Cantonese Tag

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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THE PINEAPPLE BUNS/PO LO BAO

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“THEY HAUNTED ME LIKE THE SWEETEST NIGHTMARE”

I want to begin today by saying, “I’m sorry, Kelly.  I sidetracked.”

A few weeks ago, a reader sent me an earnest suggestion saying that ever since she lost contact with one of her beloved things to eat, the curry beef buns from Chinese bakeries, that she has missed it dearly, and that it may fit eloquently into this humble blog of mine because from what it seems (and she’s right), that I’d love me some curry, too.  Oh yes, Kelly.  Oh you have no idea, curry and me are like this.  We tight.  However… even though we spent a substantial amount of keyboarding discussing those mysterious curry beef buns, two other relatively mundane words that she brought up amidst the conversion haunted me like the sweetest nightmare and chased away everything else.

Wait, did you say… pineapple buns?

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THE TYPHOON-SHELTER GARLIC SHRIMP

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“WHERE THE FUCK IS MY TYPHOON SHELTER?”

I.  CAN’T.  STAND.  THIS.  ANYMORE!

What the hell’s going on?  Is… is there a forest fire nearby?  Nope, I don’t think so!  Has a meteor hit China and created tidal waves of dust clouds that’s taking forever to settle?  Nope, nope but I wish!  But then what the hell in this apocalyptic country is going on that I can’t see beyond five buildings for the past five six consecutive days?!  I mean seriously, I could duct tape myself naked to the window and I doubt my neighbours would have enough visibility to notice!  I could hang a freakin’ brisket outside my apartment and it’d be smoked up like hickory and death!  I’d laugh at these photos if I hadn’t realized I live here, too…

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X’MAS MORNING SERIES: STUFFED GOOSE BEAST

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Every Who
Down in Who-ville
Liked Christmas goose a lot…

But the Grinch,
Who lived just behind the screen of Who-ville,
Did NOT!

The Grinch hated Christmas goose! The whole goose without season!
Now, please ask him why. For everyone quite guesses the reason.
It could be that the work looked a bit like fright.
It could be, perhaps, that his shoes were too tight.
But I think that the most likely reason of all
May have been that his ego was two sizes too small.

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THE HOT TRIPLETS

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I’m shouting out to you in the middle of the Pacific Ocean!! Warm waves… creamy white sands… waving palm trees… oh wait oops, are you cold there? Don’t say I’m not nice. Here, drink this, what I call the hot triplets. Oh, and it goes with this, the sweet buttah sandwich. Both are mutations from my favorites of Hong Kong’s popular “tea room” culture. Maybe I’ll chat more about it when I get back but right now, I have more important things to get to… See ya!

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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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rum and raisin baked tapioca pudding

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How many times does a recipe have to fail you before you decide that it just isn’t meant to be?  I used to simply set my maximum at three, the same philosophy… no, discipline really that I vigorously apply to all pursuits in life, but as it so proved in the course of the past few weeks, the kitchen, is a much more complicated world.  Actually, it isn’t that difficult to explain my unwavering faith in this particular case because as we all experience first-handedly, nostalgia is a powerful form of religion.  And with this, hoho… we go way back.

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“Rice Pie” It Is

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And I really don’t have any other better ideas so “rice pie” it is.

I’m sure we’ve all suffered from this.  From Cantonese clay-pot rice, to Korean bibimbap, to Spanish paellas.  All are different cuisines of rice plus whatnot, cooked in a sizzling vessel that forms a “burnt crust” of rice on the sides and bottom, which many would argue is the essence of such dishes.  OK, now here’s the “suffering” part.  What’s the point… of creating those wonderful, delicious, toasty crusts… if all they ever want is… to STICK TO the cookware!?  Like taking a lovely prospect to a bar to get’em drunk and they ended going home with the bartender…  No?  Nobody’s ever suffered from this?  It’s just me?  OK, well fine.  I DON’T GET IT.  I like those burnt bits, too and I was there first!!  How can it choose the pan over me?!  It’s heart-breaking that after my useless HACKING and SCRAPING at an innocent cookware that really don’t deserve this violence, I call it quit and just watch them still happily and ever-so contently clinging onto each other while I ponder with frustration, “why?”.

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