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Quick Fried Crispy Fish at Grand Szechuan

Yeah, I know. :) It's not so much that it's far away as the crow flies, but it's awkward to get to around rush hour when we need to go (kid goes to bed around 7:00 so we're early diners).

I did see those recipes in my searches and neither of them sound right. There isn't a strong ginger or onion flavor present and the fish fillets are cut into chunks before being dredged and fried. The coating is too light to be flour, IMO.

Jan 14, 2011
PikaPikaChick in Home Cooking

Quick Fried Crispy Fish at Grand Szechuan

I'm desperately trying to recreate this dish at home but I'm running into some roadblocks. Does anyone know the actual recipe or one similar to it? My Google-Fu came up dry.

I'm almost certain the fish is dredged in cornstarch before frying. But it has that slightly sweet flavor and it's not sticky like it has been tossed in a sauce after frying, so what are they putting in the cornstarch? I'm not sure sweet rice flour would be the right flavor.

It's not a traditional black bean sauce but the fermented black beans are present. It seems like there is the tiniest bit of some kind of sauce that the red bell peppers and beans are tossed in. Again, I'm stumped.

As much as we like going to GS, it's kind of far away from our little South Minneapolis bubble and a little on the pricey side to visit all that often. Any thoughts you may have on this would be appreciated!

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Grand Szechuan
10602 France Ave S, Bloomington, MN 55431

Jan 14, 2011
PikaPikaChick in Home Cooking

[MSP] Where in Twin Cities to buy six-packs of obscure, unsual, even funny beers?

Sinful Wine and Spirits in Bloomington (in Southtown Center) does build-your-own six packs too. They've got quite a few interesting beers there and the staff is super friendly.

Nov 12, 2008
PikaPikaChick in General Midwest Archive

MSP: Where to buy real bone-in Country Ham?

Every now and again I think that Everett's in Minneapolis carries them. They may be able to point you in the right direction even if they don't have any right now.

Sep 19, 2008
PikaPikaChick in General Midwest Archive

[MSP] Pancakes for lunch in downtown Mpls?

Thanks for the suggestions. None of them, unfortunately, worked for me. ^_^* I should have elaborated more in my original post. I blame the hormones.

The YMMV details: Hell's Kitchen is a little fancier than I needed. I had a really bad experience with a terrible line cook, awful food, and apathetic management at Peter's Grill. And don't get me started on the overpriced-ness and mediocrity of Key's. But that's just me.

For the record, I found what I was looking for at Louann's in the Thrivent building. I got a half order of your basic buttermilk pancakes for less than $4. The baby is happy and a prenatal crisis has been averted. The service at this cute little joint is amazing, too! It's kind of like eating at grandma's house.

Sep 18, 2008
PikaPikaChick in General Midwest Archive

[MSP] Pancakes for lunch in downtown Mpls?

Pregnancy has cranked up some of my usual cravings to 11. And good googly moogly, this preggo needs some pancakes for lunch *right now.* Any suggestions?

Sep 18, 2008
PikaPikaChick in General Midwest Archive

[MSP] Twin Cities dishes featuring whole grains?

I really dig the sweet potato fries at Herkimer. They're crispy and not at all oily.

Nov 16, 2007
PikaPikaChick in General Midwest Archive

Minneapolis Delivery (particularly South)

Hot dang, that's the best news so far. Is it the pasta bar side or the deli side?

Nov 15, 2007
PikaPikaChick in General Midwest Archive

Peninsula Malaysian Cuisine - Minneapolis

Even when I did eat bird and mammal I couldn't stand boneless, skinless chicken breasts. I was mostly raised by my dad and it seemed like every night was a rotation of b/s chicken or turkey. Of course, here in Minnesota we take bland and make it blander by throwing everything in a casserole with egg noodles and cream of x or y and calling it "hotdish." No wonder we're all starving for ethnic food around here.

I agree that we're sorely lacking in good Asian restaurants in these parts. With all the Hmong, Korean, Vietnamese, and other SE Asian communities around here, I wonder what the reason is?

The one thing I really, really wish we had that would make total sense in this frozen hole (sorry, it's the early-onset seasonal affective disorder) is a huge indoor farmer's market like Cleveland has. The MGM is great, but it pales in comparison to that behemoth. And don't get me started on the Minneapolis Farmer's Market. I've heard it described as a "stroller hell" and I strongly agree. And the downtown one... well, Nicollet Avenue's sidewalks would never be big enough.

Oct 26, 2007
PikaPikaChick in General Midwest Archive

Recipes for starving college students?

Forgive me if this has already been mentioned, but I was nosing around at Instructables.com and thought of this thread... Anyway, do a search for [Collegiate Meals] (with the brackets). The user trebuchet03 has some good, cheap ideas. The stromboli in particular looks magnificent.

Oct 26, 2007
PikaPikaChick in Home Cooking

snickers dark?

I will eat Snickers *anything*. I'm a sucker for that flavor combination. I'll happily pay $5 for a single gourmet truffle at a fancy confectioner's shop every once in a while, but sometimes a girl just needs some trashy, waxy American Hershey's or Mars chocolate.

...mmmmh... Special Dark..... nomnomnom...

And I'm assuming you're talking about the commercial with the viking at the gas station? It cracks me up *every* time. "YYYAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYY!" *WHAM*

Oct 24, 2007
PikaPikaChick in General Topics

Minneapolis Delivery (particularly South)

Star Moon is our preferred Chinese delivery. The quality is about what you'd expect in an Americanized Chinese delivery joint. We've never had an order messed up or dealt with the 10-year-old, but we do frequently get the angry "WHAT YOU WANT?! WHAT ELSE?!?!" guy on the phone a lot.

We tried that other place on 46th & Nicollet and hated it too.

Oct 23, 2007
PikaPikaChick in General Midwest Archive

Peninsula Malaysian Cuisine - Minneapolis

I'm resurrecting this post because I just had my first Peninsula experience last night.

I had the Pattaya Soft Shell Crab. I've never had soft shell crab before and it took a few seconds for my brain to process the fact that you eat the whole thing. The presentation was lovely and the portion was huge, like 2-3 person huge. The bright orange sauce wasn't nearly as off-putting at the dim lighting of the restaurant as it is today as leftovers under my office's fluorescents. Bright orange sauce or no, I liked it a lot. The crab is deep fried in a tempura-like batter and served with green peppers, red onions, and mango. The sauce is like a fruity, spicy sweet-and-sour. I didn't think it was overly spicy but my nose was running while I was eating it.... The cilantro really helped brighten up the flavors. The only downside of this dish was that a few of the mango slices weren't quite 100% ripe yet, but then again I like my mango to practically melt in my mouth.

I also had the Green Bean With Grass Jelly Freeze drink. I was aiming for something with tapioca pearl from the moment I walked in and saw those huge straws by the register, but they were out of tapioca for the evening. The drink was pleasant enough, nothing to write home about, and absolutely loaded with grass jelly. I'll have to look that up and see what exactly that is. The beans had a very pleasant texture and tasted more grassy than the grass jelly itself.

My husband had the Crispy Onion Braised Duck. It was half a duck (!) braised in a tasty brown soy-based sauce. It was just sweet enough to give it some depth and there was a smoky hint in there somewhere. The sweet onions were fried with the same batter my crab was, I think, and served atop the duck. The meat was moist and fatty in a good way. There was no crispy skin here, just tender meat braised until medium-well.

For dessert we had the Banana Filled Malaysian Pancake. It's a little plain-looking, but I thought it was really good. Very homey. It arrives looking like a quesadilla. The pancake is doughy and satisfying. The bananas tasted like they were cooked in coconut milk.

The ambiance was nice. It was a Monday night so it wasn't exactly packed. They kept us all down at the end with the windows, but despite the close quarters it still felt intimate. My (musician) husband noted the extensive use of acoustical tiles that made conversation and kitchen noise sound much less cavernous than the space. The service was extremely friendly and helpful. Our lovely server put up with our questions and offered up some recommendations. The runner was also friendly, as was the hostess who offered to put our take-out containers into a bag.

If you've never been, grab some friends, grab the coupon off their website, and share some dishes. I know this place gets mixed reviews here but I still think it's worth giving it a shot. I'll be going back soon to try the salty tofu dish that some have mentioned (though I don't remember seeing it on the menu last night).

Oct 23, 2007
PikaPikaChick in General Midwest Archive

Minneapolis Delivery (particularly South)

As my husband and I sit, sloth-like, on the bed tonight we've discovered how hard it is to find restaurants in Minneapolis that deliver. I worked my best Google-fu to no avail. Does anyone know of a website that has a good list of actual *delivery joints*, not take-out, possibly something that says what area they deliver in?

Barring that, do you have any suggestions? Here's my sad little list for my neighborhood (Bancroft):

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Caffrey's Deli & Subs
3008 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55408

Fat Lorenzos
5600 Cedar Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55417

Star Moon Chinese Restaurant
737 E 48th St, Minneapolis, MN 55417

Pizza Luce
2200 E Franklin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55404

Domino's Pizza
4552 Bloomington Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55407

A & J Fish & Chicken
500 E Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55408

Oct 17, 2007
PikaPikaChick in General Midwest Archive

best way to freeze baked pasta?

I'm a chronic freezer. Believe me, it's a lifesaver some nights. With baked pasta or lasagna I portion it out either in quart or gallon freezer bags, squeeze as much air out as humanly possible (you can suck out the air with a straw too but I'm lazy and I don't own any straws), then I wrap in heavy duty foil or freezer paper.

I've found that defrosting in the fridge before reheating makes pasta super mushy. Best to go straight into the oven or microwave.

Oct 10, 2007
PikaPikaChick in Home Cooking

Korean Hot Relish

If you saw chunks of cabbage in there you can bet it was kimchee. If it looked more like ketchup it was probably gochujang (or kochujang or kojuchang or however you would choose to spell it at any given occasion), which is a spicy red pepper condiment that's killer over eggs.

If it was kimchee you can eat it straight up like a man. Or you can tuck it in with some rice in some seaweed squares. Or make soup from it. Or put it in mandu (Korean version of jiaozi/gyoza) with some ground pork and ground beef. Or stir fry it. The possibilities are endless! Koreans eat kimchee with *everything* morning, noon, and night. I don't know what brand of kimchee Wal-Mart carries but be warned: there is very good kimchee and there is very bad kimchee. It's quite an adventure to try and find your favorite brand if you don't want to make it yourself.

Oct 04, 2007
PikaPikaChick in General Topics

What can I do with leftover steamed broccoli?

Pasties! With feta or cheddar and some sauteed onions.

Oct 04, 2007
PikaPikaChick in Home Cooking

Best (mail-able) pies? [Moved from Midwest]

Betty's Pies in Two Harbors, MN: http://www.bettyspies.com

I have only this to say: num.

Oct 04, 2007
PikaPikaChick in General Topics

Far South Minneapolis Suggestions

Have you tried Isabel's on 46th and Cedar? It's right around the corner from Colossal Cafe. They have some pretty tasty soups, salads, and sandwiches. I also had some veggie spring rolls earlier this summer that were good. If it wasn't for the cranky guy who works there we'd go more often. They just opened a little cafe next door but I haven't tried it yet.

There's always the Chatterbox Pub too, if you're into that sort of thing.

Oct 04, 2007
PikaPikaChick in General Midwest Archive

What is Your Favorite Non-Foodie Thanksgiving Dish?

I think examples would be the best way to explain.

Foodie Food: Crispy Quails with Chile Jam and Three-Bean Salad
Non-Foodie Food: Mashed Potatoes From A Box, Microwaved

Sep 27, 2007
PikaPikaChick in Home Cooking

What is Your Favorite Non-Foodie Thanksgiving Dish?

Stuffing. From a box or a bag.

Sep 27, 2007
PikaPikaChick in Home Cooking

the best vegetarian food "products"

I had the Quorn Turk'y Roast the other night for the first time. For pure flavor it was OMG! good. Seriously, really, really good. I warmed it up, sliced it, and fried it country style. Served it with biscuits and mashed potatoes. For a fast meal you could do the roast, refrigerated biscuits, and instant mashers. Maybe crack open a jar of gravy. I know what I'm eating this Thanksgiving!

Sep 24, 2007
PikaPikaChick in General Topics

Korean food discussion [split from the Pennsylvania board]

Going back to the original question, I judge a Korean restaurant on the quality of the mandu. Simple, yes, but very important. Whether they are fried or steamed or both the question I always ask myself is: do they taste like my mom's? My mom was straight over from Korea so I consider her cooking from my youth to be the absolute pinnacle of Korean cuisine. But that's just my own personal nostalgia talking.

Mandu can be a tricky thing. It can't have tough edges. The skin needs to be thin, almost translucent. If it's fried it needs to have just enough color. If it's in soup (mandu kook) it can't be falling apart. Cooks who have the mad mandu skillz usually excel at everything else on the menu, at least in my experience.

Sep 24, 2007
PikaPikaChick in General Topics

Recipes for starving college students?

My roommates and I lived off of lo mein for a while. It can be easily prepared in a skillet.

1 pkg spaghetti or lo mein noodles
1/2 bag frozen veggies or 1 can stir fry blend, drained
chicken pieces if you can afford it
soy sauce
mirin if you're fancy, chicken broth if you're not

You can also use beef and 1/2 jar beef gravy or substitute tofu for chicken.

Serve with homework and thick coffee.

Sep 14, 2007
PikaPikaChick in Home Cooking

Recipes for starving college students?

Even easier, just buy pre-breaded chicken patties.

Sep 14, 2007
PikaPikaChick in Home Cooking

Ice Milk

They used to serve us that in elementary school lunches. I always wondered why I got sick after eating it until someone mentioned that I might be lactose intolerant. From then on I scowled and sulked when the only school lunch dessert option was ice milk.

Sep 13, 2007
PikaPikaChick in General Topics

What's the most exotic thing you ate?

When I was little the other kids used to think I was weird because I ate dried squid and seaweed.

I'm fairly adventurous nowadays but my list is short and still pretty tame: tripe (interesting texture, not bad) and uni sushi (YUCK - like licking the bottom of a garbage can)

Sep 13, 2007
PikaPikaChick in General Topics

What to fill a cake with

I'm always a fan of filling cakes with mousse.

Sep 13, 2007
PikaPikaChick in Home Cooking

Best Soup Twin Cities MN

I had borscht at Cecil's Deli in St. Paul several years ago that was out of this world. I haven't been back since, so I wonder if it's still as good today?

Sep 13, 2007
PikaPikaChick in General Midwest Archive

Minneapolis delicacies

The best I've had in the Midwest were at the cheese steak booth at the MN State Fair. Go figure.

Sep 05, 2007
PikaPikaChick in Minneapolis-St. Paul