EASY CHINESE COOKING
These are best recipes in China.
Recipes from Mark Bittman of NY TIMES and famed S.Francisco "MANDARIN" restaurant, owner Cecelia Chiang, now 95 yrs old
Eggplant in Garlic Sauce, a wonderful side dish or vegetarian starter
* 3 large Asian eggplants (about 1 pound)
* 3 tablespoons premium soy sauce
* 1 1/2 teaspoons chili oil
* 1 tablespoon Chiankiang black vinegar or good quality balsamic vinegar
* 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
* 1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
* 1 green onion, white and green parts, thinly sliced
1. Serve 4-6 as part of a Chinese Meal or 2-4 as a Western-style
2. Trim the eggplants. Cut them lengthwise in quarters and then
again crosswise in 2 to 3 inch pieces. Fill the bottom of a steamer
with water, bring the water to a boil over high heat, and set the
eggplant pieces on a steamer tier (they don’t need to be put on a
plate first) over boiling water. Cover and steam 4 minutes, or until
soft when pressed with a chopstick. Set aside to cool to room
3. To Make the Dressing: Whisk the soy sauce, chili oil, vinegar,
ginger, and garlic in a small bowl until combined. To serve, toss
the room temperature eggplant in half of the dressing and arrange it
on a platter. Pour over the remaining dressing. Garnish with green
Shanghai Stir-Fried Pork with Cabbage
“I was a student in Beijing during World War II,” says chef Cecilia
Chiang. “To flee occupied China, I walked with my sister to Chongqing;
it took close to six months. Crossing different provinces, I found out
the foods are quite different. In the north, for instance, people eat a
lot of sorghum, millet and wheat instead of rice. In Shanghai homes,
this stir-fried cabbage-and-pork recipe is typical.”
1. 3/4 pound boneless pork loin, trimmed of fat
2. 8 dried shiitake mushrooms
3. 2 teaspoons cornstarch
4. 1 1/2 tablespoons dry sherry
5. 1 tablespoon soy sauce
6. 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
7. 1/4 cup peanut oil
8. Kosher salt
9. 1 pound napa cabbage—halved lengthwise, cored and thinly sliced crosswise
10. Cooked rice and Chinese chile sauce, for serving
1. Freeze the pork for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, in a microwave-safe bowl, cover the shiitake mushrooms with hot water and a paper towel. Microwave at high power for 3 minutes. Let the shiitake stand until softened, about 15 minutes. Drain and press out the water. Cut off and discard the stems. Thinly slice the caps.
2. Slice the pork 1/4 inch thick. Stack the slices and cut them into 1/4-inch-wide strips. Transfer the pork to a medium bowl and toss with the cornstarch, sherry, soy sauce, white pepper and 1 tablespoon of the oil.
3. Heat a large skillet until almost smoking. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of the oil and heat until small puffs of smoke appear around the edges. Add the pork and stir-fry over high heat until nearly cooked, 30 seconds; transfer to a plate. Add the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of oil to the skillet, then add 1 teaspoon of salt and swirl to combine. When the oil is shimmering, add the shiitake caps and half of the cabbage and stir-fry over high heat until just wilted. Add the remaining cabbage and stir-fry until crisp-tender, 1 1/2 minutes longer. Return the pork to the skillet and cook until just heated through, 1 minute. Serve right away, with rice and chile sauce.
I don’t think I’ve ever officially had Chinese Kung Pao Chicken
until I made this recipe. I’m drawn more toward the sweet and sour
Chinese dishes, which makes it hard for me to say that I love this
recipe. However, knowing Kung Pao Chicken is supposed to be salty
and spicy, this recipe was really good (and easy – always a plus in
Easy Chinese Kung Pao Chicken (Add more chilies for a spicier version
and add red peppers for more color.)
* 1/2 cup shelled raw peanuts (skinned)
* 2 tablespoons peanut oil, for frying
* 1 tablespoon Shaoxing rice wine (you can find rice wine at
your local international market or substitute with dry sherry)
* 1 tablespoon soy sauce
* 6 whole dried red chile peppers, tops trimmed and seeded
* Pinch of sea salt
* 1 pound chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch square pieces
* 1 green bell pepper, seeded and cut in 1 inch square pieces
1. Make the sauce by mixing the wine and soy sauce. Set aside.
2. Heat peanut oil to about 350 degrees. Add the peanuts to the
oil and fry until golden brown, around 1 minute. Using a slotted
spoon, transfer peanuts to a plate lined with paper towels.
3. Heat a wok and add the remaining peanut oil. Add the chilies
and salt. Saute for about 1 minute. The chilies will darken in
color. Add the chicken and cook through, around 4 minutes. Add the
green peppers for a few minutes. Don't cook the green peppers too
long since you want them to be slightly crisp. Pour in the reserved
sauce and bring to a boil. Add the peanuts and remove from the heat.
Serve with white or brown rice.
The original recipe said to deep fry the peanuts in 2 cups of peanut
oil. That seemed a little unnecessary so I cut down the amount of
oil I used significantly to just a few tablespoons. You can also use
chicken thigh meat, but I opted for a healthier version by using
chicken breast tenderloins.
BON BON CHICKEN From “The Seventh Daughter: My Culinary Journey from Beijing to San
Francisco” by Cecilia Chiang
Serves 4 to 6 Poached chicken: 1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken
breasts, each about 1 inch thick ¼ cup Shaoxing or dry white...
By Seattle Times Staff
Serves 4 to 6
1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, each about 1 inch
¼ cup Shaoxing or dry white wine or vermouth
2 green onions, cut in 2-inch lengths and lightly smashed
6 slices (1/8 inch thick) fresh ginger, smashed
1 teaspoon whole black, white or Sichuan peppercorns (see Kitchen
1 pound English cucumbers, peeled
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon Chinkiang black vinegar (see Kitchen Note**)
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
2 teaspoons chili oil
1 ½ teaspoons ground Sichuan peppercorns
1 teaspoon peeled and minced fresh ginger
1 large clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro plus extra sprigs for
Kosher salt if needed
1. To prepare poached chicken: Put breasts in a large saucepan with
water to cover by 2 inches. Add wine, green onions, ginger and
peppercorns. Increase heat to high; as soon as the liquid boils,
reduce the heat and simmer 3 ½ minutes then cover and remove pan
from heat. Let sit 30 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through
(reaches 165 degrees). Remove chicken from broth, cool and pull into
shreads about 1/3-inch thick. Set aside.
2. To prepare cucumbers: Cut lengthwise into quarters and remove
seeds. Then crosswise into 2-inch lengths. Cut into sticks about
¼-inch thick. Set aside.
3. To prepare dressing: Combine soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil,
chili oil, ground Sichuan pepper, ginger, garlic, sugar and cilantro
by hand with a whisk or in a food processor. Taste and add salt if
necessary. The dressing can be stored up to 5 days in the
4. To serve: Arrange cucumbers on a platter with the chicken on top.
Pour dressing over salad and garnish with cilantro sprigs.
Times Kitchen Notes:
* Sichuan peppercorns can be found at Asian markets. India Tree also
packages the peppercorns, which can be found at some large
supermarkets such as Metropolitan Market.
** As a substitute for Chinese black vinegar, combine 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar with 1 teaspoon rice vinegar.
MARK BITTMAN must be taking lessons from CHIANG. His PORK/ EGGPLANT and MUSHROOM dish sounds very Cecilia: http://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1014735-braised-eggplant-pork-and-mushrooms
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