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I should learn a bit of cooking too: 豆角儿牛肉 and 空心菜



My wife was busy doing something and asked me to cook. I said ok you instruct me something (in Chinese, of course) and I'll do the footwork. So I made these 2 dishes, nothing complicated, but they turned out damned tasty! 


1)String beans 豆角儿 

cubed Beef 牛肉块儿

potatoe 土豆儿条 ?

green onion 葱

garlic 大蒜 ?

oil 油

oyster sauce 蚝油

soy sauce 酱油

cooking wine 料酒 ?

sugar 白糖 

salt 盐?

Thirteen aroma 十三香


2)Water spinach 空心菜,

garlic 大蒜 ?

green onion 葱

soy sauce 酱油

red pepper that I have been drying for months 辣椒 ?️

oil 油

salt 盐?













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I see you're using 海天蚝油 (or is it tomato sauce?). May I suggest 李锦记 instead? As I have said in Jan Finster's thread, Lee Kum Kee is one of the two brands in mainland China that do not use preservatives (防腐剂) - according to a 2019 report.



Also you may find this dispenser/pump thingy useful:



And perhaps this too (only need one hand to operate, excellent for soy sauce and cooking wine, but disastrous for vinegar):


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Looks good! I like that 十三香 seasoning powder too. Very rich, complex flavor. I went through a phase of putting it into nearly everything I cooked several years ago. Eventually I settled down and became more selective. 

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On 6/6/2022 at 5:55 PM, Publius said:

I see you're using 海天蚝油 (or is it tomato sauce?). May I suggest 李锦记

Yes, that's oyster sauce. Thanks for the tip, I'll try it

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I missed this thread, because I only tend to check stuff once a week or two or three... You are a trooper husband, like mine. Kudos to you for stretching yourself and helping your wife in the kitchen . It’s obvious to me that you must have a bunch of Chinese cooking skills to make the dishes you listed. (My husband volunteers to help me here and there. So, he’s improving his Chinese cooking skills, but they aren’t at the level of yours. And, he wouldn’t claim that they were.)


The ingredients look great to me, although the proportions are what really matter, as well as other things, like cooking techniques. As far as ingredients, the following is for people in the U. S. The cooking wine 料酒 (Liaojiu) is essentially Shaoxing Wine, which also has various other similarly spelled names in English.


The spectacular Carolyn Phillips says that to her way of thinking, there is only one divine way of making green beans. It is to dry fry it:




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干煸四季豆, dry-fried Sichuan green beans. Worth a quest. I've enjoyed them all over China's southwest. Maybe the best time was outdoors at a small pop-up cafe in an alley, deep south Yunnan, close to the Burma border. It was a tea-buying expedition and I was staying in a lodging house nearby. Asked the lady what she had available today that was special. She told me she was from Sichuan and her specialty was those delicious green beans. I had a big order of them, freshly made, with a bowl of steamed rice. Perfect meal. Memorable in its simplicity. Eaten outside on a folding table. 


Sometimes small operators like that rent space in front of another more general restaurant. They only make one or two things. Often, for example, they sell 烧烤 BBQ skewered meat. You buy more of a meal inside, but get your skewers from them, there outside. Sometimes they only make fried dumplings 煎饺。


It's an unusual symbiosis. Not sure if I know of something comparable in the west. Doubtless, some sort of 关系 relationship exists between the two bosses 老板。Maybe they are distant relatives, maybe good friends; seldom is it just a cash kickback, at least from what I've gathered talking to people.  More of a "You scratch my back and I scratch yours."

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@abcdefg Great story! You really could write a cookbook. Part of reading cookbooks is reading stories like this. It really helps to choose recipes. And, it's more entertaining to read. :)

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