Wednesday, October 18, 2006


recipes # 102, 103 & 104

I'm starting Szechuan cuisine, or sichuan or szechwan or 四川菜. Depending on how you spell it. I started very basic.

First, from Sichuan Cooking by Fuchsia Dunlop:
Zhong Dumplings - Zhong Sui Jiao
circular dumpling wrappers
60 g piece fresh ginger, unpeeled
1 egg
1 tablespoon shaoxing wine
3/4 teaspoon salt
fresh ground black pepper, to taste
450 g ground pork
Dipping sauce
3 tablespoons light soy sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons chili oil (the homemade variety, not store bought, see my recipe for hong you, chilli oil)
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed and mixed with
2 teaspoons cold water

1. Smash the ginger with the flat side of a cleaver or heavy object and leave to soak for a few minutes in 200ml cold water.
2. Mix the egg, wine and salt and pepper into the pork, then gradually add the ginger-water (discarding the crushed pieces), so it is absorbed by the meat to form a fragrant, floppy paste.
3. Mix the dipping sauce ingredients in a small bowl; always add the garlic at the last minute to make the most of it's flavour and fragrance.
4. Fill each dumpling wrapper wth a good teaspoon of filling, and seal to make a half-moon shape. Seal with a series of little pinches if you want it to look good and authentic! Make sure dumpling skin is sealed so that the filling can't ooze out. Lay the dumplings out seperately on a lightly floured surface.
5. Heat a large pan of water to a vigorous boil over high heat. Throw in a couple of handfuls of dumplings. Stir once to prevent sticking. When the water has returned to the boil, throw in a coffee cupful of cold water. Allow the water to return to the boil and throw in another coffee cupful of cold water. When the water has returned to the boil again, the skins should be glossy and the meat should have cooked through.
6. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon, drain well, and serve hot with dip. Continue cooking the dumplings in batches.
7. FYI - the cold water is added to stop the water from boiling too vigorously and tearin the dumplings apart.

Here is the chili oil recipe that goes with the dumpling recipe.

Hong You
100 g chili flakes or coarsely ground chilies, with seeds
550 ml peanut oil or peanut oil or corn oil
1. Put the chili flakes into a glass preserving jar.
2. Heat the oil over high heat until smoking hot.
3. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for about 10 minutes to 120 - 130 degrees celcius. (I don't have a themometer, I just cool for 10 minutes).
4. Pour onto the chilies, stir once or twice and leave to cool in a shady place. The oil and chilies will fizz and swirl around at first but the chilli flakes will settle as the oil cools. You can use the oil immediately, but the flavour and fragrance will improve after a couple of days.

hung you oil

I boiled the dumplings and then pan fried them until they were just slightly brown. They are much better that way.

For the main course I made:
Sichuan Green Beans
1 lb chinese long beans or regular green beans, cut on the diagonal into 2-inch pieces
1 tablespoon bean sauce (preferably Koon Chun)
2 tablespoons soy sauce (black or mushroom)
2 tablespoons vegetable broth or chicken broth
1 tablespoon dry sherry
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon chili paste (to taste)
1 tablespoon sesame oil
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1. If using regular green beans, steam or parboil them for 5 minutes. (Regular green beans are thicker than Chinese long beans so they take longer to cook). Rinse cut beans in cold water.
2. Combine the bean sauce, soy sauce, sherry, sugar, cornstarch, chili paste, and sesame oil. Add 2 tablespoons cold water.
3. Heat both oils in a wok until smoking. Add beans and stir-fry for 10 minutes or until beans are bright green in color and slightly wrinkled.
4. Add sauce and stir-fry until sauce thickens.

I used the long beans. It's a terrific recipe. Good hot or cold.

Szechuan Sesame Chicken
1 medium egg white
2 teaspoons cornflour
500 g chicken breast fillets, cut into strips
3 tablespoons peanut oil
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
2 teaspoons dark soy sauce
2 teaspoons cider vinegar
2 teaspoons chili sauce
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon rice wine
1 teaspoon whole szechuan peppercorns, roasted
2 tablespoons spring onions, trimmed & finely chopped
1. Beat the egg white with the cornflour, pour into a shallow dish and add the chicken strips. Turn to coat, cover with clingfilm and leave in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
2. Heat a wok, add the peanut oil and when hot, add the chicken pieces and stirfry for 2 minutes or until the chicken turns white. Remove chicken with slotted spoon and drain on absorbent paper. Pour off the oil and reserve 1 tablespoon of oil. Wipe wok clean.
3. Reheat wok, add 1 tablespoon of the peanut oil with the sesame seeds and stirfry for 30 seconds, or until golden. Stir in the dark soy sauce, cider vinegar, chili sauce, sesame oil, sugar, chinese rice wine, Szechuan peppercorns and the spring onions. Bring to boil.
4. Return chicken to wok and stir-fry for 2 minutes, making sure the chicken is coated evenly with the sauce and sesame seeds. Serve immediately, with rice (or mixed salad).

I didn't love this one although other people liked it fine. I think I screwed it up somewhere along the way.

Both of those are from recipe zaar.

maybe photos later

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Only use DRIED chilis or throw it away after 7-10 days in the fridge (FDA Recommendation), or you risk botulism!