Red Wine Ginger Chicken 紅糟雞 Hong Zao Ji

Fujian cooking, to a foreigner like me, is a mysterious cuisine with no english text availabe.  I finally bought this book: Cooking from China's Fujian Province by Jacqueline M. Newman. New York, NY: Hippocrene Books, Inc. 2008 -an extensive book dedicated to Fujian cooking.  Now as I browse through my new Makansutra 2009 edition -an indispensable guide to hawker food of Singapore, I see a new category called Red Wine Ginger Chicken -this is one of many signature Fujian dishes.  What is red wine ginger chicken aka Hong Zao Ji (chicken)?  It is basically chopped up chicken braised with ginger and hong zao or red wine lees.  Hong Zao is fermented wine lees which has turned into deep red color with the addition of red yeast rice which could be bought at a Chinese grocery store (2nd pic).  Hong Zao Chicken is a slightly thick soup eaten with either rice, mee sua (thin wheat noodles) or beehoon.  From a Japanese palate point of view, if I were to taste this blind, it resembles miso soup+ginger+japanese rice wine lees add some red food coloring, it will be something very similar to hong zao chicken, trust me.  From Jacqueline M. Newman's book, there is a recipe on hong zao chicken but she has a recipe for mock wine lees which is interesting but is not truly close to the original, at least that is my impression or I made the mock wine lees wrong.  Her mock wine lees recipe uses tomato paste, hoisin sauce and rice wine as a base with minced red bell pepper, ginger garlic and scallion.  I tried to duplicate this and the foto below is my take on hong zao chicken. 

マカンスートラ2009年版に登場する新しいカテゴリーでRed Wine Ginger Chicken(赤ワイン生姜ちきん?)というのがある。初めて出くわす料理でその料理がいったいどういった料理なのか、料理人魂をくすぐる。この料理は福建省の代表的料理ともいえる。紅麹(赤い酒粕=ホン・ザオ2番目のフォト)と生姜でぶつ切りにした鶏をコトコト煮込んたシンプルなスープだ。素麺に良く似たミースア(Mee Sua)又はビーフン、又はご飯と一緒に食べる。まず、食べる前になんとか自作できないものかと、福建料理本を探して作ってみた(3番目のフォト)。当然ホン・ザオがないので私の持っている料理本は代替の偽ホンザオリシピを紹介している。主に赤ピーマン、海鮮醤、紹興酒、トマトピューレを使用する。こんなんで?と思って作ってみたが、なにか不思議な味である。洋食にごま油を足してなんだかフュージョン料理のようである。さて実際現地で食べたのだが、感想は次の通りである。ブラインドで食べたら鶏の出汁を使って、少し酒粕と生姜汁をたした煮麺のような味というか、そのものだと思う。紅色は演技が良いが・・・

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