Islands in China: Steps to the Bed of God -buy from
This recipe was recreated at the second London Food Film Fiesta by distinguished Chinese food author Deh-Ta Hsiung after a screening of ‘Chinese Feast’. A variation of the classic sweet and sour carp from the Yellow River in Northern China, this colourful and delicious dish from Shanghai can be adapted to accommodate almost any kind of fish. The ‘five-willow’ here refers to the five shredded vegetables used in the sauce. The fish does not have to be crispy fried. It can be poached or steamed, and the sauce poured over it afterwards.
1 whole fish (sea bass, trout, bream, grey mullet etc, weighing about 500g, cleaned)

1 teaspoon salt

oil for deep-frying

For the sauce

3 dried Chinese mushrooms, soaked

1 tablespoon thinly shredded fresh ginger

2-3 spring onions, thinly shredded

50g bamboo shoots, thinly shredded

1 small carrot, thinly shredded

1 small green pepper, thinly shredded

1 small red pepper, thinly shredded

2-3 red chillies, shredded (optional)

2 tablespoons light soy

2 tablespoons sugar

3 tablespoons rice vinegar

1 tablespoon rice wine

about 100ml stock

1 tablespoon cornflour paste

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1. Clean and dry the fish well. Diagonally score both sides of the fish as far as the bones at intervals of about 2 cm. Rub the salt all over the fish, both inside and out.

2. Squeeze dry the mushrooms, discard any hard stalk, and thinly shred. Thinly shred all the vegetables.

3 Deep fry the fish in hot oil for 3-4 minutes on each side. Remove and place on a serving platter.

4. While the fish is being fried, heat about 1 tablespoon oil in a separate wok or pan, stir-fry all the vegetables for about 2 minutes, add the seasonings and stock, bring to the boil and thicken with the cornflour paste. Sprinkle on the sesame oil and pour the sauce over the fish. Serve immediately.

Adapted from The Chinese Kitchen by Deh-Ta Hsiung 
Foreword by Ken Hom "As more and more people cook with Chinese ingredients and as Chinese flavours have become increasingly popular, much confusion has arisen about what ingredients to buy, how one should look for them, and which brands are the best. Thanks to Deh-Ta Hsiung’s encyclopaedic survey of Chinese ingredients and their use in the Chinese kitchen all will now become clear." 

Authentic Chinese ingredients are now available all year round, not only from the "China towns" in our major cities, but also from our local supermarkets. In this title the renowned expert on Chinese food, Deh-Ta Hsiung, introduces and describes over 100 ingredients in great detail and provides at least two recipes for each ingredient to demonstrate its versatility. Each page is illustrated with cut-outs of each ingredient in its many forms, cultural pictures of China and recipe photography.

From the Publisher
With a foreword by Ken Hom, lavish illustrations of each ingredient and stunning recipe photography, The Chinese Kitchen offers an intriguing insight into the essential ingredients of Chinese cooking.

From the Inside Flap
Using ingredients as his starting point, Deh-Ta Hsiung demystifies the Chinese culinary art and its traditions and in the process he brings to us recipes renowned for their accessibility and irresistible deliciousness. Whether you take The Chinese Kitchen with you shopping or savour it at home, this bold and unique cookbook, with its great wealth of information and photographs will guide you clearly and simply through the thicket of ingredients readily available in supermarkets and Chinese grocers today….

About the Author
Deh-Ta Hsiung was born in Peking and has traveled widely throughout China. Having completed his education in London and Oxford, he became an acknowledged expert on Chinese food and cookery. He is the author of several best-selling books and is a tutor of international renown. He is also a food and wine consultant for Chinese restaurants and food manufacturers.

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