Friday, January 27, 2017

Lap Cheong and Vegetable Egg Foo Young with Shiitake Sauce

     Tasty Savory Egg Foo Young!
     Chinese Lap Cheong is a sweet dry cure sausage.  The traditional dry curing process involves hanging the sausages where they will be dried by the wind.  The flavor of Lap Cheong is unique and it can be added to a wide variety of recipes.  Lap Cheong tastes nice with Egg Foo Young.
     Egg Foo Young is a Chinese recipe that is popular worldwide.  There are many regional variations of the Egg Foo Young recipe.  Most often the eggs are flavored with Mung Bean Sprouts and ham, but nearly any vegetable, meat or seafood can be added.  When Egg Foo Young is served with a sauce, the sauce tends to be savory.  The simple Shiitake Mushroom Sauce in today's recipe goes well with the Lap Cheong and vegetable flavored Egg Foo Young.
     Egg Foo Young can also be made in a wide variety of shapes and sizes.  Today's recipe uses stainless steel ring molds to give the Egg Foo Young a uniform shape.

     Shiitake Sauce:
     This recipe yields about 1 cup.   
     Step 1:  Heat a sauce pot over medium/medium high heat.
     Add 1 cup of light chicken broth.
     Add 2 ounces of sweet rice wine or sherry.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of soy sauce.
     Add 2 pinches of Chinese Five Spice Powder.
     Add 1 minced garlic clove.
     Add 1 teaspoon of minced ginger.
     Add 2 pinches of sea salt and white pepper.
     Step 2:  Bring the sauce to a boil.
     Add 1/4 cup of very thin sliced shiitake mushrooms.
     Step 3:  Mix 1 tablespoon of cold water with 1 tablespoon of corn starch in a cup to make a slurry.
     Add just enough of the corn starch slurry to the boiling sauce while stirring, to thicken the sauce to a thin sauce consistency.
     Step 4:  Reduce the temperature to low heat.
     Simmer the sauce for 5 minutes.
     Step 5:  Keep the sauce warm over very low heat.
     Add 1 thin bias sliced green onion just before serving.

     Lap Cheong and Vegetable Egg Foo Young:
     This recipe yields 2 large Egg Foo Young. 
     Lap Cheong is available in Asian food markets.  This dry cure sausage is very dense and hard.  Poaching helps to soften this sausage.  
     Step 1:  Place a 3 ounce piece of Lap Cheong in a small sauce pot.
     Cover the sausage with water.
     Simmer the sausage over medium low for about 10 minutes, to soften the a little bit.
     Remove the sausage from the water and let it cool.
     Bias cut the sausage into 12 very thin slices.  (About 1/8" thick.)
     Set the sausage aside.
     Step 2:  Place 1/3 cup of very thin sliced bok choy in a container.
     Add 2 tablespoons of very thin sliced small onion strips.
     Add 2 tablespoons of very thin sliced small green bell pepper strips.
     Mix the vegetables together.
     Set the vegetables aside.
     Step 3:  Place 4 large eggs in a mixing bowl.
     Add 1 tablespoon of flour.
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of lemon juice.
     Add 1 pinch of sea salt and white pepper.
     Whisk the egg mixture till it is thoroughly combined.
     Step 4:  Heat a wide non-stick sauté pan over medium low heat.
     Add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil.
     Step 5:  Select 2 ring molds that are 3 1/2" to 4" wide.
     Brush the inside of each ring mold with vegetable oil.
     Place the 2 stainless steel ring molds in the sauté pan.
     Place a small amount of the vegetable mixture in each ring mold.
     Place 3 slices of the Lap Cheong in each ring mold.
     Place equal amounts of the remaining vegetable mixture in each ring mold.
     Step 6:  Cover the pan with a dome shaped lid.
     Let the vegetables grill and steam for 2 minutes.
     Step 7:  Remove the lid.
     Slowly pour 2 to 3 tablespoons of the whisked egg mixture over the vegetables in each ring mold.
     *The small amount of egg will seal the bottom of each ring mold, so the rest of the eggs do not leak out of the bottom of the ring mold.  Add a little more egg if necessary.  If any egg mixture leaks out, scoop up the excess egg and set it on top of the vegetables in the ring mold.  
     Wait till the small amount of egg cooks firm, so it seals the bottom of each ring mold.  (This only takes about 15 to 20 seconds.)
     Step 8:  Slowly pour an equal amount of the remaining whisked egg mixture into each ring mold.
     *If any egg leaks out, gather it up and place it back in the ring mold.
     Step 9:  Remove the pan from the heat.
     Cover the pan with a dome shaped lid.
     Place the pan in a 325ºF oven.
     Bake till the eggs are firm and fully cooked.
     Step 10:  Remove the pan from the oven.
     Remove the lid.
     Use a large spatula to set each Egg Foo Young and ring mold on a cutting board.
     Step 11:  Use a spatula to flip each Egg Foo Young ring mold over, so the golden brown side faces up.
     Remove each ring mold by gently pressing the Egg Foo Young down, while lifting the ring mold up.  (If necessary, run a thin small knife around the inside if the ring mold, to free the Egg Foo Young.)

     Lap Cheong and Vegetable Egg Foo Young with Shiitake Sauce:
     This recipe yields 1 large entrée that can be shared by 2 guests.
     Step 1:  Use a spatula to place the 2 Egg Foo Young on a plate.
     Spoon a generous portion of the Shiitake Sauce on the plate around the 2 Egg Foo Young.  (Serve any extra sauce on the side.)
     Step 2:  Garnish the top of each Egg Foo Young 3 thin slices of Lap Cheong.
     Garnish each Egg Foo Young with bias sliced green onion.

     This style of Egg Foo Young entrée takes a little bit of effort to make, but the flavor is well worth the wait!

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