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Category Archives: Quick & Easy Recipes

Orange Ginger Chicken

A Chinese takeout dish that can be made at home in less than 30 minute.  This sweet and citrusy marinade is made with soy sauce, honey, orange juice and orange marmalade with the spice of ginger.  The sauce clings on to the chicken pieces and adds a glaze with wonderful colors to the dish.

Ingredients:

  • 1 chicken breast, cubed (about 3/4 lb)
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup orange marmalade
  • 1.5 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ground ginger

Directions:

  1. Season chicken with salt and pepper.  Lightly coat the chicken with flour.
  2. Heat oil in skillet over high heat.  Stir in chicken pieces and cook for about 3-4 minutes on each side or until the meat turn brown on the outside.  Remove from skillet.
  3. In the same skillet, add orange juice, marmalade, soy sauce, ginger and honey.  Bring to a boil and cook until the sauce thickened.  Stir in chicken and and heat through.  Sprinkle sesame seeds and green onion, for garnish.

 

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檸汁薑黃雞 Lemon Turmeric Chicken

Turmeric is used in many South and South East Asian dishes. The turmeric plant is in the same family as ginger so similarly the root is the part that is typically eaten. Fresh turmeric is less commonly available, so usually it is used in a dried powder form. The vibrant yellow color can make almost any dish seem more appetizing, and in fact, turmeric is the ingredient that makes curry powder yellow. Be careful when you work with turmeric, as stains may be difficult to get rid of!

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 lb chicken breast, cut into bite sizes
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1/2 bell pepper, diced
  • 1 small tomato, diced
  • 3 tablespoons corn
  • 1.5 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1.5 and 0.5 tablespoons turmeric (used in different steps)
  • 1 teaspoon corn starch
  • Juice and zest of half a lemon
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce

Directions:

  1. Marinate chicken pieces with soy sauce, sugar, 1.5 tbsp turmeric and cornstarch.  Place in fridge for 30 minutes.
  2. Heat oil in skillet over high heat.  Stir in chicken pieces and cook for about 3-4 minutes until the meat begins to brown on the outside. Remove from skillet.
  3. Add oil to skillet.  Stir in onion, cook for 2 minutes.  Add pepper and stir-fry for 2 more minutes.  Add corn, tomato, oyster sauce, 1/2 tbsp turmeric, lemon juice and lemon zest.  Lastly, stir in chicken, mix well and serve.

 

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滑蛋蝦仁 Scrambled Eggs With Shrimp

Ready in less than 30 minutes with two ingredients.  This easy to prepare dish is a weeknight favorite

The key for this dish is simple – do not overcook! We want the egg to be creamy and melt in your month, not dry and rubbery. After the shrimps turn pink, you want to lower the heat and pour the eggs on top.  Turn up the heat quickly, and once the curds start to form on the side (see picture on the right below), stir quickly.  Continue to stir almost constantly until the eggs are just done. There should still be a small amount of liquid egg when you transfer it to your serving dish – the egg will continue for a bit more by itself from the heat.

Ingredients:

  • 12 raw shrimps, peeled and deveined
  • 1 teaspoon corn starch
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • Chopped fresh cilantro leaves for garnish, optional
Directions:
  1. Marinate the shrimps with one tablespoon of egg white, salt and corn starch.
  2. In a separate bowl, beat eggs with salt and pepper
  3. Heat oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Cook shrimps on both sides until opaque.  Turn the heat to low. Add eggs, turn the heat back to high, and fold eggs over themselves. Remove the skillet from heat when eggs are just cooked.
 
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Posted by on November 10, 2011 in Chinese, Quick & Easy Recipes

 

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Spaghetti with White Clam Sauce

Does the smell of certain foods make your mouth water and your stomach growl even when you are not hungry?For me, just the fragrance of fresh herbs makes me want to cook them in a dish.  I was shopping at the local fresh produce market yesterday, and came upon this wonderfully fragrant bunch of basil. I can tell that it was very fresh as it looked to be right out of the soil, with its root and dirt clinging onto it and all. It was an impulse buy, and I didn’t even know what to cook with it initially.

It came to me after reviewing the items in the home pantry and the other produce that was available – I can make a nice clam pasta with it! The results turned out very nicely, and I hope that you like it as much as I did.

Directions:

  • 1/2 box of thin spaghetti pasta
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, julienned
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 4 stalks of asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 6 oz button mushrooms, trimmed and sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 2 cans of clams with juice
  • 1.5 cup fresh basil leaves, thinly chopped
  • 1/2 cup Half and Half
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Directions:
  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil, add salt and spaghetti.  Cook for 4-5 minutes or follow instructions on the box.  Add two tablespoons of olive oil to the pasta and mix well.
  2. Heat oil in a skillet over high heat.  Add garlic and shallots, cook until fragrant  Add onion, tomato and the clam juices, cover and cook for a couple minutes.  Add asparagus and mushrooms.  Cover and cook for another 1-2 minutes, until everything is cooked through.  Stir in flour,  half and half, and wine.  Cook until the sauce thickens, stir in pasta, basil and clam meat.
 

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Crispy Salmon and Garlic Scallion Mashed Potatoes

Pan fried salmon is probably one of those dishes that everyone has made at some point. I came across this technique from Gordon Ramsay the other and wanted to give it a try. The main idea here is to score the salmon before cooking on the skin side, so that the salmon won’t curl while cooking. This ensures an evenly cooked piece of salmon and enables extra crispiness as the salmon has better contact with the pan and is more directly cooked. By rubbing in some salt and rosemary into the cuts, it is also possible to get in some extra flavor in the salmon.

You will notice from the pictures that the piece of salmon that was used already had the skin removed, which took away a lot of the crispiness that would have made it even better. However, I do think this is a sound technique and I would for sure try it again with skin-on salmon next time!

I paired the salmon with some mashed potatoes, and it made for a great Saturday night dinner.

Ingredients:

  • 0.8 lb salmon filet
  • 1 tablespoon rosemary, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. With the skin side facing out, score the skin crosswise in parallel lines to about halfway deep in the filet.  Scoring the salmon filet prevents it from curling while cooking, ensuring it’s cooked nice and evenly.
  2. Open each score and sprinkle salt and rosemary into the cut. Glaze the top of the salmon filet with olive oil.
  3. Heat oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat.  Add salmon, skin side down, as soon as the oil begins to lightly smoke. Keep your fingers on top of the salmon filet for a bit to keep it nice and flat.  Watch the side of the piece of salmon for color changes. When 2/3 of the salmon has turned opaque, flip it to the other side and cook until it’s done.

Source:  Gordon Ramsay’s Crispy Salmon

Roasted Garlic Scallion Mashed Potatoes

Ingredients:

  • 3 small red potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon half and half (you can also use milk or even just water if you want a lighter version)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 head garlic
  • 1 scallion, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Directions:
  1. Wash and scrub potatoes until very clean. This is important as we will be eating the skin.
  2. Start cooking potatoes in a boiling pot of salted water
  3. In the meantime, take the head of garlic and remove the outermost portions of the skin (but leave the skin of the individual cloves intact). Lightly oil, wrap in aluminum foil, and bake at 400 degrees in the oven fro about 30 minutes. If you would not like to use the oven, put cloves in a heated heavy skillet and cook under lowest heat possible, covered, for about 30 minutes. Makes sure to flip the garlic once in a while to keep it from burning. The garlic should be very soft at this point, squeeze the meat out from the skins.
  4. Once potatoes are fully cooked (when a fork pokes through the potato without much effort), drain the water and place in a large bowl. Combine with butter, garlic cloves, chopped scallion, and salt to taste. Mash with a fork.
  5. Add in a bit of half and half and keep mashing and mixing. Once it is completely mixed, add a bit more. The idea is not to add in too much at a time as that would break the mixture too much.
 

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山藥雞柳煲仔飯 Claypot rice with Chicken and Tororo

In Japanese cuisine yamaimo is usually eaten raw after being grated into a sticky, paste-like cream known as tororo, typically as a topping for soba or udon. You can find an example in this recipe. The Chinese prefers it sliced and pan-fried or used to prepare soup.  In this recipe, I took the idea of the grated yam and combined it with the traditional Chinese clay pot rice. The tororo helps make the chicken pieces take on a silky smooth texture. It is also a great way to incorporate this health food into your diet.

Sweet Soy Sauce for Claypot Rice:

In a saucepan, add 3 tablespoons water, 1 tablespoon sugar, 3 tablespoons dark soy sauce, and 1 tablespoon soy sauce.  Cook over low heat until the sugar dissolves.

Ingredients:

  • 2 chicken thighs, cut into bite sizes
  • 3 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1 egg – separate egg white and egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons oyster sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1.5 cups of rice
  • 1.5 cups of water
  • 1 tablespoon scallion, chopped
Directions:
  1. Marinate the chicken pieces with egg white and corn starch for 20 minutes in the fridge.  Then add soy sauce, oyster sauce, sugar and sesame oil. Marinate for another 30 minutes or so.  Combine with grated yam/yamaimo.
  2. Wash the rice with water until the water comes out nearly clear; drain completely.
  3. Thinly oil the inside of the claypot.   (Apply oil to the pot before adding rice and water to avoid sticking and to make a crispy rice effect.) Heat over medium-high heat.  Add the rice and water and cover.
  4. Bring it to boil then add chicken.  Cook over low heat for 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and cover for another 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked.  Add the egg yolk and cover for a few minutes.  Add cilantro and drizzle sweet soy sauce over rice to serve.
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Black Bean Soup

This is a dish that is perfect when It’s raining outside or if for whatever reason you just don’t want to go out to do food shopping.  All you need here is a can of black beans and some onions, tomatoes, or peppers. If you don’t have these either, you might even experiment with whatever you have lying around the house. Try accompanying with rice or simply some bread for a healthy and complete meal. Also adding a dash of hot sauce, or even add in some jalapenos when cooking to give it a bit of a kick!

Ingredients:

  • 1 (16 ounce) can black beans
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 small tomato, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 clove garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon oregano leaves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
Direction:
  1. Saute onion, bell peppers, and garlic in a small pot with the juice from the can over medium heat for 3-4 minutes, until vegetables soften.  Add the beans, tomato, white wine vinegar, cumin, oregano, bay leave and salt.
  2. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to medium-low, covered, simmer for 20 minutes or until the soup thicken. Garnish with diced red onion, tomatoes and pepper.
 

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鲜蝦煲仔飯 Claypot Rice with Garlic Shrimps

Vegetables, protein and starch – all goodness in one pot and everything is ready in 30 minutes. As summer is slipping away and the weather is getting cooler (it will hit below 50 degrees tonight!), claypot food will even be a better choice. This time i used head-on shrimps as the main ingredient to enhance the flavor of the rice.  The small shrimps weren’t quite enough to bring enough flavor to the rice, although the garlic, shallots, and scallions certainly helped. Next time, I will use bigger shrimps to make this dish even better.

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 lb of small shrimps
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese cooking wine
  • 1 stalk of scallion/green onion, finely chopped
Sweet Soy Sauce for Claypot Rice:
In a saucepan, add 3 tablespoons water, 1 tablespoon sugar, 3 tablespoons dark soy sauce, and 1 tablespoon soy sauce.  Cook over low heat until the sugar dissolves.
Directions:
  1. Marinate the the shrimp with garlic, shallot and sesame oil. Set aside
  2. Wash the rice with water until the water comes out nearly clear; drain completely.
  3. Thinly oil the inside of the claypot.   (Apply oil to the pot before adding rice and water to avoid sticking and to make a crispy rice effect.) Heat over medium-high heat.  Add the rice and water and cover.
  4. Bring it to boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 8-9 minutes. (until all the water has evaporated)
  5. Add shrimps and cook for 5 minutes or until opaque.
  6. Add scallions and drizzle sweet soy sauce over rice to serve.
 

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南乳雞翼 Chicken Wings with Red Fermented Bean Curd

Red fermented bean curd, sometimes also known as Chinese cheese is similar to cheese as it is an acquired taste, and isn’t accepted by everyone if you don’t have substantial exposure to it.  The unique flavor of red fermented bean curd is the perfect companion for a large variety of food. Some people like to simply use it as a condiment for plain congee and rice. It is also great for cooking, especially with pork, chicken and vegetables. Again this is similar to western cheese which can be enjoyed on its own, but can also be used as an ingredient in many different dishes.

Here’s a dish that showcases how red fermented bean curd and honey enhance the flavor of chicken wings.

Ingredients:

  • 12 frozen mid-joint chicken wings
  • 2 slices ginger
  • 1.5 squares/bricks Red Fermented Bean Curd
  • 3/4 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese cooking wine
  • 1 tablespoon honey
Directions:
  1. Defrost chicken wings.  Blanch chicken wings in large pot of boiling water for 20-30 seconds. This can remove some oil and the frozen smell/taste from the wings.
  2. Heat wok over high heat and pour in 1 tablespoon oil.  Add ginger and cook until fragrant.
  3. Add chicken wings and cook until light brown.
  4. Add red Fermented Bean curd, soy sauce and dark soy sauce, cook over medium heat for 8 minutes.
  5. Flip the chicken wings over to let the other side absorb the sauce.  Cook for another 8 minutes.
  6. Add cooking wine and sugar.  Mix well and cook for another 5 minute or until cooked through.
  7. Remove from heat.  Transfer chicken wings to a bowl and mix with 1 tablespoon of honey before serving.
 

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窩蛋雞肉煲仔飯 Claypot Rice with Chicken and Egg

Because clay pot rice is so simple and delicious, we are having it very often recently.  This is the dish for this week; hopefully we won’t run out of new clay pot ideas.  This pot is similar to some dishes that I posted before in different ways.  It is like Oyakodon in that it has egg and chicken on rice. We use egg white and corn starch to marinate the chicken thighs, which is the same technique we used in Claypot rice with chicken and mushroom. Lastly, it uses a runny egg yolk in the middle, just like Claypot Rice with Beef and Egg.  After the chicken is marinated, it takes less than 30 minutes to prepare dinner.

Sweet Soy Sauce for Claypot Rice:

In a saucepan, add 3 tablespoons water, 1 tablespoon sugar, 3 tablespoons dark soy sauce, and 1 tablespoon soy sauce.  Cook over low heat until the sugar dissolves.

Ingredients:

  • 1 chicken thigh, cut into bite sizes
  • 1.5 tablespoon corn starch
  • 1 egg – separate egg white and egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon oyster sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 cup of rice
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
Directions:
  1. Marinate the chicken pieces with egg white and corn starch for 20 minutes in the fridge.  Then add soy sauce, oyster sauce, sugar and sesame oil. Marinate for another 30 minutes or so.
  2. Wash the rice with water until the water comes out nearly clear; drain completely.
  3. Thinly oil the inside of the claypot.   (Apply oil to the pot before adding rice and water to avoid sticking and to make a crispy rice effect.) Heat over medium-high heat.  Add the rice and water and cover.
  4. Bring it to boil then add chicken.  Cook over low heat for 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and cover for another 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked.  Add the egg yolk and cover for a few minutes.  Add cilantro and drizzle sweet soy sauce over rice to serve.
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Posted by on September 1, 2011 in Chicken, Chinese, Quick & Easy Recipes

 

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