Cookbook Profile

Spiced Cornish Game Hens
with Sizzling Oil

Makes 4 servings


Spiced Cornish Game Hens The Chinese dining table is game for just about any fowl. This recipe is adapted from a classical banquet dish of roast pigeons. The flavorful sizzling oil adds an unusual finishing touch.


Dry rub
2 teaspoons Sichuan peppercorns
2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
2 teaspoons finely chopped ginger

2 Cornish game hens
4 slices ginger, lightly crushed
2 green onions, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 tablespoon cooking oil

Sizzling oil
3 slices ginger, julienned
1 green onion, julienned
3 tablespoons cooking oil
3 tablespoons soy sauce


Place the peppercorns in a small frying pan over medium heat. Cook, shaking pan frequently, until the peppercorns darken slightly and smell toasted, 3 to 4 minutes. Process in a spice grinder or blender until coarsely ground. In a bowl, combine the ground peppercorns, garlic, and ginger.

Remove the necks and giblets from the birds; reserve for other uses or discard. Rinse the birds inside and out; pat dry. Rub inside and out with the dry rub. Cover and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the birds, breast side down, on a rack in a foil-lined shallow roasting pan. Place half the ginger and green onion inside the body cavity of each bird, then tuck wings under. Roast for 30 minutes. Turn the birds oven brush with the oil, and continue to roast until the meat is no longer pink when cut near the thighbone, 30 to 45 minutes longer, depending on the size of the birds. Remove from the oven. Cover loosely with foil and let stand for 10 minutes.

Prepare the sizzling oil: Place the ginger and green onion in a heatproof bowl. Heat the oil in a pan over high heat until smoking. Pour the oil over the ginger and onion. Add the soy sauce.

To serve, cut each bird in half. Pour some of the sizzling oil over each.

Buy the Book!


Martin Yan's Invitation to Chinese Cooking
By Martin Yan
Bay Books, 1999
Paper, $24.95
240 pages, 138 recipes, 50 plus color photographs
ISBN: 1-57959-504-9
Recipe reprinted by permission.


Martin Yan's Invitation to Chinese Cooking



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This page created September 2000