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Clear-Steamed Chicken Soup with Ginger
Clear-steaming, otherwise known as double-boiling, is a simple technique used by Chinese cooks where a food is cooked slowly within a closed container. The result is a very clear, intense broth.
1 whole chicken, about 3 to 31/2 pounds
6 cups boiling water
13/4 cups rice wine, preferably Shaoxing wine (available at Asian markets)
10 whole scallions, ends trimmed and smashed lightly with the flat side of a knife
10 slices fresh ginger, the size of a quarter, smashed with the flat side of a knife
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1. Remove any fat from the cavity opening and around the neck of the chicken. Rinse lightly and drain. Using a heavy knife or a cleaver, cut the chicken, through the bones, into 10 to 12 pieces. Heat 2 quarts water until boiling and blanch the chicken pieces for 1 minute after the water reaches a boil to clean them. Drain the chicken, discarding the water, then rinse in cold water and drain again.
2. Place the chicken pieces and the Soup Broth ingredients in a heatproof pot or 2-quart soufflé dish. Cover tightly with heavy-duty aluminum foil and place on a steamer tray or small rack. Fill a wok with enough water to just reach the bottom of the steamer tray or rack and heat until boiling. Place the food on the steamer tray or rack over the boiling water, cover, and steam 2 hours over high heat, replacing the boiling water in the wok as necessary. Alternatively, you may steam the soup in the oven: Preheat the oven to 425 degreesF. Place the ingredients in a Dutch oven or casserole with a lid and, before putting on the cover, wrap the top tightly with heavy-duty aluminum foil; then cover. Place the pot in a lasagna pan or a casserole and fill with 11/2 inches boiling water. Bake for 2 hours, replenishing the boiling water as necessary.
3. Skim the top of the broth to remove any impurities and fat. Add the salt. Remove the ginger and scallions, ladle the soup and pieces of the chicken into serving bowls, and serve. To reheat and retain a clear broth, steam or bake in a closed pot for 10 to 15 minutes, or until piping hot.
Miso Chicken Soup with Snow Peas and Tofu
Miso soup has always been one of my favorites; it is so soothing and satisfying. Here I offer a variation of the most traditional recipe, using a chicken broth as the base rather than the classic dashi (bonito tuna stock). Shredded chicken, tofu, and snow peas round out the flavor, making it a meal in itself.
1 whole chicken, about 3 pounds, trimmed of fat
12 cups water
8 slices fresh ginger, about the size of a quarter, smashed lightly with the flat side of a knife
1/2 to 2/3 cup medium-colored miso (chu miso or shinsu ichi miso), or to taste
1 pound firm tofu, cut into thin slices about 1/4 inch thick and 11/2 inches long
3/4 pound snow or snap peas, ends snapped and veiny strings removed
3 tablespoons minced scallion greens
1. Cut the chicken through the bones into 10 to 12 pieces. Put the chicken pieces, water, and ginger in a heavy pot and bring to a boil. Lower the heat so that the liquid is at a simmer and cook about 11/2 hours, skimming the broth to remove any impurities. Remove the chicken pieces and let them cool. Remove the ginger slices and discard. Skim the broth to remove any fat. Scoop out 1/2 cup broth and reserve it.
2. Using your hands or a knife, remove the skin and bones from the chicken and cut or shred the meat into thin, julienne shreds. Add the chicken shreds to the skimmed broth. In a small bowl mix the reserved chicken broth with the miso paste and stir until smooth.
3. Add the tofu slices and snow peas to the soup and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat, add the miso mixture, and stir to blend. Heat the soup until near boiling; then ladle it into serving bowls. Sprinkle the top of each bowl with some minced scallion greens and serve.
Stir-Fried Wild Mushrooms with Snap Peas in Oyster Sauce
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Snap peas, snow peas, and snow pea greens have similar tonic qualities: Chinese doctors feel not only that they are rich in iron and vitamins, but also that they promote urination and counteract the effects of ulcers.
Shiitake mushrooms are especially effective in bolstering the immune system, while oyster mushrooms are credited with inhibiting tumors.
I love the flavor and textural contrast of meaty mushrooms and crisp snap peas, particularly when drenched in a sumptuous oyster sauce. If snap peas are unavailable, use snow peas and decrease the cooking time briefly.
1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, stems trimmed and lightly rinsed
1/2 pound oyster mushrooms, stems trimmed and lightly rinsed (if unavailable, substitute shiitake mushrooms)
1/2 pound cremini mushrooms, stems trimmed and lightly rinsed
2 1/2 teaspoons canola or corn oil
1 pound snap peas, ends snapped and veiny strings removed, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons rice wine or sake
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
Oyster Sauce (mixed together)
3 1/2 tablespoons good-quality oyster sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons rice wine or sake
1 1/4 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1/2 cup chicken broth or water
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1. With a sharp knife, cut all the mushrooms into quarters, depending on the size.
2. Prepare the Seasonings and set by the stove.
3. Heat a wok or heavy skillet until very hot, add 1 teaspoon of the oil and heat until hot. Add the snap peas, minced garlic, rice wine or sake, and salt, and toss lightly over high heat about 1 ½ minutes, until the peas are just tender (snow peas will take slightly less time). Remove from the pan and arrange the peas around the outside of a serving plate.
4. Reheat the pan and the remaining 1 ½ teaspoons oil until very hot. Add the Seasonings and stir-fry about 10 seconds, until fragrant. Add the mushrooms and toss lightly with a spatula over high heat about 1 minute. Add the premixed Oyster Sauce and toss lightly to thicken it, stirring constantly to prevent lumps. Scoop the mushrooms and sauce into the circle inside the snow peas. Serve immediately.
From the Hardcover edition.
Posted March 25, 2012
Right from first opening the book you see amazing pictures of Asian Dishes along with very clear and concise directions. The little nuggets of healthy information in the side bars rounds out the experience of creating a very tasty and flavorful dish that is also healthy! Enjoy!
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Posted July 11, 2013
The short reads written at the beginning of the recipes are very personable but helpful in deciding which recipes to use when(time of year, discomfort in body, etc.). Directions are precise and the annecdotes on the sides broaden my understanding of an asian mindset.The facts about certain ingredients or people seem to have been researched well. The facts tend to cause me to believe.
There is several instances of cross referencing recipes and/or foods by page numbers which is helpful. I like the way the ingredients are highlighted, then separated from a sauce, seasonings or dressing ingredients by using a red font color.
The other 'ingredients' in this book are the testimonial comments on how to use the included foods as medecine. I have not used these recipes to verify this point yet, but am eager to try. The pictures of the actual recipes made are very few, but there are many incidental pictures of certain ingredients like lemon grass and people important to this author. This is a responsible albeit a medicinal book using foods as remedy to good health and well being.
Posted January 10, 2013