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Asian Noodle Shopping Guide

Fairly comprehensive but left out "nian gao" or rice ovalettes.

Aug 22, 2014
jzc in Food Media & News

Food crawl in Excelsior District this Sunday - all are invited

Darn! I would love to come but have a prior commitment. Next time.

Aug 22, 2014
jzc in San Francisco Bay Area

ZONGZI aka CHINESE TAMALES SFBA Dish of the Month May 2014

I was down in Foster City for a seminar and a friend suggested we go to Cooking Papa. I hadn't been before and jumped at the chance. Meh. Decent but didn't live up to they hype IMHO. Someone ordered the zhong. I was excited to try it after another friend had raved about it. I think it was $5 or more. When it came, we all kind of looked at it and someone made the comment that it looked like it had been dropped before they put it on our plate. It looked like it had been flattened. Maybe they steamed it after taking off the bamboo leaves. The rice was too soft and the grains ran together. I'm thinking they soaked the rice overnight. Flavor wasn't bad. Heavy on the soy. I didn't see any mushrooms or salted duck egg. Lots of lotus nuts (weird to me). After everyone was done I poked through what was left and deconstructed it. There was a chicken bone in it. I think they use the leftover roasted meats in their zhong. There was some roasted duck and roast pork.

In general the food was meh. I wouldn't make a special trip for it.

Coincidentally, I was ordering lunch from the chicken pho place on Noriega on Sunday so I went in and picked up some zhong from 3 Star. They are smaller than last year's but still fairly large. Good flavor. I shared one with my eldest so by the time I got to it, there was only peanuts and rice. I had spotted a nice piece of side pork in it, but don't know if there was a salted duck egg or mushroom. It was $2.50 a piece.

Aug 18, 2014
jzc in San Francisco Bay Area

Recent comparison please, Great Eastern or Bund Shanghai [San Francisco]

My hubby loves goon tong gao 灌湯餃. HK Lounge on Geary used to have the best ones with shark's fin. It's still good, but it's filled with a small whole abalone as well as minced pork and I think rehydrated mushroom and fish maw. I think this was better than Koi Palace's version. We had this recently in Vancouver and it had fish maw (quite a large piece) with minced park and dried scallops. The broth was a "superior" broth with shredded ham.

Aug 06, 2014
jzc in San Francisco Bay Area

Best way to reheat cheong fun, leftover from dim sum?

Steaming is best but you have to be careful not to over steam or it disintegrates when you pick it up. Microwave is okay too, but cover it so it doesn't dry out.

Aug 06, 2014
jzc in General Topics
1

Whole Chicken Stuffed with Sticky Rice - SF Dish of the Month (Oct 2012)

This is the only version I've had so it's my standard. It's always a favorite. The skin is crispy and the sticky rice rich and flavorful. I don't remember there being much meat aside from the leg and the drummette. I think the chicken is incorporated into the stuffing. I had this in May and it went quickly. We were hosting family from HK and they had never heard or seen this dish before. I'm replying so late because all of a sudden I had a hankering and did a search to see if any fellow Chowhounders had attempted to make this.

Jul 17, 2014
jzc in San Francisco Bay Area

Homemade Frozen Dumpling close to Palo Alto?

OT: When I first read your post, I thought a lao wai po isn't a Chinese grandma but an American one. Then I realized I was thinking laowai po instad of lao waipo.

Mandarin isn't my first dialect, would you call all grandmas lao waipo? In Cantonese, we would say popo or lao popo.

No Sundried Tomatoes at Costco??

Is that directly from Bella? I didn't see the 35oz size listed on their site, but it's on the Amazon site. When I enter 6 for my shopping cart it adds $12.46 a jar.

Did you just send an email to them to order?

Jul 11, 2014
jzc in Chains

No Sundried Tomatoes at Costco??

Yes, it's not Amazon. I was trying to see if being an Amazon Prime member would bypass the shipping but no such luck.

It's also $12.46 PER jar not a case. Ridiculous.

Jul 11, 2014
jzc in Chains

East Ocean Seafood in Alameda, state of play?

Since you were at Cal, maybe you meant HK East Ocean in Emeryville? The East Ocean in Alameda seems kind of far if you were in Berkeley.

Jul 09, 2014
jzc in San Francisco Bay Area

No Sundried Tomatoes at Costco??

Was it Bella at Costco? At another site, it had mentioned Sun Dry brand. Both can be bought on Amazon, but I can't remember which brand. If I order, does anyone from San Francisco want to split a case?

Jul 09, 2014
jzc in Chains

Gazpacho in the Bay Area

My friend from Madrid says the Soup Company has a pretty good version. She's been having it for lunch off and on for a week.

Jun 10, 2014
jzc in San Francisco Bay Area

ZONGZI aka CHINESE TAMALES SFBA Dish of the Month May 2014

I bought one for lunch today. It was very flavorful. Lots of peanuts, the lop cheung was good (tasted like liver lop cheung but the color wasn't dark), seasoned pork that was pretty lean and I believe they had put in a piece of fat that melted into the rice. Very rich. The person that made my zong left out the salted egg. :-(

ZONGZI aka CHINESE TAMALES SFBA Dish of the Month May 2014

This is the place I bought from. They sell zongzi year around. I've to remember to use my phone to take pictures instead of relying on my memory. I'll have to go back.

Wali's are the most inexpensive at $1.20 and taste wise I think are on par with this place but not as dense or as big.

Jun 02, 2014
jzc in San Francisco Bay Area

ZONGZI aka CHINESE TAMALES SFBA Dish of the Month May 2014

I just had a chance to watch the video. Very interesting, but the shape is weird. I've never seen any made like this before. I wonder what village that's from. I'm just used to the tetrahedron shape. The zhongzi still looks small.

I bought one from the shop on Stockton. The awning is new and says Louie's I think. The place has been there for a while. A sad little place when you walk in and so were the zhongzi. The ones I got from Dick Lee's so-so. Passable. The best ones so far are from Wali and the place on Jackson that always has a large handwritten "zhong" sign taped to the window at $2.50. Very dense and flavorful. Bought one from the newer pastry/bakery shop on Jackson that has the $.99 grand opening milk tea special for the last year or so. It was passable.

I noticed the zhongzi are smaller everywhere now as compared to prior years. I have to go back to 3 Star on Noriega and try theirs again and see if they've shrunk their zhongzi too.

My friend's Malaysian born mom makes Hokkien style zhongzi. They're super small and quite cute. I think 2-3 bites would finish one off. The filling is minced pork flavored with sage and soy sauce I think.

ZONGZI aka CHINESE TAMALES SFBA Dish of the Month May 2014

All these posting brought back memories of the humongous ones my grandma used to make. I went on a quest to fine the best ones in Chinatown. On Friday, I bought 2 from Wa Li, 2 from Wing Scene and 1 from New Louie (on Stockton). The ones from Wing Scene were a disappointment. Tons of peanuts (not in a good way). I was eating for more than 10 minutes before I got to the rest of the filling at the end. There was 1/2 a salted egg (chicken I think), a piece of skin on pork (dry) and a bite of Chinese sausage. I had my hopes up since the workers come from Toy San. Oh, it also stuck to the bamboo leaves. It was a chore to scrape it off. I ended it up leaving several bites on the leaves because it was so arduous. The rice that stuck was hard and there was more peanut than rice. I'm thinking at least 30 peanuts.

The 2 from Wa Li were much better. Peanuts, fatty skin on pork, dried shrimp, a 1/3 section of Chinese sausage and salted egg. The rice to peanut and filling ratio was pretty good.

I didn't get a chance to try the one from New Louie because the boys ate it when I wasn't home.

They were all around the same price $2-$2.20 and on the small side. They were slightly larger than my fist.

I used to like the ones from 3 Star Noriega but I haven't been this year. They are more the size I grew up with about 1.5 to 2 times the size of my fist. They are also from Toy San.

Does anyone know where they might sell guo ching joog? When I describe it to people, they say that's what my grandma made. It's about 1.5 to 2 times the size of my fist and contained peanuts, dried shrimp, belly pork, Chinese sausage or Virginia ham, dried chestnuts, dried shitake mushrooms. The salted egg yolk was optional. They are very labor intensive as everything has to be rehydrated and then either parboiled or stir fried before wrapping in the bamboo leaves. My grandma would be prepping for a week. She would use 50lbs of rice and then divide it among the kids and I remember her boiling them over a charcoal stove like she used in China.

May 19, 2014
jzc in San Francisco Bay Area

Food suggestions

We had a great time in DC. Weather gave us a surprise as we had rain, sleet, hail and snow all in one day. Luckily, we had planned to be indoors at the Smithsonian.
We tried DC-3 (boys were in heaven), Eatonville was good although portion size was kind of small for a southern place. Café Kimchi was good for a quick lunch although we could have used more rice in the bibimbap. One of the boys had the burger and thought it was the best.
We ended up at Hill Country for BBQ on the way to Luke's Lobster. BBQ was okay. Not really TX BBQ. Too peppery and burnt. They didn't marinade it enough as there was not any depth of flavor to the meat. It was all on the outside crust. They have 2 options. Per lb or AYCE. For the AYCE you are limited to only 3 or 4 types of meat. The price per lb was $$. I think the brisket was $28/lb.
We had Ethiopian in Georgetown with our niece at Das. It was our first experience having Ethiopian and it was pretty good. Pizza at Arcurri was good. We like the guanciale and the other cured meats on the pizza and they were very quick.
Thanks for the recs!

Apr 10, 2014
jzc in Washington DC & Baltimore

Raising a non-picky eater

I just toned down the spice level when they were young and just started to add more and more. We also like salsa so they came to tolerate mild to medium spicy fairly quickly since they love chips. Also, they love Hainanese chicken so the garlic chili sauce that goes with it. They would just eat the rice with chili sauce if I let them.

We went to a Korean BBQ place for dinner with my friend and her 3 year old and had the spicy tofu soup to start. My friend gave her a spoonful and the little girl immediately starts to huff and puff to cool down her mouth from the spiciness. My friend just said "It's good huh?" and continued feeding her the soup. She was fine with it by the end of the meal.

Mar 27, 2014
jzc in Not About Food
1

Raising a non-picky eater

I agree too. When my boys were around 5 and 3 we went with my friend's kids to McD's. My boys had never been. Their friend ordered chicken nuggets so mine did too. When their order came, they refused to eat it because it wasn't chicken. I ended up eating them and ordering them hamburgers. They had never had that before either but they recognized meat and bread.

Mar 26, 2014
jzc in Not About Food

Raising a non-picky eater

We are Chinese and have 3 boys and we love Chinese food. However, I was born in Texas so while I may cook Chinese the majority of the time I have cravings for Cajun, Tex-Mex and Vietnamese. My best friend is Malaysian and I was always at her house scarfing up curry. My boys grew up eating what we ate so while they may not have initially liked spicy curry, bitter melon or okra, they'll eat it. Now they love it when I make a pot of curry, gumbo, red beans and rice, pozole, or Chinese soups. I think it's a combination of nature and nurture. We didn't expect them to not like anything and they were exposed early on to a variety of foods so they didn't know any different. They do have foods they aren't as fond of but they'll eat it.

Our nephew's kids are a little younger than our kids. They don't really cook a lot and when they do it's more western foods. We all went to a Chinese restaurant together because my SIL was visiting. She asks the kids what they would like to eat. Her grandkids replied fried rice, chow mein, etc. When it came to my son's turn, he wanted lobster. That's the downside in raising a foodie. $$$$ :-)

Mar 26, 2014
jzc in Not About Food

Cantonese Soups

We'll be visiting NYC next week and with the weather forecasting cold and wet I'm sure that we'll be craving Cantonese soups, preferably double boiled, to ward of the cold. I haven't found anything on this site, but perhaps I'm not searching correctly.

Does anyone have any recommendations?

Mar 26, 2014
jzc in Manhattan

Food suggestions

Hello all,

We (hubby and 3 boys) will be in DC for 3 days. We won't have a car and will be relying on public transportation. Can y'all give me any suggestions on where to eat? I've heard horror stories regarding the quality and price of food in DC (friend lived there for 3 years) and I can't imagine it can be that bad. We are from San Francisco, so we have a plethora of Asian (Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Thai etc.) and aren't really interested in Asian unless there's nothing else. My boys love to eat and they eat a lot so good food that's not super expensive would be great. We will eat anything. Also, since we are from California where foie gras is banned any suggestions for that? That would be our fine dining. We'll probably be at Georgetown for1 day and then seeing the Smithsonian, capitol, monuments etc.

Thanks!
L

Feb 24, 2014
jzc in Washington DC & Baltimore

Little blue crab at Asian grocery stores?

Those are crabs from the Gulf of Mexico. I grew up in Houston and we couldn't wait for crab season. It's been overfished and there doesn't seem to be much control regarding throwing back the smaller ones. We used to buy them off the boat and the average body was 5 inches or so. Much sweeter than Dungeness but since we only see the smaller ones here in the Bay Area, a PITA to pick the meat out. They're great in gumbo and I think the Vietnamese boil it, grind it up and soak it with the heavier shell particles falling to the bottom. Then it's strained for crab soup.

Aug 01, 2013
jzc in San Francisco Bay Area

Prime rib menu help

Just wanted to follow up and thank everyone for your help. I panicked at 6AM on Saturday morning because I couldn't access Chowhound. I didn't have access until almost 10AM so I was reviewing everything in my head but I hadn't printed anything or made notes so I wasn't sure on my times. I got access just about when I needed to put it in the oven. Praise the Lord! Luckily I had remembered to take the prime rib out of the fridge so it could come to room temperature and preheat my oven. I had 2 roasts. One was 5.34 lbs and flat while the other 5.6 and thicker.

I put the smaller one in earlier than thicker one to try to have it more medium rather than medium rare otherwise I followed Fourunder's sound advice of 20 minutes at 450 and then slow with my meat thermometer. 225 for 1.5 hours before I checked it. Panic again. Just realized, my thermometer's lowest temperature is 130. Achh! Poked it and decided to wing it and bake it for another half hour and then turn off the oven. Got back around 2:30-3 so it had been resting in the oven for 2.5 hours or so. It was still warm. Poked it with my finger and it seemed a little too soft so turned the oven back on for 30 minutes at 250 then took it out, covered it with foil, and then wrapped 2 thick towels over it while I did the sides.

Everyone raved about it. There was no gray and it was pink throughout. It was tender enough cut it with a fork. I was going to heat blast it the hour before serving but my hubby nixed that idea. I think it would have been better if the crust was hot instead of just warm, also I think I under seasoned it. I had made a chimichurri as well as au jus and the chimichurri was in high demand. I'm going to have to print out Fourunder's posting so that I have it on hand in case something goes wrong with the site again.

Apps - grape tomatoes, green olives, feta, minced shallots in a balsamic vinegarette, mustard sardines out of the tin, boiled globe artichoke with an avocado lime aioli, and stuffed mushrooms

Soup - cream of cauliflower good but not my favorite recipe. I was trying to be healthy so it didn't have any cream or butter. Mistake.

I was going to blanch the baby carrots and grill but walked away for a bit because guests arrived and ended up with boiled carrots so butter and thyme went into that. Braised kale took less than 5 minutes in the wok. Potato au gratin was ok but needs some tweaking although the boys seemed to like it. It was Alton Brown's recipe with Portobello mushrooms. It might have been the cheese, I should have grated my own parmesan instead of buying the packaged b/c it didn't seem to melt properly. If I do it again I'll definitely buy a mandolin and better cheese.

I didn't make the Yorkshire pudding/popovers after all. Realized that I only have a 6 muffin muffin tin. I told y'all I wasn't a baker.

I was tired at the end of the night so passed off the peach cobbler to my 13 year old son. It was yummy even though my hubby did forget the vanilla ice cream. :-( We finished the cobbler in less than 15 minutes straight out of the oven and I wasn't the only one huffing and puffing trying to cool off the bite in my mouth. Thank you my son!

At the end of the night we still had a quarter of the meat left and a third of the potato au gratin. We ate it last night. The prime rib was still really good. Unfortunately, no photos. We were so anxious to dig in, we didn't think about it until afterwards.

Thanks again everyone!

May 20, 2013
jzc in Home Cooking

Prime rib menu help

Thanks for all the wonderful ideas and suggestions. I hadn't thought of having 2 roasts. That will work out well because while we like it medium rare to medium some of the others like it well done. My guest list has expanded by 1 adult. So it's 9 males (5 adults, 3 teenagers, and child) and 4 females including 2 teens on diets.

It will be boneless roasts (I know not as tasty, but with 2 roasts maybe I'll do one bone in and one boneless). I'm not shopping until tomorrow night so I'll let y'all know what I come home with.

I will have to review fourunder's thread later tonight on cooking.

The apple pie suggestion got me thinking of going back to my southern roots for peach cobbler and vanilla ice cream. Yum! Easier to make as I cannot for the life of me make a good pie crust.

May 15, 2013
jzc in Home Cooking

Prime rib menu help

Hmm. It might be cultural perspective but we're used to 9 courses or more for a celebratory meal. Normally, I would make a 9 course Chinese meal, but since this meal is to celebrate the arrival of my brother in law from HK I thought making a Chinese meal would be like taking coals to Newcastle. Everyone that comes over wants to try American beef. If I only have the prime rib and 2 sides, it would seem stingy to me.

Also, my 3 boys, husband and I are very hearty eaters. I was thinking Yorkshire pudding in addition to potatoes. Maybe instead of since it would save me time in slicing the potatoes. Flan is pretty easy to make and I can make that the night or 2 before hand.

May 14, 2013
jzc in Home Cooking

Prime rib menu help

I will consider this but the reason I was opting for this method is I won't be home for the main cooking time. How long would you cook a 9 lb roast for? How low a temp? I did try to search for you and found lots of threads but nothing for prime rib roast.

May 14, 2013
jzc in Home Cooking

Prime rib menu help

I will be having a dinner for 12 people this Saturday. I'm trying to put together a menu with things I can prep ahead of time. Hubby wants me to prepare a prime rib. I've only done it once before and it turned out ok. I will be using the roast for 6 minutes a pound and turn off method so my oven won't be available before dinner. Can I make it earlier and take it out so I can prepare the sides? Also, any suggestions to the menu?

I'm thinking cream of cauliflower soup, potatoes au gratin, roasted mushrooms, pan roasted baby carrots (tiny one with the top on) and braised kale. The potatoes, prime rib and the mushrooms take the most time and all in the oven too. Can I bake the potatoes and mushrooms ahead of time and just heat up? Do I need a salad? Another veg? BTW: we're Chinese so in addition to the potatoes, we'll have rice. Flan for dessert. Haven't decide on apps yet.

Is a Yorkshire pudding easy to make? I've had wonderful ones but I'm not a baker.

May 14, 2013
jzc in Home Cooking

Dungeness Crab Prices 2012

Sunset Super in San Francisco (Vicente one) on Saturday. Under 2lbs were $3.99. 2lbs and above were $4.59 uncooked. Meaty with lots of "tomalley." Two crabs were around 4.5 lbs.

They'll fry fish for no charge but I don't know if they'll cook crab for you.

Nov 19, 2012
jzc in San Francisco Bay Area

Gary Danko or ???

As everyone has said. It really depends on your children. Because we don't have family here and sitters are expensive and cost as much as dinner, we've always taken our 3 boys everywhere with us and they eat what we eat and they know how to behave. We've been to Chez Spencer when the oldest was 8 and the youngest 3 (several times) and gotten compliments from the staff and the couples at neighboring tables. We've gone to Perbacco several times and it's my youngest's favorite restaurant. I was in Chicago for a wedding and my 4 year old and I dined at Tru. You have to know your child's limitations. When they were little, we prepped the boys ahead of time to know what to expect, made sure they were well rested and had a snack before we went.

I take offense that kids don't have a sophisticated palate. My friend took her 13 year old daughter to GD and she loved the food. My boys just asked me to make porchetta. As long as kids are exposed to different kinds of food every day, I think they'll enjoy food. We're Chinese and I cook mostly Chinese at home, but I also make Mexican, Malaysian, Greek, Middle Eastern, Italian, Korean and American. I think if kids are only exposed to hamburgers, hot dogs and cheese pizza, then that's what they will expect. Sorry to go off on a tangent.

I don't think that Chez Spencer is on par with GD and we've haven't been a while, but they have a patio seating area that has a little garden and a sandpit for kids.

Mar 21, 2012
jzc in San Francisco Bay Area