Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Chinese home-made rice wine & egg

I probably should go on a diet. I keep thinking of food for the last few days, especially chocolates and durians.

I normally don't take too much sweet stuff (really!). But MIL brought over 2 boxes of Belgium chocolates which she got at the duty free shops after her recent trip to Cambodia.

It sat in the fridge for one whole week without any of the kids touching it (they aren't particularly fond of chocs either) until I could not bear it anymore (see, it's taking up too much space in the fridge ...) and then, I could not stop myself once I started!

And the last week was the school holidays so I did a bit of baking and cooking to amuse the clan. And I got a surprise request to whip up a familiar dish - commonly served during the one-month confinement period after a member of the family has given birth.

Yup, it is the "chinese rice wine soup with chicken" or "wong jau kai" in Cantonese.

Most local Chinese families are familiar with the home-made glutinuous rice wine which we call "huang jiu" in Mandarin or "wong jau" in Cantonese.

My sister-in-law recently made a batch and gave me a bottle. Normally, Chinese families would make them when a female family member is expecting a baby because after delivery, the new mom would be encouraged to consume copious amount of it. It is traditionally believed that this wine will be able to restore the strength and vitality depleted during pregnancy and childbirth.

No - I ain't pregnant! And actually, no one's pregnant in the family. There are so many female members enjoying this traditional dish that every once in a while, my sister-in-law would work up a batch for all of us. It is pretty easy to make, but that's another story.

Usually, this wine is cooked with small pieces of chicken fried with lots of julienned ginger and strips of chinese fungus sauteed in sesame oil. But I like it better using eggs instead of chicken.

I love the smell of ginger slowly browning in sesame oil. And when the wine is poured into the mixture and left bubbling for a few minutes, I get slightly intoxicated with the fumes of alcohol wafting up! Ahh ... sheer culinary bliss. :)

On cold and rainy days, I particularly enjoy eating and sweating over a hot bowl of rice-wine soup, the part when the alcohol starts getting into my head and I get a little bit tipsy and warm and ... hehehe ... hic! ... a nice fuzzy feeling with a full stomach!

Slice ginger into thin strips and brown them in generous amount of pure sesame oil. When the ginger is crispy, remove and set aside. In the same wok, add a bit of sesame oil & fry chinese mushroom wood fungus (aka mook-yi, which has been pre-soaked and cut into thin strips) for about 3 minutes. Dish out and set aside.

Break three eggs into a bowl, beat lightly and pour into the lightly oiled hot wok. Add a bit of browned ginger and "mook-yi" into the egg. Cook as you would an omelette.

Wrap the omelette into a nice little parcel. I always like this part because it makes me proud of my skills in making a pretty good omelette!

Add the rest of the ginger and "mook-yi" into the wok. Pour in the chinese rice wine, season with a pinch of salt & sugar to taste. Let it bubble and cook for about 5 minutes or longer if you wish to evaporate the alcohol content from the wine. (But that would really take the "kick" out of this dish. For even bigger kick, you can add half a cup of brandy into this!)

It's almost ready. Dish it out into a bowl and enjoy!! Remember - don't partake in this dish if you are going to drive, or feast on durians and chocolates!! (It's way too heaty according to Chinese folklore.)



Blogger desiderata said...

jest reading this, i felt pregnAnt!:) What's the matter?
Can you pls call4Loctor Housey?:(

PS: We're from same school, but not always same school of thots, rite? That's why Life's interarresting, no ISA!

29/8/06 13:36  
Anonymous earl-ku said...

hmmm u cook it without meat?

normally no muk yi, or very less of it ... chicken or pork ...

29/8/06 13:59  
Blogger PabloPabla said...

Wah...eat this one sure sweat like siao wan... :P

29/8/06 16:23  
Blogger Anak Merdeka said...

Desi: No ISA, but too much DDC!

earl-ku: You'd probably noticed that different Chinese communities cook it differently. The Hakkas use lots of ginger & muk-yi and yes, with chicken & pork as well! I like lots of crunchy muk-yi which is why you see heaps of it in the pics.

Pablopabla: hehe .. this is what I call a sweaty workout without working out! Good way to open up the pores, eh?

29/8/06 18:37  
Blogger howsy said...

Kids who don't like sweets and chocolates? Wow, that's rare. :P

29/8/06 18:43  
Blogger Anak Merdeka said...

Hiya Howsy! Thanks for dropping by b4 u do ur disappearing act. Actually, they love chewing gum. :-)

29/8/06 18:49  
Blogger Helen said...

Yum yum.. good dish to drive away those 'wind' in your tummy.

OMG! anak merdeka can COOK!!!

29/8/06 19:54  
Blogger Kenny Ng said...

ahhh... food again! So hungry now, cannot!!! Must control my diet. Anyway, it looks so delicious.

30/8/06 00:15  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

water starts coming from my mouth!!!this bring back memory of mom's good old cooking days ( AKC-TUNE )

26/9/06 02:19  

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