My mother asked me yesterday “What are you going to cook for your blog this time?” I answered her “Dragon Phoenix Leg”. She immediately told me with a surprised voice “Ohh….That’s a great snack that I ate from childhood.
Dragon phoenix leg is a very important and unforgettable night market food for a lot of Taiwanese people. It originates from those small fishing village around north coast of Taiwan. A long time ago, Taiwan was a very poor country but while one chicken only has two legs most families had more than two children, it’s never enough for children to eat. So, parents used a little bit of fish and pork with some vegetable to make this dragon phoenix leg snack for children. This dish looks a bit like a drumstick and so we entitled it Dragon Phoenix Leg.
The other story about dragon phoenix leg is back in the old times when Taiwanese parents tried to make their children eat carrot and cabbage they would entice them with chicken by making this dish.
No matter what’s the real story for this dragon phoenix leg. We can find out this dish is full of the love from parents who make or created this dish.
I changed the recipe a little so there’s no cabbage as Chris absolutely loathes cabbage so I used spring green in the filling. Spring green is also a kind of cabbage but tastes lest cabbage than normal cabbage of course.
220g Cod fillet or any kind of white meat fish
25g Potato starch or corn flour
70g Ice water
1 Teaspoon ginger, chop finely
60g Spring onion, chop finely
150g Pork belly, mince it.
150g Pork loin, mince it.
½ Teaspoon garlic, chop finely
100g Carrot, grate it.
60g Spring green, shred it finely
½ Onion, chop finely.
Some pig’s caul
1 ½ tablespoon caster sugar
¼ teaspoon white pepper powder
2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoon soy sauce
¼ teaspoon Chinese five spice powder
Seasonings for vegetable:
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1. Cut the cod fillet into small dices and use a food processor to process the fish until you can’t see any lumps in the fish.
2. Add ice water, caster sugar and potato starch to a small bowl and mix them evenly with no lump. Mix it with fish from step 1.
3. Wash your hands first and start to throw the fish mixture into a bowl around 20-30 times until the fish mixture gains some viscidity.
4. Marinade vegetable with seasonings for vegetable for 30 minutes. After, use your hand to squeeze the water out of vegetable.
5. Mix all the ingredients and seasonings together evenly.
6. Use pig’s caul to wrap the mixture and place on a stick. Make the shape look like a drum stick.
7. Coat the dragon phoenix leg with flour. Heat up 3 cups of oil with full gas power to deep fry it. Once you put 2 or 3 dragon phoenix legs into the oil turn off the gas immediately. Turn the gas back on to lowest temperature after 1 minute. (This ensures the inside of this dish is cooked but the outside remains a pretty colour.) Keep deep frying it at the lowest gas power for 3~5 minutes until it is cooked from inside to out.
- This recipe can make around 10~12 dragon phoenix legs.
- This dish takes around 50 minutes to make.
These photos were taken by Chris at: http://www.chrisradleyphotography.com
There are couple things that have made me feel very happy recently. The first thing is my head chef asked me for the Peking duck recipe for the new dish on our restaurant menu. The second thing is Lisa from http://www.koreanamericanmommy.blogspot.com follow my recipe and made her first “three cup chicken” and it turned out really awesome. Here is her blog about this three cup chicken: http://koreanamericanmommy.blogspot.com/2010/07/chef-liv-wans-chinese-three-cup-chicken.html
I feel so proud and also super happy. I wish people who visit my blog can enjoy my recipe and have fun in the kitchen. That’s the greatest thing to me. I feel really honour that my head chef asked the recipe from me and I wish my recipe help him a bit with the new dish. This is the two thing make me feel really happy and I share my happiness with you who is reading this post at moment and wish you have a great day.
Now, It’s the time for the recipe of the day. I’m going to share this Chinese dessert recipe with you. My colleague asked me if there any popular Chinese or Taiwanese desserts? Yes, of course there are a lot of desserts in both China and Taiwan. But I have to say they are different from desserts that are popular in the UK. Here is an example dessert that I share with you today.
When the first time I read about this dessert’s name I just fall in love with it. How cute is the name? I guess the name snowflake comes from the layer of coconut powder that ctually looks a bit like a snowflake.
Raspberry snowflake cake tastes a little bit sweet and sour and the most important thing is this dessert has to be eaten in cold. You must eat it immediately after taking it out from fridge.
A. 50g raspberry
180g caster sugar
50 c.c. double cream
5 leaf gelatine
B. 120g potato starch
- Cook raspberry, 450g water and caster sugar in a small sauce pan and bring it to boil. Keep whisk it while cooking to help sugar and raspberry dissolve.
- Soften gelatine in cold water. Add milk and double cream into step 1 and bring it to boil again.
- Turn off the gas and add gelatine into step 2 and keep whisk it to help to mix evenly.
- Mix potato starch and water evenly and add it into step 3.
- Pour the mixture from step 4. Into a long rectangle shape baking tray with baking paper in it. (Baking paper helps us to take out the snowflake cake easier later.) Put the snowflake cake into your fridge for 1 or 2 hours to help it form. Cover the snowflake cake with coconut powder and it’s ready to serve.
These photos were taken by Chris from: http://www.chrisradleyphotography.com
Four years ago I travelled to Xian, China with my husband. One of favourite places was Xi’an. Not only was the weather more manageable in July than the other parts of China we went to (think 40C+ dry heat instead of 40+C humid heat) but it also had some really great surprises. We will always remember the first time we went to muslim street in Xian city centre and there were so many kebab restaurants. Throughout the whole of muslim street all we could smell was the spiced beef and lamb. Vegetarian street this was not but if you like meet this could be considered heaven.
It was a great experience to drink ice cold beers and eating many kebabs at the same time. I love to have good food in my holiday. Food doesn’t necessarily have to be Michelin star or five-star dining. Many holes-the-wall or walk-in restaurants like these sell the best food.
Also, to give you an idea of what we paid. Between Chris and I we had maybe 35-40 skewers of lamb meat and lamb kidney. We also had a big soup, naan bread type thing and 6 or 7 beers. Total cost was about £8. How awesome is that?!
After four years, I still can’t forget the taste of this Xian lamb kebab. We also saw the terracotta army, which was incredible, but the food will always be as memorable to us at the army. Xian has stunning food, nice people and the architecture (it has the oldest mosque in China) is quite stunning. If you ever go to China, make sure you go to Xi’an, you won’t regret it.
The lamb recipy below is essentially the same lamb kebab that we ate in China. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.
400g lamb leg, cut into 2cm sized dices
2 thin slices ginger, chopped finely
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon black pepper powder
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- Marinade lamb with all seasonings for at least 1 hour.
- Skewer the lamb and preheat oven to 200C
- Roast the lamb for 5 minutes then turn the oven to grill and grill the lamb kebab for another 5 minutes. It’s then ready to serve.
Unfortunately I haven’t been able to update my blog for over a week due to a few things. First of all I’ve been working on a cook book, about favourite authentic recipes from my home country of Taiwan but also favourites that I have eaten in China and favourites as cooked by my grandparents who originate from China.
The other reason I haven’t updated my blog is I suffered a really bad burn on my arm at work which was fine for around a week, but several days ago I was opening scallop shells at work and got water from the shells in my burn. This resulted in my arm turning red and blowing up quite dramatically. I had to go to hospital and I was instructed to do absolutely nothing for 24 hours.
Most people think if you cut yourself or burn yourself you must let the wound breath and don’t cover it. Even my local pharmacist told me this but the doctor/nurse immediately dismissed this. 24 hours after taking penicillin tablets and wearing a gel patch with a dressing the swelling has come down.
The other thing that I want to reply to is Jenny who asked me a couple day ago about which dumpling pastry I used for my dumplings. Here is the photo of the pastry I used but I have to say I’m not entirely happy with this pastry. It’s a little bit thin so you must be carefully when you cook your dumplings. But otherwise it tastes better than other brands I’ve found in the UK. I hope my blog today help you a bit.
I think Taiwanese deep fried chicken (Sien shu gi) and sweet potato chips to Taiwanese people is just like “fish and chips” in UK to British people.
Taiwanese people love this deep fried chicken and sweet potato chips but this snack isn’t only confined to the night markets, it’s a snack that can be eaten anywhere, just like fish and chips in the UK. The chicken is crispy and crunchy with a strong fragrance.
Some businessmen will add some chopped garlic with the chicken to give it different flavour but here is my favourite recipe for this particular dish. I hope you will like it.
3 whole chicken breasts
1 spring onion, chopped finely
2 thin slice gingers, chopped finely
2 medium size sweet potato
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon five spicy powder
1 cup sweet potato powder
- Cut the chicken breasts into 2.5 cm cubes.
- Marinade the chicken with all of the seasonings, ginger and spring onion but not the sweet potato powder for 1 hour.
- Peel the sweet potato and cut into 8 cm long strips. Add a couple tablespoons of sweet potato powder into a big bowl with a little bit of water and mix evenly. Add the sweet potato chips into the bowl and coated with the mixture.
- Heat up 3 cups of oil to 180c then fry the chicken until the chicken turns to a golden colour and add some basil to fry it with chicken when the chicken has nearly cooked. (Please be careful in this step. Because the basil can make the oil splash really badly.) Fry the chips in the same way as well.
Credit: These photos were taken by Chris at: http://www.chrisradleyphotography.com