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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Mother Sauce for Szechuan cooking [Non Halal as Chinese Wine is used]

                  Again I learnt this from a young Chef on 21.4.2001 who subsequently became a very close and good friend.  You may be wondering about the date, you see when it comes to dates and recording the comments of my family, I will, without fail, write them on the recipe itself to help me remember  when I learnt same, what my family loves to eat especially when it is food for the dinner table and whenever I twig them a little to suit our tummy cos it is very easy then for me to reproduce the dish which I twigged otherwise when I  do cook it again, I would most likely get the comment from my better half that, "It does not taste the same" as he is very astute and largely I record, date them whatever, is because of the training I had when I used to work in a law firm to record stuff!!
                 This Szechuan Sauce can be doubled or tripled & then stored in the fridge and the flavours will then develop more but bear in mind, Do Not keep them too long in the fridge as there are no perservatives. The recipes in my blog are things that I learnt over more than 2 decades and I am not a Chef by profession and the comments mentioned are my personal comments and observations during class.  Ophelia 

                                  Szechuan Sauce

           Ingredients for Mother Sauce

               3 Tabsp                   Light Soya Sauce
               2 Tabsp                   *Black Vinegar [Chit Choe]
               2 Tabsp                    Chinese Rice Wine
               1 Tabsp                    Oyster Sauce
               2 Tabsp                    Castor Sugar
               3 Tabsp                    Water

  1. Mix all the above ingredients together in a bowl. 
  2. Put in an air tight container; a jam bottle preferrably & store in the fridge.
  3. It would be best if you use it the next day to allow everything to infuse and for the flavour to develop.  Again this is what I usually do as I feel that it take better after a day or so.

            The Black Vinegar is the vinegar that accompanies Shark Fin soup.

            The following are cooked using the above Mother Sauce

            Stir fried Eggplant Szechuan Style

           200 gm                       Eggplant/Brinjals
             50 gm                       Minced Pork/Chicken
               3 pips                     Garlic
             40 ml                        Mother Sauce
             30 gm                       Spring Onion
               1 teasp                   Chinese Wine

                                             Oil for frying
                                             Corn flour solution for thickening [You adjust yourself]

  1. Skin off the Brinjals/Eggplant & cut into strips.  Set aside.
  2. Cut the spring onion into 1" lengths.  Set aside.
  3. Heat some oil in a wok & deep fry the brinjals till soft. Remove onto platter.
  4. Remove excess oil & leave just sufficient to fry the garlic & minced meat & stir fry for a few minutes.  Add in the pre cooked brinjals & mother sauce. Toss for 30 seconds.
  5. Thicken with corn starch solution then add in the spring onions, stir then dish out.

              Stir fry Turnip/Sengkuang


            200 gm                    Turnip/Sengkuang/Bangkuang
            100 gm                    Chicken meat
               50 gm                   Mother Sauce
                                           *Black Fungus [see below for weight]
                                           Corn starch solution for thickening


         Black Fungus - You need a net weight of 50 gm after they have been soaked approximately about 2 long pieces.  Sorry :( as it is very easy to just agak agak but then you wouldnt get the right proportion!!!  This was what we were taught and I am always someone who loves to make sure that, even in cooking, there should Always be consistency and shouldnt be a case of hit and run ie today good, tomorrow too sour etc.
  1. Cut the turnips with a knife into long stripes [as alot of water would ooze if you shred].
  2. Cut the chicken meat and black fungus into long strips.
  3. Heat some oil in a wok.  Stir fry the meat.  Then add in the turnips & black fungus.
  4. Add in the Mother Sauce. Check taste.
  5. Add corn starch solution; stir fry for 2 minutes to allow the corn flour solution to cook/boil. Serve immediately.

                      Dry fried French Beans


          300 gm                  French Beans
            80 gm                  minced Pork/Chicken
              3 pips                Garlic
             50 gm                  Mother Sauce
               *1 Tabsp          Dried Prawns

              Garnish with Spring Onions

  1. Soak the dried prawns.  Then chop finely.
  2. Heat up some oil in wok and deep fry French Beans till cooked.  Remove onto plate.
  3. Remove excess oil.  Then fry the dried prawns till aromatic, add garlic fry for a while then add in the minced meat and stir fry for 2 mins.
  4. Add in the pre fried beans & Mother Sauce.  Stir fry for a moment then thicken with corn flour solution, stir fry short while for corn flour to cook then throw in the sprin onions.

              Fried Cuttle Fish

              250 gm                Cuttle Fish [BROWN Sotong]
                50 gm                Shallot
                  3 pips               Garlic
                  5                       Dried Chillies
                 20 gm                 Spring Onion
                 50 gm                 *Cashew nuts, roasted
                 50 ml                   Mother Sauce
                1 1/2 teasp            Black Soya Sauce
                                             Corn flour solution [adjust to yr liking]

  1. Fry/Roast *cashew nuts in a wok without oil.
  2. Cut the dried chillies into two & soak in boiling water till soft. Remove.
  3. Cut the cuttle fish into bite sizes.  Set aside
  4. In a wok fry the dried chillies till crispy then add in the shallot & garlic & fry till aromatic.
  5. Add in the cuttle fish & Mother Sauce, stir fry for a while then add in the cashew nuts.
  6. Thicken with corn flour solution & cook for a while.  Add in the spring onions.  Dish out
                   Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia

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