Take any trussing string off the birds and rinse them under cool running water for a minute, then drain and wipe the cavity dry with kitchen paper.
Peel the remaining ginger and thinly slice it (a mandolin grater is good for this), then cut the slices into fine julienne strips and mix with the lemon juice. Put to one side.
Once the poussins have cooled, remove them from the stock, strain it and put it back on to boil. Add the carrots and boil them until half cooked (slightly crunchy carrots are good in this dish), then remove them with a slotted spoon and leave to cool. Let the stock cool completely before storing in the fridge (so long as you use it once every week), or freeze it. Every time you reuse it, check the seasoning and add either more soy sauce or water as taste dictates.
Remove the stems from the mushrooms, score an ‘X’ in the cap and sauté in the vegetable and sesame oils until softened. Add the reserved black vinegar at the end and leave to cool.
Now you need to portion your poussins. You can either just simply cut them through the backbone using a pair of kitchen shears and serve 1 half per person, or you can remove the legs, cutting each in half through the knee joint, and then remove the breast from the carcass and serve a breast and 2 leg halves per person.
Mix the tat soi with half the lemon-marinated ginger and all of the carrots, the shiitake and the spring onions. Divide this salad between the plates, then lay the pieces of poussin on top. Scatter on the remaining ginger and lemon juice, the crispy shallots and the coriander, and pour
© 2005 Peter Gordon. All rights reserved.