Chinese Hot and Sour Noodle Soup

Ingredients

6-1/2 oz fresh Shanghai noodles
6-1/2 oz chicken breast fillet, cut into very thin strips
2 tablespoons garlic and red chili paste
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
4 fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, caps thinly sliced
3-1/2 oz enoki mushrooms, trimmed and separated
1 (4 oz) fresh baby corn, cut into quarters lengthways
2 tablespoons Chinese black vinegar
2-1/4 oz black fungus, roughly chopped
6-1/2 oz firm tofu, cut into 1-inch cubes
3 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon sesame oil
spring onions, thinly sliced on the diagonal in long strips, to garnish

Stock

3 lb chicken bones, washed
2 (1/2-inch) slices fresh ginger
4 spring onions, white part only, bruised

Method

  1. To make the stock, put the chicken bones and 15 cups water in a large saucepan and bring to a simmer, but do not boil. Cook for 30 minutes, removing any scum that rises to the surface. Add the ginger and spring onion and simmer gently, partially covered, for 3 hours. Strain through a fine sieve and allow to cool. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Remove the laver of fat from the surface.
  2. Cook the noodles in a large saucepan of boiling water for 4-5 minutes, then drain and rinse.
  3. To make the soup, pour 8 cups of the stock into a non-stick wok, bring to the boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium, add the chicken, garlic and chili paste, soy sauce and white pepper and stir well. Simmer, covered, for 10 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked.
  4. Add the mushrooms, corn, vinegar, black fungus and tofu, season with salt, return the lid to the wok and simmer gently for 5 minutes — do not stir.
  5. Mix the cornstarch with 4 tbsp water. Add to the soup with the noodles, return to a simmer, then pour the eggs in a very thin stream over the surface.
  6. Turn off the heat and stand for 10 minutes before gently stirring in the sesame oil.
  7. Divide among the serving bowls and garnish with the spring onion strips.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: The Essential Wok Cookbook

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Chinese-style Eight-treasure Soup

Ingredients

4 dried shiitake mushrooms
1 tblespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh ginger
1 tablespoon finely chopped spring onion
2 oz Chinese bacon or ham, cut into thin strips
4 cups good-quality chicken stock
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine
8 oz chicken breast fillet
1 carrot, cut into 1/2-inch slices
12 small raw prawns, peeled and deveined
6-1/2 oz firm tofu, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1-3/4 oz sliced bamboo shoots
3-1/2 oz spinach, chopped
2 spring onions, thinly sliced on the diagonal

Method

  1. Soak the mushrooms in 1/2 cup boiling water for 20 minutes. Squeeze dry, reserving the soaking liquid. Discard the woody stalks and cut the caps into quarters.
  2. Heat a wok over high heat. Add the oils and swirl to coat the side of the wok, then add the ginger, spring onion and bacon. Cook for about 10 seconds before adding the stock, soy sauce, rice wine, mushroom liquid and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bring to the boil.
  3. Add the chicken. Reduce the heat to low, cover with a lid and poach the chicken for 40 minutes.
  4. Remove the chicken from the stock and, when cool enough to handle, shred the meat.
  5. Return the stock to the boil, add the carrot and cook for 5 minutes.
  6. Add the prawns, tofu, bamboo shoots, spinach and chicken meat to the wok and cook over low heat for a further 5 minutes.
  7. Serve with the extra spring onion.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Note: Chinese bacon has a dryish flesh with a strong flavour very much like prosciutto. You can substitute prosciutto.

Source: The Essential Wok Cookbook

Chinese-style Lettuce Wrap of Pork, Ginger and Mushrooms

Ingredients

4 small perfect leaves iceberg lettuce
2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 tablespoon ginger julienne
1 garlic clove, finely diced
2/3 cup ground fatty pork
4 Chinese dried mushrooms, soaked until softened, drained and finely sliced
2 tablespoons roughly chopped salted radish
2 tablespoons roughly chopped pickled mustard greens
2 tablespoons finely sliced Chinese sausage
2 tablespoons Shao Hsing wine
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
1/4 cup carrot julienne
1/2 cup bean sprouts
1 tablespoon roughly sliced green shallots
1/4 cup finely sliced Chinese white cabbage
1 large red chili, finely sliced 1/4 cup green shallot julienne handful of coriander sprigs

Method

  1. Soak lettuce leaves in cold water for 1 hour, drain them well and set aside, covered, in the refrigerator.
  2. Heat peanut oil in a hot wok, stir-fry ginger, garlic and pork for 1 minute. Add mushrooms, radish, mustard greens and sausage, and continue stir-frying briefly.
  3. Pour in wine, sugar, soy sauce, oyster sauce and sesame oil, and stir-fry for 2 minutes or until pork is cooked.
  4. Toss in carrot, bean sprouts, shallots and cabbage, stir to combine, then remove from the heat.
  5. Serve pork mixture in a bowl set on a large platter, garnished with chili, shallot julienne and coriander, and accompanied with the lettuce-leaf cups.
  6. To eat, simply spoon pork mixture into lettuce cups, roll up to enclose the pork and eat with your fingers.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Kylie Kwong

Chinese Kung Pao Chicken

Ingredients

11 oz skinned, boneless chicken breasts
3 tablespoons light soy sauce
3 tablespoons Shaoxing rice wine
2 teaspoons roasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon cornstarch
3/4 cup peeled water chestnuts
3 tablespoons oil
10 cups baby spinach leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3/4 cup unsalted peanuts
1 scallion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger
1 teaspoon chili sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon Chinese black rice vinegar
1/4 cup chicken stock

Method

  1. Cut the chicken into 1-inch cubes. Place the cubes in a bowl, add 2 tablespoons of the soy sauce, 2 tablespoons of the rice wine, 1 teaspoon, of the sesame oil and 2 teaspoons of the cornstarch, and toss lightly. Marinate in the fridge for at least 20 minutes.
  2. Blanch the water chestnuts in a saucepan of boiling water, then refresh in cold water. Drain, pat dry and cut into thin slices.
  3. Heat a wok over high heat, add 1 teaspoon of the oil and heat until very hot. Stir-fry the spinach, salt, 2 teaspoons of the garlic and 2 teaspoons of the rice wine, turning constantly, until the spinach is just becoming limp. Remove the spinach from the wok, arrange around the edge of the serving platter, cover and keep warm.
  4. Reheat the wok over high heat, add 1 tablespoon of the oil and heat until very hot. Stir-fry half the chicken pieces, turning constantly, until the meat is cooked. Remove with a wire strainer or slotted spoon and drain. Repeat with 1 tablespoon of oil and the remaining chicken. Wipe out the pan.
  5. Deep-fry the peanuts in the wok or a saucepan until browned.
  6. Reheat the wok over high heat, add the remaining oil and heat until very hot. Stir-fry the scallion, ginger, remaining garlic and the chili sauce for 10 seconds, or until fragrant. Add the sliced water chestnuts and stir-fry for 15 seconds, or until heated through. Combine the sugar, black vinegar, chicken stock and remaining soy sauce, rice wine, sesame oil and cornstarch, add to the sauce and simmer until thickened.
  7. Add the cooked chicken and the peanuts. Toss lightly to coat with the sauce. Transfer to the center of the serving platter and serve.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: The Food of China

Chinese Spring Onion Cakes

Ingredients

400 grams plain (all-purpose) flour
5 grams fine sea salt
1 cup water at 65 degrees Celsius
about 50 grams finely minced spring onions
about 100 ml cooking oil
6 large eggs (optional)

Sauce

3 tbsp hoisin sauce
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp soy sauce
2-3 tsp granulated sugar
1/2 tsp sesame oil

Method

  1. Put the flour in the bowl of a heavy duty mixer fitted with the dough hook. Mix in the salt. With the motor running on low speed, pour in the water. Increase the speed to medium and mix for five minutes.
  2. The dough should form a ball and come away from the sides of the mixing bowl, and will be slightly sticky and quite stretchy. If you want to mix by hand, make a dough with the flour, salt and water, then knead vigorously for about 15 minutes. It will be very sticky at first, but when it’s ready, it will be less so.
  3. Whatever mixing method you use, shape the dough into a smooth, round ball. Place the ball in a lightly oiled bowl, then flip the dough over so the oiled side is on top. Cover the bowl with a larger bowl and leave to rest for at least 30 minutes. (You can leave it for several hours, if needed.)
  4. Weigh the dough and divide the weight by six. Split the dough into six even pieces and shape them into smooth, round balls, then place each one on a lightly oiled work surface.
  5. Rub a little oil over each ball so it’s coated in a thin layer. Cover the dough balls with a clean, dry dishcloth and leave to rest while preparing the sauce.
  6. Put the sauce ingredients in a small pan placed over a low flame and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Taste the sauce – it should be balanced, with savoury, salty and sweet flavours. Correct the seasonings, if needed, then leave to cool.
  7. On the lightly oiled work surface, roll out the first piece of dough until it is a rectangle that’s about 30 cm x 18 cm. Scatter some of the minced spring onions on top.
  8. Starting at one long end, loosely fold up about 1cm of the entire side, then continue to loosely roll the long end over and over until you reach the centre of the rectangle. Start from the other long end and repeat the process.
  9. Pinch the entire length of the dough where the two rolls meet to seal in the spring onions, then gently stretch the dough so it’s about 40 cm long.
  10. With your left and right hands working simultaneously, start coiling the far ends of the dough towards the centre, until they meet. Twist one of the coils so the two form a figure 8, then place one coil on top of the other and press gently.
  11. Place the coil on the work surface and shape the other pieces of dough the same way.
  12. Cook the cake immediately after shaping all the dough balls (if you wait too long, the moisture from the spring onions will seep through the layers).
  13. Heat a skillet (about 20 cm in diameter and preferably cast iron) over a medium flame. Pour about 2 tsp of oil into the skillet and continue to heat.
  14. Quickly roll out one piece of dough so it is 3 mm thick and about 18 cm in diameter and lay it on the hot pan. Cook until the bottom is starting to set and pale golden in spots, then turn it over.
  15. Flip the cake frequently, adjusting the flame as needed. Don’t let it brown too quickly or get overly dark, which would make the exterior too firm.
  16. Add more oil to the skillet, if needed. After about four minutes, use two spatulas (or a spatula and tongs) – one held in each hand – to roughly press the opposite sides of the cake towards the centre, to fluff up the layers.
  17. Turn the cake slightly and repeat several times – this should be done quickly. Adjust the heat to high and brown both sides of the cake. They need five to six minutes in total to cook. Cook the remaining cakes the same way.
  18. Brush the sauce on one side of the cake, fold in half and serve hot.
  19. If you like, whisk an egg while the cake is still in the skillet. When it’s fully cooked, lift the cake and pour the egg into the skillet. Immediately place the cake on top and cook until the egg is set. Brush the egg-side of the cake with the sauce, fold in half and then eat.

Source: SCMP