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#1 Feb 17 2012 at 7:28 PM Rating: Good
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So I've decided this weekend to make myself some sesame chicken and egg drop soup. I've gathered supplies, and plan on doing this recipe:

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/perfect-sesame-chicken/
http://allrecipes.com/recipe/egg-drop-soup-ii/

I didn't want anything fancy in my egg drop soup, I saw many recipes calling for ginger and soy sauce, but I think the plain broth/egg recipe will be best.

The only thing I can't find is chile paste. None of the local stores have it (or it is hidden in some place I can't guess).

Do you think not having the chile paste will alter the intended flavor? Also, some egg drop soup recipes call for only egg whites, others just say beat the whole egg. Any thoughts on which would be better?

Edited, Feb 17th 2012 8:28pm by TirithRR
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#2 Feb 17 2012 at 7:35 PM Rating: Excellent
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I like the whole egg egg drop soups better personally, the other kind just isn't worth the effort.

As far as chile paste, generally it will be hideing in the mexican food ingrediant section. It is possible to make your own. This is as good as any guide: http://www.lafujimama.com/2009/05/tantalize-your-tastebuds-with-homemade/

I reccommend removing all of the seeds for your first batch to make sure you don't nuke your tongue. Dried chillies will also be in the mexican food section. For a chicken dish, I probably would make the garlic chili paste variant.
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#3 Feb 17 2012 at 8:10 PM Rating: Good
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You can always replace it with sriracha. Not precisely the same, but close enough for your purposes I'd imagine.
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#4 Feb 17 2012 at 8:34 PM Rating: Good
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I have some sriracha, and thought about using it. It's pretty spicy stuff though. Since it's not a lot for the amount of sauce, I'd imagine it would work.
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#5 Feb 17 2012 at 8:38 PM Rating: Good
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TirithRR wrote:
I have some sriracha, and thought about using it. It's pretty spicy stuff though. Since it's not a lot for the amount of sauce, I'd imagine it would work.


Bobracha 4 Lyfe, yo!
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#6 Feb 17 2012 at 9:13 PM Rating: Excellent
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There is absolutely nothing wrong with a little ginger in your soup. By ginger I mean the spice, not the redhead.
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#7 Feb 17 2012 at 9:54 PM Rating: Decent
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There is absolutely nothing wrong with a little ginger in your soup.


Agreed. I'm not a huge fan of ginger, but, it is great as an ingredient. It takes a bit of practice to get it right*.

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#8 Feb 18 2012 at 10:31 AM Rating: Good
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How are you doing on your weight loss, Tirth?
#9 Feb 18 2012 at 10:42 AM Rating: Good
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Pretty good. I'm at 190lbs right now, from 260. I'm pretty happy with the weight, and am just going to keep eating right and not overeating for supper. Now it's all about keeping my portions right, and not eating 4-5 tacos when I make them, or half a bag of frozen french fries with my burger for supper.

Edit:
As far as the soup, I'll be mixing the whole egg. Basically I don't have a use for just a yolk, and don't want to throw it away. It'll probably taste just fine. I'll put the Sriracha in the sesame chicken instead of the chile paste, but not a lot.

Edited, Feb 18th 2012 11:47am by TirithRR
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#10 Feb 18 2012 at 3:42 PM Rating: Good
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Soup turned out fine.

Sauce for the chicken was another story. It didn't turn out well at all, I dunno if it was supposed to taste like this but it is very bitter. The batter smelled horrid while making it, but so did a lot of other Asian foods I had tried before. Frying it made it taste fine. But the sauce smelled bad, and tasted just as bad when I finished.

Live and learn I guess. Not quite sure what the bad part of the sauce. Maybe I'm just too used to the only other things I've been exposed to, being the large chain Chinese restaurants.
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#11 Feb 18 2012 at 3:52 PM Rating: Excellent
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For the sherry portion, did you use an actual dry sherry, or did you use cooking sherry, which usually has some salt and vinager and whatnot already in it? Other than that, most of it looks pretty standard unless you got a bad batch of soy sauce or something.
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#12 Feb 18 2012 at 4:03 PM Rating: Good
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I used a cooking sherry. But the batter turned out decent enough. The sauce part of it was bleh. (Which didn't have any sherry).

I am not sure what soy sauce is supposed to smell like. I haven't used it very much, but it definitely has the foul smell that is permeating the sauce.

Edit:
Checking out all the ingredients, it looks like the sesame oil is the source of the smell/taste. I don't see any expiration date on it, but it must be rancid. The sherry and soy both have some pretty strong smells, but nothing like that sesame oil did.

Edited, Feb 18th 2012 5:20pm by TirithRR
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#13 Feb 18 2012 at 6:07 PM Rating: Excellent
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Yeah, Sesame oil shouldn't smell like much of anything, maybe kind of like sunflower seeds, but thats about it. At least you know it probably wasn't rhe recipie now?
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#14 Feb 18 2012 at 6:17 PM Rating: Good
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Yup, feel a bit better. Dunno if I'll be trying it again any time soon though. Still gotta get the smell out of my house from the bad sauce.

Tomorrow will be country fried steak with a gravy. I know I can make that taste good.
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#15 Feb 21 2012 at 10:53 PM Rating: Good
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I did a bit of research and tried a store-bought brand of sesame chicken. I think there was really nothing wrong with the ingredients or recipe. Maybe a little too much sesame oil.

The store bought brand of sesame chicken had the same strange bitter flavor, just not quite as strong. And I smelled some toasted sesame seeds and they had a similar smell, again just not nearly as strong.

I'm going to chalk this one up to my ignorance of the recipe and cuisine in general. My only experience in this food is the many American-Chinese styled buffet restaurants. The sesame chicken there, I love, and it tastes nothing like this stuff (my made or store made). I must not like the sesame flavor, and the restaurant stuff must either not have it or has very very little.

I did find a blog on the internet that had what I think would be a better recipe (plus some others).

http://blogchef.net/foodbuzz-24-24-24-chinese-buffet-at-home/

Number one difference, almost no sesame oil is used (just a little in the marinade for the chicken). None in the batter, none in the sauce. The 2 tablespoons in the other sauce recipe really overpowered it. Just looking at the ingredients I think it will fit my palate better. May not be "authentic" (but hey, it's American fake-Chinese).
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#16 Feb 21 2012 at 11:08 PM Rating: Good
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American Chinese is actually a distinct cuisine from Chinese-Chinese, not so much as it is a "fake" one. The cuisine developed during the time of the building of the Continental Railroad, when Chinese immigrant workers would try to recreate the flavors and foods of home using local ingredients. So it's not surprising that American Chinese sesame chicken uses a lot less sesame flavor in it, than say a Hunan or Schezuan Chinese style.

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