Saturday, August 26, 2017

Another Mapo Doufu

2 oz ground beef
6 tbsp peanut or canola oil
2 tbsp douban jiang/Pixian chili bean paste
2 tsp dou chi/fermented black beans
2 tsp chili flakes
1 cup chicken stock
1 tsp soy suace
4-5 scallions, cut to 1 inch lengths
1 block soft tofu, diced to 3/4 inches
2 tbsp cornstarch + 2 tbsp water
1 tsp ground Sichuan pepper

Stir fry beef in a hot wok, remove.
Heat wok, add oil, add douban jiang, dou chi, and chili flakes, fry for a minute.
Add stock, soy sauce, scallions. Add the beef. Add tofu, simmer a couple minutes. Add cornstarch slurry. Sprinkle with Sichuan pepper.

Source: The Mala Project by Taylor Holliday, at

Gong bao ji ding

Kung pao chicken

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, or about 2/3 lb, cut into about 1/2 inch cubes
3 cloves garlic, sliced
about the same amount of ginger, also sliced
5 scallions, white parts only, chopped
peanut oil
at least 10 dried chilies, cut in half and seeds discarded
1 tsp whole Sichuan pepper
2/3 cup roasted unsalted peanuts

1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp Shaoxing rice wine or medium-dry sherry
1 1/2 tsp potato flour or 2 tsp cornstarch
1 tbsp water

3 tsp sugar
1 tsp potato flour or cornstarch
1 tsp dark soy sauce
1 tsp light soy sauce
3 tsp Chinkiang vinegar
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp chicken stock or water

Marinate the chicken. Make the sauce.
Heat oil in the wok. Add chilies and Sichuan pepper, stir fry until crisp, spicy, fragrant - careful not to burn.
Add chicken and fry on high, stirring constantly. As soon as it's separated, add the ginger, garlic, scallions, and for a few minutes.
Add the sauce, then the peanuts, then serve.

Source: Land of Plenty by Fuchsia Dunlop

Gan bian si ji dou

Dry-fried Sichuanese green beans

10 oz green beans
peanut oil
3 oz ground pork
2 tsp Shaoxing rice wine or medium-dry sherry
2 tsp soy sauce
2 tbsp ya cai or Tianjin preserved vegetable, finely chopped
salt to taste
1 tsp sesame oil

Trim beans, snap in half. Stir fry in oil for about 6 minutes, until tender and a little puckered. (Dan's note: usually takes longer.) Remove from wok and set aside.

Fry pork for 30 seconds. Add wine and soy sauce. Add ya cai and fry briefly. Add beans. Add salt, then drizzle with sesame oil.

You can also make this without the pork; if you do, add some garlic and ginger and dried chilies. You can also pre-boil the beans a little bit in order to make them cook faster.

Source: Land of Plenty and Every Grain of Rice, both by Fuchsia Dunlop

Boiled aromatic peanuts

1 pint water
8 oz raw peanuts, in their husks or just their pink skins
2 tsp salt
1 tsp whole sichuan pepper
1 cinnamon stick
1 star anise
2 whole cloves
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1-2 slices dried ginger
1 cao guo (optional)

Wrap the spices in a cheesecloth so you can easily pick them out. Simmer 40 minutes, then drain.

Source: Land of Plenty by Fuchsia Dunlop

Fu qi fei pian

"Man and wife lung slices"

1lb lean beef, like flank steak (or a mix with innards like ox heart, tongue, and stomach)

To cook the beef:
2 inch piece of fresh ginger, unpeeled, slightly crushed
1 tbsp peanut oil
2 tbsp rock sugar, crushed
1 quart stock
1 1/2 tbsp salt
2 scallions, white and green, cut into thirds
1 tsp whole Sichuan pepper
1/2 a cinnamon stick
1 tsp fennel seeds
2 star anise
4 cloves (you can make a little bag of all these spices)

To serve:
3-4 celery stalks
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
1-2 tbsp chili oil with chile flake
1/2 tsp ground Sichuan pepper
2 tsp toasted sesame seeds
2 tbsp roasted unsalted peanuts, crushed
cilantro to garnish
Boil water, blanch beef for 10-20 seconds, throw away water and rinse beef.

Heat peanut oil with half the rock sugar, boil until it's a rich caramel brown. Throw in a little cup of cold water (look out for steam!) and stir to incorporate. Add the rest of the "to cook beef" ingredients. Boil, then add the beef, simmer gently for about an hour and a half until tender. Remove beef and cool. Save cooking liquid.

Slice the celery thin. Thinly slice the cold beef too, lay it on top of the celery. Combine 4 tbsp cooking liquid with the soy sauce, pour over meat. Drizzle with chili oil, Sichuan pepper, sesame seeds, peanuts, cilantro.

Source: Land of Plenty by Fuchsia Dunlop

Chen Dailu's Spicy Sesame Noodles

2 tsp sesame paste
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1/2 tsp dark soy sauce
1/2 tsp Chinkiang vinegar
1 tsp chopped garlic
pinch of sichuan pepper
1 1/2 tbsp chili oil with sediment

1/2 lb Chinese wheat or buckwheat noodles (can use udon or soba too)
handful of pea shoots, bok choy, or choy sum leaves
1 tbsp finely chopped spring onion greens

Combine the sauce in a bowl. Cook noodles, toss greens in for the last minute to blanch. Drain noodles and greens, add to bowl, scatter with spring onions, mix and serve.

Source: Every Grain of Rice by Fuchsia Dunlop

Hui Guo Rou

Twice-cooked pork

1/2 lb boneless pork belly, with skin
6 baby leeks, or Chinese leaf garlic, trimmed, sliced diagonally
2 tbsp oil
1 tbsp douban jiang (Sichuan chili bean paste)
1 tsp sweet fermented sauce
2 tsp fermented black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 tsp dark soy sauce
1/2 tsp sugar
a few slices of fresh red chili or bell pepper for color (Dan's note: you can put in a whole bunch of red bell pepper, it's good too)

Boil/simmer pork until just cooked through, about 20 min. Fridge for several hours to cool. Slice it thin (each slice having a little skin on it).

Saute pork slices until slightly curved and some fat has melted out. Add douban jiang, then sweet fermented sauce and black beans, then add soy sauce, sugar, and salt to taste. Add leeks and pepper and stir fry until just cooked and serve.

Source: Every Grain of Rice by Fuchsia Dunlop

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Vegetarian chili from J Kenji Lopez-Alt

3 whole sweet dried chilies like CosteƱo, New Mexico, or Choricero, stems and seeds removed
2 small hot dried chilies like Arbol or Cascabel, stems and seeds removed (optional)
3 whole rich fruity dried chilies like Ancho, Mulatto, Negro, or Pasilla, stems and seeds removed
1 quart water
2 whole chipotle chilies in adobo sauce with 2 tablespoons sauce from can
2 (14-ounce) cans chickpeas
1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes packed in juice, mashed up with your hands. Or diced tomatoes.
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onion, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, grated on a microplane grater
1 1/2 tablespoons cumin
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon marmite or vegemite
2 (14-ounce) cans dark red kidney beans, drained, liquid reserved separately
2 tablespoons vodka or bourbon
Kosher salt
2 to 3 tablespoons masa

1. Toast the dried chiles in a big pot, until slightly darkened, 2-5 minutes but not smoking. Add the chipotles and 1 qt water, blend until smooth.
2. Drain chickpeas (save water), pulse in a blender a little bit.
3. Add tomatoes to chickpea water.
4. Saute onions until softened but not browned, about 4 minutes. Add garlic, cumin, oregano, cook 30 seconds. Add pureed chilies, soy sauce, marmite, cook 30 seconds. Add chickpea water and tomatoes, chickpeas and kidney beans, stir.
5. Simmer 1 1/2 hours. Add kidney bean liquid as necessary to keep it from drying out.
6. Add vodka or bourbon, salt to taste, and whisk in the masa in a steady stream. Cool, serve with cilantro, onions, scallions, avocados, lime, tortillas, whatever.

Source: (there is plenty more info there.)

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Yu xiang rou si

Fish-fragrant pork slivers

A small handful of dried cloud ear mushrooms, soaked in hot water for 30 min
10oz boneless pork loin (~2 chops) with a little fat, cut into 1/8 inch slivers
2/3 cup bamboo shoots or 2 celery stalks
peanut oil
2 tbsp pickled chili paste
1 1/2 tsp finely chopped garlic
2 tsp finely chopped ginger
2 scallions, green parts, very thinly sliced

1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp potato flour or 1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch + 1 tbsp water
1 tsp Shaoxing rice wine

1 1/2 tsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp Chinkiang or black Chinese vinegar
3/4 tsp light soy sauce
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp potato flour or 1 1/8 tsp cornstarch + 3 tbsp stock or water

Mix marinade, add pork.
Blanch bamboo shoots in boiling water for a minute, rinse in cold water, then cut in fine strips to match pork. Or cut celery into thin strips, salt, wait 15 minutes.
Mix the sauce.
Heat oil, stir-fry pork. As soon as the strips separate, push them to one side, and put the chili paste into the wok. Stir fry briefly, then add garlic and ginger. Stir fry 30 seconds, until aromatic, then add bamboo and mushrooms and stir fry briefly until just hot.
Add the sauce. Add the scallions, serve.

Source: Land of Plenty by Fuchsia Dunlop

Mapo doufu

AKA ma po to fu, ma po tofu, mapo tofu, or whatever else I might be text-searching for.

1 lb tofu
4 green onions or baby leeks, green parts, sliced at an angle into "horse ears"
4 tbsp oil
2 1/2 tbsp sichuan chili bean paste (douban jiang)
1 tbsp fermented black beans, rinsed and drained
2 tsp ground red chilies
1 tbsp chopped ginger
1 tbsp chopped garlic
1/2 cup stock or water
1/4 tsp white pepper
2 tsp potato flour + 2 tbsp cold water
ground roasted sichuan pepper

Cut tofu into 3/4 inch cubes and steep in hot, lightly salted water (not boiling).
Heat wok on high, add oil, reduce to medium, add chili bean paste and fry until it's red. Add black beans and chilies, then ginger and garlic. Don't overheat seasonings.

Remove tofu from water, put it in the wok. Mix it around gently so you don't break the cubes. Add stock, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and simmer. Add green onions/leeks, and then the thickening flour+water mix as much as needed.

Top with sichuan pepper and serve.

Source: Every Grain of Rice by Fuchsia Dunlop