Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Mido's Lunch

Mido is Hub's cousin who is also Huiyi's cousin--get the connection? Their fathers are brothers, Mido's dad being the youngest, Huiyi's dad's the oldest and Hub's dad the middle one.

Mido's hub is a great cook, having paid for cooking lessons a long time ago with 'the original masters'. We were treated to a wonderful dinner at their home, also in a longtang, and there were 11 dishes including the soup and dessert, for 6 of us. We protested that there was too much food but by the end of the meal, only about 25% of what was laid on the table was left! I gained 1.3 kg in 7 days even though I didn't eat any rice (rice is usually not served when there are so many dishes) and walked more than  4 hours daily. At one point I swore I'll never go to SH again if they feed me like that (ungrateful huh) but looking at these photos, I wish I'm there again.

What a delicious lunch! In case you wondered, the drink is cucumber and pear juice--I loved it. The Chinese like to snack on cucumbers, considered a cooling food, especially in the summer.

Steamed bahyeh hohtui, Chinese ham slices steamed over fresh tofu sheets called bahyeh.

 I've never had this dish cooked this way--steamed--because my MIL usually makes a tasty soup called yindooxin, for special occasions.

Chinese ham (someone wrote me and said she/he was unaware of the existence of Chinese ham. Well, I'm not surprised if the Chinese were the first to make ham. They also have xen rou, salty pork, which is Chinese bacon)  is somewhat similar in flavor to parma ham but very different in texture--Chinese ham is dry, hard and coarser.

Chopped boiled chicken with flavored salt.

This is regular boiled chicken but served with a dipping sauce made of a flavored salt mixed with sesame oil. You can use Season's Spicy Bake Mix and sprinkle it over the chopped chicken or if you don't mind the extra oil, lightly heat some sesame oil and pour into a spoonful of the said mix to make the dipping sauce.

Fried gaobak.

It must be the season for these gaobak shoots because we had them at every meal. Lightly flavored with a soft crunch, this is a delicious veg best stir-fried.

Luya, soy-braised duck.

This is one of the best ways to cook duck. I have a recipe which makes excellent luya too.

Lotus root stuffed with glutinous rice in osmanthus syrup.

My MIL makes this sometimes and I've grown to like it especially on this trip where this dish appeared on the table many times. Mido's longtang house is newer and very pleasant, and while we were eating, the scent of osmanthus drifted in from her neighbor's tree. The air was cool, the long French doors with their gauzy curtains waved and it was just so nostalgic and beautiful. I wished the radio was playing some Shanghainese club music from the 40s but the TV was on instead.

Crabs with asparagus

I told you the guy can cook.

Steamed prawns on mung bean vermicelli.

I like this dish by Mido and I'm going to re-create it Thai-style. Isn't this a pretty way to present a simple dish of prawns?

Stirfried fish.

I've forgotten the name of the fish but it was a live river fish, as all fish would be if you ate fish in China and Hong Kong. The Chinese are very particular about their seafood--it must be alive and jumping.

Stir-fried sprouts.

At the market, I noticed that all the veg were very tender, most of them sprouts and young leaves. Kailan and choysum in western countries are as big as a tree branches (horror) but in Shanghai, they are less than the length of my palm. You'd want your veg to be tender so that they fry quickly without loosing their flavor and nutrients.

Sichuan-inspired fish soup.

Mido said this was her version of 'water-cooked fish'. Instead of oil and fried chilies, she used home-made chicken stock because her parents couldn't eat hot spicy food. Hmm, since they don't have access to blogs outside the country (and Google &YouTube), I can say here that Mido's version is a tasty fish soup but nothing exciting like the real Sichuan 'water-cooked' fish. I like the fen pi (clear flat noodles) she added to the soup.

Tang yuen with jiu niang and osmanthus.

Jiu niang is glutinous rice in the process of fermenting into rice wine. My FIL loves this and wanted us to bring some home but liquid being banned on flights prevented us from carrying some home.

Mido's lunch (yes, 11 dishes for lunch) taught me that when entertaining dinner guests, I should cook more variety of dishes in smaller amounts instead of cooking about 6 or 7 big dishes. It's more work and Chinese dinners are harder on the cook than western dinners because the dishes have to be fried and served immediately  which is stressful and leaves you hot with an oily, shiny face but makes your guests feel pampered.


Anonymous said...

WOW!!! Enough said.

Johnathan Oh said...

Droolz~ Terri, you are evil~

red | hongyi said...

ming and i are drooling reading this

i want the lotus root one, the bean spout, and the gaobak...coz i dont want innocent animals to end up in my stomach

Heather Sario-Mahi said...


I want!

Precious Pea said...

What a feast!! You are so so so lucky! Really got me drooling.

tina said...

Mouth watering dishes... you lucky gal!

terri@adailyobsession said...

r: didn't u see how fat i've become??

johnoh:i am, n i get more evil in the upcoming posts...

yi: i still like my wagyu.

heather: come back!

pp: so are you, melb's a great place for food too. am waiting to surprise you :))

tina: i dunno tina, i am so FAT now.

Smart Payment Plan said...

The crab and shrimp looks so delicious!. I would love to know how to cook authentic dishes like that!

Sabrina said...

Oh my! Everytime I read your Posts about shanghainese food, I miss my mother! These are all the things she told me she grew up eating. How my grandma used to cook extravagant shanghainese meals using those ingredients. Things that i always heard of but never got to taste or I did long ago in taiwan.Things I could relate to.
Have not visited your blog in yonks! It was a great feeling being able to read sooo many fantastic archives! =D

terri@adailyobsession said...

sabrina: isn't it a privilege to hav a shanghainese mom bc u can appreciate more variety of food.

the lunch guy said...

put me on the list so they let me in the door ............

when i was in Canton in '88 i went to the qing ping market which is touted to be the largest in all of China (which is an amazing thing if true).

they had live fish that were butterflied alive and laying open in baskets that had running water and air pumps in them to keep the fish breathing. similar to how you would see a vegetable or piece of fruit that is cut open for display. if the fish were dead no one would buy them.

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