Recipe report: Ken's Hunan Lamb

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Recipe report: Ken's Hunan Lamb

Postby Jenise » Fri Mar 08, 2013 5:44 pm

FLDGer Ken Schechet I believe I've botched the spelling) posted the recipe below awhile back in a thread about Lan Chi Garlic Sauce. If you google the sauce, that thread is the 8th most popular 'hit' on the topic! Anyway, I know that because I was googling for sources--can't find it anywhere and I'm truly at the bottom of my jar--and a review of the thread convinced me to try Ken's dish with the last I had.

It's outstanding. Served it with rice and garlic-fried pea vines. Thanks, Ken!

Hunan Lamb

3/4 lb leg of lamb, sliced
1 Cup leeks, about 2 1/2 inches long
5 pieces of black mushrooms (soaked in hot water before slicing and using)
6 pieces bamboo shoots
1 1/2 Tbs Dark soy sauce
1/2 tsp sugar
2 Tbs dry sherry or rice wine
1/2 tsp rice vinegar
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1 1/2 Tbs chili paste with garlic
1/2 Tbs corn starch mixed with 1/2 tbs water

Stir fry lamb until almost done. Add black mushrooms and bamboo shoots and cook briefly. Drain meat and vegetables leaving about 1 Tbs oil in the wok. Cook leeks for about 1/2 minute. Add lamb and vegetables back into the wok. Add all the remaining sauces (mixed together) and cook for a few seconds until lamb is coated and the sauce has thickened.
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Re: Recipe report: Ken's Hunan Lamb

Postby Karen/NoCA » Fri Mar 08, 2013 9:44 pm

paste or sauce. Here is where I get mine.

http://www.amazon.com/Lan-Chi-Chili-Paste-Garlic/dp/B0019BUOU0

FWIW...I don't like spending time running all over town to find product, or even running in other cities. I have a taco sauce I love but the nearest I can get it is near LA so I order by the case. You might look for the nearest source near you and order by the case. Split it with someone if you wish, but at least you have a year or two supply of the product. Yes, you have to bite the bullet on shipping but if you love the product, it is worth it. :wink: Then there have been times when I bought enough of other product, shipping was free!
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Re: Recipe report: Ken's Hunan Lamb

Postby Jenise » Sat Mar 09, 2013 2:48 pm

Karen, I saw that offer yesterday--had to laugh. On Amazon, they say the product is 7.99 and shipping's $4.29. On Yollie's own online store, the product is $4.29, but shipping is $7.99. Either way, $12 is insane. Lan Chi has a site you can order from directly, three jars for $11.87 I think it was, but they're temporarily out of stock on this item. If worst comes to worst, my Chinese friend in L.A. will bring some back from her next trip to Honolulu--that's where she buys it, can't find it in L.A. Strange that it's so easy to buy it in on the east coast but not here. Uwajimaya in Seattle used to carry it, but no longer does.
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Re: Recipe report: Ken's Hunan Lamb

Postby Frank Deis » Mon Mar 11, 2013 7:16 pm

I think I've mentioned that I can buy it easily at one of the nearby Chinese supermarkets, and I wouldn't mind shipping a couple of jars if there isn't an easier solution to be found. I think I pay about $4 per jar of Lan Chi. Do you know they have other products, for example a "salad dressing" that seems to be almost pure sesame paste, and I think just a garlic sauce without the chili? Or chili without the garlic, or something. Different color labels.

By the way I keep misreading the title here as "HUMAN lamb" which leads to thoughts of Easter etc. as well as a moment of cognitive dissonance...
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Re: Recipe report: Ken's Hunan Lamb

Postby Jenise » Mon Mar 11, 2013 8:41 pm

Frank Deis wrote:I think I've mentioned that I can buy it easily at one of the nearby Chinese supermarkets, and I wouldn't mind shipping a couple of jars if there isn't an easier solution to be found. I think I pay about $4 per jar of Lan Chi. Do you know they have other products, for example a "salad dressing" that seems to be almost pure sesame paste, and I think just a garlic sauce without the chili? Or chili without the garlic, or something. Different color labels.

By the way I keep misreading the title here as "HUMAN lamb" which leads to thoughts of Easter etc. as well as a moment of cognitive dissonance...


Thanks, Frank. Actually, someone else has made that offer too so I think my Lan Chi needs will soon be met. I've never used any of their other products. Btw, re the 'human' thing, Ken's recipe called it 'Hunam Lamb' and I had the same problem with it. Probably for that reason, I unconsciously changed my reference to 'Hunan', the word I know anyway but which also definitely separates it from thoughts of Hannibal Lecter.
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Re: Recipe report: Ken's Hunan Lamb

Postby Ken Schechet » Tue Mar 12, 2013 1:25 am

Jenise, really glad you liked the recipe. I haven't made it myself in years and now I think I'm going to have to do it.

Until you get more Lan Chi, here is a non spicy version of the recipe. I've had more than one person tell me that this is the best lamb dish of any kind that they've ever had.

PEKING LAMB

3/4 lb leg of lamb
1 Cup scallions, about 2 1/2 inches long
1/2 tsp chopped garlic
1/2 tsp minced fresh ginger
2 Tbs dark soy sauce
1/2 Tbs sugar
2 Tbs dry sherry or rice wine
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/2 Tbs corn starch mixed with 1/2 tbs water

Cut lamb into thin slices

Mix all the sauces together.

Add vegetable oil to wok. When oil is hot add the lamb and cook.
Remove and drain the meat well leaving 1 Tbs oil in the wok.
Add scallions, ginger and garlic to the wok and cook for a few seconds.
Put the lamb back into the wok and add the sauces.
Cook for a few seconds until lamb is coated and the sauce has thickened.
Ken
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Re: Recipe report: Ken's Hunan Lamb

Postby Paul Winalski » Tue Mar 12, 2013 11:49 am

Ken,

How much vegetable oil do you use for the stir-frying? It's not in the ingredients list for either recipe.

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Re: Recipe report: Ken's Hunan Lamb

Postby Ken Schechet » Tue Mar 12, 2013 12:36 pm

How much vegetable oil is a personal choice kind of thing. The restaurant I got the recipe from (Shun Lee Palace in NYC) mixes the meat with an egg white and about a tablespoon of cornstarch and lets it sit a little while. This does tenderize the meat but then requires about two cups of oil to cook it without sticking. Many restaurants do that because it cooks faster. I don't think it's necessary at home. I guess I use about 3 tablespoons of oil, give or take a little. I've never actually measured it. Whatever cooks the meat quickly without sticking to the wok, or whatever you're comfortable with.

Peanut and canola oils have very high flash points and are best for Chinese cooking.
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Re: Recipe report: Ken's Hunan Lamb

Postby Paul Winalski » Tue Mar 12, 2013 5:28 pm

Thanks, Ken. That's what I thought, but I always like to double check with a new recipe.

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Re: Recipe report: Ken's Hunan Lamb

Postby Frank Deis » Tue Mar 12, 2013 9:25 pm

Ken Schechet wrote:Jenise, really glad you liked the recipe. I haven't made it myself in years and now I think I'm going to have to do it.

Until you get more Lan Chi, here is a non spicy version of the recipe. I've had more than one person tell me that this is the best lamb dish of any kind that they've ever had.

PEKING LAMB


OK, Ken, I'm getting interested here and I think I'm going to have to make either the Hunan or the Peking version real soon now.

I bought a leg of lamb recently and used some of it to make Khoresh-e Karafs. I probably have 3/4 pound left in the freezer.

So it's a "go" when I get the opportunity...
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Re: Recipe report: Ken's Hunan Lamb

Postby Paul Winalski » Sun Mar 31, 2013 12:56 pm

I made the Hunan lamb for dinner last night. This is a real winner!

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Re: Recipe report: Ken's Hunan Lamb

Postby Jo Ann Henderson » Sun Mar 31, 2013 2:10 pm

Lan Chi Chili Paste with Garlic at Kims Asian Market online storefor $2.99/jar. They also carry Lingham's hot sauce at a comparable price (but I've seen it for a little less on other sites).
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Re: Recipe report: Ken's Hunan Lamb

Postby Frank Deis » Sat Apr 13, 2013 12:13 am

Thawing lamb. 1) how should it be sliced? 2) what do I do with my 2 1/2 inch long leeks? 3) I should find dried black mushrooms and soak them? 4) what kind of bamboo shoot pieces? six pieces could be 1/2 ounce or 6 ounces.

I suppose with more experience with Chinese cooking the answers would be more obvious...

The leeks maybe sliced into long strands? Lamb in big flat slices?

Actually I have been watching the new TV show Hannibal, and I've learned that it gives me bad dreams. I never watched the Hannibal Lecter movies. But the TV show is intriguing, artistic, and utterly creepy. He's always inviting a cop over for dinner and you are fairly sure that what they are eating was a character in the previous scene. But often (always?) it's a feint. I did tell Louise that we'd be having "human lamb"... The hunam eye rearranges words to "fix" them into something falimiar.
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Re: Recipe report: Ken's Hunan Lamb

Postby Frank Deis » Sat Apr 13, 2013 10:46 am

So I googled around and answered some of my own questions -- the lamb is to be cut "paper thin." Otherwise -- there seems to be a rule of consistent size/shape for objects in a Chinese stir fry, so that the kind of bamboo slices you get in a can, kind of a 1.5 inch long rectangle, seems to be the rule for the rest of the ingredients. Except that I think ideally I should find some slender-ish leeks and cut on the bias into 1.5 inch chunks which are cooked whole in the dish.
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Re: Recipe report: Ken's Hunan Lamb

Postby Jenise » Sat Apr 13, 2013 2:41 pm

Frank, when I did the dish, I cut the lamb into batons about 1/4" square and 2 inches long. I cut the leek into similarly shaped strips, long-ways, preferring they remain longish vs. curling the way they would if cut into rings. And yes re the black mushrooms, soak and slice.
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Re: Recipe report: Ken's Hunan Lamb

Postby Ken Schechet » Sat Apr 13, 2013 5:49 pm

Frank, sorry I haven't been on the Forum in several days.

Jenise is exactly right about cutting the lamb. I was always taught to make the meat and the vegetables in a Chinese dish as close to the same shape as possible. It may be more esthetics than anything else, but I like them that way. Paper thin lamb will probably overcook and won't give you the real taste of lamb in the dish.

If leeks are a problem this recipe will work fine with scallions also.
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Re: Recipe report: Ken's Hunan Lamb

Postby Paul Winalski » Sat Apr 13, 2013 8:31 pm

Ken,

It's not just aesthetics. Generally speaking, conductive heating is the same for all ingredients in a stir-fry dish. So, in general, if you cut all of the ingredients to the same size, they will cook in the same amount of time. This principle isn't universal, but it seems to apply in Chinese stir-fry cooking. This is what I was taught in my Chinese cooking lessons, and it's been verified by my own practical experience.

There are exceptions--starchy vegetables such as potatoes take significantly longer to cook than, say, bell peppers, even if cut to the same size/surface-area.

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Re: Recipe report: Ken's Hunan Lamb

Postby Frank Deis » Sun Apr 14, 2013 1:08 am

I started with batons -- but the structure of meat/fat in the leg, and the fact that I was using a ceramic knife, led me to thin (not paper thin) slices, similar to the bamboo slices. I cut back a little on the Lan Chi -- and the dish was really hot, and really good. According to what I read, lamb was an exotic meat and the Chinese who ate this dish were mostly in the nobility. It was an exotic meat like, say, ostrich for them. For the local muslims it was more common.

I took a couple of pictures, pretty dish, but maybe later. At the local H-mart I found both large scallions and small leeks, so I left the short pieces whole.
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Re: Recipe report: Ken's Hunan Lamb

Postby Jenise » Sun Apr 14, 2013 12:38 pm

Frank Deis wrote: At the local H-mart I found both large scallions and small leeks, so I left the short pieces whole.


I'm sure you know that the way leeks are grown, silt gets trapped at the base and aesthetics aside that's the major reason it's usually inadvisable to use whole?
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Re: Recipe report: Ken's Hunan Lamb

Postby Frank Deis » Mon Apr 15, 2013 12:26 am

Of course I know that -- but the small ones were quite tidy, and I could peel an outer layer and get all the dirt. We ate the dish, Jenise, and had no dirt between the teeth. I think there is a problem with the word "LEEK" in Ken's recipe. We normally think of leeks as being an inch or so in diameter (and lots of dirt gets into those). What I bought were big fat scallions, plus some very thin leek-y things. Ever buy dirty scallions? Here's a random online picture of the dish

Image
Last edited by Frank Deis on Mon Apr 15, 2013 12:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Recipe report: Ken's Hunan Lamb

Postby Frank Deis » Mon Apr 15, 2013 12:37 am

And here's mine, in the wok


hunan_lamb.jpg
hunan_lamb.jpg (168.9 KiB) Viewed 4207 times
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Re: Recipe report: Ken's Hunan Lamb

Postby Bill Spohn » Mon Apr 15, 2013 5:16 pm

Jenise, which sauce do you need?

http://www.lanchifoods.com/Products.htm

Let me know and I'll bring you some (Lan Chi is just a brand, but if I know which sauce I can get one locally at Osaka) It is likely either with chili or black beans.
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Re: Recipe report: Ken's Hunan Lamb

Postby Jenise » Mon Apr 15, 2013 5:33 pm

Bill, I appreciate your offer, but unfortunately this particular sauce (more of a paste, really) is unique to what Lan Chi does with it, even though in English the name sounds like one of the those that's common to a number of brands--I know exactly what you're thinking of. I'll have to give you a taste of this sometime when you're down, if I ever manage to get any. :)
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Re: Recipe report: Ken's Hunan Lamb

Postby Bill Spohn » Mon Apr 15, 2013 5:43 pm

Which Lan Chi sauce is it? Was it on their website? I'll have a look for it.
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