After having lackluster results with Kylie's recipes using the cooking sherry I'd purchased since I can't find shao hsing wine around here in the boonies, I consulted with Palidor of Crazy Asian Gal about what I could use in the sherry's place. She suggested saké. Today, with the last remaining few bucks in my food budget, I strode into the local well-used government-controlled liquor store and asked where the saké was located. The helpful clerk showed me and there was a selection of exactly one saké, priced at $10.80. I hesitated momentarily, because there was a bottle of sherry on the shelf next door for half the price, but it wasn't dry and I wasn't sure it would be suitable.
In the evening, I made Kylie's Stir-Fried Beef with Oyster Sauce.
Oh, what a difference! This dish really popped, and it was much more complexly flavoured than the previous two recipes I've made using the sherry in place of the shao hsing wine! It was simply delicious.
I'm really enjoying cooking from this book; the recipes are easy to put together, simple as the title suggests, and the dishes aren't bogged down with heavy sauces like the food found in Western Chinese restaurants.
Another winner from Kylie! And now that I have the saké, I feel like going back & making the previous two dishes to see what they taste like. All in good time!