Chinese Rice Wine Recipes II

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Rice wine chicken with wheat flour thread noodles (mi suah)

Okay, here's two more ways to cook yellow rice wine. The most famous rice wine dish is of course, huang jiu ji or yellow wine chicken. Eaten by (Chinese) nursing mothers as a nutritious and fortifying soup for 30 days after childbirth, this soupy dish is easy to cook but the results depend on, obviously, how good the wine and the chicken are. Some yellow rice wine have a tarty taste, meaning the fermentation wasn't very complete or successful. Some wines are sweet but are too mild in flavor. I'm told that different batches of wine made by the same person differ in quality depending on many factors such as the type and amount of yeast used and type and water content of the glutinous rice. The superstitious older ladies will tell you that to avoid spoilage of their wine, ladies at a certain time of the month should not come near to their jars of fermenting wine. That sounds like one of my ex-colleague who explained that the reason he lost a tennis match was because he wore the wrong socks.

I prefer my rice wine chicken just the way it is named: just yellow rice wine and chicken (and ginger), nothing else. And no wimpy watered-down soup for me, I must have it nearly 100% wine or there's no point in eating it. I want not only taste, smell, but also the effect. Come to my house after we eat rice wine chicken and you'll find us very nice and enjoyable to be with.

Yellow Rice Wine Chicken
1 x 2kg chicken*
200g fresh ginger (400g or more if cooking for nursing moms)
1.5 litres (6 cups) yellow rice wine**
1 1/2 cups water
salt
2 T sesame oil

*For best results, use home-reared chicken.
**This is about 2 full Carlsberg bottles and may seem a lot but most people go for the soup, so it's never enough.

1. Trim the chicken of any fat and thick skin. Chop into small pieces.

2. Heat up a pot, add the sesame oil and add the ginger. Fry in high heat until ginger is lightly browned, about 1 min.

3. Add the chicken and fry another 2 min, turning the pieces to fry evenly. Add 1 1/2 cups water and 2 cups wine, cover and let simmer 30 minutes or longer if using matured home-reared chicken, about 20 to 30 min if using ordinary chicken (not recommended). It really depends on how soft you like your chicken. You can stir it once in a while.

4. Add salt to your taste (I'd only put in 3/4 t) and add all the rest of the wine. Let soup boil 5 min, covered, and turn heat off to let the chicken steep in the wine. When ready to eat, heat soup up again.

For rice wine wheat flour thread noodles, the best thread noodles are from Sibu, Sarawak. Those Sibu noodles are homemade, fresh and extremely fine yet give a beautiful, smooth (not sticky) el dente bite. The commercial thread noodles are too thick and salty and have a stale flavor.

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Can you see how fresh this chicken was? They look like the nearly-live frogs' legs in Precious Pea's latest post. This was made with my mom's neighbor's chicken. Home-reared and freshly slaughtered chicken cooked with the best yellow rice wine is delicious beyond words. The chicken in the bowl of mi suah below was 'corn-fed' chicken from a supplier but tasted nothing like mom's neighbor's. Getting a chicken from the old lady was like asking for her gold tooth so I guess I have to seriously consider rearing my own chickens.

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Chicken, fried boiled egg, chinese mushroom, ginger and wheat thread noodles in yellow rice wine chicken soup.
Yellow Rice Wine Thread Noodles

1. Just cook as per yellow rice wine chicken soup but reduce the ginger and wine by half and make the volume of liquid up with chicken stock and add dried chinese mushrooms (soak to soften) alongwith the chicken. Adjust the taste with salt. Hard boil some eggs, shell and fry them in oil until golden all over.

2. Boil about 2-3 litres of water (if you use too little water, you'd have to dip the noodles into another tub of water to wash the starch off so make sure you use at least 2 litres and cook the noodles by individual portions), add a handful of wheat flour thread noodles (remember the noodles will soak up the soup and expand quite a bit so make sure the portion isn't too big) and use a pair of chopsticks to stir well so that the threads do not stick together. Let the noodles cook for about 30 to 40 seconds, scoop up, draining well, and put into a bowl. Place a fried egg on top, pour boiling hot rice wine chicken soup over and ENJOY!