Thursday, June 23, 2011

Braised Minced Chicken with Carrots

I tried this dish, prepared by my parents' helper, during my earlier visit to Singapore this year. The dish was so simple - a plateful of ground meat with dark brown sauce. But it was SO DELICIOUS. So savory sweet! It was similar to the 肉燥 (braised or stewed minced meat) I have tried in Taiwan but her version has certainly more depth in flavors, more intense, very moist and juicy too. I asked her what made the dish sweet - she said: carrots! Oh, carrots!? I could not believe it! I never ever associated 肉燥 (braised or stewed minced meat) with carrots. She also told me she used a special (thicker) soy sauce* - which I never probe further because knowing myself too well, I will not buy a bottle of seasoning just to cook one particular dish, that in this case, I am naming Simmered/Braised Chicken Meat Sauce.

To what extent would you go, to cook a particular dish? Buy a special seasoning or sauce just for THAT (ONE) DISH? New tool that solely slices potatoes to wafer-thin?

So the SECRET is the carrot and to grate them very fine. Then fry them with garlic, (lots of) shallots; and fry with ground meat. I reconstructed the gravy using soy sauce, brown sugar and honey for the ground meat to simmer in.

Finally, I was close in replicating the dish. It was as delicious as what I ate at home. This dish is perfect with steamed rice. You can see that the grated carrot has "melted" into the sauce.



Simmered/Braised Chicken Meat Sauce

Ingredients:1 medium carrot, grated finely; 1/3 lb ground chicken, 2 shallots, thinly sliced; 3-4 cloves garlic, finely minced; 4-6 fresh shitake mushrooms, finely diced (Note: The original version I have tried does not have mushrooms. I added them here as I did not have enough ground chicken/meat); 3 tbsps soy sauce, 1 tsp brown sugar, generous drizzle of honey; 1 cup water (adjust accordingly); salt to taste

Directions: Pre-fry the ground chicken with some cooking wine. Use ladle to break up the ground chicken in the wok. Dish out the chicken and set aside. Add more oil, when oil is hot, fry the shallots then add the garlic and fry for about 5 mins till the shallots turn transparent. Add the carrots and combine well with shallots and garlic. Add some water, add half the soy sauce and allow the carrot mixture to simmer till carrots turn soft (tender). Return the partially cooked ground chicken into the wok, mix well with the carrot mixture.  Add remaining seasoning and remaining water. Allow the mixture to simmer at low-medium heat for 15-20 mins. Do a taste test and adjust seasoning accordingly. Before dishing out, pinch of salt to taste.


Enjoy!

*I suspect the special sauce might the thick caramel sauce I recently saw at nasilemaklover. :P

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