Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Hong Kong Nachos

     Noodle House Fusion Style Nachos!
     The only place in Asia that I could think of that possibly has a steady supply of Cheddar Cheese is Hong Kong, because of the age of British occupation.  The possible Hong Kong cheddar factor inspired the name of today's unique appetizer creation.  The name Hong Kong Nachos kind of does have a ring to it!
     Fried lotus root chips take the place of tortilla chips in this interesting Asian style nachos recipe.  All of the ingredients in this nacho recipe add up to create a nice Asian fusion flavor.  Surprisingly, the sharp cheddar cheese goes well with the Asian cuisine flavors.

     *This entire recipe yields 1 medium size nacho appetizer that can be shared by two guests!
     Lotus Chips:
     Step 1:  Heat 4" to 5" of vegetable frying oil to 360ºF in a high sided pot.
     Step 2:  Cut 2 peeled lotus roots into very thin slices.  (The slices should be as thin as a potato chip.  Use a French Mandolin if you have one.)
     Step 3:  Fry the lotus root slices in small batches, so they cook evenly.
     When the lotus chips are crispy golden brown, use a fryer net to place them on a wire screen roasting rack over a drip pan to drain off the excess oil.
     Season the lotus chips with a light sprinkle of sea salt.
     Teriyaki 5 Spice Ground Pork:
     Step 1:  Heat a sauté pan over medium heat.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of vegetable oil.
     Add 4 to 5 ounces of ground pork.
     Add sea salt and white pepper.
     Add 2 pinches of Chinese five spice powder.
     Sauté till the ground pork is lightly browned.  Break any clumps of pork up as it cooks.
     Step 2:  Place the pork in a small colander to drain off any excess grease.
     Place the cooked ground pork in a small mixing bowl.
     Keep the ground pork warm on a stove top.
     Step 3:  Heat a small sauce pot over medium heat.
     Add 1/4 cup of soy sauce.
     Add 1/4 cup of sugar.
     Reduce the soy sauce and sugar together, till it is a thin syrup consistency.
     Step 4:  Add just enough of the teriyaki glaze to the warm ground pork in the mixing bowl, to coat the pork with flavor.
     Toss the pork and sauce together.
     Keep the teriyaki 5 spice pork warm on a stove top.
     Garlic Fermented Black Bean Sauce:
     Fermented black bean paste can be very salty!  Adding salt may not be necessary.  
     Step 1:  Heat a small sauce pot over medium heat.
     Add 2 tablespoons of fermented black bean paste.
     Add 1 teaspoon of garlic paste.
     Add 1 cup of light chicken broth.
     Step 2:  Bring the liquid to a gentle boil.
     Add just enough corn starch and cold water slurry, while stirring, to thicken the sauce to a very thin consistency.
     Step 3:  Reduce the temperature to medium low heat.
     Simmer and reduce the sauce, till it is a medium thin sauce consistency that easily glazes a spoon.
     Keep the sauce warm on a stove top.
     Hong Kong Nachos:
     Nachos are best if they are assembled in loose layers.  When assembling nachos, leave spaces and air pockets in the nachos so the hot oven air can thoroughly heat the middle of the mounded nachos.  Densely packed nachos usually end up being soggy and greasy. 
     Step 1:  Place a layer of the lotus chips on an oven proof serving plate.
     Sprinkle a small portion of each of these items on the lotus chips:
     - teriyaki 5 spice ground pork
     - grated cheddar cheese
     - sliced green onion
     - chopped red bell pepper
     - sliced green serrano pepper
     Step 2:  Repeat these steps, till there are several layers and the mound of nachos stands tall on the plate.
     Sprinkle a little extra grated cheddar cheese over the mound of nachos.
     Step 3:  Bake the nachos on the plate in a 350ºF oven, till the ingredients become hot and the cheese melts.  (Do not brown the cheese!)
     Step 4:  Set the hot nacho plate on top of a second serving plate.  (Always put a cold plate under the hot nacho plate, so guests do not get burned by the hot plate!)
     Step 5:  Spoon a few very small dabs of the garlic fermented black bean sauce over the nachos.  (Fermented black beans are salty, so use the sauce sparingly.)
     Pour a few streaks of Sriracha Sauce over the Hong Kong Nachos.
     Garnish the plate with cilantro leaves..
     This is not your average plate of nachos!  Gourmet Hong Kong Nachos are the flavor bomb! 

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