I’ve written many times about how fond we are of our Chinese food in this house, with Chinese being the very first food MGG tasted after milk. So, cooking from China Towns by Jean-François Mallet was really no chore.
In fact the only chore was trying to choose which recipe to try! There are over 100 recipes in here, from soups and dumplings through to noodles, drinks and dessert. Although we probably weren’t feeling quite brave enough to tackle the “weird & wonderful” category. Slow cooked sea cucumber and pumpkin followed by chicken feet will have to wait for another day.
As the book is based on exploring China Towns around the world, then I chose to try General Tao’s chicken. I can’t be sure but this seems to be the same as General Tso’s chicken which I only ever seem to see on menus in the US, although it’s possible that it involves deep frying.
It’s a pretty simple recipe, involving marinading the chicken in soy sauce, tamarind sauce, rice vinegar cornflour, onion, garlic, ginger and chilli. Sounds like a lot but dead simple other the chopping of the onion, garlic and ginger. It only needs an hour in the marinade, and that’s pretty much it. We’ll make this again.
I’m sure other recipes are slightly more complex, but I would say you could take what you wanted out of this book, however complex or simple you want your experience to be. The one thing I know I wouldn’t be making is bubble tea. Most repulsive thing I’ve ever drunk, even worse than a Singapore Sling!