Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Readers a Wonder; here's Mandarin's famous chicken

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KIM Cole had asked if anyone could help find a recipe for the Wonder Chicken served at River Mandarin. Thanks to Gerri McCullough who was able to supply the recipe reprinted today. She has it from a 1998 publication, as noted below, and says that it was provided by the restaurant.

Tim Sewell is a former Winnipegger who has been living in Indonesia for the last 10 years. He e-mailed the following recipe for Nasi Goreng, a staple in Indonesia, to share with readers. He also puts out another request for River Mandarin's Beef the River. He says there was a recipe for it in the Free Press about 15 years ago and hopes someone else may have saved it.

Leslie Reeves is looking for a Vietnamese noodle soup recipe that has a clear broth, lots of vegetables, cilantro and some meat or chicken. Jacqueline Marques of St. Andrews would like to duplicate a spicy peanut noodle soup that used to be available at the Szechuan Restaurant on Pembina. It had udon noodles, beef broth, peanut butter, chili spice and other ingredients, with ground beef or pork on top.

Delia Kolomic is on the hunt for a recipe for the raspberry shortbread meringue fingers that were sold at a Finnish bakery on Sargent Avenue about 30 years ago. They had a shortbread base, raspberry filling and a meringue topping that she thinks was covered with chopped nuts. She also asks if any readers can supply the recipe for the lemon cake that is sold at Folklorama's Slovenian pavilion.

Last, Arlene Anderson would like to be able to make the double layer Snickers cake that used to be available at Penner Foods, and Jacqueline Renaud asks if anyone knows where she can buy Knorr ham stock cubes.

If you can help with a recipe request, have your own request, or a favourite recipe you'd like to share, send an e-mail to recipeswap@freepress.mb.ca, fax it to 697-7412, or write to Recipe Swap, c/o Darlene Henderson, Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave., Winnipeg, MB, R2X 3B6. Include your first and last name, address and telephone number. Please note that your recipe may not appear right away due to space limitations.

Wonder chicken

450 g (1 lb) chicken thighs, boneless and skinless

225 ml (1/2 cup) onion, chopped

60 ml (1/4 cup) green pepper, cubed

60 ml (1/4 cup) red pepper, cubed

3 egg yolks

Oil

MARINADE

30 ml (2 tbsp) light soy sauce

1 egg white or 30 ml (2 tbsp) water

30 ml (2 tbsp) cornstarch

SEASONING SAUCE

30 ml (2 tbsp) soy sauce

30 ml (2 tbsp) water

5 ml (1 tsp) sugar

5 ml (1 tsp) dry white wine

2 ml (1/2 tsp) sesame seed oil

PEANUT MIXTURE

30 ml (2 tbsp) roasted peanuts, ground

15 ml (1 tbsp) roasted sesame seeds, ground

5 ml (1 tsp) sugar

Dice chicken into 1/2-inch cubes and marinate in refrigerator for 30 to 60 minutes.

Combine peanut mixture ingredients; mix well and set aside. Lightly beat the egg yolks.

Remove the chicken from the marinade and place into the egg yolks. Heat 1 litre (4 cups) of oil to 350 F. Deep fry chicken a few pieces at a time for about 2 minutes for each batch or until cooked. Remove chicken and let drain.

Heat 30 ml (2 tbsp) oil and stir fry onion, green pepper and red pepper for about 1 minute. Add seasoning sauce and continue heating until sauce thickens. Add chicken to the sauce and mix well. Serve with peanut mixture sprinkled on top and your favourite rice dish on the side. Serves 2 to 4.

This recipe was found in a 1998 copy of Winnipeg Free Press Media Sponsors In Good Taste, Third edition, provided by the chefs, restaurants and entertainment venues of Winnipeg and surrounding communities.

Taste Tester Notes: This tastes great and is the worth the effort. The peanut topping really adds a lot to the flavour of this dish. I used a mini-processor to finely grind the peanuts and sesame seeds.

Nasi goreng (Indonesian fried rice)

500 ml (2 cups) uncooked white long grain rice

3 eggs

3 or 4 hot chili peppers (these look like 2 1/2-inch bullets)

1 red pepper (regular or mild chili)

10 peeled garlic cloves (nice ones)

15 grape-sized peeled purple shallots (adjust for bigger shallots)

30 ml (2 tbsp) oil

250 ml (1 cup) peeled mini shrimp

250 ml (1 cup) fresh or frozen peas

1 medium sized chicken breast (cut into half-inch pieces)

375 ml (1 1/2 cups) small scallops (or chicken if desired)

30 ml (2 tbsp) chicken Bovril/soup powder

15 ml (1 tbsp) Indonesian soy sauce (optional)

Cook rice and set aside.

Lightly scramble eggs (a fluffy scramble) in 15 ml (1 tbsp) of the oil and remove from wok (or wok sized pan).

Crush chili peppers, red pepper, garlic and shallots with a mortar and pestle or vegetable chopper until texture is like a thick paste. Heat 15 ml (1 tbsp) of oil and fry up paste, stirring constantly. Add in shrimp, peas, chicken and scallops. (Pre-cook the chicken or put chicken in with the paste to cook earlier.) Stir constantly. Stir in chicken Bovril and Indonesian soy sauce. The soy sauce will give it a nice tan colour and add a little twist on the flavour. Add in rice and eggs and mix thoroughly.

You can eat this on its own or serve it along side any meat or fish dish. Keep in mind this is a garlic-based dish, not great dating food, but guaranteed to keep the vampires away for at least 12 hours.

Taste Tester Notes: Definitely not for the faint of heart. This dish is a meal in itself with lots of flavour and lots of garlic. I am usually of the school of thought that you can never have too much garlic, but found that 10 large cloves of garlic was definitely enough for this recipe. (You can safely cut back the garlic to half the amount if you choose.) A food processor will make the paste quickly. Since the shallots are being made into paste, save time peeling by using a lesser amount of large ones. I used 3 chili peppers and a sweet red pepper, and recommend using the soy sauce (you may want to increase it to 30 ml or 2 tablespoons). Indonesian soy sauce, or Kecap Manis, is very thick and sweet, with a slight molasses flavour. It is inexpensive and you can find it in a large grocery store that carries ethnic foods, or at Asian specialty stores.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 20, 2008

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