This dish is a favourite for diners at Flower Drum. Anthony has taken a native Australian ingredient and used Cantonese cooking styles and flavours to create a dish with a delicate flavour that presents beautifully. Traditionally, Cantonese cook many molluscs such as abalone and conch in this way and Anthony found that this method matches the pearl meat perfectly. The pearl meat is from Broome, WA and is thinly sliced, then stir-fried with spring onion and garlic chives and served with oyster sauce. "This is a fabulously delicate and elegant dish, so the last thing you want is an overpowering wine. With the asparagus flavour in there as well, you could look towards Sauvignon Blanc, although that asparagus character is usually more associated with New Zealand examples. That aside, it’s still a good choice for its clean minerally acidity, light citrus and apple fruit flavours, and light to medium body. The Adelaide Hills generally produces one of Australia’s lighter Savvy styles and so is a good region to look at." - Dan Coward
- 200 g pearl meat
- 2 spring onions
- 6 asparagus spears
- 2 tbsp chicken stock
- ½ tsp Shaoxing wine
- ¼ tsp potato flour
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp sesame oil
- oyster sauce, to serve
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Drink Geoff Weaver Sauvignon Blanc 2012, Adelaide Hills, SA
Slice the pearl meat thinly; the thinner the better. Bear in mind that the thinner the pearl meat, the quicker it cooks.
Chop off the ends and the dark green parts of the spring onion. Take off the outer layer of the spring onion, leaving the core. Chop into 3 cm-long pieces.
Wash and cut the asparagus into 3 cm-long pieces.
Make a mixture of the chicken stock, Shaoxing wine, potato flour and the salt together in a small bowl. The mixture will need to be mixed through once more just prior to being put into the wok for the pearl meat.
Bring water to the boil and blanch the asparagus for about 30 seconds. Take out from the water and drain.
Heat a wok with a ½ teaspoon of oil and stir-fry the asparagus for 20 seconds with a pinch of salt. Remove from the wok and set aside for plating.
While the wok is still hot, fill it with enough oil to fry the pearl meat. When the oil reaches about 80°C, flash-fry the pearl meat for less than 10 seconds. Loosen the pieces and remove from the oil and drain.
Take the excess oil out of the wok, and keeping the wok hot, stir-fry the spring onion pieces.
Add the pearl meat back to the wok and toss for a further 10 seconds. Add in the chicken stock mixture. Make sure to continuously stir the ingredients to allow the potato flour to thicken evenly.
Finish by adding the sesame oil in the wok.
To serve, plate up the asparagus and the pearl meat, accompanied by some oyster sauce as a condiment.
• If using a pearl meat shell as a plate make sure it is washed of impurities beforehand. Pearl meat can be difficult to source. Substitute with scallops and slice very thinly, horizontally.