Golden pigeon with winter melon

Yield: 12 servings

Measure Ingredient
600 grams Winter melon
12 \N Chinese ham slices (0.5 cm thick)
2 \N Young pigeons (approx 500 g
½ cup Light soy sauce
1 teaspoon Oyster sauce
1½ teaspoon Salt
1 cup Stock
1½ tablespoon Cornstarch (mixed well with
10 \N Sprigs of flowering chives each or a 1-kg chicken)
4 \N Ginger root slices
4 \N Shallots (white parts)
\N \N Cooking oil
⅛ cup Dark soy sauce
¼ teaspoon Sugar
4 cups Stock 2 tbs water)





I used Cornish Game Hens, but you could also use a cut up chicken. If you can't get winter melon, watermelon will work. Winter melon is white, very mild tasting and a tad denser than watermelon. I think you could get away using something like Honeydew too. Have fun! Chef: Yip Kwai-sing

Thirty-year-old Hong Kong-born Mr. Yip has spent half his life in Cantonese restaurant kitchens. He is best known for his fai choy chicken speciality and shark's fin dishes. As the leader of a South Villa Restaurant team in one of the Display Classes, he won also a Culinary Award Bronze Medal.

Establishment: South Villa Restaurant, 58-60 Cameron Road, Tsimshatsui Kowloon.

Chinese Cuisine Practical Class Platinum Award - Poultry "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.

To prepare:

1. Mix the marinade and coat pigeons with it for 2 to 3 minutes.

2. Remove skin of winter melon and cut 12 slices about 5 cms wide, 3 cms long and 2 cms thick. Make a slit sideways on the longest side of each piece and insert one ham slice.

To cook:

1. Deep-fry pigeons over a medium flame until golden.

2. Heat the wok or pot, add 1 tbs oil. When it is very hot, stir- fry ginger and shallots for 1 minute. Then add above stewing seasoning ingredients and pigeons, cover and braise over a slow flame for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove pigeons.

3. Reserve 1 cup of the pigeon braising stock, to make sauce later.

4. Double the remaining braising stock's liquid volume by adding water, then immerse winter melon slices. Cook for 5 minutes, then turn off heat. Cover wok, leave winter melon slices for a further 5 minutes (thus ensuring they do not lose their shape through excess direct cooking).

5. Mix sauce ingredients with reserved cup of pigeon braising stock and heat.

To present:

1. Cut pigeons into pieces and arrange across serving dish.

2. Place 6 overlapping winter melon slices on each side of pigeons.

3. Pour sauce over, and garnish with flowering chives.

Makes 12 servings.

From "Champion Recipes of the 1986 Hong Kong Food Festival". Hong Kong Tourist Association, 1986. Posted by Stephen Ceideberg; November 3 1992.

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