Happy Bird Crosses The Golden Bridge

Total Time
1hr 5mins
Prep 15 mins
Cook 50 mins

"Happy Bird Crosses The Golden Bridge" presents an attractive image featuring the pigeon, a symbol of happiness to the Chinese. The inclusion of winter melon, a summertime seasonal vegetable, as the imagined "golden bridge" is a culinary play on words: the dish combines two traditional dishes providing a bridge between their contrasting textures and flavours. The garnish - flowering chives - is more than an aesthetic detail, symbolizing the greenery growing along the water's edge.

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 2 14 lbs winter melon (can substitute watermelon)
  • 12 slices Chinese ham, 1/4 inch thick
  • 2 Cornish hens, approx. 1 to 1 1/4 lbs. each
  • 4 slices gingerroot
  • 4 shallots, white parts
  • cooking oil
  • MARINADE

  • 4 fluid ounces light soy sauce
  • 1 ounce dark soy sauce
  • STEWING SEASONING

  • 1 teaspoon oyster sauce
  • 1 12 teaspoons salt
  • 14 teaspoon sugar
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • SAUCE

  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 12 tablespoons cornstarch (mixed well with 2 tbsp. water)
  • GARNISH (OPTIONAL)

  • 10 sprigs flowering chives

Directions

  1. ----TO PREPARE----.
  2. Mix the marinade and coat Cornish game hens with it for 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Remove skin of winter melon and cut 12 slices about 2ö wide, 1ΒΌô long and 1ö thick.
  4. Make a slit sideways on the longest side of each piece and insert one ham slice.
  5. ----TO COOK----.
  6. Deep-fry Cornish hens over a medium flame until golden.
  7. Heat the wok or pot, and add 1 tbsp. oil.
  8. When it is very hot, stir-fry the ginger and shallots for 1 minute.
  9. Then add above stewing seasoning ingredients and Cornish hens, cover and braise over a slow flame for 20 to 25 minutes.
  10. Remove Cornish hens.
  11. Reserve 1 cup of the Cornish hen braising stock, to make sauce later.
  12. Double the remaining braising stock's liquid volume by adding water, and then immerse winter melon slices.
  13. Cook for 5 minutes, then turn off heat.
  14. Cover wok, leave winter melon slices for a further 5 minutes (thus ensuring they do not lose their shape through excess direct cooking).
  15. Mix sauce ingredients with reserved cup of Cornish hen braising stock and heat.
  16. ----TO PRESENT----.
  17. Cut Cornish hens into pieces and arrange across serving dish.
  18. Place 6 overlapping winter melon slices on each side of Cornish hens.
  19. Pour sauce over, and garnish with flowering chives.