This is what I cook for Junhong as comfort food for both of us. The comfort comes in both the cooking and the eating. It is a chicken recipe that is inspired by my grandmother's chicken dish. She would put tons of shitake mushrooms in it when she cooked it for me because she knew I liked them. Before the rest of the family arrived for dinner, she would fish the mushrooms out for me especially, to make sure I got my fill of them.
I make my version with or without shitake mushrooms because Junhong is his own man and does not love shitake mushrooms like I do.
This dish says remember, I love you. You are my best beloved.
Chicken braised with Ginger
A good hunk of fresh ginger - say, the size of 2 thumbs - sliced.
8 chicken thighs
dried shitake mushrooms - soaked in hot water till soft.
rice wine or vermouth or sherry
brown chicken thighs in pan, skin side down. Turn over. Once the underside is brown, throw in ginger and toss around. After a minute, pour in a splash or two or wine/vermouth/sherry. When the alcohol has evaporated, add enough water to barely cover the chicken. Stir in a couple tablespoons of oyster sauce. Place shitake mushrooms around chicken. Cover and simmer for 30 - 45 minutes, until chicken and mushrooms are tender. Season with salt and white pepper to taste.
Green onion and Ginger sauce
1 bunch of green onions
a hunk of fresh ginger - 1 or 2 thumbs, depending on how gingery you like it.
1/4 cup vegetable oil (canola or peanut)
dash of sesame oil
chop green onions finely.
Mix both with a pinch of salt and half a teaspoon of sugar (or to taste) in small heatproof bowl.
Heat vegetable oil till almost smoking.
Pour hot oil into green onion mixture. Hear the sizzle. Inhale the aroma. Mix well.