Ginger & Salt, RIffs on a Simply Spectacular Condiment

Two dishes have come into my scope that riff on the Ginger and Salt treatment from a few weeks back.
While my previous post finds ginger, green onions, oil and salt used as a dipping sauce for steamed fish, chef David Wong (formerly of Oru at the Fairmont Pacific Rim) features a dish of brined chicken breast, steamed, sliced and served topped with scallions, ginger and salt, with a side of house made kimchee. The brining is an extra step that seals in moisture for the chicken breast that can easily end up dry from overcooking. The kimchee on the side allows diners to add chilie heat as their taste dictates, and adds a salty-spicy element to the dish.

Fuschia Dunlop on the other hand, presents a Hunan dish of steamed chicken dish with ginger and chopped salted chilies. In this case, the chilies take the lead over the salt.  A boneless and skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces, is blanched before being tossed in a mixture of ginger, Shaoxing wine and salted chilies – I’m using sambal oelek. Green onions – just the green part – are added as a garnish just before serving.
The mixture is steamed in a bowl, to keep all the juices in, until the chicken is cooked through – taking care not to overcook.

I had to jerry-rig a set up in my wok that elevated the bowl but would still allow room for the lid. Luckily, it worked!

I served the dish over steamed rice, decorated with slivered scallions. The ginger provided delicate counterbalance to the salt and chilie. Simply delicious.
So there have it: ginger, green onions, chilies and salt. A simple technique, used in different combinations to make something spectacular.


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