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The Shanghai Binge: Howard’s Kitchen, Goga, The cook

I squeezed in a Shanghai weekend on my most recent trip to Beijing, and lived out the 36 Hour Food Marathon that I preached in an earlier post. Joining me in the shenanigans was my friend Tracey, who was happy to oblige when I asked her to come along for FREE. You see, I entered a contest a while back on CNNGo, asking readers to submit an overlooked restaurant in their Best Eats rankings in different cities. My entry for Gogawon for Shanghai, and the prize was a two night stay at the HoJo Plaza by the nice folks over at CNNGo. Of course, the stay wouldn’t have been complete without another visit to Goga to celebrate, so that’s what we planned. A weekend of leisure and repose, mixed in with some good food and wine.

What ended up transpiring was something I couldn’t have imagined in my wildest, most excessive dreams.

We did it big. Everything was over the top. Largess was the word, and we stopped short of nothing. There was free flow champagne and cigarettes. …

Jing | 30.03.11 at 11:00 AM |
Mapo Tofu - The Recipe • Jing Theory The grocery list, more or less The condiments at a glance Carefully cut the tofu into small cubes Plump and meaty king mushrooms, packed with umami Use the tips of fresh scallions An extremely hot wok is essential for this dish

Mapo Tofu – Recipe

Recipe for Mapo Tofu (vegetarian edition)

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of collaborating with recipe developer and fellow food blogger Yasmin at to develop our own spin on mapo tofu. Yasmin being a vegetarian, we got creative finding an alternate to the minced pork/beef commonly found in the dish. Mushrooms, king or shiitake, are the perfect replacement. Minced finely and deep fried in a soy sauce, vinegar and salt marinade, the pieces turn out beautifully crisp and with all the umami to pack as good a punch as any pork.

Here is the recipe.

150 g king or shiitake mushrooms
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tbs soy sauce
1 tsp Chinese red vinegar
1/4 c peanut, vegetable or canola oil, plus 1/4 c
1.5 lb (700 g) regular tofu, drained and cut into 3/4″ cubes (Small cubes are optimal for sauce coverage)
3 tbs chili paste
1 tbs soy bean paste
5 dried red chilies
1 tablespoon fermented black beans
2 tsp peeled and minced garlic
2 tsp peeled and minced ginger
1 cup…

Jing | 13.03.11 at 01:15 AM |
Rabbit • Jing Theory Start by hand-shredding the smoked rabbit meat into thin pieces.
Wash and shred fresh green bamboo stalks. They add a light, crunchiness which is key to this salad.
Other additions can include soaked and sliced wood ears, chopped chilli peppers, and scallions. Another essential: home made chili sauce. Apply liberally. My aunt keeps her homemade sauces and pickles in these beautiful jars.
The tops of the jars have a small basin around them which are lined with water to keep air from entering. This is how the pickles maintain their crispiness and colour. Add soy sauce, Chunking vinegar, a pinch of salt and sugar. Put all the ingredients in a pot and toss until the flavour is evenly spread.

A Rabbit From Sichuan

Some of my favourite meals of last year were the home-cooked feasts in my grandparent’s Guanghan apartment. I really do need to start posting my recent meals in Spain and Singapore, but I keep coming back to this.) After trapaising across Asia looking for the perfect meal, I have to say it came pretty close in that tiny fluorescent-lit kitchen. It was the simplicity of ingredients- local and seasonal, flavours – all home-made and artisanal condiments, and skillfulness in execution- recipes passed down over generations. Among the bountiful feast, the most memorable dish had to be 麻辣兔丁, spicy shredded rabbit. In celebration of my birth year, I thought it’d be an auspicious post for the occasion.

First, a bit on the rabbit’s place in Sichuan cuisine. Rabbits have long been a staple food for Sichuanese, and is widely found in takeout form. I’m not sure why, I suppose there are bands of wild bunnies reproducing fervently in rural fields…

Jing | 08.02.11 at 01:00 AM |


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