Saturday, November 27, 2010

nanking sweet potatoes quest

11/27/2010: So Beckey bought some sweet potatoes for T-Day, and I'd been hankering to make the ones that I've had with the sesame chicken at the House of Nanking in San Francisco.

Years ago, I found a book of San Francisco recipes that listed how to make these. I remember making them at my mom's for Chrismas, I think, with Beckey, but they turned out just OK, maybe too much soy sauce.

So I tried two different versions this evening. Both were pretty good, but not exactly Nanking-style.

Here are the two versions; the basic procedure is the same, just the sauce recipe varies.

Nanking-style Sweet Potatoes V1

1/2 large sweet potato, sliced somewhere between 1/8" - 1/4" on mandoline
4c. canola oil

1 tsp sesame oil

1 green onion, sliced, for garnish
Toasted sesame seeds, for garnish (optional)

Directions
  1. Combine all sauce ingredients in small saute pan over high heat. Bring to a boil, let reduce for 5 minutes, and turn off heat.
  2. In small batches, fry sweet potatoes at 350-375F for 1 minute, then remove onto paper towels to drain and cool.
  3. When first fry is complete, heat oil to 375F, and fry potatoes again in batches, for about 1 minute, remove and drain.
  4. When complete, reheat sauce to boil, add potatoes to sauce, toss.
  5. ADD SESAME OIL, AND TOSS.
  6. Serve at once, garnished with green onions and sesame seeds.
Sauce V1


1/4c. light soy sauce
1/4c. rice wine vinegar
1/4c. white sugar
1 tsp worcheshire sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp homemade pickled ginger (or fresh ginger)

Sauce V1 Results
  • A bit too sweet and too salty
  • Also a bit too much ginger
  • Nice caramelization, I cooked for 10 minutes, maybe too caramelized, very thick and sticky

Sauce V2

3 tbsp light soy sauce
1/4c. rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp white sugar
1 tbsp mirin
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp worcheshire sauce
1 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp homemade pickled ginger (or fresh ginger)
1 pinch red chili flakes

Sauce V2 results
  • Better balance
  • A bit spicy; omit chili flakes next time
  • Still maybe too garlicky
FOR NEXT TIME (Sauce V3):
  • Less soy sauce (2 tbsp)
  • Add chicken stock (1/4c) and let reduce
  • Try re-adding worcheshire?

No comments: