The Sherwood Enables Your Family to Enjoy the Chef’s Special Delicacies in Your Own Home
For this coming Chinese New Year welcoming the Year of the Rooster, The Sherwood Taipei’s head chef for Chinese cuisine Ko Kang-fei will be cooking up some delectable dishes featuring the year’s namesake. And recognizing that Chinese New Year celebrations are about family and home, The Sherwood’s Yi Yuan Chinese Restaurant is also offering these dishes for take-away, providing diners with delicious dishes prepared by one of Taipei’s top chefs to be enjoyed in the comfort and convenience of home dining.
Chef Ko, originally from Hong Kong, is a student of all Chinese cuisines, and many of his dishes fuse the best of Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, and other regional cuisines. Moreover, his dishes incorporate ingredients representing the best of the land and the sea. Many feature rich, delicious abalone flown in live directly from South Africa, locally caught prawns, tender U.S. beef, and acclaimed cherry ducks from Yilan.
A proper Chinese New Year’s feast starts with a cold platter, and The Sherwood’s Roasted and Barbequed Meat Combination platter, including Smoked Duck Breast, U.S. Beef Shank, Shaoxing Drunken Chicken, Sichuan-style Cuttlefish, Braised Abalone, and Caramel Walnuts, is not to be missed.
Each of these dishes is especially prepared by The Sherwood kitchen from the finest of imported and locally sourced ingredients, combined to present a kaleidoscope of flavors. The chicken thigh for the Shaoxing Drunken Chicken are steamed and then soaked in Shaoxing rice wine before being iced overnight and served cold. The beef is tender U.S. beef shanks that is cured in star anise, ginger, tangerine peel, bean paste, and other ingredients for a sublime experience. The tangy black-pepper duck is smoked in longan wood in The Sherwood’s own kitchen, while the platter is completed with whole South African abalones, each one tender and soft, alongside Sichuan-style locally caught cuttlefish, and gently sweet Ma Xiangcui walnuts.
Fresh and clean ingredients are essential to fine dining. Chef Ko’s Sichuan-style Fried Tiger King Prawns, made with tiger prawns caught in the pristine waters surrounding Penghu, couldn’t be fresher. These giant prawns are split and deep fried for some nine minutes before lantern peppers, the chef’s special spicy oil, and sautéed green onion, peeled garlic, and purple onion are included. The lantern peppers make the dish look Sichuan-level spicy, but Chef Ko says the peppers provide the dish with a pleasing aroma and are hardly spicy at all.
Next on the menu is Chef Ko’s celebrated fusion Taiwanese-Cantonese Sticky Rice with Crab, winner of the Apple Daily’s award for Best Staple Food in Year 2013 and 2015. For this dish, the rice is soaked for eight hours to wake up the flavor, then steamed for an hour, after which it is combined with oyster sauce, shiitake mushrooms, two kinds of Chinese-style sausages, shrimp, and other ingredients. Finally, the whole dish is covered with the tender meat of a steamed red crab also caught in Taiwan. Joining the best in Taiwanese cuisine with a strong dash of Cantonese taste, this dish certainly deserves agree the Apple Daily’s commendation.
Reflecting his heritage in soup-heavy Cantonese cooking, Chef Ko’s Chinese New Year take-away menu offers four soups that are so rich with the healthy essence of chicken that each could stand alone as a meal in itself.
One of the four is the Double-boiled Chicken Soup with scallop, pork tripe, and Brazil mushrooms. As the name suggests, the soup is boiled twice – the first time for eight hours, to reduce a whole chicken to a rich broth, along with Chinese Aged Ham, Jinhua Ham, and rear leg shanks of pork to impart the savory taste to the chicken broth. The salty and savory ham is then extracted – Chef Ko says that unlike ham in Western countries, Jinhua ham is used as a seasoning, rather than consumed directly – and the rest of the ingredients are added, including a boneless chicken stuffed with sticky rice, pork tripe, dried scallops, Brazil mushrooms, and six whole abalones, which are cooked for another three hours. Chef Ko says the broth of this stunning soup is so rich that families can add water and keep eating it for days.
Another dish is the so-called Jumping Buddha, which gets its name from the legend that the first time this soup was cooked, the smell was so enticing that even vegetarian monks jumped over the wall of the monastery to taste it. To a clear broth made from long boiled chicken, Chinese Aged Ham, Jinhua Ham, and rear leg shanks of pork Chef Ko adds fresh chicken, beef tendon, scallops, sea cucumber, shiitake mushrooms, fish maws, and six South African abalones. Boiling for another four hours brings out a flavor that is amazingly rich and savory.
This Chinese New Year, thanks to The Sherwood, we all get to enjoy the fine dining of exquisitely prepared Taiwanese-Cantonese cuisine with family at home.