Chinese Cooking

[The formatting is messed up from copying and pasting out of a word document of the recipes. Sorry.]

A sweet woman (Jane) in our branch responded that she’d show us some Chinese recipes when we asked if anyone would teach us how to cook some Chinese food. Her life is crazy busy (always) but she made time last Saturday (5/21) to show a handful of us some recipes. She’s from Hong Kong, and didn’t really learn how to cook until college at BYU but has lived in Shanghai and Beijing for about 7 years now.

First… chicken for Sweet and Sour Chicken and for General Tao’s chicken (the second recipe she admitted isn’t really Chinese, but she has to make food her kids will eat).

Chicken in batter

Batter:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

Notes: We ended up quadrupling the batter (doubling it in two bowls). I’m not sure how much chicken we had…at least 8+ breasts. She used sunflower oil. Change the oil after a few batches. Check if oil is hot enough by putting chopsticks in…if small bubbles form around them, it’s ready.

Directions:

  1. Coat the chicken pieces with 1/2 of cornstarch; set aside.
  2. Beat the eggs, salt, and pepper in a mixing bowl until smooth. Stir in the flour and baking powder until no large lumps remain. Mix in the chicken until evenly coated.
  3. Heat the vegetable oil in a deep wok or large skillet over high heat. Drop in the chicken pieces; cook until golden brown and no longer pink on the inside, about 12 minutes. Set the chicken aside; keep warm.

Sauces

Sweet and Sour Sauce

  • 1 (8 ounce) can pineapple chunks, drained (juice reserved)
  • (Jane uses the juice and then fresh pineapple)
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 3/4 cups water, divided
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 2 drops orange food color (optional)
  • 8 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves – cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1/2 onion, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 green bell pepper, cut into 1 inch pieces(or red or yellow or orange)

***Batter: see General Tao’s Chicken recipe

In a saucepan, combine 1 1/2 cups water, sugar, vinegar, reserved pineapple juice, and orange food coloring. Heat to boiling. Turn off heat. Combine 1/4 cup cornstarch and 1/4 cup water; slowly stir into saucepan. Continue stirring until mixture thickens.

Slightly cook onion, add green peppers, pineapple chunks, add hot sweet and sour sauce, put chicken pieces on platter, pour sauce over chicken pieces.

General Tao’s Chicken sauce

  • 4 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger root
  • 1 clove chopped garlic
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onion
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup oyster sauce
  • 1/4 cup ketchup

Directions:

Reduce the heat to medium-high and stir in the sesame oil, ginger, and green onion. Cook and stir until the onion is limp and the garlic, ginger begins to brown, about 1 minute. Pour in the water, vinegar, and sugar; bring to a boil. Dissolve the cornstarch in the soy sauce and add to the simmering vinegar along with the oyster sauce and ketchup. Stir until the sauce has thickened and is no longer cloudy. Stir in the chicken and simmer until hot.

Chinese Green Beans with Pork

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb. ground pork
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons rice wine (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon peppercorns (if you have them) freshly ground
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons garlic chili sauce (optional)
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 lb. fresh green beans or long beans, trimmed and cut in half if desired (and blanched or boiled first)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and minced

In a small bowl toss the pork with 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, 1 teaspoon of rice wine, sugar and the ground pepper. Marinate at room temperature while assembling the rest of the ingredients.

Make the brown sauce: in a separate bowl combine the remaining tablespoon of soy sauce, the remaining teaspoon of rice wine (optional), chili garlic sauce (optional), sugar, sesame oil and cornstarch. Set aside.

Heat a wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat and add the oil.

When the oil is hot add the beans, and salt and stir fry them for 10 minutes, or until they begin to brown and blister. Remove the beans from the pan using a slotted spoon and pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the oil. Return the pan to the heat and add the pork, garlic and ginger. Stir fry for about 3 minutes (optional, add some chopped chili peppers) or until there is no longer any pink color to the pork. Add the reserved sauce and green beans and mix well. The sauce will begin to thicken and shiny glaze the pork and beans.

Serve with steamed rice or pan fried noodles.

This recipe can be easily doubled. It works well with Chinese long beans, haricots verts, or green beans.

Fried Rice

  • 4-5 cups rice…not too soggy (don’t add too much water when you cook it).
  • 2+ eggs
  • soy sauce
  • green onions
  • veggies, meat, etc.

Heat oil in walk. Scramble eggs. Add rice. Break up rice. Press it flat. Use two spoons to break and stir. Add cooked meat, onion, veggies (diced tiny), diced tomatoes, etc. Add green onions. Add soy sauce until you get the color you want (1/4 – 1/2 cup).

Stir Fry Brown Sauce

  • 1/2 cup beef broth (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons oyster sauce OR 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (or brown sugar)
  • 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
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