December 2021 Challenge: STEAMED (technique)

phatch

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steamed eggs have been showing up more and more in the youtube cooking channels and recent cookbooks. Simple dish with excellent payoff.
 
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Steamed scallops on glass noodles with tangerine curd and garlic crumb. Here are the basic ingredients:

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The unlabelled bottle is toasted sesame oil.

The tangerine was simmered in water until softened and then blitzed whole (minus seeds) with a little water to make the bitter curd. The quantity is maybe too small to use a blender (I don't have one). I used a stick blender in a beaker. Add sugar to taste if its too bitter for you. The rest is simple, I think.

Chop the garlic fairly finely and fry in oil of your choice, until golden brown.
Steam scallops for a few minutes.
Soften the noodles in boiling water, carefully remove scallop and swirl some drained glass noodles in each half shell. Replace the scallop and drizzle a very little soy sauce and sesame oil over. Spoon the garlic over. Add a little blob of the curd to each scallop.
Steam for a further few minutes and serve, garnished with a fresh green herb of your choice.

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steamed eggs have been showing up more and more in the youtube cooking channels and recent cookbooks. Simple dish with excellent payoff.

Funnily enough I've been pondering steamed eggs. Not so much scrambled as whole. Hmm.... ideas forming. :)
 
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Okay, another Chinese inspired steamed dish, mei cai kou rou, steamed pork belly with dried mustard greens.

The Players

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Obviously pork belly and mustard greens. When I opened the package of mustard greens the aroma really reminded me of the Beech-Nut cut leaf chewing tobacco I once enjoyed back in my Indiana caving days. Wow.


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And some star anise, black peppercorns and a few cloves. Also things like rock sugar, soy sauce, dark and regular, shaoxing wine, bay leaf.

The Process

First off I cut the pork belly into a piece that would fit into the dish I planned to use for the steaming process. Put it into a pot, covered with cold water. Toasted the spices you see in that white ceramic pan over medium heat until fragrant. And I do mean fragrant! So nice! Dump the spices along with the bay leaf and a couple crushed cloves of garlic into the pot and bring to a simmer.

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Lots of variations on this in the online recipes I looked at. Some say a quick blanch with nothing but water, others a full on broth for at least an hour. I went with the latter approach, though maybe just 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, soak the mustard greens in water, changing it a couple of times.

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So when the time comes, remove the pork from the pot, let it sit and cool and dry a bit. But before it gets too cool, heavily pierce the skin with a fork. Rub some dark soy sauce into it.

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Let it cool a bit more more, rinse the mustard greens again, drain. Get out the wok, splash a bit of oil into it, heat over medium high heat. When oil is shimmering, sear pork, skin side first, just a couple minutes, then flip, a couple more minutes. Put on cutting board, cut into thick slices. Put back in dish, pour out most of the oil from wok, reduce heat to low. Drain greens. Put soy sauces, sugar, cooking wine in wok, bring to simmer. Add mustard greens, give it all a good stir. Top pork belly with sauce and greens.

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Cover with a sheet of plastic wrap.

Prepare steamer - I used an oblong pot that is part of a slow cooker set I have had since fire was first harnessed by humans. A couple of glass ramekins act as spacers to keep the steaming dish elevated.

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Pot goes on burner, an inch or so of water added, dish with pork on top of ramekins, and away we go.

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Low boil for about 2 hours, checking water level, adjusting as necessary every half hour or so.

After a couple of hours, out of the steamer. The liquid from the dish is carefully drained into that ceramic fry pan, brought to a simmer. A cornstarch slurry stirred in to thicken the sauce. Pork slices and greens plated and sauced.

The Product

Okay, here it is at long last:

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Wow. This pork is so juicy and fatty without being greasy, so tender and succulent!

I had meant to make a pot of rice to go with this, didn't happen. But to tell you the truth, a bowl of grits and a biscuit or two would have worked just as well. It struck me while eating this it was the Chinese version of Southern greens and hamhocks. Just like every grandma in Odessa, Missouri or Opelika, Alabama has their recipe for the real thing, every Chinese grandma has the right way to make this dish. Comfort Food 101, folks. It doesn't get much better.

mjb.

ps: I think my trusty old Galaxy S8 phone has developed a permanent smudge on the lens or something. Or it could be operator error, who knows?
 
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Well I have Monday and Tuesday night off. Maybe I'll prepare another entry. This simple, three step recipe could be good, but might be TOO simple.

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That "simple" recipe is from The Thousand Recipe Chinese Cookbook. I may actually do a dish based on the idea.

And I was kind of surprised at the number of Youtube videos that claimed to be how to debone a chicken were actually just how to break it down into serving size pieces.

mjb.
 
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There was an episode of Top Chef, maybe season 5?, where the Quickfire challenge was a mise en place race. One step was to break down 4 or 5 chickens. This Vietnamese guy, Hu Han or something like that, was AMAZING at it, taking maybe 2 minutes to do them all. He broke down all the chickens in the time it was taking others to do just one. Tom Colicchio, the head judge, stood there for a second with this dazed look on his face, like "Did I really see what I just saw?"

Anyway, the dish I will present next will not require much deboning.

mjb.
 
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There was an episode of Top Chef, maybe season 5?, where the Quickfire challenge was a mise en place race. One step was to break down 4 or 5 chickens. This Vietnamese guy, Hu Han or something like that, was AMAZING at it, taking maybe 2 minutes to do them all. He broke down all the chickens in the time it was taking others to do just one. Tom Colicchio, the head judge, stood there for a second with this dazed look on his face, like "Did I really see what I just saw?"

Anyway, the dish I will present next will not require much deboning.

mjb.
It was Hung Huynh, season 3.
 
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I haven't posted much yet, but I've been checking my cook books and internet and I got some interesting recipes lined uo!
That's what I like about these chalkenges, I had almost forgotten I got this bamboo steamer and a collapsable ;)
 
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This recipe is elegant in its simplicity, and execution, and tastes phenomenal, if you like soft yolk eggs. These steamed eggs are sure to please. simply heat a pat of butter in a non-stick pan over medium heat. When the butter starts to bubble, sprinkle the pan surface with salt, and pepper. Crack two large eggs into the pan, Cook until the whites are nearly completely set. Add two tbs. of water to the pan and cover. The water quickly turns to steam and completes the cooking, leaving you with completely set, but delicate egg whites, and a runny yolk, with a pretty pink membrane over the runny yolk. Grill buttered bread for the perfect accompaniment.

Seeeeya; Chief Longwind f the North 20211218_110347.jpg 20211218_110338.jpg
 
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Okay, eggs here as well ;)
But first: plain white rice.
Not sure if it counts. I have seen it down as "steamed", "absorption", "immersion" and "boiled".
2 measures rice, 3 measures water for my local Jasmine rice. Stir a bit.
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Put on the heat, covered pot.
Once it boils, give it a quick stor so it doesnt catch on the bottom.
Close lid and leave closed!
Lower fire, or put diffusers under pot.
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Turn of the heat after 5-10 minutes and leave it alone.
After about 10-20 minutes, fluff and eat ;)
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I'll get points deducted by brianshaw brianshaw because I cook my rice without salt ;)


The eggs were supposed to be with pork mince, but I only had beef.
And the beef didn't defrost in time, so I used bacon.
Bacon, garlic, soy, chili, leek (from red onion) and a bit of rice vinegar went in a bowl.
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Eggs were lightly whisked with fish sauce and water.
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Mixture went on top of bacon mixture and got steamed for about 25 minutes

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I call what you made “steamed rice” so all is well with that component. About the salt…OR LACK OF SALT… just say you omit it for health purposes and it’s no problem. LOL.
 
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I'll get points deducted by brianshaw brianshaw brianshaw brianshaw because I cook my rice without salt

I may have mentioned this here before, but I was watching an episode of Iron Chef Japan and the tasting panel was really surprised that the challenging chef actually put salt in the rice before cooking it. It was like they never heard of such a wacky, unorthodox sort of thing before.

mjb.
 

phatch

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I only salt rice if it's a pilaf style with other things added in. Plus I'm on a sodium restriction.
 
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steamed eggs have been showing up more and more in the youtube cooking channels and recent cookbooks. Simple dish with excellent payoff.
You mean oeuf en cocotte? That is steamed, I guess. Hadn't thought of that, but was planning to do it Christmas morning....
 
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