1. Steamed Trout in Black Bean Sauce
  2. Coral Cabbage
  3. Wonton Soup with Watercress
  4. Yangchow Fried Rice

Yangchow Fried Rice is substantial enough to be eaten on its own. Together these dishes will serve 4-6, with the colourful soup as a starter.

1. Steamed Trout in Black Bean Sauce ()
    1 trout, about 1 kg (2 1/4 lb)
    1 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
    1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
    2 spring onions, shredded
    2 cm (3/4 inch) piece root ginger, peeled and shredded
    3 tablespoon salted black beans, soaked, drained and crushed
    1 tablespoon salted black beans, soaked, drained and crushed
    2 small dried chillis, finely chopped
    2 tablespoons light soy sauce
    1 tablespoon Chinese wine or dry sherry
    1/2 teaspoon suger
    1 teaspoon sesame oil

    Preparation time: 10 minutes
    Cooking time: about 30 minutes

1. Wash the fish and pat dry with paper towels. With a sharp knife, score the fish on both sides with diagonal, parallel cuts. Rub in a mixture of salt, white pepper and ground ginger, both on the inside and the outside. Lay the fish on a heatproof dish and sprinkle over half the shredded spring onions and ginger.

2. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a wok. Add the black beans and half the chillis and stir-fry together for a few seconds. Add half the soy sauce, the Chinese wine and sugar to the wok and cook together for 1 minute.

3. Pour the sauce slowly over the fish. Place the fish, in its heatproof dish, in a steamer and steam for about 20 minutes. Test to see if the fish is cooked by inserting a chopstick into the flesh. If it is soft, then the fish is cooked. Carefully remove the cooked spring onions, ginger and chillis and sprinkle the remaining ones on top of the fish. Add the rest of the soy sauce and the sesame oil. Spoon the sauce that has collected in the bottom of the dish over the fish and serve hot.

2. Coral Cabbage ()
    4 tablespoons vegetable oil
    1 1/2 tablespoons dried shrimps, soaked for 20 minutes and drained
    1 tablespoon winter pickle
    1 kg (2 1/4 lb) Chinese cabagge, roughly shredded
    freshly ground white pepper
    3 tablespoons red bean curd cheese
    3 tablespoons tomato puree
    1 tablespoon ligh soy sauce
    25 g (1 oz) butter
    100 ml (3 1/2 fl oz) chicken stock

    Preparation time: 10 minutes plus soaking
    Cooking time: 30-35 minutes Oven: 180 degree C, 350 degree F, Gas Mark 4

1. Heat the oil in a wok, then add the shrimps and pickle. Turn in the oil a few times, then add all the cabbage and sprinkle it with salt and pepper.

2. Turn the cabbage in the oil for 2-3 minutes until it is well coated.

3. Mix together the bean curd, tomato puree and soy sauce and add to the cabbage. Turn until well coated, then transfer to a casserole.

4. Dot the top of the cabbage with butter, pour the stock on top and cover. Place the casserole in a preheated oven and cook for 25 minutes.

3. Wonton Soup with Watercress ()
    1 large bunch watercress
    225 g (8 oz) minced pork
    1 tablespoon soy sauce
    2 pinches of MSG
    2 teaspoons sesame oil
    pinch of sugar
    1 tablespoon Chinese wine or dry sherry
    pinch of freshly ground white pepper
    1 teaspoon ground ginger
    1.2 litres (2 pints) chicken stock
    1 teaspoon salt
    100 g (4 oz) ready-made wonton skins

    Preparation time: 20 minutes
    Cooking time: 20 minutes

1. Divide the watercress into two bunches. Chop one bunch finely and cut the other in half.

2. In a bowl, mix together the minced pork, finely chopped watercress, soy sauce, 1 pinch of mSG, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, sugar, cooking wine, white pepper and ginger. Beat well to combine thotoughly.

3. Place about 1 heaped teaspoon of the filling in the middle of a ready-made wonton skin, gather up the corners to completely enclose the meat, then twist the top to close tightly. Continue until all the meat mixture is used up.

4. In a deep saucepan, heat the chicken stock with the salt and a pinch of MSG.

5. In a separate pan, bring about 1.5 litres (2 1/2 pints) of water to the boil. When boiling furiously, drop in the wontons. Reduce the heat and simmer the wontons for about 5 minutes. Drain the wontons and place in a deep bowl. Line soup bowls with the remaining watercress. Put in the wontons. Pour on the chicken stock, sprinkle with the remaining i sesame oil and serve hot.

4. Yangchow Fried Rice ()
    5 tablespoons vegetable oil
    2 medium onions, peeled and finely sliced
    2 slices root ginger, peeled and diced
    100 g (4 oz) minced pork
    1 tablespoon light soy sauce
    1 teaspoon sugar
    500 g (1 1/4 lb) cooked rice
    2 eggs, lightly beaten
    2 tablespoons cooked green peas
    2 tomatoes, chopped
    3 dried Chinese mushrooms, soaked for 20 minutes, drained, stemmed and chopped
    freshly ground black pepper

    Preparation time: 20 minutes, plus soaking
    Cooking time: about 10 minutes

1. Heat half the oil in a large wok or frying pan. Add the oinions and ginger, and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the minced pork and stir-fry for 3 minutes. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, soy sauce and sugar and stir-fry for 1 minute.

2. Add the rice to the wok to heat through, turing and stirring well.

3. Heat the remaining oil in another wok. Season the beaten egg with salt and pepper and add to the wok. Stir and turn the eggs gently. As soon as they have set, add the peas, tomatoes and mushrooms.

4. Stir for about 1 minute, then turn the egg mixture into the wok containing the rice. Mix lightly together, then serve in a heated bowl.

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