Thursday, December 1, 2011

Foochow Redwine Chicken Noodles(红酒鸡长寿面线)

You must be very curious, why the title write Red Wine but the picture above show no red at all. This is because there is one ingredient missing, the Hong Zhao.
It is red wine sediment/residue of wine. That is the ingredient that make the dish become red.
I used to cook without Hong Zhao, however would like to try the version of Hong Zhao next time.
This unique blend of red wine is a tradition among Foochow people. In the olden days, family of a pregnant woman will start brew red wine months prior to give birth to a new child.
The ingredients consist of rice, yeast and varieties of herbs. The red wine thus brewed is dense, and is kept in bottles stored in a dry and warm place.
RED WINE is a vital ingredient to longevity noodles/rice vermicelli (chang shou mian)and pre-cooked chicken which is served to friends and relatives who pay congratultory visit to the family with new born baby. Longevity noodles widely used as it symbolize long live.
RED WINE is also consumed by the woman who give birth to the baby in the believe that it will help her to recover health in shorter period of time.
Nowadays RED WINE is commonly used as ingredients for some cooking in many traditional Foochow restaurants.
Besides RED WINE CHICKEN, Sibu is well known for Hong Zhao CHICKEN. 'Zhao' is the residue of wine.

Here are some simple steps to prepare my favourite dish.

Half chicken (kampung chicken is the best)
1 cup of foochow red wine
1 tbsp of foochow Hong Zhao (red wine sediment)
Few pieces of ginger-julienned
3 tbsp of sesame oil
salt to taste
1/2 tbsp of sugar (to replace Ajinamoto)
1 litre of water
3 bunches of longevity noodle
Few pieces of dried mushrooms

1. Cut the chicken into bite size. Marinate it with the ang zhao, leave it for 30 minutes or so.
2. Soak the dried mushrooms in water and leave for 30 minutes.
3. In a wok, heat up the sesame oil, once the wok heated up, add in the ginger and stir fry till fragance.
4. Then add in the chicken and stir fry continuosly till yellowish. Add in the foochow red wine and stir fry again. Add in the salt and sugar and continue to stir fry for a minute or so.
5. Pour in the water & soaked mushrooms and close with a lid. Let it simmer for 10-15 minutes till cook.
6. While the dish is simmering, prepare a pot and boil some water to cook the longevity noodle. When it is boiling, add in the noodle and let it cook on high heat. Remember to constantly stir the noodle so that it doesn't stick together.
7. Once the noodle is cook(it will float), then drain it. In a bowl, place the noodle and laddle some red wine chicken and soup onto it.
8. Serve while it's still piping hot. (Please don't let the noodles soaked in the soup for too long as it will affect the tasture)

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