Ingredients

FOR THE MASTERSTOCK (THE BRAISING LIQUOR FOR CARROTS)
1 teaspoon canola oil
2 cloves garlic, bashed with the back of a knife
1 spring onion, bashed with the back of a knife
1-inch knob of ginger, bashed with the back of a knife
1 dried chilli
100g rock sugar, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon five-spice powder
2 litres water
150ml light soy sauce
50ml dark soy sauce
4 large juicing carrots
peel of 1 mandarin
FOR THE CHAR SIU SAUCE (GLAZE FOR CARROTS)
1 cube fermented red tofu (this can be found in most Chinese grocery stores)
1 clove garlic, grated
2 tablespoons soft brown sugar
½ teaspoon five-spice powder
½ cup masterstock syrup
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons Shaoxing rice wine
2 tablespoons honey
LAST NIGHT’S RICE CONGEE
6 cups vegetable stock
1-inch knob of ginger
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 cup cooked rice (I like using jasmine for the fragrance)
1 teaspoon soy sauce
couple of drops sesame oil
1 spring onion, finely sliced

Instructions

1.MASTERSTOCK (THE BRAISING LIQUOR FOR CARROTS)
2.Add the oil to a stock pot and set the heat to medium high.
3.Fry the garlic, spring onion, ginger and chilli (I call these aromats) and cook until fragrant and lightly golden.
4.Turn the heat down to low, add the sugar and five-spice powder and stir well. Keep your eyes on the sugar; you want it to melt down and become a light caramel.
5.Turn the heat up to high and deglaze the pan by adding the water and both soy sauces and letting it bubble up, scraping the base of the pan with a wooden spoon.
6.Bring to a rolling boil, then drop in the carrots and mandarin peel.
7.Bring back to a boil then turn the heat down to a simmer. Simmer the carrots for at least 45 minutes or until tender.
8.Using a slotted spoon remove and discard the aromats but keep the carrots, setting them aside to cool in the fridge.
9.Bring the stock back to a boil and reduce the stock until it becomes syrupy.
10.Set aside until later.
11.FOR THE CARROTS AND CHAR SIU SAUCE
12.Heat the oven to 200°C and line an oven tray with baking paper.
13.Remove the carrots from the fridge, cut down the middle lengthwise then place cut side down on the lined tray.
14.To make the char siu sauce, put the fermented red tofu, garlic, sugar, five-spice powder, some salt and white pepper into a bowl. Mash into a paste.
15.Add all the remaining ingredients and whisk until smooth.
16.Using a pastry brush, smother the carrots with char siu sauce.
17.Put in the oven for 10 minutes, remove and brush over the sauce again and cook for another 10 minutes. By now the carrots should be sticky and beautifully chewy.
18.Cut into bite-sized pieces.
19.LAST NIGHT’S RICE CONGEE
20.Put the stock, ginger, salt and pepper in a saucepan and bring to the boil (or you can do this in a slow cooker or rice cooker).
21.Once at a rolling boil add the rice, stir well and turn the heat down to the lowest setting.
22.Simmer the rice until it’s a soft porridge-like consistency, about 15 minutes, remove the ginger and discard then add the soy and sesame oil.
23.Sprinkle over the spring onions and top with the chopped carrots.

Recipes & food styling Jamie Robert Johnston / Photography Josh Griggs

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