The February 2018 Challenge is 'Chinese'.

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by morning glory, Feb 1, 2018.

  1. morning glory

    morning glory

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    Looks delicious. I like the addition of the egg. Black fermented beans (from which the sauce is made) are a very special thing - umami in bucket loads! Have you ever used just the beans? I mean, rather than black bean sauce.
     
  2. morning glory

    morning glory

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    You are so lucky to have a local Asian grocer selling such produce. I've searched high and low for lotus root to no avail. Its such a very pretty edition to a dish. And the total spread of ingredients is wonderful.

    Are the pics to follow of the completed dish or am I misreading something...
     
  3. morning glory

    morning glory

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    Me too!
    A lovely combination of ingredients. Lobster mushroom I've not come across before.
     
  4. teamfat

    teamfat

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    They are called Lobster mushrooms because the color of their caps is like that of a cooked lobster shell.

    07_30_22_small.jpg
     
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  5. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    Well it's a meal where you cook the pieces individually in the stock and eat them one at a time. So the finished dish is essentially the egg and the cauliflower picture but everything else gets cooked and eaten the same way. I was busy eating and didn't take a picture of all the different varieties of bites.
     
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  6. mike9

    mike9

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    Split chicken breast is .99/lb this week so I picked up a four pack. After trimming out the bone and removing the skin I ended up with breast, tenders and bites. I was going to make Cordon Blue, but remembered the challenge so . . .

    Pretty pedestrian chow dish - my six yr old granddaughter was over so I explained what I was doing and she ended up helping me prep. I cut the chicken into bite size pieces and dusted with corn starch to tenderize and crisp in the wok later. I processed red onion, scallion, bell pepper, snow peas and some steamed broccoli, garlic and ginger. I put my wet seasoning in a cup - lite soy, black soy, rice vinegar, xiaoshing wine, oyster sauce, black bean/garlic sauce and some fermented red tofu. I heated my wok, added a good amount of oil and fried my chicken, removed when golden and drained. With a reduced amount of oil I added my other ingredients in order of operations then mixed corn starch and chicken stock and added to my wet sauce and added that to the wok to finish.

    [​IMG]

    After sauce and ready to serve topped with scallion greens and chopped peanuts.
    [​IMG]

    Quite tasty, filling and no rice, noodles, or extra carbs. No extra sugars, or salt either. All flavor is derived from the ingredients that have enough of that stuff.
     
  7. butzy

    butzy

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    Yes I have.
    I used them in an Indonesian dish called Daging Taoco (Daging being beef and taoco or taotjo being the Indonesian/Malay name for black beans).
     
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  8. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    Clay Pot/Sand Pots are a traditional cooking tool of China. But these dishes are rarely seen on the menus of restaurants here in Salt Lake City. I don't have a traditional clay pot. I've seen them for sale locally, but they always seem of poor quality and I just don't see them surviving my usage. I use a glazed earthenware pot instead. It's held up fairly well but does have some chips. Barbara Tropp in The Modern Art of Chinese Cooking has some good instructions and five or six dishes. Jeff Smith is probably the second best cookbook discussion of this tool in The Frugal Gourmet Cooks Three Ancient Cuisines. The Woks of Life has some Clay Pot Rice recipes that give useful ratios and seasoning volumes.


    Some Clay Pot Rice using up the some of the final bits from the hot pot and stir fried choy sum, also the final bits from the hot pot. Mushrooms, zuchinni, commercial Char Shu (Yangtze brand, it's not bad. Not great either, but handy mostly). Seasoned with stock, rice wine, light soy, dark soy, oyster sauce and ginger. Cover, cook on the stove top over low heat until boiling. Time it to cook the rice through, adding water as needed depending how well your pot seals.

    IMG_20180209_173855647[1].jpg
    I'm eating lightly tonight so just a little of the rice.
    claypot rice.jpg

    And a little Choy Sum. I separated off the large leaves and blanched the leaves and stems. This is something I learned from Barbara Tropp and how she treats stir fried spinach. She comments that stirfried greens tend to go dark and weep dark bitter liquid. By blanching them first, they keep their color and weep no liquid. Stir fried with minced garlic and ginger, drizzled with some oyster sauce out of the pan.
    choysum.jpg
    For Day Two of the clay pot rice eating, I needed some more vegetables. I opted for some Gai Lan or Chinese Brocolli. I sliced some large garlic cloves in half with some "coins" of ginger to season the oil. Then added the gai lan, turning to coat with the flavored oil. Add some chicken stock and rice wine and cover to steam. Time depends on the thickness of the stems. This approached 4 minutes as the stems were on the thick side. I test by piercing the stem with a paring knife and judging resistance.
    IMG_20180210_181050704.jpg

    Because these were thick, I turned them half way through the steaming. IMG_20180210_181441903.jpg

    Plate and drizzle with Oyster Sauce. For a more formal approach, you can remove the garlic and ginger chunks. IMG_20180210_182027092.jpg
     
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  9. Friend_of_Epicurius

    Friend_of_Epicurius

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    While not chinese per say. Its kinda aisian inspired.
    Decided to make asian style eggs benedict. Using rice with asian spicy carrots and some seseme seeds in the mix. Then browned on the griddle. Topped with pickled ginger sereno ham and a spicy chile hollandais. In all it came out well i think instead of treating the rice and try to brown like toast i am going to fry it so ut stays together better and not wanting to fall apart
     

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  10. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    Forgot the seaweed soup.

    The seaweed comes in a round 8 inch cake. I'm using about a third of that. You often see this with tofu and eggdrop. I'm just using eggdrop tonight. Pretty straightforward stock, seaweed, and eggs. Salt, white pepper and some sesame oil were my seasoning choices.
    IMG_20180209_174641648.jpg


    In the bowl. IMG_20180209_181732226.jpg
     
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  11. Jing

    Jing

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    I am a Chinese, maybe I can help you, your dumplings look good, but you can put some chopped green onions in the soup, if you like the taste of the South. Or, you can make hot sauce with a small amount of sugar and vinegar, if you like the taste of Sichuan.
     
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  12. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    The best scallion pancakes I've eaten came from the freezer case of the Asian grocer. They had to be cooked from frozen because they were incredibly stick and gooey if thawed. But they had excellent texture, flakiness and flavor. These too are scarce on restaurant menus in SLC.

    When I've made them following recipes they've been gummy and thick. Some things I've learned over the years is that this is a form of laminated dough. But for my skill at least, or maybe there's a problem with the recipe which I lean more towards, those that attempt extra layers through another round of rolling tend to be gummy. An example of this sort of recipe.
    http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2011/04/extra-flaky-scallion-pancakes-recipe.html
    The picture doesn't look all that flakey either but the angle hides this a bit.

    Most recipes use a boiling water dough in the style of choux paste. This gives you a pre-cooked flour so they're more forgiving about undercooking. This tends to yield a well hydrated soft dough that you can move on with pretty quickly.

    My sources for today's efforts come from Strictly Dumpling, again. I've rather enjoyed his channel the last couple of months.



    I was intrigued by his blend of water temperatures. And his bacon version really appeals to me too. His double kneading was also something I don't recall encountering before. OK, his explanation of the effects of his massage are ill informed. Jeff Smith also uses a mixture of boiling and cold water in his recipe so that's another source.



    This version has some things that appealed to me. Again, the water isn't boiling, she's kneading by machine, has two kneadings. The scallion oil was an excellent idea. She also uses a fan or accordion folding technique I want to try.

    Both of these use more water than you'll often see. I couldn't get that to work. It was much more batter than dough though I get that it needs to be loose and potentially sticky. I incorporated extra flour. The resting time is more than just gluten relaxation, you also finish hydrating. And the second kneading is necessary to get the gluten development and the dough can actually be handled after the rest.

    Making Scallion Oil
    IMG_20180211_153750385.jpg

    Rolling the first time. Shape isn't particularly important for this step as long as it's fairly evenly shaped. I've spread a blend of scallion and sesame oil. The kosher salt is readily visible. It needed to be more. This isn't particularly thin either.
    IMG_20180211_155538772.jpg
    Roll it jelly roll style. Smoosh it together a bit.
    IMG_20180211_155642510.jpg
    I liked what she did in the China Eats video where she rolled the coil from both ends and then stacked them to give you more layers.
    IMG_20180211_155702251.jpg IMG_20180211_155710913.jpg
    Set that off to rest. In the next pancake, I'm trying out the accordion or fan fold. I really need to chop the scallions much thinner.
    IMG_20180211_160337063.jpg IMG_20180211_160355200.jpg
    For the pancakes three and four, I've minced over the scallions for a finer flatter effect.
    IMG_20180211_161647386.jpg
    This is pancake #2. Note the whole circles. Note also that the center tends to loose scallions as their large size catches in the rolling and moves more towards the outer edges. These are about 7-8 inches across, just for size reference. Whole scallions tend to pierce their layers, at least at the size I cut. This is something I've noticed in all my prior attempts at this dish as well.
    IMG_20180211_162114240.jpg
    Pancake #1, traditional mehtods. I've got some layers and some flakiness, not a lot.
    IMG_20180211_162510836.jpg

    See next post
     
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  13. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    Rolling out an accordion folded pancake, this is number 2.
    IMG_20180211_162917319.jpg

    Pancake 2 cooked, more layers and flakes. I seem to have improved results with the accordion fold.
    IMG_20180211_163052681.jpg
    Pancake 3 with the roll method and finer cut scallions. Flakiness improves, but the finer scallion seems to make the big difference I think.
    IMG_20180211_163752468.jpg
    Pancake 4, accordion fold, fine scallions. This also benefitted from being the most rested piece of dough so not all things are equal.
    IMG_20180211_164630918.jpg

    So I've learned some things. Finer scallions is a big one. Lower cooking temperatures, only medium I'm not convinced the accordion fold is the best, but it's surprisingly easy. I'm not convinced on the stacking of the rolls. Doesn't seem to improve layering really. What it does do is even out the pancake more so the rolls don't separate in cooking so much. I remember the pancake unrolling sometimes in the more traditional method.

    Taste. These are the best I've made from scratch. Still not as good as the freezer case pancakes. I'm a little short on the salt. They need a surprising amount.

    But I don't get the kinds of results more experience cooks can get. Clearly there's a level of feel and technique I'm missing. More practice and searching to go.
     

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  14. planethoff

    planethoff

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    Chicken Lo Mein
    Chicken, carrot, red pepper, garlic, ginger, bok choy, scallions
    8DC810B8-A65D-453E-BC4B-D03942159E12.jpeg
    Double black soy, premium soy, black bean sauce, peanut oil, rice vinegar, hosin, crispy chile oil, sesame oil, flour noodles
    718BC261-11B0-4B0D-8161-3FD29D319ED1.jpeg
    Marinate chicken in soy, cornstarch, crispy chili. Brown in peanut oil. Stir fry veg. Soak noodles. Toss all with bean sauce, soy, hosin, sesame oil, and noodles in hot wok. Top with scallion.
    CD1E0C3C-E83A-4423-A586-D7646312F0D7.jpeg
    E32DAE3A-8353-4331-9FDB-FC9BBC62D436.jpeg
     
  15. butzy

    butzy

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    I grilled some pork chops on the charcoal grill and decided to marinade them Chinese style.
    The marinade consisted of: Shiaoxing rice wine, freshly ground shechuan pepper corns, cloves, star anise, dried chili's, garlic powder and a little honey.
    Not something I would normally think of. I tend to stay with the SE Asian marinades and maybe piri-piri.
    It was a nice change and I quite liked it!.

    I didn't take many pictures (there was a whole crowd of us and I was busy talking and drinking :cool:)
    02 on braai.jpg
     
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  16. Jin

    Jin

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    Real Chinese Food porn:)

    From the movie : Eat Drink Man Woman

     
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  17. millionsknives

    millionsknives

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    I've been cooking everything but chinese haha. I have something great planned for tomorrow...
     
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  18. morning glory

    morning glory

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    I'm a bit overwhelmed (can one be a bit overwhelmed?) by all these entries! We are only halfway through and I can see that its going to be a tough challenge to judge. I'm impressed by the use of authentic ingredients, some of which I can't obtain in the UK - and the range of dishes and techniques. This is going to be both difficult and delightful to judge!
     
  19. morning glory

    morning glory

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    Its all kicking off in London and other parts of the UK! Its Chinese Year of the Dog - starting today. And we are doing it proud on ChefTalk. :)

    ad_233142022.jpg
     
  20. millionsknives

    millionsknives

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    Cantonese style scallion ginger crawfish. This is a popular dish in Boston using lobster, but flash frying lobster is a pain so here I used crawfish. Hey, Mardi Gras and New year are the same week, why not?

    Scallions, ginger, garlic, dark soy, shaoxing rice wine vinegar, chile oil, corn starch slurry to give the sauce some body[​IMG]
     
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