Graph of the Week: The Bagel Graph

There are many traits that are prevalent amongst engineers (there are plenty of jokes about this, normally told with glee by lesser humans), but i think there is possibly only one which appears to be universal:
We love free food.

Most engineers are honest people, who are not open to corruption, but they will do things for food that they would never do for money. As a result, it is common practise for equipment suppliers to come in to our offices to present “lunch and learn” sessions. While these sessions aren’t going to sway us to use a certain product (we are generally, after all, technophiles, and will always go for the technically superior product), the mention of a free lunch does ensure that the vendors get a room full of engineers who are too busy eating to ask annoying questions.

After these lunch and learns, we will discuss the merits of the presentation amongst ourselves: starting with the quality of the food, then on to the quality of the equipment being demonstrated.

But when you get engineers doing technical evaluations on food… weird things happen…

I was telling my wife about one such Lunch-and-learn, and the duck & coleslaw bagel that I ate:
“You know what the best thing about a good bagel is?” I asked her, as we ate dinner.
“What?” She asked, and really should have known better.
“The bit in the middle where there is a hole in the bagel, but the filling continues… actually, there’s probably a graph for that…” I mused.
“You don’t need to graph it, baby” she said, wishing she wasn’t just dead wrong.
“Oh yes, my little turnip. Yes I do…” I turned to the whiteboard on our kitchen wall…

I present to you… The Bagel Graph

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(Filling as a ratio to bagel bread. Apologies for the quality of the graph, I tried to sketch it as neatly as I could on my smartphone).

Chicken Wing Gyouza

I’ve been meaning to make Chicken Wing Gyouza for many years, but never quite gotten around to it, on account of the fact that it seems like a lot of effort to de-bone so many chicken wings (because it’d just be ridiculous to only make a small amount!)

Well, I finally got around to it, and it turned out it wasn’t all that time consuming. I started with a tray of chicken wings (about 1.5 kilograms). Taking a paring knife and cutting around the shoulder joint of the wing, I separated the meat from the end of the upper arm bone (or the chickeny equivalent); mostly getting the knife underneath the tendons and flesh and cutting up, out of the meat, towards me, working my way around the bone.

Once I had the end done, I cut down along the side of the bone (sliding my knife in between the flesh and the bone). Once I had separated the flesh from the bone all the way down to the other end, it was a simple matter of dislocating the elbow (or the chickeny equivalent) and wrenching out the bone.

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At this point I decided not to remove the bones from the lower part of the wing. I made this decision for two reasons:

  1. this would leave a convenient boney bit to hold onto when eating the chicken wing gyouza
  2. this would save me a lot of time

I prepared a fairly standard gyouza filling mixture:

  • 250g pork mince
  • equivalent volume of finely diced cabbage
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • a bit of soy (didn’t measure. enough to make it smell and look right. maybe 2 tsp?)
  • 1 tsp sesame oil

I then stuffed the mixture into the cavity left by the bone (after I created some more space lower down in the wing by using my finger to separate the layers of skin in the wing). I sealed the opening by folding the skin over the opening and pinning down with a nice bamboo skewer that we brought back from japan (a long way to bring some skewers, but a pack of hundreds only cost us several hundred yen, and they cost about 10 times that here in Australia, for some reason).

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I’ll post some photos of the cooked product once we’ve cooked them up. It’s going to be delicious!

Closing note: One thing that annoys me (so very, very much) is the constant pluralisation and mispronunciation of “gyouza” that I have to deal with from people who obviously didn’t do japanese at school. The plural of gyouza is “gyouza”, not “gyouzas”. You get this a lot with japanese words. and it’s pronounced “gyo-za”, not “gai-yoh-za”. Christ people, come on.