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anyone know the recipe for "beef with hot pepper with 4 mantou" from Petite Soo Chow? [moved from New Jersey Board]

rubenhan Jan 18, 2011 10:14 AM

Hi, everyone.

I don't know how many people here have tried "beef with hot pepper with 4 mantou" from Petite Soo Chow, but I would like to know how to cook that dish at home. It's my favorite dish there (WARNING: IT'S HOT even for a KOrean like me) but since I don't read Chinese I can't really look for the recipe online and its generic name does not come up with any helpful result.

I can't see it being too difficult. I see tons of scallion, some shredded beef, a little tofu, and some kind of pepper to give that kick.

I was wondering if there's anyone who can help me out on figuring out how to cook this dish. If there's a person who knows Chinese that would be even better.

Thank you.

Petite Soo Chow
607 Gorge Rd, Cliffside Park, NJ 07010

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  1. buttertart RE: rubenhan Jan 18, 2011 03:26 PM

    Do you have a copy of their menu? I don't know of a dish like this but it would help to see the characters.

    1 Reply
    1. re: buttertart
      rubenhan RE: buttertart Jan 18, 2011 05:41 PM

      whew now that was interesting. I pondered whether to take the photo of the chinese characters but decided to find them in the Chinese dictionary. Lucky me I learned some Chinese characters when I was young. Here it is.


    2. paulj RE: rubenhan Jan 18, 2011 05:51 PM

      Does it come with steamed buns (mantou)?

      23 Replies
      1. re: paulj
        scoopG RE: paulj Jan 18, 2011 05:58 PM

        Right. When were you there and how was the dish presented?

        I was just at Petite Soochow a couple of weeks and frankly that was not a dish that stood out on the menu. 辣椒小炒 is too generic of a name - just" Sauteed Hot Peppers."

        1. re: scoopG
          buttertart RE: scoopG Jan 19, 2011 06:27 AM

          You are of course right, the name gives nothing away.Is it a saucy dish? Is it dry-fried? The mantou makes me think Northern Chinese, not Jiangnan, which I hope from its name is what the restaurant's strong suit is? (scoopG, a must visit, or no?)

          1. re: buttertart
            scoopG RE: buttertart Jan 19, 2011 12:55 PM

            I'd say if you are near Petite Suzhou - most definitely. But no need to make a special trip from NYC. The place was packed, the menu expansive. Service was attentive and the owner was on site. I think she is the daughter of the old owner who then moved it to NJ from NYC. They have interesting soup dumplings: the thinnest skins I've ever seen but the result is the soup leaks out!

            1. re: scoopG
              buttertart RE: scoopG Jan 19, 2011 01:01 PM

              The Holy Grail of the soup dumpling - the thinnest skin with no leakage. Ah Taipei...

              1. re: buttertart
                fourunder RE: buttertart Jan 19, 2011 02:43 PM

                Petite Soo Chow was David Corcoran's last review for the NY Times....and given a *Don't Miss* rating.



                1. re: fourunder
                  rubenhan RE: fourunder Jan 19, 2011 08:55 PM

                  @paulj: yes, it comes with mantou.
                  @scoopG: you'll see tons of chopped scallions, bits of tofu, bits of beef, and hot peppers. That dish is no. 20 in the Beef section (the last one actually). You'll be surprised. It's very good.
                  here you'll see the photo. 6th picture. (not my blog btw


                  @ buttertart: Check the photo in the above mentioned blog. I'm not quite sure which region of China it is from. BTW, it's not a place that you should try visit from NYC. I lived in NYC for 7 years and Chinatown in Manhattan and Flushing have definitely better food. But Petite Soo Chow's food is pretty good for the region.

                  BTW I've been there quite a few times, and I've never experienced leaky Xiao Long Bao!!!

                  As you can see in the picture, I think the dish itself is very simple. I'm assuming I cook the ground beef first, then add tons of scallion and some kind of Chinese hot pepper (I don't know which kind. Maybe I can get away with Jalapeno?) with some bits of tofu. But this is coming from a guy who've never really tried Chinese cooking. So I need some help.

                  Thank you.

                  PS Actually I decided to attach the photo to save you guys some time.

                  1. re: rubenhan
                    scoopG RE: rubenhan Jan 20, 2011 05:19 AM

                    Thanks rubenhan.

                    My guess is that you would first stir fry some mined ginger and garlic in oil. Not sure that Jalapeno is the best pepper to use but it will do in a pinch. Add that then cook.

                    Remove from the pan/wok and set aside Then add the ground meat and cook. Return the minced ginger, garlic and hot peppers and then add your scallions (and tofu bits.) Have some stock on hand to add a bit of that as well as soy sauce, maybe even some Shao Xing rice wine.

                    Alternatively you could stir-fry the ginger, garlic and hot peppers in oil and then add the ground beef - but you risk burning the garlic.

                    1. re: rubenhan
                      buttertart RE: rubenhan Jan 20, 2011 06:19 AM

                      scoopG - It looks like a northern dish to me - or a riff on that Taiwanese "fly-head" thing?

                      1. re: buttertart
                        scoopG RE: buttertart Jan 20, 2011 09:33 AM

                        I am not sure!

                    2. re: fourunder
                      buttertart RE: fourunder Jan 20, 2011 06:18 AM

                      forunder and rubenhan - Must check it out, as an recent adoptive Bergen County-ite!

                      1. re: buttertart
                        fourunder RE: buttertart Jan 20, 2011 06:30 AM

                        I always forget about the place( a little too far), but my nephew reminds me to take him and his girlfriend there about four times a year. I used to go to the old place in Saddle Brook more often, as it was on travel route to Morris County.

                        I like most of the items...I've never experienced broken skin on my XLB orders. I especially like the casserole clay pots, the eel dishes and the Jumbo Prawns in shell. My nephew likes their Hot & Sour Soup and Chinese Sausage Fried Rice. The only item I am not enamored with is their version of Pan Fried Dumplings. Go figure?

                        1. re: fourunder
                          buttertart RE: fourunder Jan 20, 2011 06:43 AM

                          I'm surprised my husband hasn't been agitating to get there since his specialty is the history of Suzhou (a consuming interest in more senses than one) and we go there every chance we get. Dishes sound v good.

                          1. re: fourunder
                            scoopG RE: fourunder Jan 20, 2011 09:34 AM

                            Somehow either the soup escaped in the handling from the steamer to the mouth or somewhere else - still good though. So they moved from NYC Chinatown to Saddle Brook first?

                            1. re: scoopG
                              rubenhan RE: scoopG Jan 20, 2011 10:53 AM

                              @scoopg, Thank you so much for your answer. Do you happen to know, then, what kind of hot pepper should I use? Would that be a Chinese one?
                              And yes, they apparently have moved quite a few times from New York to Saddle Brook and finally here.

                              @buttertart: you should definitely try if you live in the Bergen county. One of the better Chinese joints.

                              If anyone goes to Petite Soo Chow and get this dish, please let me know what you thought of it, and what kind of additional seasoning it might require. THank you!

                              1. re: rubenhan
                                paulj RE: rubenhan Jan 20, 2011 11:10 AM

                                Could you see the peppers? Many Chinese dishes use small dried ones, that add heat, but generally are not eaten. Those are quite obvious. If they used fresh ones, were they just sliced, or diced. If sliced, what was the diameter? And color?

                                The heat could also have come from one of the hot bean pastes.

                                1. re: paulj
                                  buttertart RE: paulj Jan 20, 2011 11:41 AM

                                  That Sichuan dish of pickled long beans with meat and peppers has small dried peppers sliced in 1/4 in appx sections like the beans.

                                2. re: rubenhan
                                  scoopG RE: rubenhan Jan 20, 2011 01:08 PM

                                  From the photo, I can't see that there are any dried red chili peppers. (Dried red chili peppers can be eaten, if you like the heat. For some Sichuan dishes they are cut open and de-seeded and one can certainly devour these no problem.)

                                  1. re: scoopG
                                    rubenhan RE: scoopG Jan 20, 2011 01:35 PM

                                    @paulj: Yeah those typical red dry chili is not used here. They are just fresh green pepper that was just slice. Diameter was fairly small. Maybe half an inch or more.

                                    @scoopg: I actually eat those red chili peppers. In fact, my friends and I would wait until the end, and play Rock Paper Scissor to see who will win. (Losers have to eat)

                                    1. re: rubenhan
                                      buttertart RE: rubenhan Jan 20, 2011 01:39 PM

                                      The green ones would be the long somewhat twisted ones with thin walls, I would think?

                                      1. re: buttertart
                                        fourunder RE: buttertart Jan 20, 2011 02:00 PM

                                        My two cents......they peppers look like seeded Jalapenos to me, then diced small. I regularly purchase all types of hot peppers and the flesh looks too thick to be Thai Chilies or Long Hots. The Tofu also looks to be the firm, pressed kind you get in the vacuum packages(smoked?).

                                        1. re: fourunder
                                          buttertart RE: fourunder Jan 20, 2011 02:01 PM

                                          You and me both on the chilis. The one little bit in front does look like a piece of jalapeno. I've only ever seen Thai chilis used once in a Chinese dish and that was a "new Sichuan" steamed fish at the Grand Sichuan on 3rd Ave.
                                          Tofu - smoked or five-spice.

                                      2. re: rubenhan
                                        paulj RE: rubenhan Jan 20, 2011 01:59 PM

                                        Any chile in the grocery with that diameter would work. Serrano is closest Mexican variety. Fresh Thai chiles would be another option.

                                  2. re: scoopG
                                    fourunder RE: scoopG Jan 20, 2011 02:06 PM

                                    I my memory is correct, the 10-12 year history of the Saddle Brook location was opened by the sisters, and daughters of the Family Patriarch. the original NYC owner, along with extended family members......in the middle of the run, the business was sold for a year or two, to outside interests, but those owners failed and the sisters got it back.....only to resell the location and move their operation to Cliffside Park.

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