Monday, September 11, 2023


This day should be bearable. It's not too hot, and slightly breezy. Gentle zephyrs. It would be a perfect day to go on a canal cruise through a verdant countryside, if San Francisco had canals. And then stop somewhere for dumplings. If Holland had dumplings.

Aftwards enjoying a pipe near an ancient pagoda or ramshackle sixteenth century windmill on a dyke encircling a polder.

These are fantasies, of course. They signify two things. The first is that I have gotten over yesterday, which was altogether kind of sucky, and also that it's getting close to lunch time, following which I will smoke a pipe, and revel in my distaste for humans.

Well, most humans.

A pretty woman with a PHD prattling on intelligently about nuclear physics OR functional chloroplasts in the genus Elysia and changes in photosynthetic light reactions (these are both hypothetical and fantasy subjects for her discourse), would, of course, enchant me. While in the shadow of the aforementioned ancient and decrepit buildings with my pipe.
Long words uttered by brilliant women can be absolutely and utterly delightful.
Even if I have a hard time grasping the concepts
I myself do not use photosynthesis.

[By the way: ALL intelligent women are pretty. It's because of that sentient look.]

After a while I will suggest a bite to eat. So that she can continue talking, and the waiters will think that I am a lucky fellow, and that we have a bright and lively thing going.
The truth is that if I wanted to share some red soup noodles with anybody, I would have to make it myself, as it's one of those things that sofar is unavailable in Chinatown, where I will probably end up later today having a late lunch or a teatime snack. There is, alas, no branch of the venerable 松鶴樓 anywhere in Northern California, nor a SF version of 鏖糟官. Long simmered refined soup broth, redddened with a brisk dash of dark soy sauce (老抽 'lou chau'), as the bath for thin handmade wheat noodles. With toppings.

[松鶴樓 ('sung hok lau'); fundada en 1757. 鏖糟館 (奧灶館 'ngou jou kun'); fundada en 1853. The latter was originally named 天香館 ('tin heung kun'), later changing the name to 顏復興 ('ngaan fuk heng').]

Braised pork, crackled pigskin, fried eel, smoked fish.
And a brined egg (滷水蛋 'lou seui daan').
Even krupuk.

Red braised pork

One pound of nice streaky pork belly meat.
Four TBS sherry or Shaoxing wine.
Two TBS soy sauce.
One and a half TBS white sugar.

Cut the meat into thick chunks, blanch in boiling water for several minutes, take out and drain. Melt the sugar in a pan with a little oil, add the pork and slowly fry till nicely coloured. Then add the liquor and soy sauce, and a splash of water. Simmer for nearly an hour, stirring ocassionally to prevent sticking, adding water as necessary to keep the meat from drying out. Then raise the heat and cook down while stirring to glaze the meat. Can be eaten as is, or as a side dish with other things.

Ideal for breakfast, with 蘇式湯麵. Serve on a separate plate so that it can be added to the noodles when eating.
Some people add shelled peanuts several minutes before the glazing stage to absorb flavour.
That is, frankly speaking ridiculous, as well as overkill.

Rehydrated black mushroom cooked similarly is excellent.
Just mentioning that in passing.

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