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BRAISED FISH LIPS IN BROWN SAUCE 
2 lbs. fish lips
1/4 c. dried Chinese mushrooms, sliced
1/4 c. hunnan ham, sliced
1/2 c. bamboo shoots, sliced
2 tbsp. oil
2 tbsp. soy sauce
1 c. soup stock
1/4 c. cooking wine
2 tbsp. cornstarch dissolved in water
Pinch of MSG
1 tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. molasses
1/4 tsp. salt
Juice from ginger root
Peppercorn oil

Soak mushrooms for 30 minutes. Remove hard stems with knife. Soak fish lips in water for 2 to 3 hours. Scrape off the sand. Wash and soak again. Repeat until all the sand is removed. Remove any meat from the lips as well. Cut the fish lips into big pieces as you would spareribs. Blanch them in boiling water. Add cooking wine to boiling water and blanch twice more to remove the fishy smell. Blanch the ham, mushrooms and bamboo shoots in boiling water.

Heat soup stock and add soy sauce, MSG, salt, sugar, ginger juice and molasses to it. When it comes to a boil, put in the fish lips and simmer for 10 minutes. Continue to simmer for a short while. Add cornstarch mixture to thicken the sauce. Sprinkle with peppercorns. Transfer to plate and serve. This is a famous banquet delicacy.

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