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DavyJonesLocker
1 hour ago, mungouk said:

 

I nearly died when I saw the price of butter! 😱

 

. Unlike things like cornflakes that  stupidly expensive in store but fairly ok on the apps like tmall or JD, dairy type products never seem to be much cheaper when buying online.

I rarely use it now but jam and toast is just  wrong without butter (or at least margarine).😏

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abcdefg
10 hours ago, ChTTay said:

Doesn't Kunming have some SE Asian influenced dishes that use fresh herbs like mint, basil etc? 

 

We use lots and lots of mint. We eat it as a vegetable, not just as a garnish. And we do have some herbs used in 傣味 (Daiwei) dishes that are very close to Thai basil. 

 

https://www.chinese-forums.com/forums/topic/51575-early-kunming-summer-mint-soup-and-mangoes/?tab=comments#comment-395769 

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DavyJonesLocker

 鲍鱼 (Abalone) on offer today at the supermarket. Probably the third time I've eaten it in my life. Just followed a receipe on the app 下厨房。Not bad. 7kuai each today. Normally 10 which is still very cheap compared to western prices. You need a good knife to dig them out of the shell.

Had other shell fish and veggies , not worth adding a photo. 

 

Shells seem like a waste to dump. Lovely sliver blue color

 

(Can't seem to get my photo camera to focus sharply anymore)

New word for Anki (鲍鱼) :)

 

By the way does anyone know if you are supposed to keep or dump the black squishy bits between the flesh and the shell? Wasn't sure

 

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abcdefg
16 hours ago, DavyJonesLocker said:

By the way does anyone know if you are supposed to keep or dump the black squishy bits between the flesh and the shell?

 

You're supposed to discard that part. It is the digestive system. 

 

I ate a lot of 鲍鱼 when I lived in Zhuhai. Your photo reminds me of one of the popular preparation methods down there. They would saute 煎 these small abalone after trimming up the tough parts of the "foot," then put them back on the shell to serve them. Similar to the way scallops are often done. "On the half shell."

 

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About the abalone shell, they are pretty. I believe they are used to make cheap jewelry as well as using them as decorative inlay for furniture and ornamental display wooden items.  

 

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DavyJonesLocker

@abcdefg yes I ditched that part. Looked a bit off-putting. I  removed them first from the shell, quite stubborn littles things to get out. Cleaned the shells and popped them back in. I checked western recipes today and they suggest to tenderise the meat first which is probably a good idea. 

 

I kept the shells. I'm going back to my home country in 2 weeks. I'll bring them back with me. It might make a nice project for my little niece to make a necklace out of . And gives me an excuse to buy more haha

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abcdefg
8 minutes ago, DavyJonesLocker said:

I checked western recipes today and they suggest to tenderise the meat first which is probably a good idea. 

 

That is necessary for the large ones, ones that are the size of your opened hand. Must be pounded. Dried ones, popular in Hong Kong, are stewed a long time to make them tender. (Popular as part of a banquet.) But for these small ones, like you found, they do OK without such radical measures.  

 

In Chaozou 潮州 and Chaoshan 潮汕, (farther up the Guangdong coast) they love them made into a soup. 

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abcdefg
18 hours ago, DavyJonesLocker said:

鲍鱼 (Abalone) on offer today at the supermarket. Probably the third time I've eaten it in my life. Just followed a receipe on the app 下厨房。Not bad. 7kuai each today. Normally 10 which is still very cheap compared to western prices. You need a good knife to dig them out of the shell. ...Had other shell fish and veggies , not worth adding a photo. 

 

Wanted to mention that it seems like you are getting a really excellent supply of fresh seafood. Makes me want to try more seafood here. There's no reason why a plane cannot bring it in fresh to Kunming from the coast overnight. 

 

My two local supermarkets do have fresh fish on ice as well as a live tank. But often the fish are floating sideways or belly up in the live tank, moribund and looking like they belong in the ICU instead of the grocery store. I realize that's probably just poor management at those two stores, not really a commentary on China seafood. 

 

One weekend morning I went shopping early to one of those stores, which will remain nameless, because my ladyfriend was coming over for lunch, I wanted to make her something special, and she likes seafood. Two employees were busy repackaging the salmon and the jumbo shrimp, two of the things I was thinking about buying. They were opening the sealed packages, rinsing the items off in a big pan of water and wrapping them again with new 保鲜膜 and a new pricing label. I couldn't believe it and watched them a while before abandoning that plan and moving on to buy some chicken.    

 

But that was half a year ago; I should re-investigate. Might be better now. 

 

The wet market, farmers market, where I prefer to trade, just has local fish, all of which are farmed fresh-water fish. Lots of them are live and look real healthy. They kill them and clean them after you order. Sometimes I buy there, but the selection is limited. Need to make a point of doing that more often. 

 

Last winter a rich friend invited me and some other lucky people to a seafood hotpot restaurant on the top floor of a modern skyscraper near the convention center. Everything was flown in fresh on a schedule that they had posted. We ate our fill of all kinds of exotics as well as the old standards. Showed me that it can be done, although I'm sure there is a price tag attached. 

 

Note to self: Eat more fish! 

 

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DavyJonesLocker
1 hour ago, abcdefg said:

Wanted to mention that it seems like you are getting a really excellent supply of fresh seafood. Makes me want to try more seafood here. There's no reason why a plane cannot bring it in fresh to Kunming from the coast overnight. 

 

 

Even in Beijing I think it really depends on the supermarket. I have a tendency to avoid the bog standard places now or at least select the supermarket for the particular produce rather than a one stop place. One local place near me does great fruit but only when in the height season when its unlikely impossible to get bad fruits. As for live products its cheaper but the freshness of the meat is questionable and water the fish are in is often very murky. I buy in seafood in a supermarket called 7Fresh(七鲜) Its the 京东 owned store so they would not be in the business of penny pinching. Other ones like BHG here in Beijing seems well run too, they seem more designed for the middle class  

 

 

1 hour ago, abcdefg said:

My two local supermarkets do have fresh fish on ice as well as a live tank. But often the fish are floating sideways or belly up in the live tank, moribund and looking like they belong in the ICU instead of the grocery store. I realize that's probably just poor management at those two stores, not really a commentary on China seafood. 

 

 

Hong Kong restaurants was notorious for this years ago. In the restaurants you pick the fish the scoop it out show it too you, bring it in the kitchen and  the replace it with the dead one (earlier scooped out of the tank). My ex's family had several restaurants there and told me it was standard practice. 

 

Also here in China I have twice been caught out (twice) with picking out a fish or shellfish which seems reasonable price (per 近) , they weight it,  and lo and behold it seems to be twice the weight of what it appears to be! I should have checked the APP 大族广场 as several other users mentioned it. 

 

 

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abcdefg

Poached chicken breast, mint and lemon salad. This was my first time making it. Will post a recipe once I make it several times and am sure that it is fairly fail-safe and reproducible. Plus, I want to tinker with the ratio of ingredients a little bit.  

 

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The leftovers improved by standing in the fridge overnight. The flavors blended nicely. I used some on a French Baguette loaf the next day as an open-face sandwich. Pinch out some of the soft bread in the center to make room for the chicken salad. Spread the bread with mayonnaise.  

 

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When the weather is hot, like now, I gravitate towards lighter fare, such as this. 

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DavyJonesLocker

That's a good idea, making a baguette! My lunch are always a bit dull 

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somethingfunny

Simplified version of 回锅肉.  Boil the belly pork for a bit, slice it up and fry it with some 豆瓣酱 and peppers.  I like to add some 豆豉 as well so that I can fish them out later individually with my chopsticks. 

 

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abcdefg

Simplified version of classic dishes are always a good thing to try. Do you put the 豆豉 in at the start and fry them up a bit before adding other ingredients? 

 

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DavyJonesLocker

I'm always too liberal with the doujiang, becomes too overpowering. Good thing about Chinese food is that it's super easy to add in your own veg, alter sauces etc. I prefer more variety of veg in a dish when cooking at home as I'd only make  2 dishes.

I tried the 回锅肉 with 培根 (mainly because I wanted to use it up). Was not bad at all and dead quick to make. Nice with green beans/sugar snap peas  (荷兰豆). 

I can't quite remember what the English or Chinese names of these things are. The supermarket has so many different types of these things.

 

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somethingfunny
6 hours ago, abcdefg said:

Do you put the 豆豉 in at the start and fry them up a bit before adding other ingredients? 

 

No, but this sounds like something I should be doing...  Is that what you do?

 

Anything I make with 豆瓣酱 I don't add any salt, and will think twice before putting in any soy sauce.  But it might just be that the 豆瓣酱 available here in the UK is particularly salty.

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abcdefg

Yes, that's what I do. Mash them a bit with the back of the spatula or ladle and fry them up some on their own. Then add 豆瓣酱 if I'm using those two seasonings together. (They are a common combination in Sichuan cooking.) Then add standard aromatics, such as garlic and ginger, followed by your other ingredients. 

 

All the 豆豉 that I've used here are salty too. I don't think its just a UK phenomenon. Good stuff though, just adjust the use of any additional salty ingredients, like you are doing. 

 

Your 回锅肉 sounds and looks like a good dish! I use lots of those same long green, mildly spicy peppers here. (If I'm guessing right about the ones you used.) 

 

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imron
16 hours ago, somethingfunny said:

Simplified version of 回锅肉. 

The main difference being the the traditional version uses a different wok.

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abcdefg

Beef curry with rice. OK, but nothing great. 

 

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This chicken curry, from last December, was much better. Fuller, richer flavor. Seasonings better balanced. 

 

https://www.chinese-forums.com/forums/topic/57573-chinese-chicken-curry-咖喱鸡肉/ 

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DavyJonesLocker

I forgot about this one. Dead easy to make, it seems to be called a generic name of 蒸腾土豆排骨。(steamed pork ribs and potatoes). 

 

Basically you.

1. Wash the ribs

2. Add the first pack of sauce and 50ml water. I used 料酒 and added ginger Add the 2nd pack, (some sort of  面粉) Marinate for 15 mins.

3. Wash and chop up the potatoes.  added and aubergine / eggplant ,as it seemed a bit dull otherwise.  Place on a shallow bowel , 

4. Add the marinated ribs on top.

5. Put it in the steamer and watch TV for an hour (needs an hour), checking water level. Job done.

 

Note. I tried this before and it wasn't good at all! Far better this time. Reason being the ribs I bought then were not nice and way too fatty. You need very lean meat otherwise all the fat just drips on the potatoes below and ribs taste of damp fat. I think it would go very well with lean beef too!

 

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abcdefg

One of those many recipes that sounds better than it looks. Pork ribs sure are satisfying to work with. I'm surprised the eggplant/aubergine didn't cook down to mush with one hour of steaming (if you added them right at the start, along with the meat and potatoes.) 

 

Coming from a background in western cooking, I frequently have to remind myself of how useful and simple it is to steam vegetables and meats, either separately or together. Ancient and honorable Chinese cooking technique. 

 

10 hours ago, DavyJonesLocker said:

I think it would go very well with lean beef too!

 

Might work if you used the "select" expensive cut of "select niu lin" beef that you mentioned recently 精选牛霖。Cheaper beef cuts would probably wind up tough. 

 

 

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     1949035621_tenderbeef-78.thumb.jpg.41291be3c586ea837a14f05e1427aa45.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

Good job on this combination! 

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DavyJonesLocker
3 hours ago, abcdefg said:

Pork ribs sure are satisfying to work with. I'm surprised the eggplant/aubergine didn't cook down to mush with one hour of steaming (if you added them right at the start, along with the meat and potatoes.) 

 

The original plan was to cook the ribs in the pressure cooker, and par boil the potatoes , then add the aubergine, mix sauce in and finish off for 20 mins in the steamer but it was 7:30pm when I started and the pressure cooker was suggesting 45 mins on the 排骨 setting, so whole process would have taken longer. I need to work out how to manually set the cooking time on the pressure-cooker but reading the Chinese manual is a daunting task.

 

Your right, the aubergine was mushy but I didn't mind it. 

I need to improve the process certainly. 

 

3 hours ago, abcdefg said:

One of those many recipes that sounds better than it looks.

 

Yes, it was surprisingly good and certainly better than it looks ! Mind you it really is down to the brand of sauce and quality of ribs I reckon.. 

 

In general I quite like being able to alter Chinese dishes to suit my taste. Hence my initial frustration of Chinese recipes not stating quantities has disappeared (almost) The disadvantage is that it takes several tries to perfect it . Further if a dish is somewhat complicated and has a lot of strong flavoured ingredients such as  八角, 花椒, 五香粉 and there flavour turns out to be too overpowering, it's hard to know what the offending ingredient is. (as on my 孜然羊肉, I think I add too much 五香粉)

 

 

3 hours ago, abcdefg said:

Cheaper beef cuts would probably wind up tough. 

 

Well I'm think to tenderise a cheap cut and pre cook in the pressure cooker. Perhaps it might work. Next weeks experiment haha

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