Black Inky Potato Core

Everything was fine while I was peeling this potato, but when I cut it, I saw this black inky patch in the core of the potato. There was no change in smell or texture of the potato, but I dared not eat it.

A friend suggested oxidation as the cause, but if there were true, why is it that the periphery of the potato was not oxidised?

Another possibility is an infection by potato blackleg, a seed tuber-borne disease caused by Erwinia carotovora subspecies atroseptica. However, the literature mentions clear delineation between healthy and diseased tissue. This lesion doesn’t look like it’s clearly demarcated.

Anybody who knows the answer, please let me know.

Emperor’s Chicken

I’m not sure why this dish is called Emperor’s Chicken. Perhaps it’s the cost of the herbs that used to go into this dish. Perhaps the emperors in ancient China loved it. Whatever, the origins of the name, it’s a time and gas-consuming dish.

The simple part is actually the preparation of the chicken. In this case, I’ve used ready-made powdered herbs here. You can use unprocessed herbs like American ginseng, Dang shen (Codonopsis pilosula), Dang gui (Angelica sinensis), Yu zhu (Solomon’s seal) and Gou qi (wolfberry).

Wrap it up with steaming wrap and aluminium, then steam for 2 hours. Yes, that’s 2 hours. Given the length of time needed to prepare Emperor’s chicken, you may want to start preparing it well before you start frying your vegetables.

The chicken is now soft and tender, peeling easily from the bones and the juices are simply wonderful.

© Chan Joon Yee

Edible Fish Bones

It’s a product from the Philippines – dried fish bones, also known as Tocino. A Filipino friend gave this to me. I decided to give it a try.

As per Filipino instructions, I fried it in oil. Be warned. This stuff burns very quickly. Make sure you fry on low heat.

Here are the fried fish bones. The consequences of frying at low heat – oiliness. The bones are softest at the thinnest areas, but the thicker areas were quite a challenge to chew.

© Chan Joon Yee