Recipe #3: Trying my hand at Chinese cuisine…

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This weekend I knew I wanted to challenge myself to make three completely new dishes with ingredients I had never used before. Inspired by Gok Wan’s C4 show ‘Gok Cook Chinese’, I thought I’d spend my Friday night getting my personal challenge underway and try my hand at a cuisine I love dearly, Chinese food.

After flicking through my recipe books it was clear that I knew nothing about Chinese cooking, nor was I aware of some of the ingredients. List in my head, we went to  a small Chinese supermarket on West Street, in Sheffield, and stocked up on some of the basic ingredients (at a very good price, I should add).

On my ‘basics’ shopping list was soy sauce, sesame oil and rice wine – all of which appear in many of the Chinese recipes in my cookbooks. I’d never cooked with any of them before – that didn’t scare me. Throw in some ginger, chinese five spice and honey, and you have a… dish. I say a dish because I don’t really know what I made… I was supposed to make hoisin chicken, but I forgot the hoisin sauce – so I free-styled it. It turned out good. Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons of soy sauce

2 tablespoons of honey

1 table spoon of rice wine/vinegar

1 teaspoon of sesame oil

2 teaspoons of cornstarch (I used flour)

Crushed garlic clove

1 teaspoon of fresh grated ginger

1/4 teaspoon of five spice powder

Chicken

Chosen veg (I used beansprouts, mushrooms and peppers)

Noodles

Method:

  1. In a saucepan combine soy sauce, honey, rice wine, sesame oil and a touch of water in a pan and bring to the boil.
  2. Add cornstarch/flour and a drop more water and stir for one minute, then keep to one side.
  3. In a wok, head some oil and add crushed garlic and ginger. Cook for one minute, then add chicken, five spice powder and cook until the chicken begins to seal.
  4. Add a touch more oil, add your chosen veg and cook for a few minutes on a medium heat, stirring every so often.
  5. Don’t forget to put your noodles on to cook – ours took 6 minutes – just enough time for our stir-fry to finish cooking!
  6. When your noodles are ready, drain them off, add them to your wok, add the sauce and mix.
  7. Serve hot and enjoy!

The verdict: 

I loved both making and eating this dish and I’m already thinking up ways to use my new found ingredients. I’ve adapted the above recipe to account for the fact that I went a bit overkill on the old five spice. Also hold off on using too much water and use cornstarch if you can as ours was a little runnier than I would have liked.

Chinese cooking isn’t as hard as you think. Just a few simple ingredients added to some carefully selected flavours, can help you create a wonderful dish…

Ready for my next challenge.

Hayley-Jayne x

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2 Responses to “Recipe #3: Trying my hand at Chinese cuisine…”

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