Spicy Wok Green Beans

July 12, 2013

Green BeansSpicy Wok Green Beans

BUT Victoria I don’t have a wok!  No problem at all if you don’t have a wok then use a large cast-iron skillet, but if you DO have a wok then drag that baby out for this dish.  Searing green beans in a dry wok really gives them a mild smoky flavor.  This dish tends to be a bit spicy because the chiles are sliced and cooked with their seeds (the seeds are the hottest part of the chiles).  If you want to tone down the spiciness then don’t cook the seeds and just throw them away.  Make sure not to touch your mouth or eyes after slicing the Serrano chiles.  Trust me I’ve done it plenty of times.  OUCH!


1 Pound Trimmed Green Beans

4 Sliced Garlic Cloves

2 or 3 Thinly Sliced Red Serrano Chiles

1 Tablespoon Black or White Sesame Seeds

3 Tablespoons Water

2 Tablespoons Tamari

Place your wok or cast-iron skillet on the burner and turn the heat up to high.  Heat the wok until it’s very hot.  Place the green beans into the wok and cook for 5 minutes.  Stir constantly. You will want the green beans to begin to blister and brown in spots.  Now add the garlic, chiles and sesame seeds.  Cook for another minute continuing to stir.  Add the water and then place a lid on the wok and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.  You will want the green beans to be crisp-tender.  Take the lid off and cook for another minute until there is no water left and the ingredients are dry.  Remove from the heat and stir in the tamari.  Transfer to a serving bowl and serve immediately.  Serves 4

Tamari is made from soybeans, water and salt.  Tamari has a more intense and more complex flavor than regular soy sauce.  It also has a higher concentration of minerals, has a thicker consistency and is darker than regular soy sauce.


Tender Salt Chicken

June 29, 2013

Tender Salt ChickenTender Salt Chicken

If you’re looking for a new way to make chicken here is a nice change of pace.  It’s made with a wonderful Asian ingredient called Shio-Koji.  Shio-Koji is a Japanese traditional condiment made from malted rice and salt.  Its salty flavor can be a great substitute for salt, by lowering the overall salt content to less than 50%.  Shio-Koji is a live food that is rich in enzymes.  It brings out the umami in foods.  Shio-Koji imparts a rich savory flavor making any dish delicious.  It is excellent to use when marinating fish or meat and can be found in most Asian grocery stores.


2 Tablespoons Miso

1 Tablespoon Shio-Koji

1 Pound Chicken Thighs

4 Tablespoons Plain Yogurt

3 Tablespoons Olive Oil

In a medium size bowl combine the yogurt, miso and Shio-Koji.  Mix well to combine.  Place the chicken thighs in a large ziplock bag and pour the Shio-Koji mixture in the bag to cover the chicken.  Zip up the bag and give a good shake to ensure that all of the chicken is nicely covered.  Place in the fridge and let sit for at least 2 hours.  Place a large size sauté pan on the stove and pour in the olive oil.  Turn the heat to medium-high and place the chicken thighs into the sauté pan.  Cook one side for 3 minutes and then turn over.  Cook the other side for another 3 minutes.  Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for15 to 20 minutes.  Remove from the heat and transfer to a serving plate.  Serves 2


Teriyaki Marinade

May 14, 2013

Teriyaki MarinadeTeriyaki Marinade

When I’m super busy I like to marinate meats overnight and cook them the next day.  One of my favorite marinades is Teriyaki Marinade.  Japanese foods marinated in sake-flavored soy sauce to which sugar has been added and then broiled or roasted make a quick and tasty dinner.  The sugar imparts a glaze to the cooked foods.  Marinate seafood for about 30 minutes.  Marinate meats and poultry for several hours or overnight before cooking.


1 Cup Soy Sauce

1 Cup Sake

1/3 Cup Sugar

In a medium size bowl combine the soy sauce, sake and sugar.  Pour over desired seafood or meat and marinate.  When ready to cook remove from the marinade and discard.  I always like to make extra marinade to brush on whatever meats I am cooking.

Asian Asparagus

April 26, 2013

Asian AsparagusAsian Asparagus

Asparagus doesn’t have to be treated with kid gloves and will actually stand up to aggressive flavors.  Spice up your spring asparagus and serve as a main meatless dish.


1 1/2 Pounds Trimmed Asparagus

2 Tablespoons Grapeseed Oil

6 Dried Red Peppers

1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1/2 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper

1 Teaspoon Chinese Chile Paste

2 Teaspoons Grated Garlic

2 Teaspoons Grated Ginger

1/2 Teaspoon Grated Orange Zest

1 Chopped Jalapeño Pepper

3 Teaspoons Sesame Oil

1/2 Cup Chopped Cilantro

4 Slivered Green Onions

2 Tablespoons Toasted Sesame Seeds

Wash and snap off the asparagus bottoms.  Cut the asparagus into 2 inch pieces.  Place a wok or a heavy sauté pan over a high heat.  Add the grapeseed oil.  Add the dried peppers and cook until they sizzle.  Add the asparagus.  Toss well to coat in the oil.  Add the salt and pepper. Sauté for 1 minute.  Add the chile paste, garlic, ginger, orange zest and jalapeño peppers.  Cook for 1 minute or until the asparagus is cooked, but still firm. You don’t want to overcook the asparagus as it will continue to cook after removed from the heat.  Remove from the heat and transfer to a serving platter.  Drizzle the asparagus with the sesame oil.  Sprinkle the top of the asparagus with the cilantro, green onions and sesame seeds.  Serves 4

Asparagus & Shrimp Stir Fry

March 18, 2013

Asparagus & Shrimp Stir Fry

Spring time is nearly here which is a great time to find sweet, juicy, local asparagus.  Asparagus & Shrimp Stir Fry make the perfect weeknight dinner. 


1 1/2 Pounds Asparagus

2 Tablespoons Fish Sauce

1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce

1 Tablespoon Oyster Sauce

6 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil Divided

2 Tablespoons Minced Garlic

1/2 Pound Peeled & Deveined Large Shrimp

2 Large Sliced Shallots

1 Tablespoon Rice Wine

1/4 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper

Wash the asparagus and then snap off the end of each asparagus stalk.  I don’t like to cut them and feel that snapping is much better because the stalks will naturally bend just above the tough part.  Next, cut the asparagus into 2 inch pieces on the bias.  Set aside.  In a small size bowl mixt together the fish sauce, soy sauce, oyster sauce and 1 tablespoon vegetable oil.  Set aside.  In a wok or large skillet add 3 tablespoons vegetable oil over a medium high heat.  Add the minced garlic and cook for 15 seconds.  Stir constantly.  Add the shrimp and cook for 45 seconds.  Stir in 1 tablespoon of the cooking sauce and cook for another 2 minutes.  You will want the shrimp to be almost opaque all the way through.  Remove from the heat and place into a medium size bowl and set aside.  Wipe the wok or skillet clean with a paper towel and place back on the stove.  Turn the heat to high and pour in the rest of the vegetable oil and add the shallots.  Cook and stir constantly for 30 seconds.  Add the asparagus and pour in the rest of the cooking sauce.  Cook the asparagus in the sauce for 4 minutes.  Add the shrimp back to the pan and cook for 2 more minutes.  Remove from the heat and stir in the rice wine and pepper.  Transfer to a serving platter and serve with steamed jasmine rice.  Serves 4

Chinese Egg Rolls

February 10, 2013

Chinese Egg Rolls

Egg rolls are often used as appetizers or you may use them as a main dish.  The pancake-like skins are available at many grocery stores, but especially at Asian specialty stores or you can make your own. 



1 Cup Unbleached Flour

2 Cups Water

2 Eggs

1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

In a medium size bowl add the flour.  Gradually add the water and stir.  Beat in the eggs and kosher salt.  Grease a medium size skillet and heat over a low heat.  Beat the batter once more and pour 1 tablespoon of the batter into the skillet.  Let the batter spread over the surface of the pan to form a very thin and flexible pancake.  When it shrinks away from the sides turn and let it set on the other side.  DO NOT let it become brown or crisp.  Remove and repeat until you have cooked all of the batter.  Place in a dish and cover with a damp cloth until you are ready to use. 



3 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil

1/2 Cup Chopped Celery

3/4 Shredded Cabbage

4 Chopped Scallions

1/2 Cup Diced Shrimp

1/2 Cup Diced Cooked Pork

1/2 Cup Chopped Water Chestnuts

1/2 Cup Bean Sprouts

1 Minced Garlic Clove

1/4 Cup Soy Sauce

1 Teaspoon Grated Ginger

1/2 Teaspoon Sugar

In a large skillet or wok heat the oil over a medium high heat for 1 minute.  Add the celery, cabbage and scallions and stir fry for 1 minute.  Add the shrimp and cooked pork and cook for 3 minutes.  Add the water chestnuts, bean sprouts, garlic ginger and sugar.  Cook for 5 minutes.  Remove from the heat and let cool.  Place 4 tablespoons of the filling in the rectangular shape on the center of each pancake.  Fold up like and envelope.  Seal the last flap with a paste made of :

1 Tablespoon Flour

2 Tablespoons Cold Water

Deep fry each egg roll into a deep fat fryer heated to 375º F or use oil about 1 inch deep in a skillet and fry the egg rolls until golden brown.  Serve with Chinese Mustard, Soy Sauce or Sweet & Sour Sauce.  Makes 12 Egg Rolls.



Sweet & Sour Sauce:

Heat in a saucepan: 1/2 Cup Pineapple Juice, 3 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil, 2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar, 1 Teaspoon Soy Sauce, 1/2 Teaspoon Pepper and 1/4 Cup Mild Vinegar. Makes 2 1/2 Cups

Beef & Broccoli

October 21, 2012

Beef & Broccoli

This stir fry will be a big hit and your crew will go back for seconds or thrids.  The sauce is flavorful and is a good balance between sweet and salty.  Feel free to change up the vegetables if you want.  Green beans, snow peas or spinach would work well in this dish. 


1/4 Cup Soy Sauce

1 Tablespoon Cornstarch

1 Tablespoon Hoisin Sauce

12 Ounce boneless Steak Cut Into Thin Strips

5 Tablespoons Dark Sesame Oil

2 Cups Broccoli Florets

1 Cup Sliced Red Onion

1 Cup Chopped Carrot

1/2 Cup Water

1/3 Cup Sliced Green Onions

Rice or Noodles (Optional)

In a medium size bowl combine the soy sauce, cornstarch and hoisin sauce.  Add the sliced steak to the soy sauce mixture.  Toss to coat the steak.  Heat a large skillet or wok over a high heat.  Add the oil to the pan and make sure the oil hits all parts of the pan.  Remove the steak from the marinade and place the steak into the pan.  Don’t throw away the marinade.  Just set it aside for a moment.  Cook the steak for 2 minutes.  Stir occasionally.  Remove the steak from the pan and place into a bowl.  Set aside.  Add the broccoli, onions, carrots and water.  Cook for 4 minutes.  You will want the broccoli to be crisp, but tender.  Add the reserved marinade to the pan and bring to a boil.  Cook for 1 minute.  Add the steak back to the pan and cook for 1 more minute.  Stir frequently.  Remove from the heat and transfer to a serving platter.  Sprinkle with green onions.  Serve over either rice or noodles.  Serves 4

Noodle Bowls For Everyone

August 6, 2012

Noodle Bowls For Everyone

When it’s this hot and muggy out no one wants the oven heating up their house or apartment.  Besides I am usually not in the mood for a heavy meal when the weather is so oppressive.  Here is a great idea for an easy, but flavorful lunch or dinner. 


14 Ounces Chicken or Beef Broth

1/2 Cup Bottled Peanut Sauce

2 Cups Stir Fry Vegetables of Your Choice

6 Ounces Ramen Noodles

In a large size pan combine the peanut sauce and chicken or beef broth.  Bring to a boil and stir in the vegetables and noodles.  If you are using the flavored ramen noodles throw away the spice packet.  You may use either frozen or fresh vegetables.  Cover and simmer for 4 minutes or until the noodles and vegetables are tender.  Portion out the noodles and broth between four serving bowls.  Serves 4


Make It Your Own Noodle Bowl

Here are options to “make it your own.”

Tofu-Sesame:  Stir in 1/4 cup hoisin sauce (instead of the peanut sauce), 1/4 cup water, 1 Teaspoon toasted sesame oil, 1 cup diced tofu.  Heat through and top with toasted sesame seeds.

Shrimp:  Stir in 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger to the broth mixture and peanut sauce.  Stir in cooked shrimp and heat through. 

Sweet & Sour:  Use sweet & sour sauce instead of the peanut sauce.  Stir in breaded chicken strips and heat through. 

Alfredo:  Use Alfredo sauce, instead of peanut sauce.  Use chicken broth and frozen peas.  Stir in cooked & diced chicken.  Heat through. 

Southwest:  Use salsa instead of peanut sauce.  Add frozen sweet peppers and onions for the vegetables.  Top with corn chips. 

Teriyaki:  Use 1/4 cup teriyaki sauce and 1/4 cup water instead of the peanut sauce.  Top with cashews. 

Mexican:  Use salsa instead of peanut sauce.  Stir in cooked chorizo sausage and heat through. 

Italian:  Use pasta sauce instead of peanut sauce.  Add chopped zucchini, fresh spinach and green beans.  Stir in cooked meatballs.  Heat through. 

Beef & Broccoli:  Use beef broth, peanut sauce and broccoli.  Stir in cooked roast beef strips or leftover steak strips and heat through. 

Thai Curry Vegetable:  Add 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk, peanut sauce and 1 teaspoon curry powder to the broth.  Add vegetables of your choice.  Top with Peanuts. 

Hoisin Chops

June 20, 2012

Hoisin Chops

Hoisin sauce (also called Peking sauce) is an Asian sauce and is often used in Asian cooking much like how BBQ sauce is used in American cooking.  Hoisin sauce is made from soybean paste, garlic, chilies, sugar, vinegar and various spices and is a great glaze for meat and fish (Peking Duck).  Hoisin sauce is also a nice condiment which can also gives extra flavor to noodle and stir fry dishes.    


4 Large Bone-In Pork Chops

1 Cup Hoisin Sauce

1/4 Cup White Wine

5 Chopped Garlic Cloves

2 Tablespoons Toasted Sesame Oil

1/4 Cup Hoisin Sauce For Basting


With a meat tenderizer pound out the four chops. In a medium size bowl combine the hoisin sauce, white wine, sesame oil and garlic cloves.  Place the 4 pork chops in a large ziplock bag.  Pour the hoisin sauce marinade over the chops.  Close the ziplock bag and give a gentle shake to cover all of the chops.  Put into the fridge overnight.  When you are ready to cook the chops remove them from the fridge.  Cover your broiler pan with foil and place the chops on top of the foil. Let the chops rest for 15 minutes to come to room temperature.  Baste with additional Hoisin sauce and place under the broiler for 4 to 8 minutes per side. You can also cook these chops on the grill. Turn the chops over and baste with more sauce.  When done remove from the oven and transfer to a serving plate.  Serve with rice and salad.  Serves 4

Sesame Ginger Vinaigrette

May 18, 2012

Sesame Ginger Vinaigrette


This vinaigrette is one of the most versatile vinaigrettes.  It keeps well for several weeks in the refrigerator.  It is delicious on salads, in stir fry dishes and as a marinade for seafood, chicken or beef. 



3/4 Cup Vegetable Oil

1/4 Cup Rice Wine Vinegar

1 Tablespoon Finely Minced Fresh Ginger

1 Minced Garlic Clove

Zest of 1 Orange

1/4 Cup Fresh Orange Juice

1 Teaspoon Toasted Sesame Oil

1 Teaspoon Soy Sauce

1/4 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1/4 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper


Combine all of the ingredients except the salt and pepper in a small bowl.  Whisk together and season with the salt and pepper.  Set aside or refrigerate until ready to use.  Makes 1 cup.


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