oh poo poo it's zongzi season again. I have a packet of bamboo leaves but damned if I know if I can be arsed. I could do it to surprise the gf, but it's a hell of a job.

E: pork and salted egg yolk and mung beans all the way.

Force de Fappe fucked around with this message at Jun 18, 2012 around 09:28

Force de Fappe
Nov 7, 2008



You can put lachang sausage on top of the rice when the water is starting to be absorbed and leave it to steam with the rice for another 20 minutes or so. Bleeds all the lovely pork fat into the rice

Force de Fappe
Nov 7, 2008



Jeek posted:

Slice it thin and stir-fry it with Kai-lan or choy sum. Perfectly authentic and tasty.

Beat me to it. Also they are indispensible stuffed into things like nuomi ji/lo mai gai and zongzi.

Force de Fappe
Nov 7, 2008



Jeek posted:

Golden Needle Mushrooms 金针菇 - enokitake / enoki / golden needle mushroom (I am not kidding about the last one)

Also known as "Zai Jian Ming Tian" - See You Tomorrow (You'll understand why)

Force de Fappe
Nov 7, 2008



Yeah you wanna use belly for that stuff. Only that's cutting it (god bless big bits of super fatty hongshao rou when your family-in-law wants to see how much rice wine the foreigner can take)

Force de Fappe
Nov 7, 2008



You can red cook fresh pork hocks too. I'd wager a tight fit in the pot would be a good thing so you can cover it more efficiently with the braising liquid. I've never made it, only eaten it, but it's loving delicious too.

Force de Fappe
Nov 7, 2008



crikster posted:

Correct me if I'm wrong, but a Cow's Spleen is used in Chinese cooking, right? Well I got a lot of spleen for .80 cents a pound, under the name 'Beef Melts.' I just pan fried some in a cast iron skillet with some lard and greens. "Spleens and collard greens." Spleen is like goop inside a membrane, but it was so chewy that I couldn't clean my plate. There's got to be a better way. Does anyone know how the traditional Chinaman would cook a spleen, the right way?

It's technically edible. Of course it's used.

Somebody from around Shanghai or thereabouts would probably simmer it in an aromatic stock of sorts, seasoned with star anise, fresh ginger, a splash of rice wine, sugar and dark soy, chill it in the stock and slice very thinly and serve. The same thing is done with tough cuts of beef and beef heart. It's delicious as a starter.

Other than that, I think you're looking for something involving grinding.

Force de Fappe
Nov 7, 2008



caberham posted:

*slight derail* but how do islamic cusine deal with lard type of cooking? Do they use ghee instead? I was surprised that the Chinese population wouldn't use more beef substitutes like the Indians in Malaysia. Instead it's more of a vibe, "we gotta raise our pigs, screw you".

Butter, beef drippings and mutton drippings is my guess.

Force de Fappe
Nov 7, 2008



Grand Fromage posted:

That's what I do. I feel it's the mark of a true professional crab eater. Much faster and less messy.

I just use my teeth. Bite open, suck, repeat. Messy but satisfying.

Force de Fappe
Nov 7, 2008



Peven Stan posted:

That's the sticky rice stuff that comes in the leaves right? I'll ask tonight since we used to make that as a kid before my family because rich and now we just buy everything out of convenience because we are all too busy

I think you're talking about lor mai gai, steamed sticky rice in lotus leaf with pork, la chang and other stuff. I've had the same filling steamed in a bamboo basket on top of butter paper, it was, if possible even better, perhaps because it was also dotted with pieces of pork belly that leaked delicious fatty fats into the rice

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Force de Fappe
Nov 7, 2008



The Thing about zongzi, see, is that once you're making them, you have to make a lot of them to make it all worthile. Preferrably sitting on your heels on a water-rinsed concrete floor while chatting with the other old ladies about who's screwing whom.

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