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Kathy's Menu for February 2002

Celebrate Chinese New Year with this elegant Peking Menu

Temple of Good Harvests photo Starter : Hot Fried King Prawns in Breadcrumbs
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Main Course : Deep Fried Chicken with Lemon Sauce
Peking Meatballs
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Pudding : Steamed Pears in Syrup

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For the starter and main course recipes the oil needs to be heated to 180C (350F), this temperature is obtained when the oil begins to smoke, or when a bread cube browns in 30 seconds.

Hot Fried King Prawns in Breadcrumbs
Serves 4

Ingredients

8 uncooked king prawns, peeled, devined and cut in half down the back
2oz (50g) seasoned flour
3 egg whites
pinch of cornflour
4 tablespoons breadcrumbs
1 pint (600ml) vegetable oil
6 tablespoons tomato puree

Method

  1. Dust the prawns with the seasoned flour.
  2. Beat the egg whites lightly and then beat in the cornflour. Coat the prawns in this mixture, then dip them in to the breadcrumbs.
  3. Heat the oil in a wok until it begins to smoke and then deep fry the prawns for about 3 minutes until they are golden brown. Remove from the oil and drain on kitchen roll.
  4. Place the prawns on a warmed serving dish and serve immediately with the tomato puree as a dip.

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Deep Fried Chicken with Lemon Sauce
Serves 4

Ingredients

1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon dry sherry
half a tablespoon light soy sauce
2 tablespoons cornflour
1 tablespoon water
1 egg yolk
pinch of freshly ground white pepper
1lb (450g) chicken meat, skinned and cut into 1 inch (2.5cm) slices
1 pint (600ml) vegetable oil plus 2 tablespoons
1 green pepper, cored, seeded and chopped into 1 inch (2.5cm) pieces
1 red pepper, cored, seeded and chopped into 1 inch (2.5cm) pieces
4oz (100g) tin water chestnuts, drained and thinly sliced
3 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons lemon juice
6 tablespoons chicken stock
1 tablespoon sesame seed oil
3 drops yellow food colouring
For the garnish :
1 lemon, sliced
fresh coriander leaves

Method

  1. Mix together half the salt, the wine, the soy sauce, 1 tablespoon cornflour, the water, egg yolk and a pinch of pepper. Marinate the chicken slices in this mixture for 10 minutes.
  2. Heat the oil in a wok until it smokes and deep fry the chicken slices until they are golden brown. Remove from the oil and drain on kitchen roll.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in another wok and add the peppers and water chestnuts. Stir fry until they change colour and then transfer to a heated serving dish.
  4. Wipe the wok clean with kitchen roll and add another tablespoon of oil. Reheat and stir in the sugar, lemon juice, chicken stock, remaining salt, remaining cornflour, sesame oil and yellow food colouring. Bring to the boil stirring all the time.
  5. Reheat the oil and fry the chicken again for 10 seconds to reheat. Drain and place on top of the peppers and water chestnuts. Pour the sauce on top and garnish with lemon slices and coriander leaves.

Peking Meat Balls
Serves 4

Ingredients

1lb (450g) minced pork
1oz (25g) dried chinese mushrooms, soaked for 20 minutes, drained and finely chopped
1 inch (2.5cm) piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped
2 eggs
1 tablespoon dry sherry
pinch of MSG
half a teaspoon of sesame seed oil
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons cornflour
1 pint (600ml) vegetable oil
To serve :
lettuce leaves
1 orange or lemon, thinly sliced

Method

  1. In a bowl, mix together the pork, mushrooms, prawns, spring onions, ginger and eggs. Add to this the sherry, MSG, sesame seed oil, salt and cornflour. Mix everything together thoroughly, then roll into small balls using about 2 teaspoons of mixture per ball.
  2. Heat the oil in a wok until it smokes then put in the meatballs and fry until they are golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen roll. Serve on lettuce leaves surrounded by the thinly slices lemon or orange.
Serve these main course dishes with plain or fried rice or noodles.

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Steamed Pears in Syrup
Serves 4

Ingredients

8oz (225g) flaked rice
1oz (25g) almonds, skinned and chopped
4oz (100g) can of lotus seeds, drained and chopped
6 red and green glace cherries, finely chopped
2floz (50ml) vegetable oil
2 tablespoons sugar
4 pears, peeled and cored
For the sauce :
1 tablespoon sugar
3.5 floz (100ml) water
1oz (25g) cornflour
few drops of red food colouring

Method

  1. Cover the flaked rice with water and steam for 30 minutes.
  2. Mix together the cooked rice, almonds, lotus seeds, cherries, vegetable oil and sugar.
  3. To make the sauce, dissolve the sugar in the water. Blend the cornflour with the food colouring and add this to the sugar and water. Bring to the boil to make the sauce.
  4. Stuff the rice mixture into the pear cores. Place the pears in a steamer basket and steam for about 15 minutes.
  5. Serve the pears with the sauce poured over the top.

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Cookery Book Recommendation of the Month

book cover Chinese Cookery by Ken Hom
This edition combines old favourites like Cashew Chicken, Sichuan Prawns in Chilli Sauce and Fried Rice with new recipes from the kitchens of Hong Kong and Taiwan such as, Steamed Salmon with Black Beans and Mango Chicken. Ken Hom provides information on ingredients, equipment and preparation.

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