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Old 01-02-2012, 12:48 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GLC

Julia Child, as in, "If no one's in the kitchen, who's to see?"
Yep that's the one I thought it was! Seems to be a bit of a legend does JC
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Old 01-02-2012, 01:00 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by carpy1985 View Post
I think you make a good point in the 'proper' Chinese food is rice flour and (lazy?!) American/English styles include wheat.

I'm just going off my own experiences here though!
I can't think of any reason to use wheat flour as a thickener when cornstarch is so widely available, and superior to flour. A lazy chef would use whatever works easiest.

Perhaps Chinese cuisine in England differs from that in America. Here in Los Angeles we have such a huge Asian population that there's no reason to use anything but what works best because all Asian ingredients are widely available (one of the best reasons for Asian food enthusiasts to live in L.A.). Here in L.A. we have no reason to substitute anything used in Chinese cooking.
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Old 01-02-2012, 01:04 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gourmet Greg

I can't think of any reason to use wheat flour as a thickener when cornstarch is so widely available, and superior to flour. A lazy chef would use whatever works easiest.

Perhaps Chinese cuisine in England differs from that in America. Here in Los Angeles we have such a huge Asian population that there's no reason to use anything but what works best because all Asian ingredients are widely available (one of the best reasons for Asian food enthusiasts to live in L.A.). Here in L.A. we have no reason to substitute anything used in Chinese cooking.
Have to say - here in the north west of the UK at the very least - they seem to be super lazy!!

Probably something to do with mixed cuisine take aways?! So one take away shop will serve for example Chinese American (burgers pizzas etc) English (fish chips kebabs and so on)
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Old 01-02-2012, 01:06 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by carpy1985 View Post
Yeah I love practical presents :D

Thanks for the warm welcome - certainly clearing up some pre conceived myths about food and I've been here for less than 24 hours lol

I live in Widnes near Liverpool!
Haha the amount I've learnt in my short time here is amazing!
You are very welcome!
I live in Leeds. Not too far away!
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Old 01-02-2012, 01:13 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by carpy1985 View Post
Have to say - here in the north west of the UK at the very least - they seem to be super lazy!!

Probably something to do with mixed cuisine take aways?! So one take away shop will serve for example Chinese American (burgers pizzas etc) English (fish chips kebabs and so on)
Do you have a large Chinese population? I suspect that rather than a large Chinese population you have a large immigrant population perhaps not from China who are satisfying a large demand for Chinese cuisine. I'm just guessing here.

I'm pretty sure parts of England have a large Indian population so I bet Indian cuisine is popular, widely available, and probably fairly authentic.

I still don't understand being lazy and using flour as a thickener. Is not cornstarch widely available in UK?
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Old 01-02-2012, 01:19 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Gourmet Greg

Do you have a large Chinese population? I suspect that rather than a large Chinese population you have a large immigrant population perhaps not from China who are satisfying a large demand for Chinese cuisine. I'm just guessing here.

I'm pretty sure parts of England have a large Indian population so I bet Indian cuisine is popular, widely available, and probably fairly authentic.

I still don't understand being lazy and using flour as a thickener. Is not cornstarch widely available in UK?
In Liverpool about 10-15 miles away they do have a large Chinese community but here not so much.

To be fair I'm not 'In the know' (yet) when it comes to food but being gluten free and always checking the packets for things and in restaurants asking chefs you'd be amazed (and me frustrated) at the amount of food that has wheat in it, seemingly needlessly too!

A prime example - I had new years lunch at my girlfriends parents and they had bought a can of tomato soup. Nothing fancy. But it had wheat flour in it all the same. Also the cheese they used was Pre grated. And had wheat flour in it! I'm assuming the soup was to thicken it and the cheese was to keep it fresh for longer. But still annoying haha
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Old 01-02-2012, 02:23 PM   #27
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I'm fortunate that as far as I know I have no problems with consuming wheat or gluten. However I have noticed that restaurants increasingly have gluten warnings, gluten free sections, and/or notes that specific dishes can be prepared gluten free upon request.
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Old 01-02-2012, 02:27 PM   #28
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I'm fortunate that as far as I know I have no problems with consuming wheat or gluten. However I have noticed that restaurants increasingly have gluten warnings, gluten free sections, and/or notes that specific dishes can be prepared gluten free upon request.
It's certainly becoming a more recognised thing now. Some 6-7 years ago all the food was super expensive and tasted AWFUL at best lol

I don't suffer for being gluten free though as there's many alternatives now and especially as I pick up the intensity in the kitchen I won't even know as it'll all be Chef Carpy prepared food :D
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Old 01-02-2012, 02:38 PM   #29
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By the way, you might want to watch out for MSG which may be used in Chinese food. MSG (mono-sodium glutamate) is a potent flavor enhancer, but also contains a large amount of sodium which is not good for you at best and is bad for people who are on low sodium diets. Some people report that MSG gives them headaches or other symptoms after consuming food cooked with it. As far as I can tell the Chinese restaurants do not use MSG even though it's traditional in China. Many state right on the menu "We do not use MSG" while others I've asked assured me they do not use MSG. This is something you might want to check into when dining in Chinese restaurants, along with your asking about wheat. And of course if you do any Chinese cooking yourself just leave it out.
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Old 01-02-2012, 03:12 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by Gourmet Greg
By the way, you might want to watch out for MSG which may be used in Chinese food. MSG (mono-sodium glutamate) is a potent flavor enhancer, but also contains a large amount of sodium which is not good for you at best and is bad for people who are on low sodium diets. Some people report that MSG gives them headaches or other symptoms after consuming food cooked with it. As far as I can tell the Chinese restaurants do not use MSG even though it's traditional in China. Many state right on the menu "We do not use MSG" while others I've asked assured me they do not use MSG. This is something you might want to check into when dining in Chinese restaurants, along with your asking about wheat. And of course if you do any Chinese cooking yourself just leave it out.
That's a quick lesson I needed!
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