Essential Knowledge 17: Choice Portions (選用須知)

須知單::選用須知
選用之法:小炒肉用後臀,做肉圓用前夾心,煨肉用硬短勒。炒魚片用青魚、季魚,做魚鬆用鯶魚、鯉魚。蒸雞用雌雞,煨雞用騸雞,取雞汁用老雞;雞用雌才嫩,鴨用雄才肥;蒪菜用頭,芹韭用根︰皆一定之理。餘可類推。

List of Essential Knowledge::Choice Portions
The methods of choosing the right portions of ingredients are as follows: use pork tenderloin for quick stir-fries, use the inner muscle of the ham for meatballs [1], and use pork belly for slow braises. Black carp and grouper are good fish for stir-frying, while grass carp and the common carp are good for making fish floss [2]. Steamed chicken should be made using hens, braised chicken should be made using capons, and chicken broth should be made using mature chickens. For chickens, hens are more tender, while for ducks, drakes are more plump. For Brasenia [3], one uses the tips, while for celery and garlic chives, one uses the lower stems. There are definite reasons for choosing in these manners, with all ingredients having their own reasons.

Random notes:

[1]: Though I’m not completely sure, I do remember hearing that one uses the inside muscle of the ham for making gong wan (貢丸). The term “夾心” means “sandwiched in the middle”, which fits this. However, I’m not sure what the “front sandwiched in the middle” is (前夾心). Update: Actually if “夾心” is same as “胛心”, this would be the meat from the pork shoulder.

[2]: Fish floss is the fish analogue for pork floss, also known as rousong (肉鬆).

[3]: An aquatic plant, 蒪菜 is also known as 莼菜 Brasenia schreberi

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