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Pork Chao Mian

Part 2 of 3 part series ”Chinese Restaurant at Home”. Click here for Part 1 Pecan Chicken

Crispy noodles with pork and crisp tender vegetables in a wok glaze.

The Sauce: Wok Glaze – A light glaze made from chicken broth and a little bit of cornstarch, it’s added to the wok right at the end. The mixtures ramps up the flavor of the dish and makes the vegetables glisten. When dished over crispy noodles, it drips down into the crevices.

 

Noodle pancake

Rice, not noodles, is my weapon of choice when I serve Chinese dishes. My rice cooker hisses and bubbles away while I prepare the ingredients, marinated meat and hand cut vegetables. But, sometimes I have a hankering for Chao Mein, fried noodles. American supermarkets sell cans of crispy Vegetables-prepped-readyfried noodles. This recipe features authentic chao mein made into a large pan-sized noodle pancake that’s golden and crispy on the outside and tender and soft on the inside. Spoon the wok cooked meat and vegetables over the noodles and let the glaze drip down through the crunchy noodle labyrinth for sauce in every bite. Once in a while I knock out a batch of homemade noodles for this recipe; double good.

2011 AniversaRecipe – Sweet and Sour Fish and Gazpacho

Recipe: Pork Chao Mian

Prep Time: 25 Minutes | Cook Time: 15 Minutes | Yield: 4 Servings | Level: Easy

  • 1/2 lb pork, sliced in 2-inch thin strips
  • 5 tsp soy sauce, dividedCabbage
  • 1 tsp plus 1 Tbsp cornstarch, divided
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 12 ounces fettucinni, cooked al dente, drained
  • 4 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 1/3 cup sliced onion
  • 1/3 cup sliced carrots
  • 1/3 cup snow peas, cut in half
  • 1 cup cabbage, hand torn in 2-inch pieces
  • 1/3 cup sliced bamboo shootsBamboo-Shoot-Tips
  • 1/3 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp sugar

Special Equipment – wok

Instructions
1 Combine the pork, 4 teaspoons soy sauce and 1 teaspoon cornstarch in a small bowl. Set aside to marinate for 15-20 minutes.

2 In another small bowl combine the chicken broth and 1 tablespoon of cornstarch for the glaze.

3 Meanwhile, heat a wok or large skillet on high heat. Add 4 tablespoons of oil, heat and roll around the sides of the wok. Place the noodles in the wok and spread evenly in a large thick pancake. Let it cook for 3-4 minutes until the bottom is golden and crispy. Do not stir.
Noodle-pancake-cooking-in-the-wok
With two spatulas, flip the noodles over and cook for 3-4 minutes until the other side is golden and crispy.
Noodle-pancake-cooking-on-the-second-side
Remove to a large platter.

Crispy-golden-noodle-pancake
4 Add the pork mixture to the wok and cook for 1-2 minutes until it’s no longer pink, stirring to keep the meat moving. Remove back to the bowl. Scrap the bits off the bottom of the pan and discard.

5 Add the ginger and garlic to the wok and stir just long enough for the aroma to start, about 10-15 seconds. Stirring and moving the vegetables in the wok continuously, add the onions and cook for 30 seconds. Add the carrots and cook for 30 seconds.
Wok-cook-the-onions-and-carrots
Add the peas and cook for 30 seconds. Add the cabbage and cook for 30-60 seconds. Add 1 teaspoon soy sauce, salt and sugar and stir to combine.
Add-Cabbage
Add the bamboo shoots and mushrooms and cook for 30 seconds.

Bamboo-shoots-and-mushrooms
6 Add the pork mixture back to the wok and stir to combine. Push the mixture to the sides leaving a space in the center. Slowly add the glaze to the center, stirring as it thickens. Then stir the meat and vegetables in. Adjust for salt and pour over the crispy noodles. Serve immediately.
Make-a-well-in-the-center-and-add-the-wok-glaze
Information
Notes
Secrets to great Chinese Wok Cooking – 1) Prep the meat mixture, vegetables, sauces, glazes, batters, etc. before beginning to cook. 2) Cut the vegetables in similar sizes so ingredients cook evenly and the presentation looks more pleasing. 3) Use fresh colorful vegetables. 4) A rule of thumb; start cooking with aromatics (garlic, ginger or onions), then add the vegetables beginning with the hardest first and ending with the softest last so everything is evenly cooked.
Kitchen-shears-cut-the-crispy-noodles
Ginger and Garlic – They can be finely grated on a microplane grater.

Cabbage – Use the outer, dark green leaves of a head of cabbage as they are milder and add lots of rich color.

To make serving easier, use a pair of kitchen scissors to cut the crispy noodles in 3 or 4 places.

Dish Designer

  • Exchange pork for chicken.
  • Exchange fetticinni for any long pasta such as spaghetti, linguini or vermicelli.
  • Exchange snow peas for small fresh green beans or sugar snap peas.
  • Exchange bamboo shoots for water chestnuts.

Pork-cut-for-wok-cookingInspiration – Ying Ling Liu

SaucyCuisine.com
Cook with Sauces
Written by
Photographs by Helen Horton
Updated: September 22, 2012

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‘Chinese Restaurant at Home’ Series

Vegetable dance

Crisp tender vegetables searing in a wok, dance like ballerinas executing six o’clock arabesques, grand battements and triple pirouettes. The short exposure to the high heat of the wok render them Wok-Spatula-Spider-Spooncrunchy and fragrant from the ginger and garlic aromatics they ‘dance’ with. Then, combine the vegetables with paper thin slices of meat and a light glaze or sauce. So, so good! I love how simple and delicious it is. A far cry from dead cooked vegetable dishes. Serve with steamed rice or noodles. My mouth is watering with anticipation for these Chinese dishes I learned to cook when I lived in Asia.

 

Friday, September 21, 2012
Pecan Chicken
– Sister dish to the more famous Cashew Chicken with pecans and wok vegetables, peppers, sugar snap peas and bamboo shoots

Saturday, September 22, 2012
Pork Chao Mian
– Noodles crisp on the outside, tender on the inside with pork and wok vegetables in a light glaze served over the noodles

Sunday, September 23, 2012
Beef with Three Color Peppers
– Thin sliced beef with red, yellow and green peppers with a glance of heat


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Golden Coin Steak

Part 3 of 3 part series “Chinese Stir Fry”.  Click here for Part 1, click here for Part 2.

 A few Chinese dynasties ago, an abundance of shiny golden coins were a sign of wealth and prosperity.  One way to increase the quantities of ‘coins’ was to echo the shape in elaborate art work, carvings, and statuary.  Not limited to constructive materials, Chinese chefs would cut steak into round coin-size pieces and serve them seared over stir fried broccoli.
Cut the steak in either coins or bite size pieces.  Searing, rather than browning, is the real money of the dish.  Add a few pieces of steak at a time to maintain the high temperature of the fry pan. The caramelization on the outside heightens the flavor of the marinated steak.  The juicy tenderness on the inside elevates this dish, worthy of serving the emperor.  Present on a platter of stir fried broccoli and garnish with tomato half coin circles. Now imagine you are dining in the Forbidden City because this dish was on the menu.

Click here for Helen’s Chinese Cooking Expertise

Prep Time: 15 Minutes | Cook Time: 15 Minutes | Yield: 4 Servings | Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients
The Sauce-Marinate
1 tsp minced Garlic
1 tsp Salt
3 Tbsp Soy Sauce

The Rest
1 lb 1/2 –inch thick Beef Tenderloin, cut into 1-inch pieces
7 Tbsp Vegetable Oil, divided
2 Broccoli bunches, about 1 1/2 lbs cut in small flowerettes
1/4 tsp Sugar
1/2 tsp Salt
Dash of Black Pepper
2 Tbsp boiling Water
1 Tomato, cut into half slices
5-6 slices Tomato

Preparation Instructions
1. Combine the marinate ingredients in a bowl, add the beef and stir to coat. Set aside for 20 minutes.

2. In the meantime, prepare the broccoli and tomato slices.

3. Heat a wok or large fry pan on high heat with 3 tablespoons of oil. Stir fry the broccoli with sugar, salt and pepper for 2 minutes. Add the boiling water and continue to stir fry 2-3 more minutes until crisp tender and water has evaporated. Remove to a serving plate and set a pan lid over it to keep warm.

4. Heat 4 tablespoons of oil in a medium non-stick fry pan on high heat. Frying the beef in 3 batches, sear the meat for about 30-60 seconds on each side. Don’t overcrowd or sear too many pieces at a time. As each batch is done, spoon over the broccoli.

5. Arrange tomato slices around the broccoli and serve with hot cooked rice.

Dish Designer
Exchange beef tenderloin for rib eye or fillet mignon.
• Exchange tomato slices for carrot slices.

Source—Ying Ling Lui

SaucyCuisine.com
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Sweet and Sour Fish

Part 1 of 3 part series “Chinese Stir Fry”.  Click here for Part 2, click here for Part 3.

A romantic dinner for two; menu includes Sweet and Sour Fish with stir fried vegetables and rice. Twenty-two years ago my brother Roger was dating his wife; well Teresa wasn’t his wife at the time. I don’t think they were engaged yet…but they did marry and now have two beautiful grown daughters.
The deal was cinched (my story) the night they had their special dinner at my home and I made my famous Sweet and Sour Fish dish for them. My four children served as the wait staff and ate in the kitchen that evening to give the love birds some privacy. We had candles and ambience centered around the low chow table with Asian table settings. The food was so good Roger still boasts 22 years later that it’s the best meal he has ever eaten. Once you pour the sauce over the fish, serve immediately to enjoy the tender fish encased in a crunchy batter and covered with crisp tender vegetables and homemade sweet and sour sauce.

 

Click here for Helen’s Chinese Cooking Expertise

Prep Time: 30 Minutes | Cook Time: 30 Minutes | Yield: 4 servings | Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients
The Sauce-Sweet and Sour Sauce
1/2 cup Sugar
1 Tbsp Cornstarch
1/2 tsp Salt
1/3 White Vinegar
1 Tbsp Soy Sauce
2 Tbsp Ketchup
1/2 cup Water

The Sauce-Fish Batter
1/2 cup Flour
1/2 cup Cornstarch
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp Salt
2 Tbsp Shortening, melted
3/4 cup Water

The Rest-Fish
1 lb Cod
1/4 tsp Salt
2-3 cups Oil for frying

The Rest-Stir Fried Vegetables
1 Tbsp Oil
1/4 cup Onion, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp Ginger, minced
1/2 tsp Garlic, minced
1/4 cup Carrots, julienne sliced
1/4 cup Green Pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp Salt

Preparation Instructions
Fish
1. Cut the fish into 1-inch chunks and sprinkle with 1/4 tsp salt. Put into bowl and let set for 20 minutes.

Sweet and Sour Sauce
2. In a medium sauce pan, combine the sugar and 1 Tbsp cornstarch. Then add vinegar, soy sauce, ketchup and water and stir together. Place on medium heat stirring as it comes to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes stirring occasionally. Turn off heat.

Fish Batter
3. In a large bowl, combine the flour, 1/2 cup cornstarch, baking powder and 1/2 tsp salt. Then add shortening and water. Stir together with your hand until moist. Then using your fingers as a whisk in a loose fist, beat the batter for 3 minutes until it is smooth, shiny and thinly coats the fish (add more water as necessary).

Fish
4. Heat the 2-3 cups oil in frying pan so that it is about 3/4-1” deep. Dip the fish pieces in the batter and fry in a few at a time to maintain the heat. Turn as needed to form a golden crust on all sides. Drain on a baking sheet lined with a wire rack. ;) Keep warm in a 200 degree oven.

5. Heat a medium fry pan with 1 tablespoon of oil. Once the oil is shimmering, stir fry the onion for about 60 seconds. Add the garlic and ginger and stir fry for 30 more seconds. Add the carrots and stir fry for 2 minutes. Add the green pepper and stir fry for 60 seconds. Add the salt and mix.

6. Scoop the vegetables into the sweet and sour sauce. Take the fish out of the oven, arrange on a platter, and pour the sauce over the fish. Serve immediately with rice.

;) Wire Rack—A paper towel lined plate will cause the fish to become soggy.

Dish Designer
• Exchange green peppers for yellow, red or orange peppers.
• Exchange cod for flounder or tilapia.

Source—Ying Ling Lui

SaucyCuisine.com
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‘Chinese Stir Fry’ Series

Ni hao. Stir frying Chinese dishes was a regular happening in our home when my children were growing up. Two to three times a week we ate healthy dishes filled with Asian meat or seafood and farmers market fresh produce. We love sticky rice served under dishes with enough body to easily eat with chopsticks. The dishes were colorful, full of flavor and the light glazes would drip into the rice. Just talking about it makes my mouth water. On September 21st, 22nd and 23rd Saucy Cuisine features a three-part series called ‘Chinese Stir Fry’. Recipes include Sweet and Sour Fish, Shrimp and Chicken with Bamboo and Golden Coin Steak. Serve them over white or brown sticky rice. These are a few of our favorites.
Chinese Cooking Expertise—My proficiency with Chinese cooking stems from six months of formal Chinese culinary training under the knife of Ying-Ling Lui. The young daughter of one of Chiang Kai-Shek’s generals, Ying-Ling wanted to learn to cook. She begged her father but he would not concede. It was forbidden because as he would say, “Cooking is servants’ work.” Ying-Ling sought the friendship of the family chef. He invited her to his restaurant and spent afternoons teaching her 5-star quality Chinese cuisine on the sly. Years later she and her husband moved to Okinawa and that’s when our lives intersected. I had the rare opportunity to study Chinese cooking techniques and obtain a portfolio of authentic

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Chinese recipes. The technique makes the difference and I want to share my knowledge, experience and recipes with you on Saucy Cuisine.

SaucyCuisine.com
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Asian Pencil Asparagus with Chicken

Stir fried asparagus with chicken and carrot served on Asian rice

Chinese cooking classes

I love fine restaurant quality stir fry.  With the skills and experience I gained while living in Asian for several years and my Chinese cooking classes, I’m sharing some basic techniques that will make you an expert at this delicious and healthy cooking.  Let’s not get this confused with the Chinese food you get at buffets aplenty.  They are often loaded with grease and sit in soggy sauces. I had the opportunity to cook a 10-course Chinese banquet for some international executives.  They had traveled the world and eaten at some of the finest Chinese restaurants.  Their comment was, “Who cooked this dinner?  It is the best Chinese food I have ever eaten.”  Here is some information about how to cook the rice.  Simple techniques make the difference between mediocre and fabulous Chinese cuisine.

 
Recipe: Asian Pencil Asparagus with Chicken

Prep Time: 12 Minutes | Cook Time: 30 Minutes | Yield: 4 servings | Level: Easy

Ingredients

  • 3 cups Calrose riceChicken-Marinate-Asian Pencil Asparagus
  • water
  • salt
  • 1 lb boneless chicken breast, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil, divided
  • 3/4-inch piece of fresh ginger root
  • 1 bunch of pencil thin asparagus, cut in 2-inch pieces
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and thinly sliced on the diagonal
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • salt and pepper

Special Equipment – Wok, Rice Cooker

Instructions
1 Cook the rice in a rice cooker or medium sauce pan.

2 In a medium bowl combine the chicken, cornstarch, garlic and soy sauce and combine.

3 Prepare the asparagus, carrots and ginger before stir frying.

4 Once the rice is cooked, begin stir frying while it steams for 10 minutes. Heat the wok or a large frying pan on high heat with 1 Tbsp of oil swirling it around the pan to thinly coat.  When the oil is shimmering, slide the meat into the wok and stir fry the meat until the pink is gone, then scoop it back into the bowl.

5 Scrap the bottom of the pan to remove the bits remaining and throw away.  These bits will burn when you stir fry the vegetables.

6 Add the last tablespoon of oil and once hot, add the ginger and stir fry 30-45 seconds.  Add the carrots and stir fry for 1-2 minutes.  Then add the asparagus and continue to stir fry until the vegetables are crisp tender, about 2 minutes depending on thickness.

7 Add back the chicken and the chicken broth.  Stir and cook just long enough to heat the broth and cook any residual raw meat juices.  Check for salt and pepper then slide onto a waiting platter.  Serve immediately with rice.

Information
Chicken Broth—Use homemade, canned or boxed. If not, use reconstituted chicken paste or bouillon.

Rice-Cooker-Asian-Pencil-AsparagusCooking Rice—Place the rice in the rice cooker pot. At the sink, fill it up with cold water amply covering the kernels. Rice is coated with talc which keeps the kernels dry and separated in the packaging. With a loose-fisted hand, swish the rice around to loosen the talc. The water becomes milky. Drain out the milky water and repeat this process until the water is just about clear. It takes several rinses, sometimes rinsing even 6 or 7 times, but it’s worth it. Fill the pot with enough water to cover rice with 1 inch of headspace. I use my finger tip to measure it. Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt and set your rice on to cook. Once it is done let set to steam for at least 10 minutes before serving to rebalance the moisture.

Rice Cooker—No rice cooker? Use a medium sauce pan and use the same technique to wash the rice. Add water, and salt and heat to a boiling. Then simmer for 17-20 minutes. Don’t remove the lid. When it is done, take off the heat and let set for 10 minutes.
Pencil-Asparagus-Carrots-Ginger

Dish Designer

  • Exchange pencil thin asparagus for a larger size. Peeling recommended to ensure the stems are tender.  Cut the sticks into 1-1 ½ inch lengths depending on width so they stir fry evenly with the carrots.
  • Exchange asparagus for fresh green beans.
  • Exchange carrots for orange bell peppers.
  • Exchange chicken for pork.

Inspiration—Ying Ling Lui

SaucyCuisine.com
Cook with Sauces
Written by
Photographs by Helen Horton
Updated: April 27, 2012

Continue Reading · 2

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