Toasted chill­ies in­fuse these crisp pork morsels with a deep, smoky heat.

donna hay - - INSPIRED -

crispy jas­mine tea-smoked duck

2 ta­ble­spoons Sichuan pep­per­corns 2 tea­spoons fen­nel seeds 1 ta­ble­spoon co­rian­der seeds 2 ta­ble­spoons cumin seeds 1 ta­ble­spoon Chi­nese five spice ¼ cup (30g) sea salt flakes, plus ex­tra to serve 1.2kg whole duck, pat­ted dry and halved length­ways

(back­bone re­moved) 1 cup (200g) jas­mine rice 1 cup (80g) jas­mine tea leaves ½ cup (90g) brown sugar veg­etable oil, for deep-fry­ing ½ cup (100g) rice flour sweet soy-braised peanuts, to serve (see recipe, page 130) Place the pep­per­corns, fen­nel, co­rian­der and cumin in a small fry­ing pan and toast for 30 sec­onds or un­til fra­grant. Place in a mor­tar, add the Chi­nese five spice and salt, and pound with a pes­tle un­til fine, or grind in a spice grinder. Place the duck on an oven tray and rub all over with the spice mix­ture. Re­frig­er­ate, un­cov­ered, for 1 hour to ab­sorb the spices. Re­move the duck from the fridge and set aside at room tem­per­a­ture for 30 min­utes.

Place the rice, tea leaves and sugar in a large bowl and mix to com­bine. Line a large, flame­proof, deep-sided roast­ing tray with 2 lay­ers of alu­minium foil, add the rice mix­ture and spread evenly. Place a lightly greased wire rack in the dish, en­sur­ing it sits above the rice mix­ture. Place the dish over high heat. Once the rice mix­ture be­gins to smoke, place the duck, skin-side up, on the rack. Cover tightly with alu­minium foil, re­duce heat to medium and smoke for 30 min­utes. Turn off the heat and set aside, cov­ered, for 30 min­utes. Re­move the foil, place the duck on a plate and set aside to cool. Re­frig­er­ate, un­cov­ered, for 30 min­utes.

Half-fill a large saucepan with veg­etable oil and heat un­til it reaches 190°C (375°F) on a deep-fry­ing ther­mome­ter. Cut the duck into 8 pieces and dust with the rice flour. Fry, in batches, for 4–5 min­utes or un­til crisp and deep golden. Drain on pa­per towel. Sprin­kle with the ex­tra salt and sweet soy-braised braised peanuts to serve. Serves 4–6.

hot and numb­ing pork belly

2 ta­ble­spoons Sichuan pep­per­corns, plus

2 ta­ble­spoons ex­tra, crushed 1 tea­spoon cumin seeds 3 tea­spoons co­rian­der seeds 800g bone­less pork belly, rind re­moved and

cut into 2cm pieces ¼ cup (60ml) soy sauce 2 tea­spoons caster (su­perfine) sugar ½ tea­spoon sea salt flakes veg­etable oil, for deep-fry­ing ¼ cup (35g) self-rais­ing (self-ris­ing) flour 6 cloves gar­lic, thinly sliced 1 ta­ble­spoon shred­ded gin­ger 2 ta­ble­spoons sesame seeds 4 cups (120g) dried chill­ies 1 cup (140g) peanuts Place the pep­per­corns, cumin and co­rian­der in a small fry­ing pan over high heat and toast for 30 sec­onds or un­til fra­grant. Place in a mor­tar and pound with a pes­tle un­til fine, or grind in a spice grinder. Place the pork belly, soy sauce, sugar, salt and ground spices in a large zip-lock plas­tic bag and toss to coat. Re­frig­er­ate for 30 min­utes to mar­i­nate.

Fill a wok with 5cm of the oil and heat over high heat un­til the oil is smok­ing. Re­move the pork from fridge, add the flour to the bag and shake to com­bine. Cook the pork, in batches, for 4 min­utes or un­til crispy. Re­move with a slot­ted spoon and set aside on an oven tray lined with pa­per towel.

Care­fully pour the oil from the wok and dis­card, re­serv­ing ¼ cup (60ml) oil in the wok. Re­turn the wok to high heat, add the gar­lic and gin­ger and cook for 2 min­utes. Add the sesame seeds, dried chill­ies, peanuts and ex­tra Sichuan pep­per­corns and cook for 1 minute. Re­turn the pork to the wok and cook, toss­ing, for a fur­ther 2 min­utes. Serve. Serves 4–6.

crispy-skin snap­per with sichuan soy broth

veg­etable oil, for shal­low-fry­ing 2 x 420g whole snap­per, trimmed 1 ta­ble­spoon rice flour sea salt flakes ½ tea­spoon ground white pep­per mi­cro (baby) radish sprouts, to serve

sichuan soy broth

¼ cup (60ml) soy sauce ¼ cup (60ml) Chi­nese cook­ing wine (Shaox­ing) 1 ta­ble­spoon caster (su­perfine) sugar 2 tea­spoons sesame oil 4 star anise 3 cups (750ml) water 10 dried chill­ies, chopped 1 ta­ble­spoon Sichuan pep­per­corns To make the Sichuan soy broth, place the soy sauce, cook­ing wine, sugar, sesame oil, star anise, water, dried chilli and pep­per­corns in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a sim­mer, re­duce heat to low and cook for 15 min­utes.

Fill a wok with 5cm of the oil and place over high heat. Slice 3 cuts into both sides of each fish. Place the rice flour, salt and pep­per in a small bowl and mix to com­bine. Dust each fish well with the flour mix­ture. Care­fully lower the fish, one at a time, into the oil and cook for 4–6 min­utes each side or un­til light golden and crispy. Place the fish on a plat­ter. Spoon over the broth and top with the radish sprouts to serve. Serves 4.

dry-fried chilli brisket

1 litre water 1½ cups (375ml) soy sauce 1 cup (250ml) Chi­nese cook­ing wine (Shaox­ing) 1 cup (220g) caster (su­perfine) sugar 3 green onions (scal­lions), halved, plus 4 ex­tra, cut into

3cm lengths 10cm-piece gin­ger, thinly sliced 1 head gar­lic, halved, plus 2 cloves ex­tra, crushed 4 star anise 2 cin­na­mon sticks 6 strips or­ange peel 4 dried chill­ies 1.2kg beef brisket ¼ cup (60ml) veg­etable oil 1 ta­ble­spoon grated gin­ger 1 ta­ble­spoon Sichuan pep­per­corns, crushed black vine­gar pick­led sprouts and Sichuan chilli oil,

to serve (see recipes, page 130) Pre­heat oven to 180°C (350°F). Place the water, soy sauce, cook­ing wine, sugar, onion, gin­ger, gar­lic, star anise, cin­na­mon, or­ange peel and chill­ies in a large heavy-based oven­proof saucepan. Place over high heat and bring to a sim­mer. Add the brisket and cover with a lid. Cook in the oven for 2½ hours or un­til ten­der. Re­move the brisket from the brais­ing liq­uid, re­serv­ing the liq­uid. Shred the brisket and set aside.

Heat the oil in a wok over high heat un­til smok­ing. Cook the brisket, in batches, for 2 min­utes or un­til golden and crisp. Re­move and set aside. Add the grated gin­ger, pep­per­corns, brisket and ex­tra gar­lic to the wok, and cook for 4 min­utes. Add ½ cup (125ml) brisket cook­ing liq­uid and cook for a fur­ther 4 min­utes or un­til dry and sticky. Add the ex­tra green onion and toss for 1 minute. Serve the brisket with the black vine­gar pick­led bean sprouts and Sichuan chilli oil. Serves 4–6.

mapo tofu

1 ta­ble­spoon fer­mented black beans+ 1 ta­ble­spoon veg­etable oil 3 cloves gar­lic, crushed 1 ta­ble­spoon finely grated gin­ger ¼ cup (70g) chilli bean sauce+ ¼ cup (60ml) Chi­nese cook­ing wine (Shaox­ing) 1 ta­ble­spoon soy sauce 1½ cups (375ml) water 1 tea­spoon corn­flour (corn­starch) 1 tea­spoon ground white pep­per 900g silken tofu, cut into cubes 1 tea­spoon Sichuan pep­per­corns, crushed pur­ple basil leaves, to serve Place the black beans in a small bowl and cover with boil­ing water. Set aside to soak for 10 min­utes. Drain.

Heat the oil in a large deep-sided fry­ing pan over medium heat. Add the gar­lic and gin­ger and cook for 2 min­utes. Place the black beans, chilli bean sauce, cook­ing wine, soy sauce, water and corn­flour in a small bowl and mix to com­bine. Add to the pan and bring to a sim­mer. Add the pep­per and tofu, and cook for a fur­ther 5 min­utes or un­til the tofu is hot and sauce has re­duced slightly. Top with the pep­per­corns and basil to serve. Serves 4–6. + You can find fer­mented black beans and chilli bean sauce in Asian gro­cers.

pork won­tons in sichuan chilli oil

400g pork mince 2 tea­spoons grated gin­ger 2 ta­ble­spoons oys­ter sauce 1 green onion (scal­lion), finely chopped ¼ tea­spoon ground white pep­per 2 tea­spoons caster (su­perfine) sugar 28 round gow gee wrap­pers ½ cup (125ml) Sichuan chilli oil (see recipe, page 130) 2 ta­ble­spoons Chi­nese black vine­gar 1 ta­ble­spoon Chi­nese cook­ing wine (Shaox­ing) black sesame seeds and mi­cro (baby) pur­ple shiso, to serve gar­lic paste 2 cloves gar­lic, crushed ½ tea­spoon caster (su­perfine) sugar ½ tea­spoon ta­ble salt 1 tea­spoon sesame oil Place the pork, gin­ger, oys­ter sauce, onion, pep­per and sugar in a medium bowl and mix well to com­bine. One at a time, place the gow gee wrap­pers on a clean sur­face and brush the edges with water. Place heaped tea­spoon­fuls of the pork mix­ture in the cen­tre of each wrap­per and pinch the sides to­gether to seal.

Place a large saucepan of water over high heat and bring to the boil. Cook the dumplings, in batches, for 3 min­utes or un­til cooked through, re­mov­ing with a slot­ted spoon. Re­serve ½ cup (125ml) of the cook­ing liq­uid. Place the chilli oil, vine­gar, cook­ing wine and re­served cook­ing liq­uid in a small bowl and mix to com­bine. Set aside.

To make the gar­lic paste, place the gar­lic, sugar, salt and sesame oil in a bowl and mix to com­bine.

Top dumplings with the chilli oil mix­ture and gar­lic paste. Sprin­kle with sesame seeds and shiso to serve. Serves 4–6.

dan dan noo­dles

2 ta­ble­spoons fer­mented black beans+ 300g pork mince ¹⁄³ cup (80ml) Chi­nese cook­ing wine (Shaox­ing) 2 tea­spoons caster (su­perfine) sugar 2 ta­ble­spoons veg­etable oil 2 ta­ble­spoons soy sauce 1 tea­spoon sesame oil ¼ cup (70g) sesame paste+ 1 clove gar­lic, crushed ½ cup (125ml) boil­ing water 500g fresh wheat noo­dles++ 4 gar­lic chives, thinly sliced fried es­chalots (French shal­lots), to serve Sichuan chilli oil, to serve (op­tional) (see recipe, p130)+++ Place the black beans in a small bowl and cover with boil­ing water. Set aside to soak for 10 min­utes. Drain.

Place the pork mince in a medium bowl with ¼ cup (60ml) cook­ing wine and 1 tea­spoon caster sugar, and mix well to com­bine. Heat the oil in a large fry­ing pan over high heat. Add the pork mix­ture and black beans and cook, break­ing up the mince with the back of a spoon, for 10 min­utes or un­til crisp.

While the pork is cook­ing, place the soy sauce, sesame oil, sesame paste, gar­lic, boil­ing water, re­main­ing cook­ing wine and re­main­ing sugar in a large bowl and mix to com­bine. Cook the noo­dles in a medium saucepan of boil­ing water for 3–4 min­utes or un­til ten­der. Drain, add to the sesame mix­ture and toss to com­bine. Di­vide be­tween bowls and top with the mince, gar­lic chives, fried es­chalots and Sichuan chilli oil (if us­ing) to serve. Serves 4–6. + You can find fer­mented black beans and sesame paste in Asian gro­cers. ++ You can find fresh wheat noo­dles in su­per­mar­kets or Asian gro­cers in the re­frig­er­ated sec­tion. +++ Al­ter­na­tively, you can use store-bought Sichuan chilli oil, avail­able from su­per­mar­kets or Asian gro­cers.

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