Salt and pepper chicken is a great favourite of our family. We just love the crispness of the chicken and its spiciness.
We also recently discovered the shrimps version and it is even more luscious in taste. There are two ways of cooking the shrimps. If the shrimps or prawns are large, I would recommend perhaps to peel them but if there are small to medium in size, I would cook them in their shell. The shell will add extra crispness in the texture after deep frying.
Here is the recipe.
300g medium shrimps or smaller shrimps; head removed, deveined
3-4 tbsp cornflour or cornstarch
1 tsp fine salt
1 tsp sea salt granules
¾ tablespoon ground Szechuan peppercorns or black pepper
1 tsp of garlic powder
Oil for deep frying
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 bird’s eyes chilli, chopped or a tsp of chilli flakes
coriander for decorating
Prepare the shrimp, remove the shells if you prefer. Put the shrimps over some kitchen paper towel to drain thoroughly.
Spice up the cornstarch with the fine salt, black pepper and garlic powder. Mix thoroughly.
Drop the shrimps onto the cornstarch. Coat the shrimps with the powdery mix.
In a wok over low heat, stir fry the salt granules and Sichuan peppercorn. Dry fry for a couple of minutes. Set aside.
Using a deep-fat fryer, fry the shrimps until they have turned golden. Do this in batches to ensure even cooking. Remove with slotted spoon. Set aside.
Add a tablespoon of oil to the wok with the salt and peppercorn mix. Stir in the chopped garlic and chilli. Fry for a minute or two. Add the deep fried shrimps and mix them all in.
This recipe is everything. It is healthy and it is delicious.
sea bass, scaled and gutted (ask the fishmonger to do this if possible)
250g cherry tomatoes
20g fresh ginger, cut into thin strands
1 medium onion, peeled and finely sliced
300g (ml) hot water
1tbsp light soy
1tsp shaoxing wine vinegar
1tsp fish sauce
1 stalk Spring onion, slice finely on a diagonal
1 red birds eye chilli, chopped
2 clove garlic, sliced finely
Method of preparation:
The process of steaming your fish is entirely up to you. It can be done using a large bamboo steamer that would fit the wok and then heat over your stove.
Otherwise, use a large roasting tin with rack; preheat the oven to 180C.
Score 3 or 4 lines across the skin of the sea bass at both sides.
If you are using a roasting tin like the above, flip the rack to give height to it. Then lightly cover the rack with a bit of aluminium foil so that the vegetables won’t fall onto the roasting tin beneath it. As much as possible use a roasting tin which would fit the whole sea bass.
Stuff the belly of the fish with some ginger and a bit of onion.
First arrange the tomatoes all over the rack, add the in the rest of the vegetables over the tomatoes. And then carefully put the fish of top of the vegetables.
Now season the hot water with soy sauce, shaoxing wine vinegar (or rice wine vinegar) and fish sauce. Stir in the chopped garlic as well.
Pour this stock directly into the roasting tray. Cover the whole tray tightly with foil – ensuring to enclose the entirety of the fish and no steam will escape. Cook for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and take the foil off (to prevent it cooking further).
Carefully transfer the whole delicate fish into a serving plate and arrange the vegetable around it. Then spoon in the delicious stock over the fish.
To garnish with the spring onions and chilli.
Served with rice and freshly perhaps a salad of blanched bok choy!
2 chicken breast, without skin
200 g cremini or brown mushrooms
2 tbsp cooking oil
1 inch ginger, peeled and sliced finely
3 garlic cloves, chopped finely
salt (to taste)
1/2 tsp Ground white pepper
For the marinade:
1/2 tsp salt
3 tsp. Shaoxing wine (rice wine)
1 tsp. cornstarch
Method of Preparation:
Cut chicken breasts into thin slices and place in a large bowl.
In a separate container, mix the marinade ingredients together; mix well then pour over the chicken pieces to marinate.
Clean the brown mushrooms with a damp paper towel, trim the stalks, then cut in halves.
Heat a wok or a large frying pan over high heat.
Add the oil and swirl it carefully around the wok. Add the mushrooms and stir-fry for a couple of minutes until nearly cooked. Set aside.
Using the same wok, add the chicken and stir-fry the slices. Cook until the chicken had whiten.
Add the ginger, garlic and onion and continue to stir until deliciously aromatic.
Stir in the mushrooms and check the seasoning by adding salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with freshly boiled rice or some green salad.
The texture of cooked squid can sometimes be rubbery but when it is battered and deep-fried they are crunchy and delicious.
1/2 tsp Sichuan peppercorns
1/2 tsp black peppercorns
1 tbsp sesame oil
vegetable oil for deep frying
1 cup potato flour
1 heaped teaspoon rock salt
1 egg, beaten
½ teaspoon white pepper, powdered
1 long hot green peppers (chilli),cut diagonally
1 long hot red chilli cut diagonally
5 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
2 teaspoons ginger, minced
1 stalk spring onion, chopped
Prepare your squid by rinsing them thoroughly in cold water.
Separate the bodies from the tentacles and cut into bite size pieces. Score the bodies with a sharp knife but don’t go all the way through that you cut them separately. Scoring can make them fry crisply. Leave them in a colander or over kitchen towels to drain off.
In a frying pan, toss in the black and Sichuan peppercorns and dry-fry until just heated. Tip them in a mortar and pestle with the rock salt and pound until they are coarsely powdered.
Mix the powdered salty peppercorn with the potato flour. Incorporate them thoroughly.
In a large deep pot or a deep-fat fryer, add enough oil so that the level of oil reaches 4 inches up the side of the pot. Heat the oil until the temperature reaches 180ºC.
Dip the squid into the beaten egg and then cover them with the seasoned flour.
Drop the squid carefully into the hot oil and cook until golden and crispy. You have to cook them in batches for safety reasons and to achieve that amazing crunch 🙂
When every piece of the squid had been fried, set them aside.
Meanwhile, heat up a wok over medium heat. Add the sesame oil. To it, fry the ginger, garlic and chilli.
Add the squid to the wok and stir fry quickly in the aromatic mixture for about a minute or so.
Finally transfer into a serving dish and garnish with the chopped spring onions and sprinkle with the white peppercorn.
Serve immediately with your favourite sauces and dips.
Whenever Peter and I go to London’s Chinatown, we always come home with loads of Chinese goodies from the many bakeries dotted along the place. We specially love the cakes. They are so soft and really delicious, which remind me of our cakes from the Philippines which we buy from either Goldilocks or Red Ribbon.
Philippine cakes are some of the things that I miss from the old country, that is why we go on a trek to Chinatown to get something reminiscent of the Philippines’. Jewish cakes are quite cook as well and we are also a regular visitors of Sharon Bakery in Golders Green.
Below is a youtube presentation of the preparation of the sweetest, moistiest, softiest Chinese sweet bun.