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Barbacoa Options

SciAggieSciAggie Posts: 4,313
edited November 4 in EggHead Forum
I’ve been thinking - and that’s sometimes a mistake. I’m happy with the way my carnitas experiment unfolded. I would definitely do it again. https://eggheadforum.com/discussion/1220899/my-carnitas-experiment/p1

Now I’m thinking about barbacoa...
I was looking through the idle hands thread again - https://eggheadforum.com/discussion/1208910/idle-hands/p1
I was actually considering digging a pit but then I got to thinking - isn’t the wood oven essentially providing a similar delivery of heat? It’s just not a pit - but it is using thermal energy stored in bricks/soil/cement. 
I’m also thinking about what to cook. As entertaining as a head might be I’m thinking beef cheeks and toungue are good enough on their own to make a pretty fine taco. 

This got me thinking about @smokingal ‘s thread about beef cheek carnitas. https://eggheadforum.com/discussion/1219232/wagyu-beef-cheek-carnitas

@The Cen-Tex Smoker had some good things to say about smoked beef cheeks finished confit in beef fat - basically carnitas...

I guess I’m just pondering the true difference between a traditional barbacoa taco and a carnitas taco in terms of texture and flavor. 

Here are my options I’m considering:
I can get banana leaves from Amazon. I could cook beef cheeks and pork shoulder - or a leg of lamb wrapped in the leaves over a roasting pan of broth for the same effect as cooking in a pit. If it’s effectively different explain my error in reasoning. 

Or

I could smoke the beef cheeks on the offset until I get a bark on them and then go one of three ways. 
1) Finish them confit in fat back on the smoker or in the wood oven at low heat. 
2) Finish them Sous Vide.
3) Finish them by braising. 

I’m not sure if there would be any huge taste difference between the methods. 
I can make the tongue sous vide like in the idle hands thread - or should I make it in a more traditional manner just for chickles and grins?

@20stone @The Cen-Tex Smoker @caliking @smokingal @SGH and whoever else - whaddayathink? Or am I making this too hard? I’m just trying to plan out a fun cook that delivers an authentic barbacoa style taco. At the least maybe this will be a fun discussion. I’ve got several tools in my arsenal now and I weighing the options to see what combinations will make the tastiest food.
Coleman, Texas
Large BGE & Mini Max for the wok. A few old camp Dutch ovens and a wood fired oven. LSG 24” cabinet offset smoker. There are a few paella pans and a Patagonia cross in the barn. 
"Bourbon slushies. Sure you can cook on the BGE without them, but why would you?"
                                                                                                                      YukonRon
«1

Comments

  • JohnInCarolinaJohnInCarolina Posts: 15,289
    I do not have anything to contribute to this, but I am here for all of the responses from people who do.  In other words... following.  😎
    "A generation of the unteachable is hanging upon us like a necklace of corpses." - George Orwell 

    "I've made a note never to piss you two off." - Stike


  • SGHSGH Posts: 26,595
    SciAggie said:
    I guess I’m just pondering the true difference between a traditional barbacoa taco and a carnitas taco in terms of texture and flavor. 

    And what a great thing to ponder my friend. Pondering aside, I will offer a few thoughts. One of the problems is “Barbacoa” is not the same the world over. It means different things in different places. 
    With that said, when the average gringo hears barbacoa he is automatically thinking about Mexican barbacoa made with some type of head meat that is steamed or braised in some type of pot or container that is buried in a pit. The pan contains a small section of clod meat. The ball of foil contains a goats head. 

    In my modest and humble opinion, there is not a dimes worth of difference in the cooking method or cooking vessel. What makes all the difference in the world is the quality of meat, spices, marinade and how well you cook it. I have done it on a hole in the ground, on a reverse flow cabinet, a reverse flow offset, a traditional offset and see no difference. In fact when using a true steaming pot I can get the same results without all the hassle by placing the pot on a gas burner. Why? Remember that Mexican barbacoa is steamed in a pot. As such it does not matter what you use it will pick up zero smoke in the pot. 
    Again, and just to be clear, there are certainly variations of barbacoa where the meat is smoked. But what I have seen way south of the border is not. It is basically steamed or braised. 

    Location- Just "this side" of Biloxi, Ms.

    Status- Standing by.

    Arsenal-Just a small wore out and broken down Weber kettle. No other means to cook at all.

    Virtus Junxit Mors Non Separabit

    The greatest barrier against all wisdom, the stronghold against knowledge itself, is the single thought, in ones mind, that they already have it all figured out. 

    Just a man with a Muhle. 
  • SGHSGH Posts: 26,595
    At the end of the day you can cook it anyway you want my friend and get outstanding results👍

    Location- Just "this side" of Biloxi, Ms.

    Status- Standing by.

    Arsenal-Just a small wore out and broken down Weber kettle. No other means to cook at all.

    Virtus Junxit Mors Non Separabit

    The greatest barrier against all wisdom, the stronghold against knowledge itself, is the single thought, in ones mind, that they already have it all figured out. 

    Just a man with a Muhle. 
  • calikingcaliking Posts: 13,085
    I have some thoughts on this, based on our past cook documented in the idle hands thread, just need some time to respond properly. 

    To start with, I called the HEB in Abilene and they have fresh banana leaves $5 for a 5lb bundle. In case you are in those parts. 

    More later. 

    #1 LBGE December 2012 • #2 SBGE February  2013 • #3 Mini May 2013
    A happy BGE family in Houston, TX.
  • Here’s the way we do it. 


    Cheeks would be awesome too. Definitely more traditional. 
    Keepin' It Weird in The ATX
  • SciAggieSciAggie Posts: 4,313
    caliking said:
    I have some thoughts on this, based on our past cook documented in the idle hands thread, just need some time to respond properly. 

    To start with, I called the HEB in Abilene and they have fresh banana leaves $5 for a 5lb bundle. In case you are in those parts. 

    More later. 
    You’re awesome. I don’t usually go to HEB so I didn’t think about them. I’ll definitely pick some up. We talked about my wife’s situation - we’re in Abilene weekly. I can pick up some banana leaves to play with. 
    Coleman, Texas
    Large BGE & Mini Max for the wok. A few old camp Dutch ovens and a wood fired oven. LSG 24” cabinet offset smoker. There are a few paella pans and a Patagonia cross in the barn. 
    "Bourbon slushies. Sure you can cook on the BGE without them, but why would you?"
                                                                                                                          YukonRon
  • SciAggieSciAggie Posts: 4,313
    @SGH Yeah, that barbacoa is steamed in a pot is what got me thinking. I cooked a hog in the ground years ago with some friends and remember how it was essentially steamed. 
    I was thinking about wrapping meat in banana leaves over a steaming pan in the wood oven. That should be close enough without digging up the back forty...
    I appreciate the insight. 
    Coleman, Texas
    Large BGE & Mini Max for the wok. A few old camp Dutch ovens and a wood fired oven. LSG 24” cabinet offset smoker. There are a few paella pans and a Patagonia cross in the barn. 
    "Bourbon slushies. Sure you can cook on the BGE without them, but why would you?"
                                                                                                                          YukonRon
  • SciAggieSciAggie Posts: 4,313
    Here’s the way we do it. 


    Cheeks would be awesome too. Definitely more traditional. 
    Thanks for the link. 
    Coleman, Texas
    Large BGE & Mini Max for the wok. A few old camp Dutch ovens and a wood fired oven. LSG 24” cabinet offset smoker. There are a few paella pans and a Patagonia cross in the barn. 
    "Bourbon slushies. Sure you can cook on the BGE without them, but why would you?"
                                                                                                                          YukonRon
  • SciAggieSciAggie Posts: 4,313
    caliking said:
    I have some thoughts on this, based on our past cook documented in the idle hands thread, just need some time to respond properly. 

    To start with, I called the HEB in Abilene and they have fresh banana leaves $5 for a 5lb bundle. In case you are in those parts. 

    More later. 
    I’ve got lots of time my friend. I’m really curious how you would prepare the tongue in a more traditional way. Or is the sous vide method the best way to go? I look forward to your insights. 
    Coleman, Texas
    Large BGE & Mini Max for the wok. A few old camp Dutch ovens and a wood fired oven. LSG 24” cabinet offset smoker. There are a few paella pans and a Patagonia cross in the barn. 
    "Bourbon slushies. Sure you can cook on the BGE without them, but why would you?"
                                                                                                                          YukonRon
  • YukonRonYukonRon Posts: 14,725
    Fascinating read.....
    "Knowledge is Good" - Emil Faber

    XL and MM
    Louisville, Kentucky
  • SciAggieSciAggie Posts: 4,313
    edited November 5
    YukonRon said:
    Fascinating read.....
    I’m obviously easily entertained. I looked at Kalua Pork - it’s essentially Hawaiian Barbacoa... I’m not exactly sure where I’m going with any of this. I think I just like drilling down to the essence of any type of cooking. I like trying to discover what is the essential technique or ingredient that makes these time honored dishes so popular. Crock pots, instant pots, and sous vide are wonderful modern tools that deliver great results - as long as one knows what result they are striving to achieve. 
    I should probably drink more and think a bit less...
    Coleman, Texas
    Large BGE & Mini Max for the wok. A few old camp Dutch ovens and a wood fired oven. LSG 24” cabinet offset smoker. There are a few paella pans and a Patagonia cross in the barn. 
    "Bourbon slushies. Sure you can cook on the BGE without them, but why would you?"
                                                                                                                          YukonRon
  • smokingalsmokingal Posts: 874
    edited November 5
    @SciAggie Out of the possibilities you've mentioned, this one sounded best to me:

    Smoke the beef cheeks on the offset until I get a bark on them and then go one of three ways. 
    1) Finish them confit in fat back on the smoker or in the wood oven at low heat. 

    If you can switch out Wagyu fat (SRF black gold?) for back fat, man, would that be some tasty stuff.
    It's "Smokin Gal", not "Smoking Al".
    Egging in the Atlanta GA region
    Large BGE, CGS setup, Kick Ash Basket, Smokeware SS Cap,
    Arteflame grill grate

    http://barbecueaddict.com
  • SciAggieSciAggie Posts: 4,313
    Thanks @smokingal I appreciate the feedback. 
    Coleman, Texas
    Large BGE & Mini Max for the wok. A few old camp Dutch ovens and a wood fired oven. LSG 24” cabinet offset smoker. There are a few paella pans and a Patagonia cross in the barn. 
    "Bourbon slushies. Sure you can cook on the BGE without them, but why would you?"
                                                                                                                          YukonRon
  • thetrimthetrim Posts: 9,254
    Dang man, this is another epic cook coming from you.

    My only concern so far is remembering that @SGH never did tell us how he dug that hole so perfectly....
    =======================================
    XL 6/06, Mini 6/12, L 10/12, Mini #2 12/14 MiniMax 3/16
    Tampa Bay, FL
    EIB 6 Oct 95
  • SciAggieSciAggie Posts: 4,313
    thetrim said:
    Dang man, this is another epic cook coming from you.

    My only concern so far is remembering that @SGH never did tell us how he dug that hole so perfectly....
    Don't be in a hurry - this is something I'll do when I have a long weekend at home - probably over Thanksgiving or Christmas break. And I don't think I'll be digging a hole - I'll most likely use the wood oven. But then again...
    Coleman, Texas
    Large BGE & Mini Max for the wok. A few old camp Dutch ovens and a wood fired oven. LSG 24” cabinet offset smoker. There are a few paella pans and a Patagonia cross in the barn. 
    "Bourbon slushies. Sure you can cook on the BGE without them, but why would you?"
                                                                                                                          YukonRon
  • SciAggie said:
    I’ve been thinking - and that’s sometimes a mistake. I’m happy with the way my carnitas experiment unfolded. I would definitely do it again. https://eggheadforum.com/discussion/1220899/my-carnitas-experiment/p1

    Now I’m thinking about barbacoa...
    I was looking through the idle hands thread again - https://eggheadforum.com/discussion/1208910/idle-hands/p1
    I was actually considering digging a pit but then I got to thinking - isn’t the wood oven essentially providing a similar delivery of heat? It’s just not a pit - but it is using thermal energy stored in bricks/soil/cement. 
    I’m also thinking about what to cook. As entertaining as a head might be I’m thinking beef cheeks and toungue are good enough on their own to make a pretty fine taco. 

    This got me thinking about @smokingal ‘s thread about beef cheek carnitas. https://eggheadforum.com/discussion/1219232/wagyu-beef-cheek-carnitas

    @The Cen-Tex Smoker had some good things to say about smoked beef cheeks finished confit in beef fat - basically carnitas...

    I guess I’m just pondering the true difference between a traditional barbacoa taco and a carnitas taco in terms of texture and flavor. 

    Here are my options I’m considering:
    I can get banana leaves from Amazon. I could cook beef cheeks and pork shoulder - or a leg of lamb wrapped in the leaves over a roasting pan of broth for the same effect as cooking in a pit. If it’s effectively different explain my error in reasoning. 

    Or

    I could smoke the beef cheeks on the offset until I get a bark on them and then go one of three ways. 
    1) Finish them confit in fat back on the smoker or in the wood oven at low heat. 
    2) Finish them Sous Vide.
    3) Finish them by braising. 

    I’m not sure if there would be any huge taste difference between the methods. 
    I can make the tongue sous vide like in the idle hands thread - or should I make it in a more traditional manner just for chickles and grins?

    @20stone @The Cen-Tex Smoker @caliking @smokingal @SGH and whoever else - whaddayathink? Or am I making this too hard? I’m just trying to plan out a fun cook that delivers an authentic barbacoa style taco. At the least maybe this will be a fun discussion. I’ve got several tools in my arsenal now and I weighing the options to see what combinations will make the tastiest food.
    the beef cheeks I had at the Meat Church class were 2:1 pepper to salt, smoked 4 hours at 250 and Confit 4 hours back on the smoker in beef fat from briskets. He sliced the bigger cheeks and they were like amazing brisket. He shredded the smaller cheeks and trim to make barbacoa. Fantastic as well. much more like traditional barbaoca than mine. Mine is a flavor bomb but i think it's more traditional to just use salt and pepper. I definitely like the smoke that comes with mine and Evan's from the Meat Church class. You won't get any of that in banana leaves.

    here is the thread with the beef cheek (about half way down first page)


    Highly recommend trying this.

    Keepin' It Weird in The ATX
  • SciAggieSciAggie Posts: 4,313
    @The Cen-Tex Smoker Thanks. I will definitely cook some cheeks this way. They can't help but be superb. All of this is academic in a way, but cooking cheeks like this seems to fit the definition of carnitas better than barbacoa. 

    At the end of the day the only thing that's important is making food taste good. In part I'm thinking about minutia that probably isn't important - but to me it is at least interesting.
    Coleman, Texas
    Large BGE & Mini Max for the wok. A few old camp Dutch ovens and a wood fired oven. LSG 24” cabinet offset smoker. There are a few paella pans and a Patagonia cross in the barn. 
    "Bourbon slushies. Sure you can cook on the BGE without them, but why would you?"
                                                                                                                          YukonRon
  • SciAggie said:
    @The Cen-Tex Smoker Thanks. I will definitely cook some cheeks this way. They can't help but be superb. All of this is academic in a way, but cooking cheeks like this seems to fit the definition of carnitas better than barbacoa. 

    At the end of the day the only thing that's important is making food taste good. In part I'm thinking about minutia that probably isn't important - but to me it is at least interesting.
    it's a bit a hybrid for sure. They didn't use the fat to griddle sear like you would with Carnitas but I would do that for sure. This tasted much more like the barbcaoa you get around here than the one I make.
    Keepin' It Weird in The ATX
  • I'll say that I have enjoyed the finished product way better when cooking with some smoke more than any of the banana leaf/pit cooks I have done (only done a couple). I have done cochinita pibil in a pit, in the egg, and in the oven, all with banana leaves. While it's always fun to dig a hole and light a fire, I could not tell a bit of difference with any of them. Once you wrap it, it's not going to take on any smoke so you may as well do it the easiest way. I like smoke on things like this so I smoke them for 4 hours then finish however the recipe calls for (braise/oven/banana leaves/whatever).

    Can't wait to see how this turns out.
    Keepin' It Weird in The ATX
  • SciAggieSciAggie Posts: 4,313
    I'll say that I have enjoyed the finished product way better when cooking with some smoke more than any of the banana leaf/pit cooks I have done (only done a couple). I have done cochinita pibil in a pit, in the egg, and in the oven, all with banana leaves. While it's always fun to dig a hole and light a fire, I could not tell a bit of difference with any of them. Once you wrap it, it's not going to take on any smoke so you may as well do it the easiest way. I like smoke on things like this so I smoke them for 4 hours then finish however the recipe calls for (braise/oven/banana leaves/whatever).

    Can't wait to see how this turns out.
    Honestly I think you have drilled down to the conclusion I am leaning toward. I like a bit of smoke flavor as well. When I smoked the carnitas for a bit before putting them in the lard bath I like how they tasted. I'm sure the beef cheeks described above will be next level.

    I've never cooked anything wrapped in banana leaves so I feel compelled to try it at least once. I'm thinking I'll get a large covered roaster for the cook. I want to elevate the meat on a rack so I can make a broth in the bottom while adding steam to the cook. I'll marinate and wrap the meat in banana leaves and place the bundle over the cooking liquid. Then put the lid on the roaster and slide the whole business in the wood oven with the door closed for a nice long cook. 
    That should emulate a pit cook fairly well from all I have read. Then I'll know the difference and how I like it.
    Coleman, Texas
    Large BGE & Mini Max for the wok. A few old camp Dutch ovens and a wood fired oven. LSG 24” cabinet offset smoker. There are a few paella pans and a Patagonia cross in the barn. 
    "Bourbon slushies. Sure you can cook on the BGE without them, but why would you?"
                                                                                                                          YukonRon
  • SciAggie said:
    I'll say that I have enjoyed the finished product way better when cooking with some smoke more than any of the banana leaf/pit cooks I have done (only done a couple). I have done cochinita pibil in a pit, in the egg, and in the oven, all with banana leaves. While it's always fun to dig a hole and light a fire, I could not tell a bit of difference with any of them. Once you wrap it, it's not going to take on any smoke so you may as well do it the easiest way. I like smoke on things like this so I smoke them for 4 hours then finish however the recipe calls for (braise/oven/banana leaves/whatever).

    Can't wait to see how this turns out.
    Honestly I think you have drilled down to the conclusion I am leaning toward. I like a bit of smoke flavor as well. When I smoked the carnitas for a bit before putting them in the lard bath I like how they tasted. I'm sure the beef cheeks described above will be next level.

    I've never cooked anything wrapped in banana leaves so I feel compelled to try it at least once. I'm thinking I'll get a large covered roaster for the cook. I want to elevate the meat on a rack so I can make a broth in the bottom while adding steam to the cook. I'll marinate and wrap the meat in banana leaves and place the bundle over the cooking liquid. Then put the lid on the roaster and slide the whole business in the wood oven with the door closed for a nice long cook. 
    That should emulate a pit cook fairly well from all I have read. Then I'll know the difference and how I like it.
    once you wrap in banana leaves, you may as well wrap in foil or paper. No moisture from the pan or smoke from the pit/oven will get to the meat. This is the issue I have with this kind of cook. It basically just steams inside the leaves. No outside flavor or moisture influence will affect whats wrapped in the leaves.
    Keepin' It Weird in The ATX
  • SciAggieSciAggie Posts: 4,313
    @The Cen-Tex Smoker Ok. Thanks. That's good to know. I may talk myself out of this before I'm done.

    Smoked then simmered in fat is a hard combo to beat and I know how to do that...
    Coleman, Texas
    Large BGE & Mini Max for the wok. A few old camp Dutch ovens and a wood fired oven. LSG 24” cabinet offset smoker. There are a few paella pans and a Patagonia cross in the barn. 
    "Bourbon slushies. Sure you can cook on the BGE without them, but why would you?"
                                                                                                                          YukonRon
  • SGHSGH Posts: 26,595
    As time allows, you should try it many different ways my friend 👍

    Location- Just "this side" of Biloxi, Ms.

    Status- Standing by.

    Arsenal-Just a small wore out and broken down Weber kettle. No other means to cook at all.

    Virtus Junxit Mors Non Separabit

    The greatest barrier against all wisdom, the stronghold against knowledge itself, is the single thought, in ones mind, that they already have it all figured out. 

    Just a man with a Muhle. 
  • JohnInCarolinaJohnInCarolina Posts: 15,289
    thetrim said:
    Dang man, this is another epic cook coming from you.

    My only concern so far is remembering that @SGH never did tell us how he dug that hole so perfectly....
    Forget about the hole - we never heard what happened to the brisket he stashed in it!
    "A generation of the unteachable is hanging upon us like a necklace of corpses." - George Orwell 

    "I've made a note never to piss you two off." - Stike


  • SciAggieSciAggie Posts: 4,313
    SGH said:
    As time allows, you should try it many different ways my friend 👍
    This is of course, the best attitude to have. You know me - curiosity will get to me. @caliking will come along with some sage comment and push me over the edge. 
    Coleman, Texas
    Large BGE & Mini Max for the wok. A few old camp Dutch ovens and a wood fired oven. LSG 24” cabinet offset smoker. There are a few paella pans and a Patagonia cross in the barn. 
    "Bourbon slushies. Sure you can cook on the BGE without them, but why would you?"
                                                                                                                          YukonRon
  • calikingcaliking Posts: 13,085
    Cen-Tex can rustle up some barbacoa that'll make you wanna slap yo momma. Enjoyed it recently, and its freakin good.

    My thoughts about wrapping in banana leaves are similar to what he had to say. When we did the cabeza a while back, they turned out kinda 'wet' i.e. steamed,  and low in roasty,  Maillard reaction type of flavor. If we were to do it again, I would also vote to smoke the protein for a bit then wrap. But for the record, wrapping in banana leaves is WAY cooler than foil or butcher paper :)

    Re: the best treatment for the beef cheeks, I stopped reading after " 1) finish them confit..." Yess!!

    Beef tongue - I vote for SV. I've never eaten the real deal, and all interwebz recipes call for boiling it. SV wins, IMO. But if you find a traditional method for cooking it, I'm in favor. So what if it takes a heck of a lot longer??

    Lastly, i'm a fan of seasoning with more than S&P. If you give some thought to which peppers to include (some for forward heat, some for warmth, some for heat that rolls in towards the end of the bite) you can get some wonderful flavors packed in there. A mix of dried ancho, pequin, guajillo, or whatever you like will ramp it up, without necessarily being flaming hot to eat. Don't forget the garlic. There's no such thing as too much garlic. Or cumin, IMO. One of the real takeaway points from our cabeza cook was that rehydrating the dried chiles,  to make a mash then the spice rub/paste,  was a winning move.

    #1 LBGE December 2012 • #2 SBGE February  2013 • #3 Mini May 2013
    A happy BGE family in Houston, TX.
  • EggcelsiorEggcelsior Posts: 14,328
    Find yourself a choricera and make some saudero, which is the tops in Mexico City. For me, only bested by the king, carnitas. But that’s because pork is the best.

    The choricera essentially confits the meat in the deep part (think sombrero) then is seared off on the dome to get crispy. Saudero is Rose meat(Near the brisket). It’s common in Central and South America. Typically used for ground beef in the US.
  • SciAggieSciAggie Posts: 4,313
    @caliking Thanks for the time you put into the response. I really appreciate your experience and comments. I certainly agree with needing more than S&P for seasoning. 

    @Eggcelsior I’m making Google tired looking up all those words, lol. Thanks for the feedback. 
    Coleman, Texas
    Large BGE & Mini Max for the wok. A few old camp Dutch ovens and a wood fired oven. LSG 24” cabinet offset smoker. There are a few paella pans and a Patagonia cross in the barn. 
    "Bourbon slushies. Sure you can cook on the BGE without them, but why would you?"
                                                                                                                          YukonRon
  • SciAggieSciAggie Posts: 4,313
    @caliking @The Cen-Tex Smoker I have a question about wrapping in banana leaves. Do they actually impart any unique flavor to a dish? I get that it's cool and might have crowd appeal for guests - but is there any real difference in flavor over wrapping in foil? 

    As I watch videos of folks cooking in pits it seems the leaves provide insulation from the direct coals/fire bricks. They also would seem to help by both providing and trapping moisture. Leaves seem to be what people used before foil was around...
    Coleman, Texas
    Large BGE & Mini Max for the wok. A few old camp Dutch ovens and a wood fired oven. LSG 24” cabinet offset smoker. There are a few paella pans and a Patagonia cross in the barn. 
    "Bourbon slushies. Sure you can cook on the BGE without them, but why would you?"
                                                                                                                          YukonRon
  • calikingcaliking Posts: 13,085
    Banana leaves don't impart flavor as such. Kind of acts like butcher paper, because it can sort of breathe, unlike foil. But it doesn't burn like paper, or conduct heat like foil, so it works well buried in pits.

    Dim sum places usually have a sticky rice item steamed in lotus leaves, which are hardy enough to withstand cooking, and lend a woodsy flavor to the rice. The leaves aren't large enough for big cuts though. 

    #1 LBGE December 2012 • #2 SBGE February  2013 • #3 Mini May 2013
    A happy BGE family in Houston, TX.
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