Showing posts with label asian. Show all posts
Showing posts with label asian. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Teriyaki tempeh



Do you eat tempeh? Me neither. But now I'm going to. I bought some tempeh on a whim today and decided to cook it and eat it for dinner. Alex was sad, then he was happy. It turned out that this is delicious. Tempeh doesn't taste like much, but is firm and holds sauce well. 




Tempeh is full of protein, and a little easier to digest than tofu, I hear. The kind I bought had some veggies snuck into it, carrots and peppers. Look how healthy, I am, ma! I served this over brown rice with some kale on the side. Then Alex ate a bunch of gross kim chee. I don't like kim chee. 


Teriyaki tempeh
This is the same sauce I used for sesame tofu a while ago - next time I would double the sauce. 


1 pack of tempeh, about 8 oz
1 T oil

1/4 c honey (or brown sugar if you're vegan)
1/4 c soy sauce (gf)
1/4 c rice vinegar
1 chopped up hot chili, or 1/2 t chili flakes
2 T sesame oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
3/4" piece of ginger, skinned and grated

Cut up the tempeh into thin strips, then cut in half. Heat up the oil in a large pan, and toss in the tempeh. Cook about ten minutes, flipping each slice after a few minutes when the first side is browned. Stir together the sauce ingredients, and pour over the tempeh. Continue cooking for about 5 minutes, until the sauce is thickened. Serve over brown rice. 


Monday, January 24, 2011

Noodles with tofu and vegetables v2

Alex cooked me dinner today. Yay! It was easy. I sat on the couch, looking at houses on the internet (we're looking to buy), and then a little while later, dinner appeared!! It was like magic. Delicious magic.
Alex's version of noodles with tofu and vegetables


1 package skinny gf spaghetti (or angel hair)
1/2 c peanut sauce (make your own, or use store bought)
1 c frozen edamame
1 small head broccoli
1 block tofu
1 T sesame oil
1/2 t chili oil
1 T gf soy sauce
black pepper
1/2 t ginger and garlic powders
1 t Chinese cooking wine

Preheat the oven to 350 and bring a pot of water to boil. Spread out the noodles on a cookie sheet, bake until starting to brown a little bit (like 5-10 mins). Alex says it should look 'espresso foam brown', or the color of soba noodles almost, then let cool. Turn up the oven to 450. Cook the noodles in the water in the water according to the package directions (all the brands have different directions), then rinse under cold water. Toss with the peanut sauce. Steam the broccoli until bright green and fork tender, then steam the edamame for a minute or two, then sprinkle with salt. Cube up the tofu. Combine sesame oil and chili oil and soy sauce and black pepper and ginger and garlic powders and cooking wine. Toss the tofu in this, then bake for 10 minutes, flip, then bake another 10 until crispy. Dump the vegetables over the noodles, add the tofu, add more sauce if you need to, and garnish fancily with vegetables.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Dumpling filling spring rolls

Did you make way too much filling for dumplings and get stuck with too much filling? Oops so did I. I got sick of making dumplings about 2/3 of the way through the filling, and instead of just cooking up some noodles to use the rest of the filling with, I decided to make spring rolls. Super easy, super good.
Dumpling filling spring rolls


whatever filling you have left from making spinach dumplings
spring roll wrappers (rice paper ones, obviously)

Place 2 tablespoons of filling in the middle of a softened (in warm water) spring roll wrapper. Fold up the side closest to you, then fold over the left and the right. Pulling gently down towards you to make the filling in a tight line, roll towards the remaining side to seal. set aside and repeat with the rest of the filling. Pan fry in a little oil on each side, like you would a sausage. Serve hot, with dipping sauce!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Spinach and other vegetable dumplings (vegan)

I know I always say "I LOVE THESE" whenever I make something, but dumplings are for super-duper serious one of my favorite foods. I love them. I could eat them every day. Except that they are very time/labor intensive, and I have yet to find a gluten-free dumpling that is available. I've heard rumors, but haven't seen any in person. Back when I was eating gluten, but not meat, I used to get these spinach dumplings from the corner Chinese restaurant and I couldn't get enough of them. Then I stopped eating gluten, started eating meat, and stopped being able to eat at corner Chinese restaurants. Boo. So now I make my own! Check it out.
I used the dumpling wrapper recipe I posted two years ago (oh my god), but this time you get a filling recipe!

Spinach dumplings


1 small head bok choy
1 onion, diced
1 lb mushrooms, diced
1 T minced ginger
1 T minced garlic
1 bag spinach
6 oz tofu, cut into little cubes
2 carrots, finely grated
3 T gf soy sauce
1 T chili-garlic sauce
1 t sesame oil
dumpling dough*

Strip the leaves off the bok choy, then slice into thin strips and set aside. Dice the stem as small as you can. Heat up a pan with a small amount of oil in it, then add the bok choy stems, onion, mushrooms, ginger and garlic. Cook for 10 minutes or so, until softened. Chop up the spinach, toss it into the cooked vegetables with the bok choy leaves and let everything wilt for a second. Remove from the heat. Add the tofu and carrots, as well as the soy sauce, chili garlic sauce, and sesame oil. Let everything sit for about half an hour, until cool, then toss everything into a strainer and let drip for a while. You want your dumpling filling to be pretty dry so it doesn't make the wrappers go all floppy and fall apart.

Pinch off a ball of dough, a little smaller than a golf ball, and flatten in your palm. Place about a teaspoon of filling in the middle, fold the dough in half, and pinch all around the edges to seal in. Repeat about a billion times. Wish six times the dough recipe, I made about three and a half dozen dumplings. They were pretty large though. Line the dumplings on a cookie sheet to freeze whatever you're not going to eat now.

To cook the dumplings, bring a few inches of water to boil in your wok. Put a bunch of dumplings in your bamboo steamer, put the lid on, and put the steamer in the wok over the boiling water. Cook for 15 minutes (make sure to check the water once in a while to make sure it's not boiled all out and ruined your pan). Pan fry the cooked dumplings to get a little crispy shell on the outside, and serve with dipping sauce.

*This makes a lot of filling, so I made six times what the recipe says so I could make as many dumplings as I could. Then I got bored with making dumplings and used the rest of the filling for something else, which you will see tomorrow.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Noodles with tofu and vegetables


This was supposed to be 'fried rice stick noodles' but I think I changed too many things, plus our wok isn't very non-stick so the noodles just got stuck. Then, the noodles got too cooked and started to fall apart so I gave up and it's just noodles with tofu and vegetables that aren't crispy at all. They're still delicious!
Noodles with tofu and vegetables
Loosely based on Mrs Chiang's fried rice stick noodles in the book Mrs. Chiang's Szechwan Cookbook


8 oz dried rice noodles
4 c boiling water (approx, enough to cover the noodles)
5 T gf soy sauce
1 t cornstarch
1 box tofu, cubed
5 scallions, diced

All the vegetables you can find, diced and sliced (I used broccoli, carrots, zucchini, mushrooms, and onions)

1/2 t salt

2 T oil
1 t chili oil
3 t sesame oil


Pour the boiling water over the noodles and let sit for 5-8 minutes until softened. Drain and rinse in cold water and set aside. Combine soy sauce with the cornstarch and toss with the tofu and half of the scallions and set that aside too. Toss the vegetables into your hot wok, then add about 1/4 c water and the salt. Cook until the vegetables are softened. Scoop them out, then heat up the oils and toss in the noodles and the rest of the scallions. Cook for a minute, then dump in the tofu, and vegetables. Cook, stirring every so often, over high heat until the noodles break up a little and everything is hot. Serves 4-6.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

summer rolls and peanut dipping sauce


Hi, sorry for all the Asian food but it's so delicious. You understand, right? These are one of my favorite foods, but we don't have them that often because you know, I'm lazy.

Summer rolls
Really, you can fill these with whatever you want. Vegetables, leftover sliced steak, chicken, whatever. 



a package of shitake mushrooms
1 t sesame oil

a package of spring roll wrappers (I buy these, at Whole Foods)
bean thread noodles (also called cellophane noodles*, my sister Dana calls them jellyfish noodles)
2 carrots, peeled and shredded
a big handful of cilantro
2 scallions, chopped
a few handfuls of cooked shrimp
1 T finely diced chili pepper

Slice up the shitakes and cook them for about 5 minutes in the sesame oil. Bring a kettle of water to boil, then pour over the bean thread noodles. Swirl the noodles around until they're soft, drain, then run under cool water. Use scissors to cut the noodles to manageable chunks, if you need to. Assemble all your ingredients. Fill a shallow, wide bowl with warm water, making sure it's large enough for your spring roll wrappers. One at a time, float a wrapper in the water until it softens, then place on your work surface. Place a bit of each component in the center of the wrapper, then fold up like a burrito (sorry, I was too involved to take action shots. Internet how-to here), then fold the edges in, pull tight, and roll over the top. Set aside and start over, repeating until all your fillings are gone. Serve with peanut sauce, below.

Peanut sauce
adapted from Epicurious


1/2 c peanut butter
1 t minced garlic
1 t minced ginger
2 T lime juice
2 T gf soy sauce
1 T brown sugar
1 t hot sauce, or more to taste
1/3 c milk/soy milk/coconut milk/etc

Dump everything in the blender, and puree until smooth. If you want it to be warm, stick it in the microwave for 15 seconds or so.
*I love how on the Wikipedia article they make a point of saying 'cellophane is not an ingredient'

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Bok Choy

Happy 1/11/11!! That's a lot of 1s.

This is also from that Cooking from Above Asian book, but I switched some things up a little bit. Namely, I chopped up the bok choy and tossed it in the sauce instead of drizzling it over the top. This is super good, super easy, and pretty healthy.

Bok Choy
From Cooking from Above Asian

1 T sesame seeds
3 bunches bok choy
2 T gf oyster sauce (I used Lee Kum Kee)
1 t sesame oil

Toast the sesame seeds for a minute or two in a hot pan. Quarter the bok choy and jam it into the steamer basket, cover. Steam 3-5 minutes in your wok over simmering water. Stir together the oyster sauce and sesame oil. Chop up the bok choy (I guess you could do this before cooking) and toss with the sauce.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Steamed ginger tofu


For Christmas last year my sister Dana got me this great cookbook called Cooking from Above - Asian and this is from that. The photographs in the book are so beautiful, and the recipes are so simple. This will clear your sinuses if you have a cold, it's very gingery.

Steamed ginger tofu
From Cooking from Above - Asian


1 box silken tofu
1 T minced ginger
2 T Chinese cooking wine
2 T gf soy sauce
1 t sugar
2 scallions, sliced
1/2 a chili, deseeded and diced

Cut the tofu into 6 cubes (I would cut it into more, smaller cubes next time). Place on a plate that will fit into your steamer basket, and plop the ginger onto the cubes of tofu. Combine the wine, soy sauce and sugar in a small bowl, and pour half over the tofu. Steam the tofu for 10 minutes in your steamer, then serve warm with the rest of the sauce, the scallions, and the chilis. We served this over rice.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Egg drop soup


Since it's a new year, Alex and I have decided we are going to eat healthier. A girl can dream, right? Anyway, so we cooked a whole delicious healthy Asian dinner, and this was one of the parts. Alex made it, and it was so good. I know this isn't super healthy, but it's not bad for you either. Baby steps.


Egg drop soup
Adapted by Alex from Tyler Florence 


4 c chicken stock
1 t grated ginger
1 t garlic
1 T gf soy sauce
a pinch of hot pepper flakes
2 T cornstarch
2 to 3 eggs, lightly beaten
2 scallions, chopped

Bring stock, ginger, garlic, soy sauce and hot pepper flakes to a boil. Make a slurry of the cornstarch and a little water, then stir in slowly to the boiling soup. Reduce heat to a simmer, stir, and add the eggs slowly while stirring. Turn off the heat, add the green onions, and serve.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Pock-marked Ma's bean curd (Mapo tofu)

I was going to make some sort of sesame tofu for dinner, with some sort of spicy green beans. When I told my mom that, she suggested I try this dish instead, called pock-marked Ma's bean curd, or more commonly on Chinese menus in America, mapo tofu. This recipe comes from our family favorite Szechwan cookbook, Mrs Chiang's Szechwan Cookbook. Go buy it! It's less than a dollar on Amazon, used! Seriously. I happened to have all the ingredients on hand, so I changed my dinner plans a little bit. Goodness am I glad I did! Alex and I devoured it. We went back for seconds, then thirds. We were hungry, but this was just such a fantastic dish. The tofu is creamy, the sauce is spicy, the pork is smooth and meaty, and the green beans that I snuck in added a fabulous crunch. This may seem like a complicated dish, but as long as you have everything assembled when it's time to cook, it's easy. Like most food cooked in a wok, this only takes about ten minutes to cook.

Pock-marked Ma's bean curd

1/2 lb ground pork
3 scallions, chopped
2" ginger, super finely minced
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 T plus 1/4 c soy sauce
2 t sesame oil
1 T Chinese cooking wine
2 t plus 1 T cornstarch
2/4 c water
1 block of tofu (I used a box of Mori-nu firm silken tofu, about 12 oz)
1 1/2 t chili oil
1/2 t chili flakes
1 t chili-garlic sauce (or your favorite hot sauce)
1 T sugar
2 c chopped green beans
2 T peanut or canola oil

Combine ground pork, half of the ginger, half of the garlic, all the scallions, 2 T soy sauce, 1 t sesame oil, and cooking wine in a small bowl. Set aside. Smoosh together the remaining garlic and ginger and put in a small bowl, set aside. Whisk 2 t cornstarch into 1/4 c water in a little cup and set aside. Add the rest of the soy sauce to the rest of the water and set aside. Cut the tofu into small cubes, mine were about a centimeter on each side. Mix together the chili oil, chili flakes, and chili-garlic sauce. Sprinkle the rest of the cornstarch (1 T) into the pork mixture. You'll have a lot of little dishes to wash, but trust me.

Ready to cook? Let's go.

Heat the oil in a wok until it shimmers. Add the ginger-garlic mixture and cook until fragrant, stirring the whole time, about 30 seconds. Add the chili mixture and the green beans, and cook, stirring, another 30 seconds. Add the meat mixture and cook until the meat is browned a little, and cooked all the way, about 2 minutes. Add the tofu, cook for a minute, then add the sugar and cook another minute. Stir in the soy sauce-water mixture, bring to a boil, and cook for 2 minutes. If your sauce isn't thick enough for you, stir in the cornstarch-water mixture a little at a time, until the sauce is thickened enough for you. Stir in the sesame oil, cook a minute, and you're done!

Serve over rice. Serves 2 starving people or 4 regular people.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Asian chicken fingers and sweet and sour sauce


My little sister Margo is here visiting!! I'm so excited. She's so wonderful. She doesn't know a lot about cooking, so tonight I taught her how to make chicken fingers. I wanted to make a sauce, so I let Margo pick out what kind she wanted to have and she picked sweet and sour sauce. I'd been meaning to make it sometime, and today was a good day!

Asian chicken fingers
Previously posted here.

1 lb chicken thighs or breasts, boneless and skinless
2 eggs
1 T gf soy sauce
1 t chili-garlic sauce
juice of 1/2 lime
1/2 t minced ginger
2 c breadcrumbs
1 t garlic powder
salt and pepper

Cut the chicken into strips. Beat eggs, soy sauce, chili-garlic sauce, lime and ginger in a shallow bowl. In another bowl, mix breadcrumbs, garlic powder, and a bit of salt and pepper. Dip the chicken into the egg mixture, and then into the crumbs to coat. Repeat with all the chicken. Heat a bit of olive oil in a wide pan, and cook the chicken in batches, cooking one side until lightly browned, then flipping.

Sweet and sour sauce
This is sooo easy, I wish I'd tried it earlier. Recipe from here, but with a bit more sugar. I might add some hot sauce next time.

1/3 c rice wine vinegar
6 T brown sugar
1 T ketchup
2 t gf soy sauce
3 t cornstarch mixed with 5 t cold water

Mix vinegar, sugar, ketchup and soy sauce in a small pan. Bring to a boil, then stir in the cornstarch slurry. Cook until thickened. Serve with chicken fingers!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

June Daring Cooks - Pork Dumplings!

Listen, I know I was supposed to post this a week ago, but I was on my honeymoon. Life was so crazy before the wedding that I didn't get a chance to sit down and write this post even though I meant to. I made the dumplings with Alex's mom while she was here, but I didn't get to write the post.
We went to Maine on our honeymoon, spent a few nights on Monhegan Island, which is this beautiful little island, and then spent a few nights camping. It was awesome, and relaxing, and lots of fun. If you want to see pictures, they're here.

I posted about dumplings in January, when I made tofu vegan dumplings. This Daring Cooks Challenge was to make dumplings - pick out a filling, a wrapper, and a cooking style. I chose pork, since I don't think I've written about meat dumplings before, and pan fried, since that's my favorite way to cook dumplings. I love dumplings when they're crispy!


Pork Dumplings
For the dumpling recipe I used, check out this post. The filling recipe is from Mrs. Chiang's Szechwan Cookbook.

A big handful of scallions (like 10)
1 T minced ginger
3 T minced garlic
1 pound ground pork (I ground my own)
1/4 c gf soy sauce
1 1/2 T sesame oil
1 t chili-garlic sauce (or hot sauce of your choice)
1 egg

Clean the scallions, and then chop them into pieces about the size of a matchhead. Put the pork in a bowl and mush in the ginger and garlic and scallions, then the soy sauce, sesame oil, chili-garlic sauce, and egg. Mix everything all together well, then set in the fridge until the dumpling wrappers are made. Pull the meat from the fridge, and form the dumplings. If you're not going to cook them all at once, line them up on a cookie sheet and freeze them, then stick them in a bag.


To cook the dumplings, heat up a tablespoon of oil in a large pan. Set the dumplings in the oil once its hot, and cook on the bottoms. Once the bottoms are starting to brown, add in a few tablespoons of water and then cover and let steam cook for about 5 minutes, until the dough looks translucent. Remove the lid and let the rest of the water cook out, then cook the dumplings on all sides until brown and crispy.

Serve with dipping sauce of your choice, my recipe is here.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Happy (oops a day late) Chinese New Year!

I know that the Chinese New Year was yesterday, but I forgot I had this post lurking around waiting to be posted! This recipe is a family favorite, from a book that my mom bought my sister and I over the summer because she realized we didn't have copies of it. It is possibly now out of print, but available super cheap from Amazon.com - Mrs. Chiang's Szechwan Cookbook. I made this recipe for dinner with chicken last night, but the pictures are from when my dad made it with monkfish. It's the same recipe, the chicken just needs to cook a minute or two longer than fish. 

Chinese "Red-cooked" Fish (or Chicken) - Hongshao Yupian
Modified from Mrs. Chiang's Szechwan Cookbook

1 lb fish fillets, we used monkfish but also good with cod or sea bass (or, use chicken), cut into large bite sized hunks
4 scallions, sliced in 1/2" lengths
1 T minced ginger
1 T sugar
1/2 t salt
2 T cornstarch
3 T GF soy sauce
1 T Chinese cooking wine
1 t sesame oil
6-8 cloves garlic, minced
1 head broccoli, cut into florets and stems cut into bite-sized slices
1 bell pepper, cut into 3/4" cubes (roughly)
6 T peanut oil
1 T chili garlic sauce
1 T rice vinegar
3 T water or stock

Combine the fish, scallions, ginger, sugar, salt, cornstarch, soy sauce, cooking wine, sesame oil and garlic in a large bowl. Set aside and let marinate for 15 minutes (or longer). Steam the broccoli for 3-4 minutes, until half cooked. 
Heat the peanut oil in a wok (or large pan) over high heat until just starting to smoke. Add the chili garlic sauce and cook 30 seconds. Add the fish and cook, stirring occasionally for 2-3 minutes (longer if you're using chicken), then add the broccoli and bell pepper. Next add the rice vinegar and cook another 30 seconds. Add the water or stock, stir-fry for another 30 seconds, then cover and cook another 2 minutes. Serve over rice, immediately. 


Saturday, January 3, 2009

Vegan Chinese Dumplings

I spent the better half of the morning grumbling to myself about how I'm not allowed (my own rule) to bake anything until that cake in the fridge is gone. I've been thinking about cookies, and had some really great ideas, but seriously? I can't make three dozen cookies for the two of us until that cake is gone, or else it won't get eaten, and I will be so bummed. 

So I was cruising around the internet (or, Google Reader) and saw Ellen over at I am Gluten Free had made some dumplings. Oooooh I love dumplings. I haven't made my own wrappers before, I've been meaning to make Kate's for a while but haven't gotten around to it (mostly because hers have gelatin and I rarely use gelatin). I've made dumplings from a mix from the Asian grocery store before, but never from scratch. Oh these were easy. I used the tofu filling Ellen made, it was delicious. You can also use pork (I usually do) with about the same mix of ingredients, plus a splash of fish sauce. 

Vegan Dumpling Wrappers

1/2 c tapioca starch
1/2 c fine rice flour
3/4 t xanthan gum
1 T oil
5-6 T cold water

Whisk together the starch, flour, and xanthan gum. Add the oil and then 5 T of the water. Mix by hand until everything comes together, adding more if needed. Sprinkle your work surface with sweet rice flour, roll into a ball, and cover with a damp paper towel. Follow Ellen's directions to make wrappers, or pinch off balls a bit smaller than a quarter and flatten in your palm, then add a teaspoon or so of filling and pinch closed. Steam in a bamboo steamer, or put dumplings in a pan and add enough water to go 1/4 of the way up the dumplings, cover, and cook over medium heat until water is evaporated, then add some oil to the pan (use a nonstick pan, I learned the hard way), shake around the dumplings to coat, and cook each side until browned. Serve with dipping sauce of your choice (see below for my choice).

Maked about a dozen dumplings, you can double (or triple or quadruple) the recipe, which I would recommend since you're going through all the effort of making dumplings, you might as well make a ton. Stick any extras in the freezer lined up on wax paper on a cookie sheet, freeze until hard, then stick in serving-size bags. Steam frozen dumplings a few minutes longer than fresh ones. 

Dipping Sauce for Dumplings
This is more a method than an actual recipe

1 part soy sauce
1 part rice vinegar
1 part chinese cooking wine
big plop of chili garlic sauce
a chopped up scallion or two
a light drizzle of sesame oil
1 minced garlic clove
a chunk of minced ginger

Whisk everything together, let sit an hour or so if you have time. Divide into small bowls for dipping dumplings in.

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Best fried chicken


I love anything that's been fried. Since I can't really eat fried food at restaurants (not like I go out to eat often) I have to make everything at home. I have made this recipe a few times, it's super simple and soo flavorful and really really good. I almost always just buy chicken thighs since they are cheapest, but last time I cut up a whole chicken and it was just as good. This isn't your regular fried chicken, the meat is incredible and moist and flavorful and juicy, while the skin is crisp and oh so good. Yum. 

Fried Chicken
This is Pim's recipe, but I never have all the right things to follow her recipe exactly. This is how I make it, with things I always have in the house. 

chicken pieces
oil for frying
6 cloves of garlic, peeled and slightly crushed
1/2 t pepper
3/4 t salt
1/3 c fish sauce
1-2 T hot sauce 
1 T ginger, sliced thinly
1/2 c rice flour
1/2 c sweet rice flour
1/2 t chili powder

In a large bowl, mix together garlic, pepper, salt, fish sauce, hot sauce, and ginger. Dump the chicken into the bowl, toss to coat, and let rest in the fridge for half an hour (or longer). 
Preheat oven to 350 (skip this if you're using boneless chicken). Heat 3/4" of oil over medium heat. 
Mix the rice flours and chili powder together. Take chicken pieces out of marinade, shake off any ginger or garlic pieces, and dredge meat in flour mixture. Fry in batches, a few minutes per side, until crisp and browned. If your meat isn't cooked (cut into a piece, if the juice doesn't run clear then keep cooking. Or, meat should be around 160 degrees), place on a cookie sheet and bake 10-15 minutes until all the meat is cooked. 

Friday, November 21, 2008

Chinese Broccoli with Garlic and Pepper Flakes

I've been planning to make Chinese food for a while but haven't gotten around to it. Earlier in the week I asked Alex to get some green vegetables to eat with dinner and he came home with this bag of weird leafy green vegetables that look like a cross between broccoli, asparagus, and spinach. It was Chinese broccoli. I had never noticed it before at the Asian market, but Alex has had it before and was really excited. Then we ended up not making Chinese food, and it sat in the fridge for a while. Some of it turned a little yellow. We fed that part to our guinea pig, Porkchop (she didn't like the stems). 
Are you looking for a different vegetable to bring to your Thanksgiving feast? How about Chinese broccoli? It has a really good flavor, is pretty easy to throw together, and is probably really healthy. There is a good mix of crunch and soft leaves if you cook it like I did, none of the bitterness of broccoli rabe (which is resembles), and it's always good to have another vegetable option. I've been feeling limited in my choices lately, I know it's all in my head but I was really happy about this new vegetable option. I cooked this similar to how we cook broccoli rabe at work, heavy on the garlic and with a bit of red pepper flakes. We made clam pizza (I wanted something quick and garlicky) and shared a big bowl of this on the side. It was a good meal. This is a good vegetable. 

PS: Thanksgiving recipes start for serious tomorrow!
Chinese Broccoli with Garlic and Pepper Flakes
1 lb Chinese broccoli (also known as Kai-lan)
2 T olive oil
4 or more cloves of garlic, minced or put through a garlic press
1/2 t red pepper flakes (or more, or Thai chilis would be good as well)
salt and pepper

Bring an inch of water to boil in a pan large enough to hold your broccoli. Place a vegetable steamer over the water, put your broccoli in it, cover, and steam for 3-5 minutes, until the thicker stems can be pierced by a fork without a fight. You can steam them longer if you want less of a crunch, but we left them fairly firm. Let cool enough to handle (or run under cool water), and then slice into about one inch chunks. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan, then add the garlic and pepper flakes. Cook a minute or two, then add the broccoli and cook another minute or so until hot. Season with salt and pepper. 

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Sticky sesame tofu and snow peas

I love making delicious food that you could get in a Chinese restaurant, especially since I can't just go into some corner Chinese place and order up some sesame tofu or General Tso chicken or egg rolls. Kelly is mostly a vegetarian so I wanted to make tofu, crispy in some sort of soy-sticky sauce. This was a hit, and is best when eaten right away when the tofu is still crispy. 

Sticky sesame tofu
2 blocks extra firm Mori-nu tofu
1/2 c cornstarch
oil for frying
1/4 c honey (or brown sugar if you're vegan)
1/4 c soy sauce (gf)
1/4 c rice vinegar
1 chopped up hot chili, or 1 t chili flakes
2 T sesame oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
3/4" piece of ginger, skinned and grated
sesame seeds

Open the boxes of tofu and cut them in half the long way, to make two thinner blocks of tofu. Press between paper towels, and balance a plate or book on top, whie you make the sauce. Combine honey, soy sauce, vinegar, chili, sesame oil, garlic and ginger in a small pan. Cook over medium heat until slightly thickened and sticky. Cut the tofu into cubes, dust with cornstarch, and fry in batches. Drain on paper towels. 

Snow peas
1 t sesame oil
2 c snow peas (or more)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 T water
1 T soy sauce
1 T rice wine vinegar

Heat oil in a sauce pan. Cook the garlic until fragrant, add snow peas and water, and cover and cook for 2 minutes. Remove lid, add soy sauce and vinegar, and cook 2 more minutes. 

To assemble:
In a bowl or on a plate, place a mound of rice. Put tofu on top, pour sauce over, sprinkle with sesame seeds, and serve with snow peas!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Mochi


Once upon a time, in Chinatown, I had these funny little cakes filled with mango or peanuts. They are gluten-free, rolled in coconut, and funny. They have a weird texture, delicious and kind of gummy and odd. But they are delicious. It never occurred to me that I could make them myself. But I was reading the side of the Mochiko sweet rice flour box, and there is a recipe for chocolate mochi. I started looking around the internet, and found out that the little cakes I love are also called Daifuku. And they are really simple to make. Most recipes I found are filled with red bean paste, which I don't particularly like, and don't have on hand. I saw some filled with fruit and bean paste, but I just filled mine with fruit. I can't eat raw fruit, but for some reason I can eat frozen fruit (it has something to do with the processing). Alex got me some frozen, cubed mango, and I used those for the filling. They only took about 20 minutes, and are pretty delicious and surprising. 

Tea and mango mochi or daifuku
1 c sweet rice flour
2/3 c strong brewed tea
1/4 c sugar
Mango cubes or other fruit for filling, or chocolate
1/4 c cornstarch
1/4 c confectioners sugar

Stir together the tea and sugar, microwave 30 seconds or a minute until sugar is dissolved. Stir in rice flour, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and microwave for 3 minutes. While mochi mix is microwaving, combine cornstarch and sugar and liberally dust your cutting board, set fruit nearby, and get out a spoon. Stir mochi mix, then cook 2 more minutes. Carefully turn out onto dusted surface (mochi will be hot!) and dust your hands with sugar-starch mix. Break off a quarter-sized piece, flatten it out, and put a piece of fruit in the middle. Pinch the sides up and seal, and repeat, working quickly so the mochi doesn't get too cold. Once finished, wrap up mochi balls individually tightly. Keep in the fridge or freezer. 

Makes 12 small mochi.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

stir fried bok choy

My mom has a beautiful, old, well seasoned wok. I have never gotten one because I haven't found the perfect one. Whenever I cook Asian food at home I do it in a regular pan, but wish I had a wok like my moms. It was exciting for me to cook in her wok. It's easier for me to cook in a wok where everything takes no more than 5 minutes to cook than other things on the stove where I cook for a long time and am exhausted after trying to balance in front of the stove for so long. I made ginger chicken and bok choy, here is the recipe for bok choy. Be careful when adding ginger if you use the Ginger People minced ginger (which I LOVE because it's so easy and delicious) because it splatters!
Stir Fried Bok Choy
2 bok choys (or about a pound of the little ones, which are my favorite)
big pinch of cornstarch
about 1 T of wheat-free soy sauce
1/4 c stock or water
3 cloves of garlic, sliced or minced
about 2 T minced ginger
1 T peanut oil

Rinse off the bok choy. Cut the stems into pieces, slice the leaves, and put the stem pieces in one bowl and the leaves in another. In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch, soy sauce, and stock or water and set near where you will be cooking. Heat oil in wok until it shimmers, and cook the garlic and ginger for just a few seconds, taking care not to burn it, and then add the bok choy stems. stir fry for a few minutes, maybe 3, and then add the leaves. Stir fry for about a minute, then stir the cornstarch mixture and then add to the vegetables in the wok. Cover and let cook about 5 minutes, until greens are wilted and the stems are softened. Eat!

You can also make this in a regular pan, it will just take a little longer.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Ugly but delicious spring rolls with sweet chili sauce

I ran into this recipe on glutenfreeda.com for spring rolls. I wasn’t too interested in their filling, but I’ve had rice paper wrappers in my cabinet for a while and have been itching to use them. So I threw together a bunch of stuff I had in the fridge and made some awesome, but very ugly. I think I might make them again with dinner. These can have pretty much whatever you want in them.

Sweet Chili Sauce
1/3 c rice vinegar
1/3 c sugar
1/4 c water
1 t chili flakes

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan, bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer until almost reduced by half. If it gets too thick when cooled, add a little more water and reheat.

Spring rolls

About 8oz mixed mushrooms
3 baby bok choy
1 t grated ginger
2 scallions
1 carrot, peeled
a handful of spinach
2 t soy sauce
1 t mirin
about 1/4 lb thinly sliced pork, or chicken, or tofu
1/4 package of rice noodles
1 egg white
1 package rice paper wrappers, found in the Asian section of your grocery store

Soak the rice noodles in a bowl of hot water until softened. Thinly slice your mushrooms and carrots and put in separate piles. Cut the leaves off the bok choy and set aside, thinly slice the bottoms and add to the carrot pile. Slice the scallions thinly and set aside. Cut the spinach and boy choy leaves into strips.

Heat 1 T oil in a pan (wok if you have one). Add the ginger and scallions and cook for a few seconds, then add the pork. Cook until no longer pink on the outside, then add the carrots and bok choy bottoms. Cook together a few minutes, then add the mushrooms. Once those have cooked most of the way through, add the spinach, bok choy leaves, soy sauce, noodles, and mirin. Cook until liquid is mostly gone and greens are wilted. Pour filling into a strainer, and set aside to cool/drain for a few minutes. Once cooled, fill a shallow bowl with hot water. Dip one rice wrapper into the water and hold it there until softened. You will know when it’s ready. Lay the wrapper carefully on your work surface, and put about a tablespoon of filling in the center.
Pull the bottom half up, then fold over the right side and then the left.Squoosh the filling in as tight as you can, wet the last side with egg white, and then fold over. Set aside, and repeat until all the filling is gone. Heat about an inch of oil in a pan, and when shimmering, slowly drop in the first roll. Let fry for a few minutes, then flip, carefully. It will puff up all crazy but don’t worry. That’s why they’re ugly. Once you feel they’re fried enough, drain on a paper towel and repeat. Serve immediately with the dipping sauce.