2010 is the Chinese year of the Tiger with its association to bravery. It falls on February 14th and like our Jewish New Year, the Chinese have numerous customs and food symbolism that are very similar to ours.
Sometimes it is based on appearance. For example, serving a whole chicken during the Chinese New Year season symbolizes family togetherness. Noodles represent and Spring Rolls symbolize wealth their shape is similar to gold bars.
We may enjoy Chinese in restaurants or as a take-away – however few of us seem to rise to the challenge of cooking it at home. With this recipe I hope that I can dispel the myth that Chinese is difficult to cook – it really can be both simple and tasty.
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 6 people
Ingredients:6 chicken breasts
100ml white wine
½ cucumber – thinly sliced
12 spring onions – thinly sliced
12 rice pancakes – or 6 little gem lettuces
For the dressing
1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns – crushed or use 1 teaspoon Chinese five spice or ordinary whole black pepper corns as a last option!
6 tablespoons light soy sauce
6 tablespoons caster sugar
6 tablespoon dry Sherry
6 tablespoons tahini or sesame paste
6 teaspoons smooth peanut butter
Method1)Pre-heat the oven to 200C /400F/ Gas mark 6.
2)Put the chicken into a covered ovenware dish. Pour over the white wine and season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
3)Cook the chicken for 30 minutes. Remove from the dish and set aside to cool.
4)Toast the peppercorns in a dry frying pan. Crush with a pestle and mortar or coffee grinder. Mix in the remaining dressing ingredients and set aside.
5)Slice the cucumber and spring onions into long strips.
6)Shred the chicken into long thin strips.
7)Arrange the chicken, cucumber and spring onion on a serving plate.
8)Microwave the pancakes for 30 seconds - or arrange the lettuce leaves into little cups.
To serve the stylish way: Spread some sauce onto the pancakes and add some chicken, cucumber and spring onion. Roll up and eat. If you are using the lettuce leaves place the bang bang chicken inside the lettuce cups and pour over some sauce.