Saturday, 6 August 2011

Lazy marinated chicken gizzards and beef shank

The word 'marinade' does not really describe anything - anything can be a marinade and that's not what I'm talking about. With my limited food knowledge all I know is that 'lo shui' (Cantonese; 'lushui' in Mandarin) is something that's popular among the Chinese, and it's common in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and other Chinese communities (??? Please enlighten me - is it popular in China and Singapore? I have no idea). Some people call the real 'lo shui' 'master stock', as it is supposed to be a stock used over and over again to braise meat and other what-nots. The older it is, the better it supposedly tastes. The basic ingredients of a master stock include soy sauce, rock sugar, garlic, ginger, star anise, shallots, cooking wine, and a variety of other things. 

Being the lazy me, of course I didn't make my own master stock. I came across these little pouches when doing my Asian grocery shopping some time ago: 

There are a few pouches in the box, and although it says on the box that the pouches can be reused, I highly doubt that, as it's sure to be 'contaminated' by the meat to be marinated and can be very unhygienic. It also says on the box that these are to be used with pork - which I think is ridiculous, as pork is almost the last thing one has in mind when it comes to 'lo shui'
Basically, once you've got your hands on these pouches, all you need would be soy sauce, rock sugar and water to make your 'lo shui' dish. That's super easy, isn't it? Only that you don't know how long you have to cook your stuff, and it's really up to you, as it suggests on the box (rather unhelpfully). I would say 2 hours is minimum, and my pot of 'lo shui' actually took me 3 days to cook. 

What my mum used to do is marinate duck gizzards. They're soooo good, and are great snacks! However I couldn't get my hands on duck gizzards, so these would have to do.
Got these chicken gizzards from an Asian supermarket, and they STANK BIG TIME! My fridge had a perpetual rotten smell after I put the pack in...and it wouldn't go even after I took the pack out! I had never cooked chicken gizzards before and I have no idea whether they stink normally, but after being under the tap for 15 minutes they smelt okay - not rotten anymore. I have no idea why they smelt so bad!
Clean them (wash under the tap for at least 15 minutes) before you do anything else. Then rub with lots of salt, set aside for 10 minutes, and wash and drain again. 

Blanch the gizzards for 15 minutes. Drain, and add white pepper if you want to get rid of the smell further.  

Put one 'lo shui' pouch in hot water (about 1 litre), add soy sauce and rock sugar. The amount doesn't really matter at this point as you can always add more later, so about half a bowl of soy sauce would be good.
Put in the chicken gizzards and beef shank (best not to cut it into pieces at this stage), and cook for at least 2 hours. You can leave the pot after 2 hours, and continue cooking the next day. I think I cooked mine for about 4 hours in total! Letting everything soak in the marinade overnight is good. 

I cooked mine until the marinade's all dried up - it was almost burnt! (Be careful.) The marinade also became all gluey, which is good. :P I washed the gizzards and the beef shank afterwards, removing the gluey sauce. Let everything cool. 
The chicken gizzards are really small after cooking, so there's no need to cut them anymore. They're good snacks to be eaten with beer! (And marinated meat is supposed to be consumed cold!)

Cut the beef shank into smaller pieces. For some reason the shank part I got isn't the same as normal shanks...and I couldn't get that 'marble' look after cutting them! Too bad! 

But they surely taste good... :) 

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