Have I already said how much I love Finnish libraries? They have tons of books on cooking and even better, quite many of those are in English (yeah my Finnish is kind of non existent unfortunately). Finally, I got my hands on one of the He-Huang’s books – ‘Chinese in minutes’. I was really excited, cause you may remember I’ve already posted some of her recipes that were an instant hit with Mr. No Onion Please (sesame beef stir-fry, pork tenderloin) and I was craving for some more showstoppers. Unfortunately, I got a bit disappointed. There is no doubt that the recipes she presents are tasty, but once you grab a whole book of hers, you’ll notice that she’s constantly using same flavouring ingredients. So yes, one can learn some quick and easy Chinese-like dishes, but once you’ll try several recipes rest will taste nearly the same. Nevertheless, I’ve marked several dishes to try out, particularly that all of them can be done in no time and they are perfect for mid-week dinners.
I started with juicy chicken stir-fry, just because it was really fast to cook as well as cause I love Sichuan peppercorns and their tongue-numbing properties. From obvious reasons I skipped addition of spring onions, throwing in bell pepper for some crunch. The dish didn’t stun us , it was fine but it was clearly missing something. So if you decide to make it don’t omit the onions, I think they are essential for this dish.
400g chicken meat from legs, cut into pieces
1 tbsp Chinese 5 spices powder
1 tbsp potato flour
2 tbsp frying oil
1 tbsp Sichuan peppercorns, crushed
1 tbsp yellow bean sauce
1 chili, finely chopped
a dash of Shaohsing rice wine
100g cashew nuts
1 tbsp soya sauce
juice from half of lime
2 spring onions sliced
(I threw in a bell pepper instead but here spring onions would be really needed)
1. Mix the flour and 5 spice powder together, sprinkle over chicken pieces
2. Heat the wok and add oil. Add Sichuan peppercorns, chili and bean paste, fry for 30 seconds add the chicken and let it settle for another 30 sec. Finally add a dash of rice wine, toss everything together and let it fry for 3-4 min.
3. Add spring onions and cashew nuts, fry for 1-2 min. Season to taste with soya sauce and lime juice.