DOMESTIC DILEMMAS SOLVED
Don’t be daunted by that diva demeanour – Friday’s very own chef Silvena Rowe is happy to answer all your kitchen queries
Q I love onion rings but whenever I make them, they turn out soggy and soft. How should I be making them?
A Cooking onion rings in the oven is the healthiest way of doing it, but it’s hard to get that crispy texture this way, so as long as you’re not eating them every day, frying is the best way to cook them.
There are three important things to remember when you make onion rings. Firstly, have plenty of oil in your frying pan. Secondly, the oil should be very hot. And lastly, don’t crowd the pan. Frying the onions in small batches will ensure that the temperature of the oil does not fall too much.
Here is a simple recipe: 2 large onions, cut into 1cm-thick rings and layers separated 500ml milk, whisked with 1 large egg 225g flour 225g cornflour
Soak onion rings in the milk mixture for 30 minutes. Mix together flour and cornflour. Toss each ring in the flour mixture then dip in the milk mixture again. Remove and dip in flour mixture for the second time. Now carefully
drop onion rings in the hot oil and fry in batches until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove onion rings, drain on kitchen paper and season with salt.
By dipping the onion rings in the milk and flour mixtures twice, they will get a nice crispy crunch that will not turn soggy. Enjoy!
Q I love Chinese food but don’t know how to cook it. What is the secret to chicken hakka noodles and how do I make chicken Manchurian with gravy?
A I love chicken hakka noddles too! The secret is in the way you finish off the dish once you have boiled the noodles, along with the amount of sauce you use.
Hakka noodles should be quite firm and al dente – not overcooked. The vegetables and the noodles should be cooked properly – done but with a crunch – and there shouldn’t be too much sauce or the dish will be sloppy.
To make chicken Manchurian, it’s important to get the sauce right. Here’s my recipe for Manchurian sauce. Its delicious and so simple. Enjoy! 2 tbsp oil 2 tbsp ginger-garlic paste 4 small green chillies chopped, seeds removed 1 bunch spring onions, sliced 1 bunch coriander leaves, chopped 500ml chicken stock 3 tbsp soy sauce 2 tbsp chilli sauce 1/2 tsp ground black pepper 2 tsp cornflour, dissolved in 4 tbsp water
Heat oil in a pan over high heat, add ginger-garlic paste and green chillies and fry for 2 minutes or until fragrant.
Add spring onions and coriander then reduce heat, add chicken stock, soy and chilli sauces and pepper and bring to boil. Add cornflour solution and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Serve with chicken.