One of my favourite programmes at the moment is Exploring China, I wrote about catching up on it in my food programmes post recently and I am really glad I found out about it, it is a brilliant series. I’ve learnt a lot about Chinese cooking from it and am keen to try some new recipes from the series.
The programme in Sichuan was very interesting, having seen many Sichuan restaurants popping up in London and even one in Cambridge, I was keen to know about the province a bit more and also how to use the infamous Sichaun Pepper.
I liked the idea of creating a Sichuan pepper spiced hot oil to pour over the dish to finish it off so I tried it on a fillet of salmon. Not a traditional thing to use with Sichuan cuisine as they don’t use much seafood, but it was delicious and diet friendly (more on the dreaded diet soon). A warning: the photo is pretty unphotogenic but it tasted delicious!
I poached the salmon fillet in vegetable stock (you could use fish stock if you had some) for about 10 minutes on a medium low heat. Meanwhile I fried finely chopped garlic, a teaspoon of chilli bean paste, finely chopped ginger and about 10 Sichuan peppercorns crushed up. When the salmon was ready I poured the fragrant hot oil over it. I had it with a cabbage and carrot salad spiked with rice vinegar, sesame oil and sesame seeds. A perfect light dinner with tons of flavour.
You can find (very few of) the recipes on the BBC Website, I wish there were a few more there but I suppose they want me to buy the book! Exploring China is on Sundays at 8pm, the next episode will be in Taiwan and Canton.