Tag Archives: Chilli

Gong Bao Chicken

Well, Team Billy made it far, and we’re all so proud of just how far he made it.  So in honour of the “Dessert Queen” (LOL) I’ve decided this is a good time to post this recipe, which is a tweak of his posted recipe, and the version out of reigning Masterchef Adam Liaw’s book, Two Asian Kitchens (which I highly recommend you pick up if you love Japanese/Chinese/Malaysian foods).

I first made this recipe back some time last year, and as I said, I’ve tweaked it a little to suit my tastes.  You can do the same!  Be creative and flexible, cook what you like!  I seriously love this recipe and cook it at least a couple times per month.  Billy said it’s complicated, but I find it to be a very fast, inexpensive (I have most of the ingredients stocked in the pantry) 30 minute week-night meal.

Ingredients: serves 2
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, diced or thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
10 dried chillis (soak in warm water for a few minutes, then thoroughly dry)
1 tsp Szechuan peppercorn (can ommit, if you MUST)
1/2 onion (I usually use brown, accidentally bought red this time! But it adds nice colour…)
3 spring onions/scallions/green onions, cut in 2 inch pieces (optional)
A handful of roasted cashews, quickly toasted in a dry wok or fry-pan

For the marinade:
3 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
Flour (to coat chicken before frying)

For the sauce:
4 tbsp raw sugar
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
4 tbsp Shaoxing cooking wine (or dry sherry)
1 tbsp corn starch in warm water (to use at very end)

-Coat the chicken in the marinade and pop in the fridge, covered, for at least 1 hour (if in a time crunch, forgo this time — just pop it in as long as you can.)
-Now is a good time to prepare your “mise en place” (everything in it’s place) — this means get all your ingredients chopped or prepared and set in bowls or cups ready to add.  This is crucial when stir-frying as you must move very quickly.  The whole ‘cooking’ process will only take a matter of minutes.
-Make a little chilli oil to fry the lot in by heating a few tablespoons of vegetable oil in a wok until almost smoking.  Add the chillis and peppercorns and stir-fry until the oil is fragrant — don’t allow the chillis to burn!  Remove the chillis into a bowl and set aside.
-Toss sliced garlic into the oil and stir-fry briefly.
-Toss your chicken through the flour to coat it all, then add to the hot oil and garlic.  Stir fry until crispy, using tongs or chopsticks to separate the pieces and keep them from sticking.
-When it is golden, add your sauce.  It will sizzle and de-glaze (getting all the sticky yummy bits off the wok.)
-Now add the onions, green onions & chillis and stir-fry around a little.
-Pour in a little of the cornstarch mixture just until the sauce thickens into a nice glaze.  Add it reasonably!  You don’t want the sauce to be gloppy.
-Add your toasted roasted cashews and toss through evenly.
-Remove from heat and serve with steamed rice.

BIG NOTE: be sure not to overcook a stir-fry!  Your veggies should have crunch to them still, and the dish should taste overall fresh.  The whole cooking process in the wok should take around 10 minutes (hence why you gotta be organized!)


Dan Dan Noodles

Without doubt the smartest iPhone app purchase I’ve made is Jamie Oliver’s 20 Minute Meals, which I bought on sale for $4.99.

Every recipe has step-by-step instructions, photos, audio hints and notes, instructional videos, interactive shopping list…on and on.
I have tried most of the recipes in the application (come on Jamie, time for an update!) and haven’t been disappointed yet.  They’re simple yet delicious, every one taking 20 minutes or less.  The use of lemon and warming your plates and bowls before service have been revelations.

Below is a recipe I have made several times.  Noodley, garlicky and just a bit spicey.  “What a pleasure.”

Dan Dan Noodles
From Jamie Oliver’s 20 Minute Meals Application for iPhone

For two.

200g beef or pork mince
2 tsp Szechuan peppercorns
1 cube chicken stock
3 medium dried red chillies
2 garlic cloves
1 small bunch spring onion
1 lime
150g dried egg noodles
2 tsp honey
2 medium bok choi/pak choy
2 tbsp soy sauce
A couple splashes vegetable oil

Fill your kettle and put on to boil.  Put your bowls in the oven and heat on the lowest setting to warm.
Fill a saucepan with the boiling water and crumble in the stock cube.  Place on high heat.
Once it boils turn down the heat slightly to keep at a simmer.

Place a wok on medium high heat and crumble in the dried chillies.  Toast for a minute until golden.  Add the veg oil and cook for a few seconds to one minute.  Pour all of the chillies and most of the oil into a bowl and put aside. (yummy yummy chilli oil!)

Turn the wok heat on high and add the mince.  Stir-fry for 10 minutes or so til crispy.

Meanwhile, peel and finely slice the garlic.  Trim and chop the spring onions and grind the Szechuan peppercorns with a mortar and pestle.  Cut the lime into wedges to serve later.

Toss your noodles into the boiling stock water and separate them with tongs to make sure they don’t stick in a glob.  Cook according to the packet instructions.

When the mince is crispy, add the honey and stir fry for another minute until all the mince is coated and sticky.  (Jamie then says to pop the wok in the oven to keep the mince warm, but I find that I’m nearly ready to serve by this step.  Just keep it on the stove top if you’re near ready.)

Cut the bok choi into quarters (lengthways) and drop into the noodles and stock for the last minute of cooking. (Note: bok choi cooks to a weird consistency VERY rapidly.  Probably best to toss it into the noodles and turn the heat off!)

Once the noodles and bok choi are cooked scoop out a cup of water and set aside.  Then drain the noodles and choi into a colander.  Return the noodles, bok choi and reserved water back into the pan.

Throw in your raw garlic, soy sauce, ground Szechuan peppercorns and as much chilli oil as you want (the more the better!!  I put it all in!:)

Mix all together and put the lid on.

Pull your warmed bowls out of the oven, divide the noodles between them and top with the crispy mince.
Drizzle with MORE chilli oil then scatter each portion with chopped spring onions.  Serve with the lime wedges, squeezing over as you go.


(Dan Dan Noodles pictured with leftover gyoza :)