Preheat the oven to 425 F / 220 C / Gas Mark 7. In a mixing bowl, combine all the dry ingredients for the chicken thoroughly then toss in the chicken wings and coat evenly. Place on a baking tray lined with baking paper about a centimetre apart and drizzle with the oil. Place in the oven and bake for fifteen minutes then carefully turn over with a pair of tongues. Return to the oven for another fifteen to twenty minutes until chicken is fully cooked.
In a medium-sized heavy-bottomed pot, add all ingredients for the sesame sauce except sesame seeds. Gently bring the sauce to a boil, stirring regularly and simmer the sauce over a low heat for ten minutes. If you want the sauce spicier, add more of the hot sauce to your taste. When the chicken wings out from the oven, carefully tip onto kitchen paper to drain off any excess fat then place into a bowl and add the sauce. Toss chicken wings to coat evenly with the sauce then place into a serving dish, sprinkle with the sesame seeds, spring onions and chilli slices. Enjoy.
Allergens in this recipe are;
There will be Soya and may be gluten in your Soy Sauce
There are up to two weeks of celebrations for the Chinese New Year or Spring Festival. This year is the year of the Dog. In China and the Chinese diaspora there are visits to family, fireworks, and feasts and so I thought appropriate over the next ten days to post some more of my favourite Chinese dishes. I am also building up a database of some of the ingredients and base recipes which you can find on here. If you want to know more about one of my favourite styles of Chinese cuisine you can read my post on Cantonese food.
Celebrate Chinese New Year with the following Recipes;-
In China lamb or mutton is eaten mostly in the north and north west and is especially favoured by the Muslim and Mongol populations but it is available everywhere. The most popular street food in China are Xinjiang lamb skewers with fiery and fragrant with chilli and Szechuan peppercorns, which you can find in every major city throughout China. Chinese recipes mostly call for mutton or substitute goat rather than lamb mainly because traditionally lamb was scarce, and the cooking times would be longer. This is rather a generous recipe best eaten with friends, serve with some perfectly fluffy boiled rice. Now may I wish you all prosperity for this Year of the Dog and Enjoy – Gong xi fa cai
Braised Lamb and Ginger
Slow Braised Lamb with Ginger and Spring Onions
1.5 kg to 2 kg boned Shoulder of Lamb
10 Banana Shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
2 large bunches of Spring Onions, washed, trimmed and cut in 3 centimetre pieces
500 gr Sliced Button Mushrooms
1.5 ltr good quality Lamb or Veal Stock
100 gr Rock Sugar ( you can substitute Demerara )
1 large 6 centimetre piece of Ginger, peeled and very finely sliced
Cut the lamb shoulder into large five centimetre dice. Bring a large pan of water to the boil and blanch the lamb by plunging it into the boiling water for five minutes. Strain out the meat and discard the water. Heat a wok or a large frying pan over a high heat until it is hot. Add the oil, and when it is very hot and slightly smoking, add the pieces of lamb and stir-fry them until they are brown.
Add the shallots, spring onions, mushrooms and ginger to the wok and cook for five more minutes before placing into a large casserole or heavy-bottomed pan and stir in the remaining ingredients. Bring up to the boil and carefully skim off any fat from the surface, then turn the heat down as low as possible. Cover with a lid and gently simmer for around one and a half hours or until the lamb is cooked and tender, skimming occasionally to remove any more fat. When cooked remove the star anise, cloves and cassia bark and serve in bowls with steamed rice.
What to Drink? Matching wine with Chinese food used to be considered impossible but more modern sommeliers are making innovative pairings try your lamb with a fruity, Chilean Pinot Noir or off-dry Rosé and why not try a refreshing Continental wheat beer with citrus and coriander seeds as your beer choice.
( I hope this wishes everyone a happy Chinese New Year )
Following my post for Cantonese Pork and me highlighting authentic Chinese cuisine, I can only follow it by giving my version of a totally bastardised American Chinese dish. A sweet, slightly spicy and I am the first to admit very moreish dish called General Tso’s Chicken. The dish is named after General Tso Tsung-tang, a Qing dynasty general, and statesman, however any connection is very tenuous. The origins of the dishes invention are in the 1950’s influx of Chinese to the United States.
The dish is reported to have been introduced to New York City in the early 1970s as an example of Hunan cooking, though it is not typical of Hunanese cuisine, which is traditionally very spicy and rarely sweet. Fuchsia Dunlop, in the New York Times, identified the claim of a Taiwan-based chef Peng Chang-kuei. Peng was the Nationalist government banquets’ chef and fled to Taiwan during the Chinese Civil War. In 1973 he moved to New York to open a restaurant and experimented and developed Hunanese-style cuisine adopting it for western tastes.
Other chefs claim that they created the dish or variations which include vegetables, meat other than chicken in a sweetened sauce. Later the chicken was deep fried before being added to the sauce, now almost every American Chinese restaurant has General Tso’s Chicken on the menu. Where the dish is cooked outside of the United States the dish is less sweet with more vinegar or rice wine vinegar and soy sauce in the ingredients, this is definitely more to my taste.
A small bunch of Spring Onions, washed and sliced in 1 inch pieces
1 small Red Chilli, finely sliced
3 cloves of Garlic, peeled and crushed
½ piece of Ginger, peeled and finely chopped ( approximately 1 tablespoon )
75 ml quality Chicken Stock
2 tablespoons of Olive Oil
2 tablespoons soft Brown Sugar
1 tablespoon Tomato Paste
2 tablespoons Sherry Vinegar
2 tablespoons Rice Wine
1 heaped tablespoon Corn Flour
A good pinch of Chinese Five Spice
for the fried chicken
2 skinned Chicken Breasts, washed and diced
2 Egg Whites
Juice of 1 Lemon
75 gr Cornflour
Sea Salt and Cayenne Pepper
1 ½ liters neutral Vegetable Oil for frying
For the sauce heat the vegetable oil in a wok and stir-fry the carrots, mushrooms, garlic and ginger for two to three minutes being careful not to burn the garlic and then add the peppers. In a small pan heat the chicken stock, vinegar, rice wine, sugar, cloves and Chinese five spice and bring to the boil. Simmer for five minutes then thicken with the cornflour mixed with a little water and the tomato puree. After another five minutes simmering, strain into the wok and set on a very low heat.
For the chicken, sieve the cornflour into a large bowl and add a generous amount of salt and cayenne pepper the mix. In a separate bowl whisk the egg whites and lemon juice. Then dip the chicken pieces into the corn flour, the egg whites and back into the corn flour. In a second wok or a large heavy bottomed pan heat the oil to 160°C / 320 F using a thermometer to check. If you do not have a thermometer have a few cubes of stale white bread to hand then place a bread cube in the oil if it rises to the surface and cooks to a golden brown in a couple of minutes the oil is hot enough.
Fry the chicken in batches carefully lowering into the hot oil, for around six to eight minutes or until the batter is crisp and golden, turning from time to time with a large slotted spoon.
When the chicken is cooked using the slotted spoon remove from the hot oil, drain on kitchen paper and place into the hot sauce. Simmer for two more minutes and then serve with steamed rice and garnish with a few finely sliced spring onion tops.
So you may have guessed I love Chinese food. When I fly to the mainland it is difficult as I want to try every new restaurant but always hanker for a fantastic Chinese extravaganza, a rather greedy feast I am afraid. I recall a delicious Chinese meal in Oakham, Rutland, see I once lived and worked geographically about as far from the sea as you can get in England. In particular, one dish, crispy, chilli beef served in a deep fried potato nest was fantastic, it was from over fifteen years ago, however, so I cannot guaranty that the restaurant even exists now, just a fabulous memory. Then moist, flavoursome steamed scallop wontons and prawn and pork dumplings from Hakkasan in Hanway Place, London *, for which I would almost give anything to learn how to make. Finally an awesome crab with ginger and scallions ( Spring onions fellow English readers ), in East Harbor, New York, with a mind blowing Chinese and Japanese menu. It is rather sad that I have yet had the opportunity to go to China but it is on my list to do, perhaps one day.
What I have done was an inspiring course in London with Ken Hom, equipped myself with numerous books, woks, steamers and ingredients from quaint little Asian speciality suppliers and set to work as only a chef can and chopped, pounded, crushed, fried and ate my way through the Chinese canon. Cantonese, Shandong, Hunan and spicy Szechuan cuisine with noodles, rice, black beans, bok choi and lots of seasoning; garlic, chilli, cloves and ginger, and the wonderfully pungent star anise. Am I giving my little local take away a bit of a run for his money what do you think? Enjoy.
2 teaspoons Corn Flour, mixed with a little cold water
For the sauce
100 ml quality beef Stock
1 tablespoon Caster Sugar
1 tablespoon Corn Flour, mixed with a little cold water
Place the rump steak in the freezer for thirty minutes, this firms up the beef making it easier to slice thinly. On a secure board slice the beef with a sharp kitchen knife into thin strips and place into a glass bowl. Add the marinade ingredients, mix well to combine together and fully cover the steak strips.
Cover and chill in the fridge for a minimum of two hours. Meanwhile, prepare the black beans by first rinsing thoroughly in cold water then soaking in fresh water for around half an hour, changing the water once. Drain thoroughly, chop finely and set aside.
When ready to cook, drain the meat from the marinade pouring any remaining marinade into a small, heavy-bottomed pan. Add the sauce ingredients to the marinade and heat gently to thicken, stirring occasionally to prevent lumps forming. Heat the oil in the wok until smoking and carefully add the meat. Stir-fry until cooked, remove with a slotted spoon and set aside on to some kitchen paper
Heat a little more oil then stir fry onion over medium heat for five minutes before adding the carrots and peppers, continue cooking for a couple more minutes until they are just starting to go soft. Add the black beans and cook for two more minutes stirring continuously, be careful not to burn, then add the garlic, ginger, and chilli and cook for a further two minutes. Return the beef to the wok, strain the sauce through a fine sieve and add as well. Mix in the sesame oil and cook for one more minute stirring all the time to heat the beef through and serve immediately with egg fried rice or noodles.
What to Drink? Matching wine with Chinese food used to be considered impossible but more modern sommeliers are making innovative pairings try your beef with a fruity, Chilean Pinot Noir and why not try a refreshing Continental wheat beer with citrus and coriander seeds as your beer choice.