This Sunday however I was fully prepared to cook up some sort of pan-asian probably not very traditional Chinese feast. I never really had much Chinese food as a child or even as a teenager, it not being a particular favourite of my parents and take aways being a very, very infrequent occurrence so making up sharing platters of all this sticky, spicy flavoursome food seems very fitting to a celebration in my mind.
After spending the weekend boozing, I was craving all the best and filthiest dishes from a Chinese takeaway, the greasy, smeary sauce covered snacks, side dishes and crispy dippy deep fried bits. After looking through one of the cook books I turn to regularly Bill's Everyday Asian, which is a really useful (and pretty) collection of recipes that are easy enough to throw together given you've got a couple of asian staples in your cupboards, and having a look what was in the freezer (duck legs, prawns) the menu was prawn and ginger wontons, sticky & spicy chicken wings, and a cobbled together cheat's peking duck and pancakes.
Folding up wontons is a bit like origami but edible, so therefore much better. They look super impressive, and very pretty when all lined up ready to fry but after watching an information YouTube tutorial they were no trouble, which is a good job because the other half certainly didn't seem keen to lend a hand. Aside from a few pleats and folds, the rest of the meal wasn't a great deal of work, just some things in the oven and the occasional sauce here and there, then suddenly a whole lot more food than I'd imagined.
After nailing 24 wontons, most of the chicken wings got left for when I got in ravenous the next day. Sadly, they were far too messy to eat at work.
Prawn, Ginger and Coriander Wontons
Adapted from Bill's Everyday Asian
Makes around 24
1 packet of wonton wrappers
150g raw prawns
3 spring onions
large handful of coriander
2 pak choi leaves
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1. Finely chop the prawns, coriander, ginger, spring onions and pak choi and combine with the oyster sauce.
2. Take a wonton wrapper and place on a flat surface, add a small amount (less than a teaspoon full) of the prawn mixture to the centre of the wrapper. Wet the edges and fold over into a triangle, seal well, then fold the bottom side of the triangle over, and bring the edges together in front. This video explains it a lot better.
3. Shallow fry the wonton parcels in a couple of cm of light oil for around 4 minutes or until they are crispy and golden. You can also steam or boil them if you've feeling healthier.
Soy & Sesame dipping sauce
4 tbsp soy sauce
4 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp sesame oil
1 red chilli, finely sliced
1 spring onion, finely sliced
1. Add the ingredients to a dish and serve with the prawn wontons.
(Very) Sticky & Spicy Chicken Wings
1kg chicken wings
4 tbsp light soy sauce
4 tbsp mirin
2 tbsp rice vinegar
2 birds eye chillies
1 clove garlic
1. Heat the oven to around 180-200ºc, place the chicken wings on trays and lightly coat with salt. Cook for around 35 minutes until they start to brown.
2. In a frying pan, heat a small amount of oil and add the finely diced garlic and chilli. Fry until golden, then add the remaining ingredients and stir until the sugar has disolved and the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
3. After 35-40 minutes take out the chicken wings and coat well with 3/4 of the marinade and return to the oven for 10 minutes.
4. Take the chicken wings out and baste with the remaining marinade and cook for a further 5 minutes so they are really sticky.
(Don't leave the baking trays/spoons for a few days until you clean them because the sugary marinade will be rock hard and you'll be throwing them in the bin)
|Cheat's Peking Duck|
Cheat's Peking Duck
2 Duck legs
2 star anise
2 tsp chinese five spice
1 cm ginger, finely diced
1. Preheat your oven to 180ºc, make sure the skin of the duck legs is completely dry and rub the duck legs all over with five spice, ginger, plenty of salt and push a star anise under the skin.
2. Put in the oven and leave for around 45 minutes. Turn the oven up to 220ºc and cook for a further 15 minutes to make sure the skin is properly crispy.
3. Shred the meat off the bones, and serve with chinese pancakes, hosin sauce, sliced cucumber and spring onions.