from one generation to the next
I seem to have had more than my fair share of cooking disasters in the last week or two. I could blame any number of things, like the oppressive and mind numbing humidity, but I’m going to simply take it on board as a lesson in life not to let my concentration lapse.
My head is full of plans for a new kitchen. Cooking currently relegates me to a dark and uninviting corner of our living area. When working at either the sink or the cooker my back is turned to both the light and conversation. It makes me impatient to finish the task.
To avoid further disenchantment, I planned this dish meticulously. Previous Sang Choy Bao ventures had taught me the success of the dish is as much about texture and consistency as it is the flavour. It must be moist and tasty, have some crunchy texture and be spoonable, but meaty juices flowing down your arm are not a good look. There’s a fine balance.
Our lunch was seriously delicious, but that wasn’t the end of my woes.
I took about 20 photos before we demolished the Sang Choy Bao. When I sat down to review the images afterwards, I discovered something weird had happened. It was if the camera only transferred half of each photo to the card. The only reason I have an image at all is because I stopped shooting to reposition the tripod allowing the camera an extra second to almost complete it’s task. I am thankful for this one photo.
Sang Choy Bao serves 4 with other dishes
2 baby cos lettuces
10g dried shiitake mushrooms soaked for 15 minutes in boiling water
60g water chestnuts, finely diced
100g carrot, julienne
60g green beans, finely julienned
3 large wombok leaves finely shredded
2 small heads of bok choy, finely shredded
50g snow peas cut into fine julienne
2 tablespoons garlic chives snipped into 1cm lengths
1 heaped tablespoon grated ginger
2 chicken thighs, finely shredded
1 tablespoon cornflour
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1 tablespoon hoi sin sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1/2 tablespoon light soy
2 tablespoons shoaxing cooking wine
1 teaspoon sesame oil
Select 12-14 large and perfect leaves from the lettuces. Wash and spin dry them and set aside in the fridge until you’re ready to serve.
Drain the mushrooms, squeeze out as much water as possible then finely chop. Discard any hard stems.
Mix the shredded chicken with the cornflour.
Combine all the sauces together in a small bowl.
Heat a wok until smoking, add the peanut oil and swirl to coat the surface.
Add the chicken and stir fry until it begins to brown. Add the ginger and mushrooms and toss a few times to stir through.
Add the water chestnuts, beans, carrots.
Toss the veggies through the chicken mixture then add the sauces a little at a time so that the temperature of the wok doesn’t drop significantly.
Once the vegetables have wilted and the sauces have formed a thick glaze, stir through the cabbage and bok choy.
Turn off the heat then immediately stir through the snow peas and chives.
Serve the chicken and vegetables rolled in the lettuce leaves.