Red lanterns hanging aloft; a trail guiding Chinese lions to the city centre. With drums and fireworks, Gibraltar welcomed in the Year of the Rooster. If like many, you went into town to watch the spectacle and then headed to a regular Chinese restaurant for a mid-week-food-blow-out, great! For those of you that missed out, all hope is not lost as any time between New Year and the Lantern Festival on February 11th is still considered auspicious, so why not celebrate the Year of the Rooster cooking up any of the following three fantastic Chinese inspired dishes; or if you’re feeling adventurous make all three!
- Duck wraps
- Pork and prawn dim sum
- Pork bao buns
Each of the following recipes can be created as standalone dishes, however, if you are making the bao buns remember that they need time to prove so it’s best that the dough for this is made first. Once the bao dough is proving in a warm place, proceed to make the rest of the dishes.
1st: In an oven proof dish, place the scored duck legs and breast. Sprinkle over Chinese five spice and add a few more star anise to the dish. Season and drizzle lightly with oil (remember that the duck will render out a lot of fat. Keep this rendered fat for amazing roast potatoes!)
2nd: Roast for 2 hours at 150˚C. After two hours, the duck will be cooked and succulent but the skin will be pallid – crank up the heat until the skin crisps up.
3rd: Cut spring onions and cucumber into batons and set aside. Remove the meat off the duck legs and slice up the breast meat, set aside.
4th: These are easily demolished with a drizzle of plum sauce over.
Pork and Prawn Dim Sum
1st: Mix all the ingredients in a bowl; 200g pork mince, 100g peeled raw prawns, 2 spring onions finely chopped, a thumb-size piece of ginger grated into the mix, a dash of soy sauce, a dash of rice wine, squeeze of limb and a couple of table spoons of corn flour. Season with salt and pepper. Coriander is optional.
2nd: Use bought gyoza or wonton wrappers. Place a small spoonful of the mixture into the centre of each gyoza circle, fold in half and crimp the edge.
3rd: Place each dim sum onto a carrot slice and sit in the steamer. After 10-12mins, the dim sum will look translucent. Dipping sauce can be made with soy sauce and a couple of drops of sesame oil.
Pork filled Chinese Bao Buns
1st: Mix together 1 tbspn yeast, 1 tspn sugar, ¼ cup of flour and ¼ cup of warm water. Mix and allow to stand for 30mins.
2nd: Mix in ½ cup of warm water, 1½ cups of flour, ¼ tspn of salt, 2 tbspns sugar, 1 tbspn veg oil and ½ tspn of baking powder. Leave to stand for 2½ to 3 hrs.
3rd: Punch down dough, and kneed for 5mins. Cut the dough into 12 equal sized balls and leave to stand for 30mins.
4th: Roll out each ball and place a generous tspn of your chosen filling (we used a slow cooked asian pork recipe from sortedfood.com). Rest the dough in your hand and gather the edge of the dough and crimp at the top. Using a chopstick, open a steam-hole in the centre of the gathered dough. Steam for 15mins.
Gong Xi Fa Cai – Happy New Year!