Gong Bao Ji Ding

Or The English name, Kung Pao Chicken. Kung Pao Chicken is one of my favourite dishes from China, and when you cook it make a lot, because it is hard to stop eating;)

It’s a Sichuan dish. The name comes from Ding Baozhen that was called Kung Pao. He used to serve this dish, and people started to call the dish after him.

Ingredients;

900 grams (2 pounds) of chicken breasts, or legs. Cut into small cubes.

2,2 dl (1 cup) of fried peanuts

4 spring onions, the white part. Cut it into small bits.

8 dried chilli peppers ( or as many as you want, it’s according to your taste.

Cooking oil

2 teaspoons Sichuan pepper

A pinch of salt

!!!If you are using Sichuan peppercorn powder, add it along with the deep-fried peanuts.

When frying the Sichuan peppercorn, use low heat and be patient. Over-fried Sichuan peppercorn brings a bitter taste!! Ok?!?

Marinating

a small pinch of salt

4 tsp. dark soy sauce (for coloring)

2 tbsp. Rice wine

4 tsp. cornstarch

The Mixed Sauce

1tablespoon dark soy sauce

2 tablespoons of light soy sauce

a small pinch of salt (around 1/2 tsp.)

5 centimetres (2 inch) of grated ginger

2 tablespoons chopped green onion

4 garlic cloves, finely chopped

4 tsp.cornstarch

2 tablespoon vinegar

4 tablespoons water

3-4 teaspoons of sugar

Cut the chicken into little square bits. Transfer the chicken to a large bowl and marine it with salt, soy sauce, cooking wine and cornstarch.  

Cut the spring onion into thin slices, and slice the ginger and garlic.

Heat up the oil in the wok until hot, add the chicken cubes. Fry until all of the chicken cubes begin to change color.

Transfer the chicken cubes to a plate for a while. Add Sichuan peppercorn and dried chili pepper, and fry until aromatic. Add the garlic, ginger and half of the scallions. Quickly fry to mix well.

Add the chicken again.

Stir the sauce, and then pour it in and mix with the chicken in the wok.

Fry until the sauce is well coated. Mix with the remaining leek onion white sections and fried peanuts. Finished!

Serve with rice.

I used Chili flakes in this one. Because my daughter doesn’t think it’s spicy then;)

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Din Tai Fung

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This Taiwanese/Chinese restaurant is addictive! We went for some of my favourites, tossed wild vegetable and beancurd with sesame oil, string bean with minced pork and mini dry shrimps, steamed chicken dumplings, steamed vegetarian dumplings and spicy wontons.

Interesting facts; Founder Yang Bingyi was born in Shanxi, China. But he moved to Taiwan in 1948 as a result of the Chinese Civil War. He worked for 2 different cooking oil retailers, until he started his own cooking oil shop with his wife in 1958. The name was a combination of his previous employer’s company name Heng Tai Fung and his new supplier’s company name DinMei Oils. Din Tai Fung was founded. 1970 business became slow. So they turned over half the shop to making and selling steamed buns (Xiaolongbao) by hiring chefs from Shanghai where the Xiaolongbao is originally from. The buns and noodles were so popular that the store stopped selling oil and became a restaurant in 1972. The original restaurant is located on Xinyi Road in Taipei. In an article published on January 17, 1993, the New York Times rated Din Tai Fung as one of the top ten gourmet restaurants in the world (Din Tai Fung was the only Chinese or Taiwanese restaurant to receive this accolade).
Further international recognition came in 2010, when Din Tai Fung’s Hong Kong Branch was awarded one Michelin Star; a first for a restaurant from Taiwan.
Today, Din Tai Fung has branches in Japan, the United States, South Korea, Singapore, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Australia, and Thailand.

 

Möller villa

Some pics from Möller Villa, or Moller Villa as he changed his name..

The old magical castle used to belong to the swedish shipping magnate Eric Möller and was ready in 1936. The Möllers were originally from Helsingborg in southern Sweden. Eric Möller was the son of the wealthy businessman Captain Nils Moller who sailed his brig ‘Osaka’ from Sweden.
After a legal argument with the Swedish and Norwegian Consulates concerning flags of convenience, Captain Nils declared himself a citizen of Shanghai.
He later removed the umlaut from his Swedish family name of ‘Moller‘.
He had two further families in Shanghai (with Alethea Stephenson and Hannah Clappison). The business grew and expanded into eight cities in China, and although the Mollers left Shanghai in 1950, their companies continued operating in Hong Kong into the 1990s. The family business was shipping and shipbuilding, and in Shanghai, the Moller portfolio included shipping lines, insurance, real estate and investment. In 1913, Eric Moller took over the family business and prospered. He had a steamboat that ran between Shanghai and Zhenjiang in Jiangsu Province, and, in the mid-1920s, decided to embark on the construction of a house for his big family – six children. The combination of a distinctly Scandinavian style with architectural references to ships throughout the house hints that Möller ( Moller)  was probably heavily involved in the design.  Eric Moller was a big horseracing fan, and the chair of the Shanghai Horse Racing Club. There is a picture at the wall of the hotel of him and Prince Charles at a race.

During the Pacific War, the house was occupied by the Japanese. Later, it housed a Kuomintang espionage agency.  The Möllers left Shanghai in 1950, soon after the communists came to power. Eric Möller died in a plane crash 1954 in Singapore, when his daughter was waiting for him. His son’s Eric JR and Ralph took over the business after he died. They also owned a stud farm, White Lodge Stud, in Newmarket in England. For more than half a century, the Moller Mansion served as the headquarters of the Communist Youth League Shanghai Branch. In 1989, the Villa was listed as one of Shanghai’s protected historical buildings. In 2001, the local Hengshan Group took it over and restored the original mansion, added several garish imitation buildings in the back, and reopened it all as a hotel in May 2002. And I stayed at the hotel, Wich was a bit exciting. I had a beautiful room, but a very poor breakfast. I have been to many happenings in the villa. And I had a very interesting evening with the architectural historian Tess Johnston in the villa. Just after the reopening.  2006, the hotel was “closed for repairs” while in fact it was being used as the headquarters of a corruption investigation into Shanghai’s top official, Party Secretary Chen Liangyu. The villa hotel did not reopen to guests until April 2009.

At the hotel nowadays it says that Eric Moller was British, but he originally came from southern Sweden.  And my gran was married to a Moller from southern Sweden, are they related by any chance? And my granddad traveled to Shanghai when he was young.. And I lived there twice.. It’s under my skin…

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Möller and his employees in 1947

Pain Chaud

Pretty packed little coffee shop, a nice mix of very cool Shanghaiers and expats. Great cappuccino with yummie baguettes. (And yes I had to grab a bite before I took the photo..)  If you are lucky you might get a seat, if not just bring the food.

27 Yong Kang Lu

Cathay

This beautiful old Art Deco cinema from the 1930s at Huaihai Lu in Shanghai was  designed by Czech architect C.H. Gonda. It opened on January 1, 1932 with the American movie “A Free Soul” starring Norma Shearer. It was renovated in 2003. Unfortunately it is just the outside that is still like before, the rest is not very nice.  Even if it got municipal preservation status in the early nineties. (Middle Huaihai Road is also well known by its former French name Avenue Joffre, especially when you talk to some of the very old expats in Shanghai. )

ADDRESS: 870 Huaihai Zhong Lu,
near Maoming Lu
淮海中路870号, 近茂名路

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