Monday, August 23, 2010

Roosevelt Island Stir Fry Chicken With Eggplant Deep Fried First - Grosses Out China 1 Kitchen Customer

Image of China 1 Kitchen

You walk into Roosevelt Island's only Chinese restaurant, China 1 Kitchen, for some take out Stir Fry Chicken with eggplant. Do you expect the eggplant to be put in the deep fryer before stir frying?

Well, Manhattan Park Resident DD did not and what DD saw grossed DD out. I received this message from DD last Thursday:
I was grossed out tonight to find out they are deep frying the food before they stir fry it. Tonight I caught them deep frying the eggplant I ordered. I never heard of a Chinese restaurant doing that before. Here I was ordering what I thought of as a healthy vegetable meal, and it was deep fried. And in the same grease they deep fry the wings and everything else.
I asked DD:
Can you provide any additional details. Did you ask them why they were doing this? If so, any response? Did you take the food.
DD replied:
Yes I asked and they said "they always do". I ordered chicken with eggplant. I noticed the purple skins of the eggplants in the basket they were deep frying, in with other stuff,( I guess my chicken). I intervened over the eggplant being cooked that way. It didn't occur to me then that the chicken might be cooked that way too.

Yes I asked, and they said "they always do". I was upset and asked for the owner. They ignored me. I said I did not want to eat deep fried food. i was being ignored no matter what I said and was about to ask for my money back, as I had already paid. Some older woman then told me that she would fix it but it wold take longer.She did not specify what she was going to do either.

I am not sure she did anything different at all. I took the food from her after a couple of minutes. It looked and tasted the exact way as a couple of days ago when I had it delivered to my apt. without knowing how they cooked it.

I am guessing they might be deep frying the food to get it cooked quicker. That makes the food really really unhealthy. Also vegetarians are getting veggies cooked in the same grease as the pork..etc.
Here's how to make your own stir fry chicken with eggplant.

You Tube Video How To Make Chinese Stir Fry Chicken with Eggplant

I happened to be speaking with a professional cook last night and mentioned DD's issue with the China 1 stir fry. The chef indicated that placing the eggplant in the deep fryer before stir frying may not be that unusual because doing so would soften the eggplant and make it easier to cook.

I don't know if that is common practice or not but it is certainly not the expectation of customers ordering stir fry to have their food deep fried as well.

Here's a recipe from PF Chang for Stir Fried Chicken with Eggplant that includes deep frying.


Anonymous said...

It's a common expectation for vegetarians ordering in non-vegetarian/vegan restaurants that their food will be cooked near/on the same surface as meat. You either only cook at home/order from vegetarian places - or get over it. Either way, I never expect much from a chinese restaurant with pictures for their menu. - 25 yr old, 11 year vegetarian.

Anonymous said...

You gwai lo really know nothing about Chinese food. This is a very common way to preparing Cantonese food in restaurants (even expensive ones), although at home we do not usually do that.

PF Chang is no real Chinese food. It is American Chinese.

Anonymous said...

What the hell? Sorry, but... come on. So they deep-fry eggplant. So what? Bring your business somewhere else. But being "grossed out" over something simple like this is a bit exaggerated, no?

I am wondering what this is doing on this blog in the first place. I always thought that the standard of the content here is a bit higher than whining about the preparation of food.

Anonymous said...

Get over it, it tasted just as good right?

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

There is no need to use disparaging terms to insult people on this blog.

I removed one such comment which used a common, well known insult but left up another one from commenter #2 who used a Chinese language insult that most will not know. Did not delete it for educational purposes as another reader suggested. You can Google it to see what it means.

I think DD did the right thing in bringing this cooking practice to the attention of the community and others are free to ignore it or not. No reason to criticize DD for personal eating preferences.

As another reader pointed out:

"Retailers on the island have a captive audience and need to have their feet held to the fire, otherwise, they have little motivation to step up quality or service"

Anonymous said...

The technique is called, "velveting," and is very common in the preparation of Chinese food.

jacqui said...

deep-fried does not equal unhealthy automatically. why would you think you have any idea about their cooking or their business better than them? it's not what you expected, but this is what they do and how they cook it. GROW UP and face the big, scary (sometimes deep-fried) world. live a little, loser.