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Chinese cooking sauces in the past

A look at historical re-creation reality TV would give you a pretty good idea on what people in the past did for food. Even now, in rural areas (my experience is East Asia) will have a small scale local producer for things that require fermenting (alcohol, soy sauce - type, vinegar-type condiments), time consuming processing but short shelf life products (like fresh tofu), or staples that will get the community thru a period of poor seasonal weather - be it winter or the rainy season - staples like air dried noodles, pickled veggies (most families will put up their own, but for more exotic (non-self grown), the county pickler will help stock the pantry.
FYI - the same barrels whether wood, clay, etc AND the same pickling brine is often re-used with just top-off of water and fresh vinegar or an annual straining into fresh herbs, etc from year to year and generation to generation. the famous Sichuan pickled veggies that SHOULD be freely served at any self-respecting Sichuan restaurant are often a secret family recipe, but the vinegar is from the local brewer.
If you didn't live near a seafood source, you just did not eat anything with seafood in it...
pls pls pls - read your civilization and history books! In Japan, there are still families which brew their own specialities!
and now with Organic being the craze, if you have the space and the time (fermentation takes time!), you could produce your own....just be careful to preserve and protect the purity of the bacterial starter(s)

Jun 11, 2011
makanhounds in General Topics

Rogue States ~

Had the house burger - a bit salty but cooked nicely (rare) which kept it soft. I liked the bun - soft enuf to sop up the juices but with a nice toasty crust to grip. I did not experience what Elyssa commented - rather thought the burger held together well enough...but I did not have cheese nor add any supplementary sauces since I wanted to taste the MEAT and the 'house spices' (which I did not find anything special and as mentioned above, emphasized salt)
In comparison to 5G - which is now franchised everywhere - the meat texture and bun is better than what I've had recently at NJ and NY LI franchises.
Is RS worth $7? Well, if i'm meeting folks near DuPont, why not?
But I might go across the road to check out Go Burger which is opening!
BTW - while it is summer and one should expect inexperienced counter help, the young man needed me to repeat 3x that I wanted a RARE burger, failed to give me a cup for my drink, failed to have any fresh brewed ice tea in the barrel, proceeded to spill water on the counter while setting up to brew new iced tea.....and then failed to wipe the counter clean of the water before turning his attention to a game on his phone.......

When was corn first introduced to China?

dunno history of corn cultivation in china, but know that the typical was a highly starchy white corn until the last 7 years or so when exporting pushed the sweet yellow corn into pre-dominance. 1980's and early 90's living in BJ could find street vendors boiling ears for breakfast (warmed the hands and the tummy on chill morns), lunch or dinner. Corn also was predominant in Shanxi, Shaanxi area which is arid and not good for rice production.
Corn stores well for winter and is often dried ears are hung by the door at Lunar New Year for good luck.
Corn kernel stirfry with pine nuts is a favorite vegetarian dish in north china.
the creamed corn soup is likely from the Brits bringing in canned stuff to the legations and HK.

Jul 09, 2010
makanhounds in General Topics

What counts as "junk food"?

'Junk Food'? you are debating a 'buzz word' that the media created to label stuff the health nuts want to attack. many of the foods listed in the discussion could be considered 'junk', but why the undertone of guilt if you eat it? Twinkies, chips, beer, pork rinds, rice cakes, ice cream, snickers - all have their time and place for eating. A party with no chips or beer? Coffee break without a bit of sweets - like a Twinkie or a highly artistic and delicious cupcake? A Snickers bar (any flavor) can hit the spot for me during a high energy activity (like shoveling 18 inches of snow yesterday). Ice cream on a hot summer evening after a relaxing BBQ dinner with a bunch of friends....?
Junk food is only junk if you think it is......then just don't eat it.
But please don't try to make me feel guilty about eating it!

BTW - rice cakes can be tasty if you eat the Asian versions - not the 'diet' versions for the mass American market.

Feb 12, 2010
makanhounds in Not About Food

Any good Korean restaurants in Suffolk?

I realize this is a very late post to the conversation, but to dispel the presumption of Scott_R on the Korean-Chinese on Rt 25A (east of Sagitos)....I've eaten there and the Korean is much better than the Chinese (forget it). the proprietors are Koreans and the food is very home-style, ie. not as good as 32nd street Manhattan, but acceptable. the potato starch noodles were alittle stickier than I like, but flavorful and savory (not just msg). The grilled meats were flavorful and tender enuf, but the cuts of meat were not as premium as in Manhattan.
The location is not convenient unless you drive and are actually looking for this restaurant.

FYI - there is a HUGE korean population in Great Neck - Douglaston on Hillside Ave. I've yet to find the time to eat, but H-Mart has opened a nice (but a bit more pricey than Flushing) clean market, so there is more attraction to stop by now.

Flushing Mall vs Golden Mall?

jeez guys, can't compare food in asia wit food available here! it is apples and watermelon! wat is 'easy' to make in asia also means CHEAP. Nothing is actually cheap in US in comparison (sliding value of USD not withstanding!) Dan Bing and Jian Bing is all about the batter formulation, the amount of used - batter and oil, and also the cooking technique. the 2 are different, as lau keeps telling you.
both dan bing and jian bing have significant regional (provincial and even township) differences in terms of thickness, sauces, fillings. Neither are considered 'sophisticated' foods and there are significant differences btwn Taiwan and Mainland - breakfast that great-grandma used to make at home (like the American weekend pancake breakfast) vs. basic street breakfast of the village offered from 5 or 6 am until 8 or 9 am.
it is backbreaking work to be a street vendor - i'm sure none of them have immigrated to US, so it is not "authentic". Similarly, in TW, none of the breakfast stalls actually have young people doing any of the cooking - it is all older 'aunts' n 'uncles'. it will only be a generation or two more, before there are no decent bing to be had at all!
Just go eat what is available - if you like it, great. if you don't, then tinker with it at home to get what you want! I've had

Jan 05, 2010
makanhounds in Outer Boroughs

Holiday Problem: Too Many Goose Livers (is there any such thing?) [moved from General Topics]

Innards are happily eaten in all parts of asia regardless of socio-economic position. interesting that Euro-centric cooking mashes up the parts so that they can't be recognized while asia cooking happily leaves the parts as is (less prep work!)
Innards (yes, inclusive of hearts, gizzards) can be slow cooked using any "red braised"-style recipe, substituting the typical pork. you'll need to add more oil than called for.
Drain livers well (so won't splatter when added to hot oil), cut into stew sized chunks. drain gizzards and hearts well, leave whole or cut gizzards in two at the tough center.
mash a few cloves of garlic to taste, slice 4 to 6 pieces of peeled ginger.
in a heavy bottomed pot with a lid over high heat, heat veg or corn oil (about 0.25" depth) until hot, but not sizzling. Add garlic, ginger ; stir until fragrant, then add livers to brown - can lower heat to medium-high or medium if they are browning too fast or crisping. don't be anxious to stir it around, but turn the livers when they release as they brown. add the gizzards and hearts to brown
add enough cooking wine (or white wine) to about one-quarter way up the pot, light soy sauce to taste (usually takes at least 1/4 cup, could take up to 1/2 cup), some sugar to taste (if white at least 3 tablespoons, can also use brown), 1/2 cup water, and (optional) a few pods of star anise, a piece of cinnamon if you prefer sweet or can add ground pepper (black or white) to taste. bring it all up to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, cover and slow cook until cooked through and gizzards are tender. this could take an hour or two with occasional stirring to ensure all the pieces are absorbing the sauce. add water or a mixture of water, wine and soy if needed, although it should not.
can be eaten hot, warm, or cold. the sauce is great on rice or mashed potatoes (or could be used to help mash the potatoes!)

Jan 03, 2010
makanhounds in Home Cooking

Best Shanghainese Restaurant

Define "Shanghainese food" - it is different depending on the generation and whether you are seeking "restaurant food" or "home style food" or "food that suits the non-asian palette" (sorry - I find tastes differ wildly amongst my diverse acquaintances in Shanghai). Wild herbs wrapped in tofu already sounds like a nouvelle cuisine......
how much does "ambiance", presentation and service factor into your definition of "good" or "best" food?

"The restaurant scene in China is not fully developed..."!!!????
according to whom? have you looked at the list of internationally acclaimed western chefs who are stepping all over themselves and each other to establish an eatery in Shanghai, currently the hippest city on the globe?
Hate to break it to you, but the "restaurant scene" has been happening in China for thousands of years with various peak and lull periods. Maybe "the scene" just wasn't your flavor of the month - just as "the scene" now in skews too young and portions too tiny for my sensibilities, tastes and wallet.

NYLO in Warwick, RI?

The worst lobster salad sandwich ever. No celery, no mayo, no salt, no pepper. And this is Rhode Island! an embarrassment for what a "trendy" bar will serve. It was a mid-week, but any Rhode Island chef worth their paycheck should be able to whip up (or have on hand) a decent Lobster Salad! The portion size might satisfy as grazing food with drinks, but will not suffice for dinner.
Not worth the buzz given in the projo.

Momofuku Chicken Wings

only an unenlightened chowhound would throw away wing tips! Most of us would devour them!

Oct 14, 2009
makanhounds in Recipes

Upscale, authentic Asian around Hartford, CT

Upscale'ish, decent SE Asian food at
Hot Basil, 565 New Park Ave, West Hartford, CT 06110-1348
(860) 523-9554
was there on the 9th - Penang curry was decent - nice texture of mushy eggplants with crunchy nuts, spicy chicken stir fry was abit tame for me, but others at the table thought it fiery. I wasn't so happy with the pineapple fried rice, but others thought it was good.
I would try this place again.
Artistic presentations and decor, taste is not toooo Americanized, but the spice level is definitely toned down and the sweetness level higher than what I routinely ate in SEAsia. The waitresses are "native" though, so perhaps you can get more "authentic" food if you ask.
New Park ave also has a "Lao-Thai" restaurant that I haven't tried yet, but others have given it a thumbs down.
New Park Ave is abit off the beaten path though.