Peking duck (北京烤鸭) is a classic mainstay of Chinese cuisine. It is often a special treat on the menu of Chinese restaurants, requiring diners to order in advance for serving to multiple people. There’s a reason for this: it’s a major production to prepare and serve. The classic recipe takes three days: the first to remove the neck bones and knot the neck, paint the skin with honey and soy sauce, and hang to dry; the second to blow up the skin like a balloon to separate from the meat then blanch in boiling water; and the third to roast the whole duck in a wood-fired oven. As I recall, I’ve only had properly prepared Peking Duck once in my life, when a bunch of programmers at the place I worked in the 1970s arranged a Chinese banquet at a restaurant in Berkeley, California, but long before and after that I’ve made this recipe or variants, which I find excellent, if not authentic, and a tiny fraction of the work. You can look at this as a special treat, but making it couldn’t be easier.
This week we bring the spicy heat of the Caribbean to this cold and dark northern hemisphere winter with this Fourmilab culinary creation: Jamaican jerk seasoned boneless Cornish game hens with jerk, lime, and coriander seasoned rice. This is a medium-hot recipe (I’ve had much hotter in Indian restaurants), but you can adjust the heat to your own compression ratio simply by adding more or less jerk seasoning to the rice (the seasoning of the meat doesn’t make much difference in the overall heat). I make this recipe using an Actifry, but if you don’t have one, I’ll provide instructions for cooking in a conventional oven.
Bentos are Japanese lunches in a multi partitioned tray. In old days it was a wooden box. Now it is usually styrofoam or plastic. The common factor in all bentos is rice. This takes up the most space. After that you can have fish, beef, chicken, or fried varieties of the former. There are various side things that come with it. This can be vegetables, potato salad, Japanese pickles, etc.
7-Eleven sells a lot of bentos here. There is a custom to buy a deluxe bento at the Bullet Train Stations to eat on the Bullet train. These usually have local delicacies in them. There is also a type of fast food shop that sells bentos with hot rice.
There are homemade bentos too. Housewives get up early and make bentos for the family. These are put in plastic boxes. The ones for children have cartoon characters on them. Some have a lower a lower section for rice with an upper section for the side dishes. Others just have a divider to separate the rice.
I don’t remember all the options for storing food as there is today. For the most part it was plastic wrap and Tupperware. Now there is a plethora of options. Take plastic bags. In the old days you you had plastic bags with a paper covered wire to twist the bag shut. Now there are resealable ones. The old ziplock bags with one line has been replaced with two lines to close the bag. There is even a zipper type closer. There are normal storage and freezer bags. Does the food know which bag it is in?
Now there are many Tupperware knockoffs. Some come with lids with a dial for the month and day.
Others have valves that let out the air in the container so it stays fresher longer.
Or there is the refrigerator with a compartment where no wrap is needed. I am not sure how that works.
For Japan, I think some of the factors are probably the following. The food is piping hot so you wait for it to cool. It is hard to eat super quick with chopsticks. There is a lot of veggies so more volume. Also it is rude to eat too quickly.
Excepting for bread, I don’t think there is another food is so manipulated as pasta. Even though it can come from the same ingredients, I believe the taste is different. That doesn’t make sense but it is true because the shape determines the amount of sauce in the bite.
Do any of you make your own pasta? If so what kind?
What is your favorite shape of pasta?
What is the most unusual shape that you have cooked?
What is your go to sauce?
UPDATE:Can anyone name all the pasta shapes in the picture on this post?
A classic dish in Szechuan Chinese restaurants is Twice Cooked Pork, a spicy stir-fry with pork and crunchy vegetables that combines interesting favours and textures with enough heat to wake up your taste buds (and, depending on the restaurant, make your eyes water).
There are several styles of this dish, and the traditional way of preparing it is somewhat time-consuming and fussy. If you’ve read my other recipes, you know that’s not for us. Here is a variant where the “first cooking” is done when you make our Chinese Roast Pork and the leftover meat from that dish is the starting point for this one. If you consider this inauthentic, that’s because it is! If you like, call it “Twice Crooked Pork”! It’s still delicious, quick and easy to fix, and can’t fail.
The best food I had on an aircraft was bibimbap on Korean Airlines. What made it so good is the hot spicy sauce in the tube. It is red and makes the rice and vegetables come alive. Of course this was for pleasure. When I fly for Ratburger.org I usually pick from the services in the below video.
What have been your “high” cuisine experiences? (Is that “haute”, Blumroch?)
The days are hot and humid in the Land of the Rising Sun. One needs something to cool and refresh. What I like is a cup of iced cold java with milk. This is easy to make even Mike can do this. (By Kenny Louie from Vancouver, Canada – Blue Bottle, Kyoto Style Ice Coffee, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2433582)
Luckily, they sell bottled coffee by the 900ml-ish. This brand is Georgia which is the Coca-Cola brand but UCC, AGF, or Nescafe is okay too. Buy a liter of milk. This one says it is “delicious milk” from Meiji. I usually but in half coffee and half milk then add the ice. Aaaaah!!