Archive for the ‘Chinese’ Category

Chinese – An order of 2- Entrée Plate Coming Right up


2010
03.14

IMG_5529

Ok, I’m being upfront in saying this -These are not Indo Chinese recipes (if that was what you were hoping for). Is it authentic Chinese? I’m afraid, not. The recipes are as Chinese as you think ‘Panda Express’ is ;).

While dining out, for my family, the husband, the son and myself  included, good taste and some amount of hygiene is all that it takes, to float our boat.  We don’t care much for authenticity, snooty ambiances or high profile chefs. On the other hand, throw in some confusion, a harried waiter messing up with orders, a whining child there, a falling cutlery here,  and we’ll blend right in. Owe it to my thrifty Mallu blood, I hate to see good money go down the drain, and that, is exactly what I think happens at most of these supercilious restaurants. Their bite size portions, invariably leaves me eating a follow up dinner at home or, when fate is out bent on grudging me, I wind up to-going the insipid spread, and after having paid a couple of hundred dollar for a an ounce of salmon or crab, I’m back to square one, behind the apron, altering the packed meals to fit our tastes.
In comparison, this bourgeois American-Chinese chain, though might not have lofty sounding names on their menu, has always managed to provide hearty satisfying meals for my family, every time we’ve eaten at the food court, while shopping at the local mall. I accept, the food is slightly on the greasier side than I would like (the only reason, I try making them myself). But, I find the taste awesome. So, whenever I have lots of veggies in the fridge and when there is very little time to cook, I invariably try to imitate Panda express at home.

Stir-Fried Mushrooms and Asparagus in Chili Garlic Sauce

IMG_5422

 The best way to use up left over vegetables that don’t need much cooking time, is to make a stir-fry out of them. You can use any combination of vegetables you like. .[read more]

 

 

 

 

 

Ginger Sesame Shrimp with Snow Peas

IMG_5472

The vibrant colors of fresh vegetables never fail to excite me.  I always try to pick a couple of  bright colored vegetables while I grocery shop..[read more]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Chinese Egg Fried Rice

IMG_5516The trick to getting fried rice to smell and taste like the ‘Chinese’ kind, is to add the rice when the eggs are 1/2 done..[read more]

Chinese – An order of 2- Entrée Plate Coming Right up


2010
03.14

IMG_5529

Ok, I’m being upfront in saying this -These are not Indo Chinese recipes (if that was what you were hoping for). Is it authentic Chinese? I’m afraid, not. The recipes are as Chinese as you think ‘Panda Express’ is ;).

While dining out, for my family, the husband, the son and myself  included, good taste and some amount of hygiene is all that it takes, to float our boat.  We don’t care much for authenticity, snooty ambiances or high profile chefs. On the other hand, throw in some confusion, a harried waiter messing up with orders, a whining child there, a falling cutlery here,  and we’ll blend right in. Owe it to my thrifty Mallu blood, I hate to see good money go down the drain, and that, is exactly what I think happens at most of these supercilious restaurants. Their bite size portions, invariably leaves me eating a follow up dinner at home or, when fate is out bent on grudging me, I wind up to-going the insipid spread, and after having paid a couple of hundred dollar for a an ounce of salmon or crab, I’m back to square one, behind the apron, altering the packed meals to fit our tastes.
In comparison, this bourgeois American-Chinese chain, though might not have lofty sounding names on their menu, has always managed to provide hearty satisfying meals for my family, every time we’ve eaten at the food court, while shopping at the local mall. I accept, the food is slightly on the greasier side than I would like (the only reason, I try making them myself). But, I find the taste awesome. So, whenever I have lots of veggies in the fridge and when there is very little time to cook, I invariably try to imitate Panda express at home.

Stir-Fried Mushrooms and Asparagus in Chili Garlic Sauce

IMG_5422

 The best way to use up left over vegetables that don’t need much cooking time, is to make a stir-fry out of them. You can use any combination of vegetables you like. .[read more]

 

 

 

 

 

Ginger Sesame Shrimp with Snow Peas

IMG_5472

The vibrant colors of fresh vegetables never fail to excite me.  I always try to pick a couple of  bright colored vegetables while I grocery shop..[read more]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Chinese Egg Fried Rice

IMG_5516The trick to getting fried rice to smell and taste like the ‘Chinese’ kind, is to add the rice when the eggs are 1/2 done..[read more]

Chinese Egg Fried Rice


2010
03.13

IMG_5516

The trick to getting fried rice, to smell and taste like the ‘Chinese’ kind, is to add the rice when the eggs are 1/2 done. This allows the eggs to stick to the rice grains, forming an unusual aroma and taste, very typical of Chinese fried rice. For me, while making fried rice, eggs, spring onions, peas, carrots and celery are a must have. Everything else you can do with or without. I also refrigerate the cooked rice for a couple of hours before the actual preparation, because I never seem to have left over rice, like the popular advice declares.

Ingredients.

2 cups jasmine rice or any other long grain rice
4 cups of chicken stock or vegetable stock
4 tbsp oyster sauce
4 tbsp soy sauce
2 eggs, beaten
2 tbsp peanut oil
2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
11/2 cups of mixed vegetables (peas, carrots, celery etc)
4 tbsp spring onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
salt and  white pepper to taste

Directions

  • Cook the rice with 4 cups of chicken stock, 2 tbsp of soy sauce and 2 tbsp of sesame oil and salt to taste. Refrigerate for 2  – 3 hours.
  • Heat 1 tbsp of peanut oil in a wok.
  • Add garlic and sauté for about  15 –20 seconds, just about till the garlic begins to cook.
  • Add the mixed vegetables and  stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Remove the vegetables and set aside.
  • Heat 1 tbsp of peanut oil in the same wok.
  • Add the eggs and stir constantly. When the eggs are about half done, add in the rice. Make sure you fluff up the rice using your fingers before you add it into the wok. Stir well until the egg is cooked.
  • Add in the remaining sauces, stir-fried vegetables and spring onions. Mix well. Add pepper and adjust salt to taste. Turn off the flame.
  • Serve with any meat or vegetable side.
  • Ginger Sesame Shrimp with Snow Peas


    2010
    03.13

    IMG_5485

    The vibrant colors of fresh vegetables never fail to excite me.  I always try to pick a couple of  bright colored vegetables while I grocery shop, just to keep me motivated about cooking, through the week.  My this week’s saviors were the asparagus, with which I made the stir-fry, the bright green snow peas that I decided to team with the shrimp  and the green-witch celery, that went into the fried rice. So it was full blown panda express at home, this Friday night :D.

    Ingredients

    1 tbsp sesame seeds
    2 tbsp sesame oil
    1 tbsp refined vegetable oil
    1 lb shrimp, shelled and deveined
    6 – 8 oz snow peas, trimmed and stringed
    11/2 tsp crushed black pepper
    1 tsp hot sauce
    1 tbsp minced garlic
    1 cup onions chopped into chunks
    1 tbsp ginger paste
    2 tbsp oyster sauce 1 tbsp brown sugar
    2 tbsp  soy sauce
    1/2 tsp corn starch

    IMG_5472_2 

     

     Directions

  • Toast the sesame seeds on a medium flame, in a heavy bottom pan until golden brown. Take care not to scorch them. Set aside.
  • Heat the oils in a wok.
  • Add the onion saute for a minute, when they turn translucent add ginger and garlic and sauté for another minute.
  • Add the snow peas, brown sugar, pepper,sauces and stir-fry for a minute.
  • Add the shrimps, and con starch dissolved in water and sauté until the sauce thickens and the shrimps turn pink. 
  • Reduce heat to low, sprinkle in the sesame seeds. Toss the wok a couple of times.
  • Turn off the heat.
  • Serve with fried rice.
  • Stir-Fried Mushrooms and Asparagus in Chili Garlic Sauce


    2010
    03.12

    IMG_5432

    The best way to use up left over vegetables that don’t need much cooking time, is to make a stir-fry out of them. You can use any combination of vegetables you like. The ideal way would be to choose vegetables that complement each other in texture and taste.  I’ve used the earthy mushrooms to balance the crunchy asparagus in a full-bodied flavorful chili garlic sauce. I make my own sauce. But if you think it is too much work you could use two table spoons of the store bought kind. There are lots of them available that are very authentic in taste(yeah, like I would know ;)).

    Chili Garlic Sauce

    Ingredients

    1 tbsp rice vinegar
    1 tbsp rice wine
    1/2 tsp sugar
    1 tbsp soy sauce
    1 tbsp toasted sesame oil (the Asian kind)
    3-4 dried chilies torn in to 1 inch pieces (I use a combination of the spicy and mild chilies, like- thai, habanero, serrano. paprika and ancho. You can use any kind you prefer)
    1/4 tsp corn starch
    11/2 tbsp chopped garlic
    salt to taste
    water

    Directions

  • Heat oil in a wok.
  • Add the chilies and  garlic and sauté for about  15 –20 seconds, just about till the garlic begins to cook.
  • Add vinegar, sugar, soy, rice wine and continue to sauté for a minute or 2.
  • Add 1/4 cup of water and let it cook for 10 to 15 minutes. Keep stirring intermittently. Turn off the flame.
  • When the mixture cools down, grind it into a coarse pasted using a blender.Transfer the ground mixture back to the wok.
  • Add corn starch dissolved in water and let it cook on low heat till the sauce thickens.
  • Use use immediately for any stir-fry or can be refrigerated to use later.
  • Stir-Fry  

     IMG_5422_3 

    Ingredients

    2 tbsp peanut oil
    1 tsp toasted sesame oil
    1/2 a medium sized onion chopped into chunks
    2 bunches asparagus cut into 1 inch pieces (discard the fibrous part)
    2 clumps of beech mushrooms
    2 tbsp hoisin sauce
    2 tbsp of chili garlic sauce
    2 tbsp soy sauce

    Directions

  • Heat  peanut oil in a wok over high heat.
  • Swirl in the oil to coat the surface and wait 10-15 seconds for it to heat.
  • When hot, add the onions and stir-fry for a minute.
  • Toss in the asparagus and stir-fry for another minute.
  • Add the mushrooms and continue to stir-fry another 20-30 seconds.
  • Add in the chili garlic, hoisin and soy sauce along with the sesame oil. 
  • Toss the wok so that the sauces lightly coat all the vegetables. Stir continously. 
  • Cook until the asparagus is a vibrant green color, tender but crisp.
  • Adjust salt if needed.