DonQui is no great expert when it comes to Chinese food. His experience of western “Chinese” restaurants has always left him feeling that he has yet to sample the full delights of one of the world’s great cuisines.
Of late he has been experimenting, trying for himself to discover and understand some of the basics of Chinese cooking. Thanks to the excellent book, Every Grain of Rice by Fuchsia Dunlop and some Chinese ingredients provided by one of his well travelled colts, DonQui is beginning to get somewhere and has started to create his own Chinese-style dishes and sauces.
The following recipe for ginger sauce goes exceptionally well with broccoli which has been blanched for 2-3 minutes and then stir-fried with ginger and chilli. If using Chinese or tender-stem broccoli the whole stem can be used (cutting off the thicker ends of the stalks). If using ordinary western broccoli (as above) then use only the florets cut small.
Ginger Sauce Ingredients
A good amount of fresh ginger root, pealed and finely chopped — about 2 tablespoons
½ – 1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes (depending on how hot you like your sauce)
A good splash of Shaoxing rice wine (about 1 tablespoon)
1 teaspoon Chinkiang rice vinegar
1 teaspoon light soy sauce
1-2 teaspoons palm and/or brown sugar (depending on how sweet you like your sauce)
100 ml low salt chicken stock (Chicken stock made from standard stock cubes is far too salty for this sauce according to DonQui. If you do use them then do not add any soy sauce without first tasting)
1 teaspoon of potato flour or corn starch mixed with water for thickening
oil for cooking (DonQui uses a mix of coconut and light rapeseed or light olive oil)
salt to taste
DonQui gets his Shaoxing or Shaohsing rice wine and Chinkiang vinegar from China Town in London. If you cannot easily obtain them the best alternatives are dry sherry and balsamic vinegar respectively.
Ginger Sauce Method
Gently stir fry the ginger and chilli until they begin to smell fragrant then add the sugar until it begins to caramelise. Add the rice wine and vinegar, mixing well and reducing slightly
Then add the stock and soy sauce, bring to the boil and simmer gently until well blended and reduced by about 1/3. Taste for salt and add more soy or a pinch of salt to taste
Add the potato flour/corn starch mix and bring back up to the boil to thicken.
Set aside and warm up when ready to serve. The flavours deepen if the sauce is made well in advance. It is also makes an excellent dipping sauce (cold or warm) as an alternative to a sweet chilli sauce.