Tag Archives: Asian cuisine

Asparagus and Bean Curd with Thai Red Curry.

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.

Asparagus and Bean Curd with Thai Red Curry.

  
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.
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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.

More Experiments with Bean Curd…Kung Pao Tofu (a variation on a theme)

So this is really a variation on a few levels. One is that it is sort of a variation of this tofu recipe, and another is that it is a variation–or my interpretation–of Kung Pao Chicken. How this recipe is different from the original Kung Pao Chicken is that I of course replaced the chicken with tofu, and I also added asparagus to make it a one-skillet meal. And what’s different from the other tofu recipe that I mentioned, in this one I baked the tofu rather than fry it. The outcome is pretty much the same other than it takes longer and has a lower fat content. And just as with the other recipe, if you’d like to make this vegan simply replace the chicken broth with vegetable broth.

 

Kung Pao Tofu with Asparagus


Serves 4


Tofu Marinade:

2 (14oz) packages extra firm tofu

¼ cup sherry

¼ cup soy sauce

2 tablespoons cornstarch


For the Sauce:

¼ cup chicken broth

4 tablespoons sugar

3 tablespoons soy sauce

3 tablespoons cider vinegar

1½ tablespoons cornstarch

1 tablespoon sesame oil


For the Stir-Fry:

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 tablespoons sesame oil

1 small onion, sliced

1 small red bell pepper, sliced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon minced ginger

8 whole dried chilies, stems removed

1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and sliced on the bias

3 green onions, sliced

1 cup unsalted peanuts


Drain the tofu, quarter it lengthwise, and slice it into ½” thick rectangles. Then lay it in a single layer in a shallow pan. Mix the sherry, soy, and cornstarch together and pour it over the tofu. Allow the tofu to marinate for at least 30 minutes, but as long as over night, turning it to absorb marinade. Drain the tofu and transfer it to a baking sheet that is fitted with a wire rack. Preheat an oven to 350F and bake the tofu for 20-30 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and set aside.


Mix the sauce ingredients by combining the chicken broth (or water or vegetable broth if you want to keep it vegan), sugar, soy, vinegar, cornstarch, and sesame oil in a small bowl and set aside.


To assemble the recipe, heat a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat and add the 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil and sesame oil. When the oil just begins to smoke, add the onion, bell pepper, garlic, ginger, and whole chilies. Cook these ingredients for a minute or two, until the garlic just begins to brown and the air is fragrant with spice, then add the asparagus and cook a minute longer. Stir the sauce ingredients then add it to the wok or skillet. Bring it to a boil, it should thicken quickly (if it becomes too thick add a splash of broth). Add the cooked tofu, green onions, and peanuts. Carefully fold the ingredients into the sauce (trying not to break the tofu). Remove from the heat and serve with steamed rice.

Urban Simplicity.

Spicy Bean Curd and Mixed Vegetables (yum!)

Spicy Bean Curd and Mixed Vegetables

Yield: 4 servings

4 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon cider vinegar

1 tablespoon sugar

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 package (14oz.) firm tofu, drained and sliced into 1-inch pieces

1 cup vegetable oil (for frying)

1 small onion, sliced

1 red bell pepper, julienned

1 carrot peeled and sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon minced ginger

1 teaspoon crushed hot pepper

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

1 head broccoli, cut into florets

1 ½ cups chicken broth


In a small bowl combine the soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, and cornstarch—stirring to dissolve the sugar and cornstarch—then set aside. Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Carefully add the tofu and cook it on both sides until golden brown. Remove the tofu and transfer to absorbent paper. Carefully pour most of the oil into a separate pan (or other safe container), leaving just enough oil to stir fry. Heat the pan and add the onion, bell pepper, and carrot. Sauté until they just begin to caramelize. Add the garlic, ginger, and hot peppers. Sauté for another minute or two. Add the asparagus and broccoli, stir to coat it with the oil and seasonings, then stir in the chicken broth. Bring it to a boil, then stir in the soy-cornstarch mixture. Simmer for a couple minutes, until the sauce thickens and the broccoli and asparagus are just cooked. Serve with steamed rice. 
 

Urban Simplicity.

Kim-Chi (again)

Okay. So this is one of those recipes that I’ve either posted multiple times or offered different variations of it. It’s just so delicious and so good for you and so easy to make that I feel I have to post it again. All you have to do is mix the ingredients together and wait (seriously, that’s it). The images are the recipe that I made today…now I wait (luckily I still have some from a previous batch to carry me until this one is ready). Anyhow, the basic recipe is below but if you want additional recipes or to read background material on fermented foods please read this article I wrote some time ago.

Kim Chi
(Korean-Style Sauerkraut) 

1 head Napa cabbage, cut into two-inch pieces
1 small daikon, grated
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small piece ginger, minced
1 small onion, minced
2 tablespoons chili paste
1 tablespoon sugar

Mix all of the ingredients together in a large bowl. Transfer to a container that is wide enough to fit a few small plates inside it. Press the cabbage down and weight it with plates. Cover the container and leave at room temperature. After a day it should release enough liquid that it is submerged, if not, add a little salted water. After about 2 days small bubbles will appear, after about a week or so it will smell and taste distinctively sour. Taste it as often as you like and when the flavor is to your liking transfer the container to the refrigerator to slow its fermentation.

Salute the General (or at least his chicken)

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.

Salute the General (or at least his chicken)

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.

Bean Curd and Mixed Vegetables!

I’ve posted this in the past but not in a while so I thought I would re-post it. This is one of my favorite Asian recipes. It is really easy to make and really delicious (and nutritious, too). The only difference in the recipe pictured and the one written below is that I used a variety of vegetables (instead of just broccoli) and didn’t blanch them before stir-frying. Anyhow if you are a carnivore you wont even miss it not having meat (well, maybe).

Broccoli and Bean Curd with Ginger, Garlic, and Hot Peppers
Yield: 4 servings
4 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
4 heads broccoli, cut into florets
12 ounces firm tofu, sliced into 1-inch pieces
1 cup vegetable oil (for frying)
1 small onion, sliced
1 red bell pepper, julienned
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 teaspoon crushed hot pepper
1-1/2 cups chicken broth
In a small bowl combine the soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, and cornstarch. Mix to dissolve the cornstarch and set aside. Par-cook the broccoli boiling water, then drain it and cool it under cold running water. Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Carefully add the tofu and cook it on both sides until golden brown. Remove the tofu and transfer to absorbent paper. Carefully pour most of the oil into a separate pan (or other safe container), leaving just enough oil to stir fry in. Heat the pan and add the onion and bell pepper. Sauté the vegetables until they begin to caramelize. Add the garlic, ginger, and hot peppers. Sauté for another minute or two. Stir in the chicken broth; bring it to a boil, than stir in the soy-cornstarch mixture. Bring it to a simmer, then add the broccoli and bean curd. Stir and toss it to evenly coat it with sauce. Continue to heat the pan just until the broccoli is heated throughout.

Urban Simplicity.

Really Simple (and really delicious) Stir-Fry Recipe


This recipe is so easy but it is also equally delicious. Once you have everything prepped it takes a mere 5 minutes to cook. While I used chicken, the recipe is equally good with nearly any other meat, poultry, or seafood; it can also be made vegetarian–sans meat–by substituting the meat with tofu, tempeh, seitan, or using just vegetables (and replacing the chicken broth with vegetable broth). It’s also a great way to use up leftover meat or poultry.

Chicken and Vegetable Stir-Fry

Makes about 4 servings

3/4 cup chicken broth

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

3 thin slices ginger

1 clove garlic, sliced thin

1 pound mixed vegetables

8 ounces cooked chicken


In a small bowl, combine the broth, soy sauce, cornstarch, sugar and salt, then set aside. Heat the oil over high heat in a large skillet. Add the ginger and garlic, cook for a couple of minutes, then add the vegetables and chicken; stir-fry for a few minutes. Stir the broth mixture and add it to the stir-fry. Cook for a couple of minutes, until the sauce is thickened and the vegetables are cooked to your liking.

Broccoli and Bean Curd Stir-Fry Recipe

This is one of my favorite stir-fry recipes…it’s, simple, quick, and really delicious and nutritious. This is one of those simple restaurant-quality dishes that you’ll be wondering why you ever pay to have it prepared when it is so easy to make yourself. I’ve posted this recipe, or variations of it, a few times before, but I haven’t in a while. Anyhow, I made it for dinner tonight and thought I’d share the recipe again. As I type these words I am–in a word–stuffed. It is so delicious I couldn’t stop eating it. The only difference between the recipe pictured (the one I made tonight) and the actual recipe listed below, is that  in tonight’s version I added sliced carrots (which should be added when you add the onion and pepper). Anyhow, I hope you try it.

Broccoli and Bean Curd with Ginger, Garlic, and Hot Peppers
Makes about 4 servings
4 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
4 heads broccoli, cut into florets
12 ounces firm tofu, sliced into 1-inch pieces
1 cup vegetable oil (for frying)
1 small onion, sliced
1 red bell pepper, julienned
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 teaspoon crushed hot pepper
1-1/2 cups chicken broth

In a small bowl combine the soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, and cornstarch. Mix to dissolve the cornstarch and set aside. Par-cook the broccoli boiling water, then drain it and cool it under cold running water.

Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Carefully add the tofu and cook it on both sides until golden brown. Remove the tofu and transfer to absorbent paper. Carefully pour most of the oil into a separate pan (or other safe container), leaving just enough oil to stir fry in. Heat the pan and add the onion and bell pepper. Sauté the vegetables until they begin to caramelize. Add the garlic, ginger, and hot peppers. Sauté for another minute or two.

Stir in the chicken broth; bring it to a boil, than stir in the soy-cornstarch mixture. Bring it to a simmer, then add the broccoli and bean curd. Stir and toss it to evenly coat it with sauce. Continue to heat the pan just until the broccoli is heated throughout.

Kim Chi

I’ve posted a few variations of this recipe in the past, but what it comes down to is that kim-chi is a spicy fermented cabbage recipe not unlike sauerkraut  (but did I mention spicy). The above image may be a bit misleading because it is not the finished recipe, it is the ingredients that have just been mixed together prior to fermentation (beautiful isn’t it). In this heat it should be fully fermented in a few days, or at least by week’s end. The basic recipe is listed below, but really the ingredients are really up to you. If you’d like to learn more about fermented foods–via articles I wrote (yes, shameless self-promotion)–click here or here. I also recommend this book.

 
Kim Chi
(Korean-Style Sauerkraut) 

1 head Napa cabbage, cut into two-inch pieces
1 small daikon, grated
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small piece ginger, minced
1 small onion, minced
2 tablespoons chili paste
1 tablespoon sugar

Mix all of the ingredients together in a large bowl. Transfer to a container that is wide enough to fit a few small plates inside it. Press the cabbage down and weight it with plates. Cover the container and leave at room temperature. After a day it should release enough liquid that it is submerged, if not, add a little salted water. After about 2 days small bubbles will appear, after about a week or so it will smell and taste distinctively sour. Taste it as often as you like and when the flavor is to your liking transfer the container to the refrigerator to slow its fermentation.
 
 

Anticipation

Yup…it’s that time of year again. Time to start thinking about the victory garden. That’s a savoy cabbage plant pictured above. Future food for my son and I. In a few months I plan on eating it. No, let me rephrase that. In a few month months, after I harvest the cabbage and some cayenne peppers from my front yard garden, I’ll make kim chi–or rather, combine the ingredients and it will make itself–and then I will eat it. 

Salute the General

I made this for staff lunch at work today…General Tso’s Chicken. It is not that difficult to prepare and really rewarding because when you make it yourself it is not greasy or sickeningly-sweet. The only differences in the version I prepared today (the one picture) is that I added a sliced orange and toasted sesame seeds to the recipe. Other than that the recipe listed below is the one that I used (but multiplied by six times). If you want to prepare a simple yet delicious Chinese recipe at home–one where guests or family members may think you ordered out–this is the recipe. I originally published this recipe in Artvoice a few years ago, and also on this blog around the same time. If you’d like to read the story behind this recipe, and how I came about it, click either here or here.

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.

Urban Simplicity

Things That Can be Carried on a Bike (#407)

Two portions of seafood and vegetable fried rice. I made this for staff lunch today and it was so good I brought a few leftovers home for dinner. To see the basic recipe being made click here (I also added curry spices to this recipe).

Urban Simplicity.

Simple Stirfy…or, how to make something really quick and delicious with what you have

I’ve said this before, but some evenings cooking dinner in my home is like taking a mystery basket test. By the time I get home my son is hungry (and so am I) so time is something to consider…and there’s often just a scant few things in the fridge. Don’t believe the unrealistic TV shows where it shows chefs with their home kitchens packed with food, this is far from the truth. Anyhow, scant as it may be, I still had a couple substantial items…a package of frozen boneless chicken thighs and a bunch of broccoli. I also came upon a half of an onion, a piece of green pepper, some garlic and ginger…and of course condiments ans seasonings. After thawing and marinating the chicken (in a mixture of soy sauce, white wine, and cornstarch), I quickly pan fried it. And then stir fried the vegetables and made a light sauce…it was all ready by the time a couple cups of brown rice were cooked. Healthy, quick, and delicious.
I basically followed the premise for the recipe below. Just substitute the tofu with chicken, if you like. Or eat the vegetarian version. Both are delicious. Actually, nearly any vegetable and/or meat or seafood can be substituted following the basic method. Anyhow, here it is in pictures; the recipe follows.

Broccoliand Bean Curd with Ginger, Garlic, and Hot Peppers
Yield:4 servings
4tablespoons soy sauce
1tablespoon cider vinegar
1tablespoon sugar
2tablespoons cornstarch
4heads broccoli, cut into florets
12ounces firm tofu, sliced into 1-inch pieces
1cup vegetable oil (for frying)
1small onion, sliced
1red bell pepper, julienned
2cloves garlic, minced
1tablespoon minced ginger
1teaspoon crushed hot pepper
1-1/2cups chicken broth

In asmall bowl combine the soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, and cornstarch. Mixto dissolve the cornstarch and set aside. Par-cook the broccoliboiling water, then drain it and cool it under cold running water.

Heat theoil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Carefully add the tofuand cook it on both sides until golden brown. Remove the tofu andtransfer to absorbent paper. Carefully pour most of the oil into aseparate pan (or other safe container), leaving just enough oil tostir fry in. Heat the pan and add the onion and bell pepper. Sautéthe vegetables until they begin to caramelize. Add the garlic,ginger, and hot peppers. Sauté for another minute or two.

Stir inthe chicken broth; bring it to a boil, than stir in thesoy-cornstarch mixture. Bring it to a simmer, then add the broccoliand bean curd. Stir and toss it to evenly coat it with sauce.Continue to heat the pan just until the broccoli is heatedthroughout. 
 

Urban Simplicity.