Archive for ‘Asian’

January 5, 2020

Multicooker: Chinese Pork Rib Stew 清燉排骨湯

Chinese soups in the multicooker, take 2! Totally trying Korean braised short rib stew next. That was my intention this week, but my son ate the Korean pear I was saving.

You’ll notice it looks a lot like the Chinese chicken soup recipe. But it tastes surprisingly different. Chicken and pork don’t taste alike, after all. This one takes a bit longer with an extra parboiling step, but well worth the effort.

This is the clear broth version. For the soy sauce based or “red braised”  紅燒排骨 pork rib stew, see this recipe! Easy to adapt for the multicooker.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2-3lb pork spare ribs (chinese style, or other small tender cuts)
  • 2 stalks green onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 3 slices ginger
  • white pepper, pinch
  • 1/2 cup of Chinese rice wine/Michiu (TTL is my go to brand)
  • dash of soy sauce for umami
  • salt
  • 2-3 medium daikon radishes, roll cut
  • 6 -7 dried red jujube dates

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. PARBOIL: I always parboil pork. ‘Cause my momma says to. Add ribs (chopped into equal size pieces) into a pot (not your multicooker pot). Fill water until just covered. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Once boiling, remove from heat.
  2. Remove ribs one by one and wash under cold water in the sink. Place each clean rib into the inner pot of your multipot.
  3. Place a large mesh strainer over the inner pot of ribs. Carefully pour parboiling water over strainer. This is your soup base without all the nasty foamy meat floaties. *some people discard their parboiling water and start their base with clean water. I think that’s a waste of good tasting meat water.
  4. Add green onions, garlic, ginger, rice wine, a sprinkle or two of white pepper, and a dash of soy sauce, and a couple tsp of salt.
  5. Cover, close vent to “pressure”, pressure cook on HIGH for 40min.
  6. Carefully vent pressure.
  7. Add daikon and jujube dates. Close valve and pressure cook on HIGH for 10min.
  8. Best served the next day. Cover and store in fridge the next day. Skim off fat, then slowly heat on stove before serving. *TIP: remove some of the solids into a separate container before storing soup so that skimming the fat is easier! Or you’ll be skimming around chunks of rib pork and daikon instead of working with a smooth surface.

 

January 5, 2020

Multicooker: Chinese Chicken Soup

Got myself a Zavor Lux for Xmas! I’ve been a snobby purist for years, sticking to my Le Creuset for soups and braises for the last decade. But the demands of working and raising two babies has finally convinced me to pull the trigger on a multicooker. I can make meals after work that use to be reserved for weekends only!

Why Zavor and not Instapot? Cooks Illustrated reviews told me so.

So far my favorite thing to cook with my new pot is healthy Chinese soups. During the months of October through April, our family is plagued by never ending illness. Here’s the basic components: meat, water, rice wine, ginger, garlic, green onion, and chinese herbal ingredients like red jujube dates, gogi berries, etc, and a dash of soy sauce.

I swear I’ve never made chicken soup before. My 1 year old sucked down four bowls of this stuff in one sitting and screamed for more. Incidentally, her nickname is JujuBe.

No pictures this time ’cause my hungry family burst through the doors the moment I finished cooking.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 bone in thighs
  • 1/2 cup Chinese rice wine
  • 2 stalks green onion
  • 3 slices ginger
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 5 dried jujube dates
  • 5 dried scallops, soaked 30min
  • 1 package of shitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 daikon radish, ROLL cut
  • small handful gogi berries
  • white pepper
  • 2+ tsp salt
  • dash of soy sauce
  • Optional: white rice (Nishiki is my go to)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Place chicken thighs, green onion, garlic, ginger, white pepper, rice wine, mushrooms, scallops, dash of soy sauce, and salt in inner pot of multicooker. Add water until just covered.
  2. Close vent valve to “pressure” setting. Pressure cook on HIGH for 30min.
  3. Carefully release steam via valve.
  4. Add daikon and dates. Cover, close valve, and pressure cook on HIGH for 10min.
  5. Salt to taste of needed. Scoop out green onions, ginger, and chicken skin and discard.
  6. Pour out soup into separate pot, drop in gogi berries, cover. You can continue to simmer, but no need if it’s in a cast iron! See below for making rice to serve with:

INSTRUCTIONS FOR RICE

  1. Wash rice 3x (soak, swirl with fingers, drain, repeat).
  2. Pour damp rice back into inner pot of multicooker (no need to wash after soup, rice will just taste chicken-y). Add liquid at 1:1 ratio to rice. I did 1 cup rice, 3/4 water, 1/4 cup chicken soup.
  3. Pressure cook on HIGH 4-5min, more if you make more than 1 cup of rice, or if you like your rice softer. Leave it and don’t touch anything for 10min, then quick release on the valve.

 

March 30, 2019

Galbi Jjim: Korean Braised Short Ribs

Winter has come and gone, but it’s still in the 30’s in NYC. I think we have a few more weeks of stews and braises in our house. Plus, now that I gotta feed a family of four, any dish that lasts a whole week is a win. (I guess the baby eats it indirectly from me. Soups are great for nursing mamas!)

Typically I make stews at the beginning of the week then eat it with rice one night, noodles the next, and as a side dish to another meal when we get to the dregs. If it even lasts that long.

Note on cutting veggies for stews: roll cuting is your friend! Just make sure you keep the pieces relatively equal in size. With large veggies like daikon, you have to get creative. Roll cut then halve or chop into 3’s.

Parboil vs Sear: Unlike lamb shanks or boeuf bourguignon, Asian braises and stew recipes typically do NOT call for browning the meat first.  Instead, parboiling the meat results in a clear, cleaner looking soup. Is it ok to sear instead of parboil? Sure. But if you want a cleaner presentation, I’d recommend skimming off the meat foam before adding veggies.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3lb country style beef short ribs, or 4lb bone in short ribs, cut into large equal sized chunks
  • 1 medium yellow onion, large dice or puréed
  • 1 korean pear, peeled and pureed, OR:  ~6oz apple sauce
  • 2 stalks green onion, chopped into 3 inch pieces
  • two thin slices of ginger
  • 1/2 lb daikon radish (half of a large radish), chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped (see note on roll cutting)
  • 2 large cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1/4 cup mirin
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 2 cup water
  • Sesame oil

*you can puree onions with the pear. Makes the soup thicker. But as I am lazy and didn’t want to wash yet another device, I just diced the onions and used packaged apple sauce.

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Parboil method: Place meat in a pot of COLD water. Just enough to submerge. Bring to a low boil on medium heat. Once you reach a low bubbling boil, wait 5 min, then strain out meat. Reserve the strained water (saves the flavor you would otherwise lose from parboiling). Rinse meat off and remove debris.
  2. In dry dutch oven, heat on medium high heat. Once hot, add 1 tbs cooking oil and heat until shimmery. Add aromatics: green onion (and regular onion if not purée-ing it with the apples), ginger, and garlic and quickly stir as it pops and sizzles.
  3. Once fragrant but nOT burned, add mirin and soy sauce, reserved liquid from step one, and bring to a gentle low boil.
  4. Add ribs back in, stir in apple sauce (and onion purée), turn heat down to low and cover with lid. Simmer for two hours.
  5. Add daikon and carrots. Simmer another hour.
  6. Set in fridge over night and skim off fat the next day. Remove ugly green onion pieces. Reheat on low simmer.
October 6, 2015

Pad Gra Pow

Here’s my version/attempt at a favorite Thai dish of mine. Honestly, mine comes out tasting like Chinese food. Maybe ’cause I added sesame oil in the end. Don’t add sesame oil. Otherwise very tasty and simple stir fry that’s very “下飯“ or “makes you down a lot of rice”. My picture isn’t as pretty ’cause it’s missing the bright red chilis. Baby does not like spicy so we had to do without.

pad gra prow

Mmmm…comfort food.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 lb ground pork/chicken/turkey/beef, whatever. I prefer pork.
  • 0.5 lb green beans (hericots are more tender) chopped into 1/2 cm length pieces
  • 2-3 large shallots, minced (about 0.5 cup)
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced (about 1.5 tbs)
  • 3 tbs fish sauce
  • 1.5 tbs soy sauce
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1-2 tsp lime juice
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 2 pinches kaffir/makrut lime leaves, dried. 2 fresh leaves if you can find it
  • 5-7 thai chilies, sliced
  • handful of asian basil leaves
  • optional: sliced cucumbers
  • optional: fried egg

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Heat large wok/frying pan over med high heat until you can’t hold your hand over it for over 5 sec.
  2. Add 1-2 tbs high smoke point cooking oil (peanut, avocado, etc), when oil is just shimmering, add minced shallots, garlic, salt and stir until fragrant, ~1-2 min. Do not burn the garlic. Bad.
  3. Add ground meat and break it up with the spatula. Add all seasonings except basil. Mix well. When meat is juuuust barely cooked through, remove and set aside. Pour remaining meat juice back into the pan.
  4. Add chopped green beans, cover and let steam in meat juice (mmmm) 3-4 min or so or until just tender. Add meat back in and mix well. Scoop a little hole in the middle of the pan and add a bit of oil, fry basil, then mix everything together. Season to taste with soy sauce and lime juice if needed.
  5. Plate with sliced cucumbers, serve with rice.
  6. Optional: Top with fried egg
January 8, 2015

Chinese Lion Head Meatballs 獅子頭

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 lb ground pork
  • 3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 large egg
  • 1-2 green onions, minced
  • 1 cup finely chopped mushrooms
  • 4 tbs minced water chestnuts (about 1/4 cup)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp minced ginger
  • 2 – 3 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp white pepper
  • 1 tsp sesame oil

Optional: 1/4 cup cornstarch

SOUP:

  • 4-5 cups napa cabbage, chopped
  • 3 tbs soy sauce
  • 3 slices of ginger
  • 3 cans chicken soup
  • 1/4 cup Chinese rice wine

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, mix all meatball ingredients. Do not over mix or you’ll end up with tough meatballs. Roll into large, softball size meatballs.
  2. Add corn starch in a large bowl. Roll meatball in bowl to lightly coat.
  3. Heat frying pan over medium high heat. Add plenty of oil to coat bottom of pan. Once oil is shimmering hot, add meatballs one or two at a time with tongs. Avoid crowding.  Remove once evenly browned on all sides. Reduce heat to medium if they start to blacken too quickly.
  4. In a large dutch oven or pot, add chicken soup, rice wine, remaining slices of ginger, leftover mushrooms, stem portions of the cabbage, soy sauce. Bring to a boil then add cabbage leaves. Stir and add salt to taste.
  5. Place meatballs over cabbage. Spoon over soup and cover. Simmer on low for 1 hour, adding the cabbage leaves at the half way point.
  6. Serve over a bowl of rice.
August 5, 2014

Thai Beef Salad

This is a rather versatile recipe. Feel free to add/adapt as you see fit! Speaking of fit, this counts as healthy food, right?

thai beef salad

INGREDIENTS (serves 4)

  • ~1.5 lb flank steak
  • 1 tbs thai red curry paste
  • Marinade:
    • 1/4 cup (4 tbs) soy sauce
    • 2 tbs fish sauce
    • 2 tbs oil
    • 2 large cloves garlic, sliced
  • 4 basil leaves, julienned (stack and roll, then rock the knife to create thin strips)
  • green onion, julienned (cut thinly on the diagonal with a SHARP chef’s knife)
  • 1/2 large carrot, julienned
  • 1/2 cucumber, julienned
  • 1/4 red onion, sliced
  • handful or two of cherry tomatoes
  • 10 oz fresh spring salad mix
  • crushed peanuts
  • sesame seeds
  • fried shallots

Vinaigrette

  • 3 parts soy sauce
  • 1 part fish sauce
  • 1 part sesame oil
  • 1 part thai sweet chili sauce (Mae Ploy is my brand of preference)
  • optional if you like sweeter: honey to taste
  • dash of lime juice

beefsalad3

Mmm… all prepped?

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Marinate steak, uncut, in a ziplock bag for 4-8 hours. Remove and rub with a thin coat of red curry paste.
  2. On an aluminum foil lined grill (or cast iron griddle with grill lines), bring heat up to high. Drizzle aluminum with oil and grill meat 4-5 minutes per side (depending on thickness). Better to undercook than overcook!
  3. Let meat REST for 3-5 minutes. Slice on the diagonal (against the grain) in thin slices.
  4. Combine veggies and toss with vinaigrette. Top with sliced meat, then sesame seeds, peanuts, shallots, or whatever toppings you please.

beefsalad2

August 5, 2014

Grilled Eggplant

Inspired by a cute, non-assuming little Japanese restaurant in Sunnyside Queens called Takesushi. I may have Chinese-ified it a bit…I’m going to venture to say that smaller eggplants, and especially asian eggplants are more tender. The big behemoth ones are a bit tougher. And they take longer to cook.

Word of advice for folks who don’t own a grill nor the space for it: cast iron stove top griddles! Grill away.

eggplant

INGREDIENTS: (serves 4 as appetizer)

  • 1 large eggplant or 2 medium
  • 1/4 cup hoisen sauce
  • 1 tbs soy sauce
  • 1 tbs rice wine
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame seeds
  • 2 green onions, chopped

INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Heat grill. (I use an indoor cast iron stove top grill). To make things easier to clean, I lined my grill with aluminum foil, then generously brushed it with oil. Heat until you cannot hold your hand 5 inches from it for over 5 seconds. If it’s on your stove, medium high heat for a good 5+ minutes.
  • Rinse and halve eggplant. Slice off a small sliver from the rounded back of each half, so that it can sit flat on the grill.
  • Brush all sides of eggplant with oil. Score top side of eggplant, criss cross pattern. Cut about half way into the flesh. This allows better sauce/flavor distribution as well as even cooking, but any deeper and it might fall apart on the grill.
  • Place flat/presentation side down. Combine and brush with next three ingredients: hoisen, soy sauce, rice wine over the tops. Grill ~3-5 minutes. Rotate <90 degrees (to create grill mark) and grill another 3-5 minutes. Flip and continue to grill ~3-5 minutes, brush with plenty of hoisen mixture. Rotate <90 degrees again. Continue to brush with sauce if it dries. Eggplant should be deflating a bit. The flesh will be soft and pull away easily. Sprinkle sesame seeds and green onions over the top. Serve.
April 3, 2014

Ketchup Stir Fry Prawns + Chinese BBQ Noodles

Chang’s mom gave me this huge bag of frozen shrimp a few weeks ago and I never got around to cooking it. Every time we saw her she’d ask, “Did you try the shrimp yet?” and I’d shamefully shake my head and admit that I hadn’t figure out what to do with it yet. Stir fry shrimp and eggs? Shrimp with edamame? Overdone. That’s the extent of my Chinese shrimp cooking skills, those two recipes. Then literally out of sheer laziness because it requires no peeling, it occurred to me that I could make the ketchup stir fry prawns I’ve seen my own mother make with those giant tiger prawns. Too ambitious? Maybe. I called my mother to ask for her recipe but she was busy and forgot to call me back. 7:00pm came and went. Chang and I were getting hungry.

So I winged it.

Image

INGREDIENTS

  • 1.5 lb fresh or thawed prawns, heads off shells ON
  • salt
  • corn starch
  • oil (high smoke point, like avocado or peanut)
  • 2 stalks green onions, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp grated/minced ginger*
  • Sauce:
    • 1/2 cup ketchup
    • 2 tbs soy sauce
    • ~2 tbs brown sugar, loose
    • 1/2 tsp sesame oil

*if you don’t have fresh ginger, 1/2 tsp or so of ginger powder mixed into the sauce will do.

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Rinse prawns under cold water (this will thaw them quickly, too, if they’re still frozen). Drain well. Line paper towel over baking pan and place prawns in.
  2. Mix sauce ingredients in a small bowl
  3. Dry prawns thoroughly with more paper towels (always make sure whatever it is you’re frying is very very dry. It will crisp better and you wont have as much splash back of hot oil when it hits the pan.).
  4. Remove paper towels, mop up baking pan so everything is dry. Lightly salt prawns. Coat with 3-4 tbs cornstarch. Toss and mix.
  5. Heat large frying pan or wok over medium high heat. When pan is hot (you wont be able to hold your palm right over the pan for over 5 seconds if it’s hot enough), add oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Heat until oil shimmers.
  6. Slowly add prawns in a single layer (you may have to do this in batches). Fry until the cooked orange edges creep up and over to the top side. Flip and cook other side. Both sides should be orange, with just-golden brown and crisp shells. Remove and set aside.
  7. Drain oil so that only a thin layer is left. Add minced garlic/ginger/green onion and quickly stir until aromatic. (You WILL be able to smell it.) Do NOT burn garlic, this does not take long. Add shrimp back in and toss to coat. Spoon in sauce, not all at once, but enough to coat the shrimp. (You can always add more, but you can’t take out.). Remove and serve!

Image

Woohoo! Yay for winging it! I feel like a real adult now. I’m making grown up dishes! By myself! Who needs mama now?! Yea OK, technically Chang’s mom gave me the shrimp… but I made it into a MEAL! Annndddd ’cause that about hits my grown up-ness quota for the week, I served it with my favorite college lazy dish: BBQ noodles. Literally ate this 3 out of 7 nights back then.

Image

INGREDIENTS: shacha

  • dried noodles (I like the thin japanese variety, or the curly ramen-like noodles)
  • scallions (minced)
  • 2 tbs soy sauce
  • 1 tsp Chinese BBQ (sha cha)
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • Optional Toppings: soft poached egg, veggies

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Cook noodles.
  2. Mix rest of the ingredients in serving bowl.
  3. Add and mix noodles when cooked.
  4. Top with egg and/or veggies.

Tada!

Image

 

 

September 11, 2013

Chinese BBQ Spare Ribs + how to mince garlic

Screen Shot 2013-09-11 at 2.10.35 PM

I had left over spare ribs from my stew and basically tweaked the recipe for Chinese Chicken Wings

INGREDIENTS

  • spare ribs, cut in 2 or so inch pieces
  • equal parts honey, hoisen (NOT oyster) sauce, soy sauce, rice wine.
  • ginger, garlic, green onion
    • Classic Chinese recipe trio.
    • cut in thin but large slices so that it’s easy to remove from the marinade later. Less burning when you bake.
    • I also like so smash the slices with the flat side of my knife before I add it to the marinade, releases more juices.
  • Chinese Five Spice. ~1 tsp is fine. don’t over-do this. Just sprinkle over the ribs before you add it to the marinade.

It’s hard to mess up the ratio. as long as you keep equal parts of the liquid ingredients, you’ll be ok.

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Marinate ribs in a large ziplock bag over night.
  2. Preheat oven ~310F.
  3. Space ribs evenly on foil lined pan, pour 1/2 cup marinade into the pan, tent over with aluminum foil (**this part’s different from the chicken recipe!).
    • Pork takes longer to cook. Lower heat, longer time, and tenting the foil keeps the meat nice and moist and prevents burning. Results in a more tender rib.
  4. Bake for 1 hour. Open the tent and flip the ribs 180 degrees, add a bit more marinade
    • pan bottom should be bubbly and brown, not black and charred. When you flip, the side of the ribs that were in contact with the foil should be shiny and have a bit of a golden crust.
  5. Re-tent and bake for 30min-1 hour more, depending on thickness of the ribs. Check on it on the 30 min mark, and if it’s not shiny and brown with a nice crust, it’s not done. If it’s greyish, it’s not done. If the meat doens’t come easily off the bone with a fork, it’s not done. Pan bottom by now should start to blacken. That is A-OK.
  6. eat.

MMM… nice end of summer snack. (yes. i eat bbq ribs as a snack.)

Screen Shot 2013-09-11 at 2.11.05 PM

EAT.

See the little black bits clinging to the meat? Doesn’t taste bad. Just looks bad. That’s green onion, diced. I know, I know, I said use long slices for the marinade. But I get my green onion in bulk in Flushing where it’s like 3 bunches for a $1 as opposed to 1 for a dollar. I chop ’em up then freeze them in ziplock bags. So if you want to be cheap, use frozen diced green onion. If you’re going for presentation, use fresh sliced green onion.

Ginger powder works fine if you don’t have fresh.

Never skimp on garlic. Canned stuff is foul. I don’t even do pre-peeled bulk garlic. Just break off a clove, smash with the back of your knife, and the skin comes right off. Chop off the hard nubby end and slice, OR, if you want minced garlic, I use my onion method (I think I learned this from Alton Brown):

HOW TO MINCE GARLIC – LESS MESS, LESS TOOLS.

  • break off 1 clove.
  • do NOT cut off nubby end.
  • Smash lightly a few times with flat side of knife, peel.
  • Lay clove on its flattest side.
  • slice parallel to the cutting board, then perpendicular along the LENGTH of the clove, all the while stopping at the nub. You should end up with long slivers, all still attached to the nub. Like a brush.
  • Slice perpendicular to the board, this time starting at the tip, along the wiDTH of the clove. this creates the mince.

Voila! less sticky fingers, less useless tools in the kitchen that only perform one duty. I will draw you pictures some day. SOME day…

 

EDIT: found an awesome video on chopping onions. The “traditional way” is how I mince my garlic. I think the new way looks intriguing, but not sure how I can manage that with a tiny garlic clove…

September 6, 2013

Pork Rib Noodle Soup

Pork Rib Noodle Soup

Holy crap! Was it really in the 50’s last night? Is it really only September and already noodle soup weather?

Yea, I’m not in Texas anymore.

Left over pork stew works wonders on a day like this.

Note: did not parboil ribs this time. Rubbed them with salt and brown sugar and seared them in the pot. Remove. Add aromatics, deglaze, add soup, add ribs, then simmered on the stove for 4 hours. Similar outcomes, different method of getting there. I did have to skim a ton of “meat particulate” throughout the simmering process though.

Mmmm…meat particulate…