April 24, 2013
Mmmm…spicy. Super fast Sichuan Chinese noodle dish.
A note on mung bean noodles: they come in different sizes and shapes, not unlike Italian pastas. I ran out of the thin skinny kind, which is traditionally used in this recipe. Personally, I rather like the thicker, more al dente texture of the thicker noodles. Random cultural lesson: in Taiwan, they call this chewy bite “Q”. Like mochi is Q. Or gummy bears are Q. Insert extra Q for added f.o.b factor: “these noodles are so QQ!”
Anyway. Mung bean noodles are awesome because they are made out of beans. And therefore gluten free! It’s got a brittle dry texture pre-soak. Stiff and slightly slimy post-soak. Wonderfully Q when cooked. Stole a picture of the thin kind from google:
On to our recipe! Not including soak/marinating time, takes 10 minutes max to cook. I heart me some fast stir fry.
- 3 batches of mung bean noodles
- 1/4 lb ground pork
- 1 tsp hot bean sauce
- soy sauce
- 1 slice fresh ginger, julienned (or 1/2 tsp ground)
- 2 stalks green onion, chopped finely
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- corn starch
- cooking oil
- Soak mung bean noodles in cold water for 1 hour+. Drain and set aside.
- Marinate pork in 1/2 tsp corn starch dissolved in 1 tbs soy sauce and ginger for 30min-1 hour. Discard ginger.
- Dissolve ~1 tsp+ corn starch in 1 cup of cold water and set aside.
- Heat 1 tbs oil in wok/large saute pan on high. When pan is smoking hot (smoKING), add meat. Using the edge of the spatula, break up the meat as small as you can. When evenly brown and cooked through, remove from heat and set aside. NOTE: I used a sharp pair of kitchen scissors to cut meat up even smaller after cooking.
- In remaining oil over medium high heat, fry garlic and green onion until fragrant ~ 1-2 min. Add ~3 more tbs soy sauce, HALF the corn starch mixture, and stir. When mixture starts to bubble, add meat back in and stir evenly.
- Add noodles. COVER and let it steam for 3-5 min. If not enough liquid to steam noodles, add more corn starch mixture. (this is not meant to be a soupy dish, just enough liquid to cook the noodles is fine). Remove from heat.
- Top with fresh chopped scallions and serve.
August 24, 2012
Here is my easy/no fuss version of Kung Pao Chicken. I always though Kung Pao Chicken was just another one of those fake Chinese food dishes you get at those ubiquitous Asian fast food joints with the fat and fluffy ursine mascot. I believed this for most of my life, until the day I actually ORdered this dish from [insert panda themed restaurant name] and was like, “wait. my mom makes this.”
So yea. I’ll eat my own words. I guess this stuff is authentic after all.
Anyway, I believe stir fry purists would say you should 1) marinate for 30 min then cook the chicken until mostly done, remove. 2) heat oil back up again, add garlic, fresh ginger, and chilies to release the full flavors, then 3) add the chicken back in, the sauce, then the green onions, and lastly the nuts (my mother uses peanuts).
But MAN that sounds way too complicated. And after a long freaking day at work, I do NOT want to have to think about “what do I do next again?” Solution? Add everything into the marinade. Sure my mom still makes it better. But mine is FASTER. and with WHITE meat. JUICY white meat, I might add… because I marinate overnight instead of on the counter for 30 min (I chalk that tradition up to the fact that my ancestors did not have refrigerators and to let your chicken sit overnight is to kill your whole family w/ salmonella.)
So here goes. Kung Pao Chicken, simplified:
- 1.5 lb chicken tenders
- ~1/2+ cup soy sauce or enough to cover chicken
- 1 tsp corn starch
- 1-2 tsp sesame oil
- ~5 dried chili peppers, sliced diagonally
- 1 tbs dark brown sugar
- 1-2 tsp ginger powder
- 2 tbs Chinese rice wine
- optional: Chinese black vinegar (I had none. Didn’t miss it)
- 2 talks green onion, chopped in 2 inch sections
- 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 cup roasted unsalted cashews
- oil for stir frying (NOT olive oil. something with a high smoke point like peanut oil is better)
- Cut chicken into small pieces, about 1 inch cube.
- In a deep container (I like to use glass tupperware) mix soy sauce, sugar, rice wine, sesame oil, ginger, chili peppers, and corn starch until thickened. Adjust to taste. Add chicken, cover, and marinate overnight (if using dark meat, 15-30 minutes is plenty. Overnight is if you want to make
healthy crappy white meat juicier.).
- Heat a wok or large frying pan on high. Add oil and heat until shimmering. Add chicken and marinade. Stir until chicken is cooked through. Add green onions and cashews. Toss until green onions become fragrant (1 min or so). Remove from heat and serve.
Stir Fry Tips:
- Use a hot Guo1, or pot/wok. I mean HOT. Like smoking red hot. Then add oil and let it heat until shimmery. Always. Hot pot and hot oil = less crap sticking to your pan.
- Always add green onion last. You still want to stir fry it a bit to let the flavors release (you’ll be able to smell it when it does), but cook it any longer than absolutely necessary and you’ll get limp ugly green onion. Green onion should act as a garnish as well as an aromatic. It should be bright, green, and pretty.
Thank you, Mama Chen for teaching me well.
August 5, 2012
Didn’t really expect this to turn out as well as it did, seeing as I totally winged it and just threw in stuff from my fridge. But I’m DEFINITELY making this again. Probably one of my most successful creations.
Love these Bunashimeji mushrooms, btw. A bouncier, more complimenting texture to the clams than enoki, which is what I usually keep at home for soups and hot pots. Here’s my Japanese mushroom pictionary reference source: http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2340.html
- 1 lb live manila clams
- 1 tbs peanut oil/cooking oil
- 2 large cloves garlic, minced
- handful of small basil leaves
- 1 batch Bunashimeji mushrooms (see pic)
- 1 spoonful of white Shiro Miso
- ~1/4 cup soy sauce (add to taste)
- 1 -2 tbs Mirin
- 1/4 cup Moscato or other sweet white wine (or regular white wine + 1 tsp sugar)
- 1 tbs good, unsalted butter
- red chili pepper flakes, for color mostly…little sliced chili peppers will do, too
- Prepare clams: Scrub the suckers clean. Then submerge clams in a deep bowl with salt water. (Like..ocean-water-salty. Makes sense, no?) Add a few ice cubes to keep it cold. Do this well in advance, at least a few hours before cooking. Drain and rinse clean. This gives the clams time to spit out sand and crud.
- In a medium sized saute pan (with a lid), heat a bit of oil over medium high until shimmery and hot. Saute garlic until just fragrant (careful not to burn), then add soy sauce and mushrooms. Stir fry 1-2 min to soften.
- Stir in miso until dissolved. Add mirin and white wine (if you’re using a regular, non sweet white wine, dissolve in a tsp of sugar). Bring to a boil.
- Add clams and cover immediately. In about 3 min, clams should slowly start to open up. Wait for it. Some are slower than others to respond (like humans). Uncover and add basil and butter. Stir until butter melts into the sauce. Remove and plate. Toss out unopened clams (they were dead before they hit the pan. No good.) Sprinkle on red pepper flakes and serve.
NOTES ON BUTTER:
- Adding butter at the end instead of sauteing with it in the beginning lets the flavor of butter stand out more. It’s also used to thicken the final sauce. Something I read somewhere. So don’t waste good butter on early steps of a recipe. And DON’T buy cheap butter you don’t mind wasting.
- When in doubt, get unsalted. You can use it for cooking aND baking.
- Don’t bake with salted butter. It messes up the ingredients ratio.
- Learn to make Ghee. THIS you can saute with. In fact, use it instead of oil from here on out. It doesn’t burn. It doesn’t smoke. It doesn’t spoil. And it tastes like HEAVEN.
- Kerrygold Pure Irish Butter is rich and creamy. Kind of cheesy. Which can be good or bad, depending on your preference. Smells divine. Good for finishing sauces.
- For batch baking, or making ghee in large quantities (which is the ONLY way to make ghee), Land O Lakes is surprisingly amazing. Very rich butter flavor, doesn’t taste like artificial popcorn flavoring like other cheaper brands, and it has this awesome FLAVOR protecting wrapper.
Oh, and I’ve taken to keeping a 4 pack of Sutter Home Moscato in my fridge at all times. Use what you need and drink the rest. Perfect one time servings for those that don’t drink enough to buy a whole bottle for one recipe.
July 12, 2012
Definitely making this again. Careful with the salmon! I purchased a very thin, very expensive, tail-end filet of sockeye salmon today and over cooked it at 10 minutes. ): Always adjust recipes depending on the cut of fish you have. Other than being slightly dry, flavor was great. Thank you, Epicurious.
Oh, and I’m actually rather proud of my wasabi lime concoction. Only reason why that made it to the table today is ’cause I had a craving for a spicy tuna roll while shopping at Whole Foods. It came with little packets of wasabi. And seeing as spicy tuna rolls are spicy as is, I had a bunch of left over wasabi. Annnnd because I try to keep white potatoes out of my kitchen, I only make sweet potato mash these days. Sweet, spicy, tangy. Can’t go wrong.
SESAME GLAZED SALMON
adapted from epicurious.
- 1 lb salmon fillets(4 filets)
- 3 tbs soy sauce
- 3 tbs lime juice
- 3 tbs honey/agave nector
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- pinch red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tbs butter
- ~1 tsp corn starch, dissolved in water
- 1 tsp toasted sesame seeds
- Preheat oven to 325F
- Melt butter in a small sauce pan. Add garlic and rep pepper flakes, saute until fragrant.
- Add sesame oil, soy sauce, lime juice, and honey. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium high.
- Add corn starch mixture and stir. Continue to reduce glaze until it reaches the consistency of honey. ~10 min.
- Lay filets on greased aluminum foil. Brush on thin layer of glaze. Bake 5-10 min, depending on thickness of filet.
- Brush on more glaze and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve over garlic-y saute spinach.
WASABI LIME MASHED POTATOES
- 1 large white sweet potato
- 1 tsp wasabi paste or to taste
- juice of 1/2 small lime
- 1 pinch ginger, powder
- 1-2 tbs butter
- 1/3+ cup milk
- salt to taste
Dice potatoes into small cubes. Cover with wet paper towels. Microwave 5 min. Mash in butter, milk, seasonings to consistency of preference.
June 17, 2012
Have lots of crusty bread on hand. You will want to DRINK this broth afterwards.
And for the millionth time, I apologize for my crappy iphone camera. It tastes so much better than it looks… And mussels are really f*ck up free. Promise. Just try it.
- 2 lb mussels, cleaned and de-bearded (thawed frozen half shells work too)
- 1/2 cup minced shallots
- 1 stalk lemongrass, cut in 4 two inch pieces and smashed with flat of knife.
- 1 tbs tumeric (mostly for color)
- 1 tsp red chili pepper flakes
- 2 slices of fresh ginger
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 2 small cans of coconut milk
- juice of 1 lime
- In a 3 qt pot, saute shallots until soft ~3 min. Add garlic and continue to saute 2 min. Add tumeric, chili pepper flakes, lemongrass, ginger. Salt generously. Stir and saute another 3 min.
- Add wine and let it reduce by half. Add coconut milk. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cover for 10 min.
- Add mussels and cover. Steam 5 minutes or so, until all the mussels open.
- Remove from heat and pour into large bowl. Squeeze on lime juice and top with fresh chopped scallions.
June 17, 2012
So I did a little experiment. I tried the recipe on black cod ($$$) and on regular cod.
GET THE BLACK COD.
Trust me. It’s worth it. Cut the recipe in half if you don’t want to buy $30 worth of fish to feed two. It’s pretty amazing, so don’t make any for your friends if you’re cheap. Ha.
- 1 to 1.5 lb black cod filets
- 1/4 cup sake
- 1/4 cup mirin
- 4 tbs white miso paste
- 3 tbs white granulated sugar
- In a small saucepan over high heat, bring mirin and sake to a boil. Let the alcohol evaporate for 15 seconds. Reduce heat to medium.
- Dissolve miso, bit by bit, into the liquid. Stir continuously.
- Increase heat to high. Stir in sugar until also completely dissolved. Remove from heat immediately and let it cool to room temperature.
- Pat cod filets dry. Marinate in miso mixture, covered, in refrigerator for 2 days.
- Important: Scrape miso off cod! It’s salty stuff. And it’s already been marinating for a few days. You don’t need an extra coating of it. Trust me.
- Line baking pan with aluminum foil. Arrange cod evenly across pan. BROIL for 5 minutes or so or until just begins to brown. Bake at 400F for 10 minutes until cod cooked through.
May 30, 2012
I’m two days into my “detox”, after a weekend of gluttony in LA for the Memorial Day holiday, and all I can think about is some good old greasy fake Chinese food. Here was my compromise:
This is a WONDERFUL imitation beef. Good firm texture, minimal soy flavor, and the best part? “Lightly Seasoned.” I don’t have to worry about my stir fry tasting like thyme and parsley. This makes them very versatile. At ~$3 bucks a package, I will be stocking up.
I love Trader Joe’s. I love their prepared food section, I love their affordable prices, and most of all, I love SPECULOOS. Holy crap. speculoos filled chocolate bars? Screw this diet. For those of you who are all “speck-you-what?” Speculoos is a nutty spread, much like an illegitimate love child of nutella and caramel. Too good to be true. But oh. It is. Ladies and gentlemen, speculoos IS real. Say it with me now: speculoooooos. And it is slathered over many a waffle in the food truck lined streets of New York City. So delectably decadent, that the last time I was in New York, the whole city was SOLD OUT. I kid you not.
But I digress. Back to fake – fake Chinese food.
- 1 package of Trader Joe’s Beef-Less strips
- ~2 cups broccoli florets
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ~2 tbs soy sauce*
- 3-4 tbs oyster sauce
- 1 dash sesame oil
- 1-2 tsp corn starch
- 1/3 cup water
*like all chinese stir fry, I season to taste. Excuse my approximations. Soy sauces very widely in saltiness.
- In a small mixing bowl, add soy sauce, sesame oil, oyster sauce, and slowly stir in corn starch to thicken into a consistency of ….thick chowder. Adjust seasonings to taste. Set aside.
- Warm a large wok or skillet over medium high heat. Add broccoli and a dash of water. Cover and steam, shaking pan frequently without removing cover to mix. Steam ~3 minutes. Uncover and remove broccoli.
- Heat 1-2 tbs oil in skillet until shimmery hot. Add beef and break up the strips. Lightly brown evenly. Strips are already cooked. You are basically just browning and warming.
- Add florets, garlic, and toss. When garlic becomes fragrant (~1 min), add sauce. Mix. Thin with a water if you want soupier sauce.
Mmm, mmm good. And healthy! AND vegetarian!
March 27, 2012
Amazing recipe. Who would’ve thought that I could find such authentic Chinese flavors on NYTimes?…
- 5 to 6 pounds oxtails, cut into pieces, fat trimmed
- Kosher salt and ground black pepper
- 2 to 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 cup Shaoxing rice wine
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1½ tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 star anise, broken into pieces
- 3 scallions, trimmed and cut into 2-inch lengths, plus 2 scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal, for garnish
- 6 slices fresh ginger
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 orange, 4 large strips of zest removed with a vegetable peeler and reserved
- Cooked rice, for serving.
1. Heat oven to 300F. Season oxtails with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large ovenproof pot with a tight-fitting lid. Working in batches if necessary to avoid crowding, brown oxtail all over, removing each piece when done. Add oil as needed.
3. Turn over pieces of oxtail, cover again and cook 1½ hours more, or until oxtail is very tender. Transfer oxtail pieces to a baking dish. Strain sauce into a separate saucepan; discard contents of strainer. Cover oxtails and sauce and refrigerate overnight.
4. The next day, heat oven to 300 degrees; remove oxtails and sauce from refrigerator. Lift off any fat on surface of sauce and discard. Gently warm sauce until liquid, then pour over oxtails. Cover with foil or a lid and bake 30 minutes.
5. Uncover, stir and raise oven temperature to 400 degrees. Cook, uncovered, 15 minutes. Stir again and cook another 15 minutes, until hot and glazed thickly with sauce. Meanwhile, squeeze ¼ cup juice from orange. Remove oxtails from oven, stir in orange juice, and serve in bowls over rice. Sprinkle each serving with thin scallion slices.
Yield: 4 servings.
February 16, 2012
Follow recipe for Chicken Bulgogi, using thin sliced ribeye instead of chicken breast.
February 14, 2012
Happy Valentine’s Day! I don’t have a recipe as this is R’s work. But I believe he got it from Steamy Kitchen.
So he CAN cook… been holding back on me for a couple years now. I suppose I should take that as a compliment, seeing as he’s found no reason to step in in the kitchen. That or a sign of extreme laziness. But for the sake of the holiday, let’s assume the best.
Look! He even made veggies!