Posts Tagged ‘Chinese’
Like many food bloggers, before I started my own I followed and cooked from many food blogs. But of course none of them were documented other than a printed copy of the recipe with my changes or thoughts written around the margins. While digging through said stack of printed recipes (before I discovered the glory of saving recipes as PDFs), I rediscovered this recipe for sweet and sour chicken.
Growing up, sweet and sour chicken was my absolute favorite Chinese option. Probably because it had pineapple and no icky vegetables – oh how much my tastes have changed! Later down the road, when I found this recipe it had been quite a while since I had had a plate of my childhood favorite. Both then and the most recent time I’ve cooked it I really enjoy that it does not require a vat of hot oil to fry the chicken. You do first fry it in a little canola oil but then let the oven to the rest. The sauce caramelizes a bit over the chicken giving you a tender center and a slightly crispy exterior – just the way it should be.
Need further validation? Qing asked me where I got it from when I brought the leftovers in for lunch. She couldn’t believe I made it and after letting her try it she said it tasted authentic too!
Also some fun news. Yesterday my dissertation finally cleared all it’s checks and was approved for publishing. Additionally I’ve completed all my Ph.D. requirements (aka paperwork) and have been approved for graduation! Not that I didn’t think it would happen but what a relief that it’s all done. Now all I have to do is clean up a couple new experiments to appease the reviewers of my research paper submission to be published (oh and find that thing called a J-O-B). Don’t worry I’ll let you know when I’m pubmed-able ;-).
Despite waking up at 5:30am every day this past weekend to play with yeast (not the baking kind), I had a pretty nice weekend. It’s amazing how much I accomplished in the little amount of free time that I had, and how relaxed I felt by Sunday night. Even got in a lovely phone chat with my friend Amber back in Columbus. It’s the little things that keep me going :-). Especially since as I write this, it is 10pm and I am doing that graduate student research thing at lab.
This recipe serves one person and it’s quick and easy to prepare. Perfect match for my mission to not produce any leftovers before I head out of town, in combination with my sparse time. It was also my first time ever using fresh ginger, and smells amazing! I never want to use dried ground ginger again. Which brings me to a question, how do you store ginger root? Is it supposed to be refrigerated or left out on the counter?
The Holiday Recipe club is a fun way to play with holiday-themed ingredients or recipes, but until now they have all been associated with American holidays. A little while ago, there was discussion within the group whether people would be interested in exploring other holidays outside of the US and as you can see from today’s post, the motion was passed! For today’s first international HRC post we are celebrating Buddha’s Birthday by using either gram masala, tofu, or sesame.
Sesame grabbed my attention and I first thought of making Sesame Chicken, but I was convinced I had already posted a recipe for that – wrong. Even if I had, it would’ve still totally been worth trying out this recipe because it’s done in a slow cooker, making it so easy to prepare. And healthier too because it’s not fried! Granted that means you lose the crispy action, but I didn’t miss it that much knowing it was better for me.
Want to join us in celebrating more National and International holidays? Check out the HRS’s contact page. Also be sure to check out the end of this post for the rest of the HRC line up.
Do you ever crave takeout food, but don’t feel like going out to get it? Yet somehow you will stop at the grocery store in order to make it yourself? It happens to me more than I can count. At first I feel lazy, but somehow head in the opposite direction. Whatever the explanation, I made this chicken and it was worth all the effort.
And can you believe it? This was my first time cooking with chicken thighs! Unless you are cooking the entire thing, I somehow had it in my head that people only used the breast meat. I am glad I have been set straight.
But as usual I forgot to sprinkle the scallions on top. And then I ate it before I could realize it in order to take more pictures – I’m a hungry girl! Sorry already chopped up scallions, I promise to give you another purpose!
GENERAL TSO’S CHICKEN
1-1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 egg white
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp cornstarch
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs
Canola, Peanut, or Vegetable oil for frying
1 Tbsp peanut, canola or vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger root
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp Chinese chile-garlic sauce
3 Tbsp sugar
1/2 cup cashews, roughly chopped
4 whole scallions, thinly sliced
Steamed brown rice
- Prep the chicken: In a mixing bowl, stir together the sesame oil, soy sauce, egg white, and 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of cornstarch until a thick slurry forms. It will look gummy but smooth.
- Add the chicken pieces and stir until all are evenly coated. At first it may appear that it will not come together but it does!
Set chicken aside, covered lightly with plastic wrap, at room temperature for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Begin the sauce: Add the tablespoon of oil to a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan over high heat. Stir the garlic and ginger into the oil and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining sauce ingredients until smooth. Pour into the garlic and ginger, stirring, until the sauce becomes thick and shiny. Once the sauce thickens, lower heat and keep the saucepan over a low burner partially covered to stay warm.
- To fry the chicken: Heat 1/2-inches of oil in a heavy-bottomed, high-sided frying pan or skillet over high heat.
- When the oil is shimmering, add one piece of chicken at a time, taking care not to crowd the pan. Cook chicken for 4 minutes on each side, or until deep golden brown and crisp on both sides.
- Transfer the fried chicken to a paper towel lined plate and repeat the process until you’ve cooked all the chicken.
- Then slide all of the fried chicken into the prepared sauce and toss to coat. (If desired, add some steamed broccoli and cashews to coat with the sauce also.) Increase the heat to medium, stir and cook just until hot all the way through.
- Sprinkle with sliced scallions and serve immediately over rice.
Source: Tasty Kitchen
For some reason I always feel like I don’t eat enough red meat, so when I saw this recipe I immediately wanted to make it. Especially since it sounded really good and easy. I couldn’t for the life of me find broccolini so I was forced to just use broccoli. Where on earth is that stuff in a grocery store anyway?? Not in the produce section or frozen even. Maybe it’s a specialty store item, boo. I can’t imagine it really changed anything other than the appearance. After all, the flavors of this dish were perfect (hoisin sauce FTW) and cleanup was a snap!
Vegetable oil cooking spray
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
1 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
1 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1 lb top round, thinly sliced and cut into 12 strips
8 scallions, cut into 3-inch-long pieces
1-1/2 cups shredded carrots
1 cup instant brown rice
1 lb broccolini
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- Heat grill. Fold four 18-inch-long pieces of foil in half; unfold and coat inside with cooking spray.
- Combine hoisin, soy sauce, vinegar and oil in a bowl; coat beef with marinade. Place a handful of scallions and carrots on end of 1 strip of beef (tips should hang over edges of meat); roll up beef to enclose vegetables and secure with a toothpick. Repeat with remaining beef, scallions and carrots.
- Place 1/4 cup rice in center of 1 half of each piece of foil; top rice with 3 beef rolls each. Surround rice and beef in each packet with 1/4 of broccolini; season all with salt and pepper.
- Fold foil to close and crimp 2 sides of each packet, leaving 1 side open; pour 1/4 cup broth into each packet. Crimp third side of packets to seal; place on grill; close lid; cook until packets are fully puffed, 10 minutes. Carefully cut foil to open; serve.
Source: SELF Magazine
Beef. It’s something I do not eat often enough, but not necessarily on purpose. I just typically have a Sam’s Club stock-pile of frozen chicken breasts in the freezer and I’m a graduate student, which means I try to use things I already have to reduce grocery bills. However, I decided to splurge a little on some top sirloin for this dish especially since I rarely make a stir fry with anything other than chicken. Definitely worth it, so tasty! The fresh orange juice was key. And with only two people eating, leftovers meant lunch for the next three days, hooray! I love a good leftover meal. Although I do prefer reheating most things in a toaster oven instead of a microwave in order to retain some crunchiness (especially pizza), it still tastes great.
Leftovers-for-lunch tip: Divide up the leftovers into individual tupperware servings. Makes for an easy packed lunch before running out the door in the morning.
One more thing. I opted for brown rice instead of white – typical for me.
1-1/2lbs beef top sirloin, sliced into thin strips
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 cups oil (for frying)
1/3 cup white sugar
1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
1/3 cup fresh squeezed orange juice (took 1-1/2 oranges for me)
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp orange zest
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1-1/2 Tbsp garlic, minced
1 bunch green onions, sliced
Broccoli florets (cooked)
Brown rice (cooked)
- Coat beef strips with cornstarch and allow to sit for 30 minutes. In a small bowl mix sugar, rice vinegar, orange juice, salt, and soy sauce. Set aside.
- Heat oil in a deep fryer (or wok) to 375 degrees. Fry beef strips in batches until crispy and golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Set aside.
- Heat a couple tablespoons of oil in a wok, add orange zest, ginger and garlic, stir fry for 20 seconds. Add the soy sauce mixture to the wok, bring to a boil, and cook until the mixture has thickened. Coat the beef strips with the sauce, top with green onions. Serve with broccoli florets and rice.
Source: Adapted slightly from Blog Chef
This week has been a bit rough on my sleep cycle. I am currently performing 12 hour drug exposure experiments at the lab, which means I’m either there early in the morning (4am-ish), so that the end time is at a decent hour, or am there late at night (9pm-ish), ending not-so early the next morning. Yet somehow I manage to get to the gym and cook dinner still. And in case you forgot, I require no coffee. Even now. I have super human powers.
I love a good stir-fry, but Brent could usually care less. However he has to deal because stir-frys are also one of my favorite dishes to make when I am busy. Although this one is not overly simple, it doesn’t take too long to make. And the end result is pure deliciousness! After finishing it off Brent even said we should have Asian-cuisine more often. Imagine that.
If I had had more time, I probably would’ve whipped up some homemade fortune cookies to go with.
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
3 scallions, whites only, thinly sliced on an angle
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp ground ginger
1 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp cornstarch
1-1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp dry sherry
1 Tbsp dark sesame oil
1/3 cup water
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 heads broccoli, trimmed sliced stalks and medium florets (keep the 2 cuts separate)
3/4 to 1 tsp red chili flakes, optional
1 Tbsp hoisin sauce
Toasted sesame seeds, for garnish
- In a medium bowl, toss the chicken with the scallion whites, about half the garlic and ginger, the soy sauce, sugar, 1 teaspoon of the cornstarch, 1 teaspoon of the salt, the sherry, and the sesame oil. Marinate at room temperature for 15 minutes.
- Mix the remaining cornstarch with 1/3 cup water, set aside.
- Heat a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil and heat. Add the broccoli stems, and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Add the florets and the remaining garlic, ginger, 2 tablespoons of water, and season with 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Stir-fry until the broccoli is bright green but still crisp, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
- Get the skillet good and hot again, and then heat 2 more tablespoons oil. Add the chicken and chili flakes if using. Stir-fry until the chicken loses its raw color and gets a little brown, about 3 minutes. Add the hoisin sauce, return the broccoli to the pan and toss to heat through. Stir in the reserved cornstarch mixture and bring to a boil to thicken. Add more water if need to thin the sauce, if necessary.
- Garnish with sesame seeds; serve with rice.
Source: Adapted slightly from Food Network
Chinese and Thai are two of my favorite genres of food. Unfortunately I can’t seem to convince Brent to eat out at those locations much. He claims that it’s not that he doesn’t like it, he’s just never in the mood apparently. I crave it constantly, so I cannot relate. While he has been gone (BTW he’s now in Bocas del Toro Panama, about to take a scuba course/certification), I’ve have taken to eating things I don’t regularly get to have. First was Hawaiian pizza (fruit on pizza is beyond him), then it was time for Cashew Chicken! I have been wanting to make this for a long time, but was somehow worried it wouldn’t live up to my expectations. Rest assured that the fact I am posting this, must mean something ;-).
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 Tbsp dry sherry
2 tsp minced, peeled fresh ginger (I had pickled and used that instead)
3-1/2 tsp cornstarch, divided
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 Tbsp chili garlic sauce (optional)
2 tsp sugar
1 Tbsp + 2 tsp sesame oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2/3 cup unsalted cashews
2 green onions, white and green parts divided and thinly sliced
1/2 red pepper, sliced
- In a medium bowl, toss the chicken with the sherry, ginger, and 1-1/2 teaspoons cornstarch; season with coarse salt. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl whisk together the chicken broth, soy sauce, rice vinegar, chili garlic sauce, sugar and 2 teaspoons cornstarch. Set aside.
- In a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon of oil. Add half of the chicken and cool until golden brown and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate and cover with foil. Add 1 teaspoon of oil to the skillet and cook the remaining chicken. Transfer to the covered plate.
- In the same skillet, add the remaining teaspoon of oil. Add the cashews, garlic, green onion whites, and red pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, until the garlic begins to soften, about 30 seconds. Whisk the sauce again to combine and add to the skillet along with the chicken. Cook until the sauce thickens, about 30 seconds. Serve over rice or noodles (I did brown rice) and top with the green onion greens.
Source: Adapted slightly from Brown Eyed Baker