RealMenJulienne's Profile

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The Ubiquitous Maggi Seasoning

Everything cooked at those Japanese steakhouse places always have this indefinable savory flavor. I am pretty sure that teppanyaki flavor is just Maggi seasoning mixed with margarine. I'm telling you it's magic. It has the power to turn $.15 of rice and eggs into $15 House Special Fried Rice.

Is King Arthur Flour worth the price?

I am not an expert baker like some on this thread, but I can only recount my own experience. I have compared king Arthur bread flour with other brands when making NY-style pizza dough, and the difference is significant. The King Arthur dough produces much better oven spring and hole structure than the other brands do. Flavor-wise there's not much difference but the texture of KA is clearly superior.

Opinel Chef Knife from France

I do not have the Opinel chef's knife, but I do use an Opinel carbon steel folder as a daily use pocket knife and I'm a big fan. The design is very simple and elegant and the build quality is excellent. It takes a very keen edge and sharpens up in a flash. Not to mention, it is just down right beautiful.

If the quality of the chef's knife is anywhere close to that of the pocket knife line you won't be disappointed.

Nov 16, 2014
RealMenJulienne in Cookware

What type of cuisine do you NOT like?

I do enjoy yu xiang eggplant and make it at home a lot but I've never had it at a Szechuan restaurant. In fact I didn't even know it was a Szechuan technique so I guess I did find something to like after all.

What type of cuisine do you NOT like?

Thanks for the compliment, your posts are likewise fun to read, especially those about cookware. I can find something to like about every other Chinese regional cuisine but Szechuan food just grosses me out. I especially hate it when those mala peppercorns creep into non-Szechuan dishes and you bite down on one unexpectedly.

What type of cuisine do you NOT like?

Don't like Szechuan food. Too much oil and one-note blazing heat. Not to mention Szechuan peppercorns are absolutely disgusting.

I like Thai food but dislike Thai curries.

Thanksgiving Meal Other Than Turkey

We usually do hot pot the next day, by boiling the turkey bones for the soup base.

Why Chinese cuisines/dishes do not include raw vegetables...

I read an interesting article which stated that fundamental differences in Chinese and European cuisines could be explained by their respective water supplies. Many parts of western Europe are watered by fast-flowing rivers fed by mountain runoff, which are more resistant to contamination. On the other hand, Chinese rivers are meandering, slow-moving and silty. This could explain why Chinese traditionally prefer hot, boiled drinking water and avoid raw salads.

These days however raw salads are quite common in the larger cities. I’ve had many business dinners in Beijing where mixed green salads with soy-based dressings are served family style.

So, what's the average Chowhounder's weight?

Great approach to exercise. It's important to pick something you like to do instead of just grinding out reps for the sake of some nebulous goal like burning calories or losing weight. Since I started working out at a boxing gym the motivation to exercise has never been higher, because every minute in the gym is progress toward getting better at sparring. It's no longer something that I have to endure for the sake of being healthier. It's all a mental game:

Jump rope to "lose weight" or "work on my cardio": boring, and I'll stop after a few days.

Jump rope to improve footwork in the ring: fun, and I look forward to doing it.

Still 5'9" 185 lbs, but the weight is now moving away from my waistline and into my arms and shoulders.

Browned/Burnt/Overcooked Eggs - yum?

I like eggs almost every which way. Over easy with crisp lacy edges. Scrambled Chinese-style with scallions, red chiles, and plenty of brown bits. Hard-boiled, soft-boiled, tea-soaked and soy sauce braised. God help me, with enough hot sauce I even like the scrambled eggs out of a carton sitting on the breakfast buffet.

The only prep I don't like is classically made "proper" scrambled eggs. Loose and runny like baby food.

Slightly stinky chicken... Am I crazy or is it okay?

This weekend I prepped and grilled 10 pounds of dark meat chicken for a dinner party. The (cheapskate) host had bought the meat at an Asian megamart and some of those chicken quarters were so nasty you could smell the methane through the plastic wrap. As we were skinning and deboning, the smell actually wafted 20-30 feet out of the kitchen and caused complaints in the living room. Over my objections, the host rinsed the meat with white vinegar, put them in a yogurt masala marinade and grilled them the next day.

There was no bad smell or taste, and nobody died or got sick. In fact that was some of the tastiest grilled chicken I've ever eaten.

So credit where credit is due, to the cheapskate host. I personally would have tossed it but we dodged a bullet, this time.

Roasting a Turkey in a Dutch oven?

If you are roasting in a dutch oven with heavy base, then yes it can work well. The key is to preheat the dutch oven on a med-heat stovetop first, then lay the bird in dark meat side-down. Dark meat needs to reach a higher temperature than white meat, or it will be chewy. By cooking on a medium stovetop for 15-20 minutes, you give the dark meat a temperature jump start while crisping the bottom skin at the same time. Then you can roast uncovered as you would normally until the white meat reaches ~140F (this is my temp preference and will vary depending on your food safety comfort zone).

Nov 06, 2014
RealMenJulienne in Home Cooking

Don't Cook a Turkey If It's Tamales You're Thankful For

Until I moved out and started cooking it myself i thought turkey was supposed to be dry and chalky. I never liked it until I figured out how to cook the white meat to 145F and dark meat to 180F. Now it's one of my favorites.

Nov 06, 2014
RealMenJulienne in Features

Don't Cook a Turkey If It's Tamales You're Thankful For

We had the turkey surrounded by Chinese food type of Thanksgiving dinner growing up. The turkey may have been dried out and generally ignored, but it is indispensable. It's what makes the holiday what it is. Without it, the meal is just another Chinese family potluck. Besides, without the turkey carcass, how are you going to make turkey xi fan or hot and sour turkey soup the next day?

Green Bell Peppers-- Need to Use 'em Up!

Make bell peppers and beef stir fry. Make a mixture of soy sauce, minced ginger and garlic, white pepper, sugar and a pinch of corn starch. Marinate thin-sliced flank or ribeye for an hour. While beef is marinating, slice a couple bell peppers and one yellow onion into thin ribbons. Pan-fry the sliced beef in a large skillet, then set aside. Add a little more oil and stir fry the vegetables with a bit of chili black bean paste. The beef will have left fond in the pan so use the watery vegetables to scrape it up and blend into the dish. When the vegetables are half done, add the beef back in, toss to combine, and cook the meat through. Serve with steamed rice.

Nov 06, 2014
RealMenJulienne in Home Cooking

Why drink chicken soup when you are sick? What so special?

As long as we're talking about Asian soups a big bowl of kimchi-miso stew with a red slick of chili oil on top is a guaranteed cold and flu killer.

I really like <fill in chain> and I look forward to returning

Portillo's is a Chicago area chain that I seldom think about when I'm here, but crave when I'm out of town. Not just good "for a chain", their Chicago-style dogs and Italian beefs are some of my favorite in the city. Also they do a really tasty char burger and chocolate cake shake.

Hardees is another I always make sure to visit when I'm back in Indiana. Their burgers can compete with those of sit-down chains like Applebees and Fridays at half the cost. Not amazing burgers, but they really punch above their weight. Hardees' breakfast though, is great by any measure. Their biscuits are some of the best I've had anywhere.

Nov 04, 2014
RealMenJulienne in Chains

Authentic ways of using mock duck

We always ate that stuff with a congee breakfast. You make a pot of rice with twice as much water as you normally would, so it comes out like runny porridge. Then you set out little dishes of mock duck, pork floss, preserved bamboo shoots in chili oil, soy sauce pickles, scrambled egg w/scallion and fried sweet sausage. Eat family style.

Nov 04, 2014
RealMenJulienne in Home Cooking

If You Could Only Drink One Beer Forever...

I gotta be honest I am something of a beer philistine. Just give me something that tastes OK on a hot summer evening and gets me drunk and I am a happy man. That said I will take a simple wheat beer like 312 for the rest of my life and not regret it too much.

Nov 03, 2014
RealMenJulienne in Beer

Mc Donald's Egg McMuffin

This is the way I always do it. Two sausage muffins, and a hash brown.Break the hash brown in half and place it in the sandwiches next the cheese, so the hot potato melts it down.

Really great breakfast, more than the sum of its parts. Hard to have more fun for $3 in the morning, especially when hung over or in some other grim condition.

Nov 03, 2014
RealMenJulienne in Chains

Battle of the Slaws: Mayo vs Vinegar based

That's a logical approach. I think it also depends on the sauce or rub on the meat. If it's spicy, go with mayo slaw to cool the heat. If the BBQ is more sweet, a vinegar slaw can complement those flavors.

Battle of the Slaws: Mayo vs Vinegar based

I always have those ingredients on hand, but the specifics are not that important. It's more of a technique than a recipe. Basically it is a vinaigrette with backwards proportions.

Grapeseed oil - can use any neutral oil
Rice vinegar - sub your acid of choice (white vinegar, lemon juice, etc)
Mustard - any kind of grainy mustard will do

I forgot to mention earlier. Whisking in an egg will give you a creamier texture. If you use the whole egg, it stays loose and runny like a dressing. If you use just the yolk and whisk longer, you get a more mayo-like consistency (since you are basically making a mayonnaise with the egg and oil). So by starting with the vinaigrette and adding egg, you can fine tune the level of creaminess or vinegar-ness to your preference.

It's all about the egg .

The best way to eat eggs is scrambled up Chinese style.

Slice 3-4 stalks of scallions and 2-3 red chiles. Throw them into a wok of hot oil and add salt. Roughly whip up your eggs with a splash of xiao xing wine, then scramble them into the scallions. The oil needs to be super hot so the eggs get brown and a bit crispy.

I've had soft scrambled eggs slow-cooked the 'proper' way, in a Paris cafe. I did not really enjoy it as the soft curdled texture reminded me of baby food.

Nov 03, 2014
RealMenJulienne in Home Cooking

What method do you use to drain cooked and crumbled ground meat?

"I tilt one side of it up, and with the spatula, push all of the ground meat to that side. The spatula can also be used to squeeze out excess grease as you do it. The grease runs to the low side of the pan, and you can simply spoon it out of there into a bowl (I use a big serving spoon for this; it only takes a few seconds)."

I use a variation of your method. Push cooked meat to one side, tilt the pan, then place a couple folded paper towels directly in the pan to soak up the grease. Swab them around a bit with tongs, then throw them away. No pouring back and forth and no need to dirty a colander.

Nov 03, 2014
RealMenJulienne in Home Cooking

My Bacon

Thanks very much. I will have to experiment with cold smoking bacon on the Weber bullet this fall.

What food like/dislikes do you have that are contradictory and make no sense?

Dislike sweet desserts but enjoy sweet flavors in savory dishes

Hate shiitakes but love all other mushrooms

Like fennel seed and star anise, hate licorice

Dislike preserved seafood products (e.g. dried shrimps, anchovies) but like fish sauce

Like caraway flavor but dislike rye bread

Love hot dogs, dislike offal

My Bacon

Looks great! Can you give us more details?

Cure recipe
Curing time
Smoking temp
Wood variety


Your most delicious and uncanny ways to eat Spam?

The best way to cook Spam is on the George Foreman grill.

It gets crispy on both sides really quickly and also renders out an ungodly amount of grease.

Make a sandwich with the grilled Spam, white bread, yellow mustard and dill pickle, then put the whole thing back in the grill to toast in the processed pork fat. Makes a great breakfast for a hungover morning.

Why are kitchen tools so expensive?

Great answers. The thread can go ahead and shut down now.

If you walked into the kitchens of the finest restaurants in the world I doubt you would find much fancy designer cookware with multicolored finishes. You would instead see scarred up, well used carbon steel and plain aluminum pans. You would see midrange stainless steel knives with molded plastic handles that have rounded points from being sharpened so many times. Don't buy into the marketing, go with what the pros use and shop at restaurant supply stores.

"Ethnic" groceries will also sometimes sell kitchen equipment. The Korean store near my house has high quality kitchen staples like tongs, spiders, strainers, baking dishes, mixing bowls, etc. for really cheap prices.

Battle of the Slaws: Mayo vs Vinegar based

I have been a lifelong partisan of the mayo slaw camp. A creamy slaw with Hellman's or Kewpie was my idea of the perfect summertime side. But this weekend I tried a vinegar slaw recipe that may have me defecting to the other side:

2 parts rice vinegar
1 part grapeseed oil.
Couple spoonfuls of Polish brown mustard
1 clove grated garlic

Basically a vinaigrette with modified proportions. Tossed with sliced salted cabbage and onion, this was the perfect complement to a smoked chicken meal. The tart dressing was a great palate cleanser for the smoky fatty meat. Sorry mayonnaise coleslaw I've found a new allegiance. What is your slaw preference?