Don't Wave Those Chopsticks at Me.
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Diary and Notes
Today I cooked a massive Chinese meal for 12 people. As such I will just let the cooking do the talking for me.
I knew I was making a lot so I went and bought loads of things. Amongst them was a chicken and a large joint of beef. I cut the beef in half and used 1/2 for the crispy fried beef, the other half I simmered to make the stock and used for the stewed beef in tomato. The chicken I cut up and roasted, then took the meat off the bone and used the bones for the stock as well. Don't make the stock too thick, more of a flavoured watery soup. This I used as liquid when stir frying (to stop things sticking and flavour) and also boiled the dumplings in it (they flavour the stock, the stock flavours them)
Oil: I made some flavoured stir frying oil by gently frying some minced chilli, ginger and garlic in peanut oil. I added a little sesame oil to this. The oil I put in a jug and poured out as necessary. When I got to the end there was loads of chopped chilli etc. which I used for the crispy fried beef.
Preperation: I chopped, sliced, minced etc. everything before I began.
Stir Frying: Have a solution of cornflour and water made up ready and the hot stock bubbling nearby. When you're frying add a little bit of stock every now and again (makes superheated steam to cook things evenly) and just before finishing, stir in a little cornflour mix to make a glaze.
Chinese Apple Puffs: Somebody described a dish they'd had at the Pagoda Palace in Swindon, and asked if I could make them. I'd never had them myself so I had a go at 'inventing' them. Though I was told they were not the same as the desired dish they were however, excellent.
Plum Glazed Duck
Stewed Beef in Tomato
Sweet and Sour Chicken with Cashews
Crispy Fried Beef
Noodles with Pepper and Mushrooms
Apple Puffs and Ice Cream
Chinese Dumplings: Minced pork, wanton wrappers, sesame oil, spring onions, garlic, ginger, white pepper, stock
Plum Glazed Duck: A large duck, soy sauce, lemon juice, plum sauce, flavoured oil, cucumber, chinese cabbage, stock, cornflour.
Stewed Beef in Tomato: Topside of beef (simmered in stock), black bean paste, peanut oil, flavoured oil, onions, tomato puree, tomato ketchup, tomatoes, soy sauce, stock.
Sweet and Sour Chicken: Chicken, onions, green pepper, carrots, peanut oil, flavoured oil, soy sauce, cashew nuts, canned pineapples (in juice), hoy sin sauce, stock, cornflour.
Crispy Fried Beef: Topside of beef, eggs, cornflour, vegetable oil, flavoured oil, garlic, ginger, chilli (from the oil), stock, soy sauce, spring onions,
Fried Rice: Rice, mushroom stalks, peas, peanut oil, sesame oil, spring onions, white pepper, soy sauce.
Noodles with Pepper and Mushrooms: Egg noodles, green and red peppers, mushrooms (tops), stock, soy sauce, oyster sauce.
Apple Puffs: Apples, eggs, cornflour, sugar, vegetable oil, golden syrup.
Dumplings: Mince some garlic and ginger and mix with the pork. Finely dice some spring onions and add these, season with pepper, soy sauce and a little sesame oil. Place a small ball of pork in the middle of a wanton wrapper (you can buy these at Asian/Indian grocers everywhere), wet the edges with water and then join the four corners together and twist. This should form a nice Christmas pudding shaped ball. Drop these in the stock and simmer for 45 minutes.
Duck: Marinade the duck in loads of soy sauce and lemon juice overnight. Cook in a very hot oven for 15 minutes (to burn the skin) and then turn the heat down and roast for 3 hours. Half an hour before finishing, glaze with some plum sauce. Slice the cucumber and chinese leaf and stir fry in some flavoured oil and add more plum sauce. Using two forks scrape all the duck off the bones and serve using the cucmber/cabbage as a bed, drizzle with more plum sauce and serve.
Beef in tomato: (Using the cooked cold beef from the stock) Slice thinly and mix with the black bean paste. Stir fry along with the chopped onions in some flavoured oil. Add some tomato puree, a little ketchup, some soy sauce, some stock and simmer for 20 minutes. (The sauce should be quite thick). Stir in some tomatoes and leave for 5 mins for the tomatoes to warm through.
Chicken: Using the cooked chicken off the bone. Stir fry the onions, carrot and pepper. Add the chicken, some hoy sin sauce and the juice from the pineapples. Fry until the sauce thickens. Add the cashews, soy sauce etc. and serve
Beef: (Using the uncooked beef) Slice the beef very thinly. Whisk some egg whites with some cornflour and white pepper to make a batter. Stir the beef into the batter then a few strips at a time fry the beef in hot oil. When the beef has been fried once, add to the batter and fry again (this double coating makes it really crispy and well coated). Drain on kitchen paper. Stir fry some spring onions in the oil with all the spicy bits from the bottom of the jug. Add a little stock and cornflour to thicken, then add the crispy beef and stir into the sauce. Serve immediately to prevent the crispiness from fading.
Rice: Using cooked cold rice; Fry in a little peanut oil with the chopped stalks from some mushrooms. Add the peas and a little sesame oil, chopped spring onions etc.
Noodles: Cook the noodles in water until soft. Stir fry the mushrooms, peppers etc. add the noodles and oyster sauce.
Apple Puffs: Whisk some egg white and sugar to a stiff meringue. Whisk in some cornflour (this will cause the meringue to drop quite a bit but it doesn't matter). Peel and chop the apple into small cubes. Drop into the meringue batter and then deep fry a few at a time. It is quite tricky, as when you drop them into the oil they puff up on the bottom and are almost impossible to turn over (they're like unsinkable ships that keep turning back on their keel). With a bit of effort they can be cooked evenly however. Drain, drizzle with syrup and serve with vanilla ice cream.