How To Make Crispy Fried Chili Chips?


How To Make Crispy Fried Chili Chips? This is a bowl of crispy fried chilis and not much else. It’s a classic snack from Guizhou called xianglacui, because obviously, a province of chiliheads would find a way to munch on hot peppers like they’re potato chips.


But anyone that’s familiar with working with chilis could tell you that making something like a chili chip isn’t as straightforward
as it might seem.


See, dried chilis are naturally kind of hard and chewy, and on top of that, their pigments can degrade pretty fast in hot oil if you’re not careful. So this simple idea – a crispy chili chip – ends up taking a good bit of technique to pull off well.



So first, let’s talk chilis. In Guizhou, they’ll use a chili from Zunyi called “Zidantou” or bullet chili.


Now we don’t have any of those handy, and I’m 99% sure you don’t either so you can really use any type of dried chili you like as long as it’s fresh.


See, when we were testing this, we first tried these the bog-standard sort of dried cayenne that's sold at our local markets herein
Guangdong which’ve been stuffed in a bag for god knows how long.



They lost their color almost immediately after hitting the frying oil, and the flavor wasn’t too great either.


So we ended up using these – Guizhou chicken claw peppers, which kind of taste like a cross between cayenne and kashmiri.


They’re not traditional but they did work the best for us because they were the freshest chili we had.



So really, feel free to use Arbols, Cayennes, whatever’s convenient but for best results just use the sort that you might actually, like, know when they were harvested.


So then just grab 90 grams of your chili of choice and snip off the stems and tips.


Then cut that at a 30-degree angle or so to get one-inch pieces.



This’s cut at an angle so that the filling can more easily slide into the chili – more on that in just a second.


For this amount here snipping these can be a bit of a chore, so definitely enlist any available friends and fiances.


Then just pour enough hot, boiled water to submerge your now snipped chilis and let those sit for about half an hour.



So right, filling. See, chilis aren’t starchy so they won’t get all nice and crispy without a bit of help – here, in the form of some
flour and sesame seeds.


So that’ll be six tablespoons of sesame seeds, raw, untoasted three tablespoons of all-purpose flour, three tablespoons of cornstarch, and one teaspoon salt.


This coat and slightly fill the chilis to give them some of that missing crunch so just set that aside for now.



Back to the chilis unless you’re some kind of masochist, it’s a good idea to de-seed.


Now, for most chilis – arbols, heaven facing,zunyi bullet, cayennes – you would probably deseed these when dry.


We just had to do this now because the dried chicken claw is like super wrinkly and so alot easier to deseed when wet.


But either way, now just let the chilis drain and dry for about fifteen minutes.



After that quicker breather, grab the biggest bowl you have – a popcorn bowl like this is perfect – and toss in the sesame coating
and your chilis.


Then coat those by continuously pulling from the bottom up.


This slight twisting motion allows some of our coating to enter the chilis, which’s what’ll make this feel crispy.


In the end, you’re looking for something more or less like this.



So now, to fry. In a wok, get about three cups of oil up to about 130 centigrade and drop in your chilis, bit by bit.


This lower the temperature, which is fine and expected.


Just keep your flame high enough so that your oil stays at around 90 to 100 degrees, which was medium-low on our stove.



This might feel like a very low frying temperature and that’s because it is a low frying temperature.


Hot oil will scald your chilis.


Now, depending on the type of chilis you’re working with, there’s going to be this massive variance in how long that'll take.


After about eight minutes, if you’re working with less than fresh chilis, they’ll already be cooked and crispy.


These guys though? Just getting started.



See, the timing is gunna completely depend on the moisture content of your peppers.


We’re waiting for that moisture to evaporate, which’s why our frying oil is right about 100 centigrade and no higher.


For many of you, I’m guessing your chilis be done at about the fifteen-minute mark, but for us, these Guizhou chicken
claws were just starting to get stiff so, we gotta keep on frying.



At the 25 minute mark, the chili was finally starting to get crispy, and you can start to see a couple of chilis beginning to lose their color a bit.


At this point, much of the moisture’s already evaporated, so our frying oil’s starting to quickly inch up past 100.


We like to take these guys out once the oil gets up to about 130ish or roughly three minutes after that point.



So then lay those out on a paper towel lined tray and these are ready for seasoning.


Now this seasoning mix here is awesome,and honestly? really makes the dish.


To make it, first, toast a tablespoon of Sichuan peppercorn and a half tablespoon of fennel seed over a medium-low flame for about two minutes or until they start to smell really nice.



Then transfer over to a mortar and toss in a teaspoon of salt together with a half tablespoon of each sugar and MSG and grind that all together for about two minutes.


Now just sprinkle that seasoning all over everything, give it a quick mix, and remove the paper towels. Continue to toss for a couple of minutes so that everything’s good and cooled down, and with that, your chili chips are done.



Put any you don’t devour immediately into an airtight container to store.


So in Guizhou, together with this crispy chili people would put other crispy fried stuff in for example peanuts or small dried fish.
or meat jerky.


So you can use this as a base and then put stuff in that you think that it may work.



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How To Make Yunnan Pounded Mashed Potato?


How To Make Yunnan Pounded Mashed Potato? So if you’re new to Yunnan food, I’m guessing ‘chewy’ might not be the first adjective that springs to mind when you think of the word ‘potato’.


But stay with me here.


See, everyone the world over wants a smooth mashed potato, and this Hani pounded potato definitely fits that bill.


If you’re familiar with the classic Western mash, you probably know how most chefs tend to crack that nut.


And listen, I’m definitely not one of those health food guys, I’m not judging.


But for me personally?


After one bite equal part butter and potato, I’m ready to take a nap, and after a serving, I’m basically good to hibernate the winter.


These Yunnan potatoes approach the problem a bit differently.


The potatoes are pounded until smooth, which simultaneously gives it this chewy/springy texture then loads the thing up with chilis and herbs.


And even if you wind up still preferring a rich buttery mash in the end, what is for certain is that this dish employs some really
a cool technique that can also help us understand the humble potato a bit better.


So right, to get started let’s talk potato.



While there are some exceptions, usually most mashed potato dishes call for something super floury like a Russet or maybe an all-purpose like a Yukon Gold.


This mashed potato is one of those exceptions – you’ll need about three hundred grams of the waxiest potato you can find.


Not only are floury potatoes not good here – they won’t even work, and we’ll go over why in just a minute.


Today we’re using Yunnan small potato they’re quite similar in consistency to Red Bliss, which are also sometimes used.


So wash and remove any sprouts from your potatoes, then toss on a rapidly bubbling steamer. Alternatively,in the oven wrapped with tin foil would also totally work, up to you, but steaming’s more traditional so that’s just the route we went.


Then just let those steam until cooked through for about twenty minutes.


After that time, shut off the heat, take them out and let them cool down to the point where they’re no longer hot to the touch.


Then just grab the potatoes and peel them by hand.


We’re doing this now because if you peeled beforehand, the potato would absorb too much moisture when steaming, making it very difficult to develop the smooth, chewy consistency we’re looking for.


And then with these peeled, now, we can pound.


So. No matter what, you’re gonna need a mortar and pestle for this recipe one that’s big enough to work a potato in.


In an ideal world, we’d be using one of those massive mortars that they pound with in Yunnan and Thailand but this guy work just fine so long as we start by going one potato at a time.


Then just buckle in and get comfortable,because we’ll be pounding this for ten to fifteen minutes.


Now, two minutes in, you can start to see that the potato’s already beginning to break down and become sticky, forming this really
satisfying to pound elastic sort of consistency.


What’s going on here’s really quite interesting.


See, for comparison sake, here’s what happens if we used Yukon Gold instead.


After that same amount of time, two minutes, the potato’s slightly sticky but nothing like our waxy Yunnan potato.


And then if you tried to do the same thing with a floury potato like a Russet?


Get ready for an exercise in futility.


So this kind of bothered me for a bit.


A floury potato like a Russet contains more starch, so you’d think that it’d actually end up being better for this kind of thing.


So it’s not just a matter of percent starch, there’s actually something inherent to the quality of ‘waxiness’ that lets the potato
become elastic.


But then, even though you hear it all the time, what exactly is waxiness?


So. Quick refresher: “starch” is a mix of two polymers; amylose and amylopectin.


Both molecules are chains of glucose the difference is in the structure amylose is basically one long line or spiral, while amylopectin’s highly branched and resembles more of a web.


For most natural sources of starch, you’re usually looking at between 10-30% amylose, but there are some plants that’ve been cultivated to be almost purely amylopectin – these plants are called “waxy”.


There’s a variety of waxy corn, there’s waxy rice a.k.a. sticky rice, and recently they’ve even developed waxy wheat.


So why does pounding the waxy potato work,while a floury one just makes a mash?


Turning to the ever-eminent Harold McGee: pounding or kneading reorganizes the bushy amylopectin into an intermeshed mass that’ll resists changes in its structure.


In other words, it makes it smooth and chewy.


This is the same idea as pounding Mochi in Japan, or how Niangao rice cakes are made elsewhere in China.


So look at what happens if we add a touch of steamed sticky rice to our previously uncooperative floury potato.


It almost immediately starts to get sticky and after ten minutes of pounding, it’s almost indistinguishable from the waxy Yunnan potato after the same amount of time.


But regardless, you’re looking to stop pounding here once the small potato bits are almost all broken down and formed into this silky uniform whole.


Again, this should take about ten minutes, but if your end goal is something a bit more reminiscent of a classic Western mash, feel free to stop and taste after five.


Then, season with a quarter teaspoon salt, a pinch of MSG, and a quarter teaspoon of Sichuan peppercorn powder.


Mix that in, and if you like, you could also add a sprinkle of anise powder, which’s also pretty classic here.


Then for the herbs, you’ve got some choices.


Unfortunately, specifically for these Hani mashed potatoes, probably the most classic addition would be something called piecangen, which’s the root of a type of jiucai Chinese chives.


Another common herb would be some sawtooth coriander aka culantro, which I know can sometimes be another relatively annoying item to source.


So to sub those, for our version here we’re using a mix of 20 grams green garlic, and you could alternatively use jiucai, 20 grams of cilantro to sub the culantro,and of course two cloves of garlic together with one fresh heaven facing chili. and Thai bird’s eye would also work just fine.


So mince the garlic, slice the chili, cut the green garlic, and ditto with the cilantro.


If you can buy cilantro with the stem attached, by the way, be sure to include that too – it’s got a lot of taste.


So now just add in your chopped herbs of choice, give it another brief pound to mix, and out.


And with that, your Yunnan-pounded mashed potatoes are done.


So pounding is a very common cooking method in Yunnan, and there’s a bunch of different styles of pounded potatoes and this is
more of a Hani people’s version of it, they call it “Yangyu Baba”, baba means something that’s soft and chewy.


And there are some other styles that they just like mash things together real quick and that bear more resemblance to the old grandma’s mashed potato style.


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Three Chinese Pasta Shapes Tips


Three Chinese Pasta Shapes Tips.we wanted to show you how to whip up some northwestern-style noodles.


Now, the Chinese northwest’s got a pretty insane depth and breadth of various noodles and it’d be impossible to cover them all.


So we’ll focus on three types of noodles that's some of the more commonly seen in home kitchens: the simple, classic mianpian or “noodle sheets”, some ‘cat ear’ noodles – which’re probably the sort that we love the most, and finally the ever-popular daoshaomian or ‘knife cut noodles’.


Then to use those up? We’ll show you how to make an awesome noodle soup called huimian, which’s probably my personal favorite order when I’m at a Northwest-style noodle shop.


So first, let’s talk dough. Nothing crazy here – all you’ll need is flour, salt, and water. Both the noodle sheets and cat ear noodles use the same exact dough, which be 200 grams of either all purpose or noodle flour, a half teaspoon of salt, and 92 grams of water.


Just drizzle the water in bit by bit, stirring and aiming for the dry bits.



Then once it’s all incorporated and everything’s looking all shaggy knead that by hand for ten minutes, or alternatively use a stand
mixer on speed two for the same amount of time.


Then once it comes together and forms a smooth dough, cover, and let that rest for half an hour.


Knife cut noodles, meanwhile, use an extremely similar dough but at lower hydration.


We went with 40% hydration, or 80 grams of water for these 200 grams of flour but full disclosure that many traditional knives cut noodle doughs seem to go much dryer. Just combine in the same way, knead in the same way and set aside for 30 minutes in the same way.



So. Mianpian noodle sheets up first.


To make it, just press this all down and start to roll the thing out into a big sheet.


Just go until it’s about 2 millimeters thick then slice your sheet into two-inch wide ribbons.


Then line up a few ribbons and cut those at an angle to get diamonds.


And that’s it.


These are ready to drop in some boiling water.


Next, cat ears. For these, first roll the dough out thin, just like the sheets but you don’t need to be as paranoid about thickness:
3-4 millimeters will be good enough for government work.



So then just slice those into inch and a half ribbons, flour those up, and cut into inch and a half squares.


Now you can absolutely shape these with nothing but your hands but in order to get things all pretty, cat ear noodles often use some sort of set-up like this – the noodle square’s placed on the wood, and the shape gives it these really cool grooves.


Definitely not mandatory though.


If you’re using your hands, to make a cat ear just grab a noodle square, and push down and out with your thumb.


This motion gives the noodle its signature curl.


If you do happen to have a cat ear noodle maker though, the process’s even easier – just put a square on the wood, and twist down and away to get those cool little grooves.



If you don’t have that – and, why would you I guess, you can mimic it with a sushi mat.


Just curl the noodles by hand same as before the grooves’ll be a touch wider, but still turn out great.


So just work through your noodles,and these cat ears are good to cook.


Lastly the knife cut noodles.



And unfortunately, these do take some special equipment.


Now,what they use at noodle shops is one of these special knives called a piandao.


It’s a thin sharp knife bent in the middle so that the dough can travel down the groove and make a noodle.


They’re not the easiest to work with, so many home cooks use an alternative gadget called a dantoudao.


It basically looks like a fancy vegetable peeler and tends to do a better job with small batches of dough.


Point is – don’t try to make this without a tool that can get the job done.



But if you’re feeling handy?


Whatever. Whack an old knife, MacGuiver a solution, go for it.


Now, knife-cut noodles get cut straight into the pot so let’s start by showing you how to use a piandao. Before we get into it,
word of warning that we’re not master noodle masters and we usually use our dantoudao, so please go easy on us.


The basic idea though to start near the bottom and with the knife parallel to the dough slice using a quick up and down motion.


The key is to move quickly and with confidence.


That said, as you can see using the dantoudao is way easier, so definitely go that route if you can source one.


Then once you get to the end, just tear everything into little pieces, and cook it all for about three minutes or until a touch
past al dente.


So right. Huimian. Super simple quick soup, first put a quarter of a cup of oil in a pot– and definitely don’t skimp on the oil.


Then over a high flame go in with 3 cloves of minced garlic and 2 inches of minced ginger, and fry those for about thirty seconds until fragrant.


Then go in with two peeled and diced tomatoes, give those a quick mix and toss in one tablespoon of tomato paste which is a real ingredient in northwest cooking, we swear.


Continue frying that over a high flame until the minced tomatoes have mostly broken down and everything’s looking saucy then swirl a tablespoon of liaojiu a.k.a.


Shaoxing wine over your spatula and around the sides of the wok.


Quick mix, then do the same move with one tablespoon of light soy sauce.


We’ll be tossing in five grams worth of dried and reconstituted wood ear mushroom, giving that a quick mix, then going in with 100 grams of firm tofu cut into one inch cubes.


Mix and cook for about thirty seconds, then toss in four cups of water.


A season that with a teaspoon of five-spice powder and a teaspoon of salt and bring it all up to a boil then cover, swap the flame to medium and let it simmer for 15 minutes.


After that time, bring it back to a boil,and go in with your noodle of choice.


Give that a mix, cover, and cook for about 90 seconds.


Then we’ll go in with 70 grams of sliced baby bok choy, two scrambled eggs, and one sliced mild chili.


Quick mix, taste, and add a bit more salt if you think it needs it.


Then finally top that all with 3 tablespoons of chili oil.


To be completely honest, today we were feeling a bit lazy and just used the oil from some Laoganma chili crisp, but making
a proper homemade chili oil would definitely be the most correct move.


Quick mix, out and your Huimian is done.


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How To Make Zaolajiao?


We wanna show you how to make zaolajiao? fermented chili sauce.


So Zaolajiao is a chili sauce commonly seen in southwest China.


You may’ve heard it as ‘Zaolazi’ in Yunnan or the more common and popular ‘Duojiao’ from Hunan.


For the chili sauce in these regions, they’re more or less the same.


The difference usually lies in the chili cultivar they use and the ingredient ratio.



For example, in Hunan they would use a spicier ‘xiaomila’ cultivar and more salt, resulting in a spicier and saltier chili sauce, while
in Guizhou they would use a ‘xianjiao’


cultivar and have a more sour note from the lacto fermentation.


And given how crazy we’re into Guizhou food, we’re making the Guizhou version.


First, let’s talk cultivars.


In Guizhou, they would use this kind of chili that’s called ‘Xianjiao’.



It kind of tastes like a mix between Kashmiri and Sichuan erjingtiao.


For you, you can use a mix of Kashmiri for color, and cayenne for heat.


And for a note on how to use dried chilis,check the description box.


Now first carefully pick your chilis, toss any rotten or broken ones, we want the fine ones only.


Now, gently pick off the green string on your chilis, be careful don’t break the cap, we want the chilis to be intact.



Otherwise, water may get inside when washing and makes the drying process much longer.


Next, washing the chilis.


Get the biggest bucket or pot you have, fill in with water and toss the chilis in.


Give it a gentle shake, take it out on a container, then repeat the process three times.


After washing, we’ll need to dry them.



Take a big bamboo mesh or any wide container you have, spread the chilis out, preferably in the sun to speed it up, we need the washing water on the surface to completely evaporate.


It took us 3~4 hours under the sun on a hot summer day, it may take longer if it’s cloudy or cooler.


Remember to give them a couple of flips every once in a while to help them dry off evenly.


Now the chili surface is completely dry, we can move onto the fun step, cutting, or as they call it in Guizhou, ‘zai lajiao’


First, let’s weigh our chilis.



We need to know how much the chili weighs in order to decide the number of other ingredients.


Our chili is 1.8kg, which means we’d need 180g garlic and 180g ginger.


Peel your ginger and garlic, roughly chop into chunks, and set aside.


Next, the chilis.


First, we’ll cut the chilis into about 1-inch sections, and then toss those into a blender.



Then pulse into about half centimeter bits, but don’t be too ambitious with the pulsing we want small bits, not a paste.


Now work through your chilis, tossing in the garlic and ginger along the way, and remember to wear gloves if your chilis are very spicy.


OK finally, we’ve worked through our chilis and aromatics.


Next, we’ll need to mix in salt and liquor.



Add in 90g salt and 36g sugar onto the chili, and then 90g of baijiu liquor and combine well.


We’re actually using a nicer bottle of baijiu here, but feel free to use a cheap erguotou, or maybe gin if that’s all you can get.


Jar it up with this kind of cool pickling jars or any air-tight container you have.


Cover, and fill the outer ring with water to seal it, set it in a cool dry place that sunlight couldn’t get to, let time do its
thing, come back at least 15 days later.


And 15 days later, the moment of truth.



A successful batch would smell wonderful, with an awesome fragrance coming from the mix of aromatics, chili, salt, baijiu, and time.


We’d usually take out a small portion into a mason jar, put it in the fridge for easier access, and let the jar keep on fermenting.


Before we go, let’s talk a little bit about maintenance.


When making pickles and fermented sauces like this, remember to keep all your utensils free of oil and water.



If you’re using pickling jars like this, you’ll need to refill water to the ring every week when the water level is low.


Sometimes if you see dust or something’s collecting in the water, you’d want to dip it out and add back fresh water.


After a while, the ring may be a bit slimy or even growing mold - don’t panic, just toss the water, wipe the dirty part with rubbing
alcohol, then refill it with fresh water.


The same thing when the inside of the jar gets slimy or moldy, wet a paper towel with baijiu because no one wants rubbing alcohol taste in their chili sauce, right?


And just carefully clean the dirty bits off.



So right, this is how you make zaolajiao chili sauce.


It’s a simple but pretty awesome sauce,it’s one of those things that homemade beats store-bought.


Give it a try and you’ll be rewarded with a versatile sauce that goes well on so many things.


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How To Make Rice Tofu?


How To Make Rice Tofu? Rice Tofu is a classic from the Chinese southwest, and despite the name doesn’t contain a lick of soybean.  


This is a rice product through and through – and while there is a ton of ways to eat this stuff, one of our all-time favorites is in the Guizhou style, smothered in a mountain of chili sauce.


Now, rice tofu is one of those dishes that was probably borne out of necessity. 


You see, in China, farmers are contracted to sell a portion of each rice crop to the chubeiliang [储备粮], the State granary system, 
where it stays in case of famine for three years.



It’s a system that’s pretty much as old as the Chinese state is, dating all the way back to the start of the Qin dynasty.


But. Assuming no famines, at the end of those three years that rice will be a bit of a different beast than when it started.


See, as rice sits in storage, the grains start to form this thick skin making the rice harder, dryer, and less sticky when cooked. 


Old granary rice is one of the cheapest prices you can buy at a Chinese market.  


But sometimes – sometimes, that hard rice curse can also be a blessing.



For example, for Cantonese Cheong Fun [肠粉], the rice batter pretty much requires old rice in order to get it to its characteristic smooth, slippery texture. 


Rice Tofu is also in that tradition – a way to transform that cheap granary rice into something truly special.


So right. I promise, there’s nothing really magic about the aging process – if you just happen to have some old rice from 2018 sitting there in the back of your cabinet, congratulations.



But for most of us, while I don’t think you’ll ever be able to find any old Chinese granary rice, what you can buy pre-aged is Basmati.


Prized in Indian cooking, and for this recipe, also works beautifully.


So. To 100 grams of aged Basmati rice, first toss in two grams of calcium hydroxide, that is, pickling lime together with a bit of water.


Pickling lime is the same stuff that’s used to make masa, and a quick three-hour soak here’ll help break down the grain and also give your rice tofu a nice bite to it in the end.



So then three hours later, the rice will be nice and yellow and the grains should be able to easily break apart in your fingers.


So then next, we’ll need to wash all that alkaline right off.  


And with this step? You’ll really wanna do a bang-up job because any leftover lime’ll give your rice tofu a soapy, bitter taste in the end.


Just continue this process until the water runs completely clear, about ten times, then let it drain.



So next. Add your now-drained rice to a blender along with 250 milliliters of water, and blitz on high for 3 minutes, scraping 
down the sides once or twice.


Then once your base there’s good and blended, it’s time to settle on your final rice tofu-water ratio.


You see, depending on the recipe, rice tofu is made with anywhere from a 2.5 to 1 water to rice ratio all the way up to 7.5.


Rice-heavy rice tofu, like the one here on the left, is firmer and a bit more ‘rice cake-y’, while the more water-heavy sort has a more jiggly tofu-like texture.  



Totally up to you, but because of Steph’s undying love for all things jiggly for us today we’ll be adding another 500 mL of water in order to produce the latter.


Mix well, and it’s ready to cook.


So again, either way, to a saucepan toss in your rice batter and swap the flame to high.  


Keep stirring this non-stop, and once the batter’s just started to begin to thicken, or about 50 degrees centigrade, swap your flame to medium-low.


Keep stirring your batter incessantly until the starch fully gelatinizes which should take about 15 minutes.



It’s very important to make sure that the starch here is fully cooked else your end product wind up mushy.


You’ll know it’s done one the batter is no longer mealy tasting and Steph’ll have a few more tips on how to judge doneness at the end of the video.


Then once you get to that point, pour it in a bowl, and leave that in the fridge for at least four hours or, alternatively, overnight. 


So next day now, add a touch of water to the sides of your bowl to loosen it right up, remove, and slice your rice tofu into about 
one inch sheets.


Then slice those sheets in half lengthwise, half again in the other direction, and stack those up to the sauce.



So right. The make the sauce then, this dish usually uses a 1:1 mix of two types of chilis oil – a Guizhou-style Youlajiao [油辣椒] chili sauce on the left, and a hongyou [红油] red chili oil on the right.


And while a quality version of the former is available internationally in the form of Lao Gan Ma’s Hot Chili in Oil, hongyou usually needs to be made at home.



And while we do have a recipe for the stuff up here, today we were feeling a bit on the lazy side and opted for a shortcut.


So. Shortcut. To a saucepan first toss in two tablespoons of oil – this was Sichuan caiziyou [菜籽油] but peanut would also work great – and heat that up until smoking.


Then, shut off the heat, and let that come down to about 180 Celsius, and add in two tablespoons of Lao Gan Ma Hot Chili.



Give that a good mix, pour it out, and - while not exactly the same -will be good enough for our purposes here I promise.


Then to that just toss in a tablespoon of soy sauce, half a tablespoon dark Chinese vinegar, a quarter teaspoon salt, eighth teaspoon sugar, and a pinch of MSG half teaspoon Sichuan peppercorn powder, and two cloves of minced garlic.


Mix that well and if you’re feeling fancy or making YouTube thumbnails like us first spoon the liquid around your rice tofu then 
smother it with the solids sprinkle on a bit of chopped cilantro and scallion and with that, you’ve got yourself some Guizhou-style rice tofu.



So. It’s very important to be able to tell if the starch is cooked.


One way you can learn about it is, first – get about a teaspoon of cornstarch, mixing it with about two tablespoons of lukewarm,  ~50C water… mix that well, taste it. 



And remember that pasty, mealy texture.  


And then take another teaspoon of cornstarch, toss it in with about three or four tablespoons of hot boiling water and the cornstarch will form into a transparent little ‘gloop’.  



Take that gloop out, bite into it, and you will feel it’s kind of like chewy have some kind of resistance, but nothing like pasty or mealy. 


And that’s what cooked starch should taste like.


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