The Christmas countdown is now on. I thought that I would offer up some Chinese food alternatives to the traditional Western Christmas menu. Variety is the spice of life, after all! Over the next couple of weeks, I will try to get some recipes on the website for you to try. From starters, mains, sides, desserts, drinks, appetisers and even ways to use up the left overs! As pre-Christmas party season is in full swing, how about we start with some party food, great for when you are entertaining friends and family? I thought that I would offer two recipes, both from my cookbook Chinese Food Made Easy. My Spiced Skewered Lamb is a great finger food - easy to pick up and nibble of the wooden skewers. The meat is coated in spices, skewered and then cooked on a grill. Lovely and spicy. How about adding my Coriander Prawns to the table too? Large tiger prawns dipped in a light and crispy batter - deep fry in the Lotus Wok until they turn golden brown. Your guests will love them! Full recipes are in Chinese Food Made Easy and at the bottom of the page. Love, Ching x SPICE SKEWERED LAMB Ingredients 200g/7oz lamb loin fillet, thinly sliced and then cut into small pieces olive oil For the seasoning 1 tsp ground cumin 1 tsp fennel seeds 1 tsp dried chilli flakes ½ tsp paprika pinch sea salt 1-2 tsp light soy sauce (to taste) 1 tsp groundnut oil or vegetable oil 1 tsp Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry Method Soak 8-10 wooden skewers in a bowl of cold water for about 20 minutes. For the seasoning, combine all the seasoning ingredients together in a bowl. Add the meat and stir to coat in the spices, then thread the meat onto the skewers. Heat a dash of olive oil in a griddle pan until smoking and add the skewers, cooking for 2-3 minutes, or until browned on one side. Turn the skewers over and cook for a further 1-2 minutes, or until browned and cooked to your liking, then transfer to a serving plate and serve immediately. ------------------------------------------- CORIANDER PRAWNS Ingredients 1 egg 100g (3½oz) potato flour groundnut oil 8 large raw tiger prawns, shelled with head off, tail on, and deveined For the herby sauce 2 garlic cloves, crushed 1 medium green chilli, deseeded and roughly chopped large handful of fresh coriander, leaves and stalks 4 large broccoli florets 1tbsp Longjing tea leaves or other green tea leaves For the crispy tea leaves 1tbsp groundnut oil 2tbsp Longjing tea leaves or other green tea leaves Mix the egg and potato flour in a bowl to form a batter. Heat a wok or pan over a high heat and fill to a quarter of its depth with groundnut oil. Heat the oil to 180°C (350°F), or until a cube of bread turns brown in 15 seconds. Dip the prawns in the batter one by one and lower them into the oil. Cook until golden, then remove from the oil and drain on absorbent kitchen paper. Place all the ingredients for the herby sauce in a container suitable for use with a hand stick blender and blend well. Drain the wok of oil, wipe clean with absorbent kitchen paper and return the wok to the heat. Add the sauce and bring to the bubble, then take off the heat. To make the crispy tea leaves, heat the groundnut oil in a small pan over a high heat, add the tea leaves and lightly fry until crisp. Remove and drain on kitchen paper. Place prawns on a serving plate, pour the hot sauce over them, sprinkle with the crispy tea leaves and serve immediately with steamed rice. Alternatively, serve the sauce as a dip for the prawns.
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