"Discover Cooking, Discuss Life."

Go Back   Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums > Recipes & Ingredients > Sauces, Marinades, Rubs > Condiments
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 11-30-2015, 07:59 PM   #1
Executive Chef
 
larry_stewart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Long Island, New York
Posts: 3,965
Asian Condiment Accumulation

So a few weeks ago I had the misfortune of my Refrigerator crapping out, or at least we thought ( it turned out to be a bad outlet, blown fuse or both).

Anyway, this forced us to do the ultimate fridge clean-out. Everything had to be transferred to the back up fridge in the garage.

It was at this time that I realized how many Asian condiments I had bought over the years ( probably decades, without exaggeration) in my quest to duplicate the best vegetarian hot and sour soup I had ever eaten ( at a few Chinese restaurants here in NY and in Philly).

Unfortunately, with all my attempts , and with all the ingredients I had used ( from various recipes I've gotten online and through cook books), I have still yet to duplicate ( or even come close ) the soup which have loved for the past 30 years. Ive tried different products, different brands of the same product...with no luck.

I now know what is NOT in the soup base , but I'm still searching. Almost to the point of offering my favorite restaurant money to find out what they put in it.

I know all the physical ingredients ( sure they vary from restaurant to restaurant), its the soup base that I just can't get. I've had similar tasting soups at vegan restaurants, so I know it can be made without a meat-based stock ( which I would love to assume that the vegetarian versions in non-vegetarian restaurants use non meat based stocks, but Im not naive enough to believe that all follow strict vegetarian guidelines).

Anyway, just thought Id share all the Asian condiments Ive accumulated over the years. Its actually kinda funny. Over the years I pull one or two out at a time. But Ive never actually lined them up and admired my full collection :)

Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Asian.jpg
Views:	218
Size:	65.1 KB
ID:	23899  
larry_stewart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2015, 08:00 PM   #2
Executive Chef
 
larry_stewart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Long Island, New York
Posts: 3,965
As a final note, I now leave all these ingredients in the spare fridge, since I don't use them regularly anymore.

its amazing how much room I have in my main fridge now ( it looks soon empty)
larry_stewart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2015, 08:05 PM   #3
Chef Extraordinaire
 
Dawgluver's Avatar
Site Moderator
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 25,042
Asian Condiment Accumulation

Very impressive, Larry! You have me beat!

I love coconut milk for Tom Kha soup. I'm not vegetarian, but a bit of it is delicious.
__________________
She who dies with the most toys, wins.
Dawgluver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2015, 08:14 PM   #4
Master Chef
 
CraigC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 6,443
I really don't consider the Asian products we have as condiments. They are ingredients used in different dishes ranging from Chinese to Japanese. Each plays a part in these cuisines.
__________________
Emeralds are real Gems! C. caninus and C. batesii.
CraigC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2015, 08:31 PM   #5
Chef Extraordinaire
 
GotGarlic's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Southeastern Virginia
Posts: 25,349
Quote:
Originally Posted by CraigC View Post
I really don't consider the Asian products we have as condiments. They are ingredients used in different dishes ranging from Chinese to Japanese. Each plays a part in these cuisines.
+1. Is there a question here, Larry, or are you showing off. Are you looking for ways to use these ingredients?

btw, vinegar doesn't need to be refrigerated.
__________________
Anyplace where people argue about food is a good place.
~ Anthony Bourdain, Parts Unknown, 2018
GotGarlic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2015, 08:34 PM   #6
Certified Pretend Chef
 
Andy M.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 47,716
Looks familiar to me. Even some of the same brands. Good luck with finding the right soup recipe.
__________________
"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
Andy M. is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2015, 08:49 PM   #7
Executive Chef
 
larry_stewart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Long Island, New York
Posts: 3,965
Definitely not showing off, more embarrassed that I've accumulated so much, with no solution in sight

When I finally get it right, Ill be showing off ( and be able to clear my fridge out of all the crap I've used once and won't use again).

Id love advice, unfortunately, Unless anyone has tasted exactly what Im looking for, the end result would probably be me ending up with more ingredients I will use only once .

I have great access to a great Asian market, just haven't selected the right things, or the right combination or amounts.

I have confidence Ill get there some day.
larry_stewart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2015, 10:24 PM   #8
Chef Extraordinaire
 
GotGarlic's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Southeastern Virginia
Posts: 25,349
I was joking, Larry I have a ton of Asian ingredients, too.

Are you open to other ways to use them or do you just want to recreate that one dish? As you say, without knowing exactly what you're aiming for, it's tough to give advice, but there are lots of tasty ways to use these ingredients.

You could ask someone at your Asian store for suggestions on how to make the soup. Is it Chinese? Soy sauce and shiitake mushrooms provide a lot of umami (veg but meaty) flavor to Asian dishes.
__________________
Anyplace where people argue about food is a good place.
~ Anthony Bourdain, Parts Unknown, 2018
GotGarlic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2015, 10:31 PM   #9
Assistant Cook
 
KDJ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Amelia, VA
Posts: 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by larry_stewart View Post
It was at this time that I realized how many Asian condiments I had bought over the years ( probably decades, without exaggeration) in my quest to duplicate the best vegetarian hot and sour soup I had ever eaten ( at a few Chinese restaurants here in NY and in Philly).

Unfortunately, with all my attempts , and with all the ingredients I had used ( from various recipes I've gotten online and through cook books), I have still yet to duplicate ( or even come close ) the soup which have loved for the past 30 years. :)
I'm sorry if I'm missing the point, but have you ever called one of your favorite restaurants where they make this awesome soup and simply asked them to share the recipe? Usually the chefs will share if they know you're not a competitor and that you just want to be able to make it for yourself - especially if you're not a local. Give it a shot! :)
KDJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2015, 10:32 PM   #10
Executive Chef
 
larry_stewart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Long Island, New York
Posts: 3,965
I knew you were kidding, just joking right back at ya
Occasionally I experiment with what I've got to create new things.
As far as the soup, Ive hit a dead end.

I usually take breaks every few months, then I search around again for new recipes with new ingredients. Its a challenge, but a fun challenge that keeps me on my toes.
larry_stewart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2015, 02:52 PM   #11
Wine Guy
 
Steve Kroll's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Twin Cities, Minnesota
Posts: 6,345
Larry,

I've used the recipe below, and it's fantastic. It seems to me it could be easily modified to be vegetarian. Instead of chicken broth, veggie broth could be substituted and the pork could be omitted, or replaced with seitan. I don't recall if you are lacto-ovo, but you could leave the eggs out as well.

Chinese Hot-and-Sour Soup recipe | Epicurious.com
Steve Kroll is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2015, 07:20 AM   #12
Master Chef
 
CharlieD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: USA,Minnesota
Posts: 9,665
I have the same prob. Every time I see an Asian sauce, etc. that is kosher, I buy one. I was cleaning out our fridge and had to dump a whole bunch of them. They been seating open, some for years. Ah and hot and sour soup, I too have not been able to make good one using kosher ingredients.


Sent from my iPad using Discuss Cooking
__________________
You are what you eat.
CharlieD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2015, 08:54 AM   #13
Senior Cook
 
puffin3's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Duncan
Posts: 481
Quote:
Originally Posted by GotGarlic View Post
I was joking, Larry I have a ton of Asian ingredients, too.

Are you open to other ways to use them or do you just want to recreate that one dish? As you say, without knowing exactly what you're aiming for, it's tough to give advice, but there are lots of tasty ways to use these ingredients.

You could ask someone at your Asian store for suggestions on how to make the soup. Is it Chinese? Soy sauce and shiitake mushrooms provide a lot of umami (veg but meaty) flavor to Asian dishes.
You beat me to it! Shiitake mushroom broth is used a lot. The dried mushrooms are dirt cheap.
Notice the ubiquitous scent in the air of virtually all chinese restaurants?
That smell is simmering shiitake mushroom broth in the 8 gallon pot at the back of the stove.
I used to sell thousands of live rock cod to a well known chinese restaurant over many years. This meant when I delivered the fish in large bins to the kitchen I was able to observe what was happening. Sometimes I saw a line cook empty a large bag of dried shiitakes into a large stock pot filled with water. Nothing else was added. I think this was the 'mother-stock' for a lot of dishes.
Dried shiitakes from China are a LOT cheaper than using meat scraps to make the mother-stock. The meat scraps were added to the shiitake mother stock later. Plus the shiitake mother-stock is a clear broth to start with compared to using meat scraps which as we know can turn a broth cloudy if not carefully made.
puffin3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2015, 09:29 AM   #14
Chef Extraordinaire
 
jennyema's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Boston and Cape Cod
Posts: 10,196
Quote:
Originally Posted by larry_stewart View Post
Anyway, just thought Id share all the Asian condiments Ive accumulated over the years. Its actually kinda funny. Over the years I pull one or two out at a time. But Ive never actually lined them up and admired my full collection :)

Won't help with your soup but one more Asian condiment that you should "collect" is gochujang!



What ‘Chu Know About Gochujang? It's the Hottest Hot Sauce on the Market Gochujang, the Hottest Hot Sauce on the Market - Bon Appetit

Ketchup's Korean Cousin Ketchup's Korean Cousin | Food & Wine
__________________
Less is not more. More is more and more is fabulous.
jennyema is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2015, 02:47 PM   #15
Master Chef
 
CraigC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 6,443
Quote:
Originally Posted by jennyema View Post
Won't help with your soup but one more Asian condiment that you should "collect" is gochujang!



What ‘Chu Know About Gochujang? It's the Hottest Hot Sauce on the Market Gochujang, the Hottest Hot Sauce on the Market - Bon Appetit

Ketchup's Korean Cousin Ketchup's Korean Cousin | Food & Wine
Time to make some more Bibimbap! Don't forget the gochugaru!
__________________
Emeralds are real Gems! C. caninus and C. batesii.
CraigC is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
asian

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:02 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.