Saturday, March 03, 2018


When I make it at home I also use black mushrooms, which add flavour and absorb juices. As well as chan pei and Chinese leeks (京蔥), for depth and fragrance. But the common restaurant versions seldom use those, and depending on the eatery it can be good, bad, or even ghastly.
The version at a popular downstairs restaurant that caters mostly to tourists and cheap bastards is particularly bloody awful. So much so that I shan't go there again till they change hands.

Which won't be too long now.

On a cold wet day it is wonderful to have stewed lamb with dried tofu skin over rice (支竹羊腩飯), which is a well-loved Cantonese home meal as well as chachanteng choice.

Half a pound mutton per person ("brisket"), chopped chunky. Plus dried beancurd skin (支竹), water chestnuts, star anise, one Jalapeño left whole, oyster sauce, ginger, scallion, rock sugar (冰糖), and sherry or rice wine. Plus chu hau jeung (柱侯醬), black pepper, and soy sauce. Blanch the meat for seven or so minutes to clean it, saute whatever ingredients will develop flavour by doing so plus the lamb a bit too, then everything else into the pot, water to cover, simmer for ninety minutes.

[Actually, I simply blanch the meat very briefly and rinse, then frazzle it a bit in flavourful fat so that there is some tasty pan-crusties for the sauce. But everything else is mostly the same.]

You can buy suitable lamb at a wet market (街市 or 傳統市場), just tell the butcher that you need it for 支竹羊腩煲 and he'll know what you mean.

Or go to the local butcher shop and get lamb stew meat on the bone.
Which I do, because I like it "meatier".

Some people think you should make a dipping sauce with fermented beancurd (腐乳), but that's really overkill.


When your footsies are frozen this will bring them back to life.
I must have looked miserable when I entered the place.
The boss lady insisted I sit away from the door.
Out of the draft, nice and warm.
They're nice there.

All that plus the mug of Hong Kong milk tea really made my afternoon.
The pipe afterwards was good too, but even in Chinatown one must smoke outside, and brother, the cold pavement pulls a number on one's peds.

This weather makes one happy to be indoors.

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