Spicy and Tangy Tofu Stir Fry

Hello friends!

I failed yet again at my promise to self to keep up with the blog. Too many roadblocks along the way, but I will at least try to post a new recipe whenever I can.

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So, couple of weeks ago, I tried this truly delicious bean curd stir fry with plenty of veggies coated in a delectable sweet-spicy-tangy sauce. That dish used fried bean curds that were kind of squishy and strangely airy. While I enjoyed every bite, I did feel a little overwhelmed with the amount of sliced onions in it. As I was silently chewing every bite, I tried to make a mental note, no, no, more like a package of memory filled with the taste, smell and texture of each bite. Why you ask? Well, I do that quite often, at least as often as I try a bite of a new dish somewhere that I would like to recreate with my own little twist.

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Today would have been the perfect day to succumb to the comfort of eating that dish for lunch. Alas, we were hit with the biggest snowstorm of the season and the family was home-bound. Even though I had already prepared meals ready to be warmed for lunch, something in me kept nudging me to open the refrigerator and take out the ingredients to whip up some spicy and tangy tofu stir fry.

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Little bit of this, little bit of that and before I knew it, a super satisfying, flavor-rich tofu dish was born!

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Spicy and Tangy Tofu Stir Fry

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 30 min
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Ingredients
1 Pkg extra-firm tofu
3 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon Thai red curry paste
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
3 tablespoons finely chopped garlic, divided
3 green onions, green part finely sliced and divided
¼ cup oil
4 oz sliced white or baby bella mushrooms
3 cups broccoli florets
½ cup sliced red onion
Few dried red chillis
Sauce:
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce
1 tablespoon cornstarch

Preparation:
1. Cut tofu into bite size pieces. Toss with cornstarch.
2. Mix the curry paste, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar and garlic. Coat tofu cubes in the sauce and set aside for 10 minutes.
3. While tofu is marinating, prepare the vegetables.
4. Mix the ingredients for the sauce and set aside.
5. Heat a large wok or frying pan over medium high heat and add oil.
6. Fry the tofu cubes till golden brown and let drain on paper towel.
7. When all the tofu is fried, drain excess oil, leaving about a tablespoon in the pan.
8. Saute the reserved garlic, red chilli and onion.
9. Add the mushrooms and broccoli and flash cook for another 3 minutes or so.
10. Toss in the fried tofu pieces and top with the reserved sauce.
11. Stir and continue to cook till the sauce thickens and coats the vegetables and tofu.
Serve the stir fry with steamed rice or over cooked rice noodles.

Easy Basil Fried Rice

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I love food! I guess that’s quite obvious by now! But seriously, I do enjoy a variety of cuisine – sambols and rotis from my homeland, Sri Lanka, pasta dishes characteristic of Italy, slow rendered duck breast and macarons from France, tacos and fajitas from south of the border, curries and rice dishes from India, Pakistan, China, Thailand….And the list goes on!

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Each cuisine is unique and unparalleled with incredible flavor combinations, textures, colors and taste! I have a bit of a special fondness for Thai dishes – perhaps it’s the coconut milk and ample use of green chili. So, I had this craving for a yummy Thai fried rice, but without having to go for takeout.

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I was pretty sure I had the basic ingredients handy – basil, fish sauce, palm sugar, rice, eggs and a medley of vegetables. A quick look through the refrigerator and pantry confirmed my hunch! So, after perusing through a few recipes for inspiration, I decided to use my own pseudo blend of Thai seasonings! I figured even it didn’t taste Thai at all, it will still be pretty darn good. And good it was! In fact, it was probably better than good. My family loved it and both my kids (one who hates fish sauce and the other who has a pretty discerning taste for fried rice) actually verbally acknowledged that the rice was good. That, in my books, is a pretty big win!

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This rice is especially good, made with a day old rice kept in the refrigerator. If you are like me and have a freshly cooked batch, just spread 2 cups of the cooked rice on a plate and chill till you prepare the ingredients. It worked fine. I think day-old rice just helps to keep the kernels separate – like in restaurants.

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Easy Basil Fried Rice

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 30 min
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Ingredients
2 cups cooked rice, preferably a day old kept overnight in the refrigerator
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 cups of chopped vegetables of your choice (I used carrots, onions, savoy cabbage and celery)
2 eggs
1/4 cup roughly chopped basil leaves

Seasoning:
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon minced ginger
2 large cloves of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons ketchup (I used tomato sauce)
1 tablespoon sugar (I used palm sugar)
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
Sprinkling of crushed red peppers, optional

Preparation
1. In a small bowl, combine all the seasoning ingredients. Set aside.
2. Heat a large saute pan or wok over high heat. Add the oil and saute the vegetables for 3-5 minutes.
3. Add the rice and seasoning mix. Toss to mix thoroughly. Spread the rice and vegetables across the pan to allow them “fry” a bit more” – another 3 minutes or so.
4. Push the rice and vegetables to the edge of the pan, creating a well in the center for the eggs.
5. Lightly beat the eggs and pour in the center of the pan. Let set and scramble. Mix the egg with the rice and vegetables.
6. Remove from heat and serve with meat or vegetable stir fry and/or an Asian cucumber salad.

Coconut Curry Soup with Chicken and Vegetables

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True it is July and there is just a glimmer of hope that it might actually start to feel like summer, but that shouldn’t stop you from wanting a comforting bowl of soup for a meal, right?! Well, let’s just assume that’s the case! I know a bowl of soup sounds far more inviting in the cold and dreary winter months, but hey, with this intensely flavored bowl, you might actually feel like you are vacationing somewhere in Thailand or Sri Lanka! 

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The idea for this recipe originated from a lunch break conversation with a colleague who was longingly taking out a warm bowl of homemade soup from the microwave. It smelled great and she went on to add that she was so sad that her last bit of soup made in bulk was going to be consumed! She quickly summarized the recipe for me while I made a mental note of just three things – curry powder, coconut milk and whatever you want to throw in to make it a meal! I also remembered with a smile a small Ziploc bag of kefir lime leaves that I had in the freezer from an online purchase eons ago! I knew adding that would mean I would get an addictive aroma of combination of curry, coconut and citrus! What not to love about this, huh!

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I didn’t have to wait around to make this recipe. I had all the ingredients on hand – you think it is weird? 🙂 Especially those kefir lime leaves! Oh well! By the way, for those of you who wish to avoid meat, you can easily substitute the chicken with tofu and the chicken broth with vegetable broth. I think that in essence will make this recipe vegan! A really delicious one!

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So, armful of assorted vegetables, a small tray of chicken thighs and a little of this and that, voila, the recipe was concocted in a flash! Seriously, don’t let the list of ingredients discourage you from trying this out. It is really a snap to whip up and the end result is….honestly, I think you should just make it and tell me yourself!

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Coconut Curry Soup with Chicken and Vegetables

  • Servings: 6
  • Time: 45 min
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Ingredients
6 chicken thighs, skin removed
Salt and pepper to season the chicken
2 tablespoons canola oil, divided for use
2 large carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/4″ inch thick slices
1/2 large red pepper, sliced into 2″ strips
1/2 large green pepper, sliced into 2″ strips
1 cup sliced mushrooms (button or baby bella)
1/4 cup diced onions
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 tablespoon mild or medium curry powder
2 kefir lime leaves, zest of 1 lime OR 2″ piece of lemon grass, crushed
Zest from 1 lemon
Juice from 1 lemon
1/2 cup thick coconut milk
1 32-oz container chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup of water
2 tablespoons of soy sauce
Dash of crushed red pepper, optional
3 corn on the cobs, cut in half (optional)
1 cup of cooked noodles (rice or Udon preferred) – Optional

Preparation:
1. Season chicken pieces with salt and pepper and set aside.
2. Heat a large, heavy bottom pan over high heat and drizzle a tablespoon of oil. Place the chicken thighs in a single layer and brown on all sides. Remove from pan and set aside.
3. Add the remaining oil to the same pan and add the vegetables, including onion and garlic and saute for a few minutes.
4. Stir in the curry powder and cook for another minute or two till the raw smell of the curry powder fades away. Add in the browned chicken pieces.
5. Slowly add the chicken broth, water and soy sauce. Adjust the amount of soy sauce to your taste. Add in the kefir lime leaves, lemon zest and lemon juice. Cover the pan with a lid, reduce heat to medium and let the soup simmer for 30 minutes till the chicken is cooked through and vegetables are tender.
6. Reduce heat to low and slowly stir in the coconut milk, reserving a few tablespoons to top the soups before serving.
7. Serve hot with some noodles (if using) and a sprinkle of chopped cilantro.

You can refrigerate any leftover for consuming later. Just know that when you reheat, the soup may look a bit “split” because of the coconut milk trying to separate from the soup. The taste will still be great!

Citrusy Asian Salad in Crispy Wonton Shells

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It’s been a very hectic week and I didn’t have the chance to go by the grocery store like I had hoped to. There was a potluck BBQ party on Saturday and I had to figure out a no-fuss, yet rather light summery appetizer to take along.  I know I had a tray of shaved beef in the freezer. Since one of my kids has more or less sworn off beef, I figured I could use the meat for an appetizer.

After a mental run down of what seemed like dozens of ideas, I decided on a summery, citrusy salad that could be eaten as a finger food. Ah, what better vehicle to hold the salad than crispy wonton shells! Have you tried those? I must say, this was my first time and I was quite impressed! The shells remained partially crisp the next day, even after a light drizzle of the delicious citrusy-Asian dressing.

It is super easy to make the shells. Just spray a muffin pan and gently mold a wonton wrapper into a general cup shape and bake at 350F for about 7 minutes or so. Similarly, shaved beef is super easy to cook. Fast too! Just season with whatever – in this case, an Asian-inspired marinade, and just saute for a few minutes.

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The salad dressing, which probably is the best part of this entire dish, is a simple combination of lemon juice, honey, teriyaki sauce, few drops of dark sesame oil and a dash of salt and pepper.

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Just layer on the salad ingredients and drizzle the dressing right before serving. These cups were a huge hit at the gathering and people raved about the dressing. Addition of lemon zest does take it a whole new level, so don’t hold back on it!

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So, what are you waiting for? Get ready to impress your friends and family at the next gathering with this super light, yet super delicious Citrusy Asian Salad in Crispy Wonton Shells!

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  • Servings: ”18″
  • Time: ”40
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Ingredients
18 wonton shells
cooking spray
2 cups of Spring green mix
1/4 cup thinly sliced salad radish
1/4 cup finely minced red peppers
1/2 lb shaved beef
1 tablespoon oil
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/4 cup finely chopped roasted peanuts
Zest from 1 lemon
Juice from 1 lemon
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons teriyaki sauce
1/4 teaspoon dark sesame oil
2 tablespoons canola oil
dash of salt and pepper

Preparation:
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Spary a muffin pan with cooking spray. Carefully place a wonton wrapper into each of the muffin cups and gently form into shells. Bake for 8 minutes till golden. Remove from oven and let cool in the pan.
2. In a medium frying pan, spoon a tablespoon of oil and heat over medium high heat. Add the beef and quickly stir around till meat is browned. Add the teriyaki sauce and garlic and saute for another 3 minutes. Turn off heat and let the meat cool to room temperature.
3. In the meantime, remove the wonton shells from the muffin pan and carefully arrange them on a large platter. Place a layer of salad greens into each shell. Place about a tablespoon of the sautéed beef and top with radish and peppers. Sprinkle with crushed peanuts. Set aside while you prepare the dressing.
4. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon zest, lemon juice, teriyaki sauce, sesame oil, canola oil, honey, salt and pepper. Drizzle the dressing over the salad cups right before serving.

Soy Glazed Chicken on a Stick

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Anything on a stick seems to elevate to the top when it comes to perfect finger foods that are enjoyed by all – although not all of them are good for you (was your first thought corndog??!). But this recipe is truly not that bad at all – especially if you use chicken breast although I used bones, skinless thighs!

I don’t know if this belongs to the true “chicken satay” category. I probably have most of the satay marinade ingredients in this, but this is more of a general Asian flavor than any one particular cuisine. Marinade consists of sweet soy sauce (it is like molasses – dark and thick), regular soy sauce, dark sesame oil, ginger, garlic, honey, rice wine vinegar and green onions.

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There is not much to this recipe. Hardest part is probably cleaning the chicken to remove all excess fat and slicing them into long strips. Other than that, you just let the chicken (on the stick) marinate for a while and cook! Don’t discard the marinade. Boil it up to make a delicious dipping sauce for your chicken on a stick!

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Soy Glazed Chicken on a Stick

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 45min
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Ingredients
4 large boneless, skinless chicken thighs
4 tablespoons sweet dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
Cooking spray
12 short bamboo skewers
1 tablespoon peanut butter, optional (for sauce)

Preparation:
1. Begin by preparing the chicken. Trim off excess fat and slice into long strips, about 1″ wide. Thread the chicken pieces through the skewers. Set aside in a shallow dish while you prepare the meat. Alternatively, you can marinate the chicken and then thread through the skewers.
2. Prepare the marinade pan by mixing all the ingredients from dark soy sauce through crushed red pepper. Pour over the chicken, cover with plastic wrap and let marinate for about 15-20 minutes.
3. Heat a skillet over medium heat. Remove the skewers from the marinade and drain the marinade into a small sauce pan. Place the skewers in a single layer and cook for 5 minutes on each side. Test for doneness. Alternatively, you can grill the chicken as well.
4. Add about 1/4 cup of water to the marinade along with the peanut butter (if using). Bring to a slow simmer and continue cooking for about 3-5 minutes. If the sauce looks too thin, you can thicken it by adding a bit of cornstarch. Taste the sauce and adjust salt/sweetness per your taste.
5. Serve the chicken with the sauce and a side of rice or salad.

Asian inspired noodles with vegetables and soy glazed salmon

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Don’t you wish you could have a list of recipes that you can whip up in a few minutes, use only a pot or two and require only a bit of time in the kitchen?? All of us lead super busy lives and we go about the daily motions wishing there will be more hours in the day. And then comes meal time! You want to feed your family something wholesome, but at the end of the day, just the thought of making something well balanced seems arduous! But what if you could make something in just about half hour and feel good knowing you are feeding the family a delicious and nutritious meal!

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This dish is one of those accidental happenings in the kitchen tonight! Inspiration for this dish comes from a delicious serving of pho noodle soup I had last week. I loved the delicately seasoned simple but delectable broth, crunchiness of the fresh veggies and the soft, chewiness of rice noodles. So, I thought of making something similar with the ingredients I had in the kitchen – glass noodles, fennel bulb, savoy cabbage, green beans, salmon and cilantro. Once you clean and slice the vegetables, it is a snap to put this dish together.

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To have a good flow….I will recommend starting with a pot of water to boil the noodles. Next, you should marinate the salmon in a mixture of soy sauce, ginger and garlic. While the fish is marinating, clean, wash and slice the vegetables. Now, you can add the noodles to the water, heat a pan to saute the fish and distribute the vegetables in four serving bowls. Then, you will be left with just heating the broth with a few seasonings and pouring it over the vegetables and noodles and topping off with a piece of salmon. Yum!

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Asian inspired noodles with vegetables and soy glazed salmon

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 30-40 minutes
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Ingredients
1 lb skinless salmon
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/6 package of sweet potato glass noodles
1 1/2 cups of thinly sliced savoy cabbage
1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
1 cup of thinly sliced fresh green beans
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 can of reduced salt chicken broth
1 teaspoon reduced salt soy sauce
1 teaspoon dark, toasted sesame oil
Juice from half a lime
1/2 teaspoon crushed dried basil (if you have fresh basil, that will be better!)

Preparation
1. Begin by marinating the salmon in a mixture of soy sauce, ginger and garlic.
2. Place a pot of water to boil; Cook noodles according to instructions.
3. Drain the noodles and keep aside and return the pot back to stove top.
4. Empty the can of broth into the pan and bring to a boil with a teaspoon of soy sauce, sesame oil, lime juice and basil.
5. Clean and prepare all the vegetable as listed above.
6. Distribute the veggies among 4 serving bowls. Top with cooked noodles.
7. Heat a frying pan over medium high heat and spray with cooking spray. Cook salmon until done.
8. Add hot broth to the vegetables and top with salmon. Sprinkle additional cilantro if desired and top with a squeeze of fresh lime juice and crushed red peppers, if desired.

Bibimbap-Style Beef Dinner

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OK, so I debated a while about what to name this recipe, which was inspired by a lovely lunch I got from a food cart last week! It was made by someone who has been making it all his life! So, although the idea is similar, I couldn’t bear to belittle the authenticity of the dish by calling it bibimbab. Hence the name you see here! “Bibimbap-Style Beef Dinner”

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For ingredients, I guess you could pretty much use a variety of your favorite veggies (raw, steamed or sautéed) and stir-fried beef or pork with steamed rice and cooked seasoned glass noodles. Going back to my food cart reference, I almost didn’t order the bibimbap because the dish was topped with a soft-set egg. I am not a runny yolk person. So,  yes, I was a coward and ordered my egg fully cooked.

For this recipe, I used a small bunch of spinach and carrots for veggies. I wish I had bean sprouts, maybe next time! Spinach was just boiled in its own liquids and carrot was briefly sautéed in a small amount of oil. I seasoned the shaved beef in some Korean marinade and sautéed in small batches.

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Drizzle a bit of toasted sesame oil and sprinkle a bit of toasted sesame seeds on your served dish and you will have yourself something that may just satisfy your craving for bibimbap until your next visit to a Korean restaurant or a food cart! 🙂

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Bibimbap-Style Beef Dinner

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 45 min
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Ingredients
1/2 lb shaved beef
1/4 cup Korean meat marinade (bottled)*
1 small bunch fresh spinach
1 teaspoon soy sauce
2 medium carrots, julienned
2 cups lettuce leaves, torn into bite size pieces
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
3/4 cup cooked glass noodles
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1/2 cup bottle kimchi, optional
1 jalapeno, sliced thin, optional
1/4 cup sliced red onions, optional
1 cup cooked rice
4 eggs

Preparation:
1. Season the beef with the meat marinade and set aside while you prepare the vegetables.
2. Prepare the glass noodles according to package directions. Add 1/4 teaspoon of toasted sesame oil and 1 teaspoon of Korean marinade. Set aside.
3. In a medium pan, steam the spinach leaves. Drain off the liquid and season with 1 teaspoon low-sodium soy sauce. Set aside.
4. Wipe the pan and add a teaspoon of oil. Saute the carrots for 2 minutes till they are crisp tender. Season with salt, if desired. Set aside.
5. Heat the pan over high heat and add a tablespoon of oil. Saute half the meat for about 3 minutes till it is cooked through. Remove to a platter and repeat with the remaining meat.
6. Pan fry eggs according to your taste.
7. Divide the meat, vegetables, rice and noodles among 4 plates. Add kimchi, jalapeno and onions, if desired. Lastly, top with an egg and drizzle a few drops of toasted sesame oil over the vegetables and meat.

* NOTE: If Korean barbeque sauce is not available, feel free to substitute equal amount of light soy sauce, 1 clove of minced garlic and 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar (or palm sugar)

Oven-“Fried” Asian Orange Chicken

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It started with sweet and sour chicken – “it” as in my kids’ introduction to Chinese food! Few years have passed since then and now their all-time favorite dish to order at a Chinese restaurant is orange chicken – crispy fried morsels of bite size chicken pieces that are lightly coated in an orange and soy infused glaze. If you are lucky to have had the opportunity to bite into one of these perfectly prepared chicken pieces, you can easily see why this dish is so popular with kids and adults alike.

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Having said that, not all orange chicken dishes are created equal. Actually not even close! I have had many an encounter with tiny crumbs of chicken clinging to their dear reputation in mounds of soggy breading/batter. There have been instances of good balance between meat and batter, but the meat could have seen better days. And there have been instances when both meat and batter were just right, except for the overload of barely wet dried orange rinds with overly sweet concoction of what is supposed to be a delicious orange sauce.

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Hmph! So, having had one of those episodes recently, I figured why not make a version at home that will hopefully not only taste better, but better for you as well. Chicken breast, oven “fried” rather than deep fried, just a touch of brown sugar rather than corn syrup or other concoctions??!! Yep, you got it!

So, armed with all-white chicken meat, fresh oranges (for both the zest and the juice) and panko bread crumbs, I braved myself to trust my senses of taste and smell and recreate a dish that is enjoyed by my family, especially my kids.

20140506_191229  This dish surpassed all my expectations, especially when it came to the texture of the cooked chicken and the perfectly balanced sweet-sour-spicy nature of the sauce/glaze. Panko coating left the chicken pieces crispy and held out quite strong even with the glaze on top. I deep fried a small batch of chicken coated in egg and cornstarch but my kids preferred the oven “fried” version with panko because of its texture and taste! I couldn’t be happier! 🙂

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So, here is a disclaimer…I have not traveled to the Hunan province of China to really know what this dish is supposed to taste like. So, this is purely based on my experience enjoying crispy battered chicken coated in a citrusy/orange soy glaze. 🙂 Enjoy at your own will!

Soy-ginger glazed salmon burger with crispy Asian slaw

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We love salmon in my family – although our tastes differ when it comes to preparation method – broiled, grilled, in curries, steamed etc. But, what we all enjoy is a juicy and well-seasoned salmon burger!

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I have made salmon burger in various ways before – primarily changing up the seasoning mix. However, I had never made one infused with Asian flavors of soy, ginger and sesame. Last night seemed to be the time for it! I had all the ingredients I would need making it a snapt to proceed!

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This is a three part recipe – salmon patty, soy-ginger glaze and Asian slaw. Once you gather all the ingredients, it’s pretty fast to assemble. You could skip the slaw but I think you will miss it. 🙂 I personally think this particular burger is elevated to a whole new level with the addition of the fresh, crunchy topping. You have various options for the slaw – a combo green and purple cabbage with some tart apple, a combination of Napa cabbage with red onions and radish etc. Served on a lightly buttered and toasted bun, topped with a smattering of the slaw, this burger will likely become a family favorite!

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Soy-ginger glazed salmon burger with crispy Asian slaw

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 45min
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Ingredients
Salmon Burger Patty
1 1/4 lbs salmon
1/2 inch ginger, finely minced
2-3 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
3 tablespoons finely minced onions or green onions
1 tablespoon Asian chili sauce or sambol oelek
1/4 cup panko or regular breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
1 egg, lightly beaten

Soy-ginger glaze
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon brown sugar, optional
1/2 teaspoon minced ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

Asian slaw
3 cups of shredded and thinly sliced Napa cabbage
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
5-6 red radishes, cut into thin strips
1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro

Preparation
1. Start by mincing the salmon either in a food processor or using a knife. If using a processor, take care not to over process as salmon will very easily turn into a “paste”.
2. Combine salmon with rest of the patty ingredients. Cover and set aside while you prepare the glaze.
3. In a small saucepan, combine the glaze ingredients and simmer on low-medium heat for about 5 minutes till the sauce thickens and become syrupy. Transfer to a small bowl and let cool.
4. Combine all the slaw veggies in a bowl.
5. Heat a griddle over medium/medium-high heat. Cook salmon patties for about 4 minutes per side till it is golden and cooked through.
6. Toast the hamburger buns with a very light spread of butter.
8. Toss the slaw veggies with the soy-ginger glaze.
9. Assemble the burger, drizzling bit of the glaze on the patty. Top with the tossed slaw and ENJOY!

Pad Thai Style Asian Noodles

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Pad Thai is probably the most common Thai dish enjoyed in North America! It is a dish that offers a perfect balance of flavors. One down side is that if you prefer spicy food, this probably won’t be your top choice at a Thai restaurant. I prefer Pad See Ew or other spicy options when we dine at Thai restaurants, but occasionally I do enjoy the delicate flavors of Pad Thai.

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This recipe is inspired by traditional Pad Thai. I say inspired because it uses different blend of sauces/seasoning and vegetables. Served with a side of crispy cucumbers, red onions and jalapeno in a sweet and sour dressing, this noodle will taste light and refreshing.

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Pad Thai Style Asian Noodles

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 45 min
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Ingredients 8 oz wide rice noodles
2 tablespoons oil
2 cups of shredded napa cabbage
1 large carrot, shredded
3 green onions, chopped
2 large cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 inch piece of ginger, minced
½ lb medium uncooked shrimp or boneless, skinless chicken, cut into bite size pieces
1 tablespoon corn starch

Sauce for the noodles 3 tablespoons sweet dark soy sauce
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 dime sized ball of tamarind pulp dissolved in ¼ cup warm water
1 clove of garlic, minced,
¼ inch piece of ginger, minced
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 green onion, minced

Garnish
1 lime quartered
¼ cup toasted peanuts, crushed

Preparation
1. Bring a pot of water to boil and cook noodles according to instructions. Drain and set aside.
2. Prepare the sauce for the noodles by combining all the ingredients and simmering under low heat for 5-10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
3. In a large skillet or wok, heat one tablespoon of oil under high heat. Stir fry shrimp (or chicken) coated in cornstarch till cooked through. Remove to a plate and set aside till later.
4. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the wok and add ginger and garlic, followed by all vegetables. Stir fry the vegetables for about 3-5 minutes.
5. Add the cooked shrimp or chicken and follow with the sauce. Mix well.
6. Add the cooked noodles and gently toss to combine.
7. Serve immediately with a wedge of lime, a generous sprinkling of peanuts and a crisp cucumber salad!