Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Chinese New Year

 Easy and tasty dishes to celebrate Chinese new year.

Sesame chicken

2 teaspoons cornflour
2 tablespoons rice wine
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 pinch crushed chillies
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 clove crushed garlic
500g (1 lb) skinless, boneless chicken breast fillets, cut into bite-size pieces
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
110g (4 oz) fresh mushrooms, quartered
1 green pepper, julienned
4 spring onions, sliced diagonally into 1/2 inch pieces
1 can water chestnuts, drained and sliced 
Beansprouts (optional)

For marinade: In a dish or bowl, blend cornflour with rice wine (or dry sherry); stir in lemon juice, soy sauce, chillies, ginger and garlic. Blend and stir in chicken strips to coat. Cover and refrigerate to marinate for 3 to 4 hours.

In a wok or large frying pan, toast the sesame seeds over medium heat, shaking the pan until the seeds are a golden brown colour. Remove seeds and set aside.

To same wok or frying pan, add sesame oil and vegetable oil and heat slowly.

Drain chicken, reserving marinade, and stir-fry in wok a few pieces at a time, until browned. Remove chicken with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Add mushrooms, water chestnuts and green pepper to same wok or frying pan and stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the spring onions and stir-fry 1 minute more.

Return chicken to pan, together with reserved marinade and bean sprouts, if using and stir over medium high heat for another 2 to 4 minutes, or until the ingredients are evenly coated with the sauce. Sprinkle toasted sesame seeds on top and serve immediately.

Pork dumplings

Delicious little parcels of pork cooked in boiling water for a few minutes, a great and quick starter or snack.  Try them with prawns or minced chicken too.  For the dip, I mixed 2 tbsp soy sauce with the juice of 1/2 a lime and a pinch of sugar.  The dough can be bought ready made, rolled and cut from Chinese supermarkets.

For the filling

200g lean minced pork, chicken or prawns
2 spring onions, very finely chopped
1 clove garlic, grated
1" fresh ginger, peeled and grated
2 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp fish sauce
1/4 tsp shrimp paste
A little salt and pepper

Mix all the filling ingredients together thoroughly and leave in the fridge for 20 minutes.

Put large pan of water on to boil.

Make the dumplings by placing a teaspoon of the pork mixture in the centre of each dough round, wet round the edges and seal with your fingers to make a crescent shape.  You can also make little pork purses by wetting the edges of the pastry and bringing them together in the centre.

Cook in batches in the boiling water for a couple of minutes they should then float to the top.  Remove them from the water with a slotted spoon.

Serve warm with a dip.

Deep fried pork with orange

200g pork tenderloin sliced (or 4 pork chops)
4 fl oz Chinese rice wine
2.5 cm ginger, finely sliced
1 tbsp finely sliced spring onion
1 tsp salt
Oil for deep frying
2 dried chillies, cut into 5mm pieces
1 strip dried ornage peel, about 5cm x 2cm
4 fl oz chicken stock
2 fl oz sesame oil

Marinate the pork with wine, half the ginger, half the spring onion and salt for 30 minutes.

Heat wok and add sufficient oil to shallow fry the pork.

Scrape off any ginger and spring onion clinging on the pork, then fry the meat until golden brown.

Drain pork and pour out all but 1 teaspoon of oil.

Stir fry the dried chillies until reddish brown, then add remaining ginger, spring onion and orange peel, stirring well.

Put in the stock and cook for 1 minute, then add pork and simmer for 2-3 minutes.

Taste and add extra salt if desired, then stir in sesame oil.

Aromatic duck with pancakes


2 fat duck legs
3 slices fresh ginger
3 star anise
3 whole cloves
1 stick cinnamon
Pinch black peppercorns
2 spring onions
1 tbsp five spice paste
2 tbsp dry sherry

Wash the duck pieces and dry with kitchen roll then rub them with salt.

Place the duck in a bowl with the ginger, star anise, cloves, cinnamon, pepper corns and spring onions, mix together the sherry and five spice paste and pour it over the duck and spices, leave to marinate for a couple of hours.

Place the duck and spices on a plate in a steamer and steam for 2-3 hours.  Top up the water occasionally.

Remove from the steamer and leave to cool (skin side up).

Heat some oil in a wok, over a medium heat and fry the duck skin side down for 6 minutes turn and cook for 1 more minute.  Drain on kitchen paper.

Shred with 2 forks and serve with Chinese pancakes, cucumber, spring onion and plum or hoisin sauce.

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