Popular Post abcdefg Posted April 29, 2017 at 08:26 AM Popular Post Report Share Posted April 29, 2017 at 08:26 AM I've enjoyed this delicious side dish for several years, but have only recently begun making it at home. That might have been a big "waistline mistake" because it isn't low calorie and it is definitely addictive. But I'll show you how it's done nonetheless and let you wrestle with the weighty moral implications on your own dime. It's a strange fact of Yunnan life that we call potatoes 洋芋 ("foreign tuber") instead of 土豆 ("earth bean") like most of China. People with 3-wheeled bicycle carts 三轮车 drive slowly by my old housing complex two or three times a week shouting "买洋芋", emphasizing the rising second tone of the 样, the hard downward fourth tone of the 芋 and the scooped-out third of 买 until it sounds like a type of regional music. Hard to resist getting some at the bargain rate of only 3 Yuan per kilo, especially when delivered to my door. Scrub and peel two medium sized ones. And now you have a prime chance to practice your 刀法，to polish up your knife skills. Young Chinese chefs spend days upon days doing things like making accordion cuts in cucumbers that allow them to be stretched to three feet without breaking. Accomplished master chefs can do things like boning a small snake blindfolded at high speed without any of the tiny bones winding up in the meat. You want the match-stick slivers to be fairly uniform in size. Doing this with a sharp knife 菜刀 works better from a texture 口感 standpoint than using a grater. It also makes the potatoes less likely to dry out with cooking. Adopt a mindful zen-type focus and visualize yourself as a human Cuisinart or Robot-coupe machine. Suspend all considerations of time and don't be in a hurry. Don't rinse the sliced potatoes because that would remove some of their natural amylose and make them less adherent; it would make them stick together less well. Sprinkle in a large teaspoon of flour； mix well with your chopsitcks, breaking up any clumps. Thinly slice a small segment of red bell pepper 红椒 and scallion 大葱，using only the white part of the latter. Set them aside to use later 备用 as a raw fresh garnish. Actually, I prefer to prepare these before starting the potato. If cut potato stands too long, it can discolor. And now you have a chance to test your trusty iron wok, to see if it has been well cured and find out whether its carefully-acquired patina will provide non-stick cooking for about 10 minutes. Bring the wok up to about three fourths of its maximum heat (tested with a drop of water) and add a bit more oil than you would normally use for a vegetable stir fry. The recipes I've read all say that a flat bottom fry pan 平底锅 actually works better, but I don't have one. Add the slivered potatoes 土豆丝 and stir them around quickly with chopsticks 筷子 to distribute them evenly. Smooth them out with your spatula 锅铲。Now shake on another teaspoon or two of oil onto the surface; it will soak right through. I use sesame oil for that 香油。 Now turn the heat to medium-low and don't disturb them until they set, one or two minutes. Then I press them down with my spatula to be sure there are no thick spots or bubbles, at which point I cover them with a pot lid that is slightly smaller than the wok. Shake the wok from time to time to slide the pancake around inside while three or four long minutes tick by. Use your chopsticks and a corner of the spatula to gently lift an edge to peek and see if the underside is nicely browned 金黄。If so, you are ready to turn the whole works over. If you are supremely confident, you can toss it in the air as though you were a TV celebrity chef. I usually opt for flipping it with the aid of two spatulas or a plate. It's the conservative approach, and as such flirts less with disaster, albeit sacrificing a degree of flair. Continue cooking the other side another 5 minutes or so on low. When the whole thing is done, turn it out onto a large plate and dust it with dried red pepper flakes 干辣椒, Sichuan prickly ash 花椒粉，and salt 食盐。I like to do that with my fingers so as not to get too much. Garnish the finished product with the bell pepper and scallion. Serve it with a smile. You can consider it a success if the outside is crisp and golden while the inside is still white and tender 脆嫩。If you are eating this fine dish communally, Chinese-style, you tear off a bite-sized piece of the cake with your chopsticks, trying to include a sliver or two of the red pepper and scallion. This is Chinese food, Yunnan style, that you can make in the West without any rare or hard to find ingredients. By all means give it a try, but don't say I didn't warn you about it being habit forming. 8 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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