Ken's Hom-mage to Zalze Bush Vine Chenin Blanc 2010
Monday 24th January 2011
2010 Bush Vine Chenin Blanc Zalze, South Africa
Some Sichuan cooking can be searingly hot and is a no-go zone for wine. Here the use of chilli is restrained; but it is still important to search out a white with ripe fruit and succulence. This brilliant chenin tastes well above its price-point and is aromatic and full of fruits of the tropics such as papaya. There is plenty of the grape’s tell-tale acidity to cut through the rich prawns.
See Recipe Below
Sichuan Prawns in Chilli Sauce
450g uncooked prawns
1½ tbsp groundnut oil
2 tsp finely chopped fresh ginger
2 tsp finely chopped garlic
2 tbsp finely chopped spring onions
For the sauce
1 tbsp tomato purée
2 tsp chilli bean sauce
1 tsp Chinese black vinegar or cider vinegar
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp sesame oil
For the garnish
spring onions, sliced lengthways
Sichuan cooking is popular throughout China. I can see why – next to Cantonese, it is one of my favourite culinary regions of Chinese cookery. The dish is quick and easy and makes a wholesome and delicious meal, served with a stir-fried vegetable and steamed rice.
If required, peel the prawns and, if you are using large uncooked ones, cut them down the back and remove the fine digestive cord. Wash them and pat them dry with kitchen paper. Heat a wok or a large frying-pan over a high heat until it is hot. Add the oil, and when it is very hot and slightly smoking, add the ginger, garlic and spring onions. Stir-fry for 20 seconds and then add the prawns. Stir-fry the prawns for about one minute. Add the sauce ingredients, season with half a teaspoon each of salt and black pepper and continue to stir-fry for another three to five minutes over a high heat. Garnish with the spring onions and serve at once.
Ken Hom, Telegraph, 19th January 2011