Jump to content
Chinese-forums.com
Learn Chinese in China

Featured

  1. abcdefg

    abcdefg

    Members


    • Points

      5

    • Content Count

      6,331


  2. dtcamero

    dtcamero

    Members


    • Points

      4

    • Content Count

      158


  3. DavyJonesLocker

    DavyJonesLocker

    Members


    • Points

      4

    • Content Count

      1,278


  4. imron

    imron

    Administrators


    • Points

      3

    • Content Count

      12,925



Popular Content

Showing content with the highest reputation on 10/15/2019 in all areas

  1. 2 points
    Prompted by a recent question in another thread (https://www.chinese-forums.com/forums/topic/59118-revisiting-the-classics-家常菜/?tab=comments#comment-459919), here's some simple help on picking the right soy sauce. My neighborhood supermarket has 30 or 40 brands on several yards of shelves. If one just walked in cold, the choice would be nearly overwhelming. In figuring out what kind of soy sauce to use, It helps to divide them into broad categories or types. Light soy sauce 生抽 is far and away the most commonly used. If a recipe just calls for "soy sauce" without specifying further, best strategy is to use light soy sauce 生抽。It is made by fermenting soybeans for several months. The higher grades usually have a longer fermentation time. Look for brands that have no additives (many of the cheaper ones are laced with MSG.) These better ones often bear the designation 特级 te ji, which roughly means "top grade." Expect to pay 15 to 25 Yuan for a 500 ml bottle. Please click the photos to enlarge them. Here's the kind I have used for the last 5 or 6 years. Notice that it says 不加味精 (no added MSG.) I'm not against small amounts of MSG, but would rather add it judiciously with my own hand instead of having unknown amounts of it hiding in my soy sauce. The arrow near the bottom points to where it says 特级。It has fermented 280 days; that's what the large number means. Same company makes one with a shorter time (180 days) and another with a longer time (380 days.) I take the middle road; the middle way. This brand also has no preservatives. You can also buy soy sauce in large plastic jugs for little more than the price of Coca Cola. You could afford to take a bath in it, not that you would want to. That stuff is made with lots of zippy "instant chemistry" and has only a passing acquaintance with the soy bean to which it owes its name. Best avoided. It's easy to get seduced by "special purpose" soy sauce being promoted just for making one kind of food. One can buy a special type of soy sauce for steaming fish 蒸鱼豉油 and another soy sauce that has been flavored with tiny 虾米 dried shrimp 海鲜酱油。One other common type is promoted as being specifically for 红烧肉 red-cooked pork. It typically contains star anise plus a little cinnamon. There's nothing wrong with these, but they take a lot of extra cabinet space and aren't really necessary. You can use plain soy sauce just as well and add the extra seasonings by hand as required. Low-sodium soy sauce exists, and will usually be labeled 低盐酱油, meaning "low salt." It would be a mistake to think that "light soy sauce" means it is low in salt. Some brands are labeled as being "natural and organic" 天然有机。I don't have any experience with them. When I use soy sauce in a dish, I dial back the cooking salt 食用盐 a little to allow for it. All soy sauce contains flour in addition to fermented soy, so it's not gluten free, just in case that is something with which you are concerned. The second main kind of soy sauce is 老抽,usually rendered into English as "old soy sauce." or "dark soy sauce." It is used in cooking, not as a table condiment. It's quite a bit more concentrated than "young soy sauce" 生抽,and typically contains both flour-based thickeners and molasses-type sweeteners. It is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, whereas light soy sauce just runs right off. If I'm using a casual Chinese recipe that calls for both 生抽 and 老抽 without specifying precise amounts, I will use three or four times as much 生抽 as 老抽。Old soy sauce imparts a deeper color to a dish but not a whole lot of flavor. It is very often made with fermented mushrooms added during processing to enrich the taste, to make it more substantial. Here's one I've used several years with good results. Note the arrow pointing out that it is also 特级 (top grade.) Costs about the same as 生抽, 15 or 20 Yuan for a 500 ml bottle. Sometimes one also uses a very thick soy sauce as a dipping sauce for roast meat or duck 烤肉/烤鸭, alone or mixed with plum sauce. It is slightly sweet and comes in a wide-mouth jar; thick enough to require a spoon to serve it. If you are looking for general-purpose Chinese cooking soy sauce, that's not what you are after. Pass it by. In summary, your kitchen cupboard will be just fine with a bottle of 生抽 and another of 老抽。It's worth shelling out the little bit extra to get 特级 editions of both.
  2. 2 points
    ironically i remember taking an HSK test where one essay was describing techniques students could use to improve reading speeds. their biggest advice was to not mouth the words or imagine pronounciation as you're going because it will slow you down. i'm finding in practice that that has to be true as your reading speed will eventually outpass your comfortable speaking speed. anyway the essay really slowed down my test because i was too interested in the subject matter to just skim for correct answers
  3. 1 point
    I thought it might be fun to revisit some of the classics of Chinese cuisine, things you run into again and again in simple mom-and-pop restaurants all over China. Would want to focus on dishes that are easy to make at home; ones that don't require exotic ingredients or specialized equipment. Have bought the fixings for 红烧茄子 -- hongshao qiezi (red-braised eggplant) and will make it later tonight to kick things off. It's good either meatless for vegetarians, or with meat for omnivores. The method of making it is easy to adapt to other red-braised dishes, such as Chairman Mao's beloved 红烧肉 -- hongshao rou (red-braised pork,) red-braised ribs 红烧排骨, red-braised chicken wings 红烧鸡翅 and so on. My short list so far has 鱼香肉丝 -- yuxiang rousi (fish-flavored pork slivers), which doesn't taste anything like fish, but is spicy and loaded with southwest charm. The same technique and flavor palette can be used with eggplant to make 鱼香茄子 -- yuxiang qiezi if one does not eat meat. Also thought I'd make 扬州炒饭 -- yangzhou chaofan (Yangzhou fried rice,) not only because it's great in its own right, but as a rough template for how to make other kinds of fried rice. Please let me know what else you think should be included. Everyone is also welcome to post their own recipes, preferably with photos to make them easier to understand and use.
  4. 1 point
    My rental contract ends this month and my landlord came around last week. He wanted to up the rent by 1400 a month. 5400 to 6800 for an empty apartment. I live out past the 5th ring road. That's what? a 25% increase in two years! I really though he was being unreasonable but he said he just wants to charge the market rate. he'd a good landlord to be fair. I checked with a few estate agents and asked a wechat group. He'd pretty much in line with the market. I checked my old building in shuangjing. I paid 7500pm two years ago. They are asking 10000+ pm month now! I noticed everything is rapidly increasing. Restaurants , gym membership, etc Rapidly becoming an expensive city.
  5. 1 point
    One word though: 煎饼. But I agree about the food stalls off Wangfujing, that was purely for tourists. And nobody should eat seahorse-on-a-stick, that's even more wrong than eating dog.
  6. 1 point
    Correct. This is why I don't recommend trying to increase your speeds on any text that still requires learning, and only do it on texts that are fully learnt. The speed increase you get from doing that will then carry over in to normal reading and you'll find that even when you slow down, it will still be faster than what you could previously read at.
  7. 1 point
    Just gonna leave this here. Been unlivable for quite a while, and it's been a long time since I last visited.
  8. 1 point
    Glad I'm in Kunming (for several reasons.)
  9. 1 point
    thanks @Bibu @abcdefg very informative. I noticed one or two recipes online just simple mention 红烧 in the procedural steps yup thats what I do a lot with my dishes, nuke the meat in the pressure cooker, when tender caramelize with peanut oil and sugar, the start whacking in the soya combo and other ingredients The turn out well actually, Took a lot of trial and error though
  10. 1 point
    @Balthazar ya i’m sure they have fancier ones by now, i’m kinda turned off by the whole brand though honestly, anything by suntory as well. @abcdefg this is my favorite sea salt, fab taste and it comes in flakes which have a great little crunch.
  11. 1 point
    They have a whole range of varieties. I recommend you try their marudaizu version (if you haven't already), which uses whole beans. Nothing like the standard offering, but can be hard to find abroad and it's not cheap. I wouldn't really put Japanese and Chinese soy sauce up against each other, as they are quite different beasts (I have no experience with Korean soy sauce, but hear they are closer to the Chinese). I prefer using Chinese soy sauce when making Chinese food and vice versa. Living in the West severely limits our options, but I'll post a info on what we use when I get home Great write-up as usual @abcdefg
  12. 1 point
    I find the 饿了么 guys are really good about that if they make a mistake. I also had a similar experience with a taobao thing I bought. I forgot to update my adress after I moved districts (Shanghai). He called me to confirm, so I told him I'd go out there to pick it up. He said not to worry about it, that he'd come out to me to drop the package the next morning. Sure enough, it was there on time.
  13. 1 point
    in the old nice days, 红烧 means soybean sauce + sugar, the two would make the color of dish into red(红), for me it looks more dark brown. The major differ between 生抽 and 老抽 is have sugar in or not..., so in a modern recipe it is always use 老抽 for 红烧. @abcdefgfor the real classic family dishes, i recommend you can reference this book wrote in 1966: https://book.douban.com/subject/3017522/
  14. 1 point
    Soybean sauce aka 酱油 today is so different from my childhood, basically you not not have so many choices and brand like today, but local made soybean sauce, the very traditional sauce, it turns bad in summer time easily , when many white particles floating in your sauce bottle, you know it turns bad. also the term 打酱油 reflected the way of buying sauce: you take your own bottle to the grocery, and they pour over the amount through a funnel tube into your own bottle. The sauce was in a big jar like the pic attached. 打酱油 normally is the privilege for kids. one day i just realised all the above 10 years ago in Beijing, the same soybean sauce was intact for more than 1 years. For quite a long time i never saw those white floating in my sauce bottle.... As a northern, I do believe the term of 生抽 and 老抽 is from Canton area. In those nice old day we only have local organic soybean sauce and local beers.
  15. 1 point
    I don't bother going to the hutongs anymore . Many seem to have become more like hipsters place to hang out with prices to match.
  16. 1 point
    I was there in July for the first time in 5 years. All my favorite street markets and food vendors had closed up shop. The city is now unlivable.
  17. 1 point
    @abcdefg the kikkoman is basically just flavorless colored saltwater. this stuff, called kishibori shoyu, has got a really strong flavor; great for japanese, chinese or western cooking. i’m often looking for something to add a little punch of flavor and this is one of my go-to solutions. my friend’s wife is an editor for a cooking blog, and after i gave her some she wrote a whole article about how much she like it: www.epicurious.com/expert-advice/this-is-the-best-soy-sauce-article/amp
  18. 1 point
    This is definitely true. People build up reading habits such as moving mouth and so on when they are a beginner, and then those habits stick even as your ability improves to the point where you no longer need them. Actively drilling to avoid that can help solve that problem, and if it was a problem you can probably double reading speed with a bit of effort. By far though, the biggest hit to reading speed is encountering an unknown word or character.
  19. 1 point
    It should come as no surprise that the best version of this classic dish is the one Mom always made back home when you were just a tadpole. Nonetheless, you can still turn out a decent approximation today without much fuss. Be glad show you how. 红烧茄子 -- red cooked eggplant, soy sauce braised eggplant. Above: The finished product and the main ingredients. Long Asian eggplants 长茄子 work best because they have tender skin. No need to peel them. One or two long green peppers and a red one. I’ve used mildly spicy green peppers 青椒 and a red bell pepper 红甜椒。One large spring onion 大葱 and a clove or two of garlic. I used gentle single-clove garlic 独蒜。A thumb of fresh ginger 生姜, which has a milder flavor than old ginger 老姜。Don't fret if your garlic and ginger are not the same as mine; just use a little less of them. Start with the meat, pork 猪肉。Rinse it and slice it thin across the grain then chop it several times on the cutting board 菜板 with your kitchen knife 菜刀 to turn it into small pieces, not quite as small as if it had been ground. I use meat that is about 80% lean 瘦肉 and 20% fat 肥肉。Marinate it with a teaspoon or two of corn starch 淀粉 and a tablespoon or two of cooking wine 料酒。This is called “velveting” the meat and it helps make it tender. Wash the eggplant and cut it on a bias. This is called a “rolling cut” and what you do is hold the eggplant with one hand and give it about a quarter turn with each angled slice. 切滚刀快。Couldn't photograph the actual process without risking the loss of a thumb. Put it in a big bowl and toss it with a couple tablespoons of vinegar 白醋 and a teaspoon or so of salt 食用盐。Toss it well and let it stand about 10 minutes. This removes a good deal of excess moisture without letting the eggplant become brown. Mince 切碎 the garlic and thinly slice the ginger into rounds 切薄片。Wash and cut the peppers into strips 切条, removing and discarding the seeds. Slap the spring onion with the side of your knife to break it and partly flatten it; then cut it into thin slices. This allows it to cook fast and eliminates any “bite.” Prepare a braising sauce by adding about 2 tablespoons of light soy sauce 生抽 and the same amount of yellow cooking wine 料酒 to a bowl. Mix in about a half a tablespoon of dark soy sauce 老抽, a half teaspoon each of salt 盐 and granulated sugar 白砂糖。Stir in a tablespoon of corn starch 玉米淀粉 and a cup of water. Here’s where to put the 味精 MSG if you use it. I like about a fourth of a teaspoon. Ready now to fire up the wok. It's always good to assemble everything you will need; then look it all over critically like a general before going into battle. Once you are "over flame," the process goes real fast. You won't have time to fumble around looking for stuff. By the way, I’ve already got the rice working off to the side in the electric rice cooker. It takes about 30 minutes, and I want it to be ready when the other food comes off the stove. That way everything can hit the table hot. Don’t forget the culinary school adage, 热锅冷油。Get the wok hot over high heat before swirling in a couple tablespoons of oil. This lets it coat the metal better and makes the food less likely to just soak it up. I used rapeseed oil 菜籽油 today because it adds a pleasant note to eggplant, but it’s fine to use any oil with a high smoke point, such as peanut oil or corn oil. Olive oil won’t cut it. Fry the meat quickly together with the garlic and ginger. Keep it all in motion with your wok tool 锅铲 over high flame for about a minute, until the meat loses its pink color. Add the eggplant a handful at a time, squeezing out the extra liquid as you do so. My two eggplants left behind over a half a cup of their intracellular water. Stir 煸炒 and flip 翻炒 the food steadily over high heat until you start to see the eggplant taking one a bit of golden color 变金黄色。 That’s the point at which to add the sliced peppers. They don’t require much cooking time. After a minute or so, mix in the braising liquid, remembering to stir up the corn starch which has settled to the bottom of the bowl. The eggplant will need 4 or 5 more minutes, all the while uncovered. Keep it all moving, don’t let the sauce get too thick and scorch or stick to the wok. It’s fine to add more hot water as needed in small amounts, quarter of a cup or so at a time. I splash it in from a tea kettle. Check the eggplant frequently as you stir to see if it is done. The way to do that is to try to cut a piece of it with the edge of your spatula, pressing against the side of the wok. You are “there” when it still resists slightly, but then gives way without requiring too much muscle. Last of all, blend in the sliced spring onions. As you work the dish, it will acquire a deep color plus a glossy sheen; it will give off a complex aroma. Serve it up! What I often do when just making it for two is to start with one plate for each of each of us that has rice plus the eggplant, served 盖饭 “gaifan” style. No deep philosophic reason; it just looks nice. Hope this dish is something you might feel inclined to try. It’s not tricky or treacherous to execute. Reasonably healthy and memorably delicious. If you have no way to cook where you live, it's still good to be aware of 红烧茄子 (hongshao qiezi) since it's readily available in restaurants, small and large, all over China. -------------------- Cook’s footnote 小窍门: You will need to make two decisions ahead of time. First, whether to add meat or not. It’s good either way. Generally speaking, I add meat in order for it to become a “one-dish meal.” Otherwise, I leave it out. Second decision is whether or not to pre-fry the eggplant. The most common restaurant version includes that step. It gives the eggplant an improved texture but comes at the cost of quite a bit of extra trouble. Also, there are many ways to cut the eggplant. It’s OK to get creative.
  20. 1 point
    We are six days into our China road trip now. We easily procured a temporary Chinese drivers license at the Beijing airport which is valid for 1 year anywhere in China and valid just for driving a rented car. Reserving the rental car was a hassle. What they didn't tell us in advance was that the car rental company (a Hertz affiliate) would not rent any car to foreigners during Golden Week. So we could only start our road trip on October 8. In general, the car rental business in China is small compared to other countries and not very customer friendly. My husband, who is a Beijing native, had a hard time understanding the car rental people - partly because of a lot of jargon he didn't know and partly because of accent. So his sister, who lives in Beijing, did most of the negotiating for us. We have been navigating easily using Baidu Maps. More later when I have time.
  21. 1 point
    I think I've made these points before, but so what: "For example, imagine a movie character with a distinct voice such as Darth Vader or Yoda." It's really really useful if you can find a Chinese tutor who has a distinctive memorable voice you feel comfortable imitating. Listen to an actor like 葛优: you can never forget the voice. "Once you have internalized the different tones as different sounds on a handful of mandarin sounds, you can then apply that across all sounds without much effort." Do this in pairs, and place names are the perfect models since you hear them all the time. Even if you've been in China only a few months, your ears should hurt if you try to say 中国 、 北京 、 上海 、 西安 all the same. But try, since saying things wrong is one way to start saying things right: zhong1guo1, bei1jing1, shang1hai1: OUCH! But xi1an1: AH!
  22. 1 point
    Is it Hanping Chinese HSK (1-6) deck? Best do it on PC then Download the deck (Hanping_Chinese_HSK_1-6.apkg), double click to import into ANKI Open Browser Click on 'Hanping Chinese HSK' deck (left hand side) click on any card in the window. (The top window bar (right hand side) should show "deck:Hanping Chinese HSK" ) Select All (CTRL A) click SUSPEND, all rows will turn yellow in the window bar add the text 'tag:HSK1' so it will show "deck:Hanping Chinese HSK" tag:HSK1 600 rows should be displayed (150 of the HSK cards x 4 card types ) Select All again (CTRL A) click SUSPEND again, all 600 rows will back to white (i.e. unsuspended) when you want HSK2 included as well, just change the search to "deck:Hanping Chinese HSK" tag:HSK1 OR tag:HSK2 (1200 cards will be shown) and click SUSPEND (to toggle the 'suspend' action on /off) and you get the idea ....
×
×
  • Create New...