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Old 02-10-2007, 11:35 AM   #1
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Default The Chinese Food Thread!

Hey! I just ordered some chinese delivery (soup, dumplings, squid salad, for those who were interesyed!) I got to thinking, what do you order usually from chinese! Do you hate chinese food? Or, do you try something new every time.

As for me, I usually go with hot and sour soup, and some general tso's tofu (the place near me makes a great version). But, I love to mix it up! And, dumplings are one of my favorite appetizers!

You?
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Old 02-10-2007, 12:35 PM   #2
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Ooooh yes... the hot and sour soup. I LOVE the stuff, but it is so rarely made really, really well. There are a few places I order it from regularly, and one place in particular that I will go totally out of my way for it (and order 2-3 orders to go as well) on a regular basis it's made so well there. Yum.

For dinner I order soup, crab rangoon, and depending on the place either boneless hot braised chicken or sesame chicken. There's a cheap place near my work that I'll get a half order of beef fried rice and an eggroll for just under $5 sometimes too. Oh can't forget the Chinese buffet place.. I will get a little of all of the above (except the beef fried rice), plus a potsticker or two, some really wonderful sauteed mushrooms, honey pork, and lemon scallops.. I only get to go to the Chinese buffet about once every few months, so I tend to go overboard each time.
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Old 02-10-2007, 04:06 PM   #3
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*drools hardcore* you hit the sweet spot with me, man! Chinese food is my weakness! When I lived in my apartment, I'd go to this place behind (well.. in front of) my apartment complex and get a take out thing. Back then, it was one price for lunch one price for dinner... now it's by the pound. I would PACK one of those things so full I could never close it and it was so wicked heavy. I seem to have a knack for doing those sorts of things well. Yay for being poor your whole life, it helps later when you want lots of stuff for cheap ^_^.

Anyways... one of those would last me a week. I mean, damn, a college student eating for a week on $6!

My weaknesses are crab/cheese wantons, sesame balls, LO MEIN!!!!!, veggie fried rice and sugar donuts. *drools*
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Old 02-10-2007, 04:33 PM   #4
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Believe it or not, I didn't try Chinese until I was 13, and then only because I was visiting my older sister.

I don't do spicy (hot) foods well, and I'm allergic to soy (although not life threatening... just annoying). I try to find dishes I love and stick with them because then I know how my body will react.

My favorite is Sesame Chicken, moderately spicy (like 4 on a scale of 10). I'll eat most meat dishes where it's not too spicy and I can readily pick out the things I can't eat. I've also found a few restaurants that make this creamed corn and chicken soup. I adore that stuff! When I was in England, I tried Toffee Bananas. Not sure how it's a traditional Chinese dish, but it was offered at several restaurants and it's in my Chinese cookbook from the UK. Yummy, but best eaten warm or you'll crack your teeth.
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Old 02-10-2007, 04:35 PM   #5
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Kung Pow Chicken, or General Tso's, Chicken egg roll, Wanton soup, and a fortune cookie... ( I like to fridge some of it for later )

Last edited by UberAris; 02-10-2007 at 04:40 PM.
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Old 02-10-2007, 04:39 PM   #6
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I love lo mein, steamed dumplings in all their forms...

Tofu General Tso though? Never had it, but I'm interested!
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Old 02-10-2007, 04:54 PM   #7
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I also didn't discover Asian cuisine until the late 90s. So I've got alot of catching up to do.

My usual lunch is a good Hot-n-Sour, esp when its really spicy; Chicken Lettuce wrap, or Mu Shu Pork; and a crispy fried pork noodle or Pad Thai.

Dinner.. I'm always getting something new, so no usual there.
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Old 02-10-2007, 04:56 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Fuzzy View Post
I also didn't discover Asian cuisine until the late 90s. So I've got alot of catching up to do.

My usual lunch is a good Hot-n-Sour, esp when its really spicy; Chicken Lettuce wrap, or Mu Shu Pork; and a crispy fried pork noodle or Pad Thai.

Dinner.. I'm always getting something new, so no usual there.
I feel sorry for people like you.

Seriously, I can't imagine my childhood without peanut noodles, or steamed pot stickers, or crispy spring rolls. It's sort of funny: I'm white, but mostly what I know how to make is Asian food.
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Old 02-10-2007, 05:01 PM   #9
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There wasn't much money in my house growing up, and my parents were very western. Chinese, for them, was La Choy out of the can.

And that's what I thought Chinese was... until I started consulting after college and met clients at Chinese restaurants for Lunch.

It was... Enlightenment.
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Old 02-10-2007, 05:18 PM   #10
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Oh my favorite - I LOVE chinese food. We have it once a week. Some of our favorites:

Barbecue spare ribs
Pot stickers
Beer Teriyaki on a stick
Chicken Teriyaki on a stick
Spicy sesame noodle (which you cannot get in Texas for some insane reason!!!!!)
Crab Rangoon

Mongolian Beef
Kung Pao Chicken (SPICY)
Sesame Chicken (spicy please)
Curry Chicken(spicy)
Chicken and garlic sause
Lemon Chicken
Lo Mein
Twice cooked pork(spicy)
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Old 02-10-2007, 05:47 PM   #11
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When it's summer in beautiful Norman, Oklahoma, and a hundred and ten in the shade (what shade?) with seventy-five per cent humidity, my absolute favorite dinner is tofu with preserved egg (aka thousand-year-old egg). It's served cold, they use satin tofu, and its soft blandness makes a beautiful contrast with the firmness and pungency of the duck egg. Incredible!
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Old 02-10-2007, 06:34 PM   #12
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Living in a heavily Jewish neighborhood, I've become sick of Chinese food. There's six (!) Chinese restaurants within a 4 block radius. It's more of a convience food to me, when I don't feel like cooking. But I still have a few faves.

char siu bao-these are steam, doughy bread like things filled with roast pork.

any type of dumpling especially soup dumplings.

general tso's chicken-it's not authentic but anything deep fried is okay in my book.

pork chow fun-many places make it way too greasy, without the smoky flavor but when it's good, it's very good.

there's so many types of Chinese food that it overwhelms me. I've gone to a few "authentic" type places in nyc, but as a non-Chinese person, you're given the standard Western menu. That's a tip for you all here. You have to ask for the second secret menu, which menu places are reluctant to hand out to westerners. Anyway, snobbery aside, I still have a weakness for Americanized Chinese food.
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Old 02-10-2007, 06:49 PM   #13
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The deep south is sadly lacking in good Chinese food. The most common are very large, scary buffets, that serve everything from pizza to sushi. Oddly enough though, there are three Korean restaurants within 10 miles of my house, and four Thai restaurants.
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Old 02-10-2007, 07:13 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sweet Tooth View Post
I don't do spicy (hot) foods well

My favorite is Sesame Chicken, moderately spicy (like 4 on a scale of 10).
I am the wimp of wimps when it comes to spicy stuff. I can't take it at all. To me, it ruins food because I focus so much on the heat, that I can't enjoy the actual taste! Bleck!

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheSadeianLinguist View Post
I feel sorry for people like you.

Seriously, I can't imagine my childhood without peanut noodles, or steamed pot stickers, or crispy spring rolls. It's sort of funny: I'm white, but mostly what I know how to make is Asian food.

I had chinese for the first time when I was 12-13. I didn't start eating it regularly until I was 16-17.
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Old 02-10-2007, 07:17 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Dr. Feelgood View Post
When it's summer in beautiful Norman, Oklahoma, and a hundred and ten in the shade (what shade?) with seventy-five per cent humidity, my absolute favorite dinner is tofu with preserved egg (aka thousand-year-old egg).
I think it's hilarious that they once made people eat thousand year old eggs on Fear Factor. I laughed my ass off at how much cringing and shit they did. I'm like "THEY AREN'T ACTUALLY OLD EGGS!"
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Old 02-10-2007, 07:40 PM   #16
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Get some Chinese Muslim food: the stir-fry mutton with onions is HEAVEN. It's got a mix of Chinese and Arabic flavors that's out of this world.
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Old 02-10-2007, 09:03 PM   #17
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Some of my faves are....bbq spare ribs, chicken & chinese veggies, fried dumplings, pork lo mein, seasame seed chicken.
Last night we went to a chinese, japanes mega buffet places. So nice to try a little or this and that and then leaving so full that breathing is painful..lol.
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Old 02-10-2007, 10:23 PM   #18
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Chef special wonton soup
BBQ pork medallions (the pork they use in fried rice and such... just in slices)
Ginger and scallion chicken
Spicy tangy chicken
Chicken lettuce wraps
Steamed dumplings


You know, I do remember seeing a Halal Chinese food place in Southwest Houston once and wondered if it would have an Arabic flavor to it or was just prepared following the Halal guidelines. I may have to track the place down and try it someday.

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Old 02-11-2007, 02:24 PM   #19
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I too did not have resturant chinese food until I was like 25. My idea of chinese food up until then was canned La Choy chowmein on the crispy noodles. My mom made that for us maybe twice a year. I had no idea other "chinese food" existed lol

I am not a fan of egg rolls, but most of the other stuff I have tried I have liked.

Since moving to Boise where I can have chinese delivered I have it maybe 2 or 3 times a year usually when I have company staying with me.

I do like sweet and sour pork and chicken and the pork slices you dip in hot mustard and seeds, and chicken almond ding. I still prefer chowmein on crunchy noodles.

I find that take out chinese food makes me "puffy" my joints get stiff and my hands and feet swell after eating it.
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Old 02-11-2007, 07:40 PM   #20
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I love lo mein, steamed dumplings in all their forms...

Tofu General Tso though? Never had it, but I'm interested!
TSL, General Tso's tofu is sooooo delicious! I love tofu, but ever some of my friends who have sworn to me that it is nasty, they love this dish too! I mean, how could you not love something that is deep fried and covered in General Tso's sauce!!! I actually like it better than the chicken version.
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Old 02-11-2007, 07:43 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Dr. Feelgood View Post
When it's summer in beautiful Norman, Oklahoma, and a hundred and ten in the shade (what shade?) with seventy-five per cent humidity, my absolute favorite dinner is tofu with preserved egg (aka thousand-year-old egg). It's served cold, they use satin tofu, and its soft blandness makes a beautiful contrast with the firmness and pungency of the duck egg. Incredible!
OOhhhh now THAT is something I'd love to try! Sounds so interesting!
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Old 02-11-2007, 08:06 PM   #22
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Egg flower soup with crushed saltines and lots of pepper, and for the main dish, egg fu young. YUM!!! I prefer the cheap chinese food to the exquisite well prepared type. I like crab puffs and sweet and sour chicken and pork chow mein. MMM
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Old 02-11-2007, 08:14 PM   #23
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Default Chinese food junkie owns up

I've been a Chinese food junkie for many years and have eaten many varieties from the 60s Cantonese palaces(for me Wayne Wong's Continental in Lake Success), to the influx of Szechuan and Hunan foods that lit up our palates with early fire, to the Hong Kong style freshly cooked fish(right out of the tank at the back of the restaurant), to Dim Sum restaurants with their rolling carts filled with a wide variety of amazing small dishes on little plates.

I love all the different styles and could write pages of dishes I enjoy. But, my all time favorite chinese food of all time was the Cold Sesame Noodles by a restaurant on East Broadway in NY's Chinatown called Hwa Yuan Szechuan. They had tons of other great dishes and we would eat those at huge tables in the basement with lazy susans in big groups, or intimate dinners for two or four people, but each meal had to include at the beginning enough cold sesame noodles for everyone. The noodles were incredibly long, requiring your chopstick to be elevated several feet off the table to get your noodles from the serving dish to your plate without leaving half of it on the table or hacking away at it with a knife.

The incredible al dente feel of the noodles, the not so thick sesame paste(and not peanut paste as many places seem to use), cut with a soy based sauce and the sprinkled chopped scallions. Somehow it all came together as perfection.

In those days I had a client right across the street and on every visit there I'd always stop in for some orders of the noodles to go, two for me and usually a few others for friends. They were obviously much better in the restaurant, but as long as I took the noodles out and mixed them properly just before eating in a big bowl so the flavors came together it was still heaven. Alas, the restaurant closed when the Bank next door took over the space. I still search for a replacement, but so far without success, some 15 years later...
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Old 02-11-2007, 08:23 PM   #24
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Default General Tso's Chicken? Fact or Fiction

[=
general tso's chicken-it's not authentic but anything deep fried is okay in my book.
[/quote]
There was a recent article in the NYTimes about the origin of General Tso's Chicken(now also General Tso's Shrimp, Tofu, etc.). Apparently, it's an urban legend and of much more recent origin. Here's the article.

February 4, 2007
THE WAY WE EAT; Hunan Resources

By FUCHSIA DUNLOP
General Tso's (or Zuo's)chicken is the most famous Hunanese dish in the world. A delectable concoction of lightly battered chicken in a chili-laced sweet-sour sauce, it appears on restaurant menus across the globe, but especially in the Eastern United States, where it seems to have become the epitome of Hunanese cuisine. Despite its international reputation, however, the dish is virtually unknown in the Chinese province of Hunan itself. When I went to live there four years ago, I scoured restaurant menus for it in vain, and no one I met had ever heard of it. And as I deepened my understanding of Hunanese food, I began to realize that General Tso's chicken was somewhat alien to the local palate because Hunanese people have little interest in dishes that combine sweet and savory tastes. So how on earth did this strange, foreign concoction come to be recognized abroad as the culinary classic of Hunan?
General Tso's chicken is named for Tso Tsung-t'ang (now usually transliterated as Zuo Zongtang), a formidable 19th-century general who is said to have enjoyed eating it. The Hunanese have a strong military tradition, and Tso is one of their best-known historical figures. But although many Chinese dishes are named after famous personages, there is no record of any dish named after Tso.
The real roots of the recipe lie in the chaotic aftermath of the Chinese civil war, when the leadership of the defeated Nationalist Party fled to the island of Taiwan. They took with them many talented people, including a number of notable chefs, and foremost among them was Peng Chang-kuei. Born in 1919 into a poverty-stricken household in the Hunanese capital, Changsha, Peng was the apprentice to Cao Jingchen, one of the most outstanding cooks of his generation. By the end of World War II, Peng was in charge of Nationalist government banquets, and when the party met its humiliating defeat at the hands of Mao Zedong's Communists in 1949, he fled with them to Taiwan. There, he continued to cater for official functions, inventing many new dishes.
When I met Peng Chang-kuei, a tall, dignified man in his 80s, during a visit to Taipei in 2004, he could no longer remember exactly when he first cooked General Tso's chicken, although he says it was sometime in the 1950s. ''Originally the flavors of the dish were typically Hunanese -- heavy, sour, hot and salty,'' he said.
In 1973, Peng went to New York, where he opened his first eponymous restaurant on 44th Street. At that time, Hunanese food was unknown in the United States, and it wasn't until his cooking attracted the attention of officials at the nearby United Nations, and especially of the American secretary of state, Henry Kissinger, that he began to make his reputation. ''Kissinger visited us every time he was in New York,'' Peng said, ''and we became great friends. It was he who brought Hunanese food to public notice.'' In his office in Taipei, Peng still displays a photograph of Kissinger and himself raising wineglasses at the restaurant.
Faced with new circumstances and new customers, Peng invented dishes and adapted old ones. ''The original General Tso's chicken was Hunanese in taste and made without sugar,'' he said. ''But when I began cooking for non-Hunanese people in the United States, I altered the recipe.'' (Though others have since laid claim to it.) In the late 1980s, having made his fortune, he sold out and returned to Taipei. His New York venture was to have enormous impact on the cooking of the Chinese diaspora. Not only General Tso's chicken but also other dishes that he invented have been widely imitated, and his apprentices have helped to disseminate his style of cooking.
The final twist in the tale is that General Tso's chicken is now being adopted as a ''traditional'' dish by some influential chefs and food writers in Hunan. In 1990, Peng returned to Changsha, where he opened a restaurant that included the creation on its menu. The restaurant did not last long, and the dish was never popular (''too sweet,'' one local chef told me), but some leading figures in the culinary establishment learned how to make it. And when they began to travel abroad to give cooking demonstrations, it seems quite likely that their overseas audiences would have expected them to produce that famous ''Hunanese'' recipe. Perhaps it would have seemed senseless to refuse to acknowledge a dish upon which the international reputation of Hunanese cuisine was largely based. Maybe it would have been embarrassing to admit that the dish was a product of the exiled Nationalist society of Taiwan. Whatever their motivations, they began to include General Tso's chicken in publications about Hunanese cooking, especially those aimed at a Taiwanese readership.
But even if General Tso's chicken is an invented tradition, it has to be seen as a part of the story of Hunanese cuisine. After all, it embodies a narrative of the old Chinese apprentice system and the golden age of Hunanese cookery, the tragedy of civil war and exile, the struggle of the Chinese diaspora to adapt to American society and in the end the opening up of China and the re-establishment of links between Taiwan and the mainland.
And because the dish has, through the vagaries of history, become known as the Hunanese dish par excellence, how could I even think of omitting it from my book on recipes from Hunan Province? So please cook it and savor it and dream as you do so of the Hunanese past and the invention of new mythologies in the cultural melting pots of the modern world.

General Tso's Chicken
(In this Taiwanese version, the dish is hot and sour and lacks the sweetness of its Americanized counterpart.)
For the sauce:
1 tablespoon double-concentrate tomato paste, mixed with 1 tablespoon water
1/2 teaspoon potato flour
1/2 teaspoon dark soy sauce
11/2 teaspoons light soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
3 tablespoons chicken stock or water
For the chicken:
12 ounces (about 4 to 5) skinless, boneless chicken thighs
1/2 teaspoon dark soy sauce
2 teaspoons light soy sauce
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons potato flour
1 quart peanut oil, more as needed
6 to 10 dried red chilies
2 teaspoons finely chopped ginger
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons sesame oil
Scallions, thinly sliced, for garnish.
1. Make the sauce by combining all the ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.
2. To prepare the chicken, unfold the chicken thighs and lay them on a cutting board. Remove as much of the sinew as possible. (If some parts are very thick, cut them in half horizontally.) Slice a few shallow crosshatches into the meat. Cut each thigh into roughly 1/4 -inch slices and place in a large bowl. Add the soy sauces and egg yolk and mix well. Stir in the potato flour and 2 teaspoons peanut oil and set aside. Using scissors, snip the chilies into * -inch pieces, discarding the seeds. Set aside.
3. Pour 31/2 cups peanut oil into a large wok, or enough oil to rise 11/2 inches from the bottom. Set over high heat until the oil reaches 350 to 400 degrees. Add half the chicken and fry until crisp and deep gold, 3 to 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to a plate. Repeat with the second batch. Pour the oil into a heatproof container and wipe the wok clean.
4. Place the wok over high heat. Add 2 tablespoons peanut oil. When hot, add the chilies and stir-fry for a few seconds, until they just start to change color. Add the ginger and garlic and stir-fry for a few seconds longer, until fragrant. Add the sauce, stirring as it thickens. Return the chicken to the wok and stir vigorously to coat. Remove from the heat, stir in the sesame oil and top with scallions. Serve with rice. Serves 2 to 3. Adapted from ''The Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook,'' by Fuchsia Dunlop.

Fuchsia Dunlop writes for Gourmet and Saveur. Her ''Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook'' (W. W. Norton), from which this is adapted, will be published later this month.
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Old 02-15-2007, 03:18 AM   #25
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salt n chilli ribs
wonton soup
sesame prawn toast

salt n chilli king prawns
shredded crispy beef in mandarin sauce
duck chowmein with peanut sauce

prawn crackers (I put some rice and meat in them like little pies and eat them like that lol

My favourite though is to go to the Chinese supermarket and buy lo mai kai, little pillows of sticky rice with a deliciously gooey centre of shrimp, pork etc, all wrapped in lotus leaf. You steam the parcel then unwrap.... yummmmm! Each parcel is about 5 x 4 x 3 inches in size. The other thing I love from there is Ha Kouw, a prawn dim sum in rice pastry, its a chunk of prawn rather than mashed. very succulent. i sometimes make Chinese dumplings at home, but have yet to make any that I am really happy with, although my son happily gorges any I make! I had a tip from a Chinese friend who said instead of using soy sauce for dipping, put two thirds soy sauce and one third vinegar mixed together.... wow what a difference that makes!!

I remember being about six years old and sitting on a cushion at the coffee table with my sisters, eating chinese food ... that would be around 1970... they had pink prawn crackers in those days I remember!

p.s. Cynth, I get the swollen joints with Chinese food too, not all the time though. Sometimes I can feel my fingers stiffening, only 20 mins after eating. i put it down to foods they use more monosodium glutamate in.

p.p.s. I've never seen General Tsao's anything here in the UK.

Last edited by Ruby Ripples; 02-15-2007 at 03:22 AM. Reason: just to ramble on a bit more
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