Wednesday, June 22, 2022


Courtesy of the internet I am reminded of 猪腳麵線 ('chyu kuk min sin') and 蚵仔麵線 ('ho jai min sin')。Which are braised pig knuckles with vermicelli and oysters with Chinese vermicelli respectively. No, not what I'm having for breakfast, nor planning for lunch. Given that I woke up from a dream involving a notorious Dutch criminal -- not one who represented staggering derring-do and sheer ballsy chutzpah, as we fondly imagine our best lawbreakers to be, but a seedy spoiled brat who should have been shafted in prison -- these two dishes would be restorative and with some strong tea would get the mind back in its tracks.
I really shouldn't have had coffee after returning last night.
Not that it kept me from sleeping.
But, dreams.

Pig knuckles with vermicelli (閩東豬腳麵線 'min tung chyu kuk min sin') are a classic dish. The meat is first blanched, then stewed with spices and a little caramelized sugar in rice wine and soy sauce, then dished alongside the noodles with a splash of the sauce. Easy. Scallion, ginger, bay leaf, stick cinnamon, Szechuan peppercorns, dried chilies. Often a boiled egg is added, which may have been cooked in the same pot. Eggs are good luck.
And of course I would also add some black mushroom.

A more Fuzhou-type preparation would be chicken, duck, or pork, cooked with red wine lees rice (紅麴米 'hong guk mai'), particularly red wine-lees chicken (紅糟雞 'hong jou gai') with lots of ginger, and sesame oil, which helps a woman regain her strength after parturition. Again, eggs are added to the pot to cook along side.
Served with the same noodles.

Seeing as I am not a Chinese woman after child birth but a middle-aged Caucasian (Dutch American) bachelor without any offspring, I am not bound by tradition or a mother-in-law.
I 'll make these dishes because I want to eat them, irrespective of any familial state.


Major substitutions must be made, however. Red rice wine is nearly impossible to find, alas, unless you make your own, which is also the case with red wine lees rice, an afterproduct of the process. So many traditional Fujianese dishes are not a regular San Francisco thing.

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