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57 votes

Why do Chinese grocers advise cutting and discarding flowers in Chinese vegetables?

When a plant arrives in the kitchen, the ecological perspective doesn't matter any more. Any insect present on a plant destined for human consumption is considered a pest by the consuming humans and ...
rumtscho's user avatar
  • 139k
45 votes

Why do North American Chinese restaurants advertise "We use 100% Vegetable oil"?

Odds are that anything sold in the US as ‘vegetable oil’ is soybean oil, but it might mean something different to a restaurant. The issue is that it used to be fairly common for restaurants to uses ...
Joe's user avatar
  • 80.9k
42 votes

Why do Hong Kong chefs use a white towel instead of gloves to clutch a wok?

Because it is more efficient when running the kitchen while in full service. It takes less time to remove their hands from the towels than it would take to remove gloves. This also applies to chefs ...
Max's user avatar
  • 20.4k
17 votes
Accepted

Reducing the moisture in cooked rice for making fried rice

Kenji López-Alt from Serious Eats dealt with the exact same issue (section Rule #2: plan in advance if you can, but don't worry if you don't). To sum up his findings: Rice only need to be dry, not ...
Ching Chong's user avatar
  • 4,688
14 votes
Accepted

Are egg rolls supposed to be eaten with chopsticks or hands?

It's a matter of personal preference when referring to restaurants in the United States. Some egg rolls are too large to be easily handled with chopsticks, and they can be eaten using your hands; ...
logophobe's user avatar
  • 14.9k
14 votes
Accepted

is Doubanjiang (sezhuan hot bean paste) an acceptable substitute in recipes calling for gochujang (Korean hot sauce)?

Both are mildly spicy, but the similarities end there. Gochujang is tangy and slightly sweet, whereas doubanjiang is more salty, savory and fermented-tasting. Even the textures don't match up: ...
Sneftel's user avatar
  • 29.5k
13 votes
Accepted

Why do Chinese grocers advise cutting and discarding flowers in Chinese vegetables?

I would say there may be more insects in the flowers, but that is not a big deal. The ones not removed by normal washing or possibly a saltwater rinse will mostly at least be tiny ones attracted by ...
dlb's user avatar
  • 8,643
13 votes

Why boiling water, then cold water for this shaobing recipe?

Adding boiling water to flour causes the starch granules to swell and gelatinise, allowing the dough to absorb more water, resulting in a softer and/or fluffier finished product. However, a dough made ...
mbjb's user avatar
  • 1,749
11 votes

What kind of rice is used in Chinese cooking?

I wrote a blog post on this issue, in terms of conclusion: In the case of boiled rice with Chinese dishes, use japonica rice (Medium Grain Rice). In the case of cooking porridge, use japonica rice (...
Jeffrey Wang's user avatar
11 votes

Why'd Cantonese restaurants desire 40,000 BTU for soup?

For a domestic kitchen a few thousand BTU is plenty as you will rarely need to heat more than a few liters of liquid. In a professional kitchen you might be asked to prepare a 30-litre portion of ...
Borgh's user avatar
  • 633
11 votes

Why is rock sugar used in Chinese cooking?

while all of the above answers are correct, I want to provide a perspective as a native Chinese. Rock sugar is better used (than granulated sugar) when you try to make dishes involving coloring the ...
numerair's user avatar
  • 111
10 votes

Is rice supposed to be eaten with chopsticks?

The Chinese cultural norm is to eat rice with chopsticks. It would be very inconvenient to constantly switch back and forth between eating with chopsticks and a spoon depending upon whether you were ...
mattm's user avatar
  • 2,474
10 votes

Is salty tongue effect normal after eating sichuan peppercorns?

Yes. This happens to me. Some scientists are investigating the possibility of using the peppercorns as a means of reducing people's salt intake. Potential of Szechuan pepper as a saltiness enhancer, ...
Robert leung's user avatar
9 votes

Is rice supposed to be eaten with chopsticks?

In Japanese food, I would say you use chopsticks to eat white rice that comes in a rice bowl. Japanese rice is short/medium grained and sticks together so you can pick up clumps at a time. You also ...
lightawake's user avatar
8 votes

Vegetarian replacement for pork mince in Chinese style stir fry

Let's recapitulate the textural options you have: Crumbled firm tofu, sauteed (with or without some soy sauce and/or wheat paste - mind the color you want too!) Brunoised/minced fresh/reconstituted ...
rackandboneman's user avatar
8 votes
Accepted

Why do HK chefs let water faucets run unceasingly, when the basin overflows?

This appears to be a dipper well: a continuously running sink used to rinse utensils. The water runs continuously to remove contaminants, always leaving a clean supply of water to rinse dirty utensils ...
Benjamin Kuykendall's user avatar
8 votes

What's 香茜 or 芫荽 in English?

Googling 香茜 ("Wu Chinese") and 芫荽 ("Chinese") yields the wikipedia page for coriander in both cases. Coriander is also known as cilantro in parts of the world, which causes some ...
LSchoon's user avatar
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8 votes
Accepted

Can I mix food grade lye (sodium hydroxide) with water to make kansui?

80% potassium carbonate, 20% sodium bicarbonate at some concentration https://omnivorescookbook.com/kansui is likely to behave very differently than your sodium hydroxide. Kansui is probably strongly ...
Wayfaring Stranger's user avatar
7 votes
Accepted

What is this seafood that I bought in a Chinese market?

That's abalone (鮑魚 bàoyú), a popular and expensive delicacy in Chinese cuisine.
lambshaanxy's user avatar
  • 1,436
7 votes
Accepted

Is there a rubric for what ingredients go into a Chinese stir fry?

Is there a rubric for what ingredients go into a Chinese stir fry? Usually, some optional mixture of liquids, vegetables, noodles, fruits, and meats. A bit of a facetious answer, but really- stir ...
Onyz's user avatar
  • 1,234
6 votes

What is the real difference in lo mein, chow mein, mei fun, and chop suey?

Lo mein stands for "tossed noodles," and the texture remains soft and it tends to soak up sauces pretty well. Chow mein stands for "fried noodles," and is either deep fried or stir fried for a longer ...
PoloHoleSet's user avatar
  • 3,634
6 votes

Preserving colour of vegetables in Chinese hakka noodles

It's quite a simple technique actually, called blanching. You just need to: Dip the vegetables in boiling water for a short time (10-20 seconds) Immediately transfer them to ice-water (or cold/...
zetaprime's user avatar
  • 4,276
6 votes

Does this still count as "scrambled eggs"?

I would think the definition of 'scrambled' comes from being constantly stirred as they set, which gives the final texture; not that they start as beaten eggs. I've heard of an egg simply dropped ...
Tetsujin's user avatar
  • 29.8k
6 votes

Why do HK restaurants' wok fried scallops stay big? My pan fried ones at home shrink!

Regarding the scallops shrinking, it could simply be the difference in dry vs. wet scallops. Most grocery stores sell wet scallops. At times, dry scallops can be quite hard to find at retail. Wet ...
Cindy's user avatar
  • 18.3k
6 votes

Why is rock sugar used in Chinese cooking?

No, it doesn't, really. Once it is dissolved, it behaves exactly the same. Eaters won't know the difference when eating the finished product. So, tastewise, there is no special reason to use rock ...
rumtscho's user avatar
  • 139k
6 votes
Accepted

How to extract mouth numbing effect from Sichuan peppercorn into a syrup?

The reason you didn't get the numbing effect is because the hydroxy alpha sanshool is an alcohol that is largely soluble in oils not water. When boiled it will come off in the steam and escape the ...
bob1's user avatar
  • 15.3k
5 votes

What kind of rice is used in Chinese cooking?

There are several types of rices used in chinese cooking. In general, rice is categorised in length: Long, medium and short or glutenous. The length makes a difference, more or less starch. Longer ...
JG sd's user avatar
  • 1,346
5 votes

Is rice supposed to be eaten with chopsticks?

In Southeast Asia, rice is not eaten with chopsticks. A fork and spoon is used for jasmine rice, and hands are used for sticky rice. Chopsticks are only used in these countries for noodle dishes, and ...
canardgras's user avatar
  • 2,415
5 votes
Accepted

What is the difference between Shao Xing and Shao Hisng Chinese cooking wines?

Shao hsing is just another romanization of mandarin Chinese (Wade Giles) for Shao xing : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_Chinese_romanization_systems
TZDZ's user avatar
  • 196
5 votes
Accepted

Why does day old rice make for a better tasting fried rice?

The goal is to sufficiently dry it, so that you get the right texture of your fried rice. You want it to be noticeably dry, so that it will fry rather than steaming, and not clump together. It's okay ...
Cascabel's user avatar
  • 58.3k

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