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Dec 1, 2010 10:54 AM

Oysters stir fried with ginger garlic and green onion.

I have always enjoyed this dish at Full House Seafood in Chinatown but wonder if there are
places in SGV I might check out. Also I have never seen Salmon in Chinese Restaurant and I
assume its not popular?Another question for the experts why don`t the Chinese add sugar to the
tea while I`m told the Chinese don`t like really dry wine. A lifetime fan of most things Chinese.

Full House Seafood Restaurant
1220 S Golden West Ave, Arcadia, CA 91007

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  1. I've been looking all over for that dish as well as sizzling black pepper oysters. There used to be a place in L.A. called Mandarin Cove that served both.
    As for salmon, my go-to Chinese place in the SFV. Kung Pao China Bistro, has a Kung Pao Salmon dish; cooked with zucchini, bell pepper mushrooms, scallions, peanuts and dry chilis in a sweet/spicy sauce @14.00

    Kung Pao Bistro
    11402 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604

    1. I don't have a specific recommendation for the oyster dish, but you could probably order in any Cantonese seafood restaurant even if it's not listed on the menu. If they serve any type of oysters, it would be trivial to cook it with green onions, ginger and garlic.

      I've steamed salmon, and it is tougher than what most Cantonese eaters prefer. It's too big to steam for a single dish--you don't typically serve a steamed fish unless the head and tail are still on it. I haven't tried this yet, but it seems that it would be very difficult to stir-fry given its thickness. You could cut it thinly like a very thin steak, but it would fall apart because of the direction of the cut.

      I don't know about wine, but Chinese have historically not added sugar to tea. To me, sugar seems to be an awful way to ruin the taste of a good tea. I suppose it's the Western counterpart of the Chinese custom of pouring soda into wine to make the wine more palatable.

      15 Replies
      1. re: raytamsgv

        Ditto everything raytamsgv said.

        You can get the ginger/green onion oyster stirfry at just about any Canto restaurant, from the lower end, like Seafood Village, to the more high end like Elite and Sea Harbour, and basically all points in-between. Heck, you can even get it at most Hong Kong style cafes like Tasty Garden, etc.

        As to salmon, it's usually not prepared in Chinese restaurants because (1) doesn't really steam well as a whole fish for a table presentation because it's too big of a fish and (2) it's not a good stir fry dish because the filets fall apart too easily, unlike cod, haddock or halibut filets which hold their form much better. You do, however, see salmon quite often nowadays in Hong Kong cafes as part of their plate lunch specials (with that icky "spaghetthi"). Also, salmon appears in dumplings every now and then.

        No sugar in tea because for Chinese folks, drinking tea *is* about the bitterness of the leaves. It would be like asking why you don't add milk to your wine to cut the dryness of that Chardonnay. Just antithetical to the whole point of imbibing wine.

        1. re: ipsedixit

          Thanks for the info on the oysters,salmon and adding sugar to tea. Regarding adding milk to Chardonnay you might be surprised that skim milk or casein is a fining agent that is added
          to Chardonnay in Burgundy to reduce bitterness before bottling. Gelatin along with some
          tannin is also used depending on the wine. Personally I only recently had the nerve to ask
          for sugar in a good Chinese Restaurant like Sea Harbour but their Jasmine tea is a little harsh
          and the sugar rounds it out a liitle.

          1. re: ipsedixit

            It might also reflect the fact that China doesn't have salmon. I bet if they had salmon in China they'd eat a lot of it. I mean, name something they have in China but don't eat.

            1. re: sushigirlie

              Surprisingly there is salmon in China per thread below. It goes for about $2.50 per pound frozen in the Chinese markets in the SGV--not quite as good as what you get from Costco at triple the price, but given the cost differential it's a pretty good deal. You do see salmon from time to time at Chinese restaurants. The San Gabriel Noodle Island used to have salmon nuggets cooked like Chicken nuggets, and some cafes have salmon fried rice. Also had black bean salmon in Vancouver. However, I suspect
              for many local Chinese, salmon is just not their idea of fish cooked in the typical Chinese manner.


              1. re: Chandavkl

                From the stores I've visited in the SGV, the fresh salmon filet and steaks are usually farm-raised Atlantic salmon. But the fresh salmon heads are often King salmon.

                1. re: Chandavkl

                  I'm Chinese and have never tried Chinese salmon steamed but my friend swears by steamed wild salmon cooked Chinese style with the soy sauce, cilantro and green onions over fish after steaming. Then hot oil with garlic poured over it . I've cooked a lot of white fish like that but never wanted to try salmon that ways. My friend says it has to be WILD salmon.

                  1. re: ChowHi

                    Are you talking about a WHOLE salmon, or just a salmon filet? I've done the latter with much success, but never with a whole salmon.

                    1. re: ipsedixit

                      A piece of salmon. To me the flavor of salmon then cooking it Chinese style wouldn't work, but my friend swears by it. How did it taste compared to steaming a rock cod, Ipse?

                      1. re: ChowHi

                        The flavor is much stronger than the usual fishes used for Cantonese stir-fry or steaming. The texture is also different--rock cod falls apart in bigger, well-defined pieces. Also, the salmon skin is much thicker and clings more to the flesh.

                        With a mild-flavored fish like rock cod, the ginger/green onion/black bean combination works very well. I think it also goes well with a strongly-flavored fish like Pacific salmon, but the salmon flavor is far more pronounced. Normally, I use older ginger for salmon for a stronger ginger flavor but younger ginger for something like rock cod for a more subtle flavor.

                        Personally, I love the taste, and it has been a popular dish whenever I served it. Because of it's higher fat content, it's very forgiving if you overcook it (which is very easily done because of the uneven thickness of a fillet). The same is not true of rock cod or similar fishes.

                        1. re: raytamsgv

                          I wonder what people do with the Salmon you see at Chinese supermarkets, e.g. Ranch 99, Hawaii, etc.

                          The head and collar are easy to figure out ... broth, hot pots, soup, etc.

                          But I've seen plenty of salmon filets and given that the majority of their clientele are Chinese, inquiring minds want to know.

                          1. re: raytamsgv

                            Thanks, Ray. I'll try it. Skin side down when steaming?

                            1. re: ChowHi

                              That's what I would do. To prevent it from sticking to the pan, you can also put it on a bed of green onions and julienned ginger root. For extra flavor, you might want to use some black beans as well. The flavor of the black beans will come out in the resulting sauce.

                      2. re: ChowHi

                        Ditto ipsedixit's response. I've even used that technique with salmon steaks. But a whole salmon is too big and thick to steam properly.

                      3. re: Chandavkl

                        I don't think the salmon are actually from China. I think they are caught elsewhere and sent to China for processing because the labor is cheap.

                        1. re: sushigirlie

                          Shipping fish to China for processing is getting more common these days.

                2. Yeah what the others have said. Just find a capable Cantonese restaurant and specify how you want the oysters cooked and they should accomodate.

                  Another fun way to eat it is to order the deep fried version that's crispy light batter on the outside, moist and juicy and maybe 70%? cooked on the inside, known as 酥炸生蠔 in Chinese (So Dza Sahng Hoe in Cantonese). Numerous net pics:

                  1. Good Chinese tea, properly prepared, shouldn't need sugar. And, while there may be some bitterness, I think many people prefer a tea that's (naturally) bitter-sweet or nutty, and certainly not so bitter that adding sugar would be required. To me, the way to appreciate a good tea isn't to drink it with a meal, but rather to eat first and enjoy the tea on its own (with some mild-flavored snacks in-between teas, if necessary). Over time, I think most tea drinkers acquire at least some tolerance for astringency or bitterness. But one great thing is that the brewer can choose the tea and brewing parameters to fit their taste (or the taste of those drinking).

                    While most restaurant tea isn't great, it's usually at least kind of bland and unoffensive (often even called cha shui - literally "tea water", as opposed to just "tea"). If the tea is bitter and over-extracted (probably because you're not drinking it fast enough :>), you could just ask for some hot water to thin it out. Restaurant tea is bad enough that often, I just ask for hot water instead (often, the hot water is also awful, though).

                    1. i think i've had the oyster dish at newport seafood and capitol seafood. like others have said, there are a lot of other places that have it too.

                      as for sugar, history-wise, sugar is not originally indigenous to china. it was brought via the trade routes by buddhist monk so it is not originally part of their culture. and even then, early on, sugar would likely be along the lines of sugar cane rather than refined sugar. if you think in that manner, guess who would be the ones to afford it? it'd be the rich before the poor whom are the masses. this would likely change of course once they did bring the cultivation process to china and it became much more widespread. china probably also didn't embrace it as much as japan did once it was brought over (added/adds a ton of sugar; before that, they relied heavily on honey). this is just my guess based on some historical facts though...
                      there's no doubt in my mind that there were some doctors that suggested that some patients lay off the sugar to help cure their ailments. i think tastes change too. our cultures really have moved towards more sweet and over seasoned tastes as we modernize and progress. thinking of how my parents like and can tolerate bitter melon, while i cannot no matter how many times i try, is probably a good example, at least in my mind. or i guess you could compare traditional sweets to modern. some folks really abhor traditional treats.

                      but y' know, the tea with chinese meals aren't meant to be like a sweet treat or however you wanna think of sweeter drinks like soda or milk teas. it acts more as a palette cleanser and a way to relax. not to mention, tea helps with digestion so kicking back at the table after eating and talking amongst the others at the table is quite relaxing, healthy, and a pleasant one.
                      sadly, a lot of restaurants think that tea is just dumping tea leaves/bags into hot water and serving it all day. there's an art to tea so if you were take into account water type, water temperature, and steeping time you'd get a very nice and refreshing drink rather a bitter, watery drink.

                      you could always order some milk or boba teas. they're junky for ya though (but i love the ones from ten ren)

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: catbert

                        I've yet to have good tea in the SGV. Good tea is pretty common in China, however.