This is my much “loved” copy of “Classic Chinese Cuisine” by Nina Simonds.
Hot as it was this week, I decided I would make “Cold Tossed Sichuan Noodles” from this book. No way I was creating any more heat than necessary in the house. Plus it is a quick and easy to make dish.
This is actually a great weeknight meal, if the weather is intolerably hot or not. If you have these ingredients in your pantry it takes minutes to throw together the sauce, chop a few veggies, and boil the noodles. You can also make it with any other nut butter, if you don’t like Peanut Butter. Almond, Cashew, whatever.
Quite possibly the trickiest thing in this recipe is poaching the chicken, without making it dry or tough. Even many restaurants *cough*Pomelo*cough* can’t seem to manage this. If you bring it to a boil too quickly it turns into chewing gum. Ideally, you’d seal it in a cryovac bag with rice wine, ginger, soy sauce, and garlic and sous vide it. Lacking sous vide equipment, place the bone on breast in a pan large enough it can be covered with cold water. Add a splash of soy sauce and rice wine. Crush a garlic clove and a couple ginger slices and drop them in the water. Using medium heat, bring the water up to not quite a simmer. Cover and reduce the heat as low as you can. Continue to cook until the breast reaches 145 at its thickest point and the broth is clear. The dish would also be tasty made with tofu instead of chicken.
“Classic Chinese Cuisine” is one of the first cookbooks that opened my eyes and tastes when I was in college and had my first food service jobs. One of the first time I realized that if I followed a recipe from a cookbook, I could make something much tastier than many of the restaurants I had been going to. Chinese cuisine was my first enthusiasm, thanks to this book. “Cold Tossed Sichuan Noodles” is one the first recipes I remember making from it. Just between you and me, I checked out “Classic Chinese Cuisine” from the public library. It was due for return on April 22, 1989. I’m sorry if you have been trying to check it out. The “Cold Tossed Sichuan Noodles” were just so good, I knew I needed to make far more things from the book. It’s not something I’m proud of.