CHINESE - Cuisine of the Quarter, Winter 2021 (Jan-Mar)

Hey HOs! We had a very close COTQ race this quarter, with Greek and Chinese tied for the win this morning. I cast my tie-breaking vote for CHINESE, so that’s what we’ll be cooking this quarter! I look forward to exploring this vast and varied cuisine with all of you. To kick things off, I’ll share this photo of my first attempt at Sichuan twice-cooked pork belly with leeks - one of the first meals I made in 2021. It could have used more heat but otherwise turned out very well! My Sichuan peppercorns seem to have lost their oomph, though - time to order a new supply. Anyone know of a good vendor? I can recommend the Pixian broad bean paste I used, though - this is the best brand I have found. Makes excellent mapo tofu, too!


Yay I love this topic! Chinese food is so daunting for me and I really want to learn more, twice cooked pork is certainly high on my list! And thanks for the DBJ recommendation, I am running a bit low on my current supply.

I have some pork belly in the freezer, I might give this one a try, do you have a recipe you’d recommend?

I feel pretty confident on my mapo tofu and zha jiang mian recipes, but that’s pretty much all I got.


I used this recipe:

I omitted the long hot peppers because I didn’t have any, and forgot to add something else for spice, which is obviously why mine came out a little mild. Otherwise it was perfect! I also fried my par-boiled pork a little longer than called for because I like it a bit crisp - this made it render a lot more fat, so I didn’t need to add any oil after the searing step.


Chinese beef stew with tendon, daikon & dry bean curd sticks. Recipe is from Amy + Jackie’s Instant Pot website & Facebook group…


Always like the combination of beef, tendon and daikon! It was one of the must order dish in my regular dim sum place!


Me too, love being able to make it at home! Totally know exactly what is on it… I was really pleased with how well this dish came out :yum:

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I have been super impressed with everything I have gotten from The Mala Market. Small business doing big things. Their website says the 2020 spice harvest has arrived so now is a good time to order.


Beef stew with carrots


Thank you so much!

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I’m actually happy for Chinese being the pick, and hope to contribute! I confess nominating Belgian, and voting for Greek, when it looked like Chinese was not in fact going to be a contender…surprise!

FWIW, will nominate Greek for 2nd quarter, think that would be good timing, which would coincide with Greek spring holidays, and feast foods. Yum.


Comfort food elevated to living room appetizer: Savory egg custard
This recipe works, especially process description. I substitute low sodium chicken broth for water. Served warm.


Dumplings… must be one of my top favourite Chinese things to eat!

I don’t know how to make complicated pleating and shapes but I’m happy with these.


More dumpling ideas? Here are some I ate on my 3 trips to China. (watch full screen, click on button in right corner)


I made some zhajiangmian “fried sauce noodles” a dish from Shandong province that is also popular in Korea

I followed a recipe from All Under Heaven: Recipes from the 35 Cuisines of China by Carolyn Phillips that includes cubed eggplant. Came out pretty good.


Chicken chow mein last night. Not something I have cooked before and only really eaten when I was in Nepal or northern India. Very good for using up the vegetables I had hanging around.


Teochew-style steamed fish with salted plums in brine, sour/preserved mustard greens, shiitake, and tomatoes. Normally whole fish is used but I had skate wings on hand.


I just remember I made this a few months back. Nyonya (?) duck soup with sour mustards.

I didn’t eat it as a soup. I ate the solids separately and sipped the broth on the side.


Looks awesome! But I still consider it a Korean dish :wink:

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That’s a beautiful presentation, @pilgrim!

I love steamed eggs - this is the recipe I started with (very similar in tips and proportions to the one you linked, which I also had saved as it turned out). I appreciated the helpful tips for the way I like the custard - silky smooth and just-set, without bubbles.

Minor modifications today - some bouillon powder instead of broth, and a single serving from 2 eggs. It did take me almost twice the time (checking the jiggle after 6 mins and then every 2), but when it was done it was perfect!

And I loved the idea of cutting through in a lattice pattern.

Topped with sesame oil, chilli onion crunch, and scallions. A lovely Sunday brunch! (And SO much lighter than its close relative, the quiche…)


Your presentation is nice too. Love Chinese steam eggs and egg tart but hate quiche. Don’t know the reasoning behind this. Maybe I don’t like bad quiche.

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My own Frankencreation – it’s like the unfortunate result of Yangzhou fried rice having a torrid one night affair with Peruvian fried rice without, ahem, protection.


Simple enough, zha jiang Mian is Chinese, Jja jang myeon is Korean Chinese! They are distinct enough from each other that you can draw a pretty clear line.

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold