Osmanthus is a plant which produces flowers called gui hua (or cinnamon flower or cassia flower). The flowers are used to infuse with tea leaves to create a scented tea called gui hua cha. It can also be use to make jam, dessert and even in stir fry dishes. I bought some when I visit New York some time ago and I cooked chicken with it. This is an appetizing dish as it has the sweet, sour, salty and a nice fragrant of the osmanthus.
For more information about Osmanthus please refer here.
Half chicken – clean, remove skin and cut into bite size pieces
1 carrot – sliced
4 pieces dried black fungus – soak in water until soft
1/2 cup ginko nuts
1 clove garlic
2 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp soy sauce
salt to taste
1/2 tsp cornstarch + 1 tbsp water
2 tbsp osmanthus syrup (more if you like a sweeter dish)
For the syrup:
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup sugar
2 tbsp dried osmanthus flower
Bring the water and sugar to boil. When the syrup is slightly thickens add in the dried osmanthus flower. Let it simmer for another minute and turn off the heat. Let the syrup stand for 5 minutes before using.
2. Continue to stir-fry for another 30 seconds and add in about 1 cup of water (more or less depend on how much gravy you like). Bring it up to boil and add in the soy sauce and vinegar. Cover and simmer until the chicken cooks.
3. Add in 2 tbsp of the osmanthus syrup and continue to cook for another minute. Check seasonings. You might want to add a bit more salt or syrup to it. Add in the cornstarch mixture and bring it to boil and sauce thickens.
4. Dish out and serve with rice.
Note: Osmanthus flowers are available by mail order from TeaSpring.com. You can keep the extra syrup to make dessert or to sweeten your tea.