updated recipe

THE VAMPIRE SLAYER RAMEN-EXPRESS

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CALL IT, THE RAMEN WITH 40 CLOVES OF GARLIC… WAIT.  44 CLOVES.

SOMETIMES, and for the sake of modesty not all the times, but sometimes, after I pasted every photos of a recipe in place and started to stare into space thinking about what I was gonna say… I thought to myself, seriously?  You fucking need a reason to eat this?

Uhem, just sometimes.

But well, today, happens to be one of those times.

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XI-AN FAMOUS HOT RICE RIBBONS

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JUST WHEN I THOUGHT THE SHOW WAS GONNA EXIT FASTER THAN IT ENTERED, ON THE SIDE OF A NEIGHBORHOOD ROAD…

A NEW JOINT OPENED

  

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I must admit, my belated appreciation for the hype of Xi’an Famous Foods, was a slow, reversed progression.

Six years ago before we left New York, it wasn’t yet a thing over there.  Then after six years of looming around Hong Kong and then now Beijing, I barely noticed its presence let alone recognizing it as an established “food category”.  It was a shameful episode of my negligence, one of which I could only redeem by… well, help you not to repeat my mistake.  The first noise I heard from this funnily named Chinese regional cuisine from central-west, ironically, was when a few months ago, I was on my Beijing couch watching America’s Food Network featuring a micro-trending street-eats in New York, called “liang (cold) pi (skin)”.  Liang-pi?  You mean, the liang-pi they sold from a booth right next to the cash-register in my local supermarket?  The liang-pi that periodically showed up on my dinner menu?  The liang-pi that, yes, there at the corner groceries as well.  And yes, there at the food-courts in malls, too!  Now that I’m consciously aware of such thing, the liang-pi that was previously invisible to my radar, now appears to be, actually, everywhere!READ MORE

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CANTONESE-STYLE ROAST PORK BELLY

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On the 20th of May 2013, I made a recipe that up to this day, more than a year later, still haunts me.  It was a glorious, beautifully crafted specimen of pork belly confit, originally created by the Thomas Keller of whom I almost always, agree with.

There was nothing fundamentally wrong with it.  The belly went through long hours of brining process before taking a hot-fat-tub bath that was equally as elaborate, then it went on to sit through an overnight pressing procedure… for reasons I followed without asking.  Then, finally, 24 hours later in this excruciating climb to climax, it was sent into a skillet to fulfil its actual purpose – to form a golden, perforated crackling from the skin.  The final torching of a caramel crust, although not from the original recipe, added a nice and thoughtful crunch and sweetness to the overall score.  Like I said, there wasn’t anything fundamentally wrong with it…

Except that it was just too damn, unnecessarily complicated!

OK, you’re right.  For those who only stop by once in a while, I’m evidently not someone who, by principle, seeks kitchen-shortcuts.  I receive considerable amount of twisted pleasure from fiddling with obsessive cooking behavior I mean, I have an entire section named “Got nothing but time” (which I do) for crying out loud.  But the premise is that the extra fusses should always be because a) it’s absolutely necessary by science (like fermentation), or b) it actually saves the overall effort by doing so (like leaving something to roast overnight).  I guess all I’m asking for, the pole that I’m curbing my insanity to, is that the time and effort spent are not for some minuscule, or sometimes, undetectable differences.  And I’m afraid that in the case of pork confit, I’m gonna have to prove myself right by proving myself wrong.READ MORE

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MOCHI DONUTS

” YOUR SKINNY JEANS
WILL SELF DESTRUCT IN 30 MIN.

THIS MESSAGE WON’T.

THIS, may come as a surprise to hear.  Or not… judging from how you rationalize things.  Well, let’s just say based on the look of things on this blog, this will come either as a gasping surprise, or, as the most obvious conclusion to any.  But what I’m trying to tell you, and this is a true story, is that every night before I go to sleep, the ever-last thought that I’m either saying or thinking before drifting into oblivion is alway this…

#$#$^@#!! I swear I’m gonna go on a fucking diet.

It’s true.  You see the thing is, I’m a side-sleeper.  And side-sleepers feel things.  Things that, with all due respect, back-sleepers wouldn’t necessarily feel so bluntly and graphically and that is, the horror upon realizing that my gut can move freely in 180 degree angle, and rest soundly on the mattress like a soft pouch of cottage cheese.  Did you know this about my gut?  Why am I always the last to know…

I’m telling you this because I want you to know that I am not beyond reasons.  I’m aware of the normal shape of things for a humanoid, and I have acknowledgement of the ancient nutritional pyramid built by aliens to assist mankind, I swear.  There was a lemon-olive-oil-pasta-thingy that was supposed to be here today to demonstrate that I’m well-balanced and eat vegetables.  I don’t know what happened to that.. maybe because, purely guessing, that it didn’t taste as good as this donut.

Right, this is a baaad donut.  A very gooood, bad donut.  I had a sun-dress that just arrived in mail and I got very angry at it, if you know what I mean.  And you would believe me when I say that I would not surrender my prospect into a spaghetti-strap sun-dress this summer, just over any donut, wouldn’t you?

No, no I won’t, because this is not just any donut.

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FAUX SMOKED MEAT/PASTRAMI

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“There’s New York.  There’s Montreal.  THEN THERE’S THE REST OF THE BARREN WORLD WITHOUT THIS SMOKY PINK”

(My subconscious eagerness to share this may have caused me to accidentally publish it before saying anything…  By the way, WordPress, if you’re reading, a “confirm publish” pop-up may be quite useful you know)  Uhem… so, where was I?

There are two types of carnivorous Earthlings in this cosmos.  One who has been blessedly graced by the acknowledgement and transformative tevilah of a truly, truly great pastrami.  And one who unknowingly misunderstands it as being overrated.  Before stepping a foot in New York, I couldn’t care less what a chunk of weirdly pink, muscularly dry and cold Jewish staple would taste like in between two pieces of woodboard-rye, but then of course, Katz got my tongue at the age of 21.  Before stepping a foot in Montreal where they can’t even get bagels right, I couldn’t care less what us Canadians have to say about a warm, spiced-up version of pastrami they call “smoked meat”.  Then I again stood humbly corrected at the heel of Schwartz a few years later.  Life since, has never been the same.

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SPEED FOLDING, PEANUT SUGAR MORNING BUNS

“JUST TWO FOLDINGS, GUYS.  TWOOO FOLDINGS!”

I literally cannot wait, cannot put another wasted minute between you and this recipe.  Cannot contain the overjoy in the fact that I have fulfilled the purpose of why I was put on this earth, my designated service to humanity… it is all done, right here, after I push the “publish” button.  I can die now and be accepted into heaven and I shall be in peace.

Yesterday, armed with skepticism, I entered the kitchen with an unlikely theory.  A few hours later, I came out lit-up like a Christmas tree.  This rarely happens, but it did.

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HOLY CRAPPED HOLLANDAISE

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I’m sure it happens to everybody.  I know, self-assuringly, that I’m not alone on this…  I’m sure that once in a while, we all come across a recipe, a “trick” really, that gets us so excited we forget to reasonably doubt and then it fails on such an epic proportion that we quiver at the sight of the kitchen doorway for a week.  Say it is so.

Well… even so, two days ago, when my cold lingered on and my eyes were so dry from the medication that they were about to crack open, it just wasn’t… really wasn’t the best time for this to happen.

And yet it so did.  Three times it did.

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insights to your shrimp dumplings

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There are days, you know,  not everyday, but days when I really… hate this.  I mean, what is this anyways?  A self-published “web-blog” about me making dinner.  Talk about being a loving sponge when it comes to self-absorbing not to mention a shameless evasion from unemployment.  Oops, did I not mention that?  As many more dignified others who might do this as a hobby aside, I on my other sorry hand, just do this.  No other self-sustaining professions at day, heck or even a non-profit charity to excuse myself of, it’s a testimony of prolonged immaturity and chronic, explicit laziness, hardly anything to be carved on my tombstone.  So yeah, as this self-absorbing continues, sometimes I really hate this.

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