Kidneys in Hot Sour Sauce

(Photo by mswine/Flickr)


250 g/8 oz pork kidneys
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon Chinese wine or dry sherry
2 teaspoons cornflour (cornstarch)
125 ml/4 fl oz/1/2 cup peanut oil
2 dried red chillies
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh ginger
1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
2 spring onions (scallions), finely chopped

2 tablespoons light soy sauce
2 tablespoons vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon ground Szechwan pepper
125 ml/4 fl oz/1/2 cup stock or water
2 teaspoons cornflour (cornstarch)


Cut kidneys in halves lengthwise and remove the central core and any fat. Turn them cut sides down on the board and with a sharp knife score the outside surface first one way and then another, holding the knife at a 45 degree angle.

Cut into pieces along the natural divisions of the kidneys. Soak in salted water for 10 minutes, then drain and marinate in the salt, wine, cornflour and 2 teaspoons of the oil for 30 minutes. Combine sauce ingredients and have ready.

Heat oil and fry the dried chillies for 1 minute or until they turn black. Drain on paper towels and when cool and crisp break into small pieces. Deep fry the kidneys on high heat for 2 minutes. Lift out on a slotted spoon, pour off all but about a tablespoon of oil and stir-fry the ginger, garlic and spring onions for 30 seconds. Return kidney to the wok. Add the sauce mixture and crumble the dried chillies in, stirring until sauce boils and thickens. Serve with steamed rice.

Recipe excerpted from Encyclopedia of Asian Food by Charmaine Solomon (Periplus Editions, 1998)