Archive for the Asian Category

Peach & Blueberry Thai Sticky Rice

Posted in Asian, Dessert with tags , , , , , , on September 1, 2010 by Cooking For Mark

Thai sticky rice is so delicious. But it’s also super easy to prepare. It is usually served with mango, but since I didn’t have mango peaches worked just as well.

A few months ago my sister and I tried to make sticky rice.  We knew we had to get a special kind of rice either called “sticky” rice or “sweet” rice. What we didn’t know, however, is that you must soak it for at least 15 minutes, drain, and then steam.  In Thailand sticky rice was made wrapped in a bamboo sticks.  People were always carrying the bamboo sticks around. It wasn’t until we saw a lady open up one on the  bus that we realize it was rice. What a clever way to steam the rice!

I bought a little wooden steamer from the asian market ($5), just until I can find some bamboo sticks.  How the wooden steamer works is you place a pan with about 1 inch of simmering water and place the wooden steamer on top.  Inside I placed some tamale wrappers on the bottom so the rice didn’t fall through the holes (although you can also use grape leaves or even parchment paper). Let the rice steam for about 20 minutes until soft.  You will end up with soft, sticky rice perfect for absorbing any flavor you mix it with.

Now you might wonder what the difference is between simmering the rice and steaming it.  From my experience, since the steamed rice does not absorb any water, when you pour the sweet milk on top it absorbs all the flavor much better. You could also simmer the rice with the sweet milk (kind of like rice pudding), but this method involves much more vigilance and stirring. Steaming is a much easier alternative resulting in a better consistency as well.

Ingredients:

  • Sweet or sticky rice, steamed
  • Coconut milk
  • Evaporated milk
  • Brown sugar
  • Dash of salt
  • 1 tbsp corn starch with 1 tbsp cold water, mixed
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Lime zest

Sweet Milk Directions

  1. Combine coconut milk, evaporated milk, and brown sugar together. Add a dash of salt.
  2. When hot, add 1 tbsp of corn starch mixed in 1 tbsp of cold water. Whisk until smooth.
  3. Turn heat on low and heat until thick.
  4. Remove from heat and add 1 tsp vanilla & lime zest.

Rice Directions

  1. Place 1 c. sweet or sticky rice in bowl with 1 c. hot water. Let sit for 15-45 minutes
  2. Drain rice and place it in steamer for about 20 minutes.
  3. Place in bowl and add sweet milk.
  4. Serve with fresh fruit & more sweet milk on top.

Enjoy!

asd

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Chinese Orange Tofu “Chicken”

Posted in Asian with tags , , , on August 29, 2010 by Cooking For Mark

My brother’s favorite meal is orange chicken. Since he is in town I was bound to make this awesome meal, again. I know I’ve already blogged about orange tofu before, but because it was one of my first blog posts, the picture I had taken was not at all appetizing. So here is a much better representation of Chinese Orange “Chicken”.

I also must say this recipe is WAY better than your ordinary chinese restaurant.  Not only is the sauce way better and more flavorful with a slightly peanuty-taste, there are no chunks of mystery chicken fat that always made me suspicious and discussed while I would eat any chinese breaded chicken. And this is true whether you try my tofu version or you make your own real chicken version, because you will know exactly what you are eating. But trust me, the tofu version is extremely good…so give it a try!

Orange “Chicken” Recipe

Asian Pan-Fried Noodles

Posted in Asian with tags , , , , , on August 4, 2010 by Cooking For Mark

Rome meets Shanghai and Bangkok style-noodles. These Asian noodles combine Italian pasta, chinese lettuce wraps, and spicy thai peanut sauce.  The result is an economical use of staple items to make a fantastic asian meal in no time.

Ingredients: (serves 4)

  • 1/2 package Spaghetti (cooked al dente and drained with a bit of olive oil to prevent sticking together)
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp ginger, minced
  • 1 can water chestnuts, chopped
  • 1 package mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 1 package extra firm tofu, cut into small pieces (or chicken breast)
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp orange juice
  • Juice of 1/2-1 lime
  • 1 tbsp garlic chili sauce
  • 1 tbsp asian chili sauce
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1/2 tbsp brown sugar
  • Handfull of peanuts
  • Veggies: carrots, cucumber, snow peas
  • Garnish: cilantro, green onion, and lime

Directions: In pan with 1 tbsp oil, saute onions. Add garlic and ginger. Add rest chestnuts, zucchini, mushrooms and tofu and cook for a few minutes. Add soy sauce and rest of ingredients. When veggies are cooked through, taste and adjust to own liking. Add pasta and serve with raw veggies and garnish with cilantro, green onion and wedge of lime.

Red Curry Rattatouille

Posted in Asian on July 1, 2010 by Cooking For Mark

Everyone knows of the French dish Rattatouille, made famous by the cute Disney movie a few years back.  And although the name may sound complicated, the dish is not. This is the recipe for a delicious and nutritious curry-rattatouille in a hurry.

Rattatouille consists of a variety of vegetables that are cooked and/or baked until soft. These vegetables are mainly onions, garlic, tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant, and peppers. But, you can use whichever vegetables you have on hand. I decided to use all the above (since I already had them all in my fridge). I also used some canned bamboo shoots, which makes the Thai curry dish.

Ingredients:

Onion, garlic, grape tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant, red pepper, canned bamboo shoots, vegetable stock, red curry paste, coconut milk, ginger, peanut butter, lime, cilantro

Rattatouille Directions:

I started with a little oil and added 1 onion and 2 cloves garlic. Then I roughly chopped 1 zucchini and about 6 tini eggplants–add that to the onions. Season with a bit of salt and pepper, and add 1/4 -1/3 c. vegetable stock. Cut 1/2 red pepper and add to veggies. Lastly, add a handful of grape tomatoes and a handfull of bamboo shoots. Let veggies cook al dente (I know this is a pasta term, but you get the idea–let the veggies have a bit of a crunch to them, so don’t cook them too long).

Curry Directions:

At your local Asian Market you will find plastic containers containing a variety of different curry pastes, all ready to go. You will find red curry, green, yellow, masaman, and others. If you can, I would get all of them, or just start with a red or green (they are about $2.50 each and will last you a long time).  You will also need some coconut milk and coconut cream (optional).

To your veggies you will add one can of coconut milk and 1 tb of red curry paste (I usually start with 1 tb, and add more until I get the color and flavor I want, so keep adding until you are satisfied). Then add about 1/2 tb of grated ginger, 1/2 tb of peanut butter, and juice of 1 lime. When heated all the way through, take off heat and add chopped cilantro. Note: if you want a thicker sauce, add some coconut cream.

Serve with brown jasmine rice. Also would be great with garlic naan bread!

Note: this is not a soup dish–so don’t eat it like that, it’s too rich. Rather, treat is as vegetables with a sauce and eat with rice and/or bread.

Orange “Chicken” + Hot & Sour Soup

Posted in Asian with tags , , , , , , , , on June 30, 2010 by Cooking For Mark

This really did taste a bit like chicken! It was perfectly crunchy in the outside, soft in the inside, and the orange sauce was exceptional!

The long ingredient list might seem daunting, but I promise it’s not as hard as it looks. A word of caution: I didn’t really measure ingredients, so if something does not taste right try adding a bit more of this and that until you are satisfied with the taste.

Orange Sauce Ingredients:

  • grated garlic and ginger (about 1 tps each)
  • 1/2 c. water + 1/2 c. veg/chicken stock + 1/2 c. orange juice (plus orange zest, if available)
  • lime zest + 1/2 fresh lime, squeezed
  • 1 tb rice vinegar
  • 2  1/2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/4 c. brown sugar
  • 1/2 or 1 tbsp chili garlic sauce + 1/2 or 1 tb chili sauce (see pictures in last post
  • 1/2 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp corn starch + additional 1 tb of soy sauce & 1tb orange juice (wisk together and set aside)

Orange Sauce Directions:

Heat a bit of oil in skillet (sesame oil preferred, but can use any). Add grated garlic and ginger and cook for 30 seconds. Without letting garlic brown, add liquids and the rest of ingredients (excet corn starch mixture). Bring sauce to a boil. Add cornstarch mixture and wisk for a minute, then reduce heat to low and cook for a few minutes until thick. Remove from heat.

Tofu Ingredients:

  • Extra firm tofu
  • Corn starch
  • egg (whisked)
  • Panko bread crumbs (or regular is fine)

Note: using panko bread crumbs will give you a much crispier tofu. It is worth using!

Tofu Directions:

Heat oil in skillet. Cut tofu in bite size pieces. Create an assembly line with corn starch, egg and bread crumbs. Coat with corn starch, then with egg, and finally with bread crumbs. When you place breaded tofu do not have them touch eachother or the breading will fall apart.

When oil is hot, fry tofu until all sides are brown.  Tofu will fry very quick, so keep a close eye on them.

When ready to serve, combine tofu and orange sauce and top with green onions.

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HOT & SOUR SOUP

Ingredients:

  • Grated garlic and ginger (1 tp each)
  • 3 c. Veg or chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp chili sauce
  • Season: salt, pepper, and a bit of sugar
  • Mushrooms (shitake or any other kind is fine)
  • 1/2 can bamboo shoots (important!)
  • a bit of tofu cut in small pieces (optional)
  • whisked egg
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch mixed with 2 tb water
  • garnish: cilantro, green onion

Directions:

Combine liquids, garlic, ginger and chili sauce. Season. When hot, add mushrooms bamboo and tofu. When mushrooms are tender, add cornstarch mixture and stir for 1 minute. Take off heat and add wisked egg. Finish with cilantro and green onions.

Getting Started With Asian Cooking

Posted in Asian on June 30, 2010 by Cooking For Mark

I alway thought making asian food was too dificult.  But I will share a little secret with you: once you have the main ingredients, you will be making asian food ALL the time.  Why? It is super easy, fast, cheap and delicious!  And there are so many varieties of foods you can make. Chinese, Thai, Vietnamesse, Indian, Japanesse–you can make it all! First step is to visit your local Asian Market to get your shopping list. DO NOT get these things at your local supermarket or you will get ripped off!

Shopping List:

  • Chili sauce (see picture above)
  • Garlic Chili sauce (see picture below)
  • Fresh ginger
  • Egg roll wrappers (refrigerated section)
  • Wanton Wrappers (refrigerated section)
  • Thai Spring roll wrapper (these are dry–made out of rice)
  • Canned coconut milk and coconut cream
  • Canned bamboo shoots
  • Green Curry (see picture below)
  • Red Curry
  • Brown Jasmin Rice
  • Soy Suce
  • Rice Vinegar
  • Sesame Oil