Though I feel that this weekend could have definitely come faster, I am so glad it has finally come so I can catch my breath! After our normal routine of written and oral testing throughout the morning, we all had the chance to participate in a “real life event.” During this time last week, we all split up into groups and chatted with Chinese students about when they came to America, if they are used to life here, etc. This week, however, we really got to do something hands on- Chinese cooking!!
At first I was a little nervous, not because I had to cook, but because I was not sure what our teachers were going to have us cook. Throughout the week we have had several lessons on food. Every “interesting” food that has been brought up in class, the teachers have said they have eaten and quite like to eat. In addition to chicken feet, we have talked about fish head soup and every organ inside a body that can be either deep fried or boiled. Yum…..
But, alas, when my class was split up into groups and given recipes, fish head soup was no where to be found. I suppose I will just have to wait to try that one in China. 🙂
The class was divided into four groups, one group for each dish flavor in Chinese cuisine- 酸甜苦辣 (sour, sweet, bitter, and spicy). I was placed in the spicy group and our task was to make authentic 宫保鸡丁, known in English as “Kung Pao Chicken.” After wandering around in the dorm hunting for a kitchen, we finally started our dish, which turned out quite tasty! Since I love spicy food, this dish was definitely my favorite out of the dishes made, although by the time I finished eating I could not feel my tongue. This is a really easy dish to make and fairly healthy as well, so if you all are interested in learning how to make it, following are the cooking instructions and a short history about the dish. Sorry in advance that the instructions are in Chinese… I do not know how to translate some of the ingredients. However, do not fear! Google translator works fairly well!
丁 宝桢是贵州平远（今织金）人，清咸丰进士，讲究烹调，任山东巡抚时，曾雇用名厨数十人为家厨，请客时常有”炒鸡丁”一菜。后调任四川总督，便将此菜引进四 川，与四川嗜辣的习俗相结合，并加以改进，以此宴客，倍受欢迎。后烹制方法泄露出去，为餐馆采纳经营。丁宝桢曾被清朝封为太子少保（尊称宫保），此菜被人 命名为”宫保鸡丁”。现已风靡全国。各地的品种略有差异，并有将鸡丁演化为肉丁的宫保肉丁等。
取 嫩仔鸡脯肉，将肉拍松，剞上3毫米见方的十字花纹，再切成2厘米见方的小块，加盐、酱油、湿淀粉拌匀。花生米炒熟晾凉后去皮，将去籽干红辣椒切成2厘米长 的段。把白糖、醋、酱油、味精、肉汤、湿淀粉一同放在碗中调成芡汁。净锅加底油烧热，先下入花椒，炸出香味后捞去花椒，下入干红辣椒段迅速炒成棕红色，放 入鸡丁炒散，烹入料酒炒一下，再加入姜、蒜、葱末炒出香味，速倒入调味芡汁，汁沸加入花生米，颠翻炒匀即成。