Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Rabbit in a Spicy Bean Sauce

Jessie Levene made this spicy rabbit dish for the Dim Sum Lunch Box (Series 5 Ep9). Jessie lived in Chengdu, China for 3 years, where she developed a love of Sichuan cuisine. For mouthwatering photos and foodie travellers' tales check out her blog:Jessie and The Giant Plate.

This recipe is adapted from ‘Sichuan Cookery’ by Fuchsia Dunlop. Shaoxing wine, chilli bean sauce, black beans and Sichuan pepper can be purchased at most Chinese supermarkets.

About ½ a rabbit, with bones still intact
3 spring onions
1 small chunk of ginger (about half the size of your thumb), unpeeled
½ tablespoon Shaoxing wine
1 tablespoon fermented soybeans (aka black beans)
2 tablespoons of cooking oil
1-2 tablespoons (1 sachet) chilli bean paste (doubanjiang)
2 teaspoons light soy sauce
¼ teaspoon white sugar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon chilli oil (optional)
1 teaspoon white sesame seeds
1 teaspoon ground Sichuan pepper

1. If your rabbit is a bit bloody, bring a pot of water to the boil and blanch the meat for about 30 seconds.
2. Bring a pot of fresh water to the boil, and add the Shaoxing wine, 1 of the spring onions cut in half and slightly crushed, along with the unpeeled piece of ginger, also slightly crushed.
3. Add the rabbit pieces and boil covered for about 15 minutes, or until the rabbit is cooked through. Remove the rabbit to a plate and set aside.
4. Now make the sauce. Rinse the black beans in a little hot water, drain and then mash to a rough paste with a fork. Finely chop the spring onions.
5. Heat the cooking oil in a small frying pan, and when hot add the chilli bean paste. Turn the heat to low-medium and stir-fry for about 30 seconds, then add the black bean paste and stir-fry for another 30 seconds.
6. Once the oil in the pan is a nice red colour, remove from the heat and pour the contents of the pan into a small bowl. Add the soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil and chilli oil, and salt to taste.
7. Strip the cooled rabbit meat from the bone, cut into strips and place in a serving bowl. Pour over the spicy bean sauce and mix the meat and sauce well together.
8. Spinkle the meat with the ground Sichuan pepper, sesame seeds and finely chopped spring onions and serve.

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