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Feb 29, 2008 10:40 PM

DUNLOP March Cookbooks of Month: Poultry & Eggs

Land of Plenty only has "Poultry", "Rev. Chinese" has "Poultry and Eggs" - both go here.

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  1. Woo hoo! My first ever COTM attempt. We tried "Steamed Eggs" from page 149 of "Revolutionary Chinese." Dunlop describes this as an evening, "comfort food" kind of dish, best eaten with plain steamed rice and stir-fried green vegetables and particularly recommended for invalids and infants. Eggs, at our house however, are a breakfast meal, so, this was our breakfast this morning, served with a side of wild rice and sliced papaya. Because I'm following Weight Watchers Core Plan, I made a couple of small modifications (switching from white rice to wild rice was one), which I think, worked out fine. I'm only allowed 2 tsp of oil a day, so, I cut back on the oil in this dish to make room for oil later in the day.


    ~ Used regular chicken stock (since I haven't had time yet to make a batch of the "everyday" stock)
    ~ Used 1/2 tsp (instead of 1 tsp) of Canola oil
    ~ Used 1/2 tsp (instead of 1 tsp) of sesame oil

    Overall, we liked it. The custard was smooth and delicate (and, yes, perfect for someone who can't chew--maybe after having wisdom teeth pulled or something) and very mild.

    I turned this into 2 servings, but next time, I'd probably use the smaller ramekins and break it into 8 servings as just a little side instead of a main since it really is very gentle.

    A pretty easy first dish, as some of the recipes in this dish go. It probably took me a half hour, start to finish, most of it passive time and clean-up was easy.

    Photos attached (though, not great ones...)

    EDIT: for others of you following the core plan, technically, sesame oil is not a "healthy fat" and in accordance with the WW "Good Health Guidelines" you're supposed to count it, but, my attitiude from a "counting" perspective is oil is oil and I count sesame oil and peanut oil and chili oil the same way I count canola or olive oils--as long as I'm within my 2 tsp a day, I don't "count" it. The flavor difference is huge and my opinion is that they are calorically the same or same'ish and, therefore, shouldn't sabotage my weight loss. I know WW wants to encourage people to use healthy fats and, in general, I think that's great. You may choose to count them differently than I do, but this is just an FYI because I don't want to inadvertantly sabotage anyone's weight loss efforts with my own interpretation of the program. So, I count this meal as 100% core. If you are a core plan purist, you may wish leave out the sesame oil or look up the points for it and count it.


    1 Reply
    1. re: The Dairy Queen

      Steamed Eggs (RCC, pg.149)

      Linking my report on the steamed eggs here for continuity.

    2. Yolkless Eggs with Shiitake Mushrooms from Page 150-151 of RC (half recipe)

      So, I think I've topped even my Elvis Cake disaster, though, I'm not really sure you can call it "topping" yourself when you reach a new low... I've "lowed" myself!

      Against my better judgment (being the rather inexperienced and impatient cook I am) I tried the Yolkless Eggs with Shiitake Mushrooms from Page 150-151 of RC. I thought the "yolkless" eggs would be fun to serve at Easter in a "nest" of whole wheat noodles, so, today was going to be my trial run. Of course, I wanted to take it a step further and COLOR the yolkless eggs Easter colors, because I guess this recipe that Dunlop describes as "so challenging that it was actually an examination dish for the highest grade of Hunanese chef" just wasn't complicated enough for me.

      So, I added a small sliver of a blue food coloring tablet to the chicken stock, expecting to dye my "yolkless" eggs to look like robin's eggs.

      It was truly a disaster. The eggs bubbled up and flowed over, almost completely emptying their shells and sometimes even breaking the shells. It looked like robin's egg blue lava and had the texture of a sponge. (at least I achieved the color I was striving for...)

      My sweetie was trying to explain the fundamentals of fluid dynamics to me as I was mopping up my mess saying there were only three factors causing the pressure inside the eggshell to be greater than the pressure outside the eggshell forcing the contents of the inside out...well, only three factors that I had control over and, therefore, I need to adjust next time: temperature, volume, and, maybe the size of the hole I made in the top of the egg shell. We concluded that it probably wasn't the size of the hole. Maybe I tried to steam the eggs at too high a temperature, but, mostly likely, we thought, I overfilled the eggs. And here's how the overfilling came about.

      In one case, as I was draining the white from the eggshell, the jagged "hole" in the top of the eggshell pierced the yolk before I was done draining the white. I feared I lost a little egg white in the case of that egg (though, in hindsight, probably not that much) and, I thought that fear was validated when I went to refill the eggs with the egg white+chicken stock mixture and only had enough for 3 1/2 eggs (not four--remember, I cut the recipe in half from Dunlop's eight).

      So, I actually went ahead and broke open a fifth egg, mixed in more chicken stock and used this mixture to top off my fourth eggshell. I think this was a serious mistake. I don't think the eggshells are supposed to be 100% full. I think they need space in the top for expansion. What I should have done, I think, was fill all four eggs mostly full using only the whites from those four eggs (plus the chicken stock.)

      Some pointers.

      She has you empty the egg whites into a bowl. Then, later, she has you measure the egg whites and add the chicken stock to the whites. Then, after straining the whites, she has you pour them through a funnel into the egg shells. I think it would have been much easier to break the eggs into a bowl, then strain them into a measuring cup with a pointy spout, add the stock to that, then pour the mixture directly into the eggshells through the hole in the top of the shells. Using the funnel (which I bought at Sur La Table for this specific recipe) just resulted in a big mess. Plus, the more times you pour the mixture from container to container, the more air you introducing into the mixture, which is problematic.

      I'm definitely going to try this again--before Easter-- although, I will try without the dye on the off chance the dye caused the robin's egg blue lava flow.

      Photos attached.

      Photo #1--all the stuff--you'll notice I'm using wild rice (instead of white rice) for my core plan diet reasons and pak choy instead of baby bok choy, because, well, it's March in Minnesota and this is what I could get.

      Photo #2--the empty eggshells. Note the jagged holes. :(. Sorry for the fuzzy photo.

      Photo #3--the refilled-eggs with their paper caps, ready to be steamed.

      Photo #4--the robin's egg blue, spongy mess.


      15 Replies
      1. re: The Dairy Queen

        More photos

        Photo #1 Blue egg sponges on a bed of wild rice and surrounded by stir-fried pak choy.

        Photo #2 The works covered with shiitake mushrooms.

        I guess I'm not quite ready for my examination for the highest grade of Hunanese chef, eh?


        1. re: The Dairy Queen

          Thanks for sharing your efforts! That picture of the eggs with the blue "sponge" oozing out is a doozy :-)

          What did it taste like?

          1. re: DanaB

            Dana, it tasted pretty awful. Mostly, it was the spongy texture that was a problem and to be honest, there just wasn't that much egg left as most of it bubbled over and into the steamer tray etc. The pak choy was a little bitter, but the shiitake mushrooms and rice were good!


        2. re: The Dairy Queen

          I absolutely love all the effort you are giving to this project and I have nothing but admiration for your persistence in keeping to your diet yet cooking these unusual recipes. Your reports are eagerly awaited by me, and all your insights and suggestions are gratefully acknowledged. Had to LOL at the color of the erupted eggs, however. Too bad the taste was not acceptable... would have made a super Easter presentation.

          1. re: Gio

            Gio, I'm going to try that yolkless eggs recipes one more time before Easter to see if I can't pull it off, partly because I love a challenge, partly because I want to see if I can learn from some key mistakes I made, and also because I still think it will be fun to serve! Thank you (and others) for all of your support and encouragement!


          2. re: The Dairy Queen

            wow - very illuminating!
            fluid dynamics, huh . . . THX TDQ

            1. re: The Dairy Queen

              So, I tried this again (a half recipe again)--one more attempt to see if I'm going to try to do this for Easter. The good news is, it went better than before. The bad news is, I still don't think I'm ready to take the test for Hunanese chef of the highest order. It was a fun recipe to try, but I don't think my family will love it, even if I perfected it, so, I think this is the end of the line for me with this recipe.

              Here's the takeaway. Last time, I thought the problem was that I'd overfilled the eggs (by supplementing the whites from the four eggs I was using with the white from a fifth egg and the equivalent amount of stock). This time, I used only the whites from the four eggs I was using, plus the equivalent amount of stock. Exactly as per the recipe. This resulted in the eggs being about 60% full--I was hoping that the volume would somehow expand to fill the egg 100% full. Instead of "sealing" the eggs with a wet piece of paper as per Dunlop's instructions, I sealed them with a wet piece of paper towel. I think this worked much better. I'm going to spoil the surprise ending and say that the end result is that the final eggs turned out to be about 60% of an egg--there was little, if any, expansion of the egg white/stock mixture. Moral of the story--you need to fill the egg almost completely full, I think, even if that means supplementing with the white from a "spare" egg, plus the equivalent amount of stock of course.

              This time only two of the four eggs bubbled over. I noticed it happening right away. I forgot to mention that I used a stainless steel steamer (Dunlop calls for a bamboo steamer)--somewhere, I can't remember where, not even if it was this recipe--Dunlop says that the stainless steel steamers are much more air-tight than the bamboo ones and that you should crack the lid on your stainless steel steamer a tiny bit to let more air escape. Sadly, I hadn't done that straightaway--if I had, I think all would have been fine. But, I cracked the lid mid-way, and that did prevent any further boil-over.

              When I cooled down the eggs and cracked and peeled them, the texture of the egg was not firm. It was very custard-like, which is exactly how Dunlop describes it. It is extremely delicate and you must take an incredible amount of care. In fact, at some point, you can almost very gently "pour" the egg out of the shell. But you must handle them very carefully so they don't tear and break apart.

              Even the most perfect of my eggs didn't look appealing. They were pocked-marked and I think it would take an incredible amount of experimentation on my part to produce eggs where one's first impression is, "There must have been something seriously wrong with the chicken that laid that egg." Seriously, it just wasn't appetizing at all.

              I think this mixture would have stood up fine to a little food dye, though I didn't try it this time around and, I supposed the dye might add just enough distraction from the pock-markedness of the egg.

              How did it taste? Well, exactly like the stock I used. Second moral of the story--use only your very finest stock in this dish. The texture was very smooth and pudding-like--I liked the texture.

              That's it. Photos attached. The first is of the eggs in the steamer with their paper-towel caps; the second of the final product. The two eggs at the top of the frame are the ones that boiled over; the two on the bottom are the ones that were basically intact.

              I realize I don't have any dishes that aren't white or egg-shell colored. Sorry about that.

              Overall, this was a fun experiment and I'm glad I tried it.


              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                I loved reading about all the steps in both your experiments with this dish. Great to see the photos....especially the non-blue ones ;+)

                This sounds as if it's just too complicated and difficult for me to attempt, but I am very glad you did.

              2. re: The Dairy Queen

                Holy cow, I hadn't remembered you tried's something only a top top level chef would notmally go near. You are a brave one!

                1. re: buttertart

                  Brave is one way to put it...

                  I thought it sounded so neat. How hard could it be? Surely she was exaggerating. And why not add blue food color to a nearly-impossible-to-cook dish, just to add another level of confusion/excitement/disaster...


                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                    Hats off to TDQ! Did you read "The Last Chinese Chef" by Nicole Mones? A view into what the real deal highest level Chinese culinary art is...

                    1. re: buttertart

                      No, but it sounds fascinating. I shall put that on my list. Thank you!


                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                        You're welcome! It's an interesting novel in its own right, not just the cookin' part!

                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                          I really enjoyed The Last Chinese Chef, too. As a novel, it's light and enjoyable, if a bit predictable, and the discussion of the theory and symbolism of the haute and historical banquet courses is fascinating

                          1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                            That crab tofu...would I love to try that.

                2. Has anyone tried either of the General Tso's Chicken recipes that are in Revolutionary Chinese? I seem to recall that there was an article about the recipes when the book was published, but can't find it. I am thinking of making one of the recipes for a dinner party later this month, but wasn't sure which one to go for.


                  30 Replies
                  1. re: DanaB


                    Here's a link to the General Tso's Chicken recipe in the NYT. It's in a very interesting article written by.... you guessed it! ... Fuchsia Dunlop. It goes into the history of the dish and its origins. And it has a recipe. Prob. the same as in her book.


                    If the link doesn't work, you can search their website for "style" (along the top it's one of the categories) and then, when you get to the Style page, type in Fuchsia Dunlop or General Tso's Chicken and it'll bring up the article.

                    1. re: oakjoan

                      I loved the General Tso's Chicken story in RC. I enjoy most of the background stories, actually. When I'm off this diet, I'm definitely going to try the General Tso's Chicken, though, I hope Dana tries it for us in the meantime!


                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                        We tried the Gong Bao Chicken, page 237, Land of Plenty. It was very, very good. We used dried chiles that we purchased at United Noodle several years ago. They look exactly like dried Sichaun chiles, but the package said only, Grown and packaged in China. It was one of the hottest, spiciest dishes I've ever made! We loved it.

                        I followed the recipe exactly, using cornstarch rather than potato starch. The finished dish had the wonderful numbing effect we were looking for.

                        1. re: zataar

                          Just made the Gong Bao Chicken. Oh, man! is that ever good. I used arbol chiles and sherry, but otherwise followed the recipe exactly. It was hot, but not too. And I wasn't even anal about making sure I got rid of all the chile seeds--most, but not all.

                          This is one terrific, quick, easy-to-make dish. There's only one problem with it. Kung Pao [Gong Bao] chicken was always my favorite Chinese takeout dish. No more. This is just world's apart from any Kung Pao chicken I've ever had before. Bye-bye takeout; hello LOP!

                          1. re: JoanN

                            Oh, that looks lovely! Kung Pao chicken is one of my favorite take-out dishes, too, but I guess I'll have to be a LOP convert, too, esp. if it's quick and easy! Thanks for sharing!


                            1. re: The Dairy Queen

                              great dish. I used the Bruce Cost method and fast deep fried the peanuts.

                              1. re: wew

                                Please tell us more. Do you deep fry already roasted peanuts? For how long? Any other Bruce Cost hints and tips?

                                1. re: JoanN

                                  re: tip
                                  That Bruce Cost book was remaindered at The Strand, as a $5 paperback.

                                  1. re: pitu

                                    I was just thinking perhaps it was time for a trip to The Strand. Thanks for heads up.

                                    1. re: JoanN

                                      Waaaah! Waaaaah! No fair you guys get to go to The Strand! I once bought about 15 used cookbooks there and had them shipped back to Oakland at great expense. I still have ALL of them and several are among my all-time faves. Italian Regional Cooking by Ada Boni, Pleasures of the Good Earth by Edward Giobbi, Memories of Gascony by Pierre Koffman, and At Home With The Roux Brothers, but.....the Roux Bros!

                                      When I was there last year, I managed (with a forceful nudge from my husband) to buy NONE!

                                      I am sooooo jealous. Also jealous of that cookbook store on the Upper Upper East Side. Can't remember the name. In any case, this is enough of the off-topic posting.

                                      1. re: oakjoan

                                        Kitchen Arts & Letters - about a five minute walk from my apartment ;-).

                                        1. re: oakjoan

                                          No need to be too envious. They didn't have any of the Cost books left, and they didn't have either of the Dunlop's either. Yesterday may have been the first time in my life I walked out empty handed. Waaaah! Waaaah!

                                          1. re: JoanN

                                            wow! bad luck!
                                            Last time I was there, they had Cost and at least one of the Dunlop books in a stack on the first cookbook table.
                                            oakjoan, I know it's not the same, but the strand has a website

                                            1. re: pitu

                                              Thanks, pitu, but it'll never replace walking down Broadway...or actually up Broadway from our friend's apt. It is always wonderful, even last April when we had to buy knit caps about 5 steps from his door because of the freezing winds. Hmph! April in Paris may be lovely, but April in Manhattan can certainly be colllllld and cloudy and windy.

                                      2. re: pitu

                                        Hey, good to know that book has been remaindered--I have a bookstore in my neighborhood that usually gets a lot of remaindered books. If we get a nice sunny day today like we did yesterday, I think I'll walk down there and have a peek!


                                2. re: JoanN

                                  Made the Gong Bao chicken last night and loved it. The OH claimed it was too spicy, but I found out at the end of the meal that was because he'd eaten the chillies rather than leaving them behind! Doh.... The only modification I made was to cut the amount of oil slightly, and use less peanuts. I used dried Thai chillies, but the slightly bigger ones, not the tiny super-hot ones.

                                  Served with steamed rice, and kale in oyster sauce (I'm SO sick
                                  of kale now it's nearly Spring!).

                                  1. re: greedygirl

                                    The evidence, first en wok and second en celadonish bowl from SF Chinatown eons ago...
                                    Roll on Fuchsia's new book!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                  2. re: JoanN

                                    I made this for the first time last night and man oh man is it good. Cut back on the sugar by 1 tsp and goosed the vinegar by 1 tsp, and used truly terrible Irish whiskey the better half bought in a fit of parsimoniousness (it's now my cookin' whiskey) instead of Shaoxing, but otherwise followed the recipe slavishly. Used my superduper wonderful Scanpan wok and was amazed to see the sauce at the end coalesce around and coat the pieces of chicken immediately. I think the extra heat even caramelized the sugar a bit. (I can cook over very high heat - the quick boil setting on my stove - in this and other Scanpans without setting off the smoke alarms. My wok which has been patinating since 1982 wreaks havoc with them, I'm sure because of the carbon coating volatilizing.)

                                  3. re: zataar

                                    Gong Bao Chicken, page 237, Land of Plenty

                                    I decided to make this recipe after reading JOAN's review of the Mighty Spice version of Gung Bao chicken indicating that Dunlop's version was better. I used 1 T of oil and 1/3 c of the peanuts, but followed the recipe otherwise. This made for a quick and delicious lunch. Both of us were pleased with this one.

                                    1. re: zataar

                                      Gong Bao chicken, LOP, p.237
                                      Finally found all the necessary ingredients and made this for dinner tonight. Thanks to the nice Chowhounds on the other Dunlop thread - I did indeed locate the elusive 'Chianking vinegar'. And very inexpensively - thanks JoanN :-)
                                      There were a few minor modifications. My chiles were small and very hot - so I only
                                      used 4 and the dish was still very spicy. Cashews are my favorite, so used those instead of peanuts. I made a roasted Sichuan pepper and salt mixture from China Moon cookbook and used that in lieu of using the full amount of Sichuan peppercorns called for - simply a matter of my not liking to bite into whole peppercorn husks. The resulting dish was simply delicious and the flavor nuances produced by the sweet/sour/ spicy/ salty components were what made this dish stand apart. I'd like to add more vegetables next time I try this. A definite 'keeper'.

                                      1. re: zataar

                                        Gong Bao Chicken (Kung Pao Chicken), Pg. 237, Land of Plenty, US Edition

                                        This is actually the second time I made this dish and I but I didn't report it then... It's a fine dish and we enjoyed every bit of it.

                                        Last night I used: 2 smallish chicken breasts, 10 arbol chilies with 3 of them opened so we'd get some seeds into the dish and left the others whole, unsalted roasted peanuts which I did not deep fry, Chianking vinegar, I ground the Sichuan peppercorns, and potato starch. Quick, easy, satisfying, delicious. I think I'll just stick with LOP for the time being. I'm loving this revisit...

                                        1. re: Gio

                                          Gong Bao Chicken (Kung Pao Chicken), Pg. 237, Variation Pg. 239, Land of Plenty

                                          We made this last night for the third time and I was reminded that we ought to cook this recipe more often. This time we used cubes of a 1 2/3 pound pork loin roast. Followed the recipe exactly omitting the nuts. Verdict: Perfect.

                                          Spicy, succulent, juicy, tender morsels of meat with that unmistakable Sichuan umami. A mix of wok-wilted spinach and Bibb lettuce, and steamed jasmine rice were the additional dishes. Man, was that good!

                                          1. re: Gio

                                            Doing it with pork is a great idea.

                                      2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                        I just found this thread last night! I have been cooking from Dunlop's books for ages now, and love them. I made the Taiwanese version of General Tso's chicken tonight and it came out well. I used 2.6 lbs of chicken breasts (not thigh); half black vinegar, half white; chicken stock instead of water; and added chopped sweet red peppers (fried in advance) to pad it out while cutting the calorie density.

                                        As I live alone, I always have leftovers, so rather than returning all the chicken to the wok at the end, I mixed enough sauce with the chicken I planned to eat tonight, keeping the rest of the chicken separate from the sauce. I think the chicken soaks up too much of the sauce if you mix them together and then let them sit for a day in the fridge.

                                        Incidentally, the sauce tasted spicy-hot, a bit unbalanced, so I ended up adding a little sugar to it to balance it, so maybe it was not a pure Taiwanese version.

                                        As an interesting aside (well, interesting to me!) - the ingredient list for General Tso is extremely close to that for Kung Pao. I was quite surprised when someone at the newsgroup first pointed this out to me.

                                        Cook on, everybody - this is a great thread!



                                        1. re: IanG

                                          Interesting tips, Ian, thank you. I'm glad you found us--welcome!


                                      3. re: oakjoan

                                        Yes, that was the article. Thanks for the link! I'm still torn as to whether I want to make the version that is "hot and sour" or the "sweeter" version that makes it closer to the Americanized one (see pages 120-122 in Revolutionary Chinese). If I have time, maybe I'll do a comparison of the two dishes!

                                        1. re: DanaB

                                          Great! I downloaded the recipe when she first wrote the article and your post reminded me I'd never made it. So we'll compare results.

                                          1. re: DanaB

                                            I had a lack of success with the hot and sour version. Hope others get better results

                                            1. re: DanaB

                                              Here's a thread with reports from people who made the Gen. Tso's chicken after the recipe was published in the NY Times last year; generally rave reviews all around (for the non-sweet version in the article):

                                          2. re: DanaB

                                            I made the Taiwan-style General Tso's a few days ago. This might be a duh to all of you, but I rarely work with skin-on chicken unless I'm frying whole pieces.... The skin didn't want to stay on the meat once I was cutting it. I ended up with pieces of fried meat and pieces of fried skin. It wasn't entirely unpleasant, though. ;) I had to shoo my fiance out of the kitchen to keep him from popping the chicken in his mouth as it came out of the oil. The breading definitely had a nice flavour.

                                            When the sauce went into the wok, it smelled very odd and I got pretty nervous. It ended up tasting much better than it smelled, but I wasn't over the moon about it. Not a bad meal at all, but I don't think it was worth the oil burns on my fingers. (I'm a terrible fryer.)

                                            I will try the American version soon and report.

                                          3. Chicken with Chiles, pp 240-241 LOP

                                            Oh my, so many lessons learned.
                                            1. Looks like a simple dish when you scan the ingredients, but, it's not quick. It took me about an hour an a half --all of it active time--and I had help cutting and seeding the chiles. (But, since I had the knife, cutting board, chicken and my "box o' ingredients" out, I also went ahead and cut up the chicken and started the marinade for the dish I'm making tonight--but that only took a couple of minutes.) The time consuming part is step 2. It's just one sentence "Wearing rubber gloves, snip the chiles in half with a pair of scissors and remove and discard as many seeds as possible," but it's a doozy. The first pair of rubber gloves were just too big for me, and I really struggled. Kept cutting the gloves and getting bits of rubber gloves in my chiles. I switched to a smaller, more form-fitting pair of surgical gloves and things went a little faster. So, remember to have your rubber gloves and scissors handy.

                                            But, do you realize how much two ounces of dried chiles is? It's one entire package! Look at photo #1 (these are all of my Dunlop ingredients, i.,e. my "box o' ingredients", not all needed for this dish) and you'll see the pack of chiles I used. It's not the bright red pack of chiles on the left--those are my fresh ones, but the ones to the right of those, in the pack that says "Jack Hua Co Ltd." in small print at the bottom (right behind the earthenware pot of pickled vegetables...)

                                            2. Cutting back the oil. She doesn't say how much to use, just "peanut oil for deep-frying"--you know me, I thought I could get away with skimping (I used 3 generous tsp plus all the non-stick spray the pan would hold) so I could make the dish fit my diet, but, look, you just can't or you'll scald everything. "deep frying" should have been my clue, but, I'm clueless. What I ended up doing is, when I thought things were getting too hot and were about to burn the chiles, I transferred everything to a bowl, heated up another (nonstick) pan, and finished it in the new pan. Not super efficient, but it saved the dish from being completely ruined. If I were to try this again, I'd use more oil, though, I'm not sure how much more...I'd probably use 3 TBSP, but in a similar'ish recipe on pg 129 if RC, she calls for 1 1/4 cups peanut oil "for deep frying," so my guess is that's about how much Dunlop would want you to use in this recipe, too.

                                            3. Heat. She says "it's not particularly hot. The chiles that make the dish look so dramatic are used to give fragrance and a gentle spiciness to the cooking oil AND ARE NOT GENERALLY EATEN. "'re supposed to pick out and eat only the chicken. Well, that's what I did in the end, but I didn't realize it at first and so I thought this dish was intolerably hot (my husband said, "Hotter than I'd like, but not intolerably so"...I beg to differ, anyway...) but you're not supposed to eat the chiles. Normally I don't eat them when I dine out, but I thought maybe it was okay to in this instance, because they'd been de-seeded. No, no, no!

                                            The chicken, if you eat only it as instructed, is quite tasty.

                                            I had planned to make a vegetable dish, too, but ran out of time and just served it with a side of steamed vegetables. I don't know if you can tell from the photo, but I served the chicken over whole wheat penne...not traditional, I'm sure, but it's what we had that we needed to use up.

                                            Tonight I'm planning to make "Numbing-and-Hot Chicken" from pg 129 of RC, since I've already got the chicken marinating. But, I'm worried how it's going to come out since I think it, too, will need more oil than I'll want to use. We'll see, I guess.

                                            Oh, and for dessert, we tried the frozen yogurt on Heidi Swanson's's actually David Lebovitz' recipe from The Perfect Scoop. Again, not that traditionally, but the milk and the cooling were nice on the tastebuds after all that heat.


                                            11 Replies
                                            1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                              That looks delicious! I'll be sure to get a pepper helper when I make it. BTW - I have disposable surgical gloves that work really well for this sort of thing.

                                              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                You actually seeded all of those little dried red peppers? I admire your spirit!! The dish looks delicious, and am excited to cook from these books, especially given your experiments and successes :-)

                                                1. re: DanaB

                                                  Surprisingly, they are pretty self-seeding--when you cut them open, the seeds fly right out. I used 3 bowls for this process. First, a bowl of whole dried peppers. Then, I cut the peppers open and dropped them into bowl #2. Then, at the end, I just picked the red pieces out of bowl #2 and dropped them into bowl #3.

                                                  MMRuth, surgical gloves will be perfect.


                                                2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                  Chicken with Chiles (la zi ji), LOP, p. 241.

                                                  Taking cues from TheDairyQueen, to simplify, I used whole chiles and skipped cutting and seeding them (though did think leaving them whole made this dish not as spicy as I would like and so wouldn't do that next time). I also missed where it said 2 ounces, so probably should have used more - I used a large handful.

                                                  Chicken is cut into cubes and marinated in Shaoxing rice wine, light and dark soy, and salt for 30 minutes (I did this earlier a couple of hours earlier in the day). I also should have fried the chicken more as it wasn't golden-brown, but I was afraid it would be too dry. The cooked chicken is mixed with garlic, ginger, chiles, whole Sichuan peppercorns, scallions, sugar, and sesame oi.

                                                  It made a couple of great lunches this week. My favorite chicken dishes are still the Dry-Fried Chicken and Tai Bai Chicken, though this was quicker to put together for weekday lunches.

                                                  1. re: Rubee

                                                    Rubee, do you cook specifically for weekday lunches? Golly, I can barely squeeze in cooking for dinner and using my dinner leftovers for lunches...

                                                    It might be kind of fun to have a "tried and true" listing of recipes from Dunlop. From all of the COTM's, actually. Kind of like the "recipe so good I've made it at least 3 times" thread, but specifically for COTM, since many of us have these books...


                                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                      If we did, then that dry fried chicken would definitely be on my list. And the shrimp with chinese chives too. Oh, and that cilantro salad.

                                                      1. re: LulusMom

                                                        The cilantro salad is divine. Have made the Mao-style redcooked pork from RCC many times as well.

                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                          Cool! I just started a COTM repeat favorites thread.

                                                          It's been so long since I've looked at Dunlop that I don't even remember the cilantro salad, but, let me tell you, I was overwhelmed with CSA cilantro this past summer. I kick myself now!


                                                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                            Too bad, this uses a good bit. Love love love cilantro.

                                                      2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                        I do cook for weekday lunches since I work at home. I usually make a few dishes that heat up well (especially Dunlop favorites) on Sunday, or prep dishes the night before. For example, now when I make "Ants on a Tree", I cook the meat and make the broth the night before (sometimes I even freeze this), and soak the noodles. For lunch, all I have to do is heat up the stock and meat and simmer the noodles. Quick and easy. If I didn't plan, I'm afraid I'd be running out for fast food too often! Last night I made a Thai red curry roast chicken, threw the carcass in the crockpot with Shaoxing rice wine, ginger, star anise, and scallions to make stock overnight, and plan on some nice Asian soups the rest of the week.

                                                        Love that idea of COTM favorites! Going to check it out now....

                                                        1. re: Rubee

                                                          Rubee, I'm so inspired by your quick, overnight Asian crock pot stock!


                                                  2. Tonight with the help of DH I made Black Bean Chicken. Internet version

                                                    Surprisingly, the only thing we had to substitute was sherry for Shaoxing wine.
                                                    We followed the recipe to the letter, other than the wine, and it turned out very tasty indeed if slightly salty.... even though I rinsed in many waters those black beans. I must say it's a very easy recipe and a good introduction to this style of cooking. What you don't know is that before I became incapacitated, DH would not even boil water by his own admission. So, to have him in the kitchen, reading and following a recipe is a tremendous accomplishment for both of us. We've worked out a system wherby I prep and he cooks, but I'm there to give him encouragement and direction. Once a teacher always a teacher. LOL

                                                    I love the lingering aroma from the cooking. Not off putting at all. In fact kind of homey. I want to make this again but with the required wine.

                                                    DH made jasmine rice to serve with the chicken and all in all it was a very satisfying dish.

                                                    7 Replies
                                                    1. re: Gio

                                                      Gio - that sounds wonderful - both the food and the story! Do you know off hand if that recipe is in one of the cookbooks? So glad you didn't have to substitute much (grin!).

                                                      1. re: MMRuth

                                                        Good Morning MM.... I don't know in which book that recipe is referenced. In fact the correct name of the dish is, "Authentic Black Bean Chicken". It was on the supplimentary list that you posted on the links page. DH is still talking about "how terrific" the dish was. There wasn't a crumb left.

                                                        This week-end we plan to make Velveted Fish and Fisherman's Shrimp with Chinese Chives. He can't wait.

                                                        1. re: Gio

                                                          Reminds me that I want to track down some of those chives this weekend too. I'll see if it's in RCC as well - the black bean dish. Thanks Gio.

                                                          1. re: MMRuth

                                                            I was in Chinatown yesterday and saw Chinese chives at a number of stands. But one of my favorite produce markets, where I also found Chinese leeks for a dish I want to try, is on the south side of Bayard Street between Mulberry and Mott. It's a very narrow storefront with produce piled up outside and more in the back. The owner, I presume, is always toward the front of the store working the scale and the cash register and his English is excellent.

                                                            And just fyi, right down the street, also on the south side of Bayard, near Elizabeth (#57 I think) is a meat market where I buy a lot of Chinese ingredients: whole chickens with head and feet; duck, beautiful chicken legs with thighs) at excellent prices. Yesterday I bought a gorgeous looking pork belly and some ground pork. There's only one young man in the store who speaks English well, but he's always been very good at helping me find what I need.

                                                            1. re: JoanN

                                                              Thanks - I've been wanting to try some of the pork belly recipes.

                                                      2. re: Gio

                                                        Sounds delicious, Gio. Dunlop offers sherry as a completely acceptable substition for the wine, so I don't think you should give that substitution a second thought. My husband and I like to cook together, too, in the way you describe, where I prep and he cooks. Often, in my posts I say, "We tried" or "we did this or that" and really, it's because I often have a helper. I think it makes cooking more fun. Although, I don't think I come across as a teacher like you do, more of a drill sergeant, I'm afraid. I get so panicked in the heat of the moment, I have a tendency to bark orders. Have to work on that!


                                                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                          LOL TDQ!! Most times I'm in Drill Sergeant mode myself. I get so animated it seems like I'm wired for sound. DH has come a long way from boiling water to stir frying in a wok. Never thought it would happen.