A giant thank-you to everyone who voted me into Round 2 of Project Food Blog!
For this second challenge I have been asked to prepare a dish from another cuisine.
‘Pick an ethnic classic that is outside your comfort zone or you are not as familiar with. Try to keep the dish as authentic as the real deal.’
The first time you try he soup bursts surprisingly onto your tongue with your first bite, sending hot liquid all over your dress. Despite this, you are filled with wonderment that scalding soup can be contained inside a soft dumpling skin. How do they do it? How do they get the soup inside?? The secret to this culinary marvel is that the soup is made from pork jelly, mixed with the meat filling, solid at room temperature but melting into a delicious liquid when cooked.
Now I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking I’m cheating.
But I’m an Australian. My national food is a fusion of Mediterranean, British, and South-East Asian cuisine. When it comes to Chinese food, it’s about as far away from my own ethnic cuisine as it possible to be. In fact, I had never cooked it before, unless you count working your way through The Australian Women’s Weekly Easy Chinese Cookbook, age 14. I’m sure if you served those dishes to a Chinese person they wouldn’t recognise them. I thought we were pretty cosmopolitan.
And although everyone in Shanghai loves , I have never met a single person who makes them at home, because they are far too time-consuming, and they need to be cooked and eaten within five minutes of being made. I thought, therefore, that they sounded like the perfect dish for this challenge.
So just how did my xmmen’s Weekly Lemon Chicken, circa 1983, let me tell you. But still in need of a lot of practice. At least the ugly ones still taste good.
Should you have a day or two up your sleeve, here’s the recipe. The pork jelly needs to be made the day before.
Exciting news! I have made it through the tough first round of Project Food Blog and into the second. For this challenge I have been asked to make a classic dish from another culture, and as I am living in the midst of a culture about as different from my own as it is possible to be, I have decided to make the classic and beloved Shanghai dumpling –
I spent all day (literally!) yesterday making pork skin jelly, an essential component for making completely authentic. X
made possible only by the melting of the jelly during steaming. When I first learnt that the made from slow-cooked pig skin mit I was pretty repulsed. But they taste so good, and so in the interests of good food I have managed to overcome my repulsion and consume about 500 of the beauties.
Here’s how to make the jelly. The next post (my official entry) will tell you how to make the dumplings themselves.
2. Cut the skin into 3cm squares. Remove excess fat.
3. Combine the 8 cups of water, pork skin, and all the remaining ingredients in a stock pot. Bring to the boil.
4. Cook covered for 6-7 hours at a simmer until all the pig skin is dissolved. If the water level drops, top up with boiling water from time to time. When ready, you should have an opaque, milky liquid with scant small pieces of undissolved skin.
5. Strain and reserve the liquid. Refrigerate overnight.
6. When jelly is set, remove any solidified fat from the top. Chop into fine dice. Can be stored frozen for up to three months.
|After 1 hour|
|After 2 hours|
|After overnight refrigeration|
Shiny silver cleaver keepers! And just when I thought I might faint with sensory overload, I found just what I was after – a box of buffoon sticks for only 7.3 yuan. Little clowny cocktail favours on a stick, who looked a little like red-nosed KKK.
I love this book – Eveline has gotten right into the etymology, history, culture and colour of these swear words, and gives appropriate ways in which to use them, in case you use the wrong profanity with your landlady, for example. Interesting, but food features quite prominently.
– fool – literally ‘silly melon’
– knock it off – literally ‘rest vegetable’
– is your brain broken?
– get lost – literally ‘go away egg’
– bastard – literally ‘slacker egg’
! – f*** you
– you stupid f*** – literally ‘you’re a real f*** egg’
Now I just need to find a native speaker who’ll let me practice on them to get my tones right………..
(from Niubi! by Eveline Chow, published 2009 by Plume, a Penguin Group Publisher)
Voting has now opened for the first Project Food Blog Challenge. In case you missed my entry explaining it all Project Food Blog is going to whittle down the ranks of TWO THOUSAND food bloggers to just ONE over the next twelve weeks with 10 nail-biting challenges. It’s terrifying. I mean, think of those poor buggers on Australian Idol who get slammed by Kyle Sandilands before they even start singing. You can help me avoid a similar fate by signing on to Project Food Blog and voting!
This is my first entry for Project Food Blog, an incredibly fun competition involving two thousand food bloggers from all over the world and weekly knockout challenges. They’re looking for the next food blog star! You can vote (for me! for me!) by clicking on the link below and signing in. I’ll keep you posted about how it goes….!