Here’s a recipe I had a hard time putting together. This is a dish that I had eaten several times in Shanghai. This recipe is however originating from Yunnan. This chicken is extraordinary by its multiple flavors. I had to taste it more than 4 times over a period of a year to detect all the ingredients in it. Because obviously, the cook didn’t want to give me any clues. But that was without counting on my stubbornness! So I went each time with a small notebook to note what I felt. I was constantly stumbling on a plant that I could not identify, until I found it by chance by tasting it in a market in Bangkok. It is in fact the round turmeric, which is not turmeric but looks a bit like ginger with an even more subtle and amazing taste. The scientific name is “Boesenbergia Rotunda”. I will call it here “finger root”. For the rest, it is more classic or at least replaceable. I add however a second amazing plant by its taste of cumin and lemon: the aromatic limnophile. This will remain optional because outside of Paris (and Southeast Asia), I’m not sure where to find it. But it is always an opportunity to discover new ingredients.
Two novelties: the aromatic limnophile and the round curcuma. This one is not turmeric at all, but rather close to ginger or galanga with a very different and delicious taste.
Recipe of the chicken with thousand flavors of the tribe Dai Du Yunnan:
-4 chicken breasts
-4 tablespoons of oil
-1 bunch of long coriander (or classic coriander)
-3-4 branches of aromatic limnophile or called “rau om” (optional if not found!)
-a dozen branches of “finger root” (also called “bœsenbergia rotunda” or “round turmeric”)
-1 large piece of galangal
-1 small shallot
-5 Chinese chives
-1 or 2 tablespoons of “garlic-chilli” sauce
-1 tablespoon of soy sauce
-a dozen cherry tomatoes
First of all, here is a new root on the blog: the “finger root”. In the photo, it is the root in the foreground. At the bottom, it is the galanga.
And here is the long coriander. Don’t panic! If you can’t find this coriander, you can substitute it with classic coriander. It is basically a more flavorful and strong tasting cilantro than the classic coriander. However, the “finger root” is quite special and unique.
Finally in the novelties, there are the leaves of aromatic limnophile. This plant rather Vietnamese has a very amazing flavor too. You can skip it if it’s really too complicated!
We start the recipe! As you can see, you have to finely chop the chicken into thin slices and then into thin strips (you cut the thin slices into 3 or 4 strips…). Very finely chop the whole leaves of long coriander (except for 1cm at the base) and aromatic limnophile (just the leaves).
Peel the “root finger” with… a spoon! Here: 4 roots, but you need about ten.
For those who do not know yet, this is the Chinese chive… Chop it finely.
Finely chop the shallot.
Heat oil in a large, high wok or skillet over high heat. Let cook for 3-4 minutes to allow the flavors to release.
Add the chopped shallot and the chopped “finger root”.
Mix well and let the shallot color slightly. Add the chopped spring onion.
Add the chicken, cut into thin strips.
Leave on the fire while stirring. When the chicken is cooked, add the soy sauce.
Add the “garlic-chilli” sauce. I had presented this sauce in my garlic and chilli chicken (see recipe HERE!)
You can add more or less.
When everything is cooked, add the whole washed cherry tomatoes.
Then the chopped leaves.
Let cook for one or two minutes.
Then serve immediately with steamed plain rice!