Sunday, July 19, 2009

Clay pot rice "Oriental style"

Today I have managed to recreate one of the best Chinese dishes I've ever had.

It was originally described at the bottom of this blog entry, and ever since I had it, and Luke later commented that you can't get greens like that around here, the memory of it grew in my head to lustful proportions, then legend, then yesterday, at Jay's Market, my eyes caught sight of the one key ingredient that would make it possible for me to create... the sausage!

At the hotel, the waiter told me that the dish was one of the chef's favorites, and that the sausage is a special Cantonese sausage. I had the foresight to record the exact name of the dish, shown here, but...

(bāo zǐ fàn) simply translates to "little pot food." The subtitle is " 鸡肉, 腊肠, 蔬菜 香菇," which, in pinyin, is written "pèi jīròu, làcháng, shūcài hé xiānggū," and translates to "pèi chicken, sausage, vegetables and shiitake mushroom." (That word pèi is not lending itself to translation.)

OK, that translation just took me like 2 hours, but I am now much more proficient with the Yellowbridge handwriting recognition tool. And it's almost dark out now. Awesome.

Where was I?? I had to buy two kinds of Chinese sausage at Jay's because the first one I bought was not quite right. The stuff pictured on the right is the right kind. It has the right amount of fat and sweetness, which are the primary characteristics of Chinese sausage, in my experience.

I also tracked down the baby bok choy, some wild mushrooms, soy sauce, oyster sauce, sherry, and jasmine rice, all pictured here. The only ingredients not pictured here are the chicken thighs.

So, to make this amazing dish (without the clay pot, unfortunately, they were out):
  1. Slice one piece of the sausage on the bias (diagonally) and render the fat from it in a pot.
  2. Remove the sausage (squeeze out any remaining oil so the pan is nicely coated) and put in two chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized chunks.
  3. Add soy sauce, oyster sauce, and sherry. (This might be slightly better if you actually only added some soy sauce, browned the chicken, removed it, deglazed with the sherry, and then added the chicken and oyster sauce).
  4. Set one sausage link gently on top of the chicken, so that as the chicken simmers, the sausage link will steam. Cover the pot, and simmer for 15 minutes.
  5. While that's cooking, slice up and render another link of sausage in a sautee pan.
  6. While that's rendering, clean up 4 pieces of the baby bok choy and a heaping helping of the mushrooms (chop the bottoms off).
  7. Once rendered, remove the sausage and sautee the baby bok choy and mushrooms until they lilt. The mushrooms will release a bunch of water.
  8. Remove the chicken and sausage from the heat, remove the sausage and cut diagonally into small pieces. Discard the pieces of sausage that you used to render the grease from. We won't be eating those. I haven't figured out a use for them yet other than dog snacks.
  9. Plate it up by making a base layer of rice, then a layer of mushrooms, then the other three ingredients on top.
  10. Enjoy.

1 comment:

Luke said...

Awesome! Man that makes me miss China.

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