Fresh Ginger Chicken

A mini cookbook project update, this one. I took a fairly straightforward recipe from The People’s Republic of China Cookbook by Nobuko Sakamoto, which I bought last week. There’s a definite perception that the majority of Chinese food served in the West is in authentic and I think that’s probably true to an extent. Deep Fried Pork Balls with a luminous orange sweet and sour sauce doesn’t really scream ‘centuries-old recipe’.

Anyway, I thought I’d try to bridge the gap and take something from this book that’s still pretty ‘Western’ in its style – this was basically just battered chicken with ginger. I confess that I don’t tend to use fresh ginger much, normally buying the minced stuff, which suits my purposes most of the time. Slivering the ginger (which was cheap! 14p for a whole big chunk!) has provided further justification for the obscenely expensive Japanese kitchen knife I bought myself before Christmas – it slipped through it like butter.

In the end, though, it wasn’t that successful. Even though I debliberately used less oil than instructed, it still ended up kind of swimming in grease and tasting of not that much. I’ll try it again, I think, because the concept is lovely, but I’ll just leave the cooking oil out of the sauce altogether. It seems totally unnecessary. And I’ll try to use more ginger to kick up the flavour a bit.

Or just add some monosodium glutamate. Seriously half the recipes in this book call for MSG. Maybe Chinese takeaway food is more authentic than we thought.

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