Alright! Here we go with the much promised lu wei!
Rock Sugar ($3.99 / 4 = $1)
Green Onion ($1.49)
Coca Cola ($2)
Chicken Gizzard ($5)
Spicy Red Pepper (Dried)
And mixed herb pack!
(~$20 / food enough for whole week (7 days) =~ $3/day)
Let's get started :)
2) First blanche your meats!
3) While your meat is blanching, cut up the other foods
Chop your green onion and ginger into big pieces, you won't be eat them so don't worry about presentation
4) Take the tofu
And chop it up to edible sizes
5) After the meat blaches, run it under cold water to cool the meat down.
So that the meat would get too stiff from overcooking.
6) Fill your pot with coke, soy sauce, green onion, ginger, herb pack, pepper, rock sugar, some water and other non-meat food you wish to braise.
The proportions depending on how you want the end taste to be. if you want it sweeter, put more cola + rock sugar, if you want spicier put more pepper.
Cook to boil.
7) Make good use of your time by taking out the trash while you wait.
8) After the broth boils, let it continue to boil for 15-20 more minutes.
9) Here's our secret weapon: Thermos Thermal Cooker!
Place the pot into the Thermal cooker, and wait overnight.
For you poor soul who doesn't have the Thermal Cooker, turn the stove down to Medium - Low, and let pot continue to simmer for a couple of hours, and turn off the stove but leave pot on stove overnight when you sleep.
The Thermal Cooker at work... This is where the rest of you would continue to simmer
10) Come back the next morning and find your delishly braised goodies
Gizzard and Tofu
But wait, there's more!
What are we going to do with our big big pot of braise broth? Such a waste to dump it all...
Fret not, fellow cookers, the secret to any good Chinese braise food is the aged braised broth!
Here's what we do
Boil the braise broth, and let the broth boil down to manageable size
Keep broth and herb pack in sealed container, after cool down, put into freezer for safe keeping!
One thing you will notice after the broth freezes, is that there is a layer of white stuffs on top of the broth. That is simply the grease and fat from the broth, just scrap it off with a spoon and you will have a very clean broth for next time!
Bon appetite :)