Thursday, November 24, 2016


Now that I've stocked up on chu hou paste (柱侯醬) from Amoy (淘大) and Patchun (八珍), I wanted to cook up a pot of Cantonese-style beef stew (蘿蔔燜牛腩) again. Just to experiment. The bottle of paste used the last round was not quite 'fragrant' enough and I had to add additional fermented bean paste and all.  I know the flavors of Amoy's chu hou paste. Decided to try Patchun's this round. Unfortunately I don't have access to those little markets and provision shops in Hong Kong that produce small batches of their home-made chu hou paste. Those are the best.

Work's been mad. Had no time to pop out to Tekka Market to get the cuts of beef needed from our trusted Joe's Butchery. Tendons, tripe, brisket, shank and oxtail. Made do with a quick zip into Meidi-ya (or Huber's, depending on which is more convenient) which always guarantees quality, but ends up rather pricey. 😐

Patchun's composition is fine, but it is salty!!! FWAAH. Luckily saltiness could be toggled. Hovered by the bubbling pot for the first 45 minutes to adjust the levels of salt versus initial flavors, giving it the necessary allowance for them to sink in when they would sit quietly for an hour after the big boil. If I nitpick anymore, I'd better make my own chu hou paste. Like I said, I cook via 'a pinch' or 'a dash'. Not pedantic about it. #ImpieCooks2016

I'm not particularly confident of cooking for friends though. Soups can lah. I mean, I certainly don't invite people'Oh I'm cooking, come over next Tuesday!' If they happen to crash my kitchen on a day when I'm cooking, and they randomly need food, then yes, they get to try it. By that rationale and timing, not even the BFF gets to sit down to eat my food. :P She's definitely not going to be forgiving if I screw up anything.

The man didn't seem to mind this version too. Aiyoh, he's just thrilled that I'm cooking. Dohh. Yes, I cook when I feel like it, not when it's needed or whatever. Hahaha. Beef stew, eggs sunny-side-up and a plate of French beans stir-fried with sambal were more than sufficient for a satisfying dinner. It was a good meal for a rainy evening. Fortifying for a night when both the man and I had to clear work papers till 1.30am.

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