Drunken Chicken

drunken chicken recipe

When I was a child I always thought you prepared drunken chicken by feeding the chicken a bottle of rice wine before cooking. I thought if the chicken was drunk enough it would make the meat taste of alcohol. Now I think how silly I was but who knows these things.

I love the taste of drunken chicken even if I’m not a big fan of food that tastes of alcohol. This drunken chicken uses Shaoxing rice for which people who have tasted it know it has a strong but special flavour. Some so called celebrity Eastern chefs use Shaoxing rice wine in many dishes but this really isn’t the way to use it.

This drunken chicken is best served as a cold dish making it a great summer dish. It’s refreshing, tasty but not too strong. I hope you enjoy making this dish.

These photos were taken by Chris from: Chris Radley Photography

drunken chicken procedure

 

Drunken Chicken

Course Main Dish
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 7 hours 30 minutes
Servings 2 people

Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 2 chicken legs including thigh, de-boned
  • 2 spring onions cut into 3cm lengthways
  • 2 thin slices ginger
  • 1 tbsp goji berries
  • 1 thin slice Chinese angelica root
  • 2 thin slices liquorice root

Seasonings

  • 200 ml Shaoxing rice wine
  • 1 cup stock I used chicken stock
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Couples pinches sugar

Instructions

  1. Use some salt to marinade the chicken legs for 20 minutes and use a few sheets of cling film to wrap the chicken as displayed in the procedure photos below.
  2. Use a small sauce pan to boil the water, stock, spring onion, ginger, goji berries, angelica root, liquorice roots, salt and sugar. After boiling reduce to lowest heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Leave it aside to cool down.
  3. Add Shaoxing rice wine into step 2.
  4. Steam chicken for around 20 minutes until the chicken is cooked.
  5. Remove chicken from sling film and soak in marinade for at lest 6 hours. Leave in a fridge overnight.

 

Beef Shank with Spring Onion Pancake Wrap

Beef Shank with Spring Onion Pancake Wrap

Beef Shank with spring onion pancake wrap originates from Northern China. Northern Chinese cuisine uses flour as an ingredient very often while Southern Chinese cuisine uses rice as an ingredient very often.

The weather in Northern China, with it’s extreme climate changes from very hot to very cold is far from ideal for growing rice so they grow wheat which is more suitable for the weather in north China. South China’s weather is humid and warm. It’s the best weather for grow the rice so we can usually find a lot of rice dish from south China, for example: rice cake, rice ball.

Most of the Beijing cuisine restaurants in Taiwan definitely sell this beef shank wrap. I love to have a bowl of soup or cup of pearl milk tea with this wrap for my dinner or lunch when I lived in Taipei. This is yet another sublime dish which is very hard to say not to. When I lived in Taipei I found it difficult to control my weight but now I live in Edinburgh if I want to eat some real, traditional food from China I have to call my mother and grandma to ask them how to make it. It makes me laugh when my mother tells me her cooking skills have improved after she has read my recipes on my blog.

Here is the recipe for this yummy beef shank with spring onion pancake wrap and I hope you will enjoy it.

Credit: These photos were taken by Chris at Chris Radley Photography

how to make Beef Shank with Spring Onion Pancake Wrap

 

Beef Shank with Spring Onion Pancake Wrap

Course Main Dish
Prep Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours
Servings 4 people

Ingredients

Ingredients for stewed beef shank

  • 800 g beef shanke
  • 2 spring onions cut 3cm lengthways
  • 4 thin slices ginger
  • 2 shallots peeled and chopped roughly
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 dried chili or you can use fresh chili

Seasonings for stewed beef shank

  • 1 Chinese spice bag (available in Chinese supermarket) or use 2 star anise, 1 cinnamon stick, 1 teaspoon fennel seed
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice wine
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp spicy bean paste

Ingredient for spring onion pancake

  • 350 g bread flour
  • 250 g plain flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1.5 tsp sugar
  • 400 ml warm water
  • 6 spring onions chopped finely
  • Handful white sesame
  • 60 g lard

Instructions

Procedures for stewed beef shank

  1. Cook the beef shank in boiling water for a couple minutes and rinse under cold water. Leave it to one side.
  2. Stir fry spring onion, ginger, garlic, shallot, chilli until you can smell the fragrance and add spicy bean paste to stir fry for another 30 seconds.
  3. Place step 1 and 2 into a stock pot and add all the seasonings. Pour the water into the stockpot to cover the shank and use full gas power to boil the shank. After it’s boiling turn the gas power to the lowest and leave to simmer for 2 at least.

Procedures for spring onion pancake

  1. Mix flour, salt, sugar with warm water together and knead it until it’s nice, soft and smooth.
  2. Cover the dough with a clean, wet tea towel and leave it on aside for 20~30 minutes.
  3. Separate the dough into 10 small dough balls and flatten them individual.
  4. Brush Lard on the flatten pancake first and sprinkle spring onion, sesame, a couple pinch of salt.
  5. Roll the dough as the way in the procedures photos.
  6. Just use a little bit of oil to pan fry the pancake until both side are golden brown, crispy.

Recipe Notes

* Slice the beef shank into really thin slice and wrap them with spring onion pancake, Hoi sin sauce, spring onion or any salad, vegetable you like.

 

Pearl Meatballs

pearl meatballs recipe

Because of the layer of glutinous rice that surrounds this meatball we give it the great name of “Pearl Meatball”. This is because the rice looks translucent and the colour and shape of this meatballs looks like a pearl.

This dish can often to be seen in banquets and parties in both Taiwan and China because people love the name, the taste and also the pretty shape of it.

I loved this dish when I was younger and I remember my grandfather found out I love this dish and he just keep cooking this pearl meat ball dish pretty much everyday. So one day, I got really tired of this dish and I have to tell my grandfather to cook a new dish in a very sweet and none hurt his feelings way. I know what he did is for love but some time even though a dish is so tasty you still have to take break from it some time or you will just feel tired of it.

There are so many dishes that my grandfather cooked for me when I was young and now I share with you all these recipe and I hope you will enjoy it just like me and cook those dishes for your love one.

Credit: These photos were taken by Chris at Chris Radley Photography

 

Pearl Meatballs

Course Main Dish
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 12 meatballs

Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 200 g beef mince
  • 120 g pork fat or you can use 220g of pork belly without the skin and 100g beef mince
  • 2 dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 tbsp dried shrimps available in Chinese supermarkets
  • 2 thin slices ginger
  • 1 small carrot
  • 1 1/4 cups glutinous rice soak in water for at least 1 hour

Seasonings

  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp potato starch
  • 1 egg

Instructions

  1. Use a food processor to mince the meat together and after the meat has totally blended, add an egg to mix for another 30 second.
  2. Plate all the meat into a mixing bowl and start to beat the meat for few minutes to help the meat get that wonderful elasticity texture. (This step is a great therapy for the daily stressful life, lol).
  3. Soak dried shitake mushrooms and dried shrimp into a bowl of warm water until it’s soft. Chop the shitake mushrooms roughly.
  4. Two thin slices of ginger chopped finely and wash and cut the carrot roughly.
  5. Use a food processor to mince mushrooms, shrimps, ginger and carrot finely and mix them with step 2 evenly.
  6. Add all the seasonings with ingredients together and mix them nicely.
  7. Make the mixture into small but equal size balls and cover the meatball with a layer of glutinous rice.
  8. Use a bamboo steamer or regular steamer to steam the meatballs for 12~15 minutes with full gas power.

 

Bang Bang Chicken

bang bang chicken

Is everybody feeling the heat lately? Recently Edinburgh has been getting a lot warmer. It’s great weather when I have a day off but it’s really horrible when I have to work under this kind of weather because the temperature can easily reach 40~50 degree.

So today I share with you the recipe of this Bang Bang Chicken. This dish is great for hot weather. I always love to have this dish during the summer and it’s healthy and low fat as well. Especially the green bean noodle is really low in calories and fills you up quickly. It’s a great food for people who want to lose some weight ready for wearing their summer bikinis.

In this particular method of preparing bang bang chicken, I chose to steam the chicken rather than use traditional way of boiling in water because I think steaming the chicken helps keep the texture and taste better. I actually made the sesame paste myself at home because I was too lazy to go to Chinese supermarket just for a bottle of sesame paste. So I went to Sainsbury and bought two small bags of white sesame (for some reason I can’t find any where in the Edinburgh that sells black sesame!! Please contact with me if you know where you can buy the black sesame in Edinburgh and Glasgow), sauté them and use my food processor to grind them into a paste. It’s not difficult at all and taste even better than the sesame paste you bought in the market and cheaper as well.

Credit: These photos were taken by Chris at Chris Radley Photography

 

Bang Bang Chicken

Course Main Dish
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 2 people

Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 1 chicken breast
  • 1 chicken leg including thigh. You can use chicken breast if you're on a diet
  • 1/2 cucumber julienne it
  • Handful bean sprouts blanched
  • 3 bunches green bean noodles available in Chinese supermarkets
  • 1 chili julienne it
  • 1 tsp spring onion finely chopped
  • 1 tsp garlic finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp ginger finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ground Sichuan pepper saute for 20 seconds before grinding it

Seasonings

  • 1 tsp sesame paste
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1.5 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp chili oil

Instructions

  1. Use a tablespoon of rice wine, 1 teaspoon grind Sichuan pepper, 1 teaspoon salt to marinade the chicken breast and leg for 30 minutes.
  2. Use a steamer to cook the chicken with a little bit of ginger slice and spring onion. After it cook just leave it to cool down.
  3. Peel the chicken with your hands after it’s cool down.
  4. Soak the green bean noodle into a bowl of warm water for 15~20 minutes until it’s soft. Cook the green bean noodle in a pot of boiling water for 5~10 minutes and soak in the cold water.
  5. Mix all the seasonings with 1 teaspoon finely chopped spring onion, 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic, ½ teaspoon finely chopped ginger and leave it for 20 minutes and stir it a few times every few minutes to help the sugar, salt to dissolve in the sauce.
  6. Plate up all the vegetables, chicken, green bean noodle into a plate and sprinkle the sauce on the top.

 

Authentic Tang Yuan Soup recipe

Tang Yuan

The other day I read about Ching He Huang’s recipe for this Tang Yuan soup on the good food channel and she mentioned this dish is specifically for Chinese new year which is not right.

Chinese and Taiwanese people eat Tang Yuan during the Yuan Xiao Festival (Lantern festival) and also Winter solstice. This is a very old tradition in both China and Taiwan.

The pronunciation of Tang Yuan also has a meaning of family reunion so when we eat Tang Yuan we are thinking about our friends and family who work or live far away.

My family didn’t have money for me to learn piano or painting, drawing when I was a child so I remember I always pulled a chair into the kitchen and stand on the chair where I would watch my grandfather cook.

I used to help him cook rice and wash vegetables when I was young but although he passed away some 10 years ago I still think about him all the time, especially when I’m cooking.

I think cooking for me is not just a job or daily routine for me. It’s also my childhood memory. I hope I can share more recipes and show that Chinese and Taiwanese culture and food is not the typical stereotype. Sadly a lot of people thinking all Eastern people eat dogs, cats and anything that moves. These people are of course narrow minded idiots.

I always remember one of the head chef I worked for before shook a goose gut in front of my face and asked me: “Do you Chinese all eat this kind of stuff??” However I already told him a million times that I’m not Chinese. But I think to a lot of people if you’re “Yellow” you must be Chinese.

So today I share with you my version of Tang Yuan recipe with you and I hope you will like it. I hope one day if you see a yellow person like me you can be a bit more welcome to them. They might be a nice person and a good friend in your life. “Don’t judge a book by its cover.”

Credit: These photos were taken by Chris at Chris Radley Photography

Tang Yuan meatballs

 

Tang Yuan

Course Main Dish
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 5 portions

Ingredients

Ingredients for Tang Yuan pastry

  • 400 g glutinous rice flour
  • 1 tbsp potato starch
  • 200 g water
  • 20 g oil

Ingredients for Tang Yuan filling

  • 250 g pork mince try to use pork belly or fatty pork as it will improve the texture and taste
  • 30 g fried shallots
  • 1 spring onion chop finely
  • 1 thin slice ginger chop finely

Seasonings for Tang Yuan filling

  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • Couple pinches white pepper

Instructions

Tang Yuan pastry procedures

  1. Mix everything together and knead it until it’s smooth.
  2. Take 15% of the mixture and separate them into 2 or 3 small balls and flatten them by hand. Boil some water in a small saucepan and cook those flatten mixture until it flow on the water.
  3. Mix the cooked mixture with the other raw mixture together evenly and separate the mixture into 25g each small balls.

Procedures for Tang Yuan

  1. Mix all the ingredients and seasonings for filling together evenly and leave it on aside for 20 minutes.
  2. Separate the filling into small balls and freeze them until they are hard. (It’s easier to make Tang Yuan if the filling is hard.)
  3. Use the pastry to cover the filling and make it look like a round shape.
  4. Boil some water to cook the Tang Yuan and when they float on the water they are cooked.
  5. Use another soup pot to cook stock and when it’s boiling add some chopped celery and dried shallots into the stock and season the stock with a bit of salt and sesame oil.
  6. Place the Tang Yuan into the soup and cook them for 1 more minute. You can also put some vegetables into the soup such as Bok Choy or any green vegetable.

 

Dongpo Pork Recipe

Dongpo Pork

I haven’t cooked this dish, called Dongpo, pork for a really long time. Dongpo pork is one of the first dishes I ever cooked for Chris and to this day it’s one of his favourites. I remember just after we married I cooked this dish a lot and really spoiled him.

But sadly we ate this dish too many times (literally every few days for a few weeks) and we got a bit tired of it, so it’s really nice for both of us to come back to it and eat it again. Every bite of this meat is so amazingly tasty and if cooked right the pork will literally melt in your mouth.

Dongpo is the name of a great and famous writer in Chinese history. Su Dongpo was a great writer, poet, artist, calligrapher, pharmacologist and statesman of the Song Dynasty. He loved not just writing but also food.

There are many different versions of stories for this pork dish but I will only introduce the version of the story I like in my blog today. This pork dish was created when Su Dongpo worked and lived in Huang Zhou. One day he decide to make stewed pork and one of his old friend suddenly visited him during cooking. He challenged Su Dongpo to a game of Chinese chess and Su Dongpo had totally forgotten he had a pork stew on the stove. He found out he had this stewed pork cooking on his stove until the end of the game and the amazing fragrant smell from his kitchen reminded him of it. He tasted the pork with his friends and shockingly found out how wonderful taste of this dish is. This is how Dongpo’s pork been created. It’s a wonderful accident.

Here is my recipe for this Dongpo’s Pork and I hope you will enjoy this dish with your family and friends.

Credit: These photos were taken by Chris at Chris Radley Photography

 

Dongpo Pork

Course Main Dish
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings 4 people

Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 500 g pork belly cut into 5cm squares
  • 2 thin slices ginger
  • 2 spring onions cut into 3cm lengthways
  • 4 cloves garlic remove the skin
  • 1 star anise
  • 5 cm cinnamon stick
  • 1 slice dried liquorice
  • 1 slice dried tangerine skin

Seasonings

  • 3 tbsp crystal sugar available in Chinese supermarkets but you can use brown sugar
  • 2 cups Shaoxing rice wine
  • 1 cup light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce

Instructions

  1. Use the string to tie the pork up like a parcel and blanch the pork in the boiling water with another couple thin slices of ginger. After just rinsing under cold water and leave it on aside.
  2. Heat a tablespoon of oil in the wok and sauté the spring onion, ginger, garlic first and add all the spice into the wok and keep sauté it until the fragrant smell comes out.
  3. Place the step 2 into a small stock pot and re-heat the wok from step 2 again with a little bit of oil.
  4. Add crystal sugar into the wok and stir it until the crystal sugar caramelized and add soy sauce and a bit of water to boil it.
  5. Place pork into the stock pot from step 2 and make sure the pork is on top of the spring onion, ginger and garlic.
  6. Add the sauce from step 4 into that stock pot and make sure the sauce have to cover over the pork and add Shaoxing rice wine.
  7. Cook the pork in strongest gas power and after it boiling turn the gas power to the lowest and simmer it for a couple hours and it’s ready to serve.