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Old 03-29-2018, 12:11 PM   #1
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Timing Help - Preparing a Chinese Dinner

I知 making a mini Chinese feast for Mark and myself tonight. On the menu is Xiaolongbao (Shanghai soup dumplings), chicken fried rice, and Chinese cabbage braised in a cream sauce (a dish I had once at a high end Chinese restaurant in Osaka that I知 trying to re-create). While the components of each dish have been made ahead, every dish needs to finished at the same time, and none really lend themselves to the 都et aside and warm before serving routine.

Filling and shaping the dumplings will take some time, as I知 a rank novice, but I think I can do that ahead and pop 粗m in the fridge before I steam them. They steam for 8 to 10 minutes. I suppose I could start the cabbage on the stove and finish it in the oven, but I don稚 want the cabbage to totally go limp. And of course, the fried rice must be cooked and served quickly.

You can hand me a recipe with 25 ingredients and two pages of directions, and I値l be thrilled! But timing is my downfall! I do my very best to do a thorough mise en place, I really do! Is my downfall in the actual menu planning?

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Old 03-29-2018, 12:40 PM   #2
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I知 making a mini Chinese feast for Mark and myself tonight. On the menu is Xiaolongbao (Shanghai soup dumplings), chicken fried rice, and Chinese cabbage braised in a cream sauce (a dish I had once at a high end Chinese restaurant in Osaka that I知 trying to re-create).

While the components of each dish have been made ahead, every dish needs to finished at the same time, and none really lend themselves to the 都et aside and warm before serving routine.

But timing is my downfall! I do my very best to do a thorough mise en place, I really do! Is my downfall in the actual menu planning?
This is not a hard and fast rule, of course - but often there are multiple cooks in an asian family and everyone does their thing. But if not, the dishes are presented hot as they become ready! Not everything is served at the same time. Your soup would be served as one course, to be savoured and enjoyed. Then your chicken fried rice which can easily sit for a minute or two and be served with the braised cabbage (don't know what is involved in that recipe tho)

IMHO... But you have my sympathy because timing is one of my many downfalls. I sit with a piece of paper and work my way back.
6:00 on the table
5:45 fill serving dishes
5:30 make gravy
5:25 remove meat, cover, rest
4:00 place meat in oven
3:40 preheat oven
3:00 remove meat from fridge to bring to room temp...

and so on - blah blah blah include vegie timings as well - every detail to setting the table when I first get up - warming plates and serving bowls, etc.
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Old 03-29-2018, 05:37 PM   #3
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Not a problem solution but, I found great difficulty with timing when I first started cooking any meal...

Time and practice, pretty well took care of having everything done, including Asian meals, which I cook often.. (well, used to.. I'm not in my own kitchen presently.)

Ross
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Old 03-30-2018, 11:22 AM   #4
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Sometimes I cook complicated menus and sometimes they are very simple one course meals. In any case, getting the timing right is something that non-cooks don't really understand.

It makes the most sense as mentioned above to make it with steps and timing involved and plan that out. I've never done it. Most of the stuff I make I get it right intuitively and get it all to the table at the same time or very close to the same time.

I used to just hate making fried eggs, pancakes, fried fish, venison back straps, or anything that timing was an issue--just because the cook would be standing there at the stove while some of the family could eat while the rest waited, like in my mom's kitchen. So I avoid making things that you couldn't serve all at the same time while the cook goes hungry until the end of the meal. Now with just 2 or 3 of us, it isn't a big deal.

Have you noticed that some people you are serving just don't care if their food is hot? DH is like that and it drives me crazy. I like it hot because it is more enjoyable hot, while he might saunter in 15 minutes later and eat it luke warm. Not everyone appreciates a just cooked hot meal.
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Old 03-30-2018, 02:46 PM   #5
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And of course, the fried rice must be cooked and served quickly.
I would dump the fried rice in the rice cooker on the keep warm setting. I'll take a guess that's how it's done at restaurants.

One of the things I like about the rice cooker is that it can be ignored while I'm doing something else, like being outside grilling.
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Old 03-30-2018, 05:19 PM   #6
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I ended up making the braised greens and keeping them warm in the oven. I started the fried rice at the same time as the dumplings, and everything came out just right! Thanks for all of your advice.
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Old 03-30-2018, 08:29 PM   #7
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I've found when cooking Asian food, it needs its cool down time too before consuming.
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