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updated 9/28/2005 2:22:51 AM ET 2005-09-28T06:22:51

Recipe: Whole Crispy Red Snapper with Black Bean-Garlic Sauce

Ingredients
  • Black Bean-Garlic Sauce
  • 3-4 pound Red Snapper or other pristine fresh fish, eviscerated, head-on
  • 1 cup black bean-garlic sauce (see recipe)
  • 2 quarts peanut oil or canola oil
  • 1 cup cornstarch or rice flour
  • Hot steamed long grain rice
  • 1 cup grapeseed oil or canola oil
  • 1/3 cup fermented black beans, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup peeled and minced fresh ginger
  • 2 bunches of scallions, white and green parts, sliced 1/8 inch thick
  • 1 tablespoon sambal oelek or hot red pepper sauce
  • 1/2 cup Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Preparation

In large deep pot, heat the peanut oil to the smoking point or 360 degrees f. Carefully lower the fish into the hot oil and fry for 12 minutes or until fork can pierce fish and be removed easily. Remove the fish and place on platter. Spoon hot black bean-garlic sauce over fish. Serve with rice.

Heat a wok or large sauté pan over high heat. Add 1/4 cup of the oil and swirl to coat the pan. Add the beans, garlic, ginger, and scallions, and stir-fry until the mixture has softened, 2 to 3 minutes.

Add the sambal oelek and wine, decrease the heat to medium, and cook until the mixture is reduced by three quarters, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the salt and pepper.

Remove the mixture from the heat and allow it to cool. Transfer half of the mixture to a blender and purée it at high speed while adding the remaining 3/4 cup of oil. Stir the purée back into the remaining mixture and cool completely. Use or store.

Tips

Beverage tip: Ravenswood Zinfandel Sonoma County, California.

Lasts 2 weeks, refrigerated

Serving Size

Makes about 3 cups

Recipe: Nian Gao with Sauteed Oranges

Ingredients
  • 4 small Nian Gao, purchased
  • 2 cups Orange segments
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, minced
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 cup Grand Marnier
Preparation

Melt butter in a non-stick saucepan over medium-high heat. Add ginger and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Peel and dice orange segments and carefully sauté until warm. Carefully add Grand Marnier and flambé.

Remove the nian gao from the steamer and ladle the oranges and syrup over the cakes and serve.

Serving Size

Serves 4

Recipe: Sweet and Spicy Beef Noodles

Ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 3 Thai bird chiles, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon fermented black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 red onion, finely diced
  • 2/3 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1 pound ground beef (not too lean)
  • 1/2 cup shaoxing rice wine (may substitute ½ cup sherry)
  • 2 cups chicken stock or low-sodium canned chicken broth
  • 1 pound fresh or dried shanghai noodles or other egg noodles
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and julienned
  • 2 carrots, peeled and julienned
  • 2 cups mung bean sprouts
Preparation

Heat a large saucepan over high heat. When the oil shimmers, add the chiles, garlic, ginger, beans, and onion and sauté, stirring, until the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the hoisin sauce and cook, stirring, to remove any raw taste, about 2 minutes. Add the beef and cook, stirring, until it browns, about 6 minutes, and then add the wine and stock.

Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the mixture has a sauce-like consistency, stirring occasionally, about 45 minutes. Correct the seasonings.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the noodles and cook until al dente, about 5 minutes for fresh, 10-15 minutes for dried. Drain well and divide among 4 bowls. Ladle sauce over noodles, top with the cucumber, carrots, and sprouts, and serve.

Serving Size

Serves 4
Beverage tip: Cabernet Franc (Chinon, Bourgueil)

Recipe: Red Roast Duck with Braised Bok Choy and Lotus

Ingredients
  • 1 bottle dry red wine
  • 2 cups Shaoxing wine, or 1 cut dry sherry
  • 1 cut dark soy sauce
  • 3 cups soy sauce
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 large duck, about 6 pounds
  • 2 boxes (about 3 pounds) rock sugar, or 2 cups dark brown sugar
  • 1 5-inch piece fresh ginger, cut into ¼-inch slices
  • 1 whole head garlic, unpeeled and halved horizontally
  • 2 bunches scallions, white parts sliced into 2-inch lengths, green parts sliced 1/8 inch thick
  • 2 star anise
  • 4 Thai bird chiles
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 lotus, peeled and cut into ½-inch slices
  • 8 baby bok choy, halved and cored
Preparation

In a large, deep pot combine the wines, soy sauces, and water. Bring to a boil over high heat and add the duck. If the liquid doesn't cover the duck, add more water. Bring to a boil again, then reduce the heat and simmer, skimming the liquid until no more scum forms, about 30 minutes.

Add the rock sugar, ginger, garlic, long scallion pieces, star anise, chiles, and cinnamon sticks. Stir to dissolve the sugar and taste the liquid for sweetness. It should be pleasantly sweet; if not sweet enough, add more sugar. Place a second pot or stainless steel bowl half-filled with water into the first to keep the duck submerged (see Tips) and simmer until the duck is very tender and almost falling from the bones 2 ½ to 3 hours. Do not overcook or the meat will come apart. One hour into cooking, add the lotus. During the last 10 minutes of cooking, add the bok choy.

Using a large-mesh spoon, carefully remove the duck and bok choy to a platter and cover with foil to keep warm. Strain and skim the stock, return it to the pot, and reduce it over high heat until lightly syrupy, about 20 minutes.

Transfer the duck to a serving platter and surround it with the bok choy and lotus. Glaze the duck with the sauce, garnish it with the scallion greens, and serve.

Tips

Beverage tip:  spicy, dried-cherry shiraz/syrah ustralian (brokenwhood hermitage).

Serving Size

Serves 4

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