Beggar’s Chicken

Annie’s been meaning to make Beggar’s Chicken for a while. Legend has it that a Chinese beggar stole a chicken and cooked it by wrapping it in clay and tossing it in a fire. The chicken, sealed in the clay, came out moist and tender.

She got this modernized recipe from “At Home with Amy Beh”: Marinate a whole chicken in some salt, pepper, sesame oil, and a little Chinese rice wine. Stir-fry some ginger, carrots and mushrooms and add a sauce made from soy sauce, sugar, cooking wine, salt, thick soy sauce, and sesame oil. Stuff into bird.

Wrap chicken in lotus leaves, aluminum foil, and finally a salt dough. Bake at 200*C for 1 hour, then reduce to 190*C and bake until the dough is dark brown.

Crack the dough and split open the package.

The chicken is very moist, tender, and flavorful. The aroma of the lotus leaves added to the dish. The downside to this is the hard work making the salt dough and wrapping the bird. It may be easier to do in a clay pot.

Aloha, Nate

Foccacia w/ Poached Garlic

After my last foray into breadmaking, I thought I’d take another stab at it so I started looking through “The Bread Bible” for an easy recipe. This one looked interesting. Foccacia, studded with garlic cloves that have been poached in olive oil.

First I separated and peeled one head of garlic, put them in a small saucepan and covered it with olive oil. I poached them over low heat for half an hour before removing them to cool.

The foccacia recipe is a very wet dough and I almost thought I ruined it because it was so gloppy. But with a little more patience (and the right attachment for the KitchenAid), the dough got to the right consistency. I let it rise for 4 hours before pouring it out onto a sheet pan that was greased with the garlic-infused oil. I stretched it out, then studded the garlic cloves into the dough.

It sat for another hour then went into the oven at 475*F for 13 minutes.

I’d say it came out all right for a first attempt. The poached garlic is great – almost sweet. I’ll have to do it again…this time with more garlic! :-p

Aloha, Nate

Chee Cheong Fun with Unagi

A lot of times when we go out to dim sum, we order the cheong fun – steamed rice noodles filled with either shrimp or char siu. It’s just one of those things we have to have, because you can’t normally find fresh steamed noodles in the Asian groceries. The ones that are sold in the Asian groceries tend to be cold and hard and not as nice to eat.

Recently we found out that King Eggroll on Story Rd near McLaughlin in San Jose sells fresh steamed cheong fun. We bought a couple packets home, and they were quite soft! Cut the rolls up into chunks, then tossed them in a sauce consisting of hoi sin, soy sauce, dark soy sauce, water, and sesame oil. Garnished with cilantro (didn’t have green onions) and sesame seeds.

We brought out a frozen unagi from the freezer and reheated it in the microwave to serve alongside the noodles.

Simple and tasty!

What would *you* do with noodles like these?

Aloha, Nate

Avocado Shake

“Avocado shake?” A lot of people look skeptical upon hearing those two words. It’s true that avocados are fruits but they don’t have a typical fruity sweetness to them like bananas or blueberries. No matter; that’s what sugar (or in this case, Splenda) is for :-)

The ingredients are simple: one avocado, a scoop of vanilla ice cream, some ice chips, and some milk to cover.

Put it in a tall cup, stick in the hand blender, and buzz until smooth. Sweeten with sugar / Splenda to taste.

I love the creaminess that the avocado brings, plus the fresh flavor. Try mixing in some other fruits or flavors if straight avocado is too much for you. Let me know what combinations you come up with!


About Us

My Photo Annie is mistress of the kitchen while Nate is the master of the grill and smoker. We cook the homestyle Asian and Hawaiian foods of our younger days while also exploring the wider worlds of Western foods.

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