Happy Chinese New Year (Kung Hei Fat Choi apparently), and Spring Festival - if you celebrate it.
For those people who follow us on facebook you may be aware that a while ago we tried to make some homemade Chinese dumplings. The reasons for this were three-fold. One, it seems most Chinese dumplings and most dim sum options are made from wheat flour, two, I'd found a recipe for the dough which contained no gluten, and three, we have been given some gluten free* wheat starch to try, just to see if it is gluten or wheat that I have a reaction to. Anyway, to cut a long story short, the dumplings were a disaster. More like a pile of gloop. But we will not give in. Watch this space. And, by the way, I definitely have a reaction to wheat, no doubt there. Still seem to have a reaction to gluten though, but less-so.
So, homemade Chinese food for the Chinese New Year. In the past we have tried the Ken Hom Chicken with Chilli Peppers and Basil which was lovely, so we wanted to try something different. I have been reading Hollow Legs for a while now, with special interest in the homemade Chinese recipes, especially the various dim sum, looking for ways to adapt them. We have looked at this recipe for General Tso's Chicken before but never tried it, until now! We thought on this occasion, we'd leave the dumplings alone and go for a safer option.
After slight confusion over mixing the marinade ingredients, the recipe worked well and we loved the sour taste of the vinegar in the sauce. We didn't use skin-on chicken thighs, and had to use just the one type of soy sauce - the gluten free kind, but the dish was delicious. The level of chilli spiciness was just right, and as a sauce lover the amount of sauce for me was great. The dish, however, did test our chopstick skills as the chicken did threaten to ping across the table at various points! Yes, its been a while since the chopsticks were out. More practice I say.
We served it with egg fried rice and stir fried mixed veg. Lovely.
* I believe that the Codex standard for gluten free food was previously set at lower than 200ppm, meaning foods with containing gluten at this level or lower would be considered safe for people with Ceoliac disease, but since last year this has changed to 20ppm. (Hence why many foods now show the disclaimer that they may contain traces) The wheat starch I used was 50ppm and therefore, technically, it was gluten free, well at least up until last year.