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A Chinese Menu and Serving Ideas.

Charlie, a member of the MuddlePuddle List and a major recipe collector, has allowed me to put her collection on the site; they have been gleaned from asking in restaurants and individuals for tips. Huge thanks go to her.

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Prawn Toasts (serves 4-6 as a starter)
8oz prawns
1 egg white
2 tsp sherry
2 tsp oyster sauce
1/2 tsp grated root ginger
2 tsp cornflour
pinch of salt
5 slices of white bread (it is not anywhere near as good with wholemeal and
it needs to be bought, sliced white bread!)
oil to deep fry

Puree prawns, egg white, sherry, oyster sauce, ginger, cornflour and salt in
a food processer (I suppose you could just chop it finely and mix it)
spread the mixture onto the bread and cut each slice into 8 triangles (I
find it is better if you remove the crusts).
Heat the oil and deep fry in batches till golden. Drain on kitchen paper.
I sometimes sprinkle sesame seeds over these before they are fried - makes
them more like the ones that you get in chinese takaways.

Honey Soy Chicken (Sticky Chicky) - serves 4-6 depending on whther you do it
as a starter or as part of a main course

2 tbsp oil
1lb chicken wings
4 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tbsp runny honey
1 tsp sesame seeds
1 clove garlic (crushed)
1 tsp grated root ginger
pinch salt

HEat the oil in a wok, add chicken and fry for 10 mins to brown it all over.
REmove the excess oil. Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer gently
for 20 mins, turning occasionally. It will get very thick and sticky.
SErve hot or cold.
My girls love this one for tea served with rice or couscous, but it is
really intended as a starter! - just be prepared for a mess if you give it
to kids as it really does have to be eaten with your fingers!

Caramelized Spare Ribs (serves 4)

1 carrot
1 onion
1 bayleaf
2lb pork spare ribs
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp wine vinegar
1 tsp garlic
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 floz stock
salt and pepper

HEat oven - gas 9/240C (or as hot as it will go - mine doesn't go up to this
high - just takes a bit longer to cook)
Put a big pan of water on to boil with the carrot, onion and bayleaf added.
Add ribs and simmer for 10 mins. Rmove the ribs and lay them in an oven
proof dish.
Mix the garlic, ginger, honey and vinegar and spread this over the ribs.
Add the soysauce and stock andseason well. Cook in the oven for about 20
mins till caremelized, turning occassionally - you will need to watch them -
sometimes they get a little bit too caremelized!

Bang Bang Chicken - serves 4
2 chicken breasts
1 med cucumber
4 tbsp peanut butter
2 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp suger
pinch of salt
2 tsp stock
1/2 tsp chilli sauce

simmer the chicken in water for 30 mins, drain and cut into 1/2" slices.
Slice the cucumber into thin strips. Spread the cucumber onto a platter and
top with the chicken slices. Mix the rest of the ingredients to make a
dressing and drizzle over.

This should be served from the platter in layers and then everyone should
mix their individual portion before eating it.

Lemon Chicken - serves 4

3floz oil to fry
2lb chicken pieces
lemons to garnish

Lemon sauce - 1 tbsp cornflour
5 tbsp water
juice 1 lemon
2 tbsp sweet sherry
sugar as required

HEat the oil in a wok and add the chicken. Toss to brown it all over. Turn
down the heat low, cover and cook gently for 30 mins. REmove the chicken
and drain out all the oil. Mix the cornflour with a little water to make a
paste and add to the wok with all the sauce ingredients. Simmer till thick.
Sweeten as necessary.
Poar the sauce over the chicken, garnish with lemon slices and serve with
boiled rice.

Sweet and Sour Sauce.

2 tbsp cornflour
4oz brown sugar
1 clove garlic
4 floz rice vinegar (it works just as well with any other vinegar even
malt!)
6tbsp tomato ketchup
6tbsp pineapple juice
shake of soy sauce
pineapple chunks and spring onions to garnish

Mix cornflour to a paste with a little water and add to a pan with sugar,
garlic, vinegar, ketchup and juice. Simmer till thickened. Stir in
pineapple and sliced spring onions.

To make sweet and sour pork (or chicken or prawn!) balls, make a normal
batter, dip the meat of your choice (cubed if pork or chicken) into the
batter and deep fry till golden - drain and serve with the sweet and sour
sauce.

Sesame Toffee Apples (can also use bananas) - serves 4

2 large green apples (granny smiths?)
1 tbsp flour
1oz plain flour
1oz cornflour
1 egg
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tbsp water
Oil to deep fry

3oz peanut oil (I usually use ordinary vegetable oil)
2tsp sesame oil
9tbsp sugar
2tbsp sesame seeds
Iced water to cool and harden

Peel, core and cut the apples into chunks (chop the bananas into large
chunks ifusing)
Toss in 1 tbsp flour to coat. Make a batter with the 1oz plain flour,
cornflour, egg, 1tsp sesame oil and water. Beat till smooth and dip the
apple (or banana) into this. Deep fry till golden and drain on paper.
FIll a bowl with iced water.
HEat the peanut oil with sesame oil. Add sugar and stir till it is golden
and caremelized. Stir in the sesame seeds. Add the battered, fried fruit a
few pieces at a time and stir to coat. Remove and dip into the iced water
to set the caramel. Serve at once.

Crispy noodles - serves 4

1lb egg noodles
oil to deep fry
salt
sesame oil

Cook the noodles in lots of salted water for 10 mins, drain well and dry on
kitchen paper
Fry in hot oil for 2-3 mins till very crisp. Drain well. Sprinkle with
salt and sesame oil and serve at once.

That crispy seaweed that they serve in chinese resturants is also very easy
to make - it is just finely sliced spring greens (not seaweed at all!) - you
shred it very finely, and then deep fry it for a few seconds (doesn't take
long at all) remove it, drain on kitchen paper. Then sprinkle with a
mixture of 1tsp chinese 5spice, 1 tsp brown sugar 1 tsp salt.

Noodles in Soup - serves 4
8oz peeled prawns
salt
1tsp cornflour
4oz bamboo shoots or button mushrooms (sliced)
4oz spinach or chinese leaves (shredded)
12oz egg noodles
1 pint chicken stock (it really does need to be a good stock rather than one
made from a cube)
2 tbsp light soy sauce
3 tbsp vegetable oil
2 spring onions - finely sliced
2 tbsp rice wine (I use dry sherry)
1 tsp sesame oil

season prawns with salt. Mix cornflour to a paste with 1 tbsp water and mix
with prawns.
Cook the noodles in the way that they say on the packet and put in a large
serving bowl or in individual soup bowls. (one large bowl is more authentic)
Bring the stock to the boil and poar over the noodles with 1 tbsp soy
sauce. - keep hot
Heat the oil in a wok and add spring onions. Then add the prawns and
shredded vegetables. Stir and season with a bit of salt, the rest of the
soy sauce and the ricewine. Cook 1-2 mins and poar over the noodles.
Sprinkle with sesame oil and serve at once.

Chicken and Sweetcorn Soup Serves 4

6oz sweetcorn
1 1/4 pints chicken stock
2 cooked chicken breasts
12 baby sweetcorns (or some extra sweetcorn kernels)
1" piece root chinger - peeled and finely chopped
2 tbsp light soy sauce
salt and pepper

Place sweetcorn in a blender with 4oz stock. Blend till smooth. Slice
chicken finely and put in a pan with stock. Add the pureed corn and the
baby corn (or extra sweetcorn). Simmer for 15 mins. Add ginger and soy
sauce and cook for a few mins more. Season and serve.

Hot and Sour Soup - serves 4 (it's actually not really hot - more peppery)
4 chinese dried mushrooms
4oz lean pork
2tbsp veg oil
2oz bamboo shoots (sliced)
2 pints light clear stock
2oz tofu - diced
1tsp cornflour
2tbsp cold water
1 tsp sesame oil

Marinade - 1tbsp light soy sauce
3tbsp vinegar
2tbsp water
1tsp sesame oil
salt and pepper

fresh coriander to garnish

Soak mushrooms in hot water for 20 mins. Slice pork into thin slivers. Mix
all the marinade ingredients, add pork and stand for 30 mins.
Drain mushrooms, discard stalks and slice caps finely. Remove pork and
reserve marinade.
HEat oil in a wok. Cook pork, mushrooms and bamboo shoots for 2 mins. Add
stock and simmer for 10 mins. Add tofu, marinade and season to taste with
salt and pepper. Mix cornflour to a paste with a little water and add to
soup. Simmer for 5 mins. Add sesame oil and serve sprinkled with
corriander.

I have a note scribbled at the bottom of this one that a vegetarian version
can be made by replacing the pork with more tofu and adding 2 extra dried
mushrooms.

Crispy Wonton Sauce
1 tbsp cornflour
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 tbsp vinegar1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tbsp oil

Put all the ingredients in a pan and stir together for 4-5 mins till
thickened slightly. Use as a dipping sauce for wontons. It is also nice
for dipping spring rolls into as well.

As I said earlier, I never bother with making my own wontons (too much of a
fiddle) the ones you can buy frozen are good - deep fry them to make them
crisp. IF you really do want to make your own, you need to buy wonton skins
and make a filling out of minced pork, chicken or prawns. I don't make
spring rolls either - I buy them frozen and cook them as well

Thought I ought to add a bit about how to serve a chinese meal here - they
are not normally eaten in separate courses the way we would have them in a
chinese resturant (at least not in chinese homes) - the only exception to
this would be the big formal banquets.
In most chinese homes, all the savory dishes are laid out on the table,
including a soup (which serves more as a drink than as a soup - most chinese
soups are thin), and people will help themselves to what ever they fancy. -
everyone eats out of an individual rice bowl with chopsticks.
A typical family meal will consist of one or two soups, 4-5 main dishes,
chosen to provide a variety of taste, texture and colour (there will usually
be at least 1 meat or chicken dish, one prawn or fish dish and a couple of
vegetable dishes). Rice is usually served with most chinese food, although
in the north, noodles are the staple.
And of course you should end your chinese meal with proper chinese tea! (I
love green tea and jasmine tea) - served without milk of course.