Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Soy Sauce Chicken

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This recipe is for Soy Sauce Chicken, and it builds on an earlier recipe. To make Soy Chicken, you first need to steam a chicken to cook it through and through.

To make the sauce, gather the following ingredients:
  • 1 part soy sauce
  • 2 parts dark soy sauce
  • 2 parts water
  • 2 sticks of brown sugar
  • 1 Star Anise
  • 1 small piece of ginger
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
A bit about the ingredients. Dark soy differs from Soy sauce in that Dark Soy is used for colour, while regular soy sauce is used to provide flavour. For that reason, we are using 2 parts of Dark Soy for each part of Soy Sauce, since the colour is what we're after.

The brown sugar being used here has been used in other recipes that I've posted such as the Green Bean Soup. Again, using the sticks of brown sugar complements the Soy Sauce much better than other forms of sugar.

Lastly, Star Anise is translated to "eight-horn" in Cantonese, and is a star-shaped spice that enhances the flavour of the Sauce that we're basting the chicken in. It is one of the spices used to make "five-spice" powder.

To make Soy Sauce Chicken:
  1. Once you have your steamed chicken ready, pour all of the above ingredients into a deep pan and heat it on medium-high heat until it begins to simmer.
  2. Turn the heat down to medium heat and place the chicken in the pan.
  3. Using a ladle, baste the chicken continuously until the chicken takes on the colour of the soy sauce. After about 7 minutes, flip the chicken over so that the other 1/2 is immersed in the sauce. The entire cooking process will take roughly 15-20 minutes.
  4. When finished, let the chicken cool for 5 minutes, then chop and serve with Ginger Scallion Garnish. Allow the sauce to cool as well, and save it for future use as a sauce base.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The World's Best Sweet and Sour Sauce

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The last posting I made was for some Vegetable Spring Rolls. Although the Spring Rolls are delicious on their own, they're even more delectable when paired with a Sweet and Sour Sauce. The following recipe is a specialty that was passed down to me, and it's renown by my relatives. The sauce itself is extremely easy to make, and the degree of Sweet versus Sour in the sauce can be easily modified to taste during the cooking process.

The ingredients for the Sweet and Sour Sauce are:
  • 1-2 Sticks of Brown Sugar (no substituting for any other type of sugar)
  • Heinz Ketchup, since I've found that it provides the best taste and colour
  • Cornstarch
  • Vegetable Oil
The reason I didn't list exact quantities is because everyone has a different standard for a sweet and sour sauce, so I'm going to provide rough quantities.
  1. Fill a small pot with roughly 200mL of water so that the depth of the water is between 1-2 cm deep. Heat the water on medium heat.
  2. Add 1 stick of brown sugar to the pot so that it begins to dissolve. Once the sugar has dissolved, let it simmer on the stove.
  3. Once the sugar water has a rich brown colour, squirt a generous amount of ketchip into the pot. I like to use two 1-second squeezes as a starting point. Add water to the pot (fill it to about 1/4 full and again let the sauce simmer. If you feel that the sauce is much too viscous, feel free to add more water.
  4. As the sauce simmers, continually taste the sauce to gauge the amonut of sweet vs. sour. If there isn't enough sweet, break off pieces of the second stick of brown sugar and dissolve it into the sauce. The sauce will develop a deep red colour as it simmers.
  5. Once the sauce is to taste, it's time to thicken it with a small spoon of cornstarch. As soon as the cornstarch is mixed in, turn off the heat.
  6. The final step is to give the sauce a sheen, with a 1/2 tsp of vegetable oil.
  7. Serve as a dip for the vegetable spring rolls.