Vegetable Chow Mein

Chow Mein 1Looking for something that takes just minutes to whip up but tastes like you spent time slaving in the kitchen cooking? Try my chow mein recipe. You’ll spend most of your time cutting the vegetables. But once that is done everything else takes just a few minutes. Vegetable chow mein you say? I’m not a vegetarian, so I was surprised how I never missed the meat in this dish. But the proof was my meat and potatoes loving, picky-eater son even enjoyed this. He was first to ask “Where’s the meat?” But after trying it out I didn’t hear any complaints.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 cup of soy sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 package (14 ounce) refrigerated chow mein noodles or 2 packages (5.6 ounce) refrigerated Yaki-Soba noodles
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 yellow or white onion sliced
  • 3 stalks celery sliced
  • 1 medium carrot cut Julienne style
  • 6 Shiitake mushrooms sliced
  • 2 cups shredded cabbageChow Mein Ingredients

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together: soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, brown sugar, ginger and white pepper. Set aside.
  2. In a large pot of boiling water, add noodles until loosened. About 1-2 minutes and drain well.
  3. Heat olive oil in large skillet or wok over medium high heat. Add onion, celery, carrots and mushrooms. Cook stirring often until tender. About 4 minutes.
  4. Add in noodles. Be sure to mix well with the vegetables.
  5. Stir in cabbage until heated through. About 1 minute.
  6. Finally add in soy sauce mixture until well combined. Stir in for 1-2 minutes.
  7. Serve immediately. Chow Mein 2

Pork and Shrimp Wonton Soup

Won TonAre you feeling the winter blues? I’ve got a cure for that. How about a fusion of tasty meat dumplings, savory broth and piping hot noodles? In my family, wonton soup has never been served as a starter for dinner. It was the main entrée. Once you make and eat your first pot of wontons, you will be kicking yourself for not learning to make these sooner. Be sure to wrap extra, as you can freeze the wontons and have half the work done for your next wonton dinner. Go basic with just wontons and soup, or go all out with wontons, soup, noodles, vegetables and the protein of your choice. Me? I always go all out. You can thank me later.

WONTON INGREDIENTS:

  • 3/4 pound of ground pork
  • 8-10 peeled and deveined large shrimp, roughly cut
  • 8 shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and minced
  • 1 can sliced water chestnuts, minced
  • 1/2 cup green onions, minced
  • 1/3 cup cilantro, minced
  • 1/4 cup Chinese cooking wine (rice wine)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 package wonton wrappers

SOUP INGREDIENTS:

  • 6 cups chicken stock (Stock gives a richer flavor, but you can use broth)
  • 8 shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup green onions, minced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, minced
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 pound baby bok choy
  • 2 cups snow peas

DIRECTIONS:

  • Add all soup ingredients to stockpot, EXCEPT baby bok choy and snow peas. Heat on low to simmer while you are wrapping wontons.
  • To prepare wontons, layer a baking sheet with wax paper or foil and set aside.
  • Mix all wonton filling ingredients into a large bowl. (except the wrappers of course.) Wonton meat mix
  • Place 1 wonton wrapper on work surface, then place 1 teaspoon filling in the center.
  • Brush all edges with water.
  • Lift opposite corners together to form a triangle to seal in the filling.
  • Make sure all the edges are secure by pressing down. Wet the opposite corners of wrapper and overlap one on top of the other and press corners together.
  • Place wonton on baking sheet. Continue until all wontons are made. (If you plan on saving some for another time, place wontons in freezer bag and freeze up to 3 months.)
  • In another stock pot, fill half way with water and boil.
  • When water is boiling, add wontons in batches of 15-20 depending on the size of your stock pot.
  • Wontons are ready in about 5-8 minutes when they float to surface. (Make sure they are cooked through. Pork should be gray and shrimp opaque.)
  • Add cooked wontons to serving bowls.
  • Add bok choy and snow peas to your simmering soup for 3 minutes.
  • Now add soup to wontons in serving bowls. And you are all set to enjoy your wonton soup!

OPTIONAL INGREDIENTS/TOPPINGS:

  • Chinese egg noodles
  • Prepared meats from Chinese grocers/deli counters: BBQ pork slices, roasted duck, beef stew meat
  • Cooked shrimp
  • Minced cilantro and/or green onions

SAMSUNG

Chinese Spare Ribs in Black Bean and Garlic Sauce

Chinese Black Bean Spare RibsHere’s a traditional Chinese dish that may look complicated, but is really easy to make. The main ingredient that does all the flavoring for you is a concentrated black bean and garlic sauce.  You should be able to find this in most grocery stores that have an Asian or International aisle. I like to use the Lee Kum Kee brand, but any brand should work.

Black bean and garlic sauce

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 lbs. pork rib tips (if you cannot find, substitute with country style pork ribs)
  • 1/2 medium white or yellow onion cut into 1/4 inch half-moons and separated
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
  • 4 tablespoons black bean and garlic sauce
  • 32 oz. beef broth
  • 1/4 cup sweet rice wine or mirin – not rice wine vinegar (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup cold water
  • 1 cup Chinese long beans cut into 1-2 inch pieces (you can substitute with fresh green beans)
  • 3 russet potatoes peeled and diced into 1 inch cubes (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Cut the pork rib tips into sections, leaving only one bone per section. (If you are using country style pork ribs, cut into 2 inch cubes.)
  2. In a large pot (or wok that has a lid) add vegetable oil and turn heat to medium high.
  3. When oil begins to ripple, add onions and pork. Continually stir to saute onions and pork for 3-5 minutes.
  4. Add black bean and garlic sauce, enough beef broth to cover pork, rice wine (optional), sugar and stir to mix.
  5. Once broth comes to a boil, lower heat to medium low, cover pot and let cook for 1 hour.
  6. After an hour has passed, turn heat back up to high.
  7. Make a slurry in a small bowl with cornstarch and cold water. Mix well.
  8. Add remaining beef broth if any. If not add 1/2 cup water.
  9. When broth is back to a boil, add slurry mixture and stir until thickened to thin gravy consistency.
  10. Add Chinese long beans (or green beans) and potatoes (which is optional, but I like them to cut down the saltiness of the black bean and garlic concentrate.) Stir.
  11. Lower heat down to medium and cook for 20 more minutes. (10 minutes if not adding potatoes.)
  12. Serve over rice.

Makes 4-6 servings