Monthly Archives: October 2003

醩鴨舌

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醩雞 薯格 臘肉荷蘭豆 竹蓀煨鴨舌 羅宋湯

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Filed under 梅玺阁菜照

Zhu Qi and Xiao Xiao came for dinner, I prepared the dinner from morning. The chicken was pickled by real distillers’ grains instead of pickle sauce. The duck tongue was really time consuming; I had to clean the tongue and get rid of all non-edible parts and three hours cooking.

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醩雞
Pickled chicken by distillers’ grains

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薯格
Potato

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臘肉荷蘭豆
Holland bean with soya sauce pickled meat

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竹蓀煨鴨舌
Edible mushroom with duck tongue

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羅宋湯

蛤蜊豆腐湯 蔥油海蜇 雪菜蒸黃鱔 蔥油蠶豆

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蛤蜊豆腐湯

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蔥油海蜇

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雪菜蒸黃魚

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蔥油蠶豆

[上海]开宗食话第一篇 百年老店沈大成

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October 25, 2004

Today, we went to Nan Jing Dong Road for purchasing some food material. We had lunch at Shen Da Cheng, a famouse restaurant at the corner of Nan Jing Dong Road and Zhe Jiang Road.

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小豆感冒

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Filed under Lara

Lara got a fever

It was Monday (10/22), I didn’t went home for dinner. Sam was waiting for me as normal and said that Lara already went sleep. Everything was fine that time, we even stayed at the next room for a while. Later on, Sam found that Lara was warmer than normal. We measured her body temperature, she was 39.5 C. We fed her some medicine.

Tuesday, we decided that let Lara stay at home instead of sending her to the kindergarten. Xiao Wu took care of her at morning and my mother came to home afternoon. Lara got better at the daytime but she was 39 C again before sleeping.

Wednesday, Lara was getting better and better. She still stayed at home and didn’t have fever at night when we got back.

Today was my father’s birthday. Lara stayed at home and Xiao Wu sent her to Gao Deng Garden, my partents’ home. Lara had an afternoon nap there. We had father’s birthday dinner at Iseten, my parents brought Lara to the dinner. She was well enough and begging me to bring her to the autumn outing arranged by their kindergarten tomorrow.

小豆秋游--農家樂

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Filed under Lara

Today, I took leave from work. It was the day Lara’s kindergarten autumn outing, their teacher invited the parents to go together. Both Sam and I did some shopping yesterday especially for the outing, most of the purchasing were food. Sam prepared the package for us; the bag is the big black back case which I used in Cambodia.
I made coffee and filled a bottle, bought two steamed stuffed bun and brought a book for reading on the way. Lara and I went to kindergarten at 8:15 am, almost all her classmates were already there. Food was provided by the kindergarten and was not required to be prepared in advance. Also, I found my bag was the biggest in the class, some mother only brought a small hand carry case.
Lara’s kindergarten prepared six shuttle buses for the babies and parents and other 12 shuttle buses for the Jin’an and another branch. We left at 8:30 am and took almost two hours to the Fei Sui Yuan at Fei Xian.
Fei Sui Yuan is a farm simulation theme park. We dug potato, caught loach and played other farm stuffs there; Lara also fed some small animals.
The theme park is small and really mess. It was ok, Lara still enjoyed things she didn?t see before.
We got back through A4 freeway, so it only took almost one hour. I was really hungry so I had a bowl of big dumpling at Jing Shi Fu, which besides Lara’s kindergarten.

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Who knows what is that in the picture, I will give him/her a gift.

清炒刀豆 清炒蟹粉 冬瓜扁尖湯

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清炒刀豆
Stir-fried sword bean

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清炒蟹粉
Stir-fried egg with hairy crab meat

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Detail of the above dish

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冬瓜扁尖湯
White gourd and salted bamboo shoot soup

大閘蟹

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  有位美國朋友問我,說是為什麼上海人特別喜歡那大閘蟹,我說這哪是喜歡,分明是有仇嘛,而且這仇還結得挺深。君不見,上海人若是見了大閘蟹,必於第一時間摩拳擦掌,瞳孔也會隨之放大,非要狠狠咬上那蟹幾口,拆骨剜肉,方覺後快。這不是有仇是什麼?

  當然那衹是說笑罷了,上海人對大閘蟹是真的情有獨鍾,而這份情,可謂舉世皆知,以至於在日語裏有了一個新詞,叫做「上海蟹」。這「上海蟹」三字指的不是上海崇明的小毛蟹,而是這上海一隻也產不出、卻人人喜歡的大閘蟹。上海人在東京極多,這大閘蟹的價鈿在東京便飛漲起來;洛杉磯也有許多上海人,於是這大閘蟹就背井離鄉,遠渡重洋,以飽上海人的口福。

  每當秋風起、蟹腳癢的時候,上海人便口也饞、手也癢,總要弄上幾隻蟹來剝剝才過癮。家祖母、父親和我的生日均在秋天,於是,便有了極好的喫蟹理由。記得我小時候,住在愚園路,與之交界的膠州路,有著新中國最早的不參與計劃經濟統購統銷的農副產品市場,上海人稱之為「自由市場」。就是這個自由市場,發明瞭用香煙票換雞蛋,也孕育了上海最早的蟹大王、蟹老闆。而鄧小平 1983 年的南巡,也巡到了這自由市場,立刻使它聲名大振。我特別記得那年秋天,我的生日,母親和阿姨到小學接了我,便到膠州路自由市場買蟹。當時最好的蟹賣兩元一斤,雄蟹一斤三隻,雌蟹一斤四隻,至於四兩朝上的蟹,在那時簡直是聞所未聞的東西,有錢也買不到。那時的蟹,全是野生,品種又好,喫了一次蟹,第二天房裏還有腥香味,不若後來為了產量和只重,又是激素,又是雜交,卻使得蟹全無「蟹」味了。

  大閘蟹,其名雖熟卻甚怪,從何而來呢?一種說法,是捕蟹時用草閘,故稱閘蟹,大衹是為了強調大小而已;另一種說法,是這蟹在洄游產卵的過程中,要經過一道道攔水堵潮的閘門,而能爬過那沿路大閘的,必定身強力壯,顧名之。這兩種說法,都有些根據,但我卻相信第三種,而這第三種,方能體現上海人與這大閘蟹的淵源。

  煠,是一個上海人專用的詞,念作「閘」,意思是用水煮,就像「白煮蛋」,上海人叫做「白煠蛋」。我想在沒有煤氣的年代,喫蟹的時候,水煮一定比清蒸更行得通,「大煠」的意思,應該就是大火煮的意思。這「煠」字,上海人人會說,但會寫者鮮,想是以訛傳訛,便成了「閘」字。

  河蟹,學名叫做「中華絨螯蟹」,又稱螃蟹、毛蟹,英文稱之為 hairy crab 或 river crab ,在中國有四個種群,其中以長江水系種群為最好,長江水系種群中又以江蘇省蘇州市陽澄湖的為最上品。章太炎的夫人說了句「若非陽澄湖蟹好,人生何必住蘇州」,至今傳為美談。現在交通發達,上海距離陽澄湖半小時車程,故每到食蟹季節,上海人呼朋引伴赴陽澄湖,既打牙祭,又可秋游。

  其實,就算到了陽澄湖,也未必喫得到正宗的陽澄湖蟹,有許多蟹農是從別處購得蟹苗,放入湖中飼養的。當地政府今年又出新招,說但凡正宗陽澄湖蟹,均有激光防偽標記,說那激光機還是斥巨資從國外進口云云,無奈天下事總是「道高一丈,魔高一尺」,前幾天電視裏還曝光了專門製作假防偽標記的團夥。

  話再說回來,人人都想喫陽澄湖的蟹,哪來那麼多?陽澄湖年產千餘噸,上海人年食近萬噸,何求?。

  既然陽澄湖的蟹可遇不可求,那就退而求其次;其實衹要知道竅門,哪怕到菜場,依然可以買到好蟹。我來說說怎麼挑選正宗的長江蟹。長江蟹和陽澄湖蟹是同一品種,挑選方法也相同。這種蟹體型橢圓,背甲青綠,腹甲銀白,毛黃而密,俗稱「青背、白肚、黃毛、金爪」,是正宗的長江水系蟹;另外還種體型正方,足、背青黑,毛少而稀,腹部灰黃且雜黃銅色的,是甌江和閩江水系的蟹,較長江蟹稍次,上海人稱之為「鐵鏽蟹」;另有遼河水系的蟹,身體也是橢圓形的,背甲及足青黑,腹部灰黃,但無鏽色,這種蟹,則更次之。反正,買蟹的時候,一定要認定蟹肚發白、蟹背泛綠,就八九不離十了。

  食蟹有明顯的季節性,俗稱「九月圓臍十月尖,持螯飲酒菊花天」,上海人叫得簡單,喚作「九雌十雄」,說的是陰曆九月,雌蟹飽滿,到得十月,雄蟹有膏,故陰曆九十兩月,是食蟹最好的季節。其實並不是說十月的雌蟹就不行了,而是說那雄蟹非要等到十月才行;這話也不是說十月過後便不能喫蟹了,衹是九十兩月,乃是蟹的收成之時,過了十月,寒風一起,這蟹價更漲得離譜了。

  大閘蟹,首先是要大,現在隨著養殖技術的發展,大蟹已不再稀奇,挑蟹的時候,最好選那雄蟹半斤,雌蟹四兩以上的,雖然價鈿大點,卻也值得。

  然而,這蟹光是大還不行,一定要飽滿,若是兩隻蟹份量一樣,那還是個子比較小的好。這蟹的飽滿與否,關係到蟹肉的甜美程度。上海話中還有一專門的詞來形容蟹的飽滿,叫做「長足」。蟹的飽滿程度,可以從蟹背近臍部的縫看出,這縫至臍,會有條紋,有幾條便稱作「開幾扇門」,這門當然是開得越多越好,若是門開得大,大到能夠見到蟹黃,便是極品了。

  蟹要有黃才好喫,可以將肚臍翻開,若是在臍管中看得到黃的,便是好蟹。衹是此法傷蟹,若不是老客戶,攤主往往不肯讓你如此挑選。另外,還要用手捏一捏蟹腳,越硬越好;腳軟的,俗稱「軟腳蟹」,上海人常用來形容沒有膽識的人。

  說到買蟹,還要提醒一下,因那大閘蟹單價昂貴,所以斤兩必較。首先,若那蟹是紮好了再稱,那繩子定是濕的,所以一定要堅持稱好了再紮。其次,那蟹若是不紮,攤販便用厚塑料袋裝,即便袋中無水,那袋本身也可賣得許多價錢,所以定要堅持用桶去毛重後直接稱,這樣便做不得手腳。而後,稱好後要防攤販魚目混珠使掉包計,設若買八隻蟹,挑好稱好,那攤販將八隻蟹倒入桶中清洗,須臾,八隻蟹洗好紮好;熟料桶中早有死蟹一隻,這樣便上了當。還有最後一件,也是我常氣悶之事,不僅是蟹,各物皆然。原來我們家保姆去買菜,那攤飯的開價便比我還得的價錢還要便宜,實在是無奈了。

  蟹買來後,先要洗淨,清水蟹沒有泥污,用水沖淋即可。蟹臍要翻開,擠出臍中的腸污。若是講究,可用牙刷清洗蟹殼。

  然後是紮蟹,現在攤販往往會代客紮好,但其實要自己紮也不難。將蟹平放,用左手的食指與拇指按住兩隻蟹螯(俗稱「鉗」),手掌稍稍用力按住蟹背,用右手將蟹腳推入,左手剩下的三指即可包起蟹的左邊四條腿,而右邊四條腿則靠掌沿包起。這樣一隻蟹便可輕輕將蟹拿起。用嘴咬住繩子的一頭,將繩子繞著蟹橫向打二圈,位置在最後一個蟹腳的小關節處,將螯尖推入繩圈,螯就不能動了,然後將蟹順著繩子的交叉點轉九十度,再縱向繞一圈,打結即可。如果怕手生繞不過線、轉不了蟹、打不起結,可先用一個肥皂盒試幾下。紮蟹的繩子,粗棉線又稱「鞋底線」最好,切忌用塑料繩、尼龍繩。此外,繩子打濕後紮來更方便,也更牢固。

  佐料亦有講究。必要有醋,醋能解腥。醋還一定要是米醋。說到只用米醋,常有人和我爭。我說莫爭莫爭,最好的蟹在蘇州陽澄湖,而蘇州衹有米醋,可見用米醋是絕對沒錯。醋中要放入用紗布濾出的薑汁,薑能祛寒。醋中放薑,以薑汁最好,次者薑末,再次薑絲,若用薑片,便是「不上臺面」了。好在如今有那食品料理機,製作薑汁極為容易。這薑,一定要用嫩薑,嫩薑水份極多,光用手亦能擠出薑汁來,九十月正是嫩薑上市的日子。然後,醋裏還要加糖,純醋太酸,糖能解之,而且還可調和薑的辛辣味道。糖要放許多,放到飽和、醋中再也溶不下糖為止。

  有了佐料,還必須要有酒。喫蟹最好是「桂花蜜」,現在無處可覓,衹能用黃酒代替。若能尋得新鮮桂枝,加熱黃酒時,放入桂花,可謂人間極品。黃酒一定要熱,於加熱時,亦要放入薑汁和糖,乃是暖胃良方。若想多喫蟹,必要多喝酒。這月光菊籬下,酒與蟹缺一不可。至於有人說配白葡萄酒,衹能冒昧說他一句「外行」了。

  經過一番折騰,早就等不及想喫了。大閘蟹一定要蒸,有人用水煮,乃是「鄉下人喫法」。蒸蟹,最好用蒸籠,將蟹平放,蒸十五分鐘左右,視蟹大小而定。若是沒有蒸籠,亦可隔水蒸,就是鍋中放水,將碗或盆墊起後加蓋蒸。用此法蒸,於中間要開蓋將蟹上下翻個身,裏外轉個向,方能加熱均勻,否則,這蟹一邊已經紅袍加身,一邊還是青的。

  蟹蒸好,就要裝盆,盆以深色淺盆為佳,最能突出蟹的顏色。飯店裏往往拆繩塗油,而我更喜歡連繩於第一時間端上桌,拿著燙燙的蟹,拆繩也是一種樂趣。想那剛出籠的蟹極燙,想拿又拿不住,想放又捨不得,若有興趣冷眼旁觀,也可看個人間百態呢。

  喫蟹,極有學問,於次序及工具都有講究。這喫蟹的工具,自明朝起有「蟹八件」,銅制,上品則用白銀製成,乃是錘、鐓、鉗、匙、叉、鏟、刮、針八樣食蟹工具。這蟹八件,如今已不可尋,尚幸家祖母存得鉗子一把,乃是白銅鍍銀,喫蟹時省卻許多麻煩。喫蟹說那蟹八件,難免有附庸風雅之嫌,但準備剪刀一把,卻是人之常情,可省不少力氣。

  蟹去繩後,要先掰下肚臍,用嘴吸吮,可知那蟹蒸透與否。然後從臍部捏住蟹蓋邊緣翻起。舀一小匙醋放入蟹蓋。這蟹蓋還有專門的名稱,叫做「蟹鬥」或是「蟹兜」。蟹鬥上方有個缺口,缺口里長著牙齒,齒後是蟹胃,亦稱「蟹和尚」,據說是那欺負白娘子的法海老和尚所變。用拇指從那缺口摁住蟹齒撳入,可壓斷蟹齒與蟹鬥的聯接,便可拎起整個蟹和尚。蘸醋喫完上面的蟹黃蟹膏,乃是喫蟹的第一享受。那蟹和尚不能食用,棄之。蟹鬥裏還有蟹黃和膏,可以和醋飲下,也可以剔下食之。

  然後便要挑出蟹心,蟹心在蟹的中央,黑色的膜衣下面,可用一隻蟹腳的尖,刺破膜衣挑出。蟹心呈六角形,亦稱「六角肉」;蟹心極寒,喫了易胃寒腹瀉。說來也奇怪,這六角肉一物,卻有許多好蟹之人不知,每逢喫蟹,我總要在席間一一教來。挑出蟹心後,將蟹縱向一拗為二,分為兩爿,手執蟹腳,蘸醋喫黃,是喫蟹的第二享受。

  喫完蟹黃,要剝去蟹腮,蟹腮在蟹身兩側,狀如柚肉,一絲一絲,上海人叫「蟹百葉」,蟹百葉下有塊三角形的白肉,也要剝去。

  然後便是喫蟹肉了,用手將蟹腳往蟹身撕扯,可將蟹身按格撕開,咬去外面的薄殼,就能喫到蟹肉。切忌盲目縱向朝蟹腳咬嚼,嚼得爛碎,肉卻沒有喫到多少,上海人說的「牛喫蟹」,便是指這種喫法,在有些身份的人家,這種喫法是要被看不起的。

  喫完蟹身,就是蟹鉗和蟹腳了。蟹若蒸得好,咬去蟹腳連著蟹身的那端,咬碎另一端,便可輕輕抽出蟹腳,若是抽不出,可用剪刀剪斷蟹腳兩頭,用筷子一捅即出。

  蟹鉗味美,用手掰開食之,掰下的那塊蟹鉗上有白色的骨質,肉便附在上面,喫完肉,可取下那片骨質,一對蟹鉗各有一片,可拼成一隻白色蝴蝶,煞是好玩。

  家中若有幼童,可剝蟹腳飼之。孩子們喫得蟹腳,也會喜笑顏開,人間天倫,便是如此。

  也有人先喫蟹腳,再剝開蟹身,說是先喫蟹身則蟹腳會冷,反之則不然;想來那與「先喫盆中大蝦,則每筷下去都是最大」和「先喫盆中小蝦,入口一隻比一隻大」的故事一樣,乃是仁者見仁,智者見智了。

  蟹雖味美,因其性寒,不宜多食,否則會有腸胃不適之虞,謂之「蟹爬腸」外,蟹切不可與柿子同食,據說有性命之憂,切記,切記。

  食蟹之後,宜燒薑湯飲之,可解蟹寒。另外,洗手切不可忘,否則其味三日不去。雖然腥有「腥香」與「腥臭」之別,但還是注重個人衛生的好。

  近常聽聞,說是孕婦不可食蟹,於我家則不然。家祖母身懷六甲之時,天天食蟹,從未不適,生我父親那天,更是食蟹五隻;家祖母還將此故事告訴拙荊,拙荊亦是好蟹之人,有此「聖旨」,便也不禁。 祖孫好蟹如此,傳為家庭美談。


圖二 青綠色的陽澄湖蟹,只是左列居中那只,顏色甚怪,當時沒有發現,等照片出來纔覺得,百思不得其解


圖三 這便是傳說中的激光標記,不過聽說近來也有假的


圖四 半斤的大蟹,蟹身便有三點五英寸


圖五 臍尖的是雄蟹


圖六 臍圓的是雌蟹


圖七 所謂的“開門”,上面那只蟹,門開得見黃,乃是極品


圖八 吃蟹,先要剝去蟹臍


圖九 蟹斗上方有個缺口,裡面是牙齒,牙齒後面是蟹和尚


圖十 蟹中央,蟹腳指著的部位是蟹心所在


圖十一 挑破膜衣,挖出蟹心


圖十二 蟹腳挑起的就是蟹心,俗稱六角肉


圖十三 一絲絲的便是蟹腮


圖十四 蟹八件之一,鉗

老爸六六大壽

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Filed under Shaos

It was my father’s 66 years birthday. We had birthday dinner at Mei Long Zheng (ISETEN) with Sam’s parents.

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清蒸大閘蟹 花菜炒肉片 炒素 日式照燒雞腿 上海草頭

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Filed under 梅玺阁菜照

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大閘蟹

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花菜炒肉片

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炒素

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日式照燒雞腿

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上海草頭