Chinese egg drop soup

We have gone quiet for the last week with little to share in the way of new recipes.  Furthermore we had a little mishap with our oven which died on us – trying to replace it has been a challenge – old built in oven was 90 cm wide and 48 cm tall and over 10 years old – all newer off the shelf models are 60 cm wide and around 60 cm high – note to self avoid built in ovens if we move house!  Our interim solution is a counter top rotisserie oven which so far seems to be doing a remarkable job on the grilling front – although we haven’t tested it with any serious baking so far (we are going to make some chestnut flour chocolate chip cookies later in the week – let’s see how the oven copes!).  We digress – this evening we had  “Chinese egg drop soup” – which was extremely easy to prepare and can be whipped up in fifteen minutes or less.

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What do I need to make it?

  • 2 cloves of garlic chopped
  • 1 small piece of ginger finely chopped
  • 1 red chili finely chopped
  • 2 sprigs of spring onion chopped
  • 3-4 button mushrooms sliced
  • 1 cup of tinned corn (if using frozen – cook it in the microwave for 2-3 minutes)
  • 2 chicken stock cubes
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1/2 tsp Chinese five spice powder
  • 2 tsp soya sauce
  • Dash of white pepper
  • 2 tsp vegetable oil
  • Salt to taste

How much will I make?

Serves 2 hearty bowls

How do I make it?

Heat pan and add oil to it.  Saute the ginger, garlic and red chili for a couple of minutes before adding the mushrooms and sweetcorn.  Sprinkle the Chinese five spice powder and saute for another couple of minutes before adding the stock cubes and 400-500 ml of water.   Simmer on low heat and once the soup comes to a boil pour in the beaten eggs and mix vigorously.   Sprinkle the white pepper, soya sauce and adjust for salt.  Bring soup to a boil and then add the spring onions – turn off heat, garnish with fresh chopped coriander.

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Chinese flavoured casserole

The weather is definitely turning for the worse as winter sets upon us and we think a casserole is a perfect dish on a cold and wet day as today.  So building on the success of our previous ethnic flavoured casserole experiments, this is our homage to Chinese cuisine.    We are happy with how it has turned our and are busy concocting our next casserole which is likely to be inspired by Italian flavours and ingredients – stay tuned…

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What do I need to make it?

  • 500 gms boneless chicken thighs (6-8 pieces)
  • 1 medium onion sliced
  • 1 medium leek sliced
  • 1 stick of celery sliced
  • 5 cloves of garlic chopped
  • 1 ” piece o ginger peeled and chopped
  • 1 carrot roughly chopped
  • 1 pak choi –  cut leaves in half
  • 6-8 button mushrooms halved
  • 4 baby corn cut into bite size pieces
  • 6-8 mangetout
  • 4 tsp Chinese 5 spice powder
  • 2 chicken stock cubes
  • 2 tsp chilli oil (Chinese type with crushed red chilli)
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • 2 tbsp Shaohsin wine
  • 1 tbsp spiced black rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp tamari soy sauce (gluten free variety)
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • Few sprigs of fresh coriander and spring onion chopped to garnish
  • Pepper to taste

How much will I make?

Serves 4

How do I make it?

First marinade the chicken thighs with the 2 teaspoons of Chinese five spice powder, black pepper, garlic salt and 2 tablespoons of Shaosing wine – set aside for a few hours.   Heat your oven proof casserole dish and add 2 tbsp of vegetable oil – sear the chicken pieces on both sides and remove.   Add the ginger and garlic to the same dish and stir for 30 seconds before adding sliced onions, leeks and celery – stir for a couple of minutes before adding the remaining vegetables.  Sprinkle 2 tsp of Chinese 5 spice powder, soy sauce, spiced black rice vinegar, the remaining Shaohsin wine, chilli oil and the stock cubes – add a pint of water and stir.  Dissolve the cornflour in some water and add to the mixture.  Place chicken on top of the vegetables, cover with lid and place the casserole in a pre-heated oven at 200 degree Centigrade for an hour or till the chicken is cooked through.   Garnish with fresh coriander and spring onion – serve on its own or with a bowl of egg fried rice.

Chinese stir fried vegetables

I absolutely enjoyed pulling together a stir fried vegetable dish for lunch today.  As previously mentioned there are a few cupboard essentials when wanting to make Chinese food taste slightly more authentic (rice wine, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil) and today I want to add another one to the list – spiced black rice vinegar.   I was in my local Waitrose earlier today and was browsing the specialty oils and vinegar aisle when I spotted three combinations I haven’t come across before – apple balsamic vinegar, apply & cranberry balsamic vinegar and black rice vinegar.   I picked up all three and used the black rice vinegar in the stir fry.  I am looking forward to using the other two in a salad vinaigrette soon.

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What do I need to make it?

  • Handful of green beans cut in half
  • 2 stalks of celery chopped into bite size pieces
  • 1 green pepper cubed
  • 2 carrots chopped into wedges
  • 6 large closed cup mushrooms quartered
  • 8 florets of broccoli
  • 1 bunch of choi sum (each stalk cut into 3-4 pieces)
  • 3 sprigs of spring onion chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1″ piece of ginger minced
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red chili
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper
  • Handful coriander leaves chopped
  • 2 tsp Shaosin wine
  • 3 tsp dark soya sauce
  • 2 tsp spicy black rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 3 tbsp vegetable/sunflower oil
  • Dash of salt to taste

How much will I make?

Serves 4 as a side dish

How do I make it?

Heat wok and pour oil in once hot.  Add ginger and garlic mince and stir for 30 seconds before adding the crushed red chili flakes.   Stir for another minute before adding green pepper, celery, carrot, beans, mushroom and broccoli.  Stir for five to eight minutes before adding the choi sum (choi sum only takes a couple of minutes to cook).  Then add the rice wine, vinegar, soya sauce and white pepper.  Adjust the seasoning before garnishing with spring onions and fresh coriander.   Serve hot with rice or noodles.