Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Chinese Take-Out Craving?

I've been craving Chinese food so I decided to make my version of some common dishes!

Some common ingredients that I always have on hand for simple chinese cooking are
ginger, garlic, corn starch, flour, salt, pepper, onions (or green onions), rice wine, soy sauce

... with these ingredients you can spice up any dish as well as lay a foundation for many dishes

Chicken and Egg Stir Fry

2 large boneless chicken breasts, cubed
3 T rice wine
1 T corn starch
1/8 tsp flour
1 T soy sauce
salt and pepper to taste
4 eggs

2 scallions

1) Coat chicken breasts in rice wine and soy sauce
2) Mix flour and corn starch then sprinkle evenly over cubed chicken
3) Heat a wok on high heat and add 1-2 T vegetable oil (coat evenly)
4) Stir fry chicken 3-4 minutes until done. Remove from heat and set on plate.
5) Reheat wok and evenly coat with vegetable oil
6) Beat the 4 eggs and cook in wok over high heat.
7) Put chicken back into wok and space evenly. Add salt and pepper to taste
8) Scramble with egg. Garnish with sliced scallions

Sweet and Sour Chicken with Pineapple and Red Pepper

2 large chicken breasts, cubed
1 T corn starch
1 tsp flour

1/2 cup sliced pineapple
1 sweet red pepper, cut into 1" pieces

1 cup sliced mushrooms

2 T soy sauce
2 T rice wine
4 T rice wine vinegar
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 T corn starch

1) Cut chicken into equal pieces and sprinkle with cornstarch, flour mixture
2) Heat a wok on high heat. Coat evenly with vegetable oil
3) Cook off chicken on high heat for 4-5 minutes
4) Add in pineapples, mushrooms and red peppers
5) In a glass measuring cup, mix sauce ingredients evenly
6) Pour sauce over hot contents and allow to simmer until sauce thickens
7) Add salt and pepper to taste accordingly

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Korean Perfection

We just had 2 days of flurries last week and it was really cold. Thankfully the ground wasn't cold enough to freeze over but we definitely saw our first round of snow.

I'm looking forward to my Vegas trip in November where it will be warmer! My flip-flops are on hold until then ...

I made Korean food last week to warm up our tummies from the cold weather.

Sirloin Bulgogi

1 lb sliced sirloin
2 T soy sauce
2 T rice wine
1 T granulated sugar
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 green onions
2 T red pepper paste

1) Beat the sirloin with a meat mallet to break down some of the connective tissue. Slice sirloin into smaller pieces
2) Marinate sirloin for 4-8 hours with the ingredients listed
3) Heat a hot pan on high and coat with vegetable oil
4) Cook off the beef for 1-2 minutes
5) Pour reserved marinade over beef, cover, allow to simmer for 3-4 minutes

Kimchi Jigae

1/2 lb thinly sliced pork
2 T rice wine
1-1.5 cup kimchi

2 tsp ginger, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
2 zuccini, 1/4" slices
1 pkg firm tofu
1 box chicken stock
1/8 cup red pepper paste

1) Massage rice wine into thinly sliced pork
2) Heat a large pot (with lid) over high heat
3) Drizzle hot surface with 1-2 tsp vegetable oil
4) Add ginger, garlic and onion to hot oil. Saute until fragrant
5) Add sliced pork and cook for 2-3 minutes
6) Cut kimchi into smaller pieces Add kimchi, zuccini and tofu. Mix evenly with pork
7) Thin out red pepper paste with a little chicken stock. Pour remaining chicken stock and red pepper paste mixture into pot
8) Bring to a boil then lower heat allowing soup to simmer

Tip: Red pepper paste can be bought in most asian super markets. It is basically a paste made from red pepper, flour, corn syrup with a thick consistency. It isn't very spicy but brings some heat to a dish and gives Korean dishes the signature reddish color

Saturday, November 1, 2008


I love mangoes especially when I'm back in Taipei during the summer.

One favorite dessert in Taiwan is my sweetened mango over shaved ice drizzled with sweetened condensed milk. This is an absolute indulgence

Recently, I bought some mangoes from the grocery store and decided to make a mango chutney to serve with my simply grilled ahi tuna.

Ahi Tuna with Mango Chutney

1 lb fresh ahi tuna
salt and pepper to taste

Mango Chutney
2 ripened mangoes, diced
1 serrano pepper
1/4 cup orange juice
2 T lime juice
1 tsp minced ginger
3 cloves garlic, minced

1) To make mango chutney, diced mangoes into small cubes

2) Heat a small saucepan over medium high heat
3) Add 1 tsp vegetable oil and add ginger & garlic
4) Remove seeds from serrano pepper and finely mince
5) Add pepper, mangoes and orange juice to saucepan
6) Allow to simmer for 5 minutes before removing from heat
7) Add lime juice to brighten up the chutney
8) Serve warm or cold

9) Sprinkle salt and pepper evenly over ahi tuna
10) Heat grill pan on high heat
11) Grill ahi tuna 2-3 minutes on each side (do not over cook)
12) Slice thinly and serve with mango chutney

Tip: To speed up ripening process of produce, put desired produce like avocado or mangos in brown bag with apples. The apples give off ethylene that encourage ripening in surrounding produce