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Tuesday, 24 April 2012

How To Prepare and Cook Authentic Chinese Restuarant Chicken Chow Mein

Rice is the staple food for people in the south of China, whereas people in the north rely more on wheat products.

The Chinese word fan covers all the staple food such as rice, noodles, pancakes and dumplings.
Plain rice boiled or steamed is normally served with everyday meals while noodles and fried rice are served on their own for a light meal or snack.

In this post I am going to show you how to prepare and cook an authentic Chinese restaurant style Chicken Chow Mein.

Keep in mind the principle of cutting all the ingredients into matching shapes and sizes, in this case thin shreds like the noodles themselves.

Prep. and cooking time 30 minutes                               serves 4

You will need:
450gm of fresh or 250gm of dried egg noodles
4-5 tbs seasoned oil
225gm of chicken breast
115gm French beans
115gm fresh bean sprouts
1 tsp salt
½ tsp soft brown sugar
1 tbs Chinese rice wine
2 tbs light soy sauce
2 spring onions finely shredded
A little stock, if necessary
A few drops of sesame oil

Cook the noodles according to the instructions on the packet, drain and rinse under cold water the mix with a little of the seasoned oil.

Thinly shred the chicken breast and top and tail the beans.

Heat about 3 tbs of seasoned oil in a wok, stir fry the chicken and vegetables for about 2 minutes, add the salt, sugar, wine, half of the soy sauce and half of the spring onions, blend well and add a little stock if needed.

Place this in a dish and keep warm.

Heat the remaining oil in the wok and stir fry the noodles in the remaining soy sauce for 2-3 minutes. Place on a large serving dish and put the chicken and vegetables on top, garnish with the sesame oil, the remaining spring onions and serve.


Thursday, 19 April 2012

Authentic Chinese Chicken Curry and Egg Fried Rice


 Chinese Chicken Curry ~ Simple Food

Chinese Chicken Curry

Chinese curries are quite different from Indian curries; to get the authentic taste ideally you need to get a special curry powder mixture from a Chinese supermarket. Failing that I have always had good results from a mild curry powder.


For the curry you will need:
 Chinese Chicken Curry ~ Simple Food

440 gm - chicken cut into small cubes
1 teaspoon - soft brown sugar
1 table spoon - light soy sauce
1 table spoon - Chinese rice wine
1 table spoon - corn flour
3 table spoons - seasoned oil
1 - Clove - garlic (chopped)
1 - medium onion, finely chopped
2 table spoons - mild curry powder
300 Ml - Chinese Stock or Chicken stock
1 tsp salt


Marinate the chicken in the sugar, light soy sauce, wine and corn flour for 25-30 minutes.

 Chinese Chicken Curry ~ Simple Food

Heat the oil in a wok or pot, brown the onion and garlic over a medium heat, add the curry powder then mix and allow to brown, add a little stock and mix into a paste. 

 Chinese Chicken Curry ~ Simple Food


Now add the chicken and cook on a high heat for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly to prevent it from sticking. 

 Chinese Chicken Curry ~ Simple Food

Add the salt and just enough stock to cover; reduce the heat cover and braise for 25 minutes. 

You can accompany this with anything you like but my favourite is fried rice, I don’t think you can beat a good Chinese curry with anything but Chinese egg fried rice.

To make a good authentic Chinese fried rice the boiled rice that you use has to be cold.

So here we go;

For the egg fried rice you will need
3 - eggs
1 teaspoon -  salt
2-3 table spoons - oil
450 gm - boiled rice
100 gm - peas

Lightly beat the eggs with a pinch of salt, heat the oil in a wok and lightly scramble the eggs. 

 Chinese Chicken Curry ~ Simple Food

Add the rice and stir well making sure that all the grains are separated, then add the remaining salt and peas. Stir well on a high heat for about 5 minutes and serve.

 Chinese Chicken Curry ~ Simple Food

Now you have the perfect authentic Chinese curry, just like you get from the takeaway.
Or maybe a little better.

Why not try some Crispy Spring Rolls as a side dish

 Chinese Chicken Curry ~ Simple Food






Monday, 16 April 2012

How To Cook Authentic Chinese Restaurant Food

Authentic Chinese Restaurant Food ~ Simple Food

How To Cook Authentic Chinese Restaurant Food

In China there is quite a difference between restaurant food and home cooked food, unlike in Britain where commercial kitchen equipment is just a scaled up version of our home equipment, in China there is a vast difference between the two.

You may have tried cooking Chinese restaurant food at home and been a bit disappointed that the results lack the authentic taste and texture. In this post I am going to show you some of the methods and techniques that may rectify that.

The size and shape of the ingredient should always be suitable to the method of cooking, for example if you are going to produce a quick stir fry dish the ingredients should be sliced thinly or shredded. The blending of different flavours and colours are also of the upmost importance.

Equipment
There are a few essential tools most of which you will probably have in your kitchen, chopping block, spatula, ladle, strainer and steamer. The two main tools that I always arm myself with are a cleaver and a wok.

There are 5 basic flavours in Chinese cooking:
Sweet  sugar, honey, jam, fruit.
Sour  plum sauce, tomato sauce, vinegar
Bitter  almond, orange peel herbs.
Hot  peppers, ginger, mustard, chilli, chilli sauce.
Salty  soybean paste, salt, soy sauce.

There are 2 very important components that are used in most Chinese restaurant dishes, and they are the basic stock, which used instead of water whenever liquid is required, and seasoned oil which must be vegetable oil of some kind. Sunflower oil is my choice for Chinese cooking.

How to season your oil
Authentic Chinese Restaurant Food ~ Simple FoodPour about 600ml of oil into a pre heated wok or saucepan on a high heat and add 4 small pieces of peeled ginger root. In a few minutes they will rise to the surface. When they turn from pale yellow to dark brown turn off the heat, let it cool down then remove the ginger and discard. It’s as simple as that, keep the oil in a container and it can be reused several times.

How to make the basic stock
This will be one of the first things a Chinese cook will prepare when starting work in the kitchen.
You will need:
Authentic Chinese Restaurant Food ~ Simple Food0.75kg chicken pieces (excluding breast)
0.75kg pork spare ribs
3 litres water
2 large pieces root ginger, unpeeled and crushed
3 spring onions each tied into a knot
2 tablespoons Chinese rice wine (or dry sherry)

Trim off the excess fat from the chicken and pork. Place the chicken, pork, ginger and spring onions into a large pan with the cold water and bring to the boil, then skim off any scum.
Authentic Chinese Restaurant Food ~ Simple Food

Reduce the heat but keep on the boil uncovered for 2-3 hours, by then it should have reduced by about a third.
Authentic Chinese Restaurant Food ~ Simple Food

Strain the stock, discarding the chicken, pork, ginger and onions; add the wine and return to the boil, simmer for 2-3 minutes and it is ready to use.

The stock will keep for 4-5 days in the fridge, or alternatively you can freeze it in smaller containers and defrost when required.

Keep a look out for the next post in a few days, I will be telling you how to prepare and cook an authentic Chinese chicken curry and fried rice. It will taste just like you get in your favourit Chinese resaurant.

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Monday, 9 April 2012

Chicken Breast Curry & Rice


Dishes like these are very often better when refrigerated overnight and reheated the next day, this one is no different.
Although this dish includes a little ketchup it is not a sweet curry, in fact quite the opposite and you can adjust the heat by adding more fresh chilli’s or chilli flakes.
It’s quite important that you taste the sauce frequently as you go so don’t put all the spices in straight away, then you can adjust to your own taste.

Right let’s get on

Meat
2 Chicken Breasts

Sauce
1 onion
1 Green Pepper
2 tsp Ketchup
½ tsp Chilli flakes or 1 fresh Red Chilli
1tsp Chilli Powder
1 tsp Garum Masala
10 Cardamom Pods
½ tsp Coriander
½ tsp Dried Ginger
1 tsp Cumin
2 Cloves Garlic
Veg Stock
1 Veg Stock Cube
1 level Desert Spoon Plain Flour
Olive Oil
1 Glass Red Wine

Put some olive oil in a wok and gently cook the chicken until it is almost cooked through,
as I’ve said before even if you are going to dice or slice the chicken always part cook it whole first, it makes it more tender that way.

Remove the chicken and set it aside.

Add the onion, pepper and garlic to the pan with the juices and fry gently for a couple of minutes(also the fresh chilli if using).

Then add the chilli powder, garum Masala, coriander and ginger. Stir them in add the flour and mix into a paste add the wine and let that simmer for about 5 minutes.

Dice and add the chicken.

Then add the cardamom pods, ketchup, stock cube and stock to a consistency of your liking and stir, simmer gently for about 15 minutes while you cook your rice.
Hope you enjoy it
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Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Roast Chicken Breast in a Fennell and White Wine Sauce

Yes yes yes chicken again, but it’s so versatile.


This is a gorgeous chicken dish and so easy to do, also it goes with almost anything you want to accompany it.


You will need: -
2 chicken breasts
Virgin olive oil
1 tsp Fennel seeds
2 cloves crushed garlic
1 tsp mustard seeds
¼ glass white wine
About the same cream or milk
Vegetable stock
1 Vegetable stock cube
1 dessert spoon plain flour

Put the chicken breasts in an oven proof pan and drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle over the fennel seeds, crushed garlic and crushed mustard seeds, cover and roast in the oven on 170 degrees for about 20 minutes.


Remove from the oven and scrape the herbs and spices from the chicken into the pan, remove the chicken and set aside.

Put the pan on the hob on a medium heat, add the flour to the juices and mix into a paste. Then add the wine and mix into a paste again, let the wine cook out for a few minutes and add the stock cube and cream or milk and stir. Simmer for 2 or 3 minutes and add vegetable stock to get it to the consistency of your liking and reintroduce the chicken.


Then simmer on a low heat for 10 to 15 minutes and it’s ready to serve.


I had mine with fresh ribbon noodles that I cooked in the wok for just a few minutes.