Saturday, October 23, 2010

Chinese Chicken and Long Bean Stew

Last week, I had an amazing Cantonese clay pot dish with rock cod, mung bean noodles, Napa cabbage, and tofu skin at New Kong Yang in Fremont. If you want to try it out for yourself, it has the cumbersome name of "Fillet of Rock Cod with Dried Beancurd Stick Deluxe Claypot (and I think it's #25). Eating that dish reminded me that there are some very tasty one pot Cantonese dishes that have fallen off my cooking repertoire, and I planned on fixing that this weekend.

I've tried to keep a Chinese clay pot around, but I'm apparently not a gentle person because I break them all the time. You have to be careful not to heat shock them, and even when I am careful, they seem to fall apart after the tiniest bump. Therefore, I used my ever so traditional Chinese stew pot: the (French) Staub.

I'm going to 'fess up now and say that I this post is mainly for me. I don't want to forget how I made this dish! When it comes to Chinese cooking, I navigate by taste and smell. This has the unfortunate side effect of sometimes forgetting how I did something because I'm grabbing whatever I have on hand at the time, and currently my pantry is stuffed with Cantonese, Korean, and Sichuan items. And, yes, I used all of it here!

Admittedly, if you don't live in an area with a large and diverse Asian community, some of these ingredients are going to be hard to find, so feel free to use whatever you have on hand. I pictured two harder to find ingredients below: dried bean curd skin and mung been noodles. Both are excellent sources of protein, and they provide different textures - the tofu skins are chewy firm while and the mung bean noodles have a slight chew, but are mostly silky.

Chinese Chicken and Long Bean Stew
Serves 4

Each in a bowl of warm water, soak until soft (about 15 minutes):
3 dried tofu skin sticks
3 bundles of mung bean noodles
Drain the noodles and tofu skins. Slice the tofu skin sticks into 3/4" sections. Set aside.

Cut into 1/2" crosswise slices:
2 skinless, boneless chicken thighs

Put the cut chicken into a mixing bowl and add:
3 T Shaoxing wine
2 T mushroom sauce (or oyster sauce)
3 T soy sauce for seafood (or 1 T regular dark soy)
1 T sesame oil
2 T minced ginger
 Let the chicken marinate for at least 30 minutes.

Heat a 5-qt pot over medium flame. Once hot, add:
2 T peanut oil

Swirl the oil around to coat the bottom of the pot and immediately add:
3 T minced ginger
3 T chopped garlic
3 stalks of green onion, white part only and cut into 1/2" along the diagonal

Saute the ginger and garlic for a minute. Add the marinated chicken and continue to stir. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the outside of the chicken is no longer pink, and add:
1 tsp brown bean paste (I used Korean doenjang)

Continue stirring over medium heat for a minute. Deglaze the pan with:
1 cup chicken stock

Toss the tofu skins and mung bean noodles into the pot. Cover with:
4 cups chicken stock (or enough to submerge the chicken, tofu skins, and noodles)

Turn heat to low. Add:
3 T light soy for seafood
2 T black vinegar

Cover the pot and simmer the mixture for 10 minutes, then add:
4 cups of long beans cut into 1" pieces

Cover the pot again and cook for 5 more minutes. Add:
1 T sesame oil

Enjoy! Seeing this recipe written out makes it look a lot more complicated and hectic than it really is. I spent probably about 10 minutes measuring out, chopping, and grouping ingredients, and the actual cooking time was about 15 minutes. There's a lot of downtime while things are soaking and marinating, and I usually use that downtime to clean up the kitchen as I go.


  1. This sounds fabulous. I love Cantonese comfort food! I don't have all the ingredients, but like you, I'm a "taste and go" cook, so I will wing it!

  2. First, I need to eat out more.

    Second, you really need to open a teeny restaurant. A call-ahead type deal where people can come with a small party and you would cook these amazing dishes. I love how adventurous you are.

    And although I live in Minnesota, as soon as it dips below 70, the heat is on and my down coat is hanging on the hook by the door.

  3. That sounds delicious. I love trying out new noodles - I'll have to look for mung bean ones. And eventually find a store where I can buy all this!



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