Steamed Mussels with Black Bean Sauce

Ingredients

2 lb mussels
1 tablespoon oil
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped ginger
2 scallions, finely chopped
1 red chile, chopped
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 tablespoon Shaoxing rice wine
1 tablespoon salted, fermented black beans, rinsed and mashed
2 tablespoons chicken stock
few drops of roasted sesame oil

Method

  1. Scrub the mussels, remove any beards, and throw away any that do not close when tapped on the work surface.
  2. Place the mussels in a large dish in a steamer. Steam over simmering water in a covered wok for 4 minutes, discarding any that do not open after this time.
  3. Heat the oil in a small saucepan. Add the garlic, ginger, scallions and chili and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients, and blend well. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 1 minute.
  5. To serve, remove and discard the top shell of each mussel, pour 2 teaspoons of the sauce into each mussel and serve on the shell.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: The Food of China

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Shrimp Toasts

Ingredients

6 oz peeled shrimp
1/2 in cube fresh root ginger, peeled and crushed
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 spring onions, finely chopped
2 teaspoons light soy sauce
1 teaspoon plum sauce
3 teaspoons cornstarch
1 small egg, beaten
4 teaspoons sesame seeds
4 slices thin sliced white bread, crusts removed
vegetable oil
cucumber strips and chopped spring onion, to garnish

Method

  1. Put shrimp, ginger, garlic and spring onions into a blender or food processor and process for 30 seconds to roughly chop.
  2. In a bowl, mix together soy sauce, plum sauce, cornstarch and egg. Stir in prawn mixture and sesame seeds and bind together.
  3. Spread shrimp mixture over the bread, pressing down firmly.
  4. In a frying pan, heat 3/4 in of oil. Fry the bread, prawn sides down, for 2-3 minutes until golden, pressing down well in the oil.
  5. Turn over and fry for a further 1 minute. Remove from the pan and drain on absorbent kitchen paper. Cut into fingers and serve at once, garnished with cucumber strips and chopped spring onion.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Breakfasts and Brunches

Mediterranean-style Calamari Risotto

Ingredients

12-1/2 oz risotto rice (Carnaroli or Arborio)
2 white onions, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 carrots, diced
7-8 ripe tomatoes, skinned, deseeded and diced
9-1/2 oz small calamari (cuttlefish or squid), cleaned and prepared
salt as desired
freshly ground pepper as desired
5 tbsp black olives, deseeded and cut into strips
fresh basil leaves, cut into strips
3/4 cup white wine
2 cups fish stock
1-1/4 cups hot water
4-5 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp butter

Method

  1. Heat 4-5 tbsp olive oil in a pan and gently fry the onion and the garlic until translucent. Add the carrots and saute briefly.
  2. Stir in the rice. When the rice has absorbed all the liquid, add the white wine and heat until evaporated. Then add 1 ladleful of fish stock and simmer over a medium heat, stirring, until it is almost all absorbed. Keep adding the fish stock in this way until it is all used up. Then continue with water (you may need more than indicated in the recipe).
  3. Stir in the cuttlefish and tomatoes, and simmer the risotto, stirring, until the rice is cooked but ‘al dente’. Remove the pan from the heat and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Stir in the basil, olives and 2 tsp butter and serve immediately. This dish goes well with a glass of red wine.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Mediterranean Cuisine

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

Steamed Mussels with Creamy Fennel Sauce

Ingredients

4 lb mussels, scrubbed, beards removed
1 small carrot, cut into julienne strips
1 small fennel bulb
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
2-1/2 cups fish stock

Sauce

2 Tbsp butter
1 small red onion, finely diced
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 Tbsp fresh mixed herbs, chopped
freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup heavy cream

Method

  1. Clean the mussels, removing the beards, and discarding any shells that open when tapped. Place the mussels in the base of the steamer with the carrot strips.
  2. Finely shred half of the fennel and add to the pan with the garlic and stock. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and steam for 5 minutes.
  3. Discard any unopened mussels and remove all the mussels and vegetables from the stock with a slotted spoon. Keep warm.
  4. Measure up 3/4 cup of the stock and set aside.
  5. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a saucepan and saute the onion and garlic for 2 minutes until softened.
  6. Add the wine, herbs, black pepper and cream. Pour in the 3/4 cup of fish stock.
  7. Finely chop the remaining fennel and add to the pan. Bring to a boil and cook for 8 to 10 minutes.
  8. Spoon the mussels into warmed serving dishes and top with the vegetables. Serve with the wine and cream sauce.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Steam Cuisine