Clarinette's Cook

Cooking Management

Sweet and Sour Chicken

Sweet and sour chicken

Sweet and sour chicken

Tonight, an easy and fast meal. short version of a recipe we tried on our cooking lesson in China when we visited the gorgeous Yangshou area. We fly to Hong Kong, from where we went to Shenzhen, a long walk to cross the border, we stayed a night at Shenzhen before flying for Guilin. From Guilin our guide had arranged a taxi pick up in the evening for transfer to our hotel in Yangshou. I have to say, although I am pritty brave, this driving was one of my most scary ones. It was completely dark, obviously the driver had trouble to see the road and, lets say his way of overtaking cars and lorries was quite risky in these mountain roads.

Eventually, all went well.

Mpuntain View Hotel

Mpuntain View Hotel

Our hotel, that I had wanted to be more isolated was a wonderful quite place a bit on the mountains outside Yangshou and his tourist noises. The room was clear and clean. the breakfast was correct. we had a 10-15′ walk to the town along the river. Down the hotel, a man and his family had bikes to rent. So many people bike in China. I would not advise anyone to rent a car in that area. Too many cars, mixed with bikes and motor bikes making their way by horning.

The scenaries are absolutely gorgeous and unique. so many coniforme mountains covered with green vegetation.

Our guide Michele, whom I had found via TripAdvisor, was very kind and knowledgeable. She came every morning at our hotel and took us everywhere. It was good that we had her as very few speak English. It was the first time we hired a tour guide. I am glad I did it. Chinese vendors can be very aggressive. It is said if you pay 10% of the asking price, you paid the price. Beware that each transacnegociation can take you half a day. I decided to avoid any shopping, all there is fake copy with a starting price as high as what we paid for Abercrombie and Hollister in LA on sale. 

The highlight of the trip was a day tour starting by a two hours bike tour in the middle of the rice fields along the river. Our tour guide left us at a small bus station to catch a bus to take us to a grotta. The bus trip was rather ‘moving’ your head keeps bumping the roof as they drive fast on these stony roads. We survived the journey to come to the grotta to be accessed by a small boat to go under the mountain. The kids loved it, passed so much time going from mud bath to hot tub after a long visit of the grotta and its stalagmites and stalagtites. A big contrast with the ones we had just seen in Genova caves in AUstralia and previously in Italy where they were so fussy. No one would touch anything or bring any food in to preserve the nature. Here, we stayed nearly four hours before I could take the family out to reach some food for our empty stomachs. They had small local snacks at the bus station.

Genova Caves Australia

Genova Caves Australia


We had a nice lunch/dinner with our guide before climbing these hundreds of stairs to take us at the top of the coniform Moon Hill View. A challenge as we had already done so much and it was so hot. We had a heard of ladies walking up with us with their fan to cool the air. The Moon Hill view at the top was absolutely astonishing.

That was not all, we had to rush, get our bikes to return to Yangshuo for the evening spectacle of sound and light on the river Li done by the Olympics show. There was a huge crowd allow the tickets were not cheap. we had booked through a friend of our guide. we had to wait in this crowd to get our tickets and find our seats, outside along the river. We had very good places. we were given plastic coasts in case of rain. It was getting a bit fresher and mosquitos were guests of honors.

The spectacle finished around midnight. You can imagine how tired we were by then. Still, we were not done, we had to take our bikes to go back to our hotel. another 20-25′ bike crossing the town to bike along the river, in a total dark. Our guide said she had a good solution, she called a guy on a motor bike she paid to be in front of us as we could not see anything in the dark.

Eventually we arrived safe. I had to bike close to the guy on motorbike to see the road. I was in the front with my younger daughter telling her what to do if anything happened to any of us. Run as fast as you can, go and find someone from the police or with official clothes I told her. Tourists with young children are easy targets as they know you are bound with children. Not knowing the language nor the area, makes you an easier target. Unnecessary risk in my opinion. but this man has tried to kill us at several occasions already. So is he, a hyper active.

The next day, we took it easier. Stayed in town for a cooking lesson. It was at the second floor of a restaurant. First, we went for food shopping in the local market. We were werned that the meat market sells also dog meat. Once the shopping done, we came back to the kitchen. We were 10ish with our individual cooking station. We tried the sweet and sour pork. the pork, cut in small pieces was egg fried then added into the sauce. I do find it too fatening that way. we also did steam vegetable dumpling and a fried beef with green pepper.

Local food market Yangshuo / China

Local food market Yangshuo / China

Moon Hill View

Moon Hill View

Li River Yangshuo / China

Li River Yangshuo / China

More photos of China / Yangshuo and Genova caves in Australia / Blue Mountains.

My sweet and sour recipe chicken is inspired by the cooking lesson, in a more simplified manner.

Inspired by Marks & Spencer chicken filet marinated in ginger and garlic sauce.

First cut the filet in smaller pieces, grossly cut onions, and red pepper. Carrots and spring onions would have been good. I replaced them by mushrooms. no added oil as the filet were already marinated with oil, ginger, garlic and chopped red pepper.

add flour on the chicken fry with few pieces of onions, then added the powder seasonning for the sweet and sour sauce. add all vegetables once the chicken pieces are cooked (nearly 10-15′). Add sugar. I had some left over pineapple can, I used the juice and the pineapples. added the salt and that’s it. leave it to cook more for 10 more minuts. and it’s done. Served with Jasmin rice. sprinkle with coriander leaves if you have. Bon Appetit !

Don’t forget to tell me your own version.

ingredients

ingredients


chopped vegetables and cut chicken

chopped vegetables and cut chicken


The official Sweet and Sour Pork recipe :

– 200 Gr pork filet thin sliced abd season with 1/3 teaspoon salt, 1/2 tea spoon rice wine
20 gr Pinapple sliced,
20 gr cucumber (no seeds) cut in diamond shape,
1 tomato (no seeds) cut in diamond shape,
For the Coat :
5 teaspoons corn starch,
one egg yolk,
2 teaspoons water.
1 teaspoon custard powder.

Cooking instructions:
1. put the pork in the coat and mix together,
2. heat 500 gr oil till boiling at 120 degree, then place piece by piece the pork in, low heat to deep fry till it becomes golden (around 3′), then take out to a plate,
3. Make the sweet and sour sauce :
3 table spoon sugar,
4 table spoon vinegar,
2 table spoon tomato sauce.
1 table spoon oil.
4. high heat to mix all the sauce, taste the sauce and adjust at your flavor.
5. once the sauce starts boiling, add all the vegetables, quickly use the corn starch, water to tick the sauce, turn off the heat to add the pork.

More about the cooking lesson and the recipe at http://www.touryangshuo.com Cloud9restaurant03@Yahoo.com
Our guide Michelle : michelle_yujia@hotmail.com
The River View Hotel in Yangshuo

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