p

pandadero's Profile

Title Last Reply

Osaka bakeries

Thanks prasantrin,

I walked around a ton the last two days primarily in the underground station promenades and in the major malls in umeda, shinsaibashi and namba....i was really impressed overall and was happy to discover some totally new styles and presentations....it seems like everything is heavily influenced by french patisserie and Im glad to see that the standard overall is kept to a high level...

i was also curious....do you know of any good japanese style coffee shops (the ones that use the japanese style drip machines?)....i was sad to see seattles beast and starsucks all over the place....i was hoping to taste some local style coffees if you know of any places...

also, is there a culture of dessert bars/restaurants here? Something akin to chickalicious in nyc? It seems like most of the dessert places are for take out or for a quick afternoon tea/sit-down....but i havent seen anything like a bar that serves dessert.......not sure they exist like that here but was just curious to see more plated desserts and their presentations..

thanks again

P

Oct 18, 2010
pandadero in Japan

Osaka bakeries

Hi All,

Im in Osaka for 7 days and was looking for some suggestions on good bakeries and pastry shops.

Im looking less for bread and more for cake/pastry/plated desserts but Im interested in both, as Im pretty unfamiliar with the japanese style of baking and Im curious to see as much as possible.
Thanks very much

P

Oct 17, 2010
pandadero in Japan

Test Kitchens for Rent Bangkok

I was wondering if anyone knows of any test kitchens in Bangkok. I have a typical bangkok apartment so the kitchen leaves much to be desired and was curious if anyone knows if there are places where you can rent kitchen space by the hour. I'd like to do more cooking and dont have any place to do it. Thanks for your help

Pandadero

Best Ramen in Bangkok

Hey all,

I really love ramen and I know there are tons of options for japanese food / ramen in bangkok. I've tried a fair number of places. But so far my favorite is Tan Tan Men on Sukhimvit soi 33/1. I particularly like this place because the noodles are freshly made and broth is especially unctuous.

Despite my loyalty to Tan Tan Men, I am always curious to try new places. So I'd appreciate your suggestions for what you consider to be great ramen in Bangkok.

Thanks much,

Pandadero

Dublin to Ring of Kerry

Hi All,

Im going to be driving from Dublin to the Ring of Kerry in June with my father and sister and I was looking for some food suggestions. My father is from Dublin but hasnt lived in Ireland for 30 years, so he cant help me out.

Im basically looking for anything and everything. Just good quality, fresh Irish cooking. Anything from fine dining to a fish and chips stand or local pub.

Looking forward to your comments and thanks in advance for your help.

Best,
Pandadero

May 09, 2010
pandadero in U.K./Ireland

Perfect hard boiled eggs

I watched jacques pepin do a live demonstration on all different ways of cooking eggs. Im not sure which one of his books you are reading but when I saw him, he recommended boiling the water, adding the pricked egg, turning off the heat and letting the eggs sit in the water for 9-12 minutes, depending how soft you like the yolks.

I did forget to mention the egg cracking. He basically drained the hot water and shook the eggs around in the empty pot until the shells cracked. He said at the time that it was merely to help the shells pull away from the egg for peeling once the cold water is added, but I suppose it could also aid in releasing the sulfur. I've never had any problems with green ringed eggs with this method.

You're definitely right about the amount of water and eggs. It is really important. Too many cold eggs will definitely drop the temperature significantly. When I saw Jacques Pepin do it, he was using a 2 quart saucepan and 2 eggs. If you are turning off the heat, you want a fair amount of water so the eggs dont drop the temp of the water too much. If you're arent sure, you can just pop a thermometer in the water and adjust the heat source accordingly.

May 06, 2010
pandadero in Home Cooking

Perfect hard boiled eggs

thats right, the green ring effect is caused by sulfur. What you can do to avoid this, is take a pin and prick a small hole on the bottom of the egg. There is an air pocket on the bottom of every egg. If you poke a very small hole and be very careful not to prick to deep to pierce the inner membrane (which would cause the egg to shoot out the hole in a stream), when you boil the egg, the sulfur and excess air will be forced out of the hole and voila, no more green membrane.

Apr 21, 2010
pandadero in Home Cooking

Cookbook shops in Bangkok

Thanks global mouthful,

it's funny, i just heard about this place from a friend who recently went to singapore. He picked up a bunch of brand new releases that you cant get here yet and also had good things to say about it. I'll have to check it out when I make a trip to Singapore.

One Night In Bangkok...

Yeah, i went to bolan a few months ago, and had the tasting menu. I think they did a very good job. Especially memorable were the naam and salads.

Phad Thai in Bangkok

Thanks everyone. I appreciate the recommendations.

I used to come to thailand every summer and have been living here for about a year now. I remember there used to be carts that would sell phad thai, and they seem not to be around anymore. The ones that I have tried, have generally been really greasy or excessively sweet. I've had a nostalgia for the perfectly chewy noodles and balance of sweet and heat, with fresh beansprouts and the fixings.

I'll give Thip Samai a try. And if im ever up in Kanchanaburi I'll keep an eye out for Suen Heng.

Thanks again,
P

Phad Thai in Bangkok

Hi All,

Was wondering what people think is the best place/stall/etc in Bangkok to have Phad Thai. Havent necessarily been seeking it out since I've lived here, but Im curious cause the dozen or so times I've had it, its not been anything special. Curious for people's input.

Thanks
Pandadero

Poor experience at Bo Lan

I am still quite surprised that so many people haven't enjoyed the food at Bo.Lan. I've only been there once, but I remember the food, atmosphere and service fondly. I particuarly enjoyed the naam and their salads, very fresh and well balanced dressings. In terms of the meat, I've heard similar complaints that the beef was nothing spectactular. Im wondering if they are opting for thai beef for the sake of keeping it more local or traditional? Either way, i dont remember the meat being bad though I agree that I dont remember being blown away by it either.

From what i understand, the restaurant is trying to cook traditional Thai food, which might result in something you consider strange or are not used to finding necessarily at street carts or run of the mill thai restaurants.

The overcharge is definitely a turn off....though i wouldnt be surprised if the same sort of thing happens at plenty of other restaurants in Bangkok. Thailand is known for its friendly service, not for its quality service....."fine dining" is a very new concept for thailand so it isnt easy to find staff that easily adjust to the new style of service.

Anyway, I really need to try out this place again to see if I totally missed something, but either way I appreciate what Bo and Dylan are trying to do. And hopefully they can work out whatever kinks seem to be bothering so many diners.

Question for bakers: Baker's Percentages

Hi All,

I had a question about baker's percentages and the reason that flour is set to 100% in recipes, and all other ingredients and their ratios are in relation to the flour. I was just curious what the benefit of this was as opposed to setting all the ingredients as a percentage of the total weight of the recipe: ie: if the total combined weight of the recipe were 1000g, if the flour's percentage was in relation to 1000g rather than automatically being set at 100%.

I use bakers percentages all the time but in non-baking recipes I've seen people use percentages as ratios of the total weight, and Im just trying to figure out what are the benefits and disadvantages of either way of calculating.

Thanks to anyone who can help.

Best,
Pandadero

Jan 20, 2010
pandadero in Home Cooking

Chinese steamed bread techniques?

Hi Pei,

Making steamed buns is a pretty tricky process. There are several factors that effect the final outcome.

Your shaping looks pretty decent and it seems that your two major concerns are the color and shine. So, in terms of mixing, I would recommend using a stand mixer with a hook attachment if you can get your hands on one. But either way, you want to mix this tough to a pretty strong level of gluten development. If you tug at the dough it shouldn't rip easily. And if you tear a piece off, you should be able to carefully stretch it to a thin enough sheet that you can almost see through it without it tearing.

Because I do not know the temperature, water content, and leavening agent percentages in your mix, your proofing time is impossible for me to predict. But basically after the initial mix and rest, the dough should have risen by about two times and feel quite airy and soft to the touch.

After dividing, into your desired size, I recommend shaping the dough as tightly as possible without it tearing, this helps keep a tight skin. I also recommend not leaving the dough out for too long. Im a bread baker by trade but only started making these steamed buns a few months ago. I found that if I proofed this dough the way I would normally proof a baguette dough for example the buns would rise, set and then collapse after they were taken out of the steamer. But if you let the dough proof until it is only beginning to get soft (anywhere between 5-15 mins depending on temp) then steam immediately, they get much better lift and hold.

As for actually steaming, I use a metal steamer and have no problems. I disagree with ipsedixit about steaming temperatures. I found that at a constant boil in a metal steamer the buns turn out wet and pocketed. It works much better if they are on a low steam, still hot and constantly steaming but not with a rolling boil. You do have to be careful when opening the lid. I try to do this quickly, turning the lid upside and pulling the lid to the side simultaneously. it helps too if you tie a piece of cloth to the lid.

Finally, the flour that you decide to use makes a big difference. I am living in thailand so there is a special flour produced by UFM that is specifically made for making steamed buns. It has a protein content of about 8%. If i remember correctly, (assuming you are in the us) pastry flour should be about the same percentage. If not I would go for the lowest protein flour you can find and use a bleached flour as this also helps make the dough whiter.

Hope this helps and good luck, hope you keep at it.

Jan 15, 2010
pandadero in Home Cooking

One Night In Bangkok...

Depending upon how much time you have (how early your flight gets in), I would recommend going to Chinatown, to eat at the food stalls in and around soi Yaoworat. It's not necessarily Thai food but I think it probably has one of the highest concentrations of great street food in bangkok. Great duck/pork noodles, chicken rice, and my favorite: black sesame mochi dumplings in ginger soup.

Or if you would like to experience a fine dining take on traditional Thai food, Bo.lan does a great job. The decor is beautiful and the two chefs (students of David Thompson) do a fabulous job with flavors and presentation. Though it isnt cheap, it isnt wallet busting either and I think worth the money.

http://www.bolan.co.th/

hope you enjoy wherever you end up

Cookbook shops in Bangkok

Thanks so much, I've been to the Kinokuniya in Emporium but I will definitely check out the other two branches. They seem to be the most comprehensive book stores in Bangkok.

Cheers

Cookbook shops in Bangkok

Hi all,

I am living in Bangkok and was wondering if anyone knew of any book stores that have a good selection of cookbooks in English. Any stores devoted entirely to cookbooks would be amazing. I am working on recipes and I am looking for some inspiration and technique tips. Thanks

Pandadero

Dumplings in Bangkok

oops forgot to say china house too! I love me some dumplings

Dumplings in Bangkok

Thanks all, I will be sure to check out crystal jade and the place on my street. And I will be sure to be on the lookout for more dumpling spots and post again if I find any.

Dumplings in Bangkok

I've been living in Bangkok (just north of Lumphini Park on Soi Langsuan) now for about a month and I've been craving dumplings. So far I have only found a small place called Gyo-Sa on Soi Ngam Duplee. This place had pretty great steamed and fried pork dumplings and I highly recommend it. But I am looking to try to eat in as many different places as possible and to try as many different styles and types of dumplings as possible. I'd especially like to find a good "soup" dumpling place. Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

Thanks
Pandadero

Coming to New Orleans for the first time, what can't I miss?

Hi All,

I'm coming to New Orleans for the first time this weekend. Im very excited and my mouth is watering. Could anyone please give me recommendations for food destinations that I cannot miss? Thanks so much.

Pandadero

Dec 31, 2008
pandadero in New Orleans