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Asparagus and Bean Curd with Thai Red Curry.

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This is another recipe that is about the method and not necessarily the ingredients. What I mean is that this is a really basic recipe where the ingredients can be changed to your liking while using the same seasoning (or similar seasonings) but using the same simple stir-fry method to prepare them. Anyhow, this is really easy to make and super delicious.

 

Asparagus and Bean Curd with Thai Curry

Makes 4 servings

1 package extra firm tofu, drained

3 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus extra to oil a pan

1 onion, sliced

1 red bell pepper, sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces

2 tablespoons red Thai curry

¼ chicken or vegetable broth

2 tablespoons soy sauce

12 leaves fresh basil, course chopped

Preheat an oven to 400F. Dice the tofu and spread it onto a lightly oiled baking sheet. Bake the tofu for about 30 minutes, turning it every ten minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove the tofu from the oven and set aside. Heat the 3 tablespoons vegetable oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat, then add the sliced onion and bell pepper; stir-fry for a couple minutes, then add the garlic and cook a couple minutes longer. Add the asparagus, cook for a minute or two, then add the red curry, mixing it with the vegetables. Add the cooked tofu to the pan, along with the vegetable broth and soy sauce. Bring to a boil, tossing all the ingredients together, then stir in the basil and remove from the heat.

Salute the General (or at least his chicken)

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I’ve posted this recipe prior but not in some time….General Tso’s Chicken. Yup, that sweet and spicy deep fried chicken that is popular in so many American Chinese takeout restaurants. It’s easy to make at home for a fraction of the cost at a restaurant, and when you make it yourself you can control the sodium/sugar/grease levels. If you are interested in the story behind this dish see this article I wrote for Artvoice some years ago.

General Tso’s Chicken

Yield: 3-4 servings

For the chicken:

1 pound boneless chicken thighs, cut into pieces

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 egg

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 tablespoon flour

 

For the sauce:

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup sherry

1/2 cup chicken broth

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

2 tablespoons sugar

1-2 tablespoons cornstarch

 

Additional Ingredients

6 small dried red chilies

1 tablespoon minced ginger

2 teaspoons minced garlic

3 green onions, sliced

peanut oil for deep frying

 

Combine all of the chicken ingredients together in a bowl, mix to evenly coat, and set aside. Mix all of the sauce ingredients together in a separate bowl and set aside. Heat a couple inches of peanut oil in a wok or skillet until 350F. Stir the chicken again, then carefully deep fry it piece-by-piece and remove to a plate lined with paper towel. Cut a piece of the chicken to make sure it’s thoroughly cooked. Carefully transfer the oil to a tin can or other pot to cool, reserving a few tablespoons in the wok or skillet. Over medium-high heat stir-fry the chilies for a minute, then add the ginger and garlic. Stir the sauce ingredients again, then carefully add it to the hot pan. Bring to a boil and simmer for 1 minute. Add the cooked chicken and green onion. Toss to coat. Serve with steamed rice.