Also known as 'Kung Bo' or 'Gong Bao' chicken, this is another famous Sichuan dish that has become popular throughout the world. It is reputed to have been one of Chairman Mao's favourites.
We are now in Sichuan, famous for its richly flavoured and piquant dishes. The chilli bean paste called for in his recipe can be substituted by crushed yellow bean paste mixed with chilli sauce.
Do not be deceived by the name of this dish into thinking that we are using a certain part of the chicken's anatomy: the balls are in fact chicken meat cut into small pieces so that when they are cooked, they will look like little round balls.
This recipe is traditionally given to a young person on reaching puberty as an extra boost to his or her reproductive system.
This is a Cantonese recipe. It is very colourful and delicious, but it calls for a few rather unusual ingredients which can be either omitted or substituted.
This recipe was passed on to me by my mother, who in turn learnt it from her mother, so it's a truly traditional family recipe.
If stock is not available, a chicken stock cube dissolved in water may be used as substitute but it will have a quite different flavour.
Hot and sour soup is an old favourite for most people who frequent Peking and Sichuan restaurants. It is one of the few Chinese thick soups.