Monthly Archives: February 2017

Kung Pao Chicken

This dish quickly became one of our favorites. The ingredients are:

The Marinade

  • Cornstarch, 3 teaspoons
  • Soy sauce, 2 tablespoons
  • Sake, 4 teaspoons

The Sauce

  • Ground Sichuan pepper, 1 teaspoon
  • Cornstarch, 2 teaspoons
  • Sugar, 4 teaspoons
  • Black vinegar, 2 tablespoons
  • Soy sauce, 2 teaspoons
  • Hoisin sauce, 2 teaspoons
  • Sesame oil, 2 teaspoons

Everything Else

  • Carrots, sliced
  • Bell pepper, chopped
  • Celery, sliced
  • Scallions, sliced
  • Chicken breasts or thighs, 2 lbs, cut into cubes
  • Unsalted, dry-roasted peanuts, 1/2 cup
  • Dried red chilis, 8-10
  • Garlic, 4 cloves, minced
  • Ginger, 2 teaspoons, minced or grated
  • Peanut or vegetable oil, 2 tablespoons
IMG_20161106_185832255_HDR

The ingredients.

Some of the ingredients are a little obscure. For instance, ground sichuan pepper isn’t something you can find anywhere; I had to specially order mine.

IMG_20161106_185841517_HDR

Sichuan pepper.

Also, black vinegar(on the left) which you may also have to specially order.

IMG_20161106_185904049

Black vinegar.

The first step is to marinate the chicken: mix the cornstarch, sake, and soy sauce together until the former is dissolved. Then add the chicken and coat it as completely as you can. Let it marinate for about 10 minutes at room temperature.

IMG_20161106_190927471

The marinade.

IMG_20161106_191638382

Marinading.

Secondly, prepare the sauce by combining the black vinegar, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, sugar, cornstarch, and Sichuan pepper together in another bowl. Again, mix until everything is dissolved, and then set aside.

IMG_20161106_194348219_HDR

The sauce.

IMG_20161106_194342832_HDR

Prep the veggies.

Next, heat a wok, add the peanut oil, and then add the chilis, stir-frying for about 30 seconds. You’ll notice that the chilis start to blacken, and smoke in a way that may make you wheeze.

IMG_20161106_195503578

Chili-frying.

Then add the chicken mixture and cook until the chicken is no longer pink.

IMG_20161106_195858350_HDR

Chicken-frying.

This is the part of the story where you add everything else. First, the garlic and ginger, frying them for 30 seconds or so. Then, the sauce mixture.

IMG_20161106_201644222_HDR

Chili-chicken-sauce frying.

Then add the veggies, peanuts, and everything else.

IMG_20161106_203018487_HDR

Just fry everything.

I think you’ll find it’s delicious – nearly as good as what you’d get from a restaurant!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Massaman Beef Curry

Despite its relative lack of vegetables, this recipe was delicious. The ingredients:

  • Beef, 2 lbs, cut into one-inch cubes
  • Onion, 1/2 cup, sliced
  • Red jalapeno peppers, 6, sliced
  • Garlic, 1/2 cup, minced
  • Peanuts, peeled, 1 cup
  • Coconut milk, 2 cans
  • Massaman curry paste, 6 tablespoons
  • Fish sauce, 1/2 cup
  • Sugar, 6 tablespoons
  • Oil
IMG_20170126_191554539

The ingredients.

First, simmer the beef with half the coconut milk for 45 minutes, in order to tenderize the meat.

IMG_20170126_195045260_HDR

Simmering the beef.

While you’re at it, fry the peanuts, while being careful to make sure they don’t burn.

IMG_20170126_202640072_HDR

Frying peanuts.

When they’re done, they should have a golden hue, like these:

IMG_20170126_203821554_HDR

Peanuts fried.

Next, prepare the jalapeno peppers, garlic, and onion.

IMG_20170126_202330370_HDR

Slices.

Fry these as well.

IMG_20170126_203826738_HDR

Frying slices.

Then, put these into a blender, and blend into a smooth paste.

IMG_20170126_204838876

Slices fried.

IMG_20170126_204950218_HDR

Slices blended.

Finally, combine everything – yes, everything – into a single pan or wok, heat to boiling, and cook for five minutes. Then, enjoy!

IMG_20170126_210107558_HDR

Delicious!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bitter Melon Curry

This is another dish from the Thai cookbook I’m working through, and it involved a new ingredient for me – bitter melon. And its bitterness, while not completely unpleasant, did end up spoiling the dish for us. But if you want to try, the ingredients are:

  • Pork, sliced, 1 lb
  • Bitter melon, sliced, 1 lb
  • Red curry paste, 2 tablespoons
  • Coconut milk, 2 cans
  • Fish sauce, 1/2 cup
  • Sugar, 4 tablespoons
  • Oil
IMG_20170117_191104354

The ingredients.

The first step is to cut up the bitter melon. I took out the seeds and the fibrous innards, and then sliced into portions about two inches long by half an inch wide. Slice up the pork as well.

IMG_20170117_191706733_HDR

The inside of a bitter melon.

IMG_20170117_201352590

Bitter melon, all sliced up.

IMG_20170117_201829288

Frying curry paste.

Then, heat some oil and the curry paste, and then add the pork.

IMG_20170117_201922277_HDR

Pork added.

When it’s not completely cooked through (but close enough) add the bitter melon, stir-fry for a couple of minutes, and then add all the other ingredients. Heat to boiling and you’re done.

IMG_20170117_202807382

Melon added.

IMG_20170117_203657442_HDR

The final dish.

In retrospect, I think a few things may have helped with the flavor. Using less bitter melon; not cooking the melon for so long; removing the melon from the dish prior to eating, so some of its flavor remained but not all of it. But obviously, people like different flavors, and this may be worth trying. Even though I didn’t like it, I’m glad I did.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fried Mushrooms

These were the star of our ill-fated election-night party, and a bright spot in an otherwise dismal night. The recipe comes courtesy of my mom, and beware – it is time-consuming to make. But also, so so delicious.

The ingredients are:

  • Mushrooms
  • Panko or bread crumbs
  • Eggs
  • Flour
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Mrs. Dash seasoning
  • Water
  • Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • Canola Oil
IMG_20161108_154640291_HDR

The ingredients.

The first step is to wash and cut up the mushrooms into bite-sized portions. Then, prepare three bowls.

IMG_20161108_161411024_HDR

The bowl line-up.

In the first bowl, have flour (as well as a touch of pepper and salt, but not too much)

In the second bowl, have beaten eggs and water. For every two eggs that you add, add 1 tablespoon of water. As you can see, I used a tall glass instead, as it’s easier to dunk the mushrooms in (I use a fork to do so).

Finally, have flour, Panko or bread crumbs, salt, pepper, Parmesan cheese, and Mrs. Dash in the final bowl. The proportions will vary depending on how you prefer your mushrooms, but the main ingredient should be the Panko.

IMG_20161108_161416271

A closer look at the final bowl.

Dip each mushroom piece into each bowl consecutively, making sure to coat them well each time. Then, deep fry the mushrooms until they turn brown. As you can see, I used an enameled pot, but whatever device works for you.

When they’re done, place on a plate with paper towals to absorb the excess grease, and sprinkle with salt (if you prefer) to eat with ranch dressing.

IMG_20161108_172230361_HDR

Enjoy!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment