Tag Archives: Chinese

Teriyaki Chicken

Teriyaki Chicken

Teriyaki Chicken is an easy and delicious way to grill chicken. You can also broil it in the oven if summer storms roll in just as you are getting the grill ready.

I like to use boneless chicken thighs when I make this. They are moist and tender and less likely to dry out when grilled.

RECIPE:

Teriyaki Chicken

Teriyaki Chicken

6-8 boneless chicken thighs or 4 boneless chicken breasts

Sauce:
½ cup soy sauce
3 Tbs brown sugar
1 Tbs sherry (or rice vinegar)
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp fresh ground ginger
½ tsp cornstarch + 2 Tbs water

Combine all sauce ingredients, except for cornstarch/water mixture, in a Pyrex measuring cup. Microwave for 1 minute, or until sugar completely dissolves. Cool.

Place chicken in a Ziploc bag. Add about 1/3 cup of the sauce to the bag and let chicken marinate for 1 hour to overnight. Grill or broil chicken until cooked through.

Stir cornstarch/water mixture into remaining sauce and mix well. Heat in a small saucepan, stirring constantly, until thickened and smooth.

Brush cooked chicken with glaze and serve with rice.

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Create-Your-Own Stir Fry

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

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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.

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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.

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Chinese Chicken & Eggplant in Garlic Chili Sauce

Chicken & Eggplant

One of our favorite dishes at a Pittsburgh Chinese restaurant is their Chicken and Eggplant. Here in Baltimore, we haven’t yet found a restaurant that serves quite the same dish. But we do have a fabulous Asian grocery store not too far away, so I went about recreating it at home.

When using eggplant in a stir fry, be sure to use a small variety of eggplant.

Nasu

Chinese/Japanese Eggplant (Nasu)

Sicilian striped eggplant

Sicilian Striped Eggplant

The skin on the larger eggplants is often too thick to chew in a quick stir fry. The texture of the eggplant in this dish will also be a lot better if you can cut the eggplant so that each slice has skin on one side. If all you can find are the large eggplants, you can use it, but you should peel it first.

Eggplant absorbs a lot of oil when it is cooked, so to keep this dish from being too oily, sear the eggplant with just a small amount of oil in a very hot pan until it just begins to char. Then remove it from the pan while you cook the remaining ingredients.

The sauce is a little spicier than a normal teriyaki sauce, but you can tone down the spice if you don’t like it quite soo hot. One special ingredient that I also bought from the Asian market is this Spicy Bean Sauce, which has a garlic chili base:

Spicy Bean Sauce

 

RECIPE:

Chicken & Eggplant

Chinese Chicken & Eggplant in Garlic Chili Sauce

Sauce:
2 Tbs spicy bean sauce
2 Tbs soy sauce
2 Tbs rice wine or cooking sherry
2 Tbs garlic chili sauce or 2 tsp chili paste
1 Tbs sugar
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp fish sauce
1/4 tsp ground Szechuan peppercorns

Other ingredients:
4 thinly sliced chicken breasts
1 Tbs olive oil
1 tsp cornstarch
Pinch of salt
2 Tbs oil, divided
3-4 small Asian eggplants (or other small variety eggplant), cut into wedges
4 cloves of garlic, finely minced
(use 6 cloves of garlic if using chili paste instead of garlic chili sauce)
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
6 green onions, cut into 2-inch pieces
Hot cooked rice

Combine sauce ingredients and set aside. In a Ziploc bag or small bowl, combine chicken, 1 Tbs oil, cornstarch and salt. Set aside.

In a large wok or skillet, heat 1 Tbs oil until very hot. Add eggplant to hot skillet and stir  over high heat until eggplant begins to char, about 5 minutes. Do not crowd the pan; cook in two batches, if necessary. Remove eggplant from pan and set aside. Add additional 1 Tbs oil to pan. Add chicken to pan and cook, stirring, until chicken is cooked through. Reduce heat to medium and add garlic and ginger. Cook for 2 minutes, and then add green onions and cooked eggplant slices. Stir in sauce and heat through. Serve over rice.

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Szechuan Beans

Szechuan Beans 3

Szechuan Beans are one of my favorite dishes at Chinese restaurants. Often at restaurants, they are made with Chinese long beans. When I make them at home, I use the skinny French filet beans.

These beans are slightly spicy, flavored with Szechuan peppercorns, a good dose of garlic, ginger and chili paste. Szechuan peppercorns are actually less spicy than regular black pepper or chili peppers. They have a slightly lemony taste and leave your tongue with an interesting tingly, slightly numb sensation.

Szechuan Peppercorns

Szechuan Peppercorns

I buy whole Szechuan peppercorns from Penzeys. If I am grinding a large quantity of the peppercorns, I use a mini electric coffee grinder. For times when I only need a small amount of ground peppercorn, I have a separate peppermill (the wooden kind you turn by hand) that I keep full of these peppercorns. Don’t use your regular black peppercorn mill to grind the Szechuan peppercorns and then refill with the black ones. As straight Szechuan peppercorns can leave your tongue feeling numb, your kids might not appreciate that sensation when they are expecting regular pepper.

I like to include a small amount of ground pork when I make these beans, but you could leave that out for a vegetarian dish.

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RECIPE:

Szechuan Beans 3

Szechuan Beans

1 Tbs oil
¼ lb ground pork
4 green onions, chopped
1 Tbs minced garlic
2 tsp chopped fresh ginger
2 Tbs soy sauce
1 tsp ground chili paste (use more for spicier beans)
1 tsp honey
½ tsp ground Szechuan peppercorns
1 lb Chinese long beans or French filet beans, ends trimmed

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add ground pork, green onions, garlic and ginger. Cook until pork is cooked through.

Add soy sauce, chili paste, honey and ground peppercorns to skillet. Stir to mix, then add green beans to skillet. Cook for 2 minutes. Add 3 Tbs water to the skillet and cover with a lid. Cook beans for about 3 minutes, or until beans are not quite done.

Remove lid and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated and beans are crisp-tender. Do not overcook beans. Serve immediately.

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Ginger Beef Stir-Fry

Ginger Beef 2

We eat a lot of stir-fries in our house. They are a fairly quick meal to get on the table, and they are one thing that I don’t hear complaints about from anyone. This Ginger Beef is not a saucy stir-fry, but is very flavorful. The beef marinates for about half an hour at room temperature and then is cooked in small batches over very high heat. Fresh ginger, cut into thin matchstick shapes, green onions and sliced serrano chiles (hot, but not overpowering) provide additional flavor. Because this dish is not as chock-full of vegetable as some other stir-fries, I often serve it with Szechuan green beans (recipe coming soon!).

RECIPE:

Ginger Beef 2

Ginger Beef Stir-Fry
——–(adapted from Simply Recipes)

Marinade
5 Tbs soy sauce
2 Tbs unseasoned rice vinegar
1 Tbs honey
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
½ tsp red chile pepper flakes
½ tsp ground cumin

Stir-Fry
1 ½ lb flank steak or top sirloin steak
2 Tbs oil, divided
2-3 hot chiles, preferably red serranos, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 ½” piece of fresh ginger, peeled and cut into thin matchstick shapes
1 bunch (about 5-6) green onions, cut diagonally into 1” pieces
1 Tbs sesame oil

Mix together all of the marinade ingredients.

Thinly slice the steak (partially freezing the steak will make this easier) and place slices in a Ziploc bag. Pour marinade over the sliced steak. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. This can also be prepared ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator. Remove beef from fridge 30 minutes before cooking.

Place 1 Tbs oil in a wok or  large skillet and heat over high heat until very hot. Place a small amount of the beef (about ½ cup at a time) in the hot pan. Sauté beef slices over high heat until juices in pan almost completely evaporate. Transfer cooked beef to serving bowl. Repeat with remaining beef.

Add remaining 1 Tbs oil to the pan and sauté the sliced chiles, minced garlic and ginger matchsticks for 1 minute. Add the beef back to the pan with the sliced green onions. Stir in the sesame oil and cook for 1 minute. Serve immediately over steamed rice.

Makes 4-6 servings

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Japanese Nikuman

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Twenty-one years ago, about one year after Brian and I were married, we moved to Japan. Brian had just graduated with his undergraduate degree and had gotten a job with a Japanese investment bank in Tokyo. We were excited about the new opportunity, but as recent graduates our finances were very limited. We moved with 4 suitcases full of clothes, a mattress set, and a couple of boxes of dishes, towels and books. That was the extent of our net worth at the time. The suitcases came with us on the airplane; the other items went by slow boat and arrived about 3 months later.

Our first two weeks in Japan were spent in a luxury hotel in downtown Tokyo. The company paid for our stay in the hotel while we searched for an apartment to rent. The hotel room was paid for, but not any other expenses (like food). The company also provided a $1500 start-up bonus to help us set up our apartment and for living expenses until our first paycheck (one month later). That $1500 had to furnish an entire apartment, including refrigerator, stove, and furniture and cover utility deposits. Plus living expenses for the month. In a country where a gallon of milk cost about $10/gallon-and that was 2 decades ago. In a gross understatement, we lived very frugally for some time.

Our first meal in Japan was a company dinner of Kaiseki (a highly formal and decorative Japanese meal-very heavy on seafood in varieties I couldn’t begin to name). The next day we were on our own, for house-hunting and eating. This began my introduction to inexpensive Japanese street food: onigiri, tako-yaki, yaki-soba, and these fabulous steamed buns- Nikuman.

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Nikuman are hot, soft steamed buns surrounding a spicy minced pork filling. These buns were one of my favorite new Japanese foods. They were delicious and cheap. The perfect combination for poor starving gaijin.

In Japan, I would never have dreamed of making these at home. They are readily available everywhere: from street vendors to convenience stores. Upon returning home, however, I wanted to try to recreate what had become not only a favorite food, but a nostalgic memory.

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I have tried dough recipes that use either baking powder or yeast as a leavening. Although it takes a little more time, I highly recommend using a yeast dough. The resulting soft, light buns are worth the extra rise time.

To make the buns, flatten dough to form a circle about 5” in diameter so that the middle is slightly thicker than the edges (pinch edges of dough with your fingers to make edges thinner). Place about a tablespoon of filling in the middle of the circle.

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Bring the dough up around the meat to the top, forming little pleats around the edges of the dough.

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Slightly twist the dough to close it, and pinch it firmly to seal. If your dough is dry, moisten edges slightly with water before sealing.

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Place the buns on  squares of parchment paper.  Let the buns rise for 15-20 minutes before steaming.

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Add about 1 Tbs vinegar to the water in the bottom of a steamer (this helps keep the buns white). Bring water to a boil. Place buns with the parchment paper in the top of a steamer (a rice cooker or slow cooker can also be used to steam). Cover and steam for 20 minutes over high heat.

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Serve hot. Buns can be eaten plain or dipped in soy sauce (plain or spicy: soy sauce + chili paste or hot mustard)

RECIPE:

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Japanese Nikuman
—–(adapted from LaFujiMama and JustHungry)

Dough:
2 packages dry yeast
1/4 cup warm (not hot) water
about 6 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup very hot water (bring to a boil and then let cool for 5 minutes)
1 cup warm (not hot) milk
1 tsp baking powder
2 Tbs coconut oil, lard or vegetable shortening

Parchment paper
White vinegar

Cut the parchment paper into 24 squares about 3” square. Set aside.

In a small bowl, stir together 1/4 cup warm water with a pinch of sugar. Sprinkle the yeast over the sugar water and proof 5-10 minutes, or until foamy.

In a large mixing bowl, mix together 5 cups of the flour and the sugar. Make a well in the center, add the hot water and mix rapidly. Add the warm milk and mix. Then mix in the yeast mixture, baking powder, and the shortening or lard. Mix well. Add the rest of the flour a little at a time until you have a workable dough (you may not need the entire additional 1 cup). Knead for a few minutes until the dough is soft and pliable.

Place dough in a large oiled bowl. Cover with a kitchen towel. Leave in a warm place until the dough has doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes.

Divide the dough into 24 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball, and let rest for 5 minutes.

Filling:
1 lb ground pork
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 (5 oz) can bamboo shoots, finely chopped
2 Tbs finely grated fresh ginger
1-2 Tbs chili garlic sauce (adjust based on how spicy you want it)
3 Tbs soy sauce
2 Tbs granulated sugar
1 Tbs sesame oil

Mix the ground pork, onion, bamboo shoots and ginger in a large bowl. Add the chili garlic sauce, soy sauce, sugar, and sesame oil. Mix the ingredients together until well incorporated.

Assembling Buns:
To fill the buns, flatten each dough ball to a circle about 5” in diameter so that the middle is slightly thicker than the edges (pinch edges of dough with your fingers to make edges thinner). Place about a tablespoon of filling in the middle of the circle. Bring the dough up around the meat to the top, forming little pleats around the edges of the dough. Slightly twist the dough to close it, and pinch it firmly to seal. (If your dough is dry, moisten edges slightly with water before sealing.) Place the bun on the prepared squares of parchment paper. Repeat with remaining dough and meat filling. Let the buns rise for 15-20 minutes before steaming.

Add about 1 Tbs vinegar to the water in the bottom of a steamer (this helps keep the buns white). Bring water to a boil. Place buns with the parchment paper in the top of a steamer (a rice cooker or slow cooker can also be used to steam). Cover and steam for 20 minutes over high heat.

Serve hot. Buns can be eaten plain or dipped in soy sauce (plain or spicy: soy sauce + chili paste or hot mustard)

Makes 24 buns

 

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Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies: Chinese Almond Cookies

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DAY 4: Chinese Almond Cookies

A soft, delicious cookie especially for the almond lover (that’s me!). The dough contains almond meal (ground almonds) and is flavored with almond extract. The cookies are then topped with blanched almonds before baking. A quick egg wash over the cookies gives them a great shine when they are cooked.

Can’t find blanched almonds at your store? Or don’t want to pay so much for such a tiny bag? Then blanch your own! All you need is raw almonds. The process is very easy: Boil them (1 minute), cool them (1 minute), squeeze off the skin. For a quick tutorial, click here: How To. . . Blanch Almonds

RECIPE:

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Chinese Almond Cookies
————-(adapted from Cooking for Engineers)

3 cups  flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup almond flour (finely ground blanched almonds)
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg
2 Tbs water
1 1/2 tsp almond extract
42-48 whole almonds, blanched
Egg Wash: 1 whole egg, beaten and mixed with 1 tsp water

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Mix together the flour, baking soda, salt, and ground almonds. Set aside. With a mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add the egg, water, and almond extract and mix well. Beat in the dry ingredients until just combined. Roll dough in your hands to make 1-inch balls. Place 1-2 inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet (or use a silicon baking mat). Press a blanched almond into the top of each dough ball. Using a pastry brush, brush the top of each cookie with the egg wash. Bake for 14-15 minutes.

Makes  42-48 small cookies.

To Blanch Almonds:

Bring a saucepan of water to a boil. Remove from heat. Add raw almonds to the hot water. Let sit for 1 minute (not longer). Drain and pour into a bowl of ice cold water. Let set in the water until cool (about 1 minute) Drain. Pinch almonds between your thumb and index finger to slide the almond out of its skin. Pat dry. Allow to dry completely before using in recipes.

If you oversoak your almonds and they don’t dry properly: preheat oven to 200°F. Turn oven OFF. Place almonds on a baking sheet and put into the warm (but OFF) oven. Leave almonds in the oven for 15-20 minutes.

 

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Chinese Vegetable Lo Mein

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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.

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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:

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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

 

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Asian Chicken Salad and Scallion Pancakes

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This chicken salad recipe comes from a good friend Heather. I love that it is both warm and cold. The cold, raw crunchy vegetables together with warm chicken and a warm soy dressing (that serves as both marinade and dressing) are fabulous! I served it this time with some homemade scallion pancakes, which my children ask me to make all the time.

I serve this “smorgasbord” style, lining up all of the ingredients on the counter and letting everyone make their own salad. This is mostly for a selfish reason, as I don’t have to wait for each person to pick around the vegetables they don’t like before the salad makes it way around the table to me (why is it that moms are always served last-or is it just in my house?)

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021910 025-1 We love these crunchy sesame sticks! They make a perfect topping.

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Below I have included Heather’s original recipe, with my slight modifications.

Scallion Pancakes

 

021910 053-1 Scallion Pancakes are my children’s favorite Chinese restaurant appetizer (except for maybe gyoza- they love those too). When I finally decided to try them at home, I definitely won Mother of the Year in their eyes. That title lasted about as long as it took them to gobble down these treats and for me to enlist their help in cleaning up.

The following recipe makes a lot, maybe 12-15 full size pancakes, which are cut into wedges to eat. But it can easily be scaled back.

021910 007-1 Little J is always my helper at the mixer. She is a great button-pusher (or turner in this case).

The scallion pancake dough is a simple non-yeast dough made from flour, salt & pepper, chopped scallions and sesame & olive oils. These ingredients are bound together with some boiling water. The boiling water helps to start cooking the dough before it even gets to the pan.

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Roll the dough into thin circles, about 6-inches in diameter.

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Cook, one at a time, in a small hot skillet with about 1 tsp of oil.

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Cook over medium-high heat for 1-2 minutes per side. Place on a paper-towel lined plate while cooking remaining pancakes.

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Cut each pancake into 6-8 wedges and serve with this dipping sauce made from soy sauce and Mirin (a sweet Japanese vinegar). We like things a little spicy, so it also has some crushed red pepper flakes mixed in, but you can adjust those to taste. Sometimes I add a little grated ginger to the sauce, but I actually prefer it without the ginger. Mirin is available in most supermarkets in the Asian section. It may also be called “seasoned rice vinegar”.

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RECIPES:

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Asian Chicken Salad
—————–
(from Heather, modified slightly by Kelly)

**NOTE: I doubled the dressing and chicken amounts and got about 6 servings.

Dressing/Marinade:
1/4 cup brown or white sugar (I used a few drops of Stevia)
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar or cider vinegar (I used the rice vinegar)
1/4 cup canola oil (I used olive oil)
1 Tbs sesame oil
2 tsp minced fresh ginger
4 cloves minced garlic
1/2 tsp salt (I left this out)
1/2 Tbs cornstarch
1 Tbs water

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts

Salad:
2 heads of romaine lettuce, washed and chopped
1 red pepper, diced
2 carrots, peeled and grated (I used sliced baby carrots)
3 green onions, diced
1 cup sugar snap peas, chopped (I used snow peas)
1/2 cup salted peanuts
1/2 cup sesame sticks (we used a lot more than this)
**I also used some sliced mini-cucumbers and sliced celery

Cut chicken into small, bite-sized pieces.

Mix the remaining dressing ingredients (except cornstarch and water) in a large skillet. Bring to a boil over medium-low heat and boil just until the sugar is dissolved, whisking vigorously to combine the oil with the rest of the ingredients. Mix the cornstarch and water and add it to the skillet, stirring until the dressing is thickened.

Reserve 3/4 cup of the dressing in a separate bowl (to be used as dressing on the salad).

Add the chicken to the remaining dressing in the skillet. Cook over medium-low heat until all of the liquid is evaporated and the chicken just starts to brown (this will take a while, up to 30 minutes).

While the chicken is cooking prepare the rest of the salad ingredients (chopping and assembling). You can mix all of the salad ingredients together, or serve them in separate bowls. Top salad with warm chicken and reserved dressing.

 

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Scallion Pancakes

4 ¼ – 4 ½ cups flour
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
1 ½ cups boiling water
1 Tbs sesame oil
3 Tbs olive oil
1 cup sliced scallions (green onions)
Peanut oil/olive oil/or coconut oil

Combine flour (start with 4 1/4 cups, add additional flour if needed to make a stiff, but workable dough), salt and pepper in a stand mixer. While mixer is running (with a dough hook), gradually add boiling water, sesame and olive oils. Continue mixing and add scallions. Mix until dough pulls away from the edge of the bowl and forms a smooth ball. Roll dough into small pancakes about 6” in diameter, keeping unused dough covered while you are rolling.

Heat 1-2 tsp oil in a small skillet. Cook pancakes over medium-high heat for 1-2 minutes on each side. Add more oil to the pan as necessary.

Drain on a paper towel. Cut into wedges and serve with dipping sauce.

Dipping Sauce:

¼ cup soy sauce
1 Tbs Mirin (sweet rice vinegar)
½ tsp red pepper flakes
½ tsp grated ginger (optional)

Mix all ingredients. Flavor will intensify the longer it sits.

Yield: 12-15 full-sized pancakes

 

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Super Simple Szechuan Shrimp

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Easy prep, easy cooking, easy clean-up, and ready to eat in under 30 minutes, start to finish (even if your shrimp are frozen). Simple enough for a quick mid-week meal, but elegant enough to serve to company.

This is a recipe that I adapted from Kalyn’s Kitchen. I had bought some Szechuan peppercorns from Penzeys and thought that this would be a great recipe to add them to. Szechuan peppercorns are not spicy in the same way that some other hot peppers are. Rather than a burning feeling, they produce kind of a “numbing” sensation on your tongue. But when used sparingly, they add a great flavor!

To save on clean up, I like to prepare this recipe using Ziploc bags and a foil lined roasting pan.

Combine fresh green beans with a little olive oil, coriander, cumin and ground Szechuan peppercorns (you could also use red pepper flakes or other spicy pepper if you don’t have the Szechuan ones).DSC06536-1

To save on time, I bought raw, peeled shrimp (they still had tails, and I left them on). To thaw frozen shrimp, place them in a colander and run cool water over them until thaw.

Combine shrimp with olive oil, lemon zest and salt and pepper.DSC06545-1 Arrange beans on a foil-lined pan in a single layer .DSC06541-1

Roast  beans at 425°F for 5 minutes.

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After 5 minutes, arrange shrimp on top of beans and roast 8-10 minutes more, until shrimp are done but still tender and juicy. DSC06550-1 Serve with lemon wedges.

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RECIPE:

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Szechuan Shrimp and Green Beans
—————–(((adapted from Kalyn’s Kitchen)

For the green beans:
1 lb. green beans
1 Tbs. olive oil
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. whole Szechuan peppercorns, ground**

For the shrimp:
1  lb. medium-large raw shrimp, thawed and peeled
2 Tbs. olive oil
zest from one lemon (save the lemon and cut into wedges)
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. fresh ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 425°F.

If shrimp are frozen, place in a colander and rinse with cool water until thawed. Peel and devein.

Grind whole Szechuan peppercorns (I use my regular black pepper grinder). Place with green beans in a Ziploc bag with remaining “green bean” ingredients.

Combine shrimp and remaining “shrimp” ingredients in a separate Ziploc bag. Reserve lemon wedges for later.

Line a roasting pan with foil. Spray with non-stick cooking spray. Arrange beans on pan in a single layer as much as possible. Roast  beans at 425°F for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, arrange shrimp on top of beans and roast 8-10 minutes more, until shrimp are done but still tender and juicy.

Serve the shrimp and beans immediately with lemon wedges.

**NOTE: If you don’t have Szechuan peppercorns, you can substitute crushed red pepper flakes, or other hot peppers. I get my peppercorns from Penzeys.

Makes 3-4 servings

 

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