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Food tips & ideas

tigertiger (4168 posts) • +4

After living here for a while, most of us have picked up recipe tips and ideas for local foods.
It would be nice to share a few. Hence this thread.

tigertiger (4168 posts) • +4

Maybe I can get the ball rolling.

Fried tofu.
Take a slab of the wet white tofu. Slice about 6-10 mm (1/4-3/8") thick. About 25 mm (1") wide by 50 mm (2") long, depends on the size of you tofu block.

Fry on a low-med heat in a lightly oiled almost dry pan until golden, flip occasionally. Remember, tofu is already cooked, you are just heating through, browning and crisping the sides.

We use one of those cheap 'cake makers', that look like a round sandwich grill with flat/smooth plates.

After cooking you can sprinkle with a little salt.
I am a meat eater, but I enjoy tofu this way.

jopasny (174 posts) • +4

I mostly find a lot of things that I would make in my previous life ends up having Yunnan flavours substituted/added in in.

I don't have much in the way of recipes, but I'll make fajitas with salty vegetables/yancai added to refried beans, along with a bit pickled chilis (can't remember what it's called - the sambal sauce-like one). Salty vegetables are surprisingly good in a lot of things.

The other is just pasta with a meat sauce (either from scratch or cans + ground beef), but more Yunnan spices. A lot more. Huajiao is key too. My mother in law particularly likes that one, but might not realize it's not authentic Italian food.

There's also been a few times I've made a curry and forgotten/been too impatient to wait 15 mins to make rice. In those cases I just steam up some ersi and throw the curry on that. Delish.

Another ingredient I've fallen in love with is lufu. It's fermented tofu that comes in a jar, a lot of times an option if you go a hotpot place that has a make your own dip section. Some are better than others (apparently there's one from chuxiong that's superior?), but it's great as a dip for just about anything, like fajitas.

tigertiger (4168 posts) • +3

Fried goat cheese, in batter.
I was at a village the other day and I ate this.
Fried goat cheese, they called it suan rubing (sour goat cheese). Maybe you can buy suan rubing, or you just wait until it is a little ripe.

The cheese was cut into strips, about 4-5mm square and about 20mm long (julienne style), dipped in a simple flour batter, and deep/shallow fried quickly (you would only need about 10mm of oil for this one).
Served with a spoon of sugar and a spoon of black pepper on the side, for dipping.

gbtexdoc (212 posts) • 0

@Tiger -- Have you tried making mapo doufu 麻婆豆腐

I like eating it in restaurants, but would like to try making it at home mainly so I can reduce the heat just a little. Would like to preserve the character of it, the overall taste profile, just with a little less fire.

Have found several on-line recipes that look straight forward enough, but have not yet done any testing.

I live in Kunming, so finding authentic ingredients poses no problem. Even real 郫县豆瓣酱 is easy to find.

I'll bet you have, and I was curious about your experience. Thanks for your thoughts!

tigertiger (4168 posts) • +1

Actually, mapo doufu is not something I have tried to make. I am not a fan of huajiao spice. However, I am sure others on Gokunming have.

I am pretty sure that you can buy mapo doufu ready meal seasoning in a packet (just add tofu, meat, and water) at the supermarket. If you can buy this, then one solution would be to use less seasoning than recommended on the packet.

AlPage48 (973 posts) • 0

I've never been a fan of tofu, but one time at a restaurant they served fried tofu similar to what tigertiger described above, with a few different dipping sauces. That's another way to add multiple flavours. Just fry it up the way tigertiger described and add the sauces you like on the side.

tigertiger (4168 posts) • +1

Baiguo 白果 – Ginko
In the markets now. Looks like a small white nut, about the size of a hazelnut but a different shape.

Preparation.
Shell the beans, by tapping with a hammer to split the shell and peel. The bean should pop out easily. Then lightly boil for 7-10 minutes until cooked through.

Portion size
Ginko is a medicinal plant and 15-20 beans (max) per day are recommended.

Recipe idea 1
Take the cooked beans and lightly fry, season with salt, and black pepper (a very little huajiao is optional)

Recipe idea 2
Take cooked beans and chop finely. Chop some pickled chili. Add to a frying pan and lightly fry with a little minced pork (optional), season with salt.

Recipe idea 3
Take raw shelled beans and add them to your chicken soup recipe at the start of cooking

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