I absolutely love this dish! – This is good old fashioned Chinese home-style cooking at it’s very best! – Goes very well with the sweet potatoes! You may also do same with a whole piece or pieces of brisket – Oyster sauce is a must for this dish and it’s by far superior to soya and will act in darkening this dish! – Enjoy!
1 kg beef shin (or brisket)
15 ml oil
15 ml butter
38 g (9-11 ) garlic cloves
38 g ginger (an equal amount to garlic)
2.5 onions, medium (roughly chopped)
540 ml water or enough to just almost cover meat
15 ml red wine (I use dry) or Chinese cooking wine or 1 capful brandy or whisky
2.5 ml Chinese 5 spice powder (See recipe below) I add a lot more to taste!
5 ml sugar or plum sauce or sweet chili sauce to taste I use about 30 ml plum sauce
3 ml cracked black pepper (include this in your 5 spice powder below)
30 ml oyster sauce or more (I use about 60 ml) added to taste
Soya Sauce to taste (I replaced with oyster above and bit of salt to taste) I don’t like soya
Peeled and sliced or chopped white radish and carrots -I used 300 g peeled, sliced
carrots – cant get any white radish (chinese daikon)
200 g peas, frozen
300 g rice
1.3 kg sweet potato
Add a little of the oil and or butter to a large saucepan off the heat.
Very roughly chop the onions, ginger, garlic in a food processor with metal blade on
and reaches almost a paste consistency. Add to saucepan and swish out food
processor with the 54o ml water, adding it to saucepan. Add the beef shin to pan.
Cover and simmer gently until beginning to soften.
Wet a microsafe teacup and add in your whole peppercorns and fennel and cloves.
Cook on high at burst of 24 seconds, just until spices begin to release their aroma. Do
not scorch! Remove and add to coffee grinder together with broken sticks of
cinnamon and star anise and grind to a powder. Remove and add to saucepan
together with carrots, wine, brandy or whisky.
Continue to simmer until meat is really tender and falling off the bone.
Microwave rice in 1 part rice to 2 parts water, covered in microwave steamer, for 20
minutes on high. Remove, set aside.
Steam sweet potatoes whole covered in microwave plus or minus 25 minutes on
high until tender. Remove and slice into rings, removing the skins around the slices
as you cut them.
To serve: Place steamed rice onto plate, together with some sweet potatoes and a
generous serving of beef.
Homemade Five-Spice Powder
1 tablespoon cinnamon powder
1 tablespoon clove powder (grind fresh cloves
1 tablespoon fennel seed powder
1 tablespoon Szechwan peppercorn powder (I just use black peppercorns)
1 tablespoon star anise, ground
Optional. Some commercial blends can’t count and add black pepper, ginger,
nutmeg, and licorice. I usually add 1 teaspoon each of ginger and nutmeg.
In a small bowl, combine 1 teaspoons ground cinnamon; 1 tsp aniseed, crushed; 1/4
Sichuan Peppercorns were banned in the U.S. from 1968 to 2005 as a possible carrier of citrus canker but real enforcement didn’t start until 2002 – then supplies started to dry up. They are now legally available again and in good supply. Current regulations require heating the peppercorns to 160°F/70°C after which they will be somewhat less red in color. There has been debate about how much this affects the flavor, but Sichuan recipes generally call for them to be toasted before use anyway, so this debate seems irrelevant.
The empty fruit shells are much used in Sichuan China and in the Himalayan region (Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan). In Japan the leaves (kinomie) are also used as a flavoring for soups and vegetables. The leaves are said to have a flavor somewhere between lime and mint. In general the fruits are dry roasted and then ground before adding to the recipe, usually near the end of cooking.
Subst: There is no real substitute, but if you can’t get them use this formula: Grind together 1/2 t black peppercorns and 2 t coriander seeds. Add grated zest of 2/3 lemon (yellow only). This will fill in for about an equal measure of whole sichuan peppercorns. While it lacks the important numbing effect it will fill in for the flavor.
Varieties of this seasoning: China: Shanjiao, Jaio, Fajiu (Canton) (Z. piperitum), used mostly in Sichuan provence. Nepal: Timur (Z. alatum) is a species important to the cooking of Nepal and Tibet. It’s flavor differs a bit from the Chinese in being less citrusy and more spicy but it’s pretty much unavailable in North America so use Chinese. Korea: Sancho (Z. schinifolium) is used in Korea. It is smaller than Chinese, green in color and has little pungency. Koreans also use Chopi (Z. sansho – see Japan). Japan: Sansh, Sansho (Z. sansho) is though by botanists to be the same as the Chinese Z. piperitum. India: Tirphal, Teppal, Tilfda, Tippal, Tirphul (Z. rhetsa), is much larger than the others and green in color. It has much less of the tongue numbing effect than the Sichuan species. Indonesia: Andaliman (Z. acanthopodium) is smaller than the others and often sold as clusters. It is less pungent than the Chinese and very citrusy. Tibet: g.yer ma (Z. alatum) one of the few spices available in that region, used with yak meat and innards. U.S. Prickly ash (Z. americanum) has not been used as a seasoning but its anaesthetic properties have been applied in toothache potions. U.S. Fagara (Z. piperitum) a market name for Sichuan peppercorns, apparently a corruption of the Cantonese Fajiu (most Chinese immigrants in the 19th to the mid 20th centuries were from the Canton region).
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