Chef's picks: Hunan Fine Asian Cuisine
Hunan Fine Asian Cuisine
Mattoon’s Hunan Fine Asian Cuisine began with owners Tom Wu and Mae Chen, who emigrated from Taiwan in 1980 to attend the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Story: Christine Walsh
Mattoon’s Hunan Fine Asian Cuisine began with owners Tom Wu and Mae Chen, who emigrated from Taiwan in 1980 to attend the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She moved to Mattoon from Madison, Wis., in 1984. The restaurant started with a simple menu and slowly evolved to a full-scale buffet restaurant. As time went on, Chen moved toward using higher quality ingredients and fresher, healthier options. The menu was revised, but old favorites were kept. Chen still evolves the menu and encourages input from customers. Meals can be customized at the customer’s request. Hunan has the space to host business, wedding and large family events. Hunan, at 116 S. 17th St., Mattoon.
- Remove tough skin from asparagus.
- Cut into 2-inch sections and blanch for one minute, then immediately plunge into cold water to cool.
- Slice chicken breast meat seasoned with salt, water and cornstarch, and marinate for at least one to two hours.
- Add 1/2 Tbsp. vegetable oil to wok before stir frying to prevent meat from sticking together or to the surface.
- Heat pan and add 6 Tbsp. vegetable oil and heat to 275 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Stir fry the meat for about 30 seconds or until the chicken changes color.
- Remove meat and drain; remove all but 2 Tbsp. oil from the pan and then heat until very hot.
- Stir fry the green onion (1-inch sections), shredded ginger root, minced fresh garlic and a splash of rice wine vinegar until fragrant. (Add amounts to taste.)
- Add the asparagus and stir briefly.
- Add the chicken slices, rice wine, salt and sugar to taste. Add cornstarch and/or water until it reaches a consistency to your liking.
- Toss lightly and plate on a hot platter.
- Remove any fat or muscle from the beef and slice against the grain
- Shred the beef and mix it with rice wine, soy sauce, cornstarch and water. Marinate for at least one to two hours; the longer the better.
- Cut the onion into fine slices.
- Heat the pan again and add shredded ginger and oil until hot (about 275 degrees Fahrenheit). Then add beef slices and stir fry over medium heat using chopsticks or a spatula to separate the meat until the meat changes color (about 20 seconds).
- Remove and drain
- Heat pan again and add 3 Tbsp. oil and heat until very hot
- Add the onion sections and stir fry for about 10 seconds until fragrant.
- Add marinated beef with rice wine, soy sauce, sugar, black pepper, cornstarch and water or stock. Toss lightly.
- Sprinkle 1 tsp. sesame oil over the stir-fry mixture.
- Toss lightly and plate on a serving platter. Serve.