Chinese New Years is coming up!!!! It’s the year of the Rooster, and my dad is a rooster! Usually, we (or at least I) would go to my grandparent’s place. Unfortunately, this year we can’t go. Luckily, my grandparents picked up the slack. They sent a box with smoked meat, local fish and 3 soft shelled turtles. I was not expecting the turtles, but one of my grandpa’s friends raises them…. what a nice surprise! Turtles represent wealth and longevity in China, so this is perfect. Anyways, I honestly had no idea how to prepare, but luckily they were armed with a really nice recipe.
Turtle has a very distinctive but delicious taste, sort of like very tender, less fibrous chicken. The part around the shell is fatty and gelatinous, like tendon, except it’s impossible to overcook. Okay, it might not sound very good, but it’s AMAZING.
- 1 medium- large soft shelled turtle, broken down
- 1/3- 1/2 small chicken (for flavor), diced
- ginger, sliced into wide thin peices
- cooking wine
- salt, to taste
- green onion, chopped
- 1-1.5l water
- Wash the chicken and turtle, remove most of the blood
- Heat a wok to medium, add a little bit of oil and cook the chicken with some salt until browned
- Transfer the chicken into a pot with the turtle. Add water, ginger, wine and more salt. Bring to boil
- Reduce heat and simmer for 40-50min. Garnish with green onion. Serve and enjoy!
Tip: do NOT skimp on the ginger and cooking wine. Turtle has a strong flavor that needs to be neutralized by the ginger and wine. This is especially important if the turtle wasn’t killed within 6 hrs of cooking.