The Chinese have given us everything! Honestly, they have. You don’t believe me? When our iPhones fall down we weep for them. Even our designer clothes are from China. Of course we have to thank God for Chinese food. These days I think as Nigerians or should I say Lagosians, Chinese food is almost part of your culture. Chinese food at parties serves as the “continental option”. In fact, many of us just love the fact that it’s food that’s foreign but since it has “pepper” it is very much accepted.
Chinese food also is cheap especially at those “All You Can Eat” zones. Those 10 Euros deal with dessert sef! Chinese food is great!
As a Chef, I really respect the precision, skill and speed the Chinese cooks in general use in their food preparations. Yes I said cooks because the average housewife in China is a god! Street food in Asia generally is usually better than “restaurant food” so yes “cooks”!
In my early days of experimenting, I discovered Chinese food for myself. My mother would always buy me noodles, soy sauce and whatever Chinese ingredient she could find and stock up my cupboard in the kitchen. So it was chicken Chow Mein today and whatever stir fry tomorrow. Till today I see myself always having some Chinese/Asian influence in my cooking
So, today I thought I should share this as a must-have-on-hand marinade recipe so you can use to flavour beef, chicken, duck, prawns and squid!
For this post, I want to put what I think is my own spin on the classic Peking Duck recipe. Please forgive me because I am going to draw a little bit of technique and ingredient from the Japanese. At the end of the day He made us all as one world right?
Soy sauce these days makes it to some Bolognese recipes these days. That goes to show you how versatile/such a staple this Chinese seasoning has become. Soy sauce is a condiment made from a fermented paste of boiled soybeans, roasted grain, brine, and sojae molds. The light version is less salty and obviously not as dark as the dark version.
I did a whole post about sesame oil a while ago. It is one of my closely guarded secrets in the kitchen. The great nutty flavour adds a great flavour to most proteins and is awesome in an Asian style fried rice. Do no fuse this to cook though. Use it as a seasoning or something you add last to a dish because it burn too quickly and would give a burnt smell.
Is there a real need to still write about this? I mean I have used it in every single post in the Marinade series so you know its a must have. Again I prefer the big bulb variety.
Ginger and garlic are best friends especially in Chinese cooking. I prefer using a smaller ratio of ginger to garlic because I find it has a stronger flavour so you do not want it to overpower whatever you’re cooking.
Five Spice Powder
This is a combination of Star Anise, Cloves, Cinnamon, Sichuan Pepper, Fennel Seeds. That’s the usual mix some variations would have nutmeg, black pepper or even turmeric. If you can find just buy the spices and make yourself with a spice grinder or small attachment of your blender
This Asian vinegar is made from fermented rice. This is in between sweet and that sharp vinegar taste that’s perfect.
This add a caramel sweetness without the intensity of actual sugar.
So, let’s talk about what I made with this mix.
Crispy Chicken Asian Pancakes
This recipe draws from China and Japan. The Japanese influence being the use of Panko breadcrumbs. Panko breadcrumbs are not so popular here in Nigeria. To be honest it’s something you have to source from the “overseas”, however, you can use some big sized breadcrumbs made form a baguette bread. I say baguette because when it gets stale it hardens up really well and is a good texture when fried!
Again here there no real recipe just follow my guidelines. You also can ignore my pancake recipe and use yours just reduce/omit the sugar, vanilla flavouring and whatever flavouring you use.
4 tablespoons dark soy sauce
3 tablespoons sesame oil
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoon garlic ginger paste
As much chilli sauce or pepper as you like (I used Siracha Sauce)
1 tablespoon Five Spice Powder
4 Chicken breasts
1/2 Cup Flour
3/4 cup water
Bok Choi or Chinese Cabbage
1/2 cup flour
Mix the marinade ingredients together and cut the chicken into strips and place in the marinade and leave to marry for at least one hour. In a non stick pan put a touch of oil and get the pan pretty hot. Ladle a spoon of the pancake mix and swirl around to get a thin crepe. Do so till the mix is finished. Prep your filling ingredients by slicing them into match sticks strips a.k.a Julienne. Set aside in the fridge preferably.
In a wok or large pot place enough oil to deep fry the chicken strips.
Drain off the excess moisture of the chicken and coat in flour, then eggs then coat in the lank breadcrumbs. Do this in small batches as you would get a very clumpy dough if you try to do the whole thing all at once.
Make sure the oil is hot. You can test by dropping a pinch of flour in the oil if it sizzles it’s ready. Drop the coated strips into the hot oil frying a few at at time so you do not overcrowd the pan and lower the temperature. You want the chicken to fry and come out dry not soaked in oil. Remember you’re using breast so it would not take long to get done so fry for about 3 minutes till it’s nicely browned on the outside.
So there you have it guys!
Hope to see you at Chef Fregz Special. It’s only 9 days away! It’s going down live at The GET Arena Oniru July 28th. Visit www.cheffregz.com for full menu and details. To win a Giddimint (@giddimint) Tee follow on Twitter (@chef_fregz) and Instagram (chef_fregz) and Facebook (Chef Fregz) The Omawonder is looking so good! and the Aboki too!! Look out on Jumia.com for a great deal too!
Take care and God bless your weekend!
Chef Fregz loves to cook! He is a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu Paris Culinary Arts School in France and hosts monthly “Chef Fregz Specials” where he whips up a yummy menu with a different theme each time then everyone enjoys a taste.He also caters special events and private dinners. To find out more visit www.cheffregz.com.Chef Fregz provides premium private catering services. For bookings and orders email [email protected] @Chef_Fregz on Instagram and Twitter. You can check out the Chef Fregz Page on Facebook as well.