Chicken Slices and Bamboo Shoots

This recipe originated in Shanghai but it is very popular throughout China. It is a sort of standard dish served as a starter to whet your appetite for bigger things to follow and is regarded as an ideal accompaniment to wine drinking. The chicken can be, and often is, substituted by any other kind of meat such as pork, beef or liver.

1/2 lb (225 g) cooked chicken meat
1 tsp salt
1/2 egg white, lightly beaten
1 tsp cornflour mixed with a little cold water
1/2 lb (100 g) bamboo shoots
1 oz (25 g) Wooden Ears (black fungus)
2-3 spring onions, cut into short lengths
2 slices ginger root, peeled and cut into small bits
3-4 tbsp oil
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tbsp rice wine or sherry
a few drops sesame seed oil

Cut the chicken meat into small slices, then mix them with a pinch of salt, the egg white and the cornflour. Drain and slice the bamboo shoots. Soak the Wooden Ears in water (discard the hard bits at the root) and slice them too. First stir-fry the chicken in a little warm oil for about ½ minute, and scoop it out with a perforated spoon. Now heat up more oil until hot, add the spring onions and ginger root first to flavour the oil, then stir-fry the bamboo shoots and Wooden Ears for about 1/2 minute. Now add salt, sugar, soy sauce and wine together with about 2 tablespoons stock or water. Continue stirring, and when the sauce is bubbling, return the chicken to the pan, stir for a few times more, then add sesame seed oil. Blend everything well and serve immediately.

(It makes my mouth water just to think of this dish!)

© Deh-Ta Hsiung and reproduced with his kind permission.