Things to Avoid 14: Sloppiness (戒苟且)

戒單::戒苟且 凡事不宜苟且,而於飲食尤甚。廚者,皆小人下材,一日不加賞罰,則一日必生怠玩。火齊未到而姑且下嚥,則明日之菜必更加生。真味已失而含忍不言,則下次之羹必加草率。且又不止空賞空罰而已也。其佳者,必指示其所以能佳之由;其劣者,必尋求其所以致劣之故。鹹淡必適其中,不可絲毫加減;久暫必得其當,不可任意登盤。廚者偷安。吃者隨便,皆飲食之大弊。審問慎思明辨,為學之方也;隨時指點,教學相長,作師之道也。於是味何獨不然? List of Things to Avoid::Sloppiness Sloppiness should not be tolerated for any task, including matters of gastronomy. Cooks are uncultured people of lowly up-bringing, thus if one does not properly reward or punish them, they will begin taking short-cuts and become negligent of their culinary duties.[1] Should you willingly ingest the barely cooked … Continue reading Things to Avoid 14: Sloppiness (戒苟且)

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Things to Avoid 13: Muddiness (戒混濁)

戒單::戒混濁 混濁者,並非濃厚之謂。同一湯也,望去非黑非白,如缸中攪渾之水。同一鹵也,食之不清不膩,如染缸倒出之漿。此種色味令人難耐。救之之法,總在洗淨本身,善加作料,伺察水火,體驗酸鹹,不使食者舌上有隔皮隔膜之嫌。庾子山論文云︰「索索無真氣,昏昏有俗心。」是即混濁之謂也。 List of Things to Avoid::Muddiness Just because a dish is muddy and turbid doesn't mean that its texture will be thick and unctuous. Soups that resemble silted water from an agitated barrel; broths with the colour of grey liquids left in a dyeing vat; neither of them have appearances and flavours that anyone … Continue reading Things to Avoid 13: Muddiness (戒混濁)

Things to Avoid 12: Cliché (戒落套)

戒單::戒落套 唐詩最佳,而五言八韻之試帖名家不選,何也?以其落套故也。詩尚如此,食亦宜然。今官場之菜,名號有「十六碟」、「八簋(音詭)」、「四點心」之稱,有「滿漢席」之稱,有「八小吃」之稱,有「十大菜」之稱,種種俗名,皆惡廚陋習。只可用之於新親上門,上司入境,以此敷衍;配上椅披桌裙,插屏香案,三揖百拜方稱。若家居歡宴,文酒開筵,安可用此惡套哉?必須盤碗參差,整散雜進,方有名貴之氣象。余家壽筵婚席,動至五六桌者,傳喚外廚,亦不免落套。然訓練之卒,範我馳驅者,其味亦終竟不同。 List of Things to Avoid::Cliché Tang poetry is esteemed to be the pinnacle of classical poetry, yet it is seldom referred or quoted by famous Tang-style poets.[1] Why? Due its popular widespread use, the material has become hopelessly cliché.[2] If this can be true with poetry, it can also be so for gastronomy. … Continue reading Things to Avoid 12: Cliché (戒落套)

Things to Avoid 11: Rendering Fat (戒走油)

戒單::戒走油 凡魚、肉、雞、鴨,雖極肥之物,總要使其油在肉中,不落湯中,其味方存而不散。若肉中之油,半落湯中,則湯中之味,反在肉外矣。推原其病有三︰一誤於火太猛,滾急水乾,重番加水;一誤於火勢急停,既斷復續;一病在於太要相度,屢起鍋蓋,則油必走。 List of Things to Avoid::Rendering Fat Although ingredients such as fish, pork, chicken, and duck can be rather fatty, it is imperative that most of this fat be retained within the meat itself and not be allowed to render out into the cooking stock to prevent its flavour from being diluted.[1] If this … Continue reading Things to Avoid 11: Rendering Fat (戒走油)

Things to Avoid 10: Imposition (戒強讓)

戒單::戒強讓 治具宴客,禮也。然一肴既上,理宜憑客舉著,精肥整碎,各有所好,聽從客便,方是道理,何必強讓之?常見主人以箸夾取,堆置客前,污盤沒碗,令人生厭。須知客非無手無目之人,又非兒童、新婦,怕羞忍餓,何必以村嫗小家子之見待之?其慢客也至矣!近日倡家尤多此種惡習,以箸取菜,硬入人口,有類強姦,殊為可惡。長安有甚好請客而菜不佳者,一客問曰︰「我與君算相好乎?」主人曰︰「相好!」客跽(音既,跪下之意)而請曰︰「果然相好,我有所求,必允許而後起。」主人驚問︰「何求?」曰︰「此後君家宴客,求免見招。」合坐為之大笑。 List of Things to Avoid::Imposition A banquet host extends his courtesy and generosity towards his guests by providing them with good food. But once the food is laid out on the table, the guests should be allowed to choose whatever food they fancy, regardless of whether it is refined, oily, cut in chunks, … Continue reading Things to Avoid 10: Imposition (戒強讓)

Things to Avoid 9: Chafing Dishes (戒火鍋)

戒單::戒火鍋 冬日宴客,慣用火鍋,對客喧騰,已屬可厭;且各菜之味,有一定火候,宜文宜武,宜撤宜添,瞬息難差。今一例以火逼之,其味尚可問哉?近人用燒酒代炭,以為得計,而不知物經多滾,總能變味。或問︰「菜冷奈何?」曰︰「以起鍋滾熱之菜,不使客登時食盡,而尚能留之以至於冷,則其味之惡劣可知矣。」 List of Things to Avoid::Chafing Dishes Chafing dishes are often used when hosting banquets in winter [1], which is a rather irritating practice considering how noisy they are. This is not to overlook the more serious problem of their use; it ignores the fact that cooking a dish with optimal flavour requires the … Continue reading Things to Avoid 9: Chafing Dishes (戒火鍋)

Things to Avoid 8: Indulging in Drink (戒縱酒)

戒單::戒縱酒 事之是非,惟醒人能知之;味之美惡,亦惟醒人能知之。伊尹曰︰「味之精微,口不能言也。」口且不能言,豈有呼呶酗酒之人能知味者乎?往往見拇戰之徒,啖佳菜如啖木屑,心不存焉。所謂惟酒是務,焉知其餘,而治味之道掃地矣。萬不得已,先於正席嘗菜之味,後於撤席逞酒之能,庶乎其兩可也。 List of Things to Avoid: Indulging in Drink Only one who is alert can tell the difference between right and wrong. Likewise, only one who is mindful can discern the differences between good and bad flavours. Yi Yin [1] had observed: "The profound nuances of flavour cannot be rightly expressed in words." If … Continue reading Things to Avoid 8: Indulging in Drink (戒縱酒)

Things to Avoid 7: Waste (戒暴殄)

戒單::戒暴殄 暴者不恤人功,殄者不惜物力。雞、魚、鵝、鴨,自首至尾,俱有味存,不必少取多棄也。嘗見烹甲魚者,專取其裙而不知味在肉中;蒸鰣魚者,專取其肚而不知鮮在背上。至賤莫如醃蛋,其佳處雖在黃不在白,然全去其白而專取其黃,則食者亦覺索然矣。且予為此言,並非俗人借福之謂,假使暴殄而有益於飲食,猶之可也。暴殄而反累於飲食,又何苦為之?至於烈炭以炙活鵝之掌,剸刀以取生雞之肝,皆君子所不為也。何也?物為人用,使之死可也,使之求死不得不可也。 List of Things to Avoid::Waste Tyrannical individuals are not emphatic to people's labours, just as wasteful individuals care little about the value of things. From head to tail, all parts of a chicken, fish, goose, or duck are delicious in their own way. As such, there is no need to carve out the … Continue reading Things to Avoid 7: Waste (戒暴殄)

Things to Avoid 6: Delays (戒停頓)

戒單::戒停頓 物味取鮮,全在起鍋時極鋒而試;略為停頓,便如黴過衣裳,雖錦繡綺羅,亦晦悶而舊氣可憎矣。嘗見性急主人,每擺菜必一齊搬出。於是廚人將一席之菜,都放蒸籠中,候主人催取,通行齊上。此中尚得有佳味哉?在善烹飪者,一盤一碗,費盡心思;在吃者,鹵莽暴戾,囫圇吞下,真所謂得哀家梨,仍復蒸食者矣。余到粵東,食楊蘭坡明府鱔羹而美,訪其故,曰︰「不過現殺現烹、現熟現吃,不停頓而已。」他物皆可類推。 List of Things to Avoid::Delays To get the most of a dish's flavours, it is best to serve it as soon as it has been finished. Consuming food that has been delayed can be likened to wearing an old mildewed robe; even one made of the finest material and finished with the most … Continue reading Things to Avoid 6: Delays (戒停頓)

Things to Avoid 5: Exaggeration (戒穿鑿)

戒單::戒穿鑿 物有本性,不可穿鑿為之,自成小巧。即如燕窩佳矣,何必捶以為團?海參可矣,何必熬之為醬?西瓜被切,略遲不鮮,竟有製以為糕者。蘋果太熟,上口不脆,竟有蒸之以為脯者。他如《遵生八箋》之秋藤餅,李笠翁之玉蘭糕,都是矯揉造作,以杞柳為杯棬,全失大方。譬如庸德庸行,做到家便是聖人,何必索隱行怪乎? List of Things to Avoid::Exaggeration[1] Each ingredient has its own innate characteristics, which are best shown off using a specific set of culinary techniques. One must not be "force" an ingredient using techniques that exaggerate or overextend these characteristics. Bird's nest is delectable the way it is, so why would one wish to … Continue reading Things to Avoid 5: Exaggeration (戒穿鑿)