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Old 02-21-2006, 02:17 PM   #31
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Lots of good advice, opinions, speculations here. Will go back to my original question... Alex, perhaps can you share the recipe(s) with us and we can help troubleshoot? The dish itself and prep, should give us some good insight.
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Old 02-21-2006, 02:36 PM   #32
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mish, i wasn't referring to packets of duck and soy sauce (i agree they're not very good), but rather ordering your entire entree steamed, with the sauce that the dish would have been served in on the side for dipping, such as garlic sauce, kung pao sauce, or even oyster sauce.
my friends started doing this years ago to save calories, and i eventually adopted the idea, for health reasons initially. one time when i was making a stir fry at home, i was out of jarred hoisin sauce, but i had leftover garlic sauce from takeout, so i used that, and no one could tell if it was take out or homemade.

like you said, a decently hot wok with good oil, so long as it's not over crowded, will stir fry almost as well as a restaurant's wok.
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Old 02-21-2006, 02:46 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buckytom
mish, i wasn't referring to packets of duck and soy sauce (i agree they're not very good), but rather ordering your entire entree steamed, with the sauce that the dish would have been served in on the side for dipping, such as garlic sauce, kung pao sauce, or even oyster sauce.
my friends started doing this years ago to save calories, and i eventually adopted the idea, for health reasons initially. one time when i was making a stir fry at home, i was out of jarred hoisin sauce, but i had leftover garlic sauce from takeout, so i used that, and no one could tell if it was take out or homemade.

like you said, a decently hot wok with good oil, so long as it's not over crowded, will stir fry almost as well as a restaurant's wok.
Thanks BT. I was more referring to those little packets, you know the ones I mean. Not from the good take out places, like the ones you're referring to. Listen up folks, get rid of em from the fridge where they're all piling up. They are old and useless. Those mustard and ketchup packets, give them up too. Do they even have an expiration date? How 'bout those mayo, relish and tartar sauce packets, hmmm.

There's an excellent Japanese restaurant here I've ordered from...their sauces are delish- as well as their tempura, gyoza and teriyaki...but never have enough sauce to save.
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Old 02-21-2006, 03:00 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mish
Listen up folks, get rid of em from the fridge where they're all piling up. They are old and useless. Those mustard and ketchup packets, give them up too. Do they even have an expiration date? How 'bout those mayo, relish and tartar sauce packets, hmmm.
I hear ya there mish. The only problem is, convincing my MIL. She's a total packrat, and saves EVERYTHING!
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Old 02-21-2006, 03:04 PM   #35
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i save those packets and bring them hiking in the summertime on the appalachian trail. thru hikers are thrilled to have salty and sweet condiments to add to their very boring dehydrated meals. the beer we bring also doesn't hurt.

the last time i left a small supermarket shopping bag full, and the hikers that came thru the shelter shared them over the next few weeks.
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Old 02-21-2006, 03:52 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buckytom
the last time i left a small supermarket shopping bag full...
BT, you win. With a supermarket shopping bag full of condiments, I'd follow you around with my hot dog and hamburger.

Whoa, what were those two last posts about. Whew, glad they were deleted. What?! the heck was that! Thank you site helpers/admin.
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Old 02-23-2006, 10:08 PM   #37
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I love Chinese food too and I've found that it's usually the recipes - not the temperature of the pan that were lacking. I've cooked on both electric and gas. I've found a couple that work for me and I learned through experience that I need to have the correct ingredients. The cookbook that I fall back on most is Classic Chinese Cooking by Nina Simonds.
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Old 02-28-2006, 01:40 AM   #38
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There used to be a restaurant in Waikiki called the Great Wok of China, or something like that. Mom, Dad and I sat there and watched them make our dinner. The things I most noticed was that there was a lot more fat and a lot more heat than we would use in a modern home kitchen. Mom and I were astonished at the number of times the chef put a ladle of oil into the wok, for dishes that were not supposedly fried. I think, too, that a lot if it is learning to manage extremes of heat. This was enormous amounts of heat. But we tend to be afraid of fat here, and that fat is the flavor and texture of even the leanest of foods. I don't think I'll ever get the same flavor and texture of good Chinese food, but now I know why.
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Old 02-28-2006, 02:50 PM   #39
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There is one simple thing you can do that will help that I haven't seen mentioned anywhere except in Barbara Tropp's first book.

It's called something like..... "tempering" the meat (that's not the correct term). But anyway, you can do it in oil, or in water. I think oil may be more traditional, but water is much simpler and seems to work fine.

For a stir fry, after you cut the chicken or pork into small pieces, add 1 or 2 T soy sauce, then 1 t or so of cornstarch, stir it around, and then add about 1 T vegetable oil. Then heat a pot of water to boiling. Dump the meat into the water, stir to separate, and leave it on (high) for about 2 minutes. The water will just barely get back to boiling.

Then dump everything in a strainer. Add this meat to the stir-fry when the recipe calls for it.

Doing it this way makes the texture of the meat feel "slippery" - just like that in a Chinese restaurant, and definitely different compared to just stir-frying in the normal way.
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Old 02-28-2006, 06:32 PM   #40
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My gas cooker has a wok burner incorporated into the hob... I use it for lots of things, not just chinese style foods - I find it sears meat beautifully!
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