Have you ever wondered how Chinese restaurants make sweet and sour pork so tender? Or how they fit the fortune into the staple cookie? Or who the hell is GENERAL TSO?! We had all of our questions answered at the Museum of Food and Drink in Brooklyn, NY.
Hidden away in Williamsburg, MOFAD is currently showing “CHOW: MAKING THE CHINESE AMERICAN RESTAURANT.” The exhibit celebrates the heritage of Chinese American cuisine over the years of immigration, as well as shows the complicated history and evolution behind the hallmark dishes, like General Tso’s Chicken.
With ancient artifacts and preserved items, the museum showcases the history of flavor and influences from different Chinese cuisines and regions.
A fortune cookie machine carefully folds inspirational quotes written by visitors of the museum (check out hashtag #ProjectFortuneCookie) into buttery warm Belgian waffle-like pancakes, soon to harden into the perfect crunchy dumpling of sweet delight. Watch our full video here.
And to top it all off, Chef Edward Huang of Zai Lai Chinese Grille made us Peking Pork with Sweet and Sour Glaze, right in the museum, explaining the techniques for a perfect chow (Chinese for stir fry).
Pork is coated with a mixture of cornstarch and Shao Xing rice wine, lightly boiled. Later, it is thrown into a steaming hot wok.
The sauce is cooked down to an ooey-gooey perfection, sweet, sour and tangy and topped off with freshly grated ginger root and green scallion for a bit of a fresh kick.
Enjoy a box of freshly made fortune cookies on your way out. If this didn’t make you hungry, we don’t know what will!