I have numerous cookbooks I’ve bought thinking they looked great which then got filed into my library, untried. Being the fan of Asian cuisine that I am, my cupboard is full of the right ingredients. Jeremy Pang, a British Chef and owner of the UK school, “School of Wok” published “Essential Chinese Cooking” which I picked up a year or so back. Just by chance, the Chinese New Year is February 12th so it seemed an even more appropriate time give it a go. Sooo happy I did too. These recipes are super easy and delicious. Pang’s book doesn’t seem to be readily available but he kindly puts many of them on the web. I snagged this info for the post after trying them at home but I would recommend you buy it if you can find it. Everything you need between the two covers rather than fishing around the internet for hours.. I’ll post another round next week.
HOISIN & COLA RIBS
- 4 garlic cloves
- a large knob of ginger
- 30 spare ribs
- 8 tablespoons tomato ketchup
- 8 tablespoons hoisin sauce
- 4 tablespoons granulated sugar (I cut this in half and it was great)
- 4 tablespoons dark soy sauce
- 4 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 500ml cola
- ½ spring onion, finely chopped, to garnish
1. Preheat the oven to 300°F
2. Finely chop the garlic and ginger and put in a deep roasting tray or big pot suitable for the oven along with the ribs and all the other ingredients. Mix everything together thoroughly, ensuring the ribs are well covered.
3. Transfer the ribs to the oven and cook uncovered for at least 2–3 hours, basting and turning the ribs every so often so they don’t burn (if they do start to ‘catch’, turn your oven down slightly). Towards the end of the cooking time the ribs will start to break up and fall apart slightly – this is a good sign, but you want to keep them as whole as possible (ready for grilling), so be careful when turning.
4. Transfer the ribs to a hot barbecue and cook in batches for 2–3 minutes on each side until the outsides of the ribs are glazed and charred. Drizzle over a little of the remaining sauce and sprinkle over some finely chopped spring onion to garnish.
SOY SAUCE CHICKEN
a thumb-size piece ginger
300g chicken thighs and/or legs
A pinch Chinese five-spice
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 small handful coriander (cilantro) leaves
6 tablespoons dark soy sauce
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
300-500ml hot water
- Cut the onion into fine slices and the ginger into fine matchsticks. Roughly chop the coriander leaves.
- Mix the dark soy sauce with the sugar in a bowl.
- Heat the vegetable oil in a saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion and ginger and cook, stirring for 2–3 minutes, or until the onion starts to brown.
- Add the chicken pieces and fry for 4–5 minutes, turning over as necessary, until golden brown on all sides, then add the five-spice, soy and sugar mixture and bring to the boil, stirring well to dissolve the sugar. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for a further 4–5 minutes until the sauce has thickened and caramelized, stirring to ensure the chicken pieces are evenly coated.
- Add just enough hot, but not boiling water to cover the chicken pieces. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and leave to simmer, covered, for 15 minutes. Remove the lid and continue to simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has reduced by half and is dark, sticky and caramelized. Transfer to a serving bowl or plate and garnish with the coriander. Serve.
STIR FRIED CHOY SUM WITH MINCED GARLIC
This actually comes Serious Eats and was contributed by Shao Z. I found it when our local Asian “everything store” Fong’s Market convinced me to try a bundle. The closest vegetable in western food I can compare this to would be broccolini. That said, when you blanch it, the leaves shrink down very much like spinach would. So if using 1lb seems like a lot, bear in mind that the final portion will be much smaller.
- 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper powder
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1/8 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
- 2 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 2 tablespoon water
- 6 cloves garlic, finely minced (about 2 tablespoons)
- 1 pound choy sum, roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons vegetable, canola, or peanut oil
- In a small bowl combine the ground white pepper powder, soy sauce, salt, cornstarch, sesame oil, and water together. Mix well and add the minced garlic (see note). Set aside.
- Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add the chopped choy sum and cook until bright green, about 40 seconds. Drain well.
- Heat vegetable oil in a wok over high heat until smoking. Add the choy sum, stir, and season with a few pinches of salt. Continue to cook while stirring regularly for about 2 minutes. Push the choy sum away from the center of the wok (see note). Stir the sauce and add it to the center. Once it starts bubbling, combine it with the choy sum. Season to taste with more salt as desired. Transfer to a serving platter and serve immediately.