CABBAGE WITH MUSHROOMS
1 Chinese cabbage (bok choy), from 2 to 3 pounds
8 or 9 medium Oriental dried mushrooms
3/4 cup sliced bamboo shoots (canned)
2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 teaspoon salt
Wash cabbage and remove bruised outer leaves; slice all but the stalky part. Soak mushrooms until soft (about 15 minutes), slice off stems, and cut mushrooms into halves. Save the water in which they were soaked. Slice bamboo shoots.
Heat oil and stir-fry mushrooms for 2 minutes; add cabbage and stir a few times; then add bamboo shoots and salt, and stir a few times more. Add 1/4 cup of mushroom water (or more if cabbage seems dry), cover, and cook about 8 minutes. When ready, cabbage should be a transparent, tender green and crisp. Serves 4.
The famous spice blend, called heung new fun by the Chinese,consists of ground cloves, Chinese star anise, cinnamon, fennel and licorice root. The Chinese consider these five ingredients a master piece of blending and any dish using them. (roast duck,roast chicken,squab,or barbecued spareribs) becomes a Festival Dish. Because this mix is potent, not unlike some Indian curry powders,it should be used with caution.
CHINESE BARBECUED SPARERIBS
1 3/4 pounds spareribs
2 tablespoons soy sauce (thick type)
3 tablespoons hoisin sauce (right) 2 garlic cloves, crushed and minced
1 slice ginger, crushed and minced
2 tablespoons honey or brown sugar
½ teaspoon five-spice powder
1/4 cup hot water
Cut spareribs between bones, but without severing the links. Mix remaining ingredients. Coat the spareribs with this marinade on both sides and between bones, and let stand from 1/2 to 1 hour. Cook in shallow pan on oven rack at 375°. Set a pan of water beneath to keep meat moist.
After 10 or 15 minutes, turn spareribs over, reduce heat to 250° and cook until deliciously brown and well done. Cut ribs apart into individual portions, and serve hot with a dip of English mustard or Chinese plum sauce (often called”duck sauce”). Serves 4.