Braised Lamb and Raddish in Chu Hou Sauce
Autumn is very short and considered the best season in Hongkong where it’s usually humid all year round under the influence of marine climate. Summer heat is gradually fading away, especially after dusk, it turns a little cool. According to Chinese medicine, usually after Mid-Autumn Festival, it’s time to have something that can warm and nourish the body, in Chinese, 贴秋膘, meaning to gain the weight that lose in summer. So I am making braised lamb, both seasonal, in Chu Hou Sauce, a very common Cantonese sauce. Usually people would add radish or dry tofu sheet roll in the dish, but I would use both, for absorbing the delicious flavour. They would be finished quickly before the lamb.
Lamb, 500g, chopped to big chunks;
Radish, 500g, peeled, also chopped to big chunks, similar size as lamb;
Dry tofu sheet roll, 70g, optional. Soak in water till it’s soft enough to cut into big bite size, about 2 inches long;
Chinese lettuce, 500g, optional;
Ginger, 20g, peeled, smashed or sliced thickly;
Garlic, 3 cloves, peeled;
Bay leaf, 2;
Chu Hou sauce, 3tbsp. This is a unique sauce that Cantonese used it in making braised lamb or beef. It’s made of fermented soybean, fermented tofu, garlic, ginger, etc.;
Chili bean sauce, 1tbsp. It’s very mild;
Shaoxing wine, 2tbsp;
Dry red chili, 5, optional;
Spring onion, for garnishing.
How to do –
1. Cold water and lamb in deep pot, bring to boil, then rinse the lamb in clean water and drain;
2. Add a little oil in deep pan or pot, add ginger, garlic, bay leaf and red chili first, and fry, then Chu Hou sauce and chili bean sauce, keep in medium heat and fry till aroma comes out. Add the lamb chunks and Shaoxing wine in the pan and keep frying till they all turn golden brown on the edges and coated with the sauce;
3. Add water in the pan till the lamb is covered, lid on, bring to boil and simmer for half an hour in medium low heat;
4. Add radish and dry tofu sheet roll in the pan, stir well and stew for another half an hour;
5. Turn up the heat and boil off the sauce a little;
6. Have a taste and adjust with salt or sugar.
During winter time I would like to serve it in the pot as hotpot. We would finish the dish and keep the sauce in the pot, add a little water in and then poach the lettuce in the same pot so that the lettuce can absorb the tasty sauce. But it’s not very cold these days and I don’t want to have it in this way, so I would serve the dish in a plate and keep the sauce in the pan, and cook the lettuce in the same pan.