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Oct 31, 2013 08:30 AM

Pescatarian Dinner for four at Mulan?

My 3 regular DCs and I are still mourning the loss of Thailand Cafe, and I'm trying to make the case that Mulan could be our local replacement. We went there last week and had a fine meal consisting of the following:

Veggie Dumplings
Rice Cakes (w/o pork)
Pea Pod Stems
Sauteed Bean Curd Sheet w/ Black Mushroom (#128)
Shrimp w/ Chive and Bean Curd Sheet (#63)

While we enjoyed each dish individually, we found the flavors to be too similar to one another. In particular, it was clear that we needed at least one spicy dish on the table.

So, here's my request for help: provide us with a better menu for four! The pea pod stems (or some similar green) are pretty much non-negotiable, and the rice cakes and dumplings are both favorites, but the other slots are up for grabs. (We could also jettison cakes/dumplings, if compelled.) Any thoughts would be appreciated!

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  1. My favorites are eel with sticky rice (although it's gotten pretty expensive) and bean curd with dry bean sauce. Not spicy, but addictively delicious.

    13 Replies
    1. re: Stride

      Thanks Stride!

      Here's a list of pescatarian options that have been endorsed in another thread (along with Stride's). Let me know if anybody has further thoughts about how they could be combined into a meal for four:

      Mulan fish
      eggplant and basil
      eel with sticky rice
      bean curd with dry bean sauce
      deep fried bean curd
      bean curd strips with mustard greens and edamame
      fish filet with chili pepper
      Cuttlefish Casserole

      1. re: dlieb

        have had the Mulan Fish and loved it

        1. re: dlieb

          Ah yes, the 3 cup cuttlefish? We enjoyed that, though it had some bits that a squeamish person might wonder what they are and... squeam, or whatever such a person actually does. They also make a fish with dry bean "sauce" and that's pretty good as well.

          1. re: KWagle

            k, would you plse describe a 'dry bean sauce'. is it basically a pile of soybeans, and not saucey?

            1. re: opinionatedchef

              It's some kind of toasted chopped soybean topping. Grace Garden sometimes makes a tofu pie with a dry soybean topping, which Chef Li says is 豆酥

              Googling that brings up this picture, which he confirmed is the difficult-to-find ingredient (in DC anyway.) It could well be that this lump is chopped up to make the topping.


              (The entire recipe for a steamed fish covered in a meat sauce which includes these dry beans is below.



          2. re: dlieb

            I just wanted to update everybody. We had a much more successful dinner the other night. Here was the menu:

            rice cakes w/o pork
            bean curd w/ dry bean sauce
            mulan fish
            stir-fried watercress
            shrimp with bean curd sheets

            The rice cakes are a fantastic rendition: quite chewy with a mushroom (?) sauce. I think that Mulan's version rivals Shanghai Gate's version. The Mulan fish was also fantastic and gave us the much needed dose of ma la. The rest were very good, though nobody loved them. The dry bean sauce is just too sweet for me, though I can see how people would like it. The watercress was fine, though quite stem-heavy compared to their spinach or pea-pod stems. The shrimp w/ bean curd sheets has been a long-time favorite, I think we've just had it too often recently.

            1. re: dlieb

              Anyone who has read my rants knows my feelings on fish, but i think i would eat that sauce from the MuLan Fish on a shoe. It might be even better cold for leftovers.

              Always had good luck with the Eggplant with basil, hunan lamb and salt and pepper pork chop.

              full disclosure: I eat an entire order of the pan fried dumplings. Every.Single.Time.

          3. re: Stride

            How expensive is the eel with sticky rice? That sounds delicious, but the website just lists it as market price.

              1. re: Trumpetguy

                Oof, that is pricey. Good to know, thanks.

                1. re: maillard

                  I last had it at lunch and it was up to around $18. Which is why I haven't had it in a long time, sadly.

                2. re: Trumpetguy

                  at that price, i still buy it as it remains one of my favorite dishes in town.

                  1. re: cambridgedoctpr

                    I don't know how i missed this on their menu. I am a major fan of Japanese unagi with thick 'bbq' sauce on rice, and i have also had the korean bimbap? w/eel over rice in an iron pot that makes the rice crusty on the bottom (at Super 88 Food Court.) What is Mulan's dish like? i am sooo psyched!

                    p.s. has anyone else had the Mulan dish with sliced Lotus Root and stir fried fern and smoked pork (iirc)?
                    The fern is so delic.