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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is people food, not pets. ;)

I've always been intrigued by Chinese "tea-smoked" foods. But I'm too chicken to try any kind of smoking in my apartment. And I have no outdoor place to cook. So, I've been experimenting with creating the illusion of smoking. I've tried it with squab and pork "country ribs" so far.

First I make an infusion of Lapsang Souchong tea (which tastes like bacon to me), black cardamom, cinnamon stick, whole cloves, star anise, brown sugar, and ginger, in water and soy sauce, with a little fish sauce and Worcestershire. (Actually, I've used lots of other spices each time, including fenugreek seed, and dried chilies.) Simmer it a while. Strain out the solids.

Then I steam the meat over this liquid. In the case of the pork, I took the meat off the bones when it was done, added the bones back to the liquid, and cooked that down. Strained again, degreased, and added the chunks of pork back, along with some ketchap manis (sweet soy sauce), to simmer gently. For the squab, I reduced the cooking liquid, and used it as a glaze to finish the birds under the broiler.

The end effect I'm looking for is smoky, sweet, only a little bitter/tannic, and spicy. So far, it's been okay except not spicy enough. I've been surprised that the tannin is not more pronounced, since the tea infusion gets very concentrated. But I'm actually happy about that. What I would like to improve also is the viscosity; right now the sauce is very thin (and probably feels more so because of the tannin) even when I reduce it way down.

I haven't been measuring yet, so I can't tell EXACTLY how much of everything I've used. Any questions, comments, and especially suggestions would be welcome! :)
 

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I use a decoction of wild cherry bark whenever respiratory ailments strike. The bark contains tannins that seem to utterly destroy infection(s). That aside, the taste is very, very astringent. You might want to try this decoction in your recipe.

I assume that wild cherry bark is a fruitwood and would therefore be great for smoking meat, too. :eek: :cool: :eek: :chef:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I thought cherry wood contained a lot of cyanide, so you're not supposed to use it for cooking or smoking? Or is the bark okay? In any case, how do you make the decoction, and where do you get the bark? Hey, does that mean you use the bark to get rid of a bark? :rolleyes: Oh, never mind.
 

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Okay, I said WILD CHERRY BARK, not cherrywood. Dunno' if they're the same or different. I purchase the bark at healthfood stores like Vitamin Cottage, Wild Oats, or Alfalfa's. Wild cherry bark has been used for centuries by the American Indians for lung ailments.

Please refer to the book entitled:
THE SCIENTIFIC VALIDATION OF HERBAL MEDICINE by Mowry. The book is a must have.
 

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A decoction is simply simmering the cut or whole herb in water for some time to allow it to release its active ingredients.
 
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