General Tso’s Chicken

I’ve been working on this recipe for ages, trying to get the correct balance of flavours and I think this is it – finally nailed it. Every brand of these ingredients will be slightly different. Taste the marinade BEFORE adding raw chicken and make sure it tastes great – adjust as needed. Follow that plan with the sauce also, make sure each component of this dish tastes great before putting it all together.

Slightly spicy, slightly sticky and slightly sweet - a winning combination in this quick stir fry.

Slightly spicy, slightly sticky and slightly sweet – a winning combination in this quick stir fry.

CHICKEN & MARINADE
2 #’s boneless skinless chicken thighs – cut into bite size pieces

6 tbsp sesame oil
2 1/2 tbsp raw sugar
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 heaped tbsp Sambal Oelek (chile paste)
1 tbsp each minced garlic and ginger
1 tbsp corn starch

Combine marinade ingredients in bowl, stir in chicken and allow to sit in fridge for an hour.

SAUCE
2 tbsp yellow miso
2 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp Sambal Oelek (chile paste)
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp light brown sugar

Stir well, and set aside

STIR FRY
peanut oil
2 small hot chile peppers
1 clove garlic, peeled and lightly crushed – but left whole
1/2 medium white onion, cut into 1/2″ dice
1/2 cup roasted peanuts
1 tbsp Shaoshing rice wine (or sherry wine for cooking)
1/2 each red and yellow sweet pepper, cut into 1/2″ dice
4 scallions, chopped into 1″ pieces

GARNISH
Toasted sesame seeds
thinly sliced green onions
thinly sliced hot red peppers

Heat wok over high heat until it starts to smoke, add enough peanut oil to lightly coat bottom – quickly toss in onions, garlic and chile peppers. Stir for 1 minute and add chicken. Toss and stir fry until chicken is slightly opaque, add peanuts and 1 tbsp rice wine. Add reserved sauce, peppers and cook until peppers are cooked through. Stir in large pieces of green onion.

Garnish with the sesame seeds, green onions and red peppers.

Serve with sesame jasmine rice, which is super simple! Just toss finely sliced chives into cooked rice along with toasted sesame seeds and a little sesame oil.

Asian Noodle Stir Fry

This is easily one of the simplest noodle stir fry dishes I have made, and packs lots of taste in every bite.  I think the secret is the spicy vinegar for the finishing touch!

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¼ cup vegetable oil

½ red onion, julienned

1 sweet red pepper, julienned

2 cloves garlic, chopped

⅓ cup oyster sauce

⅓ cup water, mixed in with oyster sauce

2 tablespoons ginger, finely chopped

1 bunch green onion, chopped

Flavoured Vinegar

½ cup rice wine vinegar

2 teaspoons palm sugar (or natural sugar)

1-2 tablespoon chili oil

1 bunch chives, finely chopped

salt

 

Stir all vinegar ingredients together and set aside – really important to do this to your individual taste – SOME LIKE IT HOT …

Mix oyster sauce with water

Soften egg noodles according to package directions, but be careful not to overcook them.

Heat oil in wok, add onions and saute until softened and translucent, add ginger, garlic and red pepper.  Stir fry until just softened.

Add some of the oyster sauce and stir until well combined – add most of the rest of the sauce and stir in the noodles.  Stir fry until all the noodles are well coated and heated through – finish with the last drizzle of the oyster sauce.

Serve with chives to garnish.  I served the vinegar on the side for everybody to add as they pleased, but it could easily be added as soon as the dish is finished.

This dish is really made for you to experiment with – go green instead of red and stir in chopped fresh spinach or sliced snow peas right before serving and garnish with cilantro, green onions and bean sprouts.

For a complete meal add some prawns or thinly sliced chicken – stir fry with the onion/pepper mixture before adding the noodles.

Peanut Sesame Vegetables

Tonight I wanted some stir fry vegetables that would compliment Kung Pao Chicken and Chinese Chow Mein – this was perfect!  Feel free to try out different vegetables, and even add a protein if you like – let me know what you think.
Peanut Sesame Veg

 

assortment of vegetables, prepared for stir fry

tonight mine included cauliflower, broccoli, orange pepper, zucchini

sliced scallions

toasted sesame seeds

SAUCE

2 tbsp crunchy peanut butter

1 tbsp tahini

1 tbsp low sodium soy sauce

1 tsp sesame oil

Stir fry vegetables lightly, just enough to give them a bit of carmelization in spots – then add a wee bit of water to allow them to steam a bit.

Pour sauce in, and toss with vegetables just until they are crunchy cooked and well coated.

Top with freshly sliced scallions and toasted sesame seeds.

If you want to kick up the heat a notch, and haven’t overwhelmed your taste buds with a bunch of other peppers in other parts of your meal I recommend adding a tsp or so of chile flakes … yum yum yum.

Kung Pao Chicken

When the weather turns a little colder I don’t mind standing in the kitchen chopping and stir frying rather than prepping for the grill.  Truth be told, I enjoy the methodical prep time after a stressful day at work!  I have tried a number of Kung Pao recipes, and was wanting to have a great one before I added it to my list.  Finally found/tweaked the one we like best so here it is – hope you love it as much as we did.
Kung Pao Chicken 1

Serves 4

 

3 chicken breasts – diced into bite size pieces

dried red chiles or jalapeno chiles (I needed to use up some chopped jalapenos so that was today’s choice!)

3 tbsp peanut oil

1 tbsp fincely minced ginger

2 cloves garlic, finely minced

2 scallions, sliced thinly on the diagonal

1/2 cup roasted peanuts

MARINADE:

1 tbsp corn starch

2 tbsp soy sauce (low sodium)

2 tbsp rice wine vinegar (or cooking sherry)

1 tsp minced jalapeno (or chile flakes)

1 tsp sesame oil

1 tsp peanut oil

 

SAUCE:

3 tbsp light soy sauce

2 tsp sugar

1 tsp black vinegar

4 tbsp water

2 tsp corn starch

Prepare chicken pieces and stir into marinade – allow to rest at least 30 minutes.

Mix sauce ingredients in bowl and set aside.

Heat wok, add spash of cookng oil and stir fry the chicken until almost done – remove.

Wipe out wok, drizzle with a little cooking oil and add ginger, garlic and sauce.  When sauce has thickened and become glossy add chicken back in.  Stir to coat well and complete cooking.

To finish serve tossed with roasted peanuts and sliced scallions. 

Kung Pao Chicken

1 1/2 # boneless, skinless chicken thighs – cut into bite size pieces

1/4 cup roasted peanuts

8 dried, red chilies (deseeded and cut in half) 

peanut oil

5 slices fresh ginger, sliced thinly and into thin strips

3 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced on the diagonal

1 cup red pepper, cut into aprox 1/2 ” pieces

1 stalk scallion (green onion) – sliced in 1/2″ pieces

MARINADE

1 tbsp corn starch

3 tbsp LOW SODIUM soy sauce

2 tbsp chile paste

3 tbsp rice vinegar

Combine all marinade ingredients – mix well – and stir in chicken pieces.  Keep in fridge until ready for use (at least 30 min)

SAUCE

2 tbsp light soy sauce

2 tbsp oyster sauce

2 tbsp crunchy peanut butter

1/2 tsp chile flakes

2 tbsp chile paste

1 tbsp corn starch

Put all sauce ingredients in jar and shake well – set aside.

Heat wok – add oil – remove chicken from marinade, trying to leave behind most of the liquid, stir fry chicken pieces until about cooked half way.  Remove from heat and set aside.

Wipe out wok, add fresh oil – then garlic, ginger and red pepper – saute until just tender – remove from heat and add to reserved chicken.

Wipe out wok (yes, again) and stir fry dried chiles along with peanuts just until they are aromatic. Add to chicken/veg mixture.

Wipe out wok, add sauce and cook quickly until the sauce has thickened and become shiny (corn starch will always taste kind of murky in a dish unless you achieve that glossy look)  Return the rest of the ingredients to the wok and toss quickly to coat.

Garnish with scallion slices and serve over rice.