Tag Archives: Asian

Apricot Glazed Chicken

Apricot Chicken 1

You know those days when you run from one activity to another, and before you know it everyone is starving and you haven’t thought about dinner yet? Apricot Glazed Chicken is made for those days. This recipe is one of my favorite go-to last minute dinners. And it helps that it is always a hit with the kids.

The glaze is a simple mix of apricot jam, soy sauce and a few spices. Brown some chicken breasts or tenderloins in a skillet, pour on the glaze and cook for 5 minutes. Add a little rice and dinner is served!

A perfect meal for the dinner procrastinator!

I have also made this chicken with this homemade Peach Vanilla Jam.

Apricot Chicken 2

RECIPE:

Apricot Chicken 1

Apricot Glazed Chicken

2 Tbs olive oil
4 chicken breasts, or 1 lb chicken tenderloins
Salt, pepper, garlic powder
Hot cooked rice

Glaze:
½ cup apricot jam
1 Tbs soy sauce
1 Tbs rice vinegar
1 tsp fresh grated ginger (or ¼ tsp ground ginger)
½ tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp crushed red peppers
Heat oil in a large skillet. Add chicken to skillet and sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Cook until well browned.

Combine glaze ingredients and pour over chicken. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and glaze thickens slightly.

Serve over hot steamed rice.

1 Comment

Filed under Main Dishes

Create-Your-Own Stir Fry

Chicken Stir Fry 3

Today’s post comes to you courtesy of Little J.

JGS0917162

For a class assignment, Little J had to make a Family Favorite Recipe all on her own. This included planning, shopping, cooking and clean-up. This is my very favorite type of homework assignment! She chose to make a chicken stir-fry. Definitely one of her favorite meals.

My favorite thing about stir-fries is how adaptable they are to whatever you can find in your freezer and produce drawer. Little J chose to use chicken, fresh green beans, celery, carrots and onion in her stir-fry.

The recipe below is for a basic stir-fry that you can customize to your family’s taste. I also included Little J’s customization.

JGS0917161

I look forward to more amazing creations from this amazing daughter!

RECIPE:

Chicken Stir Fry 3

Create-Your-Own Stir Fry

1-2 lb thinly sliced chicken breasts OR thinly sliced beef (flank steak, skirt steak, or leftover roast beef) OR thinly sliced pork tenderloin

3-4 cups chopped fresh vegetables (onions, broccoli, green beans, carrots, celery, mushrooms, pea pods, asparagus, cabbage, red or green peppers, green onion—whatever is in the fridge!)

2-3 Tbs oil

Sauce:
½ cup chicken broth
¼ cup soy sauce
1 Tbs cornstarch
1 Tbs honey
1 Tbs rice wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tsp grated ginger
2 tsp chili paste
2 tsp sesame oil

Combine sauce ingredients in a small bowl or glass measuring cup. Stir until cornstarch and honey are completely dissolved. Place sliced meat in a Ziploc bag and add ¼ cup of the sauce to the bag with the meat. Close bag and set aside.

Heat 1 Tbs oil in a large skillet or wok. Sauté vegetables over high heat until crisp- tender. Work in small batches, removing vegetables from the pan when they are cooked (add additional oil if needed). Place cooked vegetables in serving dish.

Add 1 Tbs oil to pan; heat until hot. Add meat to pan and cook over high heat until meat is cooked through (about 5 minutes). Reduce heat to medium-low and add sauce to pan. Cook until sauce thickens (2-3 mins). Stir in cooked vegetables. Cook 1 minute to heat through.

Serve over rice.

Makes 6 servings.

 

Little J’s Chicken Stir-Fry

4 boneless chicken breasts, thinly sliced
2 cups fresh French green beans, cut into 1-2” pieces
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 stalks celery, sliced
1 medium carrot, peeled and sliced
2-3 Tbs olive oil
Hot cooked rice

Sauce:
½ cup chicken broth
¼ cup soy sauce
1 Tbs cornstarch
1 Tbs honey
1 Tbs rice wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tsp grated ginger
2 tsp chili paste
2 tsp sesame oil

Combine sauce ingredients in a small bowl or glass measuring cup. Stir until cornstarch and honey are completely dissolved. Place sliced chicken breasts in a Ziploc bag and add ¼ cup of the sauce to the bag with the chicken. Close bag and set aside.

Heat 1 Tbs oil in a large skillet or wok. Sauté vegetables over high heat until crisp- tender. Work in small batches, removing vegetables from the pan when they are cooked (add additional oil if needed). Place cooked vegetables in serving dish.

Add 1 Tbs oil to pan; heat until hot. Add chicken to pan and cook over high heat until chicken is cooked through (about 5 minutes). Reduce heat to medium-low and add sauce to pan. Cook until sauce thickens (2-3 mins). Stir in cooked vegetables. Cook 1 minute to heat through.

Serve over rice.

Leave a comment

Filed under Main Dishes

Asian Chicken Shish-Kabobs

ShishKabobs (21)

All of those summer projects that I plan in the spring seem to have a way of holding themselves over and turning into fall projects. Including any goals I had of blogging right through summer.

So, with one week of school under our belt and one kid driven 2000 miles away and deposited at college (and another to leave on a mission to Germany in a few weeks), I am finally getting a chance to sit at the computer.

ShishKabobs (12)

Grilling is one of our favorite ways to cook during warm weather months. I have one child in particular who especially loves it when “soup” on the menu plan get replaced with “grill”. (How anyone can dislike an entire category of food, “soup”, is still beyond my comprehension)

Shish-Kabobs are a little more work than normal grilling, but they can be marinated early in the day, or the day before, and then assembled just before cooking.

ShishKabobs (6)

You can thread meat and vegetables together on the skewers, or separate them. I like how they look all threaded together, but it is easier to keep your veges from getting overcooked while waiting for your chicken to cook through if you cook meat and vegetables on separate skewers.

ShishKabobs (13)

RECIPE:

ShishKabobs (21)

Asian Chicken Shish-Kabobs

Boneless chicken, cut into 1” cubes
Red/green peppers, diced
Zucchini, diced
Yellow squash, diced
Onions, cut into large chunks
Cherry Tomatoes
Whole Mushrooms
Fresh Pineapple chunks
Hot steamed rice (white or brown)

Marinade:
1 cup soy sauce
½ cup water
2 Tbs vinegar (I use rice vinegar)
2 Tbs oil
2 Tbs honey
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tsp grated fresh gingerroot
¼- ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes

If using bamboo skewers, soak skewers in water for 30 minutes.

Combine all marinade ingredients. Place chicken and vegetables (everything except for pineapple) in two separate containers. Pour marinade over chicken and vegetables, using half of marinade for each. Do not marinate pineapple. Let sit at room temperature 30 minutes, or refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Just before putting onto skewers, stir pineapple into container with vegetables.

Drain marinade from vegetables (not chicken!) into a Pyrex measuring cup. Set aside. Discard marinade from chicken.

Place chicken, vegetables and pineapple on skewers. Grill or broil until chicken is cooked through.

Microwave reserved marinade from vegetables until it begins to boil. Serve kabobs with hot marinade and rice.

1 Comment

Filed under Main Dishes

Chinese Vegetable Lo Mein

042611 174-1

For Book Group this month we read Wild Swans, by Jung Chang, which chronicles the lives of a family of 3 generations of women in modern day China, It is an amazing look at the history of modern China and the rise of Communism under Mao Zedong. As I was hosting this month, I made this Chinese Vegetable Lo Mein, Chinese Almond Cookies and Homemade Fortune Cookies (I will share these recipes later).

This Lo Mein recipe is adaptable to a wide variety of vegetables and can be made with or without chicken (or other cooked meat). I served it cold, but it can also be served hot. When I am making this for a main dish, I usually serve it hot with both chicken and vegetables. When serving it as a side dish, I usually make it with just vegetables and serve it cold.

042611 154-1

This time I used broccoli, asparagus, sliced carrots, red pepper, snow pea pods and green onions. I like to slightly blanch the broccoli and asparagus by placing them in a large colander and pouring the hot cooked noodles and water over the broccoli and asparagus in the colander. Then rinse immediately with cold water to cool the noodles and vegetables. The other vegetables I leave raw and stir into the cold noodles with the sauce.

When I am serving it hot, I like to lightly sauté all of the vegetables until crisp-tender and then add the sauce and noodles to the skillet.

I prefer to use Chinese noodles, usually labeled Chow Mein or Lo Mein, but I have also used regular packaged linguine or spaghetti.

RECIPE:

042611 174-1

Chinese Vegetable (and/or Chicken) Lo Mein

1 lb dried Chinese lo mein or chow mein noodles (or use packaged linguine)
1 Tbs sesame oil
1-2 cups cooked, chopped chicken (optional)
1-2 cups chopped raw vegetables (broccoli, asparagus, thin sliced carrots, snow peas, green beans, sliced mushrooms, green onions)

Sauce:
½ cup chicken broth
¼ cup soy sauce
3 Tbs Hoisin sauce
1 Tbs rice vinegar
1 Tbs sesame oil
1 Tbs honey
½ Tbs cornstarch
½ tsp chili paste (or more to taste)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp minced fresh ginger

FOR COLD NOODLES:Combine sauce ingredients in a small saucepan and heat until sauce begins to boil. Stir and cook for 1-2 minutes, or until sauce begins to thicken. Cool slightly while noodles cook.

Chop vegetables. If using, place broccoli, asparagus and/or green beans in the bottom of a large colander. Cook noodles according to package directions. Pour cooked noodles and water into the colander with the vegetables (to lightly blanch these vegetables). Rinse with cold water until cool; drain well. Transfer to a large serving bowl. Stir 1 Tbs sesame oil into noodles and vegetables. Add remaining raw chopped vegetables and cooked chicken. Stir sauce into noodles. Refrigerate until cold. Serve cold.

FOR HOT NOODLES:Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain and stir 1 Tbs sesame oil into noodles. Set aside.

In the pot that you cooked the noodles, heat 1 Tbs vegetable oil. Lightly sauté chopped vegetables until barely crisp-tender. Add cooked chicken and heat through. Stir together sauce ingredients and pour over chicken and vegetables in the skillet. Cook for 1-2 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Add noodles to pot and stir to combine. Serve immediately.

Serves 6 to 8

 

4 Comments

Filed under Main Dishes, Side Dishes

Crock Pot Thai Pork Wraps

DSC02857-1

As we head into kids’ spring sports seasons, crock-pot meals make a more frequent appearance in our house. I especially like this one in the spring and summer, because it is not a heavy meal like many crock pot meals tend to be.

Cooked and shredded pork in a slightly spicy peanut sauce, topped with crisp, cool cucumber slices and lettuce. Sprinkle with some chopped peanuts and an Asian dressing, and roll the whole thing up in a tortilla (or use whole lettuce leaves for a twist on the traditional lettuce wrap).

01-20-10 101-1

You can use either pork tenderloins or a cheaper pork loin. After cooking in the crock pot all day, both will turn out super tender. Simply put the pork in your crock pot. Combine sauce ingredients (except peanut butter) and pour over pork. Cook on low for 6-8 hours, or until pork is tender enough to shred.

DSC02783-1

Remove the pork roast from the crock pot and shred with forks. Stir some peanut butter (either creamy or chunky) into the sauce in the crock pot. Return pork to crock pot and mix into sauce. Stir in some Thai basil (cilantro also adds a nice flavor, if you don’t have Thai basil).

DSC02835-1 _

I grew Thai basil in our garden last year and loved it! I brought some inside in the fall and have been trying to nurture it along during the winter. I am excited to plant outside again soon!

DSC02745-1

DSC02840-1I serve this in warmed tortillas with lettuce, chopped peanuts, sliced cucumbers and an Asian dressing (which is completely optional; the wraps are flavorful enough that you don’t need additional dressing, but the slightly sour vinegar taste does add a nice flavor).

For the cucumber, I use a seedless cucumber and slice it into wide julienned strips. Peel and slice cucumber in half crosswise (giving you 2 cylinders). Cut in half again lengthwise. Slice each piece lengthwise into very thin strips (they should resemble long rectangles, not half-circles).

DSC02756-1

This in our favorite Asian dressing. It is found in the supermarket in the produce section by the sushi. You could also use any Asian ginger or sesame/tahini based dressing, as well.

DSC02767

The flavorful, tender pork topped by the crunchy peanuts and cool, crisp cucumbers and lettuce make for a great texture combination. And the convenience of preparing it early in the day is definitely a plus on hectic weeknights.

DSC02857-1

RECIPE:

Crock Pot Thai Pork Wraps

2-3 lb pork loin roast (or pork tenderloins)
¼ cup soy sauce
2 Tbs lemon juice
3 Tbs brown sugar
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 tsp ground ginger
½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
½ cup peanut butter
2-3 Tbs chopped fresh Thai basil or cilantro

Tortillas (or use iceberg/Bibb lettuce for lettuce wraps)
Chopped lettuce
Julienned cucumbers
Finely chopped peanuts
Asian dressing (we like the Miso flavored dressing, found in the produce section by the sushi in our grocery store, but any ginger or sesame/tahini based dressing would be good)

Place pork roast in crock pot. Combine soy sauce, lemon juice, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Pour over roast. Cook on low for about 6-8 hours (about half that on high). Remove pork and skim excess fat. Stir in peanut butter. Shred pork and return to crock pot. Turn crock pot to high and cook for 5-10 minutes uncovered (longer if pork is too liquidy). Stir in Thai basil or cilantro just before serving.

Chop lettuce. Finely chop peanuts. Julienne cucumbers: Peel and slice cucumber in half crosswise (giving you 2 cylinders). Cut in half again lengthwise. Slice each piece lengthwise into very thin strips (they should resemble long rectangles, not half-circles).

To serve: Place pork in tortillas. Top with lettuce, cucumbers, peanuts and dressing.

**These are also good eaten as lettuce wraps; just use iceberg or Bibb lettuce instead of tortillas.

 

3 Comments

Filed under Main Dishes

Teriyaki Salmon and Green Beans with Bacon & Pine Nuts

DSC02709-1

Two of my favorite items from Costco are the large Alaskan (or Copper River later in the summer) salmon fillets and the packages of thin French green beans. This meal combines both for a quick to prepare, healthy and flavorful dinner..

These large fillets will feed about 4 people. Start by lining a baking dish with non-stick foil (or spray regular foil with non-stick spray). Place salmon fillet in the baking dish, skin side down. Sprinkle salmon with lime juice (lemon would be fine, as well).

DSC02657-1 Notice how the acid in the lime juice starts cooking
the salmon before you even put it in the oven.

Top salmon with this soy based marinade and sprinkle with fresh chives or green onions. The marinade includes soy sauce, olive and sesame oils, balsamic vinegar, honey, garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes. (Save half of the marinade to serve with the salmon)

DSC02669-1

Bake at 425°F for about 15-20 minutes, or until salmon flakes with a fork. Once cooked, the salmon will easily slide off of the skin with a little help from a spatula. Cooking it with the skin helps to keep it nice and moist.

Serve salmon with additional sauce on the side (bring reserved marinade to a boil in a small saucepan before serving).

DSC02714-1


Green Beans with Bacon and Pine Nuts

This side dish comes together really quickly, especially if you use another of my favorite Costco items: precooked bacon. I coarsely chop the pre-cooked bacon and cook it in a small skillet with the pine nuts until the nuts are lightly toasted.

DSC02678-1

Remove bacon and pine nuts from pan. Add 1 Tbs olive oil (if you are not using precooked bacon, you could just use 1 Tbs of bacon drippings from the pan) and the green beans to the skillet. Cook over high heat for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly.

Add 2 Tbs water to the pan, cover, and cook for about 2-3 minutes, or until beans are crisp-tender. These thin French beans cook very quickly and are very tender. Don’t overcook!

DSC02688-1

Stir in bacon and pine nuts and serve.

DSC02705-1

RECIPE:

DSC02709-1

Spicy Teriyaki Salmon

1 large salmon fillet
1 lime, juiced
2 Tbs olive oil
2 Tbs soy sauce
1 Tbs balsamic or rice vinegar
1 Tbs honey
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp minced fresh ginger
¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes (add more for more heat)
1 Tbs sesame oil
2 Tbs fresh chives or green onions, chopped

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Line a baking dish with non-stick foil (or spray regular foil with non-stick spray). Place salmon fillet in a baking dish, skin side down. Sprinkle salmon with lime juice.

In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, soy sauce, vinegar, honey, garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes and sesame oil. Pour half of sauce over salmon. Set remaining sauce aside. Sprinkle salmon with chives or green onions.

Bake at 425°F for 15-20 minutes, or until cooked through. Fish should flake easily with a fork.

Meanwhile, bring reserved sauce to a boil in a small saucepan. Serve over cooked salmon.

RECIPE:

DSC02705-1

Green Beans with Bacon and Pine Nuts

1 lb French green beans (or regular beans, snapped)
6-8 slices bacon, chopped
1/4 cup pine nuts

Cook bacon in a small skillet until almost crisp. Add pine nuts and cook until nuts are lightly toasted. Remove from pan.

Drain bacon drippings, leaving 1 Tbs of drippings in the pan. (If you are using precooked bacon, and there are no drippings, add 1 Tbs olive oil to pan).

Add green beans to the pan and cook over high heat, stirring constantly, for 2-3 minutes.  Add 2 Tbs water to the skillet, cover, and cook for about 2-3 minutes, or until beans are crisp-tender. Do not overcook.

Stir bacon and nuts back into beans and serve.

 

2 Comments

Filed under Main Dishes, Side Dishes

Asian Turkey Lettuce Wraps

DSC01939.JPG Crop

Having lived as a family in Japan for 6 years, we have developed quite a taste for Asian food. When asked about their favorite foods, four out of five of our kids will choose an Asian dish (Big A will go with meatloaf first).  When we feel brave enough to venture out as a family for dinner, the top three choices are always Chinese, Japanese and Indian. Little J thinks I should serve more sushi at home (but she won’t touch a piece of cooked fish).

So I am again grateful for Costco, that sells soy sauce by the gallon and sticky rice in 25 lb bags.

My Asian-inspired cooking is by no means, however, authentic. Using standard flavors like soy sauce, ginger and garlic (and chili paste – this is my favorite ingredient!), I throw together a wide range of dishes- often giving the answer of “stir-fry” to the ever-present question of “What’s for dinner, Mom?”

This dish is a little different than the standard stir-fry, but has become very popular lately as it is served in several chain Chinese restaurants. Often made with finely diced chicken, I use ground turkey as a base. I don’t have the time to dice chicken that fine! And ground turkey can be a very economical meat to cook with.

These lettuce wraps are basically a well-seasoned filling of ground turkey, served in a piece of lettuce topped with ground peanuts and additional sauce. You can add hot steamed rice to your wraps, or eat it on the side.

DSC01908

Start by browning and draining your ground turkey. Add finely chopped onions, either green onions that have been sliced, or red/yellow onions that have been finely chopped (I use a food processor).

DSC01922

.

.

Add your seasonings and some finely chopped water chestnuts; simmer 10-15 minutes. Stir in some sesame oil and chopped cilantro and your filling is done.

.

DSC01953

DSC01887We like these with some additional sauce to add at the table. The sauce is a slightly thickened soy sauce-based sauce with as much “spice” as your family likes.

This is one of the few recipes that I use Chinese mustard in, but I really like the taste that it adds to the sauce. Always looking for a way to save a few pennies and also save room in my fridge (how do those condiment shelves fill up so quickly?), I save the little hot mustard packs that come with take-out Chinese (we always end up with more than we use).

Also, a word on chili paste. There are several different kinds of chili paste on the market, and you can experiment to find which ones you like the most. The two that I use for cooking most are a concentrated chili paste called Sambal Oelek or a garlic-chili paste. The main provider of these (outside of an Asian market) is Huy Fong Foods, and they can be found in most grocery stores. We like our food on the spicy side, so adjust the chili paste to your family’s taste.

RECIPE:

DSC01939.JPG Crop

Asian Turkey Lettuce Wraps

3 lb lean ground turkey
1 bunch green onions (or 1 yellow/red onion), finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 Tbs grated fresh ginger
1 can water chestnuts, minced
½ cup soy sauce
1 tsp rice vinegar
1-2 Tbs chili paste (or chili-garlic sauce)
2 Tbs sesame oil
½ bunch cilantro, chopped

SAUCE:
¾ cup water
¼ cup soy sauce
2 tsp sugar or Agave nectar
1-2 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp rice vinegar
1-2 tsp chili paste (or chili-garlic sauce)
¼ – ½ tsp hot Chinese mustard
½ tsp sesame oil

Iceberg, Bibb, or Butter Lettuce
1 cup chopped peanuts

Brown turkey in large skillet; drain. Add onions, garlic and ginger; cook 3-4 minutes. Stir in water chestnuts, soy sauce, vinegar and chili paste. Simmer 10-15 minutes. Stir in cilantro and sesame oil.

Combine sauce ingredients (except sesame oil) in small saucepan. Bring to a simmer. Cook until clear and just barely thickened. Stir in sesame oil. Sauce will thicken a little more as it cools, but it should not be thick.

Serve turkey mixture in lettuce leaves with sauce and chopped peanuts. Serve with rice, if desired.

**For a less-intense flavor, layer hot steamed rice in lettuce leaves with meat mixture. You can also adjust the amount of chili paste to make it more or less spicy.

 

3 Comments

Filed under Main Dishes