Chicken with Dried Chiles and Fish-Flavor Eggplant

Mr. TandooriTaco and I love Chinese food. Growing up, I was never particularly familiar with anything except the egg foo young and deep fried meat in a sickeningly sweet sauce that is so pervasive at American “Chinese” joints.  Where I live now, a much smaller town than where I am from, there is amazingly an excellent and authentic Chinese restaurant.  Once I tried it, I was hooked. Of all the regional cuisines of China, I think I like that of Sichuan the best. That is why I recently purchased a book, “Land of Plenty” by Fuchsia Dunlop, which focuses on this region. These dishes came out deliciously, and I’m excited to try my hand at more.

Chicken with Dried Chiles (serves 4):

  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, chopped
  • 2 tsp shaoxing wine or sherry
  • 1 tsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • about 2 oz Chinese dried chiles
  • peanut oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 2 inches ginger, sliced
  • 1 tbsp Sichuan pepper
  • 3 green onions, sliced
  • salt to taste
  • generous pinch of sugar
  • 2 tsp sesame oil

Mix the chicken with the shaoxing wine, soy sauces, and 1/4 tsp salt. Let marinate for 30 minutes. Cut the chiles in half, discard some seeds if desired. Fry the chicken pieces until cooked in the peanut oil. Drain well. Add 3 tbsp oil to a wok on medium heat, fry the garlic and ginger until just turning color. Add the chiles and peppercorns and fry for about 20 seconds, or until fragrant. Do not allow to burn. Add the chicken and green onion. Season with a pinch of sugar and salt to taste. Add sesame oil right at end, and serve.

Fish-Flavor Eggplant (serves 4):

  • 1 1/2 lb eggplant
  • salt
  • peanut oil
  • 1 1/2 tbsp chile bean paste
  • 3 tbsp ginger, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp light soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp Chinkiang black vinegar
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • 1 tsp sesame oil

Slice the eggplant thickly. Salt all over and leave for at least 30 minutes. Wipe dry, then fry in peanut oil at about 350* F. Fry until golden on the outside and soft on the inside. Drain well. Heat 2 tbsp oil in the wok. Fry the chile bean paste for about 20 seconds, then add the ginger and garlic and fry about 30 seconds until fragrant. Add stock, sugar, and soy sauce. Season to taste with salt. Add the fried eggplant and let simmer for a few minutes. Stir in the vinegar and green onions and let cook for a few seconds. Remove from heat, add sesame oil, and serve.


About tandooritaco

This is a blog about food.
This entry was posted in chicken, chinese, vegan, vegetables, vegetarian. Bookmark the permalink.

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