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A Taste of Chinese Sauces: The recipes

by Jacqueline M. Newman

Sauces, Seasonings, and Spices

Fall Volume: 1997 Issue: 4(4) pages: 20 to 21

As promised, here are the recipes that go with Eva Koveos' previous articles titled: A Taste of Chinese Sauces. Look for Part I and Part II in previous issues (Volumes 4(2) and 4(3), respectively). Part III is in this issue. Enjoy them all.

The first recipe exemplifies the use of soy sauce, the next three are the soy and chili sauces, soy and plum sauce, and soy and fermented black beans. All the recipes are modified from a very golden oldie: The Encyclopedia of Chinese Cooking by Wonona and Irving Chang and Helene and Austin Kutscher. The book was first published by Crown Publishers in 1970.
Soy Sauce Duck
1 three pound duck
1/2 teaspoon five-spice powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 scallions
4 slices ginger
1/4 cup thin soy sauce
2 Tablespoons dry sherry
1. Place the duck in a Dutch oven and add enough water to cover it halfway. Cover the pan and simmer for one hour on top of the stove.
2. Drain the duck, setting aside four cups of the liquid for this recipe. Then chill the liquid half an hour and remove the fat that rises to the top.
3. Wash the Dutch oven and place the liquid in it.
4. Mix the five-spice powder and the salt and rub this mixture over the duck; then put the scallions and ginger into its cavity, and lower the duck into the liquid.
5. Put soy sauce and sherry into the Dutch oven and cook for thirty minutes or until the duck is tender.
5. Cut the duck into pieces and serve hot or cold. If serving hot, you can thicken the sauce by mixing one to three tablespopons of cornstarch with two tablespoons of cold water and bring this to the boil stirring until thickened and clear.
Fish with Spicy Bean Sauce
1 and a half pound sea bass or porgy
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 to 1 Tablespoon spicy chuili bean sauce
3 slices ginger, shredded
1 scallion
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1. Slit the fish diagonally, about one to one and a half inches apart, then rub it with salt inside and out.
2. Place the fish on aluminum foil in pan for broiling, and pour the oil over the fish. Then cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil.
3. Cut the scallion into one- to two-inch pieces.
4. Mix both sauces with the ginger, scallion, and cornstarch and stir in one-quarter cup water and set aside. If you want a spicy dish, add the extra chili sauce here.
5. Broil the fish about twenty-five minutes, turn it over, and broil twenty minutes more. Remove the foil immediately.
6. Place the sauce mixture in a pot and cook until thickened, then pour it over the fish and serve.
Chicken in Plum Sauce
3 Tablespoons peanut oil
1 Tablespoon chopped scallion
1 teaspoon chopped ginger
2 chicken legs or 1 chicken breast, boned and cut into bite-sized pieces
1 and 1/2 Tablespoons plum sauce
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 cup sliced carrot
1 cup sliced celery
1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt
1. Heat oil then add scallion and ginger and stir0-fry one to two minutes.
2. Add the chicken pieces and brown on all sides.
3. Add both sdauces and mix well, then simmer fifteen minutes.
4. Add carrots, celery, and the salt and turn the heat higher, stir everything well, then lower the heat and simmer everything for another five to ten minutes, then serve.
Chicken with Bitter Melon
3 bittermelons
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
2 Tablespoons dry sherry
1 Tablespoon sesame oil
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 whole boneless chicken breast, cut into thin strips
2 Tablespoons corn oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 slices ginger root, minced
2 Tablespoons black beans, rinsed and mashed
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon sugar
1. Cut bitter melon in half the long way, remove the seeds. Then thinly slice, and blanch for two minutes.
2. Mix soy sauce, sherry, sesame oil, cornstarch, and sugar and then stir in the cut-up chicken.
3. Heat oil and fry the garlic and ginger for thirty seconds, next add the bitter melon slices and stir-fry for two minutes.
4. Add chicken and stir-fry for two more minutes or until the chicken just loses its pink color.
5. Mix cornstarch with an equal amount of cold water and add the sugar. Stir well and add to the chicken mixture. Stir-fry until the sauce clears and evenly coats all the ingredients. Then serve.

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