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Priya Motiani

JWB Blogger

Dragon House’s Master Chef Leaks Fiery Chinese Recipes To JWB

  • JWB Post
  •  June 29, 2016


It is not every day that you get to peek into the kitchenette of the city’s best Chinese restaurant. So when you do get to do so, you should practice speedy penmanship before you go.

(No, I’m not talking rubbish. This will totally make sense in a little while. Bear with me.)

So, where was I? Ah yes! I wish someone had given me that advice when I, along with my armor – pen and journal, visited Dragon House at The Country Inn & Suites last week.

Now, I am a huge fan of the food that the place serves, so it is pretty apparent that I was excited to meet Master Chef Daniel Rao, and to see for myself how those scrumptious dishes are created. And in that sense, I was in good fate because Master Chef Daniel had planned teaching us two recipes – Tiger Prawn in Black Bean Sauce and Crackling Noodles in Lotus Leaves.

‘Let’s get started then, shall we?’ is exactly what I did not say, because even before my vocal cords could create any sound, whatsoever, the Chef had already finished prepping up the ingredients. Hmmm.

“For Tiger Prawn in Black Bean Sauce, here’s what you’ll need,” the Chef pointed towards the ingredient tray:

Tiger prawns – 250 gm

Black beans – 10 gm

Hot garlic sauce – as per taste

Diced red, yellow, and green bell peppers – 15 gm each

Spring onions – 15 gm

Aromat powder – ½ tsp

Oyster sauce – 1 tsp

Cooking wine – 3 tsp

Sesame oil – 1 tsp

A little bit of Cornflour to thicken the sauce

Me: You know Chef, I’ve often heard people saying that they don’t try their hand at cooking Chinese food because it’s got a whole lot of ingredients that are usually not found in the regular household. But seeing the ingredients in front of me now, I think people have been disillusioned about Chinese food all along!

Daniel: The ingredients, as you can see, are very healthy and easily accessible.

Me: The Aromat powder seems strange to me though. Do you make it here?

Daniel: No. This, again, can be found conveniently at nearby stores. What we use is the Knorr Aromat powder.

Me: Hmmm. What is so special about the Tiger prawns? Are they any different from the regular ones?

Daniel: Yes, they’re the best kind of prawns and are also a bit more expensive than the regular ones. Come, I’ll show you the unpeeled ones. Can you see the stripes?

Me: Oh yes! Now I totally get the name.

Here’s a fun fact about this recipe: After marinating the prawns, you need not necessarily keep them aside. They’re ready to be used instantly.

Daniel: People think that it is difficult to get prawns in land-locked regions such as Rajasthan, and even the ones that are available are not necessarily of good quality. But here, we are the first ones to receive sea-food as it touches the land, hence ensuring freshness and quality.

While we were conversing, the tiger prawns were partying all naked in a deep pool of hot oil. And voila! They were out in no time. Next in went the beans, the vegetables, and the sauces.

A little sautéing followed by the return of the Tiger prawns in the wok lead to this scrumptious creation:

Now, I know you might think that I’ve got some flight or something to catch due to which I’m being miser with words that should describe the cooking process, but such is not the case. The dish was actually ready in a few minutes. And I was struggling to keep up with the pace by quickly scribbling everything down in my diary.

Another way of presenting the same dish

Next up, the chef announced the cooking of a vegetarian recipe. Hah! You should have seen Sanchit and Pallav’s sighs of relief on hearing this meat-free inclusion!

Crackling Noodles in Lotus Leaves

Boiled Noodles – 200 gms

Broccoli – 20 gms

Baby corn – 10 gms

Black mushroom – 10 gms

Shredded cabbage – 15 gms

Shredded carrot – 05 gms

Shredded onion – 05 gms

Spring onion – 10 gms

Shredded Red/ Green/ Yellow Bell Peppers – 10 gms

Crispy noodles – 30 gms

Lotus leaf – 1

Oil – 15 ml

Soya sauce – 1 tsp

Aromat pwd – ½ tsp

White pepper – ¼ tsp

Now this recipe is every bit as intriguing as it sounds! The oh-la-la ingredient, you ask, is the lotus leaf.

Chef Daniel started out by blanching the lotus leaf in hot water so as to trigger the pleasant aromas hidden inside it.

Next, he tossed all the veggies in a heated wok of oil and added the soya sauce, aromat powder, and white pepper. Once everything was finely tossed, he added the crispy noodles.

What happened after this had all my attention glued. The chef encapsulated the crackling noodles in the lotus leaf, and then used a pair of scissors over the leaf.

So, to a person like me, it seemed as if the noodles inside were trying to say Peeeek-a-boo!

Looks tempting, doesn’t it? HELL YEAH it does!

Before taking our leave, as a customary ritual, I asked Chef Daniel to leave a message for the readers. Here’s what he said:

Daniel: Chinese food is good for all age-groups, and it is very easy and quick to make once you have your ingredients prepped-up. So, do not fret away from trying your hand and your taste buds at it!

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