Sunday 10 June 2012

Gok Cooks Chinese

I should confess that although I’ve heard of Gok, I’ve never seen any of his other TV ventures (I’ve been living under a rock clearly!). Anyhow when I saw his book for pre-order I thought I must give it a go. Gok Cooks Chinese by Gok Wan published by Penguin Michael Joseph in 2012.

I’ve cooked a few dishes and have liked them all. It gave me a great excuse for a good mosey in my local Chinese supermarket in Aberdeen too… and I do love food shopping, especially for the specialised bits and pieces.

It’s a good book, the contents are laid out take-away style, and that’s a cute idea. Unintimidating if you know what I mean. I like the Chinese item photographs too. It’s a modern book, but the recipes have a feel like they have been cooked often in the past by Gok. Chapters are: * Chinese Takeaway Classics* Chinese Sunday Roast: Dim Sum* Favourite Family Wan Dishes* Chinese Classics* Street Food* Feasting* One-pot Wonders* Modern Dishes*. He also has a chapter about ingredients ( and equipment) at the beginning, which I think is well done and particularly helpful if you are not sure what you are looking for at your local Chinese supermarket.

The recipes I have next on my to make list are: Beef in Fragrant Black Bean Sauce, Prawns in Yellow Bean Sauce, Hot and Sour Soup, Prawn and Scallop Moneybag Dumplings, Spring Rolls, Fragrant Chinese Chicken wrapped in Lettuce Leaves and Dad’s Drunken Chicken to name but a few.

Have you been watching his cooking series? I’m watching and am enjoying it. Loving Poppa Wan! He trained Gok in his Chinese Restaurant. Gok is very comfortable in the kitchen on TV, and a pleasure to watch cook. It’s great how he coaxes a few ingredients into something yummy to eat.

Ginger Beef
It would be fair to say I didn’t cut my beef strips thinly enough, so they took longer to cook, but even so, this made a very delicious supper.

Plum Sauce
I made this before it was on TV. On TV Gok adds a bit of yellow bean sauce at the end, but this is not in the book. I’ve pencilled it in for next time. We normally have hoisin sauce with our ducky pancakes, so I served both. I loved this plum sauce, it has a lot of layers of flavour. Next time I’m going to serve it with a traditional roast chicken, and I think it would go really well with that as the gravy.
Leftover Roast Duck Noodles
I froze some aromatic crispy duck last time we had a carry - out, and this is what I made it into. Basically Chinese duck pancakes but with noodles instead. My husband LOVED this dish. I like it for three reasons, one, it is a fab use of leftovers and two it tastes good and three it eeks out the quite expense duck to another meal. Result!
Prawn Chow Mein
I love these noodles; I’ve made them twice and plan to again soon. My whole family loves it! I’ve posted the recipe here as I’ve cooked the garnish in with the dish and changed it a bit. Really is worth giving this a go, it’s a quick and delicious supper.

Prawn Chow Mein

Varied slightly from: Gok Cooks Chinese by Gok Wan published by Penguin Michael Joseph in 2012. Use Shaoxing rice wine or sherry, dry sherry is the normal substitute, but I like Amontillado for its sweet edge here. Use what you have though, don’t go and buy a bottle for a couple of tablespoons!

Serves 3 to 4

190g dried Chinese egg noodles

Few shakes sesame oil

2 tablespoons sunflower oil

3 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced

200g fresh raw prawns, peeled and deveined

150g mangetout, topped tailed and cut in halves

1 big carrot, peeled and cut into matchsticks

4 spring onions, finely sliced

2 tablespoons Sherry (or Shaoxing rice wine)

2 tablespoons light soy sauce

2 tablespoons dark soy sauce

Salt and ground white pepper

(1) Cook your noodles according to the packet instructions, then drain and put back in the pan dress with a few shakes of sesame oil and toss to coat the noodles in it. Keep to one side.

(2) Heat the sunflower oil in a wok over a high heat. When ready and hot cook the garlic for half a minute (being careful not to burn it). Add the prawns and when they are half cooked add in the mangetout, carrot matchsticks and spring onions. Stir fry until the prawns are fully cooked and the vegetables are hot have lost a bit of their rawness.

(3) Add in the sherry or wine and let it almost evaporate. Add in the cooked noodles and stir to combine and get hot.

(4) Finally add in the light and dark soy sauces and serve.

Next Up: A Passion for Baking by Jo Wheatley