Tag: Chinese

Bon Wei: Chinese cuisine and Amarone – Italian Cuisine

Thanks to the courage infused by the patron feline of the year for the Chinese calendar, Fiammetta Fadda offers 12 courses and 22 wines. Until February 13, you can do it too

Call them, if you like, elective affinities. Goethe, who was a gourmet, would not be offended. It is a sort of short circuit between the olfactory and gustatory memory that is established at the table and, at its most subtle level, between a dish and the wine that accompanies it. For example oysters and Champagne, or game and Barolo or Bordeaux, to name two very popular pairings now, between lovers' parties and winter dinners.

Therefore, the invitation to a dinner by Chinese regional haute cuisine combined with Amarone, in this case to the labels of thirteen historic wineries of Valpolicella, united in the Association.

Do you know Amarone? That red of great lineage that is born between Verona and Lake Garda from grapes left to dry in the vineyard even until January, therefore with a note that evokes sweetness, but is not "sweet". And you know the Chinese cooking, with its (for us) incendiary chilli, pepper sauces, the specialties that are difficult to decrypt, starting with the name? It must be said that al Bon Wei, in the heart of the Chinese quarter of Milan, the fires are governed by the excellent Zhang Guoqing and that these Amarone speak to contemporary palates curious about novelty.

But if the Chinese horoscope hadn't just entered theyear of the Tiger, a symbol of strength and courage, perhaps the two protagonists of the dinner would not have dared such a provocative experiment. Also because in its canonical structure the Chinese lunch requires the courses to be presented all together, which excludes different wines for each single dish.

Brace yourselves: they have been nine courses, start with the fingers of 'Pork belly and water chestnuts in a smoked Tou Fu crust'And i Dim Sum of the Guardians of Heaven, including the 'Lantern meatballs with lychees, prawns and Goji berries', played on whites Soave and Lugana, also from the area, and on Valpolicella and Bardolino less demanding. Then here, in succession, the four central courses: 'Crispy yellow grouper, neo garlic, almonds and chilli'; ''Yan Shui' duck in the style of Nanking'; ''Guo Qiao' rib of beef in black pepper sauce'; 'Taro, pork and black chili'. Experimenting, as desired, among the thirteen labels. Closing, 'Laohû', The tiger, with sweet on sweet- the Recioto.

But yet. Yet I enjoyed myself and learned that the spice and pepper notes of Amarone cleanse the palate of pork fatness; that the nuances of raspberries and currants soften the strong flavor of the duck; that the vaguely sweet accent of the Amarone can dampen the spiciness of the chili.

All this, by booking, you can experiment until February 13th, the date on which the celebrations for the Year of the Tiger end. The price, 95 euros without the wines, is really stimulating, for the quality of the place, the service, the cultural depth of the dishes, for the fun. Fishing among the thirteen labels of the Association of Historical Amarone Families.

Bon Wei, via Lodovico Castelvetro, 16 Milan. Tel 02 341308. bonwei.it

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The Chinese New Year is coming: the dishes to celebrate it – Italian Cuisine

The Chinese New Year is coming: the dishes to celebrate it

It falls each year at a different time on our calendar, but always between January 21 and February 20. In this 2022 the celebrations for the Chinese New Year they start from February 1st and will last for the following 16 days, ending with the Lantern Festival. Two weeks full of celebrations, rites and events that welcome theyear of the Tiger, the sign of the Chinese zodiac that, in the next 12 months, will foster shrewdness and courage by replacing the Buffalo, a symbol of resilience, which accompanied us in 2021.

Great party on the table and in the street
Like all popular celebrations, the Chinese New Year, or Spring Festival, has its highlight in banquets to share with family and close friends in the name ofabundance: literal, with a number of superfine courses, but also metaphorical, with the use of ingredients that symbolize the prosperity. As for the western anniversary, the most magical evening is that of Vigil, with a rich man dinner among the domestic walls, lanterns to decorate streets and clubs and pyrotechnic games to illuminate the skies. To dominate mise en place and color arrangements Red, universal good luck charm.

Noodles, rice and dim sum
Unmissable on Chinese tables, they are no exception in festive ones: we are talking about noodles And dim sum. The former can be made of wheat, rice or potato starch, translucent like those of soy. The toppings are always rich with meat, mushrooms, dried fish, spring onions and spicy touches of chilli. THE dim sum are the typical ravioli, or jaozi, bundles, rolls and bao (soft sandwiches) with a thousand shapes and the most varied fillings. Also dishes based on enrich the table rice: sauteed with meat and vegetables or in the form of gnocchi (niangao), both salty and sweet, obtained from the "glutinous" one.

Sea and land specialties
Among the dishes that cannot be missed, the fish (whose word in Chinese sounds just like "abundance") and the finest fish specialties. Whether one of the most typical courses remains the controversial one shark fin soup (increasingly criticized because it puts sharks at risk of extinction), there is no lack of more sustainable alternatives such asabalone, particular monovalve mollusk, the oysters, i shrimp, lobsters and lobsters, sea ​​bass, groupers and freshwater varieties such as perch, steamed and finished with elaborate sauces. A curious specialty is the "Squirrel fish", one carp carved and fried, served still sizzling, which resembles the shape of the animal and produces a "creak" similar to a squeak. They come from the farmyard duck And chicken, who keep company with pig, a symbol of prosperity around the world. The meats can be used in soups, in the fillings of ravioli or, as mentioned, in the condiments of vermicelli, spaghetti or lamian, the special hand-rolled noodles. But also be marinated, glazed, lacquered, roasted, plated: many preparations for sumptuous dishes of earth that are mixed on the table to be shared among the diners, in perfect "sharing" style.

How to toast?
According to tradition, even during the holidays you dine at you or, at most, sipping distillates of rice or other cereals. As the Fenjiu, made with sorghum, barley and peas, aged in terracotta jars, with which to toast at the restaurant Dao di Roma which, in its Christmas Eve menu, offers among others i Baozi Cha Sha Bao, small bundles of soft dough. However, in recent years, even in China, an increasing interest in wine has been developing and the most refined restaurants are starting, even here, to offer highly respectable bottles. Thus, in Milan Bon Wei combines a selection of Amaroni from the Historical Families, the Association that brings together the most important and ancient wineries of Valpolicella: an unexpected but successful marriage with dishes such as crispy yellow grouper with black garlic, duck Yan Shui boiled "water and salt", the rib of beef Guo Qiao with black pepper and taro, a battered and fried tuber, served with a pork and chili sauce. Brianza MU Fish, Nova Milanese's address for Asian fusion cuisine, accompanies the dim sum of its celebratory menu with the effervescence of Lambrusco Doc Spumante. Two proposals very much in line with what is happening in the East, where reds are much more appreciated than whites. Although we (and many sommeliers) would like to recommend a great Classic Method, from Franciacorta to Trentodoc. For a cheers … to the health of the Tiger!

Francesca Romana Mezzadri
January 2022

Chinese dumplings: make them at home, like in a restaurant – Italian Cuisine


You've often ordered them at restaurants, it's time to try making them at home. They are wraps of thin dough, which contains a delicious filling. They are part of the dimsum, small samples to be enjoyed in a bite, and are made with different shapes and cooking


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In recent years, the Chinese cooking has become all the rage in all our cities. The Asian specialties they can be enjoyed in elegant restaurants, informal bars or as street food. And above all the ravioli, which in English are called dumplings (literally, "gnocchi"): dumplings with various shapes and fillings, always delicious. They are part of the so-called dim sum, small bites that in China can make up a rich breakfast or accompany tea. Transported in our tradition, they can also become the main course of an oriental menu home made. Because, with the right tips (and a few shortcuts!), They're not difficult to pack at home. So as to amaze guests by showing off new skills and flavors.

The pasta
The most common one is generally made from wheat flour and water alone, although there are also versions based on starch, egg or colored by the addition of different ingredients. In most recipes, they make it floppy disks obtained with a technique that is the opposite of the Italian one. If we use to roll out the dough, then cut it into discs, Chinese cooks work it one ball at a time, which they roll out with a small rolling pin: in this way, it is possible to obtain a very thin sheet and avoid waste. If you still want to try your hand, here is the recipe and technique.
How to prepare the pasta. For about 20 ravioli, mix 200 g of Flour with about 100 ml of warm water, a tablespoon of oil delicate extra virgin olive oil (or peanuts) and a pinch of salt, until a soft and homogeneous mixture is obtained (you may need a little more water). Let it rest for half an hour, covered with plastic wrap.
194838 "src =" https://www.salepepe.it/files/2022/01/stesura-dischetto.jpg "width =" 210How to roll out the dough. Form the dough into a roll and remove a piece the size of a walnut, leaving the rest covered by the film. Form one ball, press it lightly with your palm into a rather thick disk and roll it out: with one hand, roll the rolling pin, while with the other, rotate the disk, so as to maintain the round shape, until you obtain a sheet of about 8 cm in diameter, 2 mm thick. To prevent the dough from sticking, work on the surface floured or pass it slowly and rolling pin with a piece of kitchen paper anointed of oil.

The alternatives
The Chinese technique, which involves spreading and rotating the disk at the same time, requires a certain dexterity. Of course, nothing prevents you from proceeding "Italian" using the pasta machine and cutting the sheet obtained with one stencil about 8 cm in diameter. You can reshuffle and rewrite the clippings to reduce waste as much as possible. Even easier? in all Asian stores they sell packets of frozen sheets, square or round, ready to be filled.

The colored pastes
The colorful bundles are very fashionable in the trendiest restaurants. A delicate color yellow it is obtained by adding a carrot boiled and pureed or a tip of turmeric. The green is obtained, as for our lasagna, thanks to a handful of spinach, also boiled, well squeezed and blended, the Red with juice of beet. For a black decided add the base with a spoonful of cuttlefish ink: you will get a perfect pasta for delicate sea fillings.

The fillings
The most classic filling, found in all restaurants, mixes pork meat (not too lean: the ideal would be with a quantity of fat equal to about 50%) e shrimp pulp. They are combined with the dough Chinese cabbage, spring onions, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil and spices. But just like our filled pasta recipes, the variations are almost infinite and can be based on beef, veal, duck, lamb, chicken, shellfish or simply vegetables, for example carrots, mushrooms and bamboo.

The closure
After placing the filling, and before sealing, moisten the edge of the dough with a finger dipped in water, which will help attach the edges. Depending on how they are closed, Chinese dumplings take different names.
194840 "src =" https://www.salepepe.it/files/2022/01/piegoline-ravioli_1.jpg "width =" 210 194841 "src =" https://www.salepepe.it/files/2022/01/piegoline-ravioli_2.jpg "width =" 210

They are called jiaozi those in the shape of a crescent, also similar in name to gyoza Japanese. They can have the edge simply sealed, leaving it smooth, or folded in dense folds.

194844 "src =" https://www.salepepe.it/files/2022/01/shao-mai.jpg "width =" 210 194845 "src =" https://www.salepepe.it/files/2022/01/chiusura-wonton.jpg "width =" 210

The shao mai they are baskets left open that allow you to glimpse the contents.
THE wonton they are bundles obtained from square sheets: the flaps are gathered on the filling and sealed in a sort of tuft.

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The shao long bao they are rounded little bags closed with dense folds.

The cooking
The most delicate ravioli are cooked steam powered: the traditional ones bamboo baskets, placed on a wok with 2-3 fingers of water, they give a jiaozi, shao mai And shao long bao a pleasant hint of wood but can be replaced with the common steel baskets of a normal one steamer. The bottom of the wooden baskets is protected with special perforated discs of baking paper (they can be bought in oriental products stores) or simply with cabbage or lettuce leaves. After steaming, i jiaozi can be passed on one plate very hot (sometimes in restaurants they are called "braised") to form a crunchy crust, even more golden if they are fried for a few moments in very hot oil, on one side only, taking the name of guotie. THE wonton they are steamed or boiled in water and served in broth, but there are also versions deep fried in which the ravioli are fried immersed in abundant oil.

How they are served
The traditional accompaniment is a few drops of soy sauce. Some recipes (especially if fried or grilled) go well with the sweet and sour sauce, even spicy. While the more delicate shrimp-only ravioli are dipped in a mix of soy and black rice vinegar, similar to our balsamic vinegar.

The recipes
Once you have learned the technique, it's time to put it into practice with the recipes we have selected for you. Unless otherwise noted, use the base paste (for about 20 ravioli) that we have told you about. Or, in all cases, the ready-to-use frozen sheets.

194846 "src =" https://www.salepepe.it/files/2022/01/jiaozi-alla-piastra.jpg "width =" 210Grilled Jiaozi. Mix 250 g of pork meat ground with 50 g of prawns (weight already shelled) chopped. Join one carrot and 2 spring onions, chopped in the mixer, a pinch of mix 5 Chinese spices (mixture of anise, Sichuan pepper, cinnamon, cloves and powdered fennel seeds, can be purchased in Asian stores), 100 g of Chinese cabbage in very fine julienne, 2 cm of ginger fresh peeled and grated, a teaspoon of sesame oil and 2 tablespoons of soy sauce. Cover and leave to rest for 30 minutes in the fridge. Divide the filling on 20 ravioli discs and close them in a half-moon shape (to taste, creating folds on the edge). Steam them for about 13-14 minutes, until the pasta begins to become almost transparent. Grease the bottom of a large non-stick pan with a veil of sesame or peanut oil, heat well and pass the ravioli 1-2 minutes, on one side only. For 4 people.

194847 "src =" https://www.salepepe.it/files/2022/01/wonton.jpg "width =" 210Shrimp and mushroom wonton in broth. Beat in a bowl a egg with 50 ml of water, add 150 g of Flour and work the mixture until you get a smooth and elastic paste (add, if necessary, more water a little at a time). Wrap it in cling film and let it rest for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, soften 20 g of dried mushrooms (shiitake, without the stems, or local mixed mushrooms). Squeeze and chop with 400 g of prawns (weight already shelled) and 3 spring onions (white only, but keep the more tender green stems aside). Season with salt, pepper and add half a teaspoon of ginger fresh grated. Roll out the dough to a thickness of 1-2 mm and cut into squares of 8-9 cm on each side. Fill them each with a teaspoon of filling and close into a bundle, sealing well. Steam the ravioli for 5 minutes and serve in small bowls with chicken broth hot (one liter in all), the green of the spring onions and a grind of pepper. For 4 people.

194848 "src =" https://www.salepepe.it/files/2022/01/shao-mai-al-manzo.jpg "width =" 210Shao mai with beef and chives. Chop 20 g of chives and mix it with 250 g of beef ground (not overly lean), a egg beaten, a tablespoon of soy sauce, a pinch of sugar, the tip of a teaspoon of potato starch, a thread of sesame oil, one of wine of Chinese rice (or white wine), salt and pepper. Spread the filling into balls on 20 ravioli discs and close the dough around the basket, leaving it open at the top. Steam the ravioli for about 10 minutes. For 4 people.

Francesca Romana Mezzadri
January 2022

Posted on 01/10/2022


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