1. SCantonese Soy-Braised Chicken
  2. Prawns and Green Peas

The Cantonese appreciate that really fresh ingredients have a special sweetness of flavour which will be destroyed by overcooking. Their favourite way to preserve this flavour is to steam the food, or poach it gently, as with Soy-Braised Chicken. Menu serves 6.

1. Cantonese Soy-Braised Chicken ()
    1 chicken, about 1.25 kg (2 1/2 lb)
    2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
    2 teaspoons shredded root ginger
    5 tablesppons dark soy sauce
    3 tablespoons dry sherry
    1 tablespoon sugar
    3 tablespoons vegetable oil
    100 ml (3 1/2 fl oz) chicken stock
    1 lettce

    Preparation time: 10 minutes, plus marinating
    Cooking time: 50 minutes

1. Rub the inside and outside of the chicken with the pepper and ginger. Mix together the soy sauce, sherry and sugar, pour over the chicken and leave to marinate for about 20 minutes, turning the chicken occasionally.

2. Heat the oil in a wok and brown the chicken all over. Pour in the marinade liquid mixed with the chicken stock and simmer over low heat, covered, for 45 minutes. Turn occasionally, handling it with care.

3. To serve, chop into small pieces on the bone and arrange neatly on a bed of lettuce leaves. Pour a little of the sauce over the chicken.

2. Prawns and Green Peas ()
    450 g (1 lb) uncooked prawns, peeled and deveined
    1 egg white
    2 tablespoons cornflour
    3 tablespoons vegetable oil
    1 slice root ginger, finely chopped
    1 spring onion, finely chopped
    225 g (8 oz) green peas
    1 1/2 teaspoons salt
    2 teaspoons sugar
    1 tablespoon dry sherry
    1 teaspoon sesame oil

    Preparation time: 10 minutes, plus marinating
    Cooking time: 5 minutes

1. Mix the prawns with the egg white and cornflour. Leave to marinate for 10 minutes.

2. Heat the oil in a wok until smoking and add the prawns. Stir-fry for 1 minute, then remove and drain.

3. Reheat the wok and put in the ginger, spring onion and green peas. Stir together, then put in the prawns to reheat. Finally add the salt, sugar and sherry. Bring to the boil, add the sesame oil and serve immediately.

<>   Xiaoniu SuChu Hsu (p) 1998    suchu@techart.nia.edu.tw