yellowfish potage, pigs feet - more new green bo exploration
- andrew reibman
saturday, a cold wet day, we popped into new green bo
for a little lunch, on our way to the housing works bookstore on crosby...
at the table next to us, three romanians were devouring a delicious looking pork shoulder in brown sauce. Unfortunately, they were not up to the challenge... I don't know what they had before we got there, but this dish stopped them in their tracks - bring at leat four hungy chowhounds if you want to polish this one off.
we started out with the "cold boneless pig leg". our champion, roundglasses waiter asked several times if we really wanted this - yes, yes, bring it on... we may look like gweilo, but we do want this...
This was actually cold pigs feet. Boneless - which eliminates my main objection to pigs feet - that they are a fuss to eat. They were thinly sliced and served without sauce. A little bit of aspic. A lightly seasoned when cooked. Gently flavored... (I think it might have been good with a stronger ginger or garlic marinade). Interesting striations of aspic, skin, fat, and tender meet. Unexpectedly, they weren't particularly chewy - my guess is they are boiled for quite some time before being chilled and sliced.
we wanted bean curd puffs, but they were out. our waiter steered us towards the kau fu. I was a little skeptical, because I figured we might just get the canned stuff... but we submitted, and it was excellent. a perfect balance of sesame oil - very sesame without being overpowering, some lovely black mushrooms. I don't think I would eat a whole plate of this stuff, but its a great appetizer to share amonst 2 or 4 or 6 or what have you...
we had the yellowfish potage. this was unusual, I've never had a soup like this before. its was about the thickness of congee - but I have no idea what it was thickened with - cornstarch maybe, or just a very thickcooked stock? Abundant chunks of white, flakey fish. Seasoned with chopped parsely, not cilantro, parsely, hmmm.. don't usually see this in chinese cooking... perhaps it was finely chopped watercress? There was a pool of oil on the top, which looked a little unpleasant at first - untill we realized that it was intentionally added as part of the dish, because the soup itself was not fatty. I think it was peanut oil... The total effect is a very hearty dish - we could only get halfway through the large bowl. It was tasty though. A good choice for a cold winter day.
Great report thanks!
Yeah, Shanghai food's a lot heavier than Cantonese. Which is one reason I find it more haimish. But, hey, it's wintertime. Although the idea of one dish defeating three Romanians is a remarkable thing.
their pork shoulder was a good order, though. FWIW, the four standard things to order with brown sauch in a Shanghai restaurant are:
1. pork shoulder
2. pork shank/foot/knuckles
3. lion's head (pork meatballs)
4. whole fish
"roundglasses waiter asked several times if we really wanted this - yes, yes, bring it on... we may look like gweilo, but we do want this..."
I feel compelled to defend my favorite Chinatown waiter by asking that you note that (I'm sure of this) after determining that you really wanted the dish, he grinned with happiness and was delighted to bring/recommend all the best and most authentic stuff. Also, he'll remember you next time.