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Cherry Blossom is a new book from award-winning chef Dave Critchley, two-time Great British Menu chef.

Cherry Blossom

Chef Dave Critchley is a whirlwind of creativity - in the kitchen, in business, and in the community. Now, the western world’s first and only apprentice to a Chinese Master chef has found time to turn author. The book plots his rise and dedication to Chinese culinary arts and also features more than 75 recipes created and served at Liverpool’s award-winning Lu Ban Restaurant, for readers to recreate at home. The award-winning chef, who has just seen Lu Ban named Liverpool’s best restaurant by the city’s tourism bosses, brings his unique personality to each page. He shares anecdotes of his time in China, while many of the recipes are also influenced by Dave’s expanding knowledge of flavour combinations. The recipes in the book are inspired by Dave’s travels and experiences in China and each recipe in the book has featured on the Lu Ban menu. Chapters include snacks, soups, dim sum, small plates, large plates, side dishes, dumplings and desserts. There is also a chapter to recreate the kitchen’s sauces and seasonings while Cherry Blossom also includes a section dedicated to the restaurant’s cocktails.

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Bok Choi GBM

The addition of green vegetables on Dave Green’s Great British Menu offering was essential. He chose bok choi, combined with Tianjin flavours and served it with a succulent beef fillet.

Ingredients

Dressing

2 tbsp rice vinegar

2 tbsp x2 Cathedrals Honey Liverpool

1 lemon grass, very finely sliced

1 garlic clove, very finely chopped

1 tbsp toban jiang paste

1 tsp lime juice

Pinch of salt

Pinch of white pepper

Pinch of chilli flakes

4 bok choi heads, split down the centre and washed.

500ml water

Pinch of salt and sugar

Splash of oil

Method

Place all of the ingredients for the dressing in a bowl. place the mix into a wok or small pan and gently warm through.

Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool.In a wok or shallow pan add the water with a pinch of salt and sugar and bring to the boil.

Blanch the bok choi for 20 seconds and remove from the pan.

Discard the water, dry the pan and return to the heat, adding a splash of oil.Stir fry the bok choi and add the dressing a splash at a time to ensure the vegetables are coated.Serve on a warm plate.

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Tonka Bean Custard

A popular dessert on the Lu Ban menu, one diner commented, “this is the nicest thing I’ve ever had in my mouth”. Quite an endorsement!

Ingredients

Custard

360ml soy cream, 115ml soy milk

80g sugar

9g tonka beans

1% agar, 1 tsp sugar

Zest of half an orange

 

Cherries and syrup

100g frozen black cherries

Half a star anise

25g sugar 

1cm cassia stick

Granola

18g rolled oats

1g cinnamon

5g white sesame seeds

5g black sesame seeds

25g x2 Cathedrals Honey Liverpool

15g butter

6g coconut

Tiny pinch of salt

Thai basil leaf to garnish

Method

For the custard, place the milk, cream, sugar and beans in a pan; gently warm and allow to infuse for 30mins.

Place a bowl on a scale and zero the weight, then strain the liquid into the bowl. The total weight of the liquid (in grams) needs to be divided by 100, which will give you the precise amount of agar to add. Weigh the agar and mix with one teaspoon of sugar and add to the strained mix.

Allow to cool slightly then divide evenly between four serving glasses. Place in the fridge to set.

For the cherries and syrup, place all the ingredients in a pan and allow to infuse and defrost the cherries.

Strain the mix - remove the star anise and cassia.

Place three quarters of the cherries in a bowl and set aside.

Place the remaining quarter and the juice in a blender and blitz until smooth. Push through a fine sieve ensuring as much of the pulp is forced through as possible.

Place the liquid into a clean pan and reduce by half. When cool add the whole cherries.

For the granola pre-heat the oven to 180°C. Place the granola ingredients in a bowl and mix well.

Place on a greased baking tray. Bake for 15mins to achieve a flapjack texture. Once cooked allow to crumble.

Sprinkle the granola on one half of the custard, top with a dessert spoon of cherries in syrup and garnish with basil.

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Chicken Wings

Bring chicken wings to life with these incredible flavours.

Ingredients

32 chicken wings, jointed with the aileron (wing tip) removed

1.5l Tianjin master stock

400g plain flour

1 tbsp chilli powder

1 tbsp smoked paprika

2 tsp Chinese five spice

1 tsp Szechuan ground pepper

1 tbsp salt

60ml chilli oil

3 tsp salt flakes

2 red chillies, sliced with seeds

2 green chillies, sliced with seeds

4 spring onions

1.5l vegetable oil 

Method

Bring the stock to the boil and add the wings, then turn off the heat.

Place the pan on the side with a spoon under the lid to allow air to circulate and assist cooling.

Add the red and green chillies. When the stock, wings and chillies are cool, place in the fridge. Once the stock is cold (this may be overnight), remove the wings and chillies.

Place the oil in a wok or deep pan and heat to 180°C. Coat the wings in a mixture of flour, salt, chilli powder and Chinese five spice.

Heat a wok or large pan and add the oil. Stir fry the wings until golden brown and then add the chilli. 

Remove from oil and drain on kitchen paper.

Place the wings in a bowl and toss in the chilli oil.

Finish with the remaining ingredients.