China—Hunan Chicken

 

China Entreehunan chicken

Hunan Chicken
(Makes 6-8)

Serve this dish cold, like a salad. Add a dish of our cold noodles with hot sauce and you've got a tasty meal.


2 lb. cooked chicken (skinned & boned)
1/2 C sliced water chestnuts
2 T sesame paste
1 T rice vinegar or any white vinegar
1 T sesame oil
1 tsp. chili oil (see sidebar & recipe below)
1 T soy sauce
1 1/2 tsp. crushed Szechuan peppercorns (see sidebar)
1 1/2 tsp. ginger root (peeled, minced)
3 T scallion (diced)
1 T fresh garlic (crushed or minced)
3 T fresh cilantro (chopped)
1 1/2 tsp. chili powder
1 orange (peeled, 1/4" slices)

Cut cooked chicken into small chunks. Combine with water chestnuts. In a separate bowl, combine remaining ingredients and pour over chicken, coating evenly. Refrigerate till ready to serve.

Arrange chicken on a platter and surround with orange slices. Cold Noodles with Hot Sauce make a good accompaniment.

Chili Oil
(Makes 1 1/2 cups)
1 C peanut or corn oil
1/2 C sesame oil
1 C dried hot red peppers (chopped with seeds)
5 tsp. cayenne

Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat till it sizzles when a pepper is dropped into it. Remove oil from heat, add chopped peppers with seeds, cover, and let stand 10 minutes. Mix in in cayenne. Cover and let stand at room temperature, 8 hours or over night. Strain into a jar and refrigerate. This is a very hot oil!

| See more Chinese recipes |

Tips & Glossary

Many ingredients used in Chinese cooking probably aren’t in your spice shelf, but you can find them at Asian grocery stores. To avoid frustration, make a list of the items before trying recipes.

Agar Agar: dried seaweed used as a gelatin. Buy it in sticks (or strips) and soak in cold water to soften.

Chili Oil: buy it or make your own. For a recipe, see Hunan Chicken.

Chinese Cabbage: aka “Nappa”;long, white stalks with light green crinkly leaves.

Deep Frying: use a deep-fry thermometer to reach the recipe's correct temperature; if the oil isn't hot enough, the food will be soggy. When cool, the oil can be strained, refrigerated, and re-used.

Dried Shrimp: tiny, salted, sun-dried shrimp that add a pungent flavor to Asian cooking. Soak before using.

Five-Spice Powder: blend of star anise, cinamon, cloves, fennel and Szechuan peppercorns. Like allspice.

Peppersalt: buy or make your own. Heat 2 T Szechuan peppercorns in skillet 5 min. Grind into powder and mix with 2 T salt.

Sauces: Hoisin (sweet, from soybeans); Oyster (like soy, from oysters); Sweet Bean (canned, salty, from soybeans); Hot Bean (hot & salty, from soybeans and peppers).

Sesame Paste: from gound sesame seeds; substitute with peanut butter.

Sweet Rice Powder: from glutinous rice; used in place of flour in many desserts.

Szechuan peppercorns: dried reddish berries, fragrant and mildly hot.

 

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