Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Authentic Chinese Restaurant Sweet & Sour Chicken

This has got to be the most popular Chinese restaurant dish, it is often too sweet for me but this one is just right.

Prep and cooking time 35 – 40 minutes                      Serves 4

You will need:
350 gm chicken breast
Salt & pepper to taste
1 tbs Chinese rice wine
1 beaten egg
2 tbs plain flour
Oil for deep frying

For the sauce
1 tbs seasoned oil
1 small onion, cut into small cubes
½ green pepper, cut into small cubes
1 small carrot, cut into small cubes
1 tbs light soy sauce
2 tbs soft brown sugar
3 tbs rice vinegar
1 tbs tomato ketchup
100 ml stock
1 tbs thin cornflour paste

Cut the chicken into small bite size cubes and marinate in the salt, pepper and wine for 15 – 20 minutes. Coat the meat with the egg and flour and deep fry for about 3 – 4 minutes, stir to separate, remove and drain.
Reheat the oil and re-fry the meat for another minute or two until golden brown. Remove and drain.
To make the sauce, stir fry the vegetables for about a minute then add the seasoning and the stock, bring to the boil and add the cornflour to thicken. Add the chicken blend well so that each piece is coated with the sauce and serve hot.

I had mine tonight with boiled rice, but it goes equally well with fried rice.

One tip I would like to give you about your wok, never wash it in soapy water. Rinse it with plain water and then rub a little oil into it, this will keep it non stick.


Thursday, 3 May 2012

How to make Chinese Crispy Seaweed

Chinese Crispy Seaweed
Crispy Spring Rolls

How to make Chinese Crispy Seaweed                                                             

You will probably already know that this 
very popular dish is not seaweed but 
fried green cabbage. It is very easy to 
prepare and cook but you must make 
sure that the cabbage leaves are 
completely dry before frying.

Prep and Cooking Time 15 – 20 minutes plus drying time.               
Chinese Chicken Curry
Serves 6 – 8 as a Starter

You will need
450gm green cabbage or spring greens
Oil for deep frying
1tsp Caster sugar
½ tsp Salt

Separate the dark outer leaves (keep the inner heart for other uses) and clean well with a damp cloth – don’t wash in water as they will take too long to dry. Cut off the hard stalks in the centre of each leaf.
Chinese Crispy Seaweed

Pile the leaves on top of each other and roll into a tight sausage shape then thinly cut into shreds, spread the shreds out and leave to dry for about 30 minutes.
Chinese Crispy Seaweed

Heat the oil in a wok to about 180 C deep fry the shredded greens stirring to keep them separated. Removed when they are crispy before they start to change from dark green to light brown, with a strainer or sieve. Drain and sprinkle the caster sugar and salt all over evenly.
Chinese Crispy Seaweed
Serve with or without garnish.

The usual garnish for this dish would be ground fried fish or roasted, flaked and crushed almonds.
Chinese Crispy Seaweed

For a starter this is a great dish for anyone that does not want to ruin their appetite for the main course, it’s a great appetiser.
Why not also try Chinese Crispy Spring Rolls


Cutting of various ingredients into different sizes, shapes and thicknesses is a very important part of Chinese cooking.
Chinese Crispy Seaweed

They cut their food into small neat pieces prior to cooking, because it is easier to serve and to eat with chopsticks. Also they require a shorter cooking time retaining much of their natural flavours and nutritious value.

Chinese Crispy Seaweed
The size and shape of the cut should be relevant to the particular method of cooking, for example: for quick stir fry cooking the ingredients should be cut into thin slices or shreds.

Tender ingredients can be cut thicker than tougher ones; each ingredient should be uniform to allow for even cooking. Each should be cut into a similar shape, slices matched with slices, shreds with shreds, cubes with cubes and so on.

The standard shapes for Chinese cooking are: slice, strip, shred, chunk, piece, dice, cube, grain and  mince.


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