The Pleasurable Art of
If you are like most martial artists I have met over the years, after a long workout session there is nothing you like to eat more than good Chinese food. Seminar after seminar around the country, no matter what country's art we train in we all like to eat Chinese. My Praying Mantis Sifu told me that he thought eating Chinese made his technique better, because it made him bond more with the art. Any excuse is all right though - good eatin' is good livin'!
Learning to cook good Chinese at home will save you money and impress everyone you cook for. You can make dishes that would cost $9.95 take-out for about $2.50 usually...quite a savings. Most Chinese dishes only use a few ingredients and are easy to prepare. When it comes to prep work on the meat and vegetables, always remember the advice of Master Julia Child - "You must practice your knife skills for speed and accuracy in cutting. Learn to separate the meat and bone with little effort."
The dual path of the Warrior Chef has often been explored on the silver screen. Who can forget the cooking skills shown in Chinese films like "Iron Monkey", "Dragon Inn", and the old classic "Of Cooks and Kung Fu"?! "If you want to beat him, you must master the shark's fin soup technique...escape that grab like stirring the rice!" How often in the old Shaw Brothers films did the heroes get stuck in the kitchen, or having to do other menial tasks, only to later learn "they've been being trained in kung fu the whole time"?
To start you off on the path of the Kung Food warrior, I will give you two of my favorite recipes for a spicy chicken and peanut dish, and a curried noodle dish. From time to time I will update this page with some more favorites for eggs, dumplings, and more. If you have a good recipe you'd like to share, sent it along, too!
Chicken with Dry Red
1 lb. chicken breast
8 dried hot red peppers (or more, to taste)
1 onion, chopped (optional)
1/2 C. peanuts
1t. chopped ginger
1 1/2 T. Cornstarch (to soak chicken)
1 1/2 T. Cold Water (to soak chicken)
1T. soysauce (to soak chicken)
Oil for frying
2T. soysauce (seasoning sauce)
1T. wine (seasoning sauce)
1T. sugar (seasoning sauce)
1t. cornstarch (seasoning sauce)
1/2t. salt (seasoning sauce)
1t. sesame oil (seasoning sauce)
1) Cut up chicken and soak in mixture for at least
2) Fry chicken in hot oil until crispy, remove and set aside
3) Heat oil with ginger and dried hot peppers, and cook onion if you are adding it
4) Add chicken and seasoning sauce, stir in peanuts and let thicken
Stir-Fried Rice Noodles with
1/4 lb. shrimp
1/4 lb. other meat (leftover chicken, pork, etc.)
1 C. bean sprouts
1/2 C. green onion
1/2 egg white (to marinate shrimp)
1/2T. cornstarch (to marinate shrimp)
10oz. rice noodles
1 1/2 T. curry
1T. say sauce (seasoning sauce)
1t. sugar (seasoning sauce)
1/4t. black pepper (seasoning sauce)
1/2C. soup stock (seasoning sauce)
1t. salt (seasoning sauce)
1) Soak rice noodles in warm water for 15 min.
2) Marinate shrimp in mixture.
3) Scramble egg and set aside.
4) Stir fry shrimp in 4T. oil, add bean sprouts, celery, and season w/ 1/2t. salt. Turn off heat, stir in green onion and mix well, then remove to container.
5) Fry curry in 6T. oil, add soaked rice noodles, and mix well. Add seasoning sauce, cover, and cook on low heat for 3 minutes.
6) Put all ingredients into pan and mix well