What I prepared today was
Three Cup Chicken
Hot Plate Seafood Tofu
Stir Fried Asparagus With Scallops
Lets do the Asparagus first. It’s always a chore to cook this stemmed plant but nutritional values outweigh the hassles! How I hack this is by putting my chopping board on top of a basin, place a pot at the end of the board acting as a “Bin”. Press the Asparagus against the board and peel the surface.
Water, salt + oil – bring to high heat and dump in Asparagus while water hits boiling point. Strain within 3 – 4 mins. You need not wait for wait to hit back boiling point as it will overcook your veg.
Pan fry using a pre-heated pan (High heat) and sear both sides till slightly browned. You don’t wish to brown them beyond the above mentioned state otherwise scallop size will shrink quickly. Always handle scallops with medium length tongs.
Oil the pan, in goes minced garlic, strained asparagus and scallop. Add in 2 teaspoons of shaoxing wine, dash of black pepper, 2 full spoons of abalone sauce, couple drips of sesame oil. The plate containing your scallop should have some juices, remember to add all of these goodness and toss together. Stir fry for roughly 3 minutes.
Second dish! Three Cup Chicken, rumored to be prepared for a prisoner on death row, chicken was cooked in earth ware using a cup of soya sauce, sesame oil and sugar. (All 1 cup each) That’s a LOT of sesame oil, but interesting story thou.
Head to the marts and buy boneless chicken legs. 2 Packs will serve 5 Pax.
Marinate with 2 full teaspoon cornstarch, white pepper, 2 teaspoon shao xing, 2 teaspoon soya sauce, few drips of sesame oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Marinate for 20 mins. I removed the skin and trimmed most of yellow fats for a healthier version. It’s important to slice up nice bite chunks.
Oil & heat up your pan to high heat, once smoke emits from the pan, fry the chicken till brown. Add in 3 table spoons of abalone sauce, 1 table spoon of dark soya sauce, 1 table spoon of light soya sauce, 2 teaspoon of shao xing and dash of black pepper/salt/sugar. Remember to retain chicken juices with high heat. Low heat cooking will allow moisture to leak out from chicken meat.
If possible, concurrently prepare your earth ware or claypot, oil with regular oil and 2 tea spoons of sesame oil and dump in the curry leaves, basil, garlic cloves, carrots and ginger. Stir fry on low heat and allow aromas to emit.
Scoop in the chicken contents into the claypot. Prior to that ensure you have turned on the fire heating up the claypot to medium heat. This ensures further retention of meat juices. The chicken should sizzle once in contact with claypot. Stir chicken, leaves, ginger, garlic and cap the pot for 2 minutes to allow marriage of flavors. Repeat procedure again and serve! Melody of sweet, bitter, salty notes dominates the dish!
Next dish! Sadly i was supposed to use my hot plate however i detected some rusty areas. Hence abandoned plan and went for a simple tofu with prawns, minced meat and mushrooms.
Slice up bite size of egg tofu. Heat oil up on medium heat. To maximize oil usage, you could tilt whatever pot/pan that you are using to increase oil level. Leave tofu to brown on the bottom for 2 minutes before flipping.
Marinate prawns with 2 teaspoons of shao xing, dash of white pepper, salt, 2 teaspoon of light soya sauce and 2 teaspoon of cornstarch. Leave for 20 mins. In this dish, the prawn’s back was slit to extract prawn “waste” or prawn shit as some may name as. Personally i like to keep the prawn intact as prawn juices may escape easily when cooked but it’s up to preferences. However, doubt any of you readers will prepare a knife to slit boiled shell prawns when feasting on hotel buffets don’t you.
Oil pan, on low to medium heat, add in garlic and shortly after 1 big cup of water. Put in prawn heads (If available) and mash up to allow better seafood flavors in water. Boil for 5 mins and discard heads. Add minced pork meat, mushroom and lower heat to simmer for a bit. Scoop some mushroom soaked water as well. 3 spoons of abalone sauce, 2 teaspoon of shao xing, pepper that’s it.
Prawns/Tofu previously set aside goes in. Cornstarch to thicken dish up before serving.
Happy long weekend to all!