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Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Jamie's Chinese Feast Part 1

Last week it was our turn to go to Jamie's for dinner. I had previously cooked my giant meat fest Jambalaya and Elisa had made a fabulous fish pie. We wandered down to Old Market to find Jamie's flat with dessert in hand, unknowingly some of the nicest Chinese food I've had in a long while, awaited us. Here are the delicious  crackers she made that awaited us.
Prawn Crackers with Sweet Chilli Dip
Jamie made us, coconut rice, three cups chicken, salt and pepper squid and char siu pork. Jamie has written up the four recipes in a blog post and I will be posting them in two blogs complete with photos. So without further ado here is Jamie.

Coconut rice (Nasi Lemak)
I have made this rice once for Abby to try and she totally loved it, so I decided to make it again to make her happy, HA! I would usually go for jasmine rice as it has a very subtle, fragrant taste and compliments different flavoured dishes better; we don't want to over complicate the taste buds too much.  So, I decided to make the coconut rice quite light, so it did not overpower the flavour of other dishes. 

This rice originates from Malaysia and it is called Nasi Lemak which means fatty rice in Malay. Why fatty? Coconut does produce quite a lot of fat while cooking, but fatty in this context simply means rich and creamy.Traditionally, this dish come as a platter of food wrapped in banana leaves, served with fried anchovies, roasted peanuts, hard-boiled egg, and hot spicy sauce (sambal). And believe it or not, we usually have it for breakfast. Chilli for breakfast definitely wakes you right up! It is a must-try if you ever go to Malaysia/Singapore. This recipe serves 4.

  • 2 normal sized mugs/cups of Thai jasmine rice (you can also use Basmati)
  • 1 300ml can of coconut milk (I use Chaokoh coconut milk from Thailand)
  • 1 1/2 cups of water
  • 1/2 tsp saffron (optional)
  • 3 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
  • 5 2inch slices of peeled ginger(pound before it goes into the rice)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Pandan leaves (if you can find them in a local Chinese supermarket
  1. Place rice in a non-stick pot and rinse with tap water until the water is clear, then drain the water
  2. Mix in the coconut milk, chopped garlic, Pandan leaves and saffron
  3. Pour the water and salt into the mixture and stir well
  4. Place lid on the pot and cook it on medium for 8 mins, then put it on a very low heat and cook it for another 12-15mins
  5. Stir the rice and remove ginger before serving
I use a rice cooker myself so it usually takes 30mins to steam the rice. Cooking using gas/fire is usually quicker 20-25mins. So please check your rice within the first 20mins. If it is soft and fluffy, turn gas off. Most of the ingredients used can be found in your local Chinese supermarket.

Three-cups-chicken (三杯鸡)
Three Cups Chicken
Three Cups Chicken
Three cups chicken is a classic Taiwanese dish, it is very similar to the Chicken in Ginger & Spring Onion you can get from the local Chinese takeaway in the UK. But instead of spring onion, Thai basil leaves are traditionally used. It brings an aromatic and flavoursome taste to the dish. This dish is very popular among the Chinese community as it is easy to cook and the ingredients are very common to many other Chinese dishes, so you can usually find these ingredients in a Chinese household. This dish goes perfectly with a bowl of warm, fragrance jasmine rice, just the perfect way to blend in the meat sauces. The 3-cups in this dish mean a 'Chinese tea cup' of Soy Sauce- Rice Wine- Sesame oil. The cup measurement in this recipe has been improvised; the cup measurement is a normal tea/coffee mug.


  • 600g of chicken breast/thighs (diced)
  • 4 slices of peeled ginger
  • 2 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
  • 1.5/4 a cup of Shaoxing wine or Chinese rice wine
  • 1/4 cup of light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of dark soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup of sesame oil 
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • A small bunch of Thai basil leaves
  • 1/2 tablespoon of corn flour (optional, if you like a thicker sauce)
  1. Heat the pan on medium heat and put in the sesame oil. When the pan is hot, put in the garlic and ginger and fry it until they are slightly brown.
  2. Now add the sugar to the pan, leave the sugar to brown for a minute then add your diced chicken. The sugar is used to caramalise the meat.
  3. Fry the chicken on a high heat for a few minutes, lower the heat then add light soy sauce, dark soy sauce and wine. Stir well.
  4. Now put the heat very low, put a lid on the pan and let it slow cook for 10 minutes. If the meat gets too dry, add some water.
  5. If  you prefer a thick sauce, use corn flour mix at this point. Put the corn flour in a cup and mix it well with 4 tablespoons of water. Pour into the pan with the chicken and increase the heat, stirring evenly for a minute.
  6. Finally put in the Thai basil leaves and let it cook with the chicken for 1 minute before dishing it up.
Salt and Pepper Squid
My plate of coconut rice, salt and pepper squid and chicken
This was truly delicious I am definitely going to make the chicken myself soon as it was too good. Tomorrow I shall post the second half of Jamie's feast  where she will divulge her recipe for salt and pepper squid and char siu pork. For any of your Asian cooking needs check out large supermarket Wai Yee Hong in Eastville or if you are more central based fairly newly open Wah Yan Hong on Denmark Street or Kin Yip Hon down by Dynasty.

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