All the favorable qualities I wrote about in my previous post about Jiang Li (鴻意順 - hóng yì shun) I feel even more strongly about now. It has become my go-to restaurant when I've been in the mood for Dongbei food in recent months, and I've tried a few more dishes worth reporting on.
It has always been difficult for me to come here without ordering either the sliced braised pork with brown sauce (山東扣肉 - shān dōng kòu ròu) or the fresh hot pepper with dry bean curd (尖椒干豆腐 - jiān jiāo gān dòu fǔ), both written about previously. Usually I end up ordering both. Now another dish must be added to the list of addictions here: "chives pork with black bean sauce" (三鮮春餅 - sān xiān chūn bǐng). The Chinese name means literally "three fresh spring pancake", which, admittedly, doesn't seem to have much to do with its English translation. What you get is a plate of minced pork that has been sautéed with chives and black beans - the "three fresh (ingredients)" in question (sān xiān is often translated as "three treasure"). What goes unmentioned are the minced jalapeño peppers that are sautéed with it - this dish is not only rich and complex, but fairly seriously spicy! Alongside is a plate of the loveliest thin pancakes I've run across in a Chinese restaurant; fill them with the minced pork, a la "moo shu" dishes of strip-mall Chinese restaurant fame, and experience the desire to order a second plate after polishing off the first one.
The most delightful little snack lurks at the end the menu, which I never would have thought to order had I not seen some at a neighboring table - fried bun with chives and egg (韭菜盒子 - jiǔ cài hé zǐ). It's pretty much what the name says: a fried pastry-pocket filled with chives and scrambled egg, but more delicate than you're probably imagining, and utterly delicious. This post marks my debut as photographer here - I very recently acquired a camera that I'm still learning how to use, and unfortunately the pic of the pork, chives and black bean dish didn't turn out too well. This one is better:
Since Miss Audrey Lo loves her pig intestine, one dish containing it must be ordered whenever she is along, and this week's was a winner - sour cabbage with intestines (酸菜炒大腸 - suān cài chǎo dà cháng). Coarsely-chopped sour cabbage is sautéed with slices of pig intestine and, of course, some garlic. A surprisingly comforting dish.
Also worth noting: they have listed on the wall (Chinese only) 拔 絲 (bá sī) dessert dishes, the chunks of caramelized fruit you dip in cold water before eating to make the sugar coating crunchy. If I can ever muster a bit of self-control when ordering the main dishes, I plan to try one some day. But I fear that day will not be soon.
Jiang Li Restaurant
44-18 Kissena Blvd., Flushing 11355
(7 train to Main St.-Flushing, south on Main St. to Kissena, veer left, then 6 more blocks)