Even as Maille's tummy was tingling with the spiciness of the Red Braised Chickpeas that he ate at Ren Zilin's restaurant, a dramatic thunder storm broke over Beijing.
With rice wine, star anise and cinnamon
Red braised dishes with their warm aroma of white wine, star anise and cinnamon belong generally to the cooler months of the year. But this chickpeas preparation is such a favourite with Ren Zilin's guests that it stays on her menu all year round. However, as the stove had already been closed and cleaned for the day, secret agent Hektor Maille on a warm evening in Beijing had to eat the chickpeas cold – though, of course, they taste better warm.
300 g chick peas
2 EL rape seed oil
1 piece ginger of 60 to 70 g, cleaned but unpealed, cut into fine slices
6 whole anise stars
1 stick cinnamon, broken into big pieces (approx. 5 g)
10 black pepper corns
1 teaspoon sichuan pepper, roasted and finely ground
2 hot red chilies, de-seeded and sliced
1 dl soy sauce
1 dl rice wine Shào Xīng
2 dl water
2 tablespoons sugar
Optional 4 tablespoons Chingkiang rice vinegar
You can give this dish extra zing,if you like, by adding about 4 tablespoons of Chingkiang rice vinegar at the end.
More about the travel adventure of Secret Agent Hektor Maille:
While eating the items of this menu on a hot evening in the restaurant of Ren Zilin in central Beijing, Hektor Maille finds out why the dragon trail had failed to yield any results earlier:
First Publication: 6-10-2009
Modifications: 23-1-2011, 18-6-2011, 13-11-2011, 12-12-2011