Simple Chinese cooking, 314pp.
by Kylie Kwong
Penguin Group, Australia, 2006
Cooking on page 32
Kylie Kwong is a fifth generation Chinese–Australian and a popular chef across the country.
She’s passionate about sustainable food production and wants her work to reflect her Buddhism. She says, ‘Offering my customers healthy, life-giving, precious food is the best way for me to help them. Whether it’s my books, restaurant or TV show, I’ll always ask, Is this sustainable? Is this about uplifting and elevating the energy rather than depleting?’
I like Kylie’s books and approach. She writes well and her recipes are easy to follow. The entries in this book are especially easy-to-make, which isn’t surprising given the title.
Page 32 features a soup that routinely appears on menus in Chinese restaurants the world over.
Sweet corn and chicken soup
4 cobs sweet corn
1 small white onion
1 garlic clove
5 cm (2 in) knob ginger
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup shao hsing wine or dry sherry
7 cups Light Chinese Chicken Stock (page 21)*
200 g (6 1/2 oz) free-range chicken breast, cut widthways into 1 cm (1/2 in) slices
2 teaspoon light soy sauce
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon finely sliced spring onions (scallions)
Remove kernels from corn cobs by running a sharp knife down the sides of each cob—you should have about 3 cups of corn kernels. Peel and finely dice onion and garlic. Peel ginger and cut into thin slices and then into fine strips (julienne)—you should have about 2 tablespoons ginger julienne.
Heat oil in a medium-sized heavy-based pot and sauté onion, ginger, garlic and salt for 1 minute. Add wine or sherry and simmer for a further minute or until liquid has reduced by half. Stir in corn and stock and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer gently for 30 minutes. During the cooking time you may need to skim the surface of the soup occasionally to remove any impurities.
Stir through chicken and soy sauce and simmer for a further minute. Lower heat and slowly pour beaten egg into soup in a thin stream, stirring constantly with a fork. Remove soup from the stove as soon as you see the egg forming fine ‘ribbons’.
Serve soup in bowls and garnish with spring onions. Serves 4 as a starter.
How it played out
I made pretty much as written, using shao hsing wine and 300 grams of chicken thighs that needed to be used up.
Perfect in every way and so easy to make. Poor John and I polished this off for lunch. No need to order a restaurant version of this soup ever again.
* Here’s a quick rundown on the stock recipe mentioned above.
Put 2 kg (4 lb) free-range chicken carcasses, wings and bones; 6 litres (6 quarts) water; 16 spring onions (scallions), trimmed and cut in half crossways; 1 large red onion, roughly chopped; 10 slices ginger; 10 garlic cloves, crushed; in a large stock pot.
Bring to boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, skimming the surface as needed. Cook for 2 hours.
Remove from stove, discard chicken parts and strain stock through muslin. Store, covered, in the fridge for up to 3 days or in the freezer for 2–3 months.
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