Chinese style Hoi Sin Chicken: Recipe

Posted by Charlie @ Discovering Mandarin Thursday, 6 August 2009 0 comments

Chinese style Hoi Sin Chicken
Serves 2

Prep time: 15mins
Cooking Time: 15mins

You Will Need:
300g chicken
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 tbsp soy sauce
6 tbsp hoi sin sauce
Salt and pepper
4 medium garlic cloves, smashed
150g green beans, cut into 1-inch lengths
1 Bell Pepper
Thinly sliced spring onions
Toasted sesame seeds, for garnish, optional
2 Nests Medium Egg Noodles

To Cook:

1. Cut up chicken into bite-sized chunks. Marinade the chicken in ½ tbsp Hoisin sauce, 1tbsp soy sauce with salt and pepper. Leave in fridge for 20mins.

2. Prepare garlic, green beans, pepper and spring onions, cutting them however you like them. Boil the kettle ready for the noodles to cook in.

3. Heat the oil in the pan, until oil is hot. Fry chicken for about 5mins, then leave to the side, and leave the wok on the heat. Now quickly drop noodles into boiling water.

4. Add garlic, beans and pepper now until the garlic turns brown.

5. Add back the chicken, rest of the hoi sin sauce and the spring onions. Stir fry for a minute and take out the noodles. Add soy sauce to the noodles before serving immediately.

As I Serve it...

Kung Po Chicken: Recipe

Posted by Charlie @ Discovering Mandarin 0 comments

Kung Po Chicken
Serves 4 hungry men

Kung Po Chicken is a favourite of mine at local Chinese Restaurants, So I thought I would give cooking it a go.

This recipe tastes fantastic, and depending on your prefereneces you could make more sauce to make it more like the restaurant version than it's Chinese counterpart.

Prep time: 30mins
Cooking Time:

You Will Need:

4 Chicken Breasts (500g)

4 Tbsp Cornflour
2 spring onions

1 red pepper

1 Tomato

2 red chillies

4 garlic cloves

3 slices of ginger

Handful of Cashew nuts

For Marinade:

2 Tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar

2 Tbsp Light Soy Sauce

½ Tbsp Sesame oil
Pinch of black pepper

For Kung Po Sauce:

4 Tbsp Soy Sauce
4 Tbsp Rice vinegar

2 Tbsp Brown sugar

1 Tbsp Plum Sauce

1 tbsp Hoisin sauce

1. Prepare the marinade for the Chicken; Mix the soy sauce, rice vinegar and sesame oil with a pinch of black pepper. It does not look like much but will cover the chicken. Cut the chicken into large bite-sized pieces and place in the marinade.

2. Leave the chicken in the fridge to marinate for 25 minutes whilst preparing vegetables, garlic, ginger and chillies.

Now is a good time to wash off the excess starch from the rice. This will prevent it from making a sticky mess. Put the rice in a deep bowl, and in your sink, run cold tap water over it. Once the bowl is full of water, use your fingers to swish the rice around. The water will start getting murky. Now gently pour this water out. Repeat this process till the water is mostly clear. This will take at least 4-5 washes. Now fill it up one last time. Don't wash the rice again. Just leave it in there, covered with water, for about 20 minutes or so, so you can put the rice in to start cooking as you start to fry the chicken.

Combine chicken and cornstarch in the marinade bowl and toss to coat. Heat sesame oil in wok over medium heat.

Add the rice now to a pan (for steamed rice, make sure it is a flat based pan and you have a tight lid) of boiling water, one and a half times the quantity of the dry rice. (1 cup rice, 1 and a half water.) Resist the urge to lift the lid and peek at the rice. Let it cook for 15 minutes on a low setting, and when ready leave to stand for 5 minutes with the lid on before serving. This should be enough time to complete the rest of the meal.

Add chicken to the wok and stir-fry 5-7 minutes or until no longer pink inside. Remove chicken from wok and leave in a bowl ready for later.

Add green onions, garlic, tomato, red pepper, garlic and sliced ginger to the wok and stir fry for 45 seconds.

8. Combine vinegar, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, plum sauce and brown sugar in a small bowl. Mix well and add your Kung Po sauce to the wok.

9. Return chicken to the wok and coat with sauce. Stir in roasted peanuts. Heat thoroughly. Serve.

Serving suggestion:

Serve with Steamed Rice in a bowl, or let everyone share from the middle of the table.

Serve with additional spring onions on top.

As I Serve it:

Enjoy your Kung Po Chicken and Rice.

Recipe Adapted from: BlogChef

Daily Chinese Proverb: Perfect

Posted by Charlie @ Discovering Mandarin 0 comments

This idiom “jinshan jinmei” means that something is perfect and immaculate

jìnshàn jìnměi / jin4 shan4 jin4 mei3

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New Phrases: Colour

Posted by Charlie @ Discovering Mandarin 7 comments

Colours in Mandarin

Having had to experiment and explore Chinese grammar today, with the help of a couple of my friends on twitter, I learnt the way to incorperate colours into sentences. First of all though lets go through a couple of the basic colours. Each colour ends with 色 sè

白色 (báisè) White
黑色 (hēisè) Black

红色 (hóngsè) Red
黄色 (huángsè) Yellow
蓝色 (lánsè) Blue

绿色 (lǜsè) Green
紫色 (zǐsè) Purple
橙色 (chéngsè) Orange

Colours are descriptive of an object and when used as a description you put the suffix 的 de following the colour. This makes it clear that you are talking about the preceeding object being that colour. If you are just saying that something generic is a colour you need not place 的 (de) at the end of the colour. But if it is in reference to something specific then 的 de is required.

zhèxiē huā shì zǐsè de
These flowers are purple.

zhèxiē lánsè niǎo dàn hěn xiǎo
These blue eggs are quite small

zhè zhī xióngmāo shì hēisè hé báisè de
This panda is black and white.

Zhōnghuá Rénmín Gònghéguó guóqí shì hóngsè hé huángsè de.
The Chinese* Flag is red and yellow.

Hopefully this gives you a starting grasp of colours and how they are used within Mandarin sentences. I have only just learnt this today, and am glad to share it with you.


* 中华人民共和国 (Zhōnghuá Rénmín Gònghéguó) actually means The People's Republic of China.

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