Category Archives: Asian

Sweet and Sour Made Easy

Anyone else LOVE sweet and sour chicken from Chinese restaurants? Thought so. But don’t you feel a little guilty afterwards? Maybe.

Well, this sweet and sour chicken recipe is super easy AND healthier than the fried version. Why? Because it’s made in the crock pot. You can throw all the ingredients together in the morning before work, whip up some rice when you get home, and boom! Delicious and healthy sweet and sour chicken. And I promise you won’t miss the fried!

I found the original recipe from Cooking Classy on foodgawker. I didn’t change too much…mostly just the cooking times, increased the liquids (I like a lot of sauce) and the amount of veggies.

This dish is perfect for the summer, because the crock pot won’t heat up your kitchen. So make this recipe soon!!

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Slow Cooker Sweet and Sour Chicken
(Serves 4-6)

1 1/2 – 2 lbs. chicken tenderloins
2 c. low sodium chicken broth, plus 1/3 cup
1/2 c. light brown sugar
1/3 c. granulated sugar
1/3 c. rice wine vinegar
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 c. low sodium soy sauce
3 tbsp. tomato paste
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp. fresh ginger, grated
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 – 1 tsp. Sriracha sauce OR 1/4 tsp. red pepper flake (optional)
1 c. diced fresh or frozen pineapple chunks
1 large bell pepper, color of your choosing, diced
1 large yellow or red onion, diced
1/3 c. cornstarch
Sesame seeds for garnish, optional

In your slow cooker, combine the 2 cups of chicken broth, sugars, vinegar, lemon, soy sauce, tomato paste, garlic, ginger, pepper and optional Sriracha or red pepper flake. Stir to combine. Add chicken tenderloins, pineapple, bell pepper, and onion. Combine with the sauce.

Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours. About 30-45 minutes before you’re ready to eat, whisk together 1/3 cup of reserved chicken broth and 1/3 cup cornstarch. Pour into the crock pot and gently mix in. The chicken will be tender enough to break up into smaller pieces, but don’t break it up too much! Cook until the sauce thickens, about 30-45 minutes. Serve over white or brown rice. Garnish with sesame seeds, if desired.

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Thai Peanut Wraps

My mom and I came across this recipe a few years back. I can’t remember exactly where it came from (maybe Rachel Ray?), but I’ve made it multiple times since, so the measurements became my own from what I can remember! Is it Thai? No idea. But that’s what they were called.

These Thai Peanut Wraps have a delicious, crunchy, cool cucumber and carrot salad is combined with the warm, spiced chicken, and peanut sauce. DELICIOUS. The flavors work together really well, and they’re quick to whip up! The leftovers are good straight out of the fridge.

Watching your carb intake? Skip the wrap and serve the chicken and cucumber salad over some mixed greens or your favorite lettuce. Drizzle with the peanut sauce. And trust me when I say that a little of the peanut sauce goes a long way!

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Thai Peanut Wraps
(Serves 4)

8-10 whole wheat, whole grain or other tortilla shells

For the Chicken:

3 chicken breasts, sliced
1 tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
Salt and pepper

For the Cucumber Salad:

1/2 English cucumber, cut in half lengthwise, then cut into 1/4″ thick slices
1 1/2 c. shredded carrots
4 scallions, whites and greens, sliced
1/4 c. rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp. granulated sugar or honey
1 tbsp. sesame seeds
6 basil leaves, chopped
Leaves from 2 sprigs of fresh mint, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

For the Peanut Sauce:

1/2 c. peanut butter, softened in microwave if cold
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp. olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

For the cucumber salad, add all of the ingredients into a bowl and mix well. Season with salt to taste

Heat a large frying pan over medium heat with a drizzle of olive oil. For the chicken, slice into strips about 1/2″ thick, then cut strips in half. Sprinkle with chili powder, cumin and a sprinkle of salt and black pepper. Put into the pan and cook until browned on all sides and cooked through about 8 minutes. If you’re unsure if the chicken is done, break a strip apart, if it’s not pink, then it’s done! Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, soy sauce, cayenne pepper, and rice wine vinegar. Stream in the olive oil while whisking.

On a plate, place a damp paper towel. Put 4 tortilla shells on it. Top with another damp paper towel. Heat for about 1 minute until the wraps are soft and pliable.

To serve, drizzle or spread a small spoonful of sauce onto a wrap. Top with chicken and then cucumber salad. Wrap it up and enjoy!

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Some Kind of Fusion Take Out

Happy Memorial Day! Have a mojito, kick back and enjoy your BBQ’s!

The recipe I have for you today was kind of a random experiment. I was wondering how I could make fake out Chinese food – you know the brown sauce chicken with uniformly chopped veggies? Well, it turned into something completely different, but amazingly delicious. I did use quite a bit of help from Trader Joe’s as far as ingredients go, and I’ll try my best to have substitutes listed. Like their Sweet Chili Sauce – I know they have similar sauces in the international aisle of regular grocery stores! You’ll probably have to hit up that aisle anyway for light coconut milk. So try to find a similar match! It looks kind of like duck sauce (with a kick).

I used light coconut milk, which gives the dish a nice subtle sweetness to offset the spicy chili sauce. It tastes nothing like Chinese take out, with the coconut milk it gives it a Thai flavor. Speaking of Thai – if you have Thai basil handy, feel free to chop some up and throw it in!

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Coconut Chili Turkey with Veggies
(Serves 4)

1 lb. lean ground turkey
1 medium yellow onion, chopped into 1/2″ pieces
1 c. carrots, chopped (about 3 carrots) into 1/2″ pieces
1 bell pepper (color of your choice), chopped into 1/2″ pieces
1 c. celery, chopped (about 3-4 stalks) into 1/2″ pieces
1 can light coconut milk
1/3 c. sweet chili sauce, from Trader Joe’s OR a similar sauce OR 1/3 c. duck sauce with 1/4 tsp. red pepper flake
2 tbsp. Trader Joe’s Soyaki Sauce OR 2 tbsp. soy sauce, 1 tsp. grated ginger, and 1 clove minced garlic
1 tbsp. cornstarch
Salt and pepper to taste
Sesame seeds & scallions for garnish (optional)

In a large frying pan over medium heat, put in the ground turkey and veggies. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook until the turkey is no longer pink and veggies start to become tender, about 15 minutes. Add in coconut milk, sweet chili sauce, and Soyaki sauce (or substitutes). Cook the mixture about 5 more minutes.

In a small bowl, mix cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of water until it’s dissolved. Pour into frying pan with all the other ingredients, stir well. Cook for about 10 minutes until the mixture is bubbling and becomes thick. Use salt and pepper to taste.

Serve over rice, rice noodles, or quinoa. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and sliced scallions for garnish.

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Asian Inspired Wraps

Since my lovely roommate and I have completely different schedules, we never really eat dinner together. So I like to make things that reheat really nicely or taste just as good cold!

So I came up with these shredded Asian pork wraps with a broccoli slaw.

They. Are. Delicious.

I was originally going to go for some hoisin sauce with some grated fresh ginger and garlic. But my shopping trip that week landed me at Trader Joe’s and they didn’t have any. And I wasn’t going to make a special trip!

So I picked up Trader Joe’s Island Soyaki sauce. This delicious concoction contains soy sauce, ginger, garlic, sesame seeds, sesame oil among other ingredients that you can actually pronounce!

If you can’t get to a TJ’s for the Island Soyaki sauce, I’ll give you an approximate substitute 🙂

These wraps are great hot or cold, and using broccoli slaw instead of a bag of regular shredded cabbage allows it to stand up to the dressing more. It’ll stay crunchy for a few days, which is perfect for us. You’ll have some leftover slaw, but it’s delicious by itself. One bag won’t be enough for the wraps.

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Asian Pork Wraps with Broccoli Slaw
(Makes approximately 6 wraps)

For the Pork:

1 pork tenderloin, approx 1 – 1.5 lbs
1 c. TJ Island Soyaki Sauce*

*No Trader Joe’s? Here’s a couple options that would work well. I haven’t tested these, but the flavors should work well together.

1) 1 12 oz. bottle of hoisin sauce, 1″ of fresh ginger, grated, 4 cloves of garlic, minced, 1/4 c. water

2) 1/3 c. soy sauce, 1 tbsp. brown sugar, 1″ fresh ginger, grated, 4 cloves garlic, minced, 2 tbsp. olive oil, 1/4 c. water

For the Slaw:

2 small bags broccoli slaw
1/3 c. sliced scallions (about 3-4 scallions)
1/4 c. chopped cilantro
2 tsp. sesame seeds
2 tbsp. soy sauce
2 tbsp. rice wine or apple cider vinegar
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 tsp. honey
1/8 tsp. red pepper flake

6 tortilla shells for serving

Throw the pork tenderloin and sauce ingredients (whichever you use) into a crock pot. Cook on low for about 3-4 hours, until the pork shreds easily with a fork and it is no longer pink.

About an hour (or more) before you decide you’re ready to eat, prepare the slaw. Put the broccoli slaw in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the scallions and cilantro. Sprinkle with the 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper. In a smaller bowl, mix together the dressing ingredients. Pour over slaw. Combine and let sit.

After the slaw sits together for about an hour, taste it to see if the seasonings need to be adjusted.

To make the wraps, pile in some pork and slaw to your desired fullness. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Wrap up and serve hot or cold!

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Crock Pot Teriyaki

I’ve been looking for some more crock pot recipes because I know some of my friends use theirs for just about everything.

I spotted this recipe for teriyaki chicken on foodgawker and had to give it a shot. The original recipe made so much, so I halved it. It still made a ton of leftover.

I paired mine with some frozen mixed Asian veggies (to make it even easier) and brown rice. It would also taste great over quinoa for an extra protein kick.

Just throw all the stuff in the crock pot before work, turn on low, and when you get home from work, finish off the sauce. Make the rice in advance so you have a bunch on hand.

Crock Pot Chicken Teriyaki
(Serves 6)

6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup soy sauce
6 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tsp. fresh ginger, grated
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 c. chicken or beef broth
Pinch of red pepper flake
4 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
4 1/2 teaspoons cold water
Hot cooked long grain rice
1 bag of frozen Asian vegetables

In your slow cooker, combine the sugar, soy sauce, cider vinegar, broth, ginger, garlic and pepper.  Add chicken breasts.

Cover and cook on high for 3 to 4 hours or 6 to 7 hours on low, until chicken is cooked through.

Remove chicken from crock pot when cooked. Place liquid in a saucepan and bring to a boil. At this point, feel free to shred or slice chicken breasts.

Meanwhile, steam or microwave the vegetables until cooked.

Stir cornstarch and water together until smooth. Slowly whisk into cooking juices and stir until sauce becomes thick.

Make a pile of your favorite rice or quinoa and top with vegetables, chicken and sauce.

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Light and Delicious: Edamame Spaghetti

Dishes that are equally delicious hot or cold are pretty limited. No I’m not talking about pizza today. I’m talking about my Asian-inspired noodles with edamame.

On Saturday, the boy and I went into the city to get the ball rolling on his tattoo and we stopped at Maoz for a late lunch. Surprising that after a junior meal deal I was full for hours? Nope! We saw Killer Elite after that… I do not recommend. I was really disappointed. The previews looked so badass. Anyways…

I wanted to make something light and delicious for a late dinner that is great leftover for the both of us. I’ve made this dish before, but wanted to make it at some point for all of you. I knew it was a perfect choice. 🙂

Yes it's a paper plate. Tim's kitchen is being redone... 🙂

Edamame Spaghetti
(Serves 6)

1 box whole-wheat spaghetti
1 bag of frozen shelled edamame, about 2.5 cups
1 tbsp. ginger, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
4 scallion stalks, chopped
1/8 tsp. red chili flake
4 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tbsp. honey
1 pkg. dried shittake mushrooms, about ¾ oz
Seasame seeds
Salt & pepper to taste

  1. Place the dried shittake mushrooms in about 1.5-2 cups of warm water. Let them soak while you complete the other steps.
  2. Boil water for pasta in a large saucepan. Add salt when the water boils, and toss in the pasta. (Note: I like to snap the spaghetti in half for this recipe)
  3. While the pasta is cooking, heat up the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the ginger and garlic and cook until fragrant and light brown.
  4. Put the edamame, soy sauce, honey, half of the scallions and red pepper flake into the pan with the ginger and garlic. Continue to cook over medium heat until the edamame is thawed.
  5. Add in the rehydrated shittake mushrooms and about 1 cup of the soaking liquid.
  6. When the pasta is al dente, drain the pasta and put it into the pan. Cook the rest of the way through.
  7. To serve, top a portion with a sprinkle of seasame seeds and scallions as a garnish. Enjoy hot the first time and cold the next day for a delicious lunch!

 

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