Category Archives: Asian

Sichuan Dan-Dan Chicken Noodles

Sichuan Dan-Dan Chicken Noodles

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: medium
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Sichuan Dan-Dan Chicken Noodles
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Fall is upon us which means allergies can also ramp up. This little dish is burnt hell in a dish and will properly induce a proper face sweat couple with sniffles. As you can tell I spent some time on Food52 and saw this one from poster Mandy@LadyandPups.

This is a two part process. You can use chili oil but we are going to make our own Sichuan chili oil here. Then we make the noodle chicken dish.

This turned out amazing. It’s a perfect blend of sweet (peanut butter) and spicy. If you want to amp up the spice you could add some crushed peppercorns (red/green) to the Dan-Dan sauce or increase the chili paste/Sriracha. As is I found it perfectly balanced. Definitely earned a rotation spot.
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Ingredients:
Chili Oil
½ cup of Peanut Oil
2 green onions
2 cloves of minced garlic
1tbs of fresh ginger
3 tsp Green peppercorns (the heat)
1 tsp Red peppercorns
2 star anise
1 inch piece of cinnamon stick
2 tbs Red pepper flakes
Dash of coriander and cumin

Noodles and sauce
2 chicken breasts (trimmed and sliced thinly)
4 cloves of garlic
1 tbs of minced ginger
shredded carrots
6 green onions
1 tsp for Toasted Sesame Oil
2 tbs of Soy (low sodium)
1 tsp Fish sauce
2 tbs of Sriracha
4 tbs of Peanut Butter
1 tbs of sugar
2 tbs of Rice Wine
3 cups Chicken Broth
Ramen noodles (asian dry noodles)
Green onion and/or Cilantro to garnish

Directions:
1. Make your homemade chili oil by adding everything in a medium heated sauce pan and heat until the veggies are brown. Turn off heat and let it sit and steep. Strain and keep it on hand for future use.
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2. Make your Dan Dan Sauce by pureeing garlic, ginger, Sriracha, peanut butter in a food processor. Mix your thinly sliced chicken with your Soy, fish sauce and Sesame oil and marinade for 30mins up to 24 hrs.

3. In medium heated large pot add you chicken and brown it. Then add your puree and stir until fragrant (about 2mins). Add your chicken stock and rice wine. Taste it and add sugar if needed to balance the spice.

4. Cook your noodles per the instructions and assemble your Dan Dan by adding first the noodles to the bowl, then ladle on your Dan Dan Chicken mixture. Top with Chili oil and cilantro and diced green onions.
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Me Pork Bahn Mi

Me Pork Bahn Mi

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Me Pork Bahn Mi
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The Bahn Mi “Vietnamese sandwich” seems to be all the rage these days. It’s basically a sandwich with Asian flair.

You will not be disappointed in this one. The pork tenderloin is so tender it basically melts in your mouth. The pickled radishes and carrots compliment the pork marinade that has soy, garlic, fish sauce and ginger. Then Duke’s mayo, a little cheddar on a hoagie make is familiar. Really a great eat. You really need to try this one.

Ingredients:
Pork Tenderloin
Cilantro
Cheddar cheese
Duke’s mayo
Hoagie Roll

Marinade
3 tbs Fish sauce
2 tbs Soy sauce
1 tbs minced ginger
3 green onions
3 cloves of garlic minced
1 tbs of sugar
Sriracha

Pickled Carrots and Radishes
Carrots
Radishes
Jalapeno
½ cup water
1 cup of apple cider vinegar
1 tbs salt
2 tbs sugar

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Directions:
1. Trim your tenderloin of any silver skin or fat. Slice into ½ and inch.   Place these medallions between saran wrap and pound them with a mallet. Put them into a Ziplock and mix up your marinade and pour over the pork. Marinate for a minimum of 30mins up to a couple of hours.

2. Julienne the carrots and radishes and slice your jalapeno. (you can remove seeds and spine if you want to lower the heat).  Soak these in the vinegar mixture for about 15- 30mins.

3. When ready to cook sear in a cast iron skillet with a little peanut oil. This cooks really quickly. (about 90 seconds on each side) The skillet should be on medium high heat so you can get as much crust as possible. FYI-the second side won’t crust up.

4. Prepare your hoagie with Duke’s mayo on both sides. Fresh Cheddar on the bottom. Top with the hot tenderloin, then carrot/radish/jalapeno mixture, Sriracha and top with Cilantro.

Almost Chang’s Spicy Chicken

Almost Chang's Spicy Chicken

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Almost Chang’s Spicy Chicken
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Outside of dumplings, Chinese food never wet my whistle like Thai or Indian food did/does. It’s most likely due to the fact of eating the MSG loaded cheap stuff. But that all changed the first time I went to PF Changs oh so many years ago. I know it’s a chain and today Chinese places have stepped up their game but back in the day when it came on to the scene it was unmatched.

When I ordered the lettuce wraps with those sauces and then had Chang’s spicy chicken I was hooked. I loved the salty, sweet and stinging heat. The good stuff that makes you sweat around your eyes due to the chili sauce. Seriously when Pei Wei opened (PFC’s cheaper cousin) I ate their version of Chang’s chicken every day for two weeks straight. The key here is the pineapple juice and getting it into a syrup consistency.

Ingredients
2 chicken breasts (cubed)
3-4 cloves garlic (minced)
4-5 green onions diced
1 cup pineapple juice
2-3 tbs Sriracha Chili Sauce
2 tbs distilled white vinegar
2 tbs granulated sugar
2 tbs low sodium soy sauce
2 tbs water
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
2 tbs peanut oil (chicken)
1 tsp chili oil (sauce)
Red pepper flakes

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Directions:
1.Get everything prepared. Chop, mince veggies, pour wet ingredients into measuring cup, make your corn starch/water mixture. Cut your chicken into bite sized pieces. So now you will first start your sauce while your pot heats up for the chicken.

2. Medium-heated skillet with some oil. Saute the onions for a few minutes and then add your garlic (careful not to burn) and almost immediately complete your sauce by adding pineapple juice, Sriracha, vinegar, sugar and soy. Then take your 2 tbs of water and dissolve the corn starch and add to the sauce until thickened into syrup. Remove from heat and set aside.

3. Now take your cubed chicken and dust with cornstarch. Working in batches to avoid crowding, add the chicken to a medium heated pan and cook until brown and crispy. Remove and absorb the oil in a paper towel.

4. When you get to a syrup consistency then add your cooked chicken in a bowl and ladle your syrup/sauce on and mix until coated. Served over rice and garnish. You could also throw some broccoli or another vegetable into the mix to bump up the nutrition level or make it vegetarian.

You will sweat. You’re welcome.

First Try Pork Dumplings

First Try Pork Dumplings

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy but tedious
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First Try Pork Dumplings
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I wanted to play around with dumplings and had some extra ground pork, onions and cilantro so decided to pick up some dumpling wrappers and give it a shot. I don’t have a steamer basket and didn’t want to deal with tediously small batch steaming these so I went the fried route.

Tedious tasks can be my kryptonite and I often don’t think about that when I pick a recipe. I kept finding myself wanting to stuff as much as I could into each wrapper o I could make fewer but then that creates other issues. Soo… turn on some music and go to that trance state and make some dumplings.

My heat was a little hotter than it should have been and my dumplings were cooking fast on the bottom so the fry/steam technique wasn’t working. Jill was on her way home from a late night so I went the quick route by frying the all by flipping them around. Ill get better and it will be fun to play around with various fillings.

Dumpling:
1 lb of ground pork
4 garlic cloves minced
1 tbs of grated ginger
1 cup of chopped cilantro
6 green onions (save some green for the sauce)
2 tbs of Sriracha Sauce
2 tbs of Soy Sauce
1 tbs of Sesame Oil
1 tbs of Chili Oil
1 tps of Corn starch
1 package of pot sticker wrappers

Dipping Sauce:

1 cup of Soy (low sodium if you have it)
1 cup of Red Wine vinegar
2 tbs of Sriracha
3 tbs of peanut butter
1 tbs of sugar
1 tbs of ginger
1 clove of garlic minced
2 tbs of green onions

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Directions:
1. Some people go raw and cook with the dumpling but I chose to pre cook the inside because pork doesn’t dry out and is hard to overcook. Plus I was going to flash fry and steam.

2. In a medium heated skillet add your pork and brown with the whites of the green onion until browned. Turn the heat off and add the rest of the green onions, cilantro, ginger, soy and Sriracha. Stir and let it cool.
3. Once meat is cooled, in a bowl finish the filling by adding whisked eggs, oil and corn starch. You are basically trying to tighten it up.

4. Dumpling time. Get organized on a clean surface. Bowl of filling with a spoon, your pot sticker wrappers and finally a small dish of water. Wet the outside edges of half of the dumpling. Add your meat in the middle. Fold and pinch the very top together sealing the dough. Then do the same on the sides making sure it’s just dough on dough. Pinch hard enough to make the two parts one. I also pleated and pinched to make sure dumpling wouldn’t come apart.

5. In a pot add peanut oil to cover the bottom and turn on medium high heat. You could certainly steam them but I like a little crust too. Working in small batches slowly lower each dumpling into the oil. I moved them around to make sure they didn’t stick. Careful as you flip them around. One technique that you could try is fried on the bottom and steamed on the sides by adding a little water and cover immediately. Remember oil and water don’t like each other but it will steam them on the sides.

6. For the sauce, mix it all together and put into microwave for 30 seconds at a time until peanut butter and sugar dissolve.

7. I serve it with a side salad of cold iceberg lettuce and a carrot, ginger dressing.

Korean steak ssam with thai basil rice and ginger onion vinegar sauce

Korean steak ssam with thai basil rice and garlic ginger vinegar sauce

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Korean steak ssam with garlic ginger vinegar sauce
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Many years ago we took a trip to NYC with some friends who share our love for food and drink. We had a list of places we had to try and systematically crossed them off the list. One on the list was Momofuku. We sat at the counter and ordered up a sampling of it all. Their pork bun blew my mind. I had never had anything like that before.   Years later, Jill knew how much I liked that place and bought me David Chang’s cookbook titled “Momofuku”. I was reading it the other night and on page 122 there is a section where he talked about his desire to open a Ssam dive bar. I believe ssam is a Korean sandwich/taco where you top bibb lettuce with all kinds of meats, sauces and veggies.

The Marinated Hanger Steak with ginger onion sauce and kimchi sounded good so I gave it a whirl.  My grocery store didn’t have kimchi or hanger steak (arghh).   I also was out of Sherry wine vinegar so consider it a cousin to David’s recipe.

I like the way it turned out. It was a light and healthy dinner that was super easy to whip up. Next time I wont skip the kimchi because I missed the heat. The thai basil and lettuce complimented the steak and sauce.

This would be fun to grill up various types of meats and make several sauces and eat at party where people build their own.

Ingredients:
Hanger Steak, Sirloin, Flank or your preferred cut of beef
1 yellow onion
2 cups of Apple Juice
8 cloves of minced garlic
1 bunch of green onions
3 tbs of minced ginger
2 tbs of flavorless oil (grape seed)
½ cup soy sauce
3 tbs of soy sauce
3 tbs of white wine vinegar (preferred Sherry wine vinegar)
Thai basil
Black pepper

Directions
Marinate your steak the day before by cutting up the garlic and onions and combining them with the apple juice, oil and ¼ cup of soy and pepper. Put it all in a Ziplock bag or container to marinate overnight.

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You also could make your sauce ahead of time by cutting up the onions and ginger and add your 3 tbs of soy and vinegar. Taste and adjust to your liking.
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Wash your bibb lettuce and tear off the leaves and put into a bowl.  Make your rice and then grill your steak. I grilled them on medium high heat grill to sear to your liking.  Jill likes it medium well to well so I obliged but would prefer medium.
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Thai Turkey Lettuce Wraps

<br /> Thai Turkey Lettuce Wraps

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Thai Turkey Lettuce Wraps

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This is a really simple healthy recipe that can be made in a few minutes. Jill bought me a cookbook from the FoodNetwork show “Chopped” and they have a thai turkey lettuce wrap recipe that looked good. I make a thai peanut chicken lettuce wrap and merged some of the ingredients.

Fish sauce is most often made from fermenting anchovies and pressing the liquid out of them. Fermenting is concept I get in cheeses, alcohol and cabbage but it kind of freaks me out a bit with fish. So when I saw the Chopped recipe had a ¼ cup I wondered how this would go over. Sure enough when I poured it in, I hear “what’s that smell?” So if you have issues with fish sauce, this turned out to be a great dinner.

Ingredients
1 package of lean ground turkey (chicken or pork would work too)
1 bunch of green onions
1 bunch of cilantro
Handful of halved cherry tomatoes
1 diced jalapeno (seeded)
4 cloves of garlic (minced)
2 tbs of minced fresh ginger
2 tbs Thai Basil (or regular basil)
1.5 cups of diced fresh pineapple
2 limes juiced
1 head of Bibb or Butter Lettuce
1.5 cups of Basmati Rice
¼ cup fish sauce
3 tbs of Sriracha sauce
1 tbs chili oil
1 tbs vegetable oil

Directions
This goes pretty quickly so go ahead and get everything diced up and ready to add to the skillet.

Prep
1. Cut the white and light green sections of the green onion and jalapeno (put in a bowl)
2. Mince your garlic and ginger and put in another bowl.
3. In a bigger bowl cut up the green parts of the onion, pineapple, tomatoes, cilantro, basil
4. Uncle Bens Basmati 90 sec microwave rice (cook it and set aside)

Cook
On medium high heat put your oils into the pan and cook bowl 1 of white onions and jalapenos for about 3 mins. Then add your second bowl of minced garlic and ginger and cook for one minute (stirring) . Now add your ground turkey and brown it while constantly breaking it up with your spatula. Once the turkey has been browned, turn your heat down to low and add everything in the last bowl along with the fish sauce, lime juice and Sriracha. Serve with washed Bibb lettuce leaves and eat them like tacos or wraps.

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Pai Gow Meatball Bahn Mi

Pai Gow Meatball Bahn Mi

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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This is a fabulous sandwich that seriously tilts the easy to flavor scale.  The acid from the Rice Vinegar, the creaminess from Duke’s mayo, the kick of heat from the jalapeno, the freshness from the cilantro all supports the Asian Pork meatballs.  So many layers of flavor in so little time.

Pai Gow Meatball Bahn Mi
Pai Gow Meatball Bahn Mi

Ingredients:
2 Hoagie Rolls
2 tbs Dukes Mayo
5 radishes thinly sliced
2 jalapenos thinly sliced
6 sprigs of cilantro
2 tbs of Rice Vinegar (unseasoned)
1.25 lbs of Ground Pork
3 tbs Asian Peanut sauce
1.5 tbs Soy Sauce
1 tbs Siracha
2 dashes of cayenne
2 dashes of garlic powder
2 dashes of onion powder
Pinch of hot Asian Mustard powder
6 tbs of Monterrey Jack Cheese (any creamy / softer cheese would work.

Directions:
1. Slice your radishes and put them into the rice wine vinegar.  Put a skillet on medium heat with a little 2.Add pork and all the seasonings and sauces into a bow and combine. Then form them into meatballs (about 2 tbs each). I use a cookie scoop.  Place them in the skillet for about 3mins without touching them. You want a little crust or texture on your meatballs. The sauces in the meatball will help with that.
3. Slice and butter your hoagie rolls and put them under the broiler until browned.
4. Flip your meatballs to brown the other sides and once done remove them from the fire.
5. Take your toasted hoagie roll and put half the mayo on the bottom side, add your meatballs and top with cheese and put them back under the broiler to melt the cheese.
6. Remove and add your mayo to the top side of the roll and add your radishes, jalapenos and cilantro.

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