KS 3 & KS 4
Design and Technology- Food Technology;
Cross-curriculum learning - Citizenship, History and Geography
Steamed Chicken with Shiitake Mushrooms and Ginger
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- 200g chicken meat (thigh) 200g (Cut into strips)
- 50g Shiitake mushrooms (rehydrated and cut into strips)
- 10g Chinese wolfberry (rehydrated)
- 1 inch ginger piece (finely sliced)
- 1 spring onion (cut into sections)
- 2tbsp Lee Kum Kee Premium Oyster sauce
- 1tbsp Chinese Shao Xing wine (optional)
- 1tsp Lee Kum Kee Premium Light Soy Sauce
- 1tsp Lee Kum Kee Sesame Oil
- 1tsp corn flour
- 1 egg (beaten)
- Marinate chicken in Oyster Sauce and the rest of the marinade mix for a minimum of 10 minutes.
- Mix chicken, shiitake mushrooms and the remaining ingredients together. Plate all the ingredients into a deep plate ready for steaming.
- Steam in wok on rack or steamer in high heat for 12 minutes and then serve.
A. Activity Plan
- How to make a traditional Chinese cuisine
- Use various ingredients like Shiitake mushrooms, Chinese wolfberries and ginger which are common in Asian cuisines.
- Use various seasoning source e.g. oyster sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil etc.
- Learn cooking techniques – Marinating and steaming
- Learn to use a wok and a steamer.
- Increase cultural understanding through learning about Chinese cuisines, utensils like wok and eating culture
B. Popular ingredients in Chinese dishes
1. Chinese Wolfberries (Goji Berries)
Goji berries are traditionally cooked before consumption. Goji berries are often used in Chinese tonic soups, boiled as an herbal tea, can be used as garnish as well.These berries are natural anti-oxidants and rich in vitamin A.
2. Dried Shitake Mushrooms (Dried Chinese Mushrooms)
Though shiitake mushrooms are now cultivated, they have the earthiness and flavour of wild mushrooms. They're large and meaty, and they work well in stir-fries, soups, and side dishes, or as a meat substitute.
Dried shiitakes are excellent, and often preferable to fresh due to their more intense flavour. Soak them in water for about thirty minutes to reconstitute them, then use the water they soaked in to enhance your sauce.
Fresh root ginger is an indispensable ingredient in Chinese cookery; its pungent, spicy and fresh taste adds a subtle flavour. Historically, ginger has a long tradition of being very effective in alleviating symptoms of gastrointestinal distress. Modern scientific research has revealed that ginger possesses numerous therapeutic properties including antioxidant effects, an ability to inhibit the formation of inflammatory compounds, and direct anti-inflammatory effects.
4. Shao Xing wine
Shaoxing wine is one of the most famous varieties of huangjiu, or traditional Chinese wines, fermented from rice. It originates from the region of Shaoxing, in the Zhejiang province of eastern China. It is widely used as both a beverage and a cooking wine in Chinese cuisine.
C. Chinese Sauces
Soy Sauce is an essential ingredient in Chinese cooking. Lee Kum Kee Premium Light Soy Sauce is made from a mixture of Soya beans, flour and water. Light Soy Sauce is saltier and lighter in colour, while dark soy sauce has been aged and has a darker colour. Dark soy sauce is thicker and more suitable in stews.
Oyster sauce is made with oyster extracts from oysters. Lee Kum Kee Premium Oyster Sauce originated since 1888 made with oyster extracts from the finest oysters. Use it as an all-purpose seasoning sauce to uplift the umami taste of meat and vegetables. Traditionally used as a marinade, it is a seasoning for stir-fries, as a condiment for many Chinese dishes.
Lee Kum Kee's Sesame Oil is used as a flavour enhancer in Chinese cuisine making it staple oil within the cuisine. The oil which is manufactured from sesame seeds has uses in alternative medicines as a source of vitamins, minerals and role in controlling blood pressure.
D. Preparation and Cooking techniques
1. Marinating technique
Marinating technique is very important in cooking Chinese dishes. Marination is the process of soaking foods in a seasoned liquid before cooking. It is commonly used to add flavor to the food and to tenderize tougher cuts of meat. The process may last minutes or days. Different marinades are used in different cuisines. In Chinese cuisines, oyster sauce and soy sauce are quite common in marinating meat.
Steaming is not a very popular cooking technique in the West, but it has been used by the Chinese for thousands of years and today it is very common in China. Steamed food is cooked by a gentle moist heat which must circulate freely in order to cook the food. It is an excellent method for bringing out subtle flavours and is always used for dim sum and fish. Overcooking or burning food is easily avoided when steaming it. Steaming is believed to be a healthy technique in comparison to other methods as it does not require cooking oil. Steaming also results in a more nutritious food than boiling, because fewer nutrients are leached away into the water while cooking it.
E. Cooking tools
1. Bamboo Basket Steamer
The Bamboo Basket steamer is very popular for steaming especially for dim sum. Bamboo basket steamer comes in several sizes of which the 20cm (8 inches) is the most suitable for general use. The food is put in the bamboo basket steamer and then placed above (a rack can be used to raise the food above the water level) boiling water in a wok or pot. You can simply put it in an electrical steamer. Covering the steamer with a bamboo lid can prevent the steam escaping. Several steamers, stacked one above the other, may be utilized at once.
To prevent the food from sticking to the steamer when it cooks, you can lay a parchment paper or some lettuce leaves. Before using a bamboo basket steamer for the first time, wash it and then steam it empty for few minutes.
A most useful and versatile piece of equipment, the wok may be used for stir frying, blanching, deep-frying and steaming foods.
A wok is a versatile round-bottomed cooking vessel originating in China. It is used especially in East and Southeast Asia. The most common materials used in making woks today are carbon steel and cast iron. Although the latter was the most common type used in the past, cooks today tend to be divided on which woks are superior, i.e. carbon steel or cast iron.
F. Story behind the dish
Both ginger and garlic play important roles in Chinese cuisine, although not exclusive to Asia. There is a widespread belief of garlics health benefit across the West and the same is true in China. Recently some of these beliefs have been confirmed by scientific research which credits garlic with the ability to cure high blood pressure and diabetes.
Ginger is also an essential staple of Chinese food. Mentions of ginger can be found in Marco Polo on his journey along the famous Silk Road, Marco Polo can be found talking about the wealth of spices he found during his travels. It has an unmistakable shape – bulbous little joints, from which grow small, knobbly bumps, and its skin is light brown with a slight silvery quality. The flesh can range from ivory through to a pale, greenly yellow. Ginger has a peppery flavour, with a sweet hint of lemon, and the aroma is pungent and sharp. It's also available ground, which is particularly good for baking; pickled; preserved in syrup (also called stem ginger); candied; or crystallised. You can add raw ginger to stir-fries or curries, use it in marinades or grate to make tea. Dried ginger works well in puddings, flapjacks and fruit cakes or stewed fruits, particularly apple.
In looking back for literary references to garlic in China many can be found: the classic Shi-Ching (the Book of Songs) by instance, compiled by Confucius, includes poems from the 12th to 7th BCE. From here we can see the place garlic held in mythology including the legend that garlic will keep you safe from vampires. It belongs to the lily, or alium, family, of which onions are also a member. It's quite fiery, pungent and crunchy when raw; as it cooks it becomes more mellow and creamy. It's mainly available dried, but fresh (also known as 'wet' or 'green') garlic, which has a mild flavour, can also be found in some stores in season. Dried garlic is sold loose, in bunches or plaited into strings; generally speaking, the smaller the bulb, the stronger the flavour. Solo garlic (just one large clove) and the large -bulbed elephant garlic are also available. Dried garlic can be used raw in dressings, salsas and butters; roasted whole bulbs or individual cloves can go with roast meat; fried garlic can be used as the base for sauces, casseroles, soups.
Ginger and garlic can be used in traditional Chinese medicine as well; both considered having medicinal properties. They are usually part of a herbal preparation that will be used to treat symptoms of ailments. In particular gingers tea is used as a digestive aid in China. Ginger is also packed with Vitamin C, whilst garlic contains Vitamin A, C and D.
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