Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Fish-flavor pork shreds

Fish-flavor pork shreds [Yuxiang rousi]: 250 grams of pork tenderloin (or other lean pork meat); a handful of shredded bamboo shoots (tinned); 2 to 3 soaked wood-ear mushrooms (the black slippery kind, for sale in Chinese stores); 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, MSG, 1 tablespoon of sugar, a pinch of salt. cornstarch and water mixture, finely chopped ginger/ garlic [one tablespoon each]; chicken stock; Shaoxing rice wine; 2 tablespoons of vinegar; 2 tablespoons of finely chopped salted chiles.

Start by shredding the pork really finely, watch the video on how to do this. Then marinate with Shaoxing rice wine, salt, corn starch batter: mix. It should be quite sticky but not too dry. Fry the pork strips in hot oil and make sure they don't stick together. As soon as they lose their raw flavor, add two tablespoons of chopped salted chiles and the garlic, ginger and spring onions. When the oil turns red, add bamboo shoots, Shaoxing wine, wood-ear mushrooms, soy sauce, vinegar, salt, sugar, chicken stock and MSG to your liking. Stir-fry in the wok until very fragrant.

Finally, add two tablespoons of cornstarch-and-water mixture to thicken the sauce, then pour on a plate and serve. Chef: Wang Dan from the Sichuan Restaurant (in Beijing?).

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Eggs Foo-yung [Fuyong Hai]

This recipe is called furong dan, or Egg Foo-yung. In the Netherlands, this is one of the most popular dishes from the 'Chinese' restaurant (called Fuyong Hai), but then it is served omelette-style flipped over in a sweet and sour thick sauce. For this version, you need: 200 grams egg (must be 4 or 5 eggs), spring onions (10 grams), cut into julienne strips, bamboo shoots (125 grams), cut into julienne strips (you can buy bamboo shoots canned, and often they are already cut into strips. This is easy, but I am sure bamboo chunks, cut on the spot, are tastier), soaked dried shiitake mushrooms (15 grams), cut into strips, and ham and/or charsiu meat (25 grams), cut into strips.

If you can't get charsiu meat, you could probably leave it out, or use bacon or something. Also, you need: MSG 10 grams, a little bit of white pepper, 10 grams of salt, and a teaspoon of sesame oil. How to prepare: cut bamboo shoots, spring onions and other ingredients into strips. Heat water and blanch the bamboo shoots briefly. Fry shiitake and strips of chashiu meat seperately in some oil, take out when done. Mix the eggs and add salt and pepper, MSG, ham strips and spring onions, also add the shiitake and ham strips (plus charsiu strips), stir to combine. Also, add a little bit of sesame oil.

Heat oil in pan and fry half of the egg mixture, when it starts to set, take it out and put it in with the remaining egg mixture, stir to combine. Then, add a tablespoon of oil in the wok and put everything back in the pan. Use a slow fire, leave to set. Take out and cut into eight wedges. Put prettily on a plate. Please note, the fire of this dish shouldn't be hot, just a slow fire will do.... chef: Huang Woxuan

Twice-cooked pork

This classic Chinese dish, lovely pork slices in spicy sauce never fails to please. It is called twice-cooked (actually it is called 'back to the pan-meat') because it is first cooked, then stir-fried with seasonings. For this recipe you will need: 400 grams of hind shoulder of pork - with fat layer - I don't know if there is a western equivalent cut for this... ; two or three white leeks; some Shaoxing rice wine (left) -10 grams, 50 grams of vegetable oil (about one cup), 4 grams of salt; 5 grams of sugar, 4 grams of MSG; 10 grams of ginger, 10 grams of spring onion; 75 grams of Pixian chili bean sauce from (the most famous chili bean paste from Sichuan), 30 grams of sweet bean paste (the kind you have with Peking duck).

Now watch the video, the cooking starts at 1:25: Put the slab of meat in a pan of boiling water, cover with lid and boil for about 15 minutes (until "70% tender", you figure it out...). Take the meat out, cool slightly, and cut into thin square slices (you can prepare this beforehand). As you can see, each slice is part meat, part fat. Heat oil in a wok and stir-fry the slices in hot oil until slightly browned. Add ginger and spring onion and keep stirring.

When it starts to smell delicious, add rice wine and sweet bean paste. Put in chili bean paste, salt, MSG, soy sauce, leeks. After just a short mixing of ingredients, put on a plate and serve. The plate looks a bit on the small side, but as you can see, the sauce is very delicious and coveres most of the plate. Enjoy!

Bifengtang Eggplant

This Chinese chef shows you, in a very relaxed way, how to make Bifengtang (the name of a Taiwan restaurant chain) eggplant. First, peel the eggplant and cut it into thick slices.

After marinating with MSG and salt, soak the eggplant slices in a water and cornstarch batter. Heat oil in a large wok and fry the eggplant slices in the hot oil on a medium fire. Take out when golden and done, and pour all oil from the wok away. Put in 2 tablespoons of oil and fry some black salted beans, dried chili peppers, some bell pepper chunks and some onion chunks. Take the wok off the fire when done.

Take a pretty basket, line it with kitchen paper and arrange the pieces of fried eggplant inside it. Then put the peppers, black beans and bell pepper chunks from the wok on top. Finally, sprinkle on a mixture of fried garlic crumbs and black beans (unfortunately, the chef does not explain how to make it. I guess you have to fry some breadcrumbs and garlic pieces gently in oil, perhaps adding a bit of dried fish). The inside will be soft and tasty and the crumbs crispy and delicious.

Steamed pork slices with mustard greens

This dish is a special party dish which always looks very beautiful. The pork is very soft and utterly delicious. You won't find this too much in Western Chinese restaurants as this is a lot of work! You will need: 1 kilo of pork and 150 grams of meicai (dried salted mustard greens, available at Chinese stores); 5 grams of salt, 5 grams of ginger, 5 grams of crushed ginger and 40 grams of sugar; 20 grams of MSG, 10 grams of oyster sauce, 10 grams of wet cornstarch mixture, 25 grams of dark soy sauce.

How to make this dish: boil the whole slab of pork and let it cool, cut into squarish slices of one centimetre thick and 5 cemtimers width and height. Cut the ginger into strips, then into very small dice. Put a couple of tablespoons of oil in a wok and fry garlic and ginger until fragrant, then add some chicken stock, then the oyster sauce, salt, sugar, MSG and soy sauce. Then put the meicai in the wok, after you have cleaned it with water. Then simmer on a slow fire. Then, take a small bowl and arrange the slices of pork in a special way (starts at 3.00), cover all the sides. Then add the cooked meicai with the sauce on top of it.

Put the small bowl in a steamer and cover it with a lid. Steam for 40 minutes. Carefully remove from the steamer and drain the juices in a new bowl without disturbing the meat slices. Turn over in a serving bowl and reduce the juices in the wok, with sugar, MSG, oyster sauce and thicken with cornstarch mixture, add chicken stock and soy sauce. The sauce shouldn't be too thick, so adapt until just right. Please note, you need to wash the meicai before use (otherwise it will be too salty). Sprinkle some cilantro on top.

Oil-blasted shrimp

For this recipe you will need: 350 grams raw shrimp, with heads on, but cleaned; soy sauce: 25 grams; spring onions: 5 grams; Chinese rice wine 15 grams; oil; 25 grams of sugar; 15 grams of chinese vinegar. Start of with drying the shrimp, then fry them briefly in medium hot oil (the Chinese call this 60% hot), take out; then fry them again in hotter oil (70% hot). The Chinese chefs have a really big ladle with holes in it, like a strainer, with which they scoop out all the ingredients in one go. OK, then put again a little bit of oil in a wok, add the shrimp, rice wine, sugar, vinegar, soy, spring onions and stir to combine. Don't fry too long, take out and arrange prettily on a plate. Chef: Chen Yongqing from Hangzhou.

Gongbao chicken

Chicken with peanuts. A great recipe! Use: 400 grams of chicken breast, 200 grams of peanuts, 10 grams each of Chinese rice wine (Shaoxing) and chicken stock, and 3 grams of salt; 10 grams of sugar, 4 grams of chinese dark vinegar and 5 grams of MSG; 5 grams of huajiao (Sichuan pepper or fagara), 10 grams of soy sauce and 5 dried chili peppers; 2 egg whites, 5 grams each of spring onion, garlic and ginger, 25 grams of cornstarch and 100 grams of oil.

Make a criss-cross pattern on the chicken and cut it into strips, then into chunks, marinate the chunks in salt, cornstarch, eggwhite and rice wine. Mix. Fry the peanuts in oil until golden and done. Fry the chicken cubes in hot oil (the Chinese use the term 60% hot out of 100%) and fiddle them apart a little bit, then take them out. Pour away almost all of the oil, leave a few tablespoons, in which you fry chili peppers (until fragrant), garlic, spring onion and ginger, then the chicken dice, then soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, salt and MSG (you can leave that out if you don't like it).

Then, on a very hot fire, add chicken stock and a little bit of cornstarch water to thicken it. Add the peanuts and put out on a plate. You will love the flavours of spicy, sweet and sour of this dish, which is a favorite of mine!