East Meets West – Sauteed Beef With Bok Choy, Onions And Potatoes In Hoisin Sauce

East Meets West - Sauteed Beef With Bok Choy, Onions And Potatoes In Hoisin Sauce

East Meets West – Sauteed Beef With Bok Choy, Onions And Potatoes In Hoisin Sauce

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I could  have named this dish “Chinese Beef Stir Fry With Vegetables”, and it would also be absolutely correct.
However, I named it  “Sautéed Beef With Bok Choy, Onions And Potatoes In Hoi Sin Sauce”, because I wanted to emphasize the fact that naming a dish that one creates, even if similar recipes exist, leaves one free to use words that best describe the methods and ingredients so that one knows what to expect when reading about it or ordering it in a restaurant.
This is usually not necessary when preparing/serving well established dishes, such as Spaghetti Bolognese, Midnight Lake Soup, Sweet& Sour Chicken, Consomme Celestine, Veal Chop Milanese, Chicken Kiev, Chinese Pepper steak, etc, etc, etc.
However, when changing the ingredients or methods of a well established dish, we should explain it in the name in order to respect the original ! and to avoid confusion or even disappointment when the altered dish arrives.
(And yes, there are a few exceptions to that rule, such as when the “original” is not well known or not popular in it’s original version. After all, restaurants are businesses and we must sell whats popular in the particular market we try exist in and to prosper.) 🙂
Change and improvement is sometimes good and commendable, as long as the change from the original/classic is well documented.
I remember not too long ago to read a post of a very popular lady-cook who has a rather popular TV cooking show and published a bunch of cookbooks, who told her readers about a “smart “risotto recipe where one does not have to stir the rice and liquid constantly. It sounded really good and tasty, but that is NOT ! a risotto.
Or to be served a pesto with cilantro and walnuts which, incidentally, I love and make frequently at home. Nothing wrong with it – as long as you don’t just label it “Pesto”, which let’s one expect the classic version. Just name it what it is : “Walnut And Cilantro Pesto” and we are square. Or, as in this recipe, when both the French “sauteing” and the Chinese/Asian “Stir Frying” cooking method is the correct description of the cooking method used – choose one that fits the location, clientele or whatever seems correct and/or appropriate.
As for the potatoes, I had them in a Chinese dish for the first time when I worked in Singapore back in the early 80’s. After a long day at work, I usually told the night-cook to send me something tasty to my apartment at around 1.oo am. More often than not, he sent me a stir fried seafood dish with either noodles, potatoes or both, thinking that since I am German, the potatoes would comfort me (they did) 🙂
But besides that, Yunnan province and other areas of China, (mainly in the north-east), feature plenty of dishes containing potatoes. My absolute favorite and probably the best (only?) known in the West is probably :  酸辣土豆 / suān là tǔdòu (hot & sour shredded potatoes) or, with added pork juliennes: 土豆肉丝 (tǔdòu rou si)
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So there you have it, my own philosophy (the short version) of naming dishes I create or modify to my taste, availability, affordability and/or popularity with my guests, be it at home or in a commercial environment.
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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P.S.
This dish had more sauce than usual, because I wanted to have the leftovers the following day over pasta or rice ……
Also, it is one of the most delicious dishes I have prepared in the past few months, perfect in taste, quality and looks and very affordable and easy to prepare 🙂
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Click here to see the most popular  Chinese Potato Dish
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Click her to see “Beef Stroganoff: (NOT?)  on  ChefsOpinion
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Click here to read more about :
Can A Classic Dish Be Altered If The Name Clearly Indicates That The Dish Is  In The Style Of……….  on  ChefsOpinion
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East Meets West - Sauteed Beef With Bok Choy, Onions And Potatoes In Hoisin Sauce

East Meets West – Sauteed Beef With Bok Choy, Onions And Potatoes In Hoisin Sauce

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East Meets West - Sauteed Beef With Bok Choy, Onions And Potatoes In Hoisin Sauce

East Meets West – Sauteed Beef With Bok Choy, Onions And Potatoes In Hoisin Sauce

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East Meets West - Sauteed Beef With Bok Choy, Onions And Potatoes In Hoisin Sauce

East Meets West – Sauteed Beef With Bok Choy, Onions And Potatoes In Hoisin Sauce

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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“Dish At The Bottom Of This Page” 
Guess who got the beef and who got some of the raw bok choy 🙂
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6 comments

  1. Good article about naming dishes to which I definity agree. Spaghetti with bacon and cream is good, but don’t call it carbonara. (Funny you mention spaghetti bolognese as a well-established dish, which it is, and by the name it is clear you will be getting spaghetti instead of the original fresh tagliatelle that are used to serve ragù alla bolognese in Bologna where the dish originates).
    That beef looks great. When I buy the same cut here, there is no marbling.
    Unusual to see potatoes in a Chinese dish.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Stefan,
    potatoes are common in some parts of China. However, I’ve never seen them in a Chinese restaurant in the Western World.
    Cheers !
    Hans.
    .
    P.S.
    “Spaghetti Bolognese” is a well established American-Italian dish, going back a hundred years…….. 🙂

    Like

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