jhleung's Profile

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Chinese Chicken Nomenclature

Hi, loong gang is a brand. The LG brand specializes in a particular breed of free range "running" chicken that is prized for its chickeny flavor and chewy texture. Dont expect huge breasts! Gui Fei is a prep style .... Usually poached with ginger/scallions and often served with a sauce/paste made of ginger, oil, and scallions. For instance, I like to make GF chicken at home with the LG brand.

I dont know what is Qing Yuan.

Fresh Chinese Noodles overseen by the Master Noodle maker at King Won Ton

Thanks! Good to know. I will have to re-test North America Food Wonton Noodle against my current favorite-noodle-when-making-it-at-home: PF select Authentic HK Style Noodle.

“Bamboo” Noodles (jook sing mein) and Hand-pulled Noodles (lai mein) @ King Won Ton (SF)

Hmmmm... I just went to this restaurant again, Fri, Dec 19th. The restaurant was between 1/3 to 1/2 full.

+ Wonton Noodle - very good and very delightful. Bouncy, wiry, fine noodles. And, like Melanie mentions, these are not the kind of noodles with which to soak up broth. The essence of these noodles is the texture, not the taste. Its kind of like shark fin or bird's next in the sense that you eat it for the texture. The taste comes from an external element - the soup. This is why the noodles themselves are thin and wiry - the thinness promotes maximum surface area with which the soup can cling to, thus transferring the broth to your mouth in the same bit as noodle. Then, you must use your other hand to deliver a final flavor slug - a bit of soup from the spoon - in each mouthful.

After careful consideration, I find that

+ Roast Goose - fatty, not so good
+ Empress Chicken - miserly, so-so
+ Green Onion Pancake - Very good! I'm very surprised. I would not expect Green Onion Pancake to be good at a southern style restaurant like this. My 11 month old daughter loves the green onion pancake.

“Bamboo” Noodles (jook sing mein) and Hand-pulled Noodles (lai mein) @ King Won Ton (SF)

Hmmmm.. I think I'm going to echo other reports here and say King Wonton is somewhat inconsistent. I hand Pig Trotters Wonton Noodle two days ago (Wed) and the noodles were mushy! Completely and utterly wrong! Even the noodles themselves seemed even finer and thinner than before???

However, I just went back an hour ago (Fri) and had the straight-up wonton noodle again - and everything was right with the world again. The noodle was very good as was the broth and wonton. I dunno.........

“Bamboo” Noodles (jook sing mein) and Hand-pulled Noodles (lai mein) @ King Won Ton (SF)


I've finally dragged myself over here (1 year hiatus from chowhound due to birth of baby....)

Anyways, I went here on a Tues afternoon at 4:30pm. There were 4 other people in the restaurant so I cannot tell if the kitchen has time mgmt issues during rush our or not -

I ordered only the wonton noodle. Now, granted, I am a fiend for this kind of noodle. It is my favorite food. My reference is Mak's Noodle on Wellington Street in Central HK. I am constantly in despair because all the wonton noodle I eat outside of Central, HK, disappoints me. Particularly those I eat in the SF bay area, my home.

I have purchased every single brand of noodle in all the major Chinese groceries, New May Wah, Sunset super, Ranch 99, in order to cook wonton noodle myself, as I'm often disappointed by restaurant's consistency. I've secretly video taped many wonton noodle maker so that I can perfect my noodle cooking timing at home.

Lately, I've even given up on wonton noodle here in the Bay area because I simply cannot find an acceptable rendition. I've branched out mostly to eating pho or eating various noodles at VH noodle in the Ranch99 Mall in Richmond, or eating free-range chicken egg noodle at Hai Ki Mi Ga on Ellis.

You see, I have less experience with pho, and less experience with, say, beef organ pure rice noodle @ VH. Its not like I've eaten thousands of bowls of these across the world in the past 35 years ..... so while I am respectful of quality, I am not ridiculously picky.

I am ridiculously picky for wonton noodle. I measure the noodle among three axes:

1) soup. Very yellow, quite chickeny and nice. Not as nice as the chicken broth at Hai Ki Mi Ga, but then again, this soup is supposed to have hints of Jo Hau dried fish, and it does not. However, taken in context, it is already quite superior to most of the broths in the bay area. Its a little more finely balanced with less MSG than, say, Daimo at Ranch 99. I give it a 7/10. Maybe Joy Luck Place (the quick one) in Cupertino Village beats it ever so slightly on the soup angle.

2) Wonton. These are big. They are bigger than Mak's wontons. Big is bad. Small is good. However, they are not ridiculously big like Daimo's big wontons. Mostly fresh shrimp and some pork. The skin is very free flowing - like swallowing clouds. Similar to Ming Tai's wontons but not quite as big. These are good wontons for the States. 7/10.

3) Noodle - I place heavy emphasis on the noodle because this is mostly where everyone gets it wrong. I know - I have tried this many times - you can undercook any store-bought fresh noodle brand to varying degrees of underdone-ness, but you will end up simply with hard noodle and will not achieve that prized bouncy, wiry, tender texture. Note that this texture is very elusive - and its probably something you can only appreciate after if you're really after this specific quality. I read the comments about being off-put by wonton noodle texture as its like eating hair - I can understand that comment. The essence of the noodle is the texture. Its impossible to explain - just undercooking a run-of-the-mill wonton noodle doesn't achieve the right texture. It must be simultaneously SUPER thin, chewy, bouncy, elastic, and firm. Some of these qualities work against each other. The noodle must be very fine. For instance, VH noodle uses some brand that probably 1mm too thick. You can feel it on your tongue - the noodle feels too coarse. So, even though VH noodle is has the right firmness, it is not fine enough and lacks bounciness and elasticity. Anyways, I enjoy their noodle very much. I'm going back today to eat the noodle again. I give their noodle an 8/10. The texture was more similar to Mak's than I've had in a long time. I

This is may favorite wonton noodle place now. Hopefully its not all downhill from here. Wonton noodle is an interesting thing - either you get it or you think "they are all thin noodles with no substance". I fall into the former category - so if you're not overly fond of wonton noodle to begin with and you come here, don't expect to suddenly find wonton noodle nirvana. However, if you're obsessed with wonton noodle, then I think you will like it very much.

I gave up on Irving Street after Jook'n'Fun departed about 2 years ago. Now I have a reason to come back.

Beef Long-cut Short Ribs (split from SF board)

Excellent! I'm glad you liked it! There's nothing quite as delicious as an outrageously fatty hunk of animal protein seared and then basically steamed at low heat for many hours.

Happy Thanksgiving! Long live the Long Cut Beef Rib!

Nov 22, 2007
jhleung in Home Cooking

Beef Long-cut Short Ribs (split from SF board)

I'm pretty sure I covered the skillet with aluminum foil. Since the foil doesn't create an airtight seal, the entire oven gets hot and humid inside. That's not a bad thing as it lets some of the liquid reduce. If you don't foil it then all the liquid evaporates and that's a bad thing because the ribs then dry out.

Once I tried using a dutch oven instead of a skillet. That wasn't a great idea either because the lid to the dutch oven seals too well .... there's no liquid reduction going on.

I don't think I really checked it. It was really easy and now you're making me hungry typing out it. :-) Or, I should say, I'm making myself hungry.

Nov 18, 2007
jhleung in Home Cooking

Beef Long-cut Short Ribs (split from SF board)

Thanks. I'm pretty sure I seared it with nothing, i.e. I relied on the fattiness of beef ribs to provide the fat with which to sear. It works well.

Nov 18, 2007
jhleung in Home Cooking

Beef Long-cut Short Ribs (split from SF board)

Very simply. All I used was Lawry's Salt (from the prime-rib chain in Chicago and LA) and Fresh Cracked pepper. I seared it in the iron skillet on two sides, then put it in the oven @ 285F for 4.5 hours with 1/2 can of beef broth in the skillet. The bones fall off the meat; its quite tender. (With beef ribs, the bones fall off the meat. With pork ribs, its the other way around. :-) )

Sep 14, 2007
jhleung in Home Cooking

Beef Long-cut Short Ribs (split from SF board)

Thanks for the suggestions, Janet and Sarah. It turns out Costo, Safeway, Albertson's, Whole Foods, and Cala / Bell were a bust. I was near Berkeley Bowl - and I scored! Seems that a slab of only 3 ribs is the biggest that will fit my skillet. I seared it on both side and finished it off in the oven at 285 F for 4.5 hours. Yuuum!

Sep 14, 2007
jhleung in Home Cooking

Beef Long-cut Short Ribs in San Francisco Bay Area? [moved from Home Cooking board]

Anybody know where I can find this cut of beef so that I may make it myself?

What I'm describing is what you can order at T-Rex BBQ Restaurant in Berkeley. This is one beef rib with a ginourmous hunk of meat hanging off of it.

All too often and Safeway, Albertson's, Costco etc. you see:

a) Boneless short ribs, sliced thin (too thin, and doesn't have the bone)
b) Beef back ribs (has the bone, but all the meat is cut off!)
c) Short Rib (Usually has some of the meat still there [not all] but this is usually a third of the rib --- the rib in this instance has been cut into three! Cow Ribs are much longer than this!)
4) Short Rib Flanken Style (Or, Korean Kalbi style - wrong axis of cutting)

Anybody know where I can purchase this cut of beef?


Butchering Chicken... Chinese Style

Can anyone point me to a video or at least illustrated instructions on how to butcher a cooked chicken, Chinese Style?

I've attempted this feat about 15 times after observing the pros do it at the Chinese BBQ shops with some success. However, I never seem to get the thigh area right. I can get the wings done and split in half. The backbone I do well. The breasts I do well. I think my problem is knowing where to cleave the chicken to separate the thingh from the rest of the bird.

Even harder is butchering the chicken bonelessly - this is often popular with Hainan Chicken preparations (a la Singapore) but this looks fantastically difficult. I wish I knew how to do this.

Any guidance on this would be much appreciated.

I would pay good money for a class just to learn how to do this and practice on say, 20 chickens!


Aug 17, 2007
jhleung in Home Cooking

North America Chinese Style Fresh Egg Noodles


I think if you use the Prime Foods PF Select Hong Kong Style Wonton Noodle with that same technique of yours, that you will find the noodle to be exactly the same as that you remember in LA / San Gabriel Valley. The only restaurant around here that has the same thinness of noodle and bouncy texture I find is Joy Luck Place in Cupertino. That's too far for me (since I live in SF) so I just make it myself these days.

I wish Ming Tai on Noreiga and 30th avenue (?) did a really good job on the noodle as their wontons are spectacular (albeit a little too big) but everytime I eat noodles there I am disappointed with the limp texture.

North America Chinese Style Fresh Egg Noodles


Unfortunately, I but the Prime Food PF Select Hong Kong Style Wonton Noodle at Ranch 99 in Daly City, at around $1.79 a package. Yes, its not cheap. Oh well.

I would much prefer that New May Wah on Clement and 8th stock this (as they are closer to me), but I don't remember seeing it in stock.

North America Chinese Style Fresh Egg Noodles

Wow! I had arrived at an independent, very similar conclusion after trying all the different packaged fresh thin-style hong kong noodle brands in the refrigerator case!

My favorite brand of thin style hong kong wonton noodle is:

Prime Foods PF select Wonton Noodle. On the package it is printed that it is Hong Kong Style, and in Chinese it says that it is "authentic Hong Kong Style". You have to be careful because Prime Foods ALSO makes fresh wonton noodle but it does NOT say "authentic HK style" and the texture is slightly different, even though it looks the same. The correct packaging is a clear plastic tray.

I have tried many brands, including Hon's, Fung's Village (from the San Gabriel Valley and imported up here in NorCal) and many others. This is my favorite noodle for Wonton Noodle Soup. My technique was copied from all my times watching the kitchen cook this at Porridge King in Daly City while patiently waiting for the butcher to chop up my take-out order of Salt-Water-Chicken, and it goes like this:

1) Huge pot of boiling water.
2) Loosen up ball of noodle and place in this noodle ladle/strainer contraption I bought at Kamei on Clement in SF.
3) Put ladle/strainer in boiling water for 20 seconds
4) Take ladle/strainer out of water and run under cold water "pass through the cold river [in Chinese]" ... agitate with chopsticks to make sure all the strands cool down
5) Turn off the water, and shake vigorously to get out all the moisture.
6) Put noodles back into an already boiling bowl of chicken soup with jor-hau dried fish (as a flavoring base)


Input on Chinese Food 101 Itinerary

Hi, my general observation is that:

(1) The SF Bay area is a good example Cantonese cuisine. Cantonese cuisine right now is not in fashion in the States nor on this board (which is fabulous for people like moi because there's less riff-raff in some of my favorite haunts. ;-) ) but a good example of banquet-style Cantonese cuisine like Koi palace (which you had in your original post) could easily replace Ton Kiang. While Ton Kiang has a more Hakka bent, the truth of the matter is that High-End Cantonese restaurants usually can do Hakka well enough as there is much demand for Hakka and Chiu-Chow dishes among "sophisticated" Cantonese diners as these cuisines are in-fashion for people who frequent such establishments. Pork-Belly especially.

(2) I would argue that a quick eats / lunch type of Cantonese place typified by Congee, Soup Noodles, etc should be on the menu as you can get a pretty strong rendition of what this is supposed to taste like in the bay area. While there are many poor examples of this cuisine all over Chinatown and SF in general, one of the strongest examples was Jook-n-Fun on Irving and 20th (now defunct) and also Porridge King @ 55 Skyline Plaza in Daly City. If you go to Porridge King, be sure to order the Salt-Water Chicken (Very different from salt baked chicken in that salt-water chicken is poached). This is an example of what typifies Cantonese cuisine in the sense that this chicken is all about (a) the natural goodness of the ingredient and (2) simple preparation meant to bring out the freshness of the ingredient. No gloppy sauces and over-excited 'tastes' to get in the way - which is what "Cantonese Food" has been bastardized to be here in the US.

Ethnic Restaurant for 14 in SF?

No problem - 14 People - PPQ crab, like the poster below writes, is pretty darn good if your friend is not overly-familiar with various Asian cuisines. Its clean, the menus have English on them, and its a fairly good rendition of Vietnamese food influence by the Southern Chinese.

2332 Clement St (Cross Street: 24th Avenue)
San Francisco, CA 94121
(415) 386-8266

Ethnic Restaurant for 14 in SF?

I'd be glad to offer recs - I'd like to suggest that you not use the phrase "ethnic restaurant" as suggested by Jim Leff : http://www.chowhound.com/topics/286638

What type of cuisine exactly are you looking for? Does it include French? Asian? Japanese? Chinese? Viet? Thai?

Ethnic Dining

Hi TDQ -

I agree, "ethnic" should not mean "different than me or what I'm used to."

However, as Jim points out at the top of this thread (seven years ago), when the word "ethnic" is used to describe cuisine, it is precisely this definition that's being inferred. We see it all the time in posts looking for "ethnic food."

Its a bummer.

Feb 26, 2007
jhleung in General Topics

Ethnic Dining

TDQ - It really is a shame that the word "ethnic" is used, how Jim Leff described seven years ago, "out of habit, as euphemism for a restaurant that's inexpensive and somehow 'foreign'"

In the couple of short years of being around chowhound, I've seen many requests for "ethnic" restaurants and the tone surrounding ethnic is almost universally as what Jim describes.

I applaud you for not distorting a word like "ethnic"; however the word is more often than not used in a subtly condescending manner when referring to cuisine.

Feb 26, 2007
jhleung in General Topics

Ethnic Dining

The problem is that "ethnic" connotes an otherness with no standard definition on what is "other" and what is not "other".

For instance, you point out that the Italians came here in mass quantities in the early 1900s. I don't think any of us would really call Italian food in America "ethnic". However, the Chinese came here in the 1840s .... they built 1/2 of the railroad across the US. Yet, Chinese food in the States is more "ethnic" than Italian food.

Consequently, I honestly believe "ethnic" is a loaded term, and I prefer not to use this term.

Feb 23, 2007
jhleung in General Topics

Ethnic Dining

Why not just say "Bosnian Restaurant"?

With the particular Bosnian Restaurant you mention, one of your criteria for the term "ethnic" is that the patrons of this restaurant must be of the same ethnicity as that of the cuisine which the restaurant serves.

So is the Berghoff in downtown Chicago ethnic? Its a German restaurant but there's very little German to be heard inside.

How about Frontera Grill? Is that ethnic? Its "contemporary" Mexican cuisine, but there are less patrons that speak Spanish @ Frontera Grill than there are at the establishments on Ashland Ave.

How about Brasserie-Jo? This is cuisine from Alsace-Lorraine but not many people refer to it as "ethnic" because its not inexpensive.

I think the issue that people have with "ethnic" cuisine (which includes myself) is that "ethnic" has other connotations as well which stray far beyond ethnicity. These connotations include inexpensive price, non-white skin color of the people of the region from which the cuisine originates, high level of deviation in taste from "regular" American food, etc.

Since the term "ethnic" has so many subtle connotations, I prefer to avoid the term. I hope we'll all do the same.

Feb 20, 2007
jhleung in General Topics

Ethnic Dining

oolah, you've hit the nail on the head. "Ethnic Cuisine" isn't a slur - except that it is because it hasn't been normalized across ethnicities.

"Ethnic Cuisine" often means Cuisine not of European Extraction. I find that insulting.

Italian Food is ethnic cuisine.
Hot Dogs are ethnic cuisine (originally from the Germans).
Bagels are ethnic cuisine.
Steak au Poivre is ethnic cuisine.

just as much as:

Indian Food is ethnic cuisine.
Thai Food is ethnic cuisine.
Ethiopian Food is ethnic cuisine.
Sushi is ethnic cuisine.

We can find a subtle (and not intentional) bias with a post above this one in this thread that says that the poster finds ethnic to convey:

"To me it denotes spice, authenticity, interestingness, genuine goodness, flavour etc."

The problem is, last time I checked, most spicy cuisines come from people who are brown or black or yellow. Not white. So the term "ethnic" has unintentional yet subtle bias.

Feb 20, 2007
jhleung in General Topics

Help with Hainan Chicken Rice Satchets

BTW, Here is what it looks like:

Jan 26, 2007
jhleung in Home Cooking

Help with Hainan Chicken Rice Satchets

Yes, I know I can make this from scratch, but I was looking for something that I can "dump and eat" on busy weekdays when I get home from work at 9pm and must eat dinner quickly before getting back to work at 10pm for those conference calls to Asia....

Anyways, I often pine for that Hainan or Singaporean delicacy "Hainan Chicken Rice". Its a combination of poached chicken and flavored rice and some sauces. The flavored rice is time consuming because to make it properly it requires one to stirfry raw rice grains in a combination of ground ginger, garlic, some shallots, and the leftover chicken fat from poaching the chicken before dumping the rice in the rice cooker with chicken stock from poaching the chicken.

Actually the chicken itself is time consuming as well but I digress because I can buy a close approximation of the chicken from local Chinese BBQ stores...


I've found that the best short-cut way to make the rice is to use those sachets of pre-made spice/packets and dump the contents into the rice cooker along with a can of chicken stock and cook ... EZ and fast.

I typically like to use ASIAN HOME GOURMET (a Singaporean brand) Hainanese Chicken Rice flavor sachet (blue packaging). However, here in the San Francisco Area, I've found that I can no longer find it!!!!!! This is a disaster!!!!

So far I've been two TWO Ranch 99 locations (Foster City and Daly City) as well as Lion City Supermarket and Marina Foods in San Jose and Cupertino respectively, and all of them don't have it! Ranch 99 seems to carry, in stock, seemingly every other flavor that AHG makes but Hainanese Chicken Rice seems to be no longer. Its maddening because the sticker on the shelf is still there that indicates what price it should be is still there .... but no flacor sachets.

Has anyone out there noticed this?

Jan 26, 2007
jhleung in Home Cooking

That Pork Belly

The sliced photo looks fabulous - do you have the recipe? I'm not even hungry and that photo is making me so!

Jan 24, 2007
jhleung in Home Cooking

"Hakka" style Chinese food in San Francisco?

I've been to Qigong a long long time ago such that I don't really remember it but my Uncle likes Qigong very much. Is Qigong @ 5524 geary (19th & geary) any good for hakka food?

Jason in SF

Recent Chicken Finds

I thought I'd jot down my two most recent and treasured chicken finds (since I'm a huge fan of that lovely fowl)

1) Hainan Chicken Rice for $6.50 @ ABC Bakery in Chinatown. I wish I discovered this years ago. For the price you get delicious flavoured rice, a quarter free-range (yellow fur) chicken, and soup. Its so good I ate it twice in two nights. The Wonton Noodle soup is miserable (okay not quite that bad but I exaggerate) but the Hainan Chicken Rice is fantastic .... not as good as that you can find in Singapore or HK, but pretty damn good considering it doesn't involve an airplane ride.

2) Salt Water Chicken (Yeem-Shui Cantonese) (Yen-Swei Mandarin) @ Porridge King @ the Ranch 99 Mall in Daly City. I adore this. This is my favorite chicken in the entire Bay Area. Poached ever so delicately, served at room temperature with a slightly gelatinous texture, and with that ginger/scallion sauce. I adore this chicken. I ate it every Thursday night for the past 12 weeks in a row at 9:30 pm, I love it so much. So tender. Its not free range chicken, but its so delicious; and ever so slightly pink @ the bone.

Thought I'd share these two secrets....

Best Char Siu Bao in San Francisco?

I'm totally out of the loop. I did not know that there is a Sogo in SF on Irving. (I'm assuming somewhere between 19th ave and 25th ave). I'm going to have to go and find that Sogo because that's the best news I've heard in a while!

I stopped going around the Irving street area when Jook'n'Fun closed.

I'm assuming you mean Sogo and not Sheng Kee...

Anyways, onwards to the outer Sunset.... :-)

Best Char Siu Bao in San Francisco?

Sorry, for Portugese Dan Tat, zero places get in right in SF, although sometimes I see them in the various Sogo Bakeries but I've never tried. For Cantonese Dan Tat, I think I already know you lavish effusive praise on GG bakery. :-) I, though, prefer the little ones you get on Clement & 8th on the south side of the block in the middle of the block (the one that is connected to a steam table restaraunt to the left of it.... they are alway out of dan tat by 1pm) and also I like the ones they give you during dimsum @ parc hong kong restuarant on geary & 18th.