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Cold Foods for Qingming Festival

Chris and Jeff prepare dishes best served cold! Spicy Peanut Sesame Noodles, Cold Cucumber Salad, Jennifer’s Bean Curd Stick Salad, Pickled Cabbage, and Sauced beef (酱牛肉 jiàng niú ròu).

Sauced Beef (酱牛肉 jiàng niú ròu)

  • 1 kg (~2 pounds) Beef Shank or Brisket
  • 180g Sweet bean paste (forgot to include this on the slide in the video!!)
  • 40g rock sugar
  • 50g (3 Tbsp) Light Soy Sauce
  • 50g (3 Tbsp) Dark Soy Sauce
  • 100g (~1/2 cup) Shao xing wine
  • 6g (1 tsp) salt
  • 1 large or 2 small black cardamom pods
  • 2g (2 tsp) Sichuan peppercorn
  • 2g (1 tsp) whole cumin seed
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 1 large piece of dried tangerine peel
  • 1-inch thumb of fresh ginger, crushed
  • water to cover the meat
  1. Marinate the meat in a couple teaspoons of soy sauce overnight.
  2. Place meat in a pot of cold water and bring to a boil. After 2 minutes max, drain water and rinse it to remove the froth and other loose bits.
  3. In a pot or in an instant pot pressure cooker, assemble the braising liquid, add the meat. For a stovetop cooking, bring to a simmer, covered and check every hour adding more water if the braising liquid isn’t covering the meat. Cook for about 4 hours. In a pressure cooker, set for 2 hours of cooking at high pressure, then either a manual or natural release (either is fine).
  4. Transfer meat to another large bowl, and strain the braising liquid into the bowl, discard the solids. Allow to cool, cover, and refrigerate for a day. Slice thinly to serve, cold.

Spicy peanut sesame noodles

  • starts at 13:26
  • 8 oz Chinese wheat noodles
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon hot sesame oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  1. Cook noodles
  2.  While the noodles, make the sauce by adding the maple syrup, peanut butter, sesame oil, and hot sesame oil into a food processor and pulse it until it becomes a smooth sauce.
  3. When the noodles are cooked, drain them and transfer to a bowl of cold water to cool the noodles.
  4. Drain the noodles, add them to a bowl, and toss with the sauce to coat. Garnish with bell peppers and sesame seeds.

Cold Cucumber Salad

  • starts at 22:08
  •  1 English cucumber
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed and minced
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon hot sesame oil
  • sesame seeds for garnish
  1. Mix all ingredients except cucumber to make the dressing in a bowl.
  2. Trim the ends of the cucumber then cut it into 4-inch lengths, then crush them with the flat of a cleaver or some other flat implement.
  3. Add crushed cucumber to the bowl, and toss with the dressing.
  4. Allow to marinate for an hour or more to allow the dressing to fully work into the smashed cucumber.

Jennifer's Bean Curd Stick Salad

  • starts at 27:47
  • 2 cups Bean curd stick, rehydrated and cut into 1.5-inch pieces
  • 1 cup celery, cut into 1 inch strips
  • 1 part wood ear mushroom. rehydrated, sliced into strips
  • 2 tablespoons Chinese Black Zhenjiang vinegar
  • 1 part Soy sauce
  • 1 part Toasted Sesame oil
  • 1/3-part Sugar
  1. Soak the Bean curd stick in cold water for at least 6-8 hours, then drain and cut into 1.5 inch pieces
  2. Soak the wood ear mushrooms in cold water for an hour, then drain and slice into 1/4-inch strips
  3. Slice the stalks of celery lengthwise into three long strips, then cut those into 1 to 1.5-inch strips.
  4. Mix the vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, and sugar to make a dressing.
  5. Toss the bean curd stick, celery and wood ear mushrooms with the dressing.

Pickled Cabbage

  • starts at 30:52
  • 1/4 head of cabbage, torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 large carrot, slice
  • 1 fresno chili pepper, seeded and sliced thinly
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • Pickling liquid
    • 2 cups water
    • 1 cup rice wine vinegar
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 2 cloves garlic
    • 3-4 dried red chilis
  1. In a large bowl, mix cabbage, carrot, Fresno chili pepper, and salt. Toss to evenly distribute the salt. Place a couple smaller bowls on top of the cabbage to weigh it down, and let this sit for about an hour.
  2. Mix the pickling liquid and bring to a boil, then allow to cool.
  3. After the cabbage has rested for an hour, transfer to a colander and rinse throughly to remove the salt.
  4. Transfer the cabbage into a ziplock bag and add the cooled pickling liquid. Press out as much of the air from the bag as you can, then seal and refrigerate for a day.

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