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Strange Flavor Chicken

See, I really do care what you guys think! You voted Strange Flavor Chicken as the dish I should learn to make first, and happily enough it's both an appetizer and not that complicated. I wish you were here to share it with me.





The curious name "strange-flavor" derives from a bizarre but deeply satisfying combination of salty, sweet, sour, nutty, hot and numbing flavors, says Fuchsia Dunlop, the author of my new cookbook. (Honestly, I'm gonna start a Fuchsia Dunlop fan club...)

The combination is all in the black sauce you see: sugar, salt, soy sauce, black vinegar, black sesame seed paste, chili oil, sesame oil, and Szechuan pepper (Tieyu's magic powder).

A little mound of cold scallion slivers, a little mound of cold poached chicken meat, a healthy drizzle of the thick, black sauce that strikes you as rich and nutty till the chili oil and peppers hit.



Oh my God, it was fabulous!

My sister stopped by and we ate the whole plateful. Enormously satisfying, incredibly flavorful. And, my vegetarian friends, you know what? I think this sauce might be just as nice with tofu.

Next up: hot and sour soup.

Comments

(Deleted comment)
emeraldsedai
Jul. 9th, 2007 02:50 pm (UTC)
Yup. Fuchsia Dunlop--the only Westerner ever to be admitted to the professional cooking school in Chendu, Szechuan Province.

She writes for the Times and the Guardian, I think, and tests her recipes in her London kitchen.

I bet she has sisters called Hydrangea and Honeysuckle.
(Deleted comment)
emeraldsedai
Jul. 9th, 2007 05:57 pm (UTC)
On my way in to work this morning, after writing that comment, I passed a whole garden full of crocosmia in bloom. Also known as Lucifer. Maybe there's a Dunlop brother...

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