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Delicious Home-made Dishes

by: Irene Wong

Hong Kong China: Hai Bin Book Company 2005, Hardbound
ISBN: 988-202-257-X

Reviewed by: Jacqueline M. Newman
Winter Volume: 2006 Issue: 13(4) page(s): 25

The author is a cookery instructor-author who teaches at the Town/Gas Cookery Centre in Hong Kong. In this book, she says the recipes are "mouth-watering new-style delicious dishes." Before them, eight ingredients are photographed in color and discussed in detail. Some are commonplace, not so is Mirin, a Japanese sweet wine. Another is ostrich fillet and she she purchases it frozen, and touts it as low-fat and low-cholesterol. We found the pork sinew not easy to get, nor could we locate fresh zhen zhu, even though it is popular Chaozhou herbal leaf with red stems.

The book, in Chinese and English, has a full-page color photograph of every one of the forty-four recipes, and a tip of value when preparing each of them. They are in poultry, meat, casserole, egg and bean curd, and vegetable sections. The Stir Fried Eel is mixed with bean sprouts, the Steamed Shrimp and Twisted Deep Fried Dough made in an earthenware bowl, the Fried Lotus Root Patties perfect sandwiches filled with mushrooms, pork, and shrimp, etc. Those we made were worth eating, and doing so often.

The one below is a delight and we plan to try it with a small chicken. She says pu-er or oolong tea works well and we will try them and other teas. Generally, we like dishes smoked over black tea leaves, but this one over green Long Jing was subtle and super.
Pigeon with Tea Leaves
1 one-pound pigeon
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
2 slices fresh ginger, peeled
1/2 a scallion, slivered
5 Tablespoons thin soy sauce
5 Tablespoons dark soy sauce
5 Tablespoons sugar
1 cup chicken broth
1 Tablespoon Chinese rice wine
4 Tablespoons Long Jing tea leaves
3 Tablespoons dried chrysanthemums
1. Bring large pot of water to the boil, immerse pigeon for one minute, remove and drain.
2. Heat wok, add oil and stir-fry ginger and scallions for half a minute, add both thin and dark soy sauces, sugar, stock, and one-quarter cup of water.
3. Bring to the boil, add the pigeon, cover, and reduce the heat. Simmer for twelve minutes, turn pigeon over and re-cover, and simmer another twelve minutes. Remove pigeon and set aside. Reserve the liquid, ten clean and dry the wok.
4. Line wok with aluminum foil, and add tea leaves, chrysanthemums, brown sugar, and a quarter-cup water. Let these ingredients sit for five minutes, then put rack in wok and set the pigeon on it. Heat until it starts to smoke then cover the wok tightly, and let pigeon smoke for five minutes. Turn off the heat and allow to cool.
5. Remove the pigeon, chop it into two-inch pieces, and put them on a platter. Reheat sauce and serve in a pitcher on the side.

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