Caveat Emptor: I do NOT know how to make wine brew. I know it involves wine yeast and glutinous rice (sweet rice).
Heck I have a video of the process (shot in Taiwan, where this dish, IMO, has taken the deepest root in the culinary culture):
but I’ve never actually attempted to make this childhood fave of mine.
There is a haphazard English recipe here: by Lau Lau’s Recipe, but it seems insufficient for an amateur.
In case you’re wondering, WTF is this goopy pile of rice? Jiou Niang on Wiki. It can be found in the wild at several the Shanghai carb houses in the Western SGV, including Giang Nian, Mei long Village, etc.
For over a year, I’ve been purchasing wine brew base from Dean Sin World but recently, since Mrs. Lu went back to Shanghai for an extended visit, DSW’s proprietor, wine bew has been missing from their cooler. One of the ladies @ DSW advised due to the rising temperature, it’s been difficult to control the wine yeast’s fermentation speed. I tend to not recognize this as general lack of expertise, ie, laziness of the staff but.. whatevs. I didn’t want to buy commercially produced wine brew from the supermarket & it was getting quite hot in the morning to be drinking warm.. so wine brew disappeared from my brekkie (and was replaced by pints and pints of ice cream but… that’s for another day).
Then came Sister Wong. Sister Wong’s wine brew has been hawked in front of Cathy’s Bakery for over a year now, always on a Saturday (11-3pm). I never shop for Asian grub on Saturdays so woe is me for being a year late to the game. Mrs. Wong is not just a rice fermenter, she is also well published (in Chinese) with 17 titles under her belt.
$4 gave me a 1.22 pint container of wine brew. $6 gets you the 2 pint container. This is about the same price as DSW’s 1/2 pint serving at $2, but… Somehow I go through the 1 pint portion nearly as fast as the 1/2 pint portion since… having extra wine brew just wants me want to dump in more during cooking. Mrs. Wong Wine Brew comes in several flavors: the elixir-esque red yeast wine brew, original flavor wine brew, sweet olive’s flower wine brew, and black rice wine brew (I can’t find a pix of this anywhere on the internet)
Below depicts how I like to take my wine brew. According to Mrs. Wong’s recipe sheet, this is the “Shanghai style”.
1 egg, beaten
1.5 cups of water
3 tablespoons of wine brew
sugar to taste
Easy breezy steps, same, but easier, than making egg drop soup
Bring water to soft boil,
Add wine brew, stir. Turn off stove, slowly pour in well beatened egg while stirring. Add sugar to season (my taste buds call for approximately 1/2 a tablespoon, depending on fermentation level of the wine brew which can vary from 36hrs, to 1 week)
Some folks, like Kite Runner Cry, a Taiwanese food blogger, will straight skip the sugar.
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