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Golden Pigeon with Winter Melon
600 g Winter melon
12 Chinese ham slices (0.5 cm thick)
2 Young pigeons (approx 500 g each or a 1-kg chicken)
4 Ginger root slices
4 Shallots (white parts)
1/2 c Light soy sauce
1/8 c Dark soy sauce
1 ts Oyster sauce
1 1/2 ts Salt
1/4 ts Sugar
4 c Stock
1 c Stock
1 1/2 tb Cornstarch (mixed well with 2 tbs water)
10 Sprigs of flowering chives
Mix the marinade and coat pigeons with it for 2 to 3 minutes.
Remove skin of winter melon and cut 12 slices about 5 cms wide,
3 cms long and 2 cms thick. Make a slit sideways on the longest side of each piece and insert one ham slice.
Deep-fry pigeons over a medium flame until golden.
Heat the wok or pot, add 1 tbs oil. When it is very hot, stir- fry ginger and shallots for 1 minute. Then add above stewing seasoning ingredients and pigeons, cover and braise over a slow flame for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove pigeons.
Reserve 1 cup of the pigeon braising stock, to make sauce later.
Double the remaining braising stock's liquid volume by adding water, then immerse winter melon slices. Cook for 5 minutes, then turn off heat. Cover wok, leave winter melon slices for a further 5 minutes (thus ensuring they do not lose their shape through excess direct cooking).
Mix sauce ingredients with reserved cup of pigeon braising stock and heat.
Cut pigeons into pieces and arrange across serving dish.
Place 6 overlapping winter melon slices on each side of pigeons.
Pour sauce over, and garnish with flowering chives.
Makes 12 servings.
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