Paris Adventures Pt. 19 – 牛肉麵@joe‘s

Woke up at 8:30, got breakfast, and began to make my way to Ivry-sur-Seine, where my friend Joe lives, to help him prepare food for a party.  Got there at 10:20, waited for my other friend to arrive (he took another 30 minutes), and began cooking!

Joe already had a pot of Chinese veal stock cooking:

Veal Stock with mystery ingredients inside.

Veal Stock with mystery ingredients inside.

I’m not sure what was in it (he wasn’t very specific), but it’s basically the same concept as any veal stock.  He browned the bones in his oven with vegetables (carrots + onions, no celery), then added water.  He also added some sichuan peppers (I think), some shallots/scallions (蔥), leeks, and let it cook for a good 3-4 hours.

While waiting for Michel to get there I did some menial tasks.  Such as, for example, taking the skin off these peanuts so that they could be ground up for a later dish.

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We blanched the beef (shoulder part). 3kg worth of beef.

Blanched Beef.

Blanched Beef.

Fried some vegetables.

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Leeks, onions, chillis, “old” ginger, and probably some other secret ingredient

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We fried the vegetables well with some neutral oil, then added chilli paste (lee kum kee chilli paste, of course), and kept frying it.  Tied it up in a bag of cloth (slightly thicker than cheesecloth).

Cut the meat into cubes, seared it to keep the juices in, then added a bunch of seasonings in:

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Cooking sake, two types of soya sauce (regular and thick), ketchup. Black and white pepper, and sichuan peppers again.

He also added tomatoes and the bag of fried vegetables, some sugar, and just let it cook for as long as possible.

While all that was going on, we made dough for the noodles (1800g flour, 1200mL water, 18g salt, and a little bit of oil).

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Mixed it, let it rest, mix again.  Repeat 3-4 times until smooth.

I also got the enormous pleasure of peeling the century eggs.  18 of them, and they were really soft (= very hard to peel).

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After! Popped a couple but c’est pas grave

Using that, I was also charged with the task of cutting the eggs and plating them with some chilli, some peanut powder (aha!) and some thick soya sauce.  ‘Twas delicious, if you like century eggs (like me!)

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In terms of food prep, that was about it for me!  I also had to press about a kilo of fish through a fine mesh strainer, but that’s not very glamorous so I didn’t take photos.  I learned a bit of bartending as well.

Professional setup

Professional setup

Sex on the beach, Tequila sunrise, Pina Colada, Mojitos, and “Hell’s Drink.” I’m gonna be fun at parties.

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Beef Noodles! Beef was amazing, noodles were meh, and the soup needed seasoning.

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鹽酥雞 – salted deep fried chicken. Soo goooood.

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甜不辣 – chinese style tempura! This is what I pressed fish through a strainer for.

We kept on eating.  From about 2 pm till midnight.  A day well spent?  I think so.

The crew!  Check out my shirt.

The crew! Check out my shirt.


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