Tag Archives: chinese

Chinese Chicken Noodle Salad

This week is a big one for my family because we get to celebrate my Aunt Janice’s birthday and nuptials!  In honor of Auntie Jan I am posting her famous Chinese Chicken Noodle Salad.  I have so many memories of having this dish at her house.  I used to spend at least a week at her house in Upstate New York every summer growing up and I would LIVE on this salad.  Its a great summer dish because its served cold/room temp and the leftover are just as good as when its fresh.  Perfect for a summer BBQ, picnic or easy weeknight dinners.  I finally managed to finagle the recipe out of her and I have been making it like a fiend all summer.  I tweaked the original (of course) just a little to make things a bit easier on myself and also because I like roasting rather than poaching chicken.  This is also a great salad to use up extra ingredients you have in your fridge so feel free to throw in snap peas or green beans etc if you have them on hand.  I am so happy for Auntie Jan and I am SO happy to have this recipe.

Chinese Chicken Noodle Salad (printable version at the end of the post)

Inspiration:  my Aunt Janice’s perfect summer dish
Special Equipment:  none

  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 6 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 4 teaspoons black (or rice wine) vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons creamy peanut butter
  • 1 minced or grated garlic clove
  • 1 inch of ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon peanut oil
  • 2 pounds bone in skin on chicken breasts
  • 8 ounces egg noodles
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 3 scallions, cut into 1/2 inch lengths
  • 1 bell pepper (I used red) cut into thin strips
  • 1/2 a head of napa cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds

In a medium sized bowl wish together the sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, peanut butter, garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes and peanut oil.  The sauce can be made several days in advance, just store in the fridge.  Heat your oven to 350 degrees and roast the chicken breasts on a baking sheet for 45 minutes, until cooked through.  Let cool and shred.  Chicken can also be made one or two days in advance.  Cook the pasta according to directions and drain.  In a large bowl toss the pasta with the sesame oil and set aside.  In a small dry skillet toast the sesame seeds over medium heat for 4 or 5 minutes (be careful not to burn).

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When ready to serve toss the chicken with the pasta and spread on a large platter.  Top with the napa cabbage, pepper slices, scallions and sesame seeds.  Drizzle on the sauce and toss – my aunt likes to set out the whole salad composed on a buffet and then toss with the sauce right before serving.  It makes for a great presentation.

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Chinese Chicken Noodle Salad

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Print

Special Equipment:  none

  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 6 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 4 teaspoons black (or rice wine) vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons creamy peanut butter
  • 1 minced or grated garlic clove
  • 1 inch of ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon peanut oil
  • 2 pounds bone in skin on chicken breasts
  • 8 ounces egg noodles
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 3 scallions, cut into 1/2 inch lengths
  • 1 bell pepper (I used red) cut into thin strips
  • 1/2 a head of napa cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds

In a medium sized bowl wish together the sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, peanut butter, garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes and peanut oil.  The sauce can be made several days in advance, just store in the fridge.  Heat your oven to 350 degrees and roast the chicken breasts on a baking sheet for 45 minutes, until cooked through.  Let cool and shred.  Chicken can also be made one or two days in advance.  Cook the pasta according to directions and drain.  In a large bowl toss the pasta with the sesame oil and set aside.  In a small dry skillet toast the sesame seeds over medium heat for 4 or 5 minutes (be careful not to burn).  When ready to serve toss the chicken with the pasta and spread on a large platter.  Top with the napa cabbage, pepper slices, scallions and sesame seeds.  Drizzle on the sauce and toss – my aunt likes to set out the whole salad composed on a buffet and then toss with the sauce right before serving.  It makes for a great presentation.

 

Chinese New Year Party

Happy year of the monkey!  Chinese New Year officially started yesterday but the good news is the celebration goes on for several days, through the weekend, so you can join in on the fun.  I remember going to New Year’s parties in Chinatown in Boston when I was a kid – I loved all of the colorful decorations, the exotic dragons and of course the food!  Even if you aren’t Chinese no one can argue with getting a second crack at celebrating New Years and this holiday comes with so many fun traditions.  Before throwing my party I did quite a bit of research but don’t get hung up on authenticity (and apologies in advance from any liberties I may have taken!).  The main purpose of Chinese New Year is to honor one’s ancestors so it’s all about being surrounded by friends and family and celebrating life.

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Decorating for this party is half the fun.  I got a bunch of paper lanterns and fans and hung them all over – even better, if you are careful when you take them down you can reuse them plenty of times and they store flat.  I knew I definitely wanted to get lots and lots of fortune cookies so they could double as decorations and dessert.

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Lucky Money Bags are a traditional Chinese New Year element where usually kids get these red envelopes with either real money or candy coins.  As thrilled as I am sure my friends would have been to get cash, I opted for the chocolate coins instead.  They were the perfect take home favor (though I think people started cracking into them early!).

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I tried to keep the menu fun and sort of bite sized so everyone could mix and mingle with food in hand or chopstick.  This is a great excuse to head to your local Asian market (my favorite in the DC area is H Mart) and grab things you usually don’t cook with.  You can also grab take out containers, steaming baskets and chopsticks while you are there.  I cheated a bit and bought some frozen shrimp shu mai which helped round out the spread.

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Since I bought the shrimp dumplings that freed me up to make my own pork ones.  These delicious Sichuan pork wontons also called Chao Shou were actually really easy to make since you can buy the wonton wrappers in advance and just fill and boil them.  Dressed in black vinegar and chili oil they pack a nice kick.

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In addition to the dumplings and of course a nice selection of wine and beer (we tried to find Tsingtao but no luck) we had individual containers of cold sesame noodles.  I used a classic New York Times recipe (sans the cucumber, ick!) and doubled it up.  I thought it would be fun if everyone had their own little take out container so grabbed these mini ones from Webstaurant Store, an awesome online restaurant supply place.

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To try and get some veggies in I made a nice crunchy asian slaw and put it in little wonton cups.  I made them myself (easy to do) with these green wonton wrappers I got at the asian market for a pop of color.

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Last but not least I wanted to make sure to have a substantial meat dish and what is better than meat on a stick?  Chicken satay was a great choice because it was easy to eat and also really good room temperature.

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I hope everyone has a delicious and happy Chinese New Year!

 

 

 

 

Asian Skirt Steak with Grilled Scallions

As the weather heats up I start looking to the grill more and more for quick and easy dinners.  The thought of turning on an oven just makes me sad and there is nothing better than grilling dinner on the deck, drinking a beer and watching the sun set.  This steak is so stupid simple and comes together really quickly.  Marinate it the night before and all you have to do it throw it on the grill with some scallions.  Pair with some rice (I like to make big batches and then freeze individual portions in plastic baggies to make my own instant rice).  If you want to amp up the veggies maybe throw some peppers on the grill as well or even green beans or snap peas (as long as you have a grill basket).  Leftovers are also delicious tossed on a salad or some cold udon noodles.  Fire up that grill!

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Asian Skirt Steak with Grilled Scallions (printable version at the end of the post)

Inspiration:  beef teriyaki
Special Equipment:  grill

  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons chili paste
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 inch of peeled ginger root, chopped
  • 1 to 2 skirt steaks depending on size
  • 6-8 scallions

In a large plastic baggie combine the soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, brown sugar, chili paste, garlic and ginger.  Add the skirt steaks and let marinate for at least an hour or overnight.

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Heat your grill to high and grill the steaks for 4 minutes.  Flip the steak and add the scallions to the grill diagonally so they don’t fall through the grates.

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Let the steak cook for another 4 minutes or so, flipping the scallions once so they get grilled on both sides.  Let the steak rest under some tinfoil for 5 to 10 minutes then slice thinly across the grain and serve with the grilled scallions.

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Asian Skirt Steak

  • Servings: 4
  • Print

Special Equipment:  grill

  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons chili paste
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 inch of peeled ginger root, chopped
  • 1 to 2 skirt steaks depending on size
  • 6-8 scallions

In a large plastic baggie combine the soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, brown sugar, chili paste, garlic and ginger.  Add the skirt steaks and let marinate for at least an hour or overnight.  Heat your grill to high and grill the steaks for 4 minutes.  Flip the steak and add the scallions to the grill diagonally so they don’t fall through the grates.  Let the steak cook for another 4 minutes or so, flipping the scallions once so they get grilled on both sides.  Let the steak rest under some tinfoil for 5 to 10 minutes then slice thinly across the grain and serve with the grilled scallions.

Napa Cabbage with Asian Honey Mustard Sauce

I am always looking for ways to use up food, and avoid waste.  One thing that has always bugged me was the giant bag of sauces and condiments that our local Chinese place always threw into delivery orders.  Soy sauce for an army, crunchy wontons for the soup, duck sauce and mustard packets galore.  I would save the packets thinking I would use them but then when I needed soy sauce I would just use the mega bottle I already had in my pantry and the packets would annoyingly fall out of the fridge door once too many had accumulated.  Necessity is the mother of invention – the vibrant yellow hot mustard seemed like the natural choice to try to get more usage out of these packets and that is how this delicious and healthy side was born.  By mixing the very piquant mustard with garlic and honey you smooth out the flavor but still get that nose tingling bite.  I love napa cabbage, which is much softer and less bitter than regular green cabbage.  Roasting it caramelizes the leaves and gives you a little bit of crispness.  This is also delicious served cold the next day, with the cabbage chopped up and mixed with the sauce or it would make a nice vegetarian dish served over brown rice.  So next time you decide to call for Chinese takeout make sure to save a couple of those dreaded packets and give this dish a whirl.

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Napa Cabbage with Asian Honey Mustard Sauce (printable version at the end of the post)

Inspiration:  Chinese take out packets
Special Equipment:  none

  • 1 large or 2 small heads of napa cabbage
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons grated garlic
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 4 tablespoons Chinese hot mustard

Preheat your oven to 500 degrees.  Cut the napa cabbage in half lengthwise.  Drizzle both sides with olive oil and place cut side down on a cookie sheet.  Roast for 7 minutes – while the napa cabbage is roasting in a small bowl combine the garlic, honey and Chinese hot mustard.  Use tongs (carefully!) to flip the cabbage and roast for 7 minutes more.  Transfer the cabbage to a plate and drizzle the sauce over.

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Napa Cabbage with Asian Honey Mustard Sauce

  • Servings: 4
  • Print

Special Equipment:  none

  • 1 large or 2 small heads of napa cabbage
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons grated garlic
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 4 tablespoons Chinese hot mustard

Preheat your oven to 500 degrees.  Cut the napa cabbage in half lengthwise.  Drizzle both sides with olive oil and place cut side down on a cookie sheet.  Roast for 7 minutes – while the napa cabbage is roasting in a small bowl combine the garlic, honey and Chinese hot mustard.  Use tongs (carefully!) to flip the cabbage and roast for 7 minutes more.  Transfer the cabbage to a plate and drizzle the sauce over.

Ginger Beef

The restaurant industry in DC has been absolutely transformed over the last decade.  Once known for stuffy steakhouses filled with lobbyists, Washington can now boast to have one of the hottest food scenes.  In fact in 2014 Bon Appetit named Capitol Hill’s own Rose’s Luxury the best restaurant in the country!  So why, oh why, is it so hard to get some decent chinese food???  Any of you who have been to DC’s Chinatown will know that its laughable to call it so, unless making Ann Taylor Loft and Starbucks have their signs in english and chinese somehow makes it authentic.  I was spoiled by years of great dim sum in Boston’s Chinatown and visits to San Francisco and New York.  There are amazing Vietnamese and Korean places but not so for chinese food.  So if you have a craving for some yummy chinese take out the best option is really to make it yourself.  Honestly even if you do live in a place blessed with decent chinese, cooking it yourself is often quicker than waiting for delivery and certainly a lot healthier.  One of my favorite make at home take out options is this ginger beef recipe.  The mix of pickled ginger (that funny pink stuff served with sushi) and fresh ginger is great.  Ginger root can be sort of intimidating at first but don’t be scared off by its gnarly exterior.  Cut off the peel with a small paring knife (though I see lots of people telling you to scrape it off with a spoon) and you expose the spicy, fragrant, edible part.  Ginger can start to get shriveled up after a while so if you aren’t using it frequently try freezing it.  Once you have peeled it throw it in a freezer bag for months – bonus that its much easier to grate and cut when frozen.

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This stir fry is great because you can add in any vegetables you like, I used snow peas but sugar snap peas, bell pepper, green beans, any would work.  You can increase or decrease the amount of ginger or chili sauce depending on how hot you want it or do what I do and make the full sauce recipe but only half the beef so there is lots of it to sop up with rice or noodles.  Either way its a fast, delicious meal that is great as leftovers – just like good chinese take out should be.

Ginger Beef (printable version at the end of the post)

Inspiration:  Beef Stir Fry with Fresh and Pickled Ginger by Food and Wine magazine
Special Equipment:  none

  • 3 tablespoons sherry (any kind works – I use cream sherry)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 pound flank steak, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup chicken or beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons sherry
  • 3 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Chinese chile-garlic sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup julienned fresh ginger
  • 1/2 red or white onion sliced
  • 8 ounces snow peas
  • 2 tablespoons pickled ginger, sliced into strips

In a bowl, whisk the sherry with the soy sauce and cornstarch (this is called a slurry – no idea why). Add the steak and turn to coat with the marinade.  Let it sit while you prep the rest of the ingredients.  In another bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk the broth, sherry, oyster sauce, hoisin sauce, chile-garlic sauce and cornstarch. wpid-20150527_181706.jpg Heat a skillet over high heat for a minute or two.  If you have a wok use it by all means but a skillet can do the job and won’t take up as much space.  I find nonstick is the best for stir fries as you can use less oil – the hands down best pan is Swiss Diamond.  Pricey but totally worth it and often hugely discounted at William Sonoma Outlets if you are near one.  Add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil and let it get hot.  Add the beef using a slotted spoon so you just get the beef and not the marinade it’s sitting in.  Be careful here – when the beef hits the hit pan it might spit and splatter a bit so make sure you are wearing an apron.  Let the steak sit for 1 minute so it can brown then move it around the pan till its cooked to your liking – only another minute should do if you have cut it thinly.

wpid-20150527_183156.jpgScoop the steak out of the pan and add a little more oil if you need.  Add the fresh ginger, onion, and snow peas and cook for about 2 minutes, just so the onion is no longer raw.  Toss the steak back in along with the pickled ginger and the sauce you made earlier.  Cook it down and stir it around until everything is combined and the sauce has thickened a bit, probably 1 minute more.

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Ginger Beef

  • Servings: 4
  • Print

Special Equipment:  none

  • 3 tablespoons sherry (any kind works – I use cream sherry)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 pound flank steak, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup chicken or beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons sherry
  • 3 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Chinese chile-garlic sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup julienned fresh ginger
  • 1/2 red or white onion sliced
  • 8 ounces snow peas
  • 2 tablespoons pickled ginger, sliced into strips

In a bowl, whisk the sherry with the soy sauce and cornstarch. Add the steak and turn to coat with the marinade.  Let it sit while you prep the rest of the ingredients.  In another bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk the broth, sherry, oyster sauce, hoisin sauce, chile-garlic sauce and cornstarch.  Heat a skillet over high heat for a minute or two.  Add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil and let it get hot.  Add the beef using a slotted spoon so you just get the beef and not the marinade it’s sitting in.  Be careful here – when the beef hits the hit pan it might spit and splatter a bit so make sure you are wearing an apron.  Let the steak sit for 1 minute so it can brown then move it around the pan till its cooked to your liking – only another minute should do if you have cut it thinly.  Scoop the steak out of the pan and add a little more oil if you need.  Add the fresh ginger, onion, and snow peas and cook for about 2 minutes, just so the onion is no longer raw.  Toss the steak back in along with the pickled ginger and the sauce you made earlier.  Cook it down and stir it around until everything is combined and the sauce has thickened a bit, probably 1 minute more.

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