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November 2000 Issue
Ginger -- Zingiber officinale
by Rossana S. Tarantini
Table of Contents | Single-page view

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Note: Please feel free to use the Measurement Conversions tool to convert any unfamiliar units in the recipes to those you are more comfortable using.


Belly Pork Casserole with Chinese Mushrooms

  • 11/2 kg belly pork, boneless but still with the skin
  • 50g dried Chinese black mushrooms
  • 1 piece of fresh ginger about 11/2 inches long
  • 11/4 litres water
  • 600ml Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
  • 150ml light soy sauce
  • 50ml dark soy sauce
  • 150g sugar
  • 4 whole star anise
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 3 dried red chili peppers
  • 6 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 6 whole spring onions
  • 2 teaspoons salt
Cut the unpeeled ginger into 6 equal sized slices, then place them along with the water and the rice wine in a large casserole. Bring to a boil then place the belly pork in the casserole, simmer for 45 minutes, skimming continuously. Add the soy sauces, sugar, star anise, cinnamon, chili peppers, garlic, spring onions and salt. Seal the casserole and cook for 1 1/2-2 hours until the pork is nice and tender.

While the pork is cooking, soak the mushrooms in warm water for 20 minutes, drain and press the rest of the water out. Remove and discard the stems but leave the tops whole. When the pork is tender, add the mushrooms and cook for a further 15 minutes.

Remove the pork from the casserole a let it cool slightly, cut into thin slices and serve on pre-warmed plates dressed with the mushrooms and some of the sauce from the casserole.

  • Yields: 6-8 portions


Barbecued Rump Steak Szechwan

For the Steak
  • 4 rump steaks, each 200g
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon Szechwan pepper, roasted and ground
  • sesame-chili oil, to taste
For the Sauce
  • 120ml Mirin (a sweet Japanese rice wine)
  • 3 tablespoons shallots, finely chopped
  • 250ml homemade chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, roughly chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried chili peppers
  • 3 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons fresh coriander, finely chopped
Rub the steaks with the sesame oil and evenly sprinkle the Szechwan pepper over both sides, leave them to marinate overnight in the fridge.

Boil the rice wine and the shallots in a small pot, till it has been reduced by 2 thirds. Then add the stock, garlic, ginger, and chili peppers, boil until this is also reduced by 2 thirds. It should have thickened a bit by now, add the butter piece for piece stirring gently. Finally add the soy sauce and the coriander. Remove from heat and set aside.

Heat your barbecue, till the coals are glowing, grill the steaks 5-6 minutes each side (longer if you don't like them rare) place them to the side of the barbecue away from the direct heat but enough to keep them warm, leave to rest for about 10 minutes. Reheat the sauce, cut the steaks into thin strips, place on preheated plates, pour the sauce over the steaks, and sprinkle with sesame-chili oil. I served this with oven hot French bread and Ice-cold German yeast-wheat beer (Hefe-Weizen Beer) with a slice of lemon. (You should be able to get Paulaner Hefe-Weizen Bier as it is as common -- world wide as Beck's.)



Roast Beef and Yorkshire Pudding the Asian Way

  • 2 1/2 kg roast beef
For the Seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon 5 aroma powder
  • 2 teaspoons 5 pepper mixture
  • 1 teaspoon cumin, ground
  • 2 teaspoons Szechwan pepper, roasted and ground
  • 2 tablespoons dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons paprika powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
For the Yorkshire Pudding
  • 5 beaten eggs
  • 150g flour
  • 475ml milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon 5 pepper mixture
  • 3 tablespoons spring onions, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chives, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh coriander, finely chopped
  • 150ml drippings from the roast
Preheat the oven to 220°C or 425°F.

Mix all the seasoning ingredients in a small bowl, and rub the top and sides of the roast with the mixture, place the roast in the oven and bake for 25 minutes, reduce the heat to 190°C or 375°F and cook for another hour. Now turn the oven off and leave the roast to rest in the oven for 1 hour. If you do not like your Roast to be rare let it cook for an extra 15 to 30 minutes. Remove the roast and take as much of the drippings as you need for the Yorkshire Pudding, the rest you can use to make a Savory gravy. I just added water and thickened the stock slightly, with a little browned flour. Before carving the roast leave it to rest at room temperature for another 20 minutes.

Reheat the oven to 220°C or 425°F for the Yorkshire Pudding. Mix the eggs and flour in large bowl to a smooth texture, then add the milk, salt, pepper and herbs, pour the fat into a casserole or large oven proof flat bowl and heat it until is very hot and just starting to bubble.

Pour the pudding mixture in and place straight into the oven, bake for 30 minutes or until the pudding is golden brown and crispy. Carve the roast and serve coated with the savory gravy, the Yorkshire pudding on the side and your favorite vegetables.

Being a true Scot, I have never been a great friend of this traditional English dish, but I loved it done this way. I served it with roast potatoes (I do mine dusted, very lightly, with finely ground nutmeg before roasting) and Princess Beans (half cooked in salt water, then brazed in garlic butter till they are done) washed down with a chilled Valpollicella (a dry Italian red wine).


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