Deep fried chicken legs with savoury sticky rice

Normally for female chefs it’s very hard to get promotion and near impossible in my home country but no matter how hard you work men always seem to get the promotions first. So after I left college I worked as a chef for a period of time but couldn’t go anywhere with it and gave it up for a few years. Then I moved to the UK in 2007 and found I could get a job as a chef fairly easily and have gone on from since then.

During my time in the UK I have worked in two really top quality restaurants and a number of lesser quality restaurants but as some may now getting promoted as a chef takes time. So, I joined the Witchery in March of this year and after six months I have a promotion. When I was told I have it I nearly danced across the kitchen and almost cried my eyes out but I was afraid he would think I’m a lunatic.

So, it’s now time for me to share a new recipe with you. I saw this “Deep fried chicken leg with savoury sticky rice” dish a long time ago but I’ve always wanted to try to make this dish and now it’s the time for it.

Even though the cooking method for this dish is deep fry it’s not entirely deep-fried. The chicken legs must steam first to make sure the whole shape has set but then you can deep fry it to make the skin turn crispy. I hope you can try it and give me some feedback.

 

Ingredients for savoury sticky rice:

2 cups sticky rice, soak with 3 cups of water for 1 hour
300g of pork belly. Remove the skin and cut it into rectangle shape as per the procedure photo.
4 dried shitake mushrooms, soak in warm water to soften it and thin slice it after.
2 tablespoons dried shrimp, soak in warm water to soften it and chop roughly after.
2 slices ginger, chop roughly
2 cloves garlic, chop roughly
1 spring onion, chop roughly

Seasonings for savoury sticky rice:

½ tablespoon rock sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cut soy sauce
1 ½ cup water
1 tablespoon rice wine

 

Procedures for savoury sticky rice:

  1. Cook the sticky rice in the steamer or rice cooker. The water and rice percentage should be 0.9: 1. So, if it’s 100g of sticky rice and you should pour 90g of water in the rice to cook with. I, personally use a rice cooker to cook my rice so I put my sticky rice and water in a big bowl and pour a cup of water outside of the bowl to cook. It will take around 45 minutes to cook the rice.
  2. Heat a wok with 2 tablespoons oil and stir-fry the garlic, ginger, spring onion. Add the rock sugar after the aroma starts to come out of the wok.
  3. Add pork to stir-fry it until the pork is cooked on the outside.
  4. Then add shitake mushroom and dried shrimp, mix evenly.
  5. Add all the seasoning and water. Boil it first then simmer it to reduce down the sauce.
  6. Mix everything together with cooked sticky rice and pour ¼ teaspoon of sesame oil. This is the savoury sticky rice done.

Ingredients for Deep fry chicken legs with savoury sticky rice:

2 chicken legs, including thighs. De-bone them but we keep the skin.
Some sticky rice

 

Seasonings for Deep fry chicken legs with savoury sticky rice:

1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper powder
½ teaspoon rice wine
Some corn flour

 

Procedures:

  1. Marinade the chicken legs with salt, black pepper powder and rice.
  2. Wrap some sticky rice within the chicken legs and wrap up with cling film. Steam for around 15 minutes.
  3. After the chicken legs have cooked. Cool it down before you remove the cling film and coat them with corn flour and deep-fry it in 180-degree oil until the ouside is a nice golden colour.
  4. Cut it into 1.5 cm ~ 2 cm slice to serve with some sweet chilli sauce or ketchup.

* Chicken legs must cool down first before removing the cling film or they will easily break up and cause a problem when deep-frying them.

Credits: Preparation photos were taken by myself but final photos were taken by Chris at: http://www.chrisradleyphotography.com

Crispy Chicken with Chili Sauce

crispy chicken with chili sauce

Crispy chicken with chili sauce, known in Chinese as 椒麻雞 is a dish that my grandpa cooked for me often when I was young. I always helped grandpa to grind the Sichuan peppers for this dish with a mortar and pestle. This dish always brings back my earliest kitchen memories. Grandpa used to pan fry the Sichuan peppers first and then give to me to grind. He always told me this method of preparing Sichuan peppers will make the flavour of the pepper stronger and taste much better.

Even now, mortars and pestles still play a very important part in my cooking. It’s a versatile tool and is much cheaper than a hand grinder. You can buy it in a lot of shop.

As you can imagine with the Sichuan peppers, this dish tastes a little bit spicy. You can adjust the percentage of Sichuan peppers and chilis if you can’t eat food that’s too spicy. Here is my little suggestion before you start grinding the Sichuan pepper. Heat up a frying pan or wok without oil and stir-fry the Sichuan pepper at the lowest heat first. Once you start to smell the fragrance then turn off the gas and start grinding it. Don’t burn the Sichuan pepper or the sauce will taste bitter and damage the whole dish.

People boil the chicken for this dish in real Sichuan cuisine but grandpa knew I loved fried chicken (You know, kids love fried chicken. I’m not exceptional lol) so he always fried the chicken for me. This dish works both ways, but I chose fried chicken today because my husband loves it too.

Credits:  Photos were taken by Chris at: http://www.chrisradleyphotography.com

 

Crispy Chicken with Chili Sauce

Course Main Dish
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 3 people

Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 2 chicken legs de-bone them
  • 2 spring onions chop finely
  • 1 fresh chili remove seeds then chop finely
  • 2 cloves garlic grate finely
  • 1-2 fresh coriander bunches including leaves and stalk. Chop finely
  • 2 tbsp sweet potato starch or potato starch and 2 tbsp flour. Your choice

Seasonings and ingredients for chicken marinade

  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice wine
  • 1/4 tsp pepper powder
  • 1 spring onion chop finely
  • 2 thin slices ginger chop finely
  • 1/2 tsp sugar

Seasonings for chili sauce

  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp Sichuan pepper powder
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar add 1/4 tsp more sugar if you use white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp water

Instructions

  1. De-bone chicken leg and marinade with the seasonings and ingredients for 30 minutes.
  2. Mix all the seasonings for spicy sauce with spring onion, chilli, garlic, coriander. Mix them evenly and leave for at least 15 minutes.
  3. Coat the chicken with sweet potato powder. Heat up a wok with 2~3 cups of oil. The oil temperature should be around 150℃ and deep fry the chicken at a low heat for 5 minutes. Take out the chicken and heat up the oil again with full gas power. Deep fry the chicken until it’s crispy with a slightly golden colour.
  4. Place the chicken on a plate and pour the dressing on the top to serve.

 

Wuxi Ribs Redone

wuxi ribs recipe

Recently I spent a week in Spain, which was absolutely fabulous and I’ll be blogging pictures from this holiday here soon, but while on holiday I received two really negative comments for my Wuxi Ribs recipe. I genuinely forgot to type that one needs water in the recipe, even though I did actually use it, but of course we make mistakes and English isn’t my first language.

But anyway, while on holiday two people who live very close to each other in Plano, Texas, emailed me to say I was a “sad phony”, my recipe “can’t be real as the food in the end is completely different” and that my photos were “random ones taken from the internet”. This really angered both myself and my husband who took the photos. He works as a photographer and we have the meta data to prove that we take all of the photos.

So today, here is Wuxi Ribs redone. The setting is the same but I myself took the preparation photos and we even have a photo of Chris taking the final photo (albeit it’s a really noisy photo as the ISO setting on my camera was changed accidentally).

And to the two people (same person?) who made those comments, I’m sorry I made a mistake with the recipe and I wanted to reply to your emails but neither could be replied to. I hope the comments weren’t spam.

So, after my little rant, here is the recipe again with fresh photos and typed up with water included in the recipe.

wuxi ribs ingredients

 

Wuxi Ribs Redone

Course Main Dish
Prep Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours
Servings 3 people

Ingredients

  • 1 kg pork ribs
  • 10 spring onions cut in half
  • 4 slices ginger
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce for marinade the ribs
  • 1 cup Shaoxing rice wine
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp Chinese dark vinegar
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 clove
  • 1/4 tsp pepper powder
  • 2 pinches five spice powder approximately
  • 1 tbsp ketchup
  • 2 tbsp brown or rock sugar
  • water

Instructions

  1. Marinade ribs with 2 tablespoons soy sauce, heat up 2 cups of oil in the wok with full gas power.
  2. Cut the spring onion in half and slice the ginger finely.
  3. Fry the ribs in 180C Oil for 2 minutes and place it on a plate. This procedure is for colouring the ribs.
  4. Heat up 1 tablespoon of oil and stir-fry the onion and ginger until aromatic. Place the spring onion and ginger into a stock pot.
  5. Add all the spices, Shaoxhing rice wine, soy sauce, dark vinegar and water (enough water to cover the ribs) into the stock pot and use full gas power to boil everything at first. Once it has boiled reduce the temperature to the lowest gas heat and simmer for 1.5 hours.
  6. The water should just cover the ribs.
  7. Add the sugar and ketchup after the ribs have simmered for the 1.5 hours and keep simmering until the meat on the ribs is soft.

 

Stir fried Cats Ear Noodle

stir fry cats ear noodle

I can imagine what you are thinking. Oh no, an Eastern person has cooked her cat! Don’t worry, our cat Popo still has his ears. Cat’s ears noodles is an interesting dish with an interesting story behind it.

During the Qing Dynasty, one day the Qianlong Emperor dressed himself as an ordinary person and travelled to West Lake, Hangzhou. He hired a ship and travelled along the West Lake.

Suddenly the weather turned really horrible. It was raining really heavily so they, it’s raining heavily, so they had to stop of the lake until the weather improved and they could continue their journey. However the rain continued and the emperor felt really hungry so he asked the old boatman for some food to eat.

The old boatman told him: “I have some flour but I don’t have a rolling pin to make noodles for you”. When they didn’t know what to do the boatman’s daughter, who was holding a pretty little kitten in her arms, told the boatman “it’s ok that we don’t have a rolling pin, I can use my hands to make noodles”. After she had finished making the noodles, the old old boatman cooked these noodles and mixed it with some sauce and gave Qianlong a bowl of noodle to eat. Qianlong had a bite of the noodle and was surprise about how tasty this noodle was. So he asked the boatman’s daughter for the name of the dish and she answed “Cat’s ears” due to the shape looking a bit like a cat’s ear). Afterwards the Qianlong Emperor went back to his palace and he hired the boatman’s daughter to be his chef and gave her and her family a lot of money and jewellery.

There are many ways to make cat’s ear noodle. I know some people like to make cat’s ear noodle soup or just stir-fry with some dried shitake mushroom and other vegetables. But today I use broad beans and prawn to cook with this cat’s ear noodle because I love broad beans with prawn and stir-fry broad beans with prawn is also another childhood dish for me. I hope you like my story today but also my recipe.

Credits: Preparation photos were taken by myself but final photos were taken by Chris at: http://www.chrisradleyphotography.com

 

Stir fried Cats Ear Noodle

Course Main Dish
Prep Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4 people

Ingredients

Ingredients for cat's ear noodle

  • 1.5 cup bread flour
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup water

Ingredients for stir-fry cat's ear noodle

  • 1 cup broad beans
  • 250 g baby corn cut into small dices
  • 500 g prawn
  • 1 small carrot diced into 0.5cm squares
  • 2 cloves garlic chop finely
  • 2 thin slice ginger chop finely
  • 1 chili remove seeds and chop finely

Seasonings for stir-fry cat’s ear noodle

  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup water

Instructions

Procedures for cat’s ear noodle

  1. Mix all of the ingredients together and use your hands to knead the dough until it’s nice and smooth.
  2. Cover the dough with cling film and leave it for 20 minutes.
  3. After 20 minutes, cut the dough into 3 portions and use a rolling pin to flatten each portion individually, Use a knife to cut it into small dices.
  4. Use your thumb to press down the small dices of dough individually first and then gently push forward. You will see the dough starts curling like a shell.
  5. Boil half a pot of water to cook the noodle. Pour a cup of cold water in the pot when it’s boiling. Repeat this procedure twice and when the noodle is floating on top of the water it’s cooked. Place the noodle into a big bowl and toss with some oil or sesame oil and leave it on aside. It’s now ready to serve.

Procedure for stir-fry cat’s ear noodle

  1. Heat up one tablespoon oil in a wok set to full gas power and stir-fry the garlic, ginger and chilli first until you smell they have cooked. This will take around 10-20 seconds.
  2. Add broad bean and carrot into the wok and stir-fry for 1 minute. Pour water into wok and bring it to the boil.
  3. Once the water is boiling turn the gas power to the lowest temperature and simmer for 5 minutes.
  4. Add all the seasonings into the wok and mix evenly. Place cat’s ear noodle into the wok and stir-fry together for 5 minutes.
  5. Add the prawns to the noodles and continue to stir-fry until the prawns have cooked.

 

Smoked Duck Noodle Soup

smoked duck noodle soup

In Taiwan, Taiwanese people will use smoked duck’s bone to make a special stock for noodle soup and duck meat for this smoked duck noodle soup. I always remember when I went to restaurants to have Peking duck (Beijing roast duck) with my family and my mother always asked for the bone to take home after dinner. She will use this duck bone to make stock and make rice soup in the morning for us as breakfast. The fragrance and the taste of that rice soup is so amazing. You can feel every inch of your body is awake after the first sip of the rice soup. Ah, such a wonderful memory. Now my mother is not in the UK so I have had to learn to cook this for my husband and I. I decided to cook this smoked duck noodle for us in our day off for our brunch but ever since I cooked it Chris has been pining for more.

I believe a good noodle soup or rice soup can enrich and bless your body even your mind. So here is my recipe for a delicious smoked duck noodle soup

Credits: Preparation photos were taken by myself but final photos were taken by Chris at: https://chrisradleyphotography.com

 

Smoked Duck Noodle Soup

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

Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 4 duck legs
  • 2 portions noodles

Seasonings

  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 ltr water
  • 2 spring onions
  • 3 slices ginger
  • 5 cm cinnamon stick
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 piece dried tangerine peel
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar

Marinade for duck legs

  • 1 tbsp Sichuan pepper
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 2 tbsp Shaoxing rice wine

Ingredients for smoking duck legs

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 2 bags teabags or tea leaf
  • 2 star anise

Instructions

  1. Marinade duck legs with the marinade seasonings for 1 hour.
  2. Heat up 2 tablespoon of oil in a sauce pan. Stir-fry the spring onion, ginger, all the spices.
  3. Pour the water, soy sauce, brown sugar into procedure 2 and boil it.
  4. Put duck legs into procedure 3 after it boiled and bring it to boil again. After boil turn the gas power to the lowest gas power and simmer for 45 minutes. Keep the sauce for stock later.
  5. Line the inside of a large roasting pan with foil and spread with ingredients for smoke the duck. Place a rack (cooling racks work well) inside the roasting pan. Place the duck legs on top of the rack (skin side down) and cover with tin foil to trap the smoke. Put the roasting pan on centre of the burner and heat up the roasting pan with moderate heat and after 2~3 minutes you will notice smoke coming out. Cook for a further 10 minutes. Brush some sesame oil on top of the duck legs after smoking.
  6. De-bone 2 duck legs and use the bones along with the sauce from Step 4 to make the stock. Put everything in to a small sized stock pot and simmer for 1 hour.
  7. Cook the noodle and place it in a bowl, pour some stock from procedure 6 and place the duck legs and duck meat on top with some spring onion and coriander as garnish.

 

Wuxi Ribs

wuxi ribs

A long time ago I watched a Taiwanese cooking show which taught people how to cook Wuxi Ribs. This dish needs to simmer for a couple of hours to make the meat on the ribs really tender. For most people, I know spending a couple hours preparing a dish is a long time but this dish is so tasty that I ensure you it’s worth your time.

This dish has a really nice story behind it. During the Song Dynasty, a homeless monk travelled to Wuxi. He asked some people for food but no-one was willing to give him some food behind he was both dirty and smelly. Finally a restaurant owner came out and gave him some meat to eat.

The monk wolfed down the meat but still felt hungry so he asked the restaurant owner if he could have some more food. The owner gave him a little more meat which the monk again wolfed down but he was still hungry and asked for more. The owner got a little angry and shouted at the monk “What shall I sell the customers tomorrow if you eat all of my meat?” The old monk told him “you can sell the bones tomorrow”.

The monk then threw pieces of his hand fan into the pot and an amazing smell came out of the pot. Back in those days fans were often made of leaves and the smell of the meat could be smelt throughout the city. Everybody in Wuxi city wanted to buy the ribs from that restaurant and the restaurant owner then realized that the monk is not just an ordinary monk, but he is the Buddha Ji Gong. Ji Gong is a famous Buddhist character in Chinese folk stories.

Here is the recipe for Wuxi Ribs. Although we don’t have Ji Gong’s hand fan we can control the heat and seasoning appropriately.

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

 

Wuxi Ribs

Course Main Dish
Prep Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours
Servings 3 people

Ingredients

  • 1 kg pork ribs
  • 10 spring onions cut in half
  • 4 slices ginger
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce for marinading the ribs
  • 1 cup Shaoxing rice wine
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp Chinese dark vinegar
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 clove
  • 1/4 tsp pepper powder
  • 2 pinches five spice powder
  • 1 tbsp ketchup
  • 2 tbsp brown or rock sugar
  • water

Instructions

  1. Marinade ribs with 2 tablespoons soy sauce, heat up 2 cups of oil in the wok with full gas power. Fry the ribs in 180C Oil for 2 minutes and place it on a plate. This procedure is for colouring the ribs.
  2. Heat up 1 tablespoon of oil and stir-fry the spring onion and, ginger until the fragrance comes out.
  3. Place the spring onion and ginger into a stock pot and place     ribs on top of the spring onion. Add all the spice, Shaoshing rice wine, soy sauce, dark vinegar and water (Water to slightly cover the ribs) into the stock pot and use full gas power to boil everything at first. Once it has boiled turn reduce the temperate to the lowest gas heat and simmer for 1.5 hours.
  4. Add sugar and ketchup after the ribs have simmered for 1.5 hours and keep simmering until the meat on the ribs is soft.