Kung Pow Chicken

Wow, it’s been a while! My little page, so neglected. Oh well, here we go again. Seems it goes on hiatus whenever i get side tracked by something else hehe.

I have only cooked this once before, a couple of years ago, actually i think it might of been the page’s 1st or 2nd post? I do not know why it’s taken me so long to do it again! It’s a bit fiddly getting all the steps done and prepared but it all comes together quite quickly at the end. Just read and prepare each stage of the recipe and you will not get flustered at the end when everything is going into the wok.

It’s got some unique ingredients, such as black vinegar and chilli bean paste but they can be found easily in an Asian supermarket.

Get all the little recipe steps organized in little bowls. It saves a heap of stress later!
Get all the little recipe steps organized in little bowls. It saves a heap of stress later!

Kung Pow Chicken. It has the numbing sensation from the Sichaun peppercorns and hits that spicy note with the dried chilli’s and chilli bean paste. A nice rich sauce, succulent pieces of chicken with the crunch of peanuts. It really is an amazing dish. Serve with rice.

Serving shot was a bit 'messy'.....
Serving shot was a bit ‘messy’…..

You’ll wake up the next day excited for leftovers!

This is the recipe i used.

http://www.seriouseats.com/…/real-deal-kung-pao-chicken-rec…

Twice cooked beans with pork and XO sauce

An old favourite of mine with simple ingredients, just a little prep and a few minutes cooking time. Perfect for that week night dinner where you’re short on time but still wanting a tasty meal. If you’ve got some pork mince sitting in the freezer you get the added bonus of a cheap meal.

I recommend buying some dried Shiitake and black fungus, also known as wood ear or cloud ear mushrooms. Soaked in a little boiling water they can bulk out a meal and add that little extra flavour and texture, great in stir fries like this. Just a packet of each costing a few bucks will last you a long time πŸ™‚

Serves 2.

Dried Shiitake and Black Fungus mushrooms.

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1 tbs light soy sauce.

4 of each, dried Shiitake and Black fungus mushrooms, chopped, (about 10grams dried).

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Prep done :)
Prep done πŸ™‚

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Combine the soy sauces, rice wine, sugar, cornflour and pork in a bowl, then set aside for 15 minutes to marinate.

Blanch beans in a saucepan of boiling salted water for 1 minute. Drain and pat dry (it is essential beans are completely dry before frying).

Heat the oil in a wok over high heat. Stir-fry the beans for 2-3 minutes until tender. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel.

Twice cooked beans

Add the garlic and chilli to the wok, and stir-fry for 30 seconds over high heat until fragrant. Add the pork mixture to the wok and stir-fry for a further 3-4 minutes until cooked through. Add the XO sauce and stir to combine. When just about done stir through the beans to warm through and serve on warmed plates with extra XO sauce.

Twice cooked beans with pork & XO sauce————————————————————————————-

A very smooth dish, soft pork mince, with crunchy beans. XO sauce gives it a bit of spice along with the chilli. This is a nice recipe to bring out and surprise your friends or family with. Something different that will introduce you to new flavours! After that the XO sauce will become a fridge favourite, it definitely is here πŸ™‚

This original recipe is from taste.com.au. Twice cooked beans with pork and XO sauce.

πŸ™‚

Another incarnation from another cook!
Another incarnation from another cook!

 

 

XO prawns and snow peas

With a handful of ingredients, minimal prep and hardly any cooking time this recipe was perfect for a hot and windy Monday.

I was eager to get XO sauce back on the menu. Stir fried withΒ juicy prawns and crunchy snow peas this simple dish would have ample flavour, spice and texture. Fabulous XO prawns tonight!

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Serves 2.

12 large green prawns, peeled, deveined.

1 tsp peanut oil.

80g snow peas, trimmed, sliced in half on an angle.

1tbs XO sauce, (i use Lee Kum Kee).

1/2 tsp cornflour, combined with 2 tbs of chicken stock.

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The wine wasn't part of the recipe ;)
The wine wasn’t part of the recipe πŸ˜‰

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Butterfly the prawns by cutting through the back about halfway through and pressing open with the flat side of a knife.

Heat a wok over high heat and drizzle the oil around the edge. Add prawns, season with a pinch of salt and stir-fry for about 1 minute or until prawns start to turn pink.

Add the snow peas and stir-fry for a further minute. Add XO sauce and toss through for a further minute or until the prawns are just cooked and snow peas are tender but still crunchy.

Drizzle over the cornflour mixture, a little at a time, while tossing to combine for a final 30 seconds. Transfer to warmed plates and serve immediately.

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Get all your prep done, get that wok smoking and off you go, tossing, turning, scraping, ahhh the smell as each ingredient is added! Luckily it only takes a few minutes cook, it’s torture.

Beautiful meal, the prawns were succulent, the rich, salty, spicy sauce with crunchy snow peas. Β Ange was pretty wrapped, she’s not usually one for the rich, salty dishes but she was thumbs up in this case.

You could use any greens really, whatever you have available, just cut them into appropriate sizes. XO sauce is quite versatile so having a tub in the fridge can be used with a variety of ingredients!

This recipe was from delicious magazine 131

 

Szechuan Beef Pie

I feel like i’ve abandoned this part of my food life! Anyway, with time pressed and busy life it’s hard to fit it all in and sometimes thinking how i’d like to get things looking.

I’m going to try something different and keep things plugging along on here. Well that’s the plan!

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Untitled-2 copy

 

Such a moreish dish and perfect for a cold winter’s night. The lingering tingle of the Sichaun peppercorns were a real highlight and added with the ginger infused sweet potato, soft vegetables, rich sauce and fabulously tender meat, wow. I couldn’t stop eating it, even as i was putting the leftovers away i was still picking at it.

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Bye for now πŸ˜‰

 

 

Spicy Szechuan noodles

Ok, Easter done and dusted, i’m sure most of you were busy with family and friends too.

Here is a spin off that i found from my favourite dish i cook at home, Dan Dan Mian. This recipe was in the Delicious magazine i’m currently working through.

There were a few differences in this dish, such as using thin egg noodles, lots of ginger, chicken stock instead of water, no mustard greens, the pork deep fried in oil. It was something i had to try.

Organized chaos.
Organized chaos.

As usual, getting everything all set and under control is vital. It was a familiar setting for me , including the limited space.

Noodles on the bottom, fried pork, then the sauce poured over the top. The egg noodles were a nice addition i thought.

Oh the anticipation upon serving.
Oh the anticipation upon serving.

Finally the ground, toasted Sichaun peppercorns sprinkled over the top. Don’t get me wrong, it was nice, but it didn’t have the punch that its predecessor has. Also, the absence of the mustard greens was really noticeable both for their crunch and flavour they add to the dish.

I’ll have a second opinion on the dish after lunch today, yumm! πŸ™‚

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Burmese Duck noodles

I’ve wanted to cook this recipe for ages but it required confit duck merrylands, so when Angela had them planned for her dish Sunday i asked her to make a couple extra so i could use them for this.

I was very excited about this dish; the noodles, the duck, the pickled mustard greens, the sauce. It was a new flavour for us πŸ™‚

You know me :) prep!
You know me πŸ™‚ prep!

I gradually got the meal together. Getting the saucepans and wok ready, cutting up the different ingredients, organizing the multiple stages of the recipe.

In the end though it just didn’t do it for me, the dried shrimp were a little bit overpowering in the dish and i’m not that big a fan of their taste. The duck was nice though, it was fried in a hot wok with some duck fat for a few minutes to Β crisp it up. There were a few points throughout cooking where i got caught up and i think that effected certain ingredients. The noodles stood too long after draining and got a bit ‘stodgey’, it took me a while to get the sauce out of the blender. Anyway, you learn from your mistakes.

Angela enjoyed it so that’s ok πŸ™‚

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Like i said before, now that’s out of my system too πŸ™‚

Tonight i’m doing an American classic. At least i think it is! πŸ˜‰

Kung Pao Chicken

You know it’s funny; when i was doing Italian month there were so many Italian foodie shows on TV , then i did a couple of Moroccan meals and Moroccan Food Safarii came on. Last night after having dinner this new show i’ve been watching each Thursday night came on; Exploring China : A Culinary Adventure. In this episode they were in the Sichuan province and in Chengdu.

Ok, where’s the link? I’ve had this chilli bean paste in the cupboard for ages and always had it in the back of my mind, (it was also in the back of the cupboard), which was part of the reason i chose to cook Kung Pao Chicken. They showed how it was made, the fermentation times, pretty amazing. They also focused on cooking techniques, which i used in this dish, along with ingredients such as leeks, shallots, soy sauces and finally on the Sichuan Pepper, or flower as the lady called it.

It was very cool to not go from watching to cooking it because of any inspiration you might of gotten watching something but unusually cooking not knowing much then almost instantly a show comes on highlighting all you had just done.

All ready to go :)

All ready to go πŸ™‚

I read the recipe countless times, making sure everything was set up so there was no stalling during cooking.

Ahh the smell of stir fry in action. Smoking up the oil, adding the peppercorns and dried chillies for that 15 seconds really gets up your nose.

Most of the ingredients are cooked separately then all thrown in at the end and tossed together to coat. I was thrilled with this dish, you can find countless recipes with different variations. This one had 1 or 2 tbs of Sichuan peppercorns, luckily i went for 1 tbs as the numbing sensation we had was very intense πŸ™‚ Wrapped. Wish i had more leftovers for lunch today πŸ™

Ignore the messy presso. My mouth was watering and just wanted to get stuck into it ;)
Ignore the messy presso. My mouth was watering and just wanted to get stuck into it πŸ˜‰

Chilli bean paste can keep for years. I’ve had mine for 18months at least and the used by date is 2015. You can buy 50g bags of Sichuan peppers in Asian supermarkets for about $2.50.

Paste tastes nice straight out of the jar.
Paste tastes nice straight out of the jar.

 

Angela’s in the kitchen tonight with not your average Friday night dinner. Happy Friday! πŸ™‚