September 25, 2014

Braised Chicken with Bitter Gourd and fermented beans

You know, I’ve always hated bitter gourd as a child and most of my youth. My late mother liked it a lot, and whenever she cooked this dish – ‘Braised Chicken with Bitter Gourd and fermented beans’ (BCBGFB) – I always had to pick out the chunks of bitter gourd like they’re laden with rat poison.

But that changed one day when my wife and I were thinking of doing some adventure cooking (you know adventure cooking? That’s when you attempt to cook something you’ve never done before). For some weird fucking reasons, this BCBGFB came up. With a little bit of Googling around and painful recollection of my lost tastebud memories, I managed to cook this bowl of BCBGFB :
Not actual picture of the first dish, this is like, the 4th cookout already…

It kicked so much ass, that I finished most of the bitter gourd myself, and turned into a bitter gourd believer. Amazing isn’t it? Here’s how I did it…



[Clockwise from top left in the pic above]
- Minced Bean paste
Commonly known as ‘taucheong’ or ‘taucheow’. One of the Chinese fancy food and main ingredient for many awesome dishes. Some fucking cheap brands taste like shit, so you have to make sure you get one with a reputable quality. Get the one in the picture, it has a bald old fart with a cane on it, you can never go wrong with this brand. You need about 3/4 of a tablespoon.
- Bitter gourd
If you do not know what’s a fucking bitter gourd, here’s how it looks like. Get 1 stick. Remove the seeds with a fucking spoon, and chop them into the small sizes (about the size of an ink eraser). Soak 30 mins in salt water (lessen the bitterness, which sometimes can ruin your shit). If you like it bitter, skip the soaking. Just fucking chop.
- Chicken
Some corn fed and reasonably good looking chicken (about 1/2 to 3/4 of a bird – enough to feed 3 normal person). Chop them to pieces like you’re trying to get rid of a body into a bag.
- The aromatics (garlic, ginger, fermented beans)
Get about a few cloves of garlic and ginger the size of a dick head (two if you have a small dick). Dice them up small. Like in the picture. The smaller they are, the better (more area surface, cooks faster). As for the fermented beans, just get it from a wet market. The shit comes in dehydrated form, and is black in color. Smells like cheese depending on your olfactory sense. Usually comes pre-packed. Dice them up too, to about 1 tablespoon (not too much, the shit is salty)
- other shit you can scour around the kitchen – corn flour, chinese cooking wine (fahtew/huatiao), corn oil, sesame oil, sugar/honey, soy sauce, water
You need about 1 tablespoon of corn flour (to thicken the shit), 3 – 4 tablespoons of Chinese cooking wine, and about 2 tablespoon of corn oil/sesame oil. A teaspoon of honey made by gay bees, or sugar for alternative. Some high quality soy sauce (Lee Kum Kee brand is dope) and drinking water.
- cooking utensils for the job
You need a steel wok, a frying spoon and a gas stove that can burn real hot.

Here comes the real shit:
1) Heat up the fucking wok till it’s smoking hot. Then pour in the corn oil, wait for it to get hot enough. You can test by touching the oil with your finger. If you get 2nd degree burn, it’s hot enough. Mix in the sesame oil.

2) Stir fry the aromatics with the Minced Bean Paste. Fucking work it out, for about 30 seconds.
Stir fry the aromatics

3) Toss in the chicken, continue to stir fry for about 20 secs, then add in the gay honey (slightly caramelize everything) and bitter gourd (make sure you drain off the salt water before you fucking do that).
Chicken, bitter gourd, aromatics and gay honey – all in 1

4) Pour in some drinking water (no tap water please, it will ruin the flavor), enough to cover 3/4 of everything. Then mix in the fucking soy sauce and corn flour, which should thicken the thing. Bring it to boil.
Add water, thicken it, and bring to boil

5) Turn the heat to medium (simmer), and cover the wok with a dome shaped cover. Leave for about 15 – 20 minutes, switch off the heat and add in the Chinese cooking wine. Serve.
BCBGFB, bitch…

6) Eat it with rice (and with someone you really like), and let out a big satisfactory burp/fart.

This guide is brought to you by Michael Ooi, the engineer who really knows how to cook awesome stuff.

michaelooi  | food  | 

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