Sunday, 17 May 2009

Boiled beef in a fiery sauce (Shui Zhu Niu Rou)

It was Lou's hen night - which gave me the perfect opportunity for a cook up. Several hours of poring over the cookbooks - and then a quick whizz around the net and I'd settled on Boiled Beef in a Fiery Sauce. This recipe is from the FANTASTIC Sichuan cookery book by Fuchsia Dunlop. An awesome cookbook (and that praise even though it has a disappointing number of photos - call me shallow eh.)

The cast of ingredients is below. Probably the most important of these is the Sichuan Chili paste (Toban Dijan). Luckily I can get this from China Town....and it's used pretty frequently these days so I'll need to stock up soon.

A select of dried mushrooms re hydrating. I love the texture of these once fried. Texture is a major part of understanding and enjoying proper Chinese.

I bought silken Tofu by mistake. Didn't hold up to cutting - let alone frying - but still it was great.
This is the Chili Paste being fried for a few minutes. Awesome pungent flavours coming off this. It gives the oil it's red tinge, and adds heat to the whole dish.
Fried dried chillies and Sichuan peppercorns. This is little mixture was subsequently chopped up and added to the final dish. I am getting worryingly short of the Sichuan peppercorns I brought back from China. Need to find an authentic supplier in the UK.

The finished dish....Absolutely superb.

My broken up braised silken tofu with Chinese mushrooms (and a spare yellow pepper)!

A close up. The celery is really great. Note the deep red of the oils and the sprinkling of fried chili and sichuan peppercorns. A fantastic dish

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