Home' Greymouth Star : February 18th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
hinese New Year began on Monday
and runs for 15 days. It is the 4712th
Chinese Year. This is the Year of the
Sheep (goat or ram) and it is one of
the animals that people like the most.
This sheep year should be a time for healing after the
chaos of the 2014 Horse year.
Food plays a major role in Chinese New Year
celebrations. D umplings are traditionally prepared
and eaten at midnight on lunar New Year’s Eve;
whole fish is ser ved to represent good health in the
New Year; pomegranates are a symbol of happiness
and are said to ward off evil spirits; and oranges and
tangerines are given as gifts and symbolise luck and
Coincidentally, it is 133 years since New Zealand
lamb was shipped from Port Chalmers in Otago to
London. It was an important step in establishing the
sheep and beef export market that now contributes
$8.5 billion a year to the New Zealand economy.
The biggest market by volume is China. To celebrate,
a National Lamb Day was be held on Sunday,
I am often asked which wines does one ser ve with
Chinese dishes? In China, beer is the alcoholic drink
of choice and it is especially complementary with
spicy meals. Wines with floral notes (for example
riesling or gewurztraminer) often balance Asian
flavours but I also enjoy the non-alcoholic soda Hopt
that comes in four flavours — elderberry and herb,
watermelon and mint, salted lychee and pear and
basil — all terrific matches for Asian dishes. They are
thirst-quenching, slightly tangy, available from most
supermarkets and ideal for hot weather dining.
Here is wishing you good health and prosperity
during the Year of the Sheep. Kung Hei Fat Choy.
Yummy! Shaoxing cooking wine is
prepared from fermented rice and available
at selected supermarkets and Asian food
4 large meaty lamb shanks, about 1.7kg
1⁄2 cup sugar
41⁄2 cups water
3⁄4 cup soy sauce
1⁄4 cup Shaoxing wine
6 each: cloves garlic (sliced), star anise,
1⁄2 cup peeled and thinly sliced root ginger
2 each: long red chillies, spring onions,
Place the shanks in a large saucepan of
water and slowly bring to the boil. Simmer
for 3 minutes then drain. Place in a slow
Meanwhile, combine the sugar and 6
tablespoons of water in a medium-sized
saucepan. Stir over medium heat until the
sugar is dissolved. Simmer, without stirring
until a pale toffee colour is achieved.
Remove from the heat.
Add 2 cups of water, the soy sauce and
cooking wine. The sugar mixture will set.
Stir over medium heat until it is melted.
Add the garlic, spices and spring onions.
Pour over the lamb shanks. Add enough
of the remaining water to almost cover the
Cover and cook on low for about 6 hours,
until meltingly tender. The juice can be
strained and thickened with cornflour, if preferred.
Ideal ser ved with a glass of Elderberry and Herb
Hopt Soda. Ser ves 4-6.
Whole fish in chilli bean
Ser ve on a platter. Use chopsticks to remove the
flesh from both sides.
1 whole (about 650g) white fish eg snapper,
tarakihi, scaled and cleaned
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons chilli bean sauce (toban djan)
1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
1⁄4 cup canola oil
1 tablespoon each: diced garlic, grated root ginger
1⁄2 cup fish or chicken stock
2 teaspoons each: light soy sauce, cornflour
1 spring onion, thinly sliced
Pat the fish dry with paper towels. Make 3 diagonal
cuts into the thickest part of each side of the fish.
Rub it inside and out with salt. Rub the skin with 1
tablespoon of the chilli bean sauce and sprinkle with
cooking wine in the cavity. Cover and refrigerate for
Heat the oil in a wok on medium. Pat the fish dry
and fry it both sides until the skin is golden or lightly
cooked. (Turn carefully using a wide spatula to
prevent the skin from sticking).
Slide the fish onto a platter. Tip out all but two
tablespoons of the oil. Add the remaining chilli
bean sauce, garlic and ginger. Stir-fry until fragrant.
Add the stock and bring to the boil. Slide the fish
back into the wok. Cook gently for about 5 minutes
spooning the sauce over the fish. Mix the cornflour
with a little of the sauce and stir into the wok.
Simmer, until thickened. Ser ve garnished with the
spring onion. Ser ves 4.
Orange pudding with
Enjoy a flute of bubbling Salted Lychee Hopt with
this panna cotta-style dessert.
2 teaspoons powdered gelatine
2 tablespoons water
11⁄4 cups cream
3⁄4 cup milk
2 tablespoons sugar
finely grated rind 1 orange
2 star anise
pinch five-spice powder
1⁄4 teaspoon orange essence, optional
Soften the gelatine in the water for 5 minutes.
Place the cream, milk, sugar, grated orange rind,
star anise and five-spice powder in a saucepan and
slowly bring to the boil. Whisk the gelatine into the
hot milk mixture. Remove from the heat and cool.
Add the essence, if using.
Carefully skim off any air bubbles from the top of
the orange mixture. Strain into 6 Chinese teacups or
small moulds. Refrigerate, until set.
Great ser ved with canned lychees or preser ved
ginger in syrup on the side. Ser ves 6.
Serve as a snack or as part of a meal.
20 x 9cm square wonton wrappers
250g lean minced pork or chicken
2 teaspoons each: soy sauce, hoisin sauce, grated
1 tablespoon finely chopped chives
1⁄4 cup peanut or canola oil
1⁄2 cup water
Thaw the wonton wrappers, if frozen.
Combine the mince with the soy sauce, hoisin
sauce, root ginger and chives. To assemble the
wontons, place a teaspoon of filling in the centre of
each wrapper. Using your fingers, wet the edges with
Fold 1 corner over diagonally to the opposite corner
to make a triangle. Press to seal. Bring the opposite
2 corners together in the centre. Press to seal. Repeat
until you have 20 pot stickers.
Heat the oil in a non-stick large frying pan. Pan-fry
the pot stickers a few at a time until the bases are
golden. Return all the pot stickers to the pan. Pour
the water over the pot stickers, cover and simmer for
3-4 minutes, until cooked through. Great ser ved with
a dipping sauce of soy sauce with a dash of sesame
oil. Makes 20.
Wednesday, February 18, 2015 - 7
Whole fish in chilli bean sauce.
Slow-cooked Chinese lamb shanks.
ider is growing in popularity,
with one bottle of cider
consumed now for every nine
bottles of beer.
It has always been popular
where it originated in Britain and France.
There, they drink one bottle of cider for
every five beers. Cider makes sense in New
Zealand because of our huge production of
premium apples and pears. But the best cider
comes from cider apples, not eating apples.
Cider apples have more acidity, tannins and
sweetness so serious boutique cider makers
have to plant their own orchards with these
old traditional varieties.
Cider can be made by crushing fresh ripe
apples and fermenting the juice once a year,
or cider can be made all through the year
using apple concentrate. There is a recent
compromise Monteith’s uses which involves
keeping the apples in a cool store and
crushing them when more cider needs to
be made. Good cider cannot be made from
defective apples and windfalls.
Beware of the words ‘freshly crushed’
because even a concentrate has to be freshly
crushed sometime, somewhere.
Some craft cider makers are taking new
ciders into new territories, such as Forbidden
Brewing Company and their ‘Lucifers
Revenge’ with added flavours of mango and
Dry to sweet ciders have that same range
as wine and they have the same problem
because they are not labelled to tell you how
sweet or dry, so you have to buy them to find
out. This is expensive if you do not like it.
Many of the cider makers are new
companies. Three of the old guard are still
pumping it out — Old Mout Cider in
Moutere, Nelson formerly Noslen Cider and
Apple Wine Co, now owned by Dominion
Breweries, and from Gisborne, Har vest Cider
and Har vest Scrumpy (scrumpy being the
name for a rough strong cider in Somerset,
England), and from Stoke, Nelson Rochdale
Cider has re-emerged, made by a new
Our three big beer companies are head to
head competing for the new cider drinkers,
with Speight ’s Cider and Macs Isaac Cider
made by Lion. Monteith’s Freshly Crushed
Cider, Lightly Crushed Cider (2.8%),
Heritage Cider and Old Mout Ciders are
made by DB. Independent Breweries in
Auckland make three Boundary Road ranges
of ciders — 6 Wild Side, 2 Honesty Box
and 1 Somersby — nine different ciders.
There are imported ciders available with
Rekorderlig from Sweden widely available. It
is sweet with added fruits.
The gold medal for the best boutique cider
went to ‘Slack Ma Girdle’ made by Zeffer
Cider Co, at the last Brewers Guild Awards.
It is made from a selection of traditional
apples and sells at $11 for 500ml.
Another well reviewed cider is Peckhams
Home Block Cider, strong at 7% and sells at
$10 for 500ml. Also look for Good George
Drop Hop Cider, Townshend, Zeffer Red
Apple and Edgebrook. These are drier
and have more interesting flavours than
the sweeter mainstream ciders made from
You might like to try drinking your cider
‘Irish style’. You pour your bottle into a full
glass of ice and you top up the glass from
the bottle as the cider is drunk and as the ice
melts. Your cider is colder, lasts longer and
your drink is lower in alcohol.
President Nixon had a sneaky habit of
drinking expensive wine behind a napkin
while ser ving much cheaper wine to his
guests — ‘tricky Dicky’. This comes from
a new book about US presidents’ drinking
habits. President Harrison, the ninth
president, drank hard cider, a working-class
drink which helped to make him appear as a
‘man of the people’ but he died after 32 days
in office so it did not do him much good.
George Washington drank dark beer mixed
with molasses, which caused his teeth to rot
McKinley ’s Delight — Named after
President McKinley, mix 30ml rye whiskey,
15ml sweet vermouth and two dashes cherry
brandy in a cocktail glass of ice.
“ Wine is a precarious aphrodisiac and its
fumes have blighted many a mating.”
— Norman Douglas,1912
Cider is back
White wine choice
Saint Clair Wairau Reser ve Sauvignon
Blanc 2014 — You will not find a better
sauvignon blanc than this wine. Saint Clair
has many vineyards in Marlborough devoted
to this variety and bottle more than ten
savvies. They select the best fruit from them
for this their premium wine. It has wonderful
vibrant pungency and purity of expression —
drink and dream and drink it now. Dry. $32.
Tuatara Aotearoa Pale Ale — APA is
usually referring to American Pale Ale which
is high in hops and citrus flavours from the
US hops. This New Zealand pale ale uses four
different Nelson hop varieties that give less
hard hop character, more rounded that stay
with you for a long aftertaste married with
caramel malt tones. 5.8%. 500ml. $6.
Red wine choice
Stoneleigh Merlot 2013 — From
one of the oldest merlot vineyards in
Marlborough it is always a fine wine and
good value with its medium body and
flavours of plums, cherries, blackcurrants
and hints of oak and tannin. Drink now
till 2017. Dry. $17-$20.
Phoenix Apple Feijoa — Made from
organic ingredients it is doing good
things for your nutrition as well as
tasting delicious with its natural fruit
sharpness. 275ml. $2.50.
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