Soy sauce paste is a thicker, sweeter version of soy sauce that uses sugar, more wheat and sometimes thickeners in fermentation. It has a sweet and savoury flavour.
This recipe is by Chef Jeff Wu, who has been in New Zealand promoting Taiwan (how better than through food), and I have adapted it for the Kiwi kitchen. It's a classic and easy to make. Some of the ingredients might not be familiar, but I found them easily at my local Chinese shop (with the help of a few Google pages on my phone shown to the helpful staff — people are always interested in you when you are interested in their food). Read more from Ray on Taiwan and it's recipes.
|4 Tbsp||Sesame oil|
|1 piece||Ginger, 3cm, peeled and thinly sliced|
|3 whole||Garlic cloves|
|800 g||Boneless chicken thighs, diced 4cm, free change|
|4 Tbsp||Soy sauce paste|
|4 Tbsp||Soy sauce|
|2 Tbsp||Shao Xing Chinese rice cooking wine|
|¼ tsp||Ground white pepper|
|1||Onion, thinly sliced|
|1||Spring onion, thinly sliced|
|2||Red chillies, sliced ½ cm thick|
|1 small handful||Basil leaves|
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- Heat the oven to 180C.
- Place one large or 2 smaller Chinese claypots in the oven to heat. If you don't have a claypot, just put an ovenproof casserole dish in the oven to heat.
- Heat 3 tablespoons of the oil in a wok over moderate heat and add the ginger, fry for 30 seconds then add the garlic. Stir-fry for 30 seconds then add the chicken. Stir-fry until the chicken is cooked and browned. Add the soy sauce paste, soy sauce, wine, sugar and pepper, bring to the boil and boil gently for 1 minute.
- Meanwhile pour the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil into the claypot/s and add the onion so it sizzles.
- Add the spring onion, chilli and basil to the chicken mixture. Stir-fry 10 seconds and serve the chicken mixture on the onion in the hot claypots or casserole.