Thursday, October 11, 2012
Despite the heat and hazy clouds hovering, one night I rushed home after a long hour of commute into my kitchen and brought out the wok. Two minutes worth of knife work on a few cloves of garlic and fresh coriander. Before long, chicken wings flew over my stove top while my thighs started to sweat. Still, the smell of rice wine as it splashed into the stir fry lifted my spirits like no other method of cooking could.
The oriental approach is really quite simple. Toasted sesame oil and good quality soy sauce. Greens with every meal, failing that some steamed eggs or clear broth.
Communal plates, pairs of chopsticks, bowls of hot fragrant rice, chicken bones on left the side. The aftermath of oily fumes, mandatory wipe down, soiled newspapers off the floor. I used to stand by the side, observing like a hawk, as my mother deftly labored over our dinners, every night without fail. Even then I knew much joy would be felt when I one day can operate a spatula as an extension of my right arm.
There's no denying I can never escape the Chinese way.
Recipe from my mother.
Marinate the chicken wings withIn a large bowl, marinate the chicken wings with some salt and pepper, 2 tablespoons of oyster sauce and 3 tablespoons of Chinese rice wine. Let stand while prepping the garlic and ginger. In a large wok, heat up about 3 tablespoons of peanut oil. Fry the ginger pieces till slightly softened and fragrant. Add in the garlic and chicken pieces. Over medium high heat, stir fry till chicken is about 80% cooked.
- 8 to 10 pieces of chicken wings (including drumnets)
- 6 tablespoons Chinese rice wine (Shaoxing wine)
- 6 tablespoons oyster sauce
- salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste
- 3 tablespoons peanut oil
- 6 to 8 cms old ginger, thinly sliced
- 5 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
Add in the remaining oyster sauce and stir fry till chicken is just cooked. Add the dark soy sauce (if using), adjust seasoning. Increase heat to high, add the remaining Shaoxing wine and sesame oil. Toss quickly for about 1 minute, dish out into serving plate. Garnish as desired and serve hot with steamed rice.
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