Saturday, 25 January 2014

{CNY: chicken & jellyfish in hermie}

Chinese New Year is one of those celebrations that is always celebrated in my household. We may not be the most 'Chinese' of families however, I like to think that we keep a couple of the most important traditions to the celebration; the reunion dinner (a feast!) and the giving of 'hong pau' or 'red envelopes'. The reunion dinner is celebrated on the eve of Chinese New Year and we either go to a chinese restaurant or someone's house. With our families ever growing and little ones about, in recent years we have done less of the restaurant and more 'pot luck' where everyone brings 1 (or 2) traditional dishes. This year being the first year that I've got Hermie (or the Thermomix) I'm interested in seeing what I can cook in it to make this time of year easier.

The first dish that I'm trying is a Chicken and Jellyfish dish. Jellyfish you say? It sounds weird to non-Chinese people but in fact, it does not taste like much but instead provides texture to this dish. It can be found in Asian Grocers as is (usually near the green vegetables) or pre-prepared in packets sometimes with assorted flavourings. I buy the 'as is' variety as often the pre-prepared packets have MSG which I stay clear of.

When you have a look at this recipe, there's a bit of cooking and lots of mixing. However, I have found that using Hermie makes a big difference. You see, the most tedious part of this dish is the cooking and shredding of the chicken. I'm impatient and always want to shred the chicken apart as soon as it leaves the hot water and end up burning my hands. However, with Hermie, once the chicken is poached, you can literally shred the chicken in a few seconds. Time Saved! I hope you enjoy this and let me know if you try it.

1 good size handful of bunch coriander
1 chicken breast (about 350 grams)
330-350 gram uncooked jellyfish
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2/3 tablepoon sesame oil (preferably Ghee Hiang brand)
1/2 tablespoon Sriracha chilli sauce (or to taste)
2 tablespoons tomato sauce

1. Rinse off salt from jellyfish and soak in cold water for 2 hours. Change the water about every 30mins to reduce the amount of saltiness.
2. Meanwhile, place coriander into TM bowl and chop 2-3secs/ speed 6. Set aside in a bowl to be used for serving.
3. Place 1000 grams of water and chicken into TM bowl. Poach for 14mins/ 100C/ speed1/ reverse.
4. While the chicken is cooking, boil a kettle full of water. When done, empty the water soaking the jellyfish and give the jellyfish a final rinse. Place back in bowl and pour over hot boiled water. Once it 'shrivels' up (about 1-2minutes), drain from the water and slice thinly. Place into the serving bowl with the coriander.

Jellyfish soaking
After hot water
sliced thinly
5. When chicken has finished, drain off the water and shred 3secs/ speed 4/ reverse. We want a rough, coarse shred, one that is not too fine so be careful as 1 second can make a big difference.
6. Place chicken into serving bowl with the rest of the sauces and mix through. Put in the fridge until cool and serve as part of a banquet style meal.

Tips: This is best made the night before or morning of the dinner as the flavours develop further and should be served cold.

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