Salmon in hot bean sauce


This fantastic recipe was taught to me at culinary school years ago and is still one of the most requested dishes both by my family and friends .it has the best combination of flavors but is very Chinese seafood dish I have made. Originally this dish was made with Carp but I switched over to Salmon,a more widely available fish and touted for its great vitamin content. The best point with this dish is it can be under cooked and heated and finished cooking just prior to serving.

Photograph by Ashish Mahtani

2 lb Salmon        1  1/2 tbsp chopped ginger root ( fresh please)

2 tbsp chopped fresh garlic

3 scallions,diced

2 tbsp hot bean sauce ( available in Asian markets)

2 tbsp dry Sherry or Rice wine

1  1/2 cup stock

2 tsp sugar

2 tsp soy sauce

1 tbsp cornstarch mixed with 2 tbsp water

2 tsp vinegar

1/2 cup peanut or corn oil ( I use Canola oil)

Clean the fish and pat dry with paper towels. Make 3 cuts on each side of the fish.

Put ginger,garlic and hot bean sauce on a plate.

Combine Sherry or Rice wine, stock , sugar and soy sauce in a cup.

Sprinkle salt on both sides of fish just before frying . heat a wok until hot. Add 5 tbsp of  oil and swirl it around. heat it until very hot. Slide the fish into the oil and fry until golden brown. Turn and brown the other side. Remove the Fish and oil.

Add 3 tbsp fresh oil and heat until hot. Add ginger and stir fry until fragrant. Add the hot bean sauce. Stir fry a few times.

Add the fish, the stock mixture . Bring to a boil. Cover and cook in medium heat for 5 minutes. Turn fish over and cook 5 more minutes or until done. Remove fish to a serving dish.

Restir the cornstarch mixture. Add it to the sauce,stirring all the while until it thickens. Add the vinegar, scallions, stir and pour over the fish.

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Gobi Manchurian


As a vegetarian I am always looking for delicious ways and dishes to add to my diet . Being a vegetarian can be fun and exciting , you just have to spice it up a notch . Gobi or cauliflower Manchurian is an Indo – Chinese dish that can be served “dry ” , as an appetizer or “wet ” as a main course . I am partial to the dry version as I love my gobi to retain its crisp texture from the frying . Should you prefer the wetter version just add more vegetable stock or water  . As it is an Indo -Chinese dish I serve this with Basmati fried rice, the heady perfume and fine grain texture lends itself very well to this delicious dish .

Photograph by Rahul Mahtani

1 medium sized cauliflower , cut into small florets and blsanched . Drained and allowed to dry completly.

1/2 cup “wondra ” flour or 1/4 cup each cornflour and rice flour ( wondra flour makes a batter that fries up super crisp )

1/2 tsp each grated fresh ginger , garlic and fresh green chillis

Salt and white pepper , to taste

Ice cold water to make a thick paste

Oil for deep frying

Heat oil for frying

Make a thick paste from the flours ( Wondra or combination of rice flour and cornflour ) , salt , pepper , ginger , garlic and chilis . Stir in just enough ice cold water to form a thick paste . Dip each floret in the batter  and deep fry until crisp and golden . Remove into a colander and allow to cool and drain .

SAUCE

8 cloves garlic , minced ( I personally like to use up to 12 in this dish )

1 ” piece ginger , grated

2 to 4 finely chopped green chilis

1/2  an onion , sliced ( optional)

1 bell pepper , cored and sliced ( optional )

4 spring onions , finely chopped ( whites and greens kept seperate )

4 dry red chilis

1/2  tsp red chili powder

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon chili sauce ( I like Sriracha )

1 tablespoon Hoisin sauce

2 to 4 tablespoons ketchup

1/4 cup to 1 cup vegetable stock or water ( depending on the “wetness ” of the dish )

2 teaspoons vinegar

Cilantro for garnish

1 teaspoon cornflour combined with 2 tablespoons water , to thicken sauce.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a saute pan or wok . Add the dry red chilis , broken in half , stir just until the chilis turn a slightly darker shade .Stir in garlic for a few seconds . Add the green chilis and ginger , stir briefly .

Add the pepper , stir a few seconds and the onion , if using . Stir a few seconds to cook briefly .

Stir in the whites of the spring onions , stir very briefly , the vegetables should retain their crunch , but they should not be raw ..

Reduce heat to medium . Stir in the soy sauce , chili sauce , chili powder and ketchup . Combine well and stir for 1 to 2 minutes , careful not to burn .

Pour in the stock or water cook for a few minutes .

Stir in the cornstarch slurry , stirring constantly until a glossy , slightly thicken sauce is achieved .

Stir in the cooked and fried cauliflower , just to combine . Off the heat and stir in the vinegar . Serve hot garnished with the spring onion greens and cilantro.

Indian Chinese Chilli chicken


As the title indicates this chicken can be spicy or very spicy . it contains both fresh green serrano chillis and chilli sauce , so the heat can be varied . it also contains peppers and onions making it ideal to serve with rice as a simple meal or with soup and noodles for a more substantial dinner . Sometimes I like to embellish the dish with cashews or peanuts , however that is not traditional . This dish can be served “dry ” , more like an appetizer with no rice or with “gravy ” , the only difference in the recipe is the addition of more or less chicken stock . Do try it , it is a family favorite .

Serves 4

Photograph by Ashish Mahtani

1 lb boneless chicken breast ,sliced into fingers

1 to 2 tbs cornstarch

a pinch salt

1/2 tsp crushed white pepper

1 Tbs dark soy sauce

1 Tbs sherry

1 egg ,beaten.

Oil for deep frying

Combine all ingredients and allow chicken to marinate while oil heats for deep frying .

When oil is hot deep fry chicken in batches just until golden but not over cooked . Drain and set aside while you prepare the sauce.

SAUCE

1 Tbs oil

8 to 10 cloves garlic , minced

2 to 4 sliced serrano chillis

1 large red onion cubed

1 large red bell pepper , cored and cubed

1 tbs dark soy sauce

1 to 2 tbs red chilli sauce

1/2  to 1  1/2 cups chicken sauce

1 tsp cornstarch blended with 1 tbs water to make a slurry

1 tsp vinegar

Heat oil in skillet . Add garlic and stir for a few seconds . Add in green chillis and stirfry afew seconds . Add in onion and stir , add in bell pepper and stir for 30 seconds .

Add in soy sauce and chilli sauce , stir for 20 seconds .pour in chicken stock . Note use between 1/2 cup to 1  1/2 cups depending on how much sauce you want to end up with . Allow to come to the boil . Stir in the cornstarch slurry , stirring continuously .

Add in the fried chicken and stir to coat the chicken with the sauce . Sprinkle in a pinch of salt . Stir . Off heat and stir in the vinegar .

Serve immediately with a bowl of steamed rice.

Prawns in Garlic Sauce


Prawns , commonly known as ( Jumbo ) shrimp , are a staple in my freezer . They are a quick , delectable  and easy to cook , making it just great for any weeknight dinner .  This sauce is a cross between Thai and Chinese with some Indian influence , ofcourse , as it comes from famed Indian chef and cookbook author , Nita Mehta. I did add some Sriracha hot sauce to the sauce as my family loves spicy food , I also added 2 tbs of sherry in the very end as a finishing touch to the dish.

Serves 6

Photograph by Rahul Mahtani

12 prawns , shelled and deveined , tails intact

Oil for frying

MARINADE

1 egg lightly beaten

1 tsp salt

1/2 -1 tsp sugar

1/2 tsp MSG ( optional )

1 tsp vegetable oil

1/4 tsp ground pepper

1/4 cup cornflour

SAUCE

2 tbs garlic paste ( 10 to 20 flakes of garlic , crushed to a paste )

2 tbs oil

3 tsp soy sauce

2 tbs ketchup

1  1/4 tsp ground white pepper

3/4 tsp salt

2 tbs cornflour mixed with 1/2 cup water

1/4 tsp MSG ( optional )

2 tbs sherry ( optional )

1 tsp sriracha ( optional )

Beat egg lightly with salt , sugar , msg  , oil , pepper and cornflour.

Add prawns to this mixture , stir and leave to marinate for 30 minutes .

Heat plently of oil in wok . Drain off excess marinade from prawns and fry them for 2 to 3 minutes until golden .

Drain well and place on paper towel .

SAUCE

Heat oil and fry garlic on low heat till it starts to change its color.

Add ketchup , pepper , salt and soy sauce . Cook 1 minute .

Add sugar( and msg and sherry)Add water . Bring to a boil and simmer 2 minutes .

Add cornflour slurry , stirring all the time , until the sauce thickens . Remove from heat .

Add the fried prawns and heat through . Serve hot garnished with sliced spring onions.

Szechwan Pork


If you crave spicy hot Asian food , this is it . I have adapted this recipe from Nita Mehta , only because my family loves really spicy food ( I joke my kids were bore with bottles of hot sauce attached to their hips ! ) , and because I chose to use boneless pork , sliced really thin and deep fried till crisp. The original recipe called for pork ribs , cut into squares and boiled to cook , then marinated and deep fried . Both ways work well . I also added sichuan pepper corns for added heat , but this is purely optional .

Photograph by Rahul Mahtani

2 lbs pork ribs , cut into 1 inch squares ( I used 1  1/2 lbs boneless pork loin , sliced thin.

MARINADE

2 tsp chopped ginger

3 tbs brown sugar

3 tbs soy sauce

2 tbs sherry

1/2 tsp five spice powder

1 cup oil for deep frying

SZECHWAN SAUCE

3 tbs oil

2 to 3dry red chillies , broken into bits

1 tbs sichuan peppercorns , optional

3 red peppers , chopped into 1/2 inch pieces

2 tsp chopped garlic

2 tsp chopped ginger

2 spring onions

2 tbs sugar

2 tbs sherry

5 tbs ketchup

5 tbs vinegar

Place ribs in a pan , add water, cover and bring to a boil . Cook for 30 minutes . Drain well . ( skip this step and go straight to the marinade and sliced pork if using pork loin ).

Combine marinade ingredients and add pork . Refridgerate for 2 hours .

Heat oil , deep fry pork until golden .drain well , keep aside.

Heat 3 tbs oil in a skillet .Add broken red chillis and sichuan peppercorn ( if using ). Add peppers , ginger , garlic and onion , stirfry on high heat for 1 to 2 minutes . ( the vegetables should still be firm ).

Add sherry , sugar , ketchup and vinegar . Simmer for 5 minutes .

Add pork , stirring to coat . Serve

Sichuan Chilli Potatoes


These Indian Chinese style potatoes are all at once comforting , spicy and delicious . They are a staple in our home , especially when my now , grown up boys , are home to visit . I have also made these with baby corn and mushrooms , it is equally delicious and , I guess more nutritious .

Sanjeev Kapoor

Serves 4

Photograph by Rahul Mahtani

4 to 5 medium sized potatoes , peeled , washed and cut into thick wedges

2 tbs oil  + to fry potatoes

3 tbs cornstarch

1 medium onion , peeled and sliced

5 -6 garlic cloves , finely chopped

1 spring onion , chopped

Dried Red chilis , whole

 8 Sichuan peppers ( optional )

1 tsp   Red Chili paste ( I use Sriracha )

1 tsp soy sauce

1/2 tsp sugar

salt to taste

1 Tbs vinegar

Parboil potato wedges , drain and cool .

Heat oil in a wok , dust the parboiled potatoes with 2 tbs of cornflour and deep fry until golden brown and completely cooked and crisp . Remove and drain.

Blend 1 tbs cornstarch in 1/4 cup water .

Heat 2 tbs oil in a wok , break whole red chilis into 2 and stir fry briefly . Immediately add sichuan peppers , sliced onion , chopped garlic and continue to stir fry.

Stir in the red chili paste blended into a quarter cup of water , soy sauce , sugar and salt . Stir fry briefly . Add fried potatoes and toss to heat through .

Stir in blended cornstarch , toss well to mix and add vinegar . Stir fry for half a minute and serve garnished with chopped spring onion greens .

Chicken in Hot Garlic Sauce


This is a very popular “Indian Chinese ” dish or more popularly known as Hakka Chinese cooking . Several Chinese settlers in India helped create this type of cooking , very popular in India till today . As in all Chinese cooking , the prep is where most of the cooking is concentrated , as , once everything is in place , the cooking goes really fast . Try it , it is a family favorite.

Nita Mehta

Serves 4

Photograph by Rahul Mahtani

1 lb boneless , skinless chicken breast

1 tbs chopped garlic

2 tsp red chilli paste or 1 tsp red chilli powder ( I like to use sriracha )

3 tbs ketchup

3/4 tsp salt , or to taste

1/4 tsp MSG ( optional)

2 cups chicken stock or water

1  1/2 tbs onions , finely chopped

2 tsp spring onions , finely chopped.

MARINADE

1 egg

3/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp MSG

1 tbs cornstarch

1 tbs oil

Cut the chicken breast into even sized pieces.

Marinade the chicken in all the ingredients of the marinade and keep aside.

Heat 4 Tbs oil in a wok and stir fry the chicken 3-4 minutes . Drain and keep aside.

To the oil remaining in the wok, add garlic and chili paste . When garlic changes color, add ketchup .

Add capsicum , onion and spring onion . Stir fry for 1 minute.

Add chicken . Stir fry and add salt , msg , suga ( just a pinch)  and stock or water. Boil . cook on low heat till chicken turns tender.

Dissolve cornstarchin 2 -3 tbs of water and add to the chicken . Thicken the sauce , stirring continously . Finish with vinegar , red chili sauce and soy sauce .

serve hot along with rice or noodles