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In Bed.

I ate chinese food Tuesday.

I went to China Moon, a buffet restaurant which I've not really been to in ages, because the quality went down about a year after it opened, but I was hungry and I wanted to remember times I ate there with Penny.

The fortune cookie was a double-yolker.

"You will soon be asked to join a team. Work cooperatively."

"You will continue to take chances and be glad you did."

Neither of these is especially auspicious when the "In Bed" rule is applied.

In other words, I am unreasonably pissed off about something that's generally my own damn fault, and, I've got a 9am interview in downtown Portland.


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 28th, 2006 01:05 pm (UTC)
I haven't had chinese food in a while. The only things I like are teriyaki beef bowls and kung pao chicken, and the crappy Pick Up Stix near me always has the toughest beef and the last time I had kung pao, I got a piece of gristle that soured me on it completely.

HOPEFULLY I can find a nice new chinese/japanese place (I don't eat sushi, can't stand seafood) around here and maybe get some beef and broccoli or something along those lines. Dammit, now I'm hungry, but I've got to go to bed. AND NOW I'M RAMBLING!
Dec. 28th, 2006 03:28 pm (UTC)

Chinese food is really easy to cook!
Dec. 28th, 2006 11:54 pm (UTC)
oh yeah? try to find a mandarin chicken recipe...the kind I'm looking for..not the weird orange based ones you find everywhere:(
Dec. 29th, 2006 03:33 am (UTC)
Mandarin style chicken? Well, there IS a bit of citron in most of them... lemme research.

OK. There isn't a 'traditional' mandarin chicken. The stuff was adapted here in America, probably from General Tso (aka "Ancestral House") Chicken, and often foregoes the heat completely, instead using a sweet-and-sour sauce mixed with mandarin oranges, applied to large cubes of chicken which have been essentially fried in tempura.

Here's Irene Kuo's szechuan recipe for tangarine peel chicken. (Mandarin Oranges not present!)
You'll need some hard to find ingredients, marked below.

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken, white or dark meat, or both, cubed into 1/2 to 3/4 inch cubes. If you are using dark meat, pound it lightly with the back of your chinese cleaver before you cut it up, to break up the long thready fibers.

2 tablespoons oil for frying
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon salt

Dry seasonings:
2 pieces dry tangerine peel (3 inches wide). If you want, dry your own peel or use fresh but remove most of the white part, if it's a thick peel.
4 dried chili peppers (dragon teeth)
1 medium whole scallion, finely chopped
4 quarter-size slices of peeled fresh ginger, minced
1/2 tsp roasted and crushed Szechuan peppercorns*

*These were hard to find after 9/11 for reasons that mostly had nothing to do with the terrorism, and mostly to do with some kind of plant disease.
They are utterly unlike regular peppercorns and there is no good substitute for them.
Roasting them is basically putting them into a hot cast-iron frying pan for 1-2 minutes until the smell develops, then dumping them into a dish and crushing them with a spoon or mortar.

Liquid seasonings:
2 tablespoons WINE RICE**
2 tablespoons dry sherry
2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
2 teaspoons sugar

**WINE RICE is a fermented glutinous rice, which comes in jars, soaking in its own alcohol. I suppose you could use a cloudy sake, or reduce some sake by half, if you can't find this.


Cube the meat as described above.
Soak the dried tangerine peel in hot water for 15 minutes (or 2 if you don't dry it). Cut lengthwise in to 1/8 inch wide shreds, and place them with the dried peppers, scallion, ginger, and szechuan peppercorns on a small plate or prep dish.

Place a piece of double-fold cheesecloth over a small bowl and measure the 2 tablespoons of Wine Rice onto the cheesecloth, then wring the cheesecloth to extract all the rice-y wine into the bowl. Discard the residual gritty stuff unless you want to toss it into your rice gruel.
Add the rest of the liquid ingredients to the bowl and stir to dissolve the sugar. Cover with cling wrap if you plan to do this ahead. You can do the preparations hours in advance.

Heat a wok or large, heavy skillet over high heat until hot, add the oil and sesame oil, and heat for about 30 seconds. Scatter in the chicken and and stir and flip rapidly to separate the cubes. Lower the heat to medium, add salt, stir in fast scooping and turning mitions for about 2 minutes until the meat loses all pinkness and the pan is pretty dry. Scrape in all the dry seasonings, and stir briskly to mingle, then pour in the liquids and stir briefly. Cover the pan, turn heat to extremely low, and let the meat smother in the low, moist heat for 15 minutes.

Turn heat back to high, and stir rapitly in sweeping motions until the meat is evenly colored and has absorbed most of the sauce, then pour onto a hot serving dish, with the red chili peppers on top.

There are several variations.

Most common recipes for 'mandarin chicken' are basically a sweet-and-sour sauce using mandarin orange juice and a bit of vinegar, and a green bell pepper diced the same size as the chicken, and sweet onion the same size dice, and maybe a single pepper that's removed about half-way through the cooking, and then teriyaki-battered, deep-fried chicken is tossed in the sauce.
Dec. 29th, 2006 06:53 am (UTC)
Yeah, that's not it.

There's a dish called "Mandarin Chicken" that can be found throughout the south...but not elsewehre, that's kind of a fried chicken in a brown sauce...but there's no citrus elements at all.
Dec. 29th, 2006 07:28 am (UTC)
That's not Mandarin Chicken.

That's fried chicken in brown sauce.

Looking further to see what it might have been before the mad wives of the south got their sweet-tea deranged mitts on it...
Dec. 29th, 2006 07:43 am (UTC)
OK, researching various states and the phrase "Mandarin Chicken" brought up a couple recipes with Hoisin Sauce used as a main element.

Can you describe this stuff more precisely? How is the chicken cut up? Is it breaded or in a batter before it's fried? Is it mixed with vegetables? Does it have more of a sweet, savory, or spicy taste?
Dec. 28th, 2006 04:29 pm (UTC)
Two of my favorite 'in bed' fortunes have been:

"Behind every capable man are other capable men."

"Any rough times are now behind you."
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )