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Ma Po Tofu

Sorry but it's impossible to tell without seeing the name in Chinese.

Jul 24, 2012
lydiainflorida in General Topics

Ma Po Tofu

The traditional Ma Po Tofu is made with extremely thinly sliced or shaved beef. However nowadays most people make it with ground pork instead. Soft tofu is used and the final product looks like chopped up tofu - It's normally very spicy with chili bean paste and chili peppers.

Homestyle tofu - by definition varies by which household makes it. Some families make it with sliced carrots & bamboo shoots and sliced pork and others make it with mushrooms & ground pork - depending on what they have in the fridge that day. It can be spicy, or non-spicy - depending on whether or not you put chili peppers in there. American restaurants make it saucier while real Chinese people in Asia probably don't make it with much sauce. The tofu used is usually firmer and has a thicker skin and the dish usually look like this - or this -

Jul 24, 2012
lydiainflorida in General Topics

Non-smoking, Inexpensive, Non-chain, Southern/Nashville Food with Easy/Free Parking in Nashville

Is it impossible to find? I'm visiting Nashville next week (during the week). I'm looking for dinner options that are inexpensive (preferrably less than $10 per entree, will consider up to $15), non-smoking, non-chain local Nashville restaurants. Every recommendation I've read here is either too expensive, not open for dinner (or close too early at 8 PM), allows smoking, or in the downtown area where parking is hard/not free.

We already have Loveless Cafe planned for one night but need dinner for another night. I was considering Puckett's but it looks like parking will be an issue and it's also towards the top of my price range (husband said it was too expensive).

Any inputs will be highly appreciated.

Fresh lotus paste for mooncakes

I'm afraid you'll have to make it yourself. Just boil the lotus seeds (do not soak them in water first) until tender, add peanut oil and sugar and then mash it up. That's it, not difficult at all!

Best Tiramisu in South Broward

In search of the best tiramisu in south Broward county (preferrably southwest), one that's not too sweet.

Diners Recommendations Atlantic City to Asbury Park

I'm a sucker for diners and it looks like New Jersey is famous for its diners so I've gotta try at least one of them when I'm up there for 4th of July weekend. I will be staying in Long Beach Island but will be travelling one day to Asbury Park and one day to Atlantic City. Any recommendations for old fashioned diners in between these two areas? Cheap is good too - i.e. sandwiches should not cost more than $8 each. Breakfast entrees should not cost more than $6-7. Please advise on any possible holiday closures as well. Thanks!

Jun 22, 2010
lydiainflorida in New Jersey

Lychee sightings - 2010

Just got back from Foodtown in Davie - they had a ton of them for $2.99/lb.

Can't decide where to go for breakfast - help me pick please!

For my upcoming road trip to Atlanta, I'll have one opportunity for breakfast at a diner type place. I'm looking at midtown to Decatur to Doraville (Buford Hwy) areas. I was all set on American Roadhouse for their gloring reviews on Yelp but since I have an unhealthy obsession with biscuits I am now second guessing myself if I should go to one of these other fine establishments for biscuits and gravy.

The contenders are:

American Roadhouse
The Silver Skillet
Thumbs Up Diner (Decatur location)

The Flying Biscuit didn't make the list because they don't have gravy but I'll sure stop by to grab a biscuit to go sometime during my trip.

Any feedbacks are highly appreciated!

American Roadhouse
842 N Highland Ave Northeast, Atlanta, GA 30306

Flying Biscuit Cafe
1655 McLendon Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30307

Silver Skillet
200 14th St NW, Atlanta, GA 30318

Thumbs Up Diner
826 Marietta St NW, Atlanta, GA 30318

May 10, 2010
lydiainflorida in Atlanta

ISO - Restaurant that serves BOTH Chicken & Waffles AND Country/Chicken Fried Steak

I'll be in Atlanta for Memorial Day weekend and I have looked at over 20 restaurant menus and have yet to find a restaurant that has BOTH chicken & waffles AND country/chicken fried steak/chicken for dinner (not breakfast or lunch). I am looking for a southern diner type of restaurant that is inexpensive (under $12 for the above mentioned items). Any ideas?

May 08, 2010
lydiainflorida in Atlanta

Scallion Pancakes

No, the Korean ones are NOT the same as the Chinese scallion pancakes. Totally different animals. They might be called the same, but they most definitely do not taste the same. Different texture and everything.

Sep 19, 2008
lydiainflorida in Florida

Where to Buy Beef Shank in Southwest Broward?

I'm looking for beef shank in Southwest Broward (Pembroke Pines, Miramar, Weston, Cooper City, Davie). Any idea where I can find it? No Chinese grocery store please.


Aug 08, 2008
lydiainflorida in Florida

Fun with Lard

One word - biscuits!!

Jun 23, 2008
lydiainflorida in Home Cooking

Lychee sightings - Miami

The ones I saw/bought were big/fresh incredibly juicy and sweet. They had just arrived when I bought them. There were no tag/prices posted yet because they had just unloaded them. All braches were cut off so you pay for the actual fruit only which I thought was a pretty good deal. I also spotted them at the Albertsons on Pines Blvd two/three weeks ago and they were $7/lbs but had lots of branches attached.

Lychee sightings - Miami

Purchased some from Publix over the weekend. $6.49 for a pint-size plastic carton. Spotted them at several local South Broward Publix locations.

Dill Dumplings (Chinese) - Authentic? Regional?

Just did a search for dill dumplings in Chinese and yes, it returns lots of results in Chinese. Apparently it's a northern Chinese dish, and not always made with meat inside.

Interestingly, it doesn't look it's available outside of that one region as quite a few search results included people that were moved to tears when they found a restaurant that serve the dill dumplings. And yes, it is dill and not some other kind of herb.

May 12, 2008
lydiainflorida in General Topics

Black vinegar - best brand?

Since Din Tai Fung is from Taiwan, I would recommend the unofficial Taiwanese brand black vinegar called "Kong Yen". You might be able to find it at 99 Ranch.

Apr 28, 2008
lydiainflorida in General Topics

Bread bakers: do you weigh your ingredients?

I weight everything.

Apr 21, 2008
lydiainflorida in Home Cooking

My Home-baked bread is too dense

Please see the attached pic for what it should look like. Kneading using a mixure should take about 15-20 minutes to reach this stage. This will yield to fluffy "wonderbread" texture. Adding vital wheat gluten will also help you reach this stage faster and the end result will be fluffier too.

I proof my bread in the oven for about an hour for the first time with a pot of hot water in (oven is turned OFF). Then take out the dough, punch the dough to let the air out, divide, and form them into little balls. Cover them with plastic wrap so they don't dry out. Let rest for 10-15 minutes, then shape them. Second proof again in the oven at a higher temperature and humidity (I put two pots of hot water in the oven this time) for 40-50 minutes. Do not punch down the dough before baking.

Apr 18, 2008
lydiainflorida in Home Cooking

My Home-baked bread is too dense

Are you kneading enough? A well-kneaded dough should be extremely elastic and can be stretched to form a thin film without breaking, which can take up to an hour if kneaded by hand.

Apr 16, 2008
lydiainflorida in Home Cooking

Chinese appetizers

I second this idea. Bakery/pastry items are usually eaten as snacks in the Chinese culture, which is the closest you'll get to an "appetizer" since there's really no appetizer in Chinese dining, just like there's no such thing as "Chinese salad".

Apr 15, 2008
lydiainflorida in Home Cooking

Authentic Taiwanese Food in Anaheim, CA?

Hi all,

I am going to a trade show at the Anahiem convention center in a few weeks and I'll be staying at the Hyatt Regency Orange County (11999 Harbor Blvd, Garden Grove, CA). Are these any Taiwanese places near by? Are there Chinese grocery stores near by? I will have a rental car but it's shared among all that's going to the show so my access to the car is extremely limited.


Soup dumplings (dumplings FILLED w/ soup)

I just want to add that soup dumplings are called "xiao lung tang bao" or just "tang bao" for short. Xiao lung bao is a different dish. It's just steamed bun without the soup. "Tang" in Chinese means "soup".

I wanted to make that clear in case anyone goes to a Chinese restaurant and leaves disappointed and comes back with a negative review because the soup dumplings they order has no soup inside all because they see "xiao lung bao" on the menu and think it's soup dumplings.

Apr 04, 2008
lydiainflorida in General Topics

Yellow Limes

On the other hand, in Taiwan, all the lemons are green. They look like lemons (with the pointed head and tail) and thicker skin but they are definitely green (even when ripen). I wonder why.

Apr 02, 2008
lydiainflorida in General Topics

Dim Sum in Orlando Vicinity?

I doubt it because the address is different. Ming Court is a tourisy kind of place (it's on I-Drive duh!) and quite expensive. I wasn't wowed by the food.

Mar 26, 2008
lydiainflorida in Florida

Dim Sum in Orlando Vicinity?

Chan's Chinese Cuisine
1901 E Colonial Dr, Orlando, FL
(407) 896-0093‎

Mar 25, 2008
lydiainflorida in Florida

Need Jumbo Muffin / Cupcake Liners TODAY!! Where to buy in S. FL? [Moved from Home Cooking board]

Thanks for the replies! I found them at Michael's. Just the plain white ones (was hoping for red or some other Valentine's themed designs) but better than nothing.

Feb 15, 2008
lydiainflorida in Florida

Need Jumbo Muffin / Cupcake Liners TODAY!! Where to buy in S. FL? [Moved from Home Cooking board]

I need the paper cupcake / muffins cups / liners for my Valentine's day muffins that I will be baking tonight in the jumbo size (2 1/4" bottoms). I've been looking for them since yesterday. So far I've visited Publix and Winn Dixie and neither has them (they both only had the standard size). I am crunched for time here. I only have about 20-30 minuts after work today to look for them. Does anyone know where I can find them in S. FL? Does Michael's or Target has them?

Feb 14, 2008
lydiainflorida in Florida

Las Vegas Chinatown-- Let's thoroughly review it

I'm going to Vegas for a week in mid March and I can't wait to visit the Chinatown area. I will be staying near the south end of the strip and won't be renting a car. What would be the best way to get to the Chinatown area from where I will be staying? My guess is probably by taxi? What would the fare be approximately (sorry I'm REALLY cheap)?

Jan 16, 2008
lydiainflorida in Las Vegas


Is Char Hut a sit down place (with TV's and beer) or a quick service place?

Jan 07, 2008
lydiainflorida in Florida

Dum Sum: Jumbo over Mr. Chu's

Does anyone know if Dim Sum is served at Jumbo at dinner time tonight (Friday night)?

If not, how about Sang's? (Craving for some Dim Sum right now if you can't tell..)

Dec 07, 2007
lydiainflorida in Florida