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Best Recipes of Zen, The

by: Patrick Leong

Hong Kong China: Seashore Publishing Company 2005, Paperback
ISBN: 988-202-263-4

Reviewed by: Jacqueline M. Newman
Spring Volume: 2007 Issue: 14(1) page(s): 18 and 19

Started in Hong Kong some sixteen years ago, this restaurant owner and author invited executive chefs from Chinese hotels to join him and develop a fine Chinese eatery with upscale western-style service; one that provides fine Chinese food. Their success spawned additional related Cantonese eateries in Shanghai, Beijing, and beyond.

Chef Leong shares the restaurant's signature dishes such as Steamed Egg White with Diced Prawns and Scallops, Spareribs with Honey Sauce & Black Pepper, and Deep Fried Boneless Chicken Wings Stuffed with Glutinous Rice. They are among the fifty-six bi-lingual recipes in Appetizer, Main Course, Nourishing Soup, Delicate Dim Sum, and Sweet Dessert sections.

Every recipe is accompanied by a full-page color photograph, and at least one cooking tip. A few use special ingredients such as lycee vinegar, Shaoxing wine, deep-fry powder, Jinhua ham, Chinese marrow, and pork pancreas. Take the book or a photocopy of any needed pages when you ask for these items at a Chinese market. That, or be creative and substitute all purpose flour, Smithfield ham, zucchini, and an organ meat, respectively, for these items. The recipe below is a fine example of why the restaurant succeeded and spawned others. Other recipes are equally as good!
Deep-fried Bonelss Rice-stuffed Chicken Wings
10 large chicken wings
1/2 cup glutinous rice
4 teaspoons vegetable oil
5 Tablespoons minced ginger
4 large black mushrooms, soaked for twenty minutes, stems removed, then mince them
4 shallots, peeled and minced
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
3 Tablespoons shrimp, peeled and minced
5 Tablespoons Jinhua ham, minced
1 teaspoon chicken bouillon powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons oyster sauce
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1/2 cup maltose
1/2 cup Chinese red vinegar
2 cups vegetable oil
1. Separate one bone and two bone wing sections and remove all their bones.
2. Steam rice for half an hour, then rinse once and allow to cool.
3. Heat the vegetable oil and stir-fry the ginger, mushrooms, shallots, garlic, shrimp, and ham for two minutes.
4. Mix chicken bouillon powder, salt, sugar, oyster sauce, and soy sauce and add to the above mixture. Stir well, then add the steamed rice and mix this very. Then allow to cool.
5. Heat maltose and vinegar until the mixture thins and mixes well, then allow it to cool before stuffing the wings with the rice mixture. Brush them with the cooled maltose solution and put them on a plate allowing them to air dry for one hour.
6. Heat the two cups of oil and fry the wings until brown and crispy, then drain and serve plain or with any dipping sauce.

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