It's chicken I swear.
I always have a problem with the English naming of Chinese dishes. It never sounds inspiring or appetizing as its actual Chinese name. I wish Chinese cuisine be more like French cuisine where mushed proceed livers of ducks that was forced fed are sensually called foie gras. Time to take ownership of my ethnic food. This dish is called Rou⁴ Zao⁴ Fan⁴. The pronunciation purrs beautifully.
My rouzao is a twist on the traditional Taiwanese version. Instead of using pork, I used lean ground chicken thigh, hoping to cut out more calories. It is also significantly less greasy. Feel free to substitute chicken with pork. To make this vegetarian, replace chicken with minced mushroom and minced firm tofu. I love this because all you need is one pot, and I can make a huge batch and enjoy it for the next few days.
- 1 lb ground chicken thigh (or pork or mushroom)
- 2 large shallots (minced)
- 4 medium size mushroom (minced)
- 3 cloves of garlic (minced)
- 1 whole star anise
- 3 cloves
- 3 Tbsp soy sauce
- 3 Tbsp rice wine
- 3 Tbsp cinnamon
- 4 Tbsp Chinese five spice
- 1 Tbsp maple syrup (or agave syrup, honey, sugar)
- 1 Tbsp white pepper
- 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
- few drops of sesame oil
If you don't have rice wine, replace it with a cheap vodka. If you don't have Chinese five spice, replace it with a combination of cumin, more cinnamon, more star anise, and more cloves. White pepper can be replaced with finely grounded black pepper. You can also omit the mushroom and sesame oil. To avoid grainy chicken texture, wrap and tie the cloves and star anise with cheese cloth. My dishes are never very scientific.
1. Heat oil in a pot at medium heat. Put in shallot and sauté it slowly, about 3-6 minutes, or until it is a golden brown.
2. Add in the garlic and sauté for 1 minute.
3. Increase heat to medium-high and put in the chicken. Sauté until the chicken is cooked.
4. Add in all the sauces and spices, but leave out the sesame oil.
5. Make sure the liquid almost covers the chicken. Taste the dish. Add soy sauce if you want a saltier dish, spice if you want more aroma, or rice wine (or chicken broth) if you want to blend it down.
6. Simmer (lowest heat) for 30 minutes. Stir occasionally.
Once it's done, serve over rice!