Won Ton Soup

November 6th, 2007

The name won ton means swallowing a cloud, and the wonton floating in this popular soup are thought to resemble clouds. This recipe for Won ton Soup serves 4.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 18 – 24 won ton wrappers
  • Filling:
  • 1/2 pound boneless lean pork, chopped finely
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • a few drops sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon sherry
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 green onion, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 2 dashes of white pepper
  • Other:
  • Water for boiling won tons
  • 4 1/2 – 5 cups chicken stock
  • green onion, thinly sliced, as desired
  • a few drops sesame oil (optional)

PREPARATION:

Combine all the filling ingredients in a bowl, mixing well. Lay one won ton skin in front of you. Cover the remaining won ton skins with a damp towel to keep them from drying out.
    Filling the won tons: Moisten all the edges of the won ton wrapper with water. Place a heaping teaspoon of won ton filling in the center.
  Fold the won ton wrapper in half lengthwise, making sure the ends meet. Press down firmly on the ends to seal. Use thumbs to push down on the edges of the filling to center it. Keeping thumbs in place, fold over the won ton wrapper one more time. Push the corners up and hold in place between your thumb and index finger. Wet the corners with your fingers. Bring the two ends together so that they overlap. Press to seal. The finished product should resemble a nurse’s cap. Repeat with remaining won tons.

Alternate method: Place the teaspoon of filling in the middle of the wrapper and twist to seal. The final result should resemble a money bag or drawstring purse.
 
Boiling the won tons: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the won tons, making sure there is enough room for them to move about freely. Let the won tons boil for 5 – 8 minutes, until they rise to the top and the filling is cooked through. Remove from the pot with a slotted spoon.

To make the soup: bring the chicken stock to a boil. Add the won tons and bring the soup back to a boil. Add the green onion, remove the pot from the heat and add the sesame oil, stirring. Ladle into soup bowls, allowing 6 won tons per person.

Peking Duck

November 6th, 2007

INGREDIENTS:

  • One 5 to 6 pound duck
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 slice ginger
  • 1 scallion, cut into halves
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sherry
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch, dissolved in 3 tablespoons water
  • Scallions for garnish

PREPARATION:

Clean duck. Wipe dry and tie string around neck.
Hang duck in cool, windy place 4 hours.
Fill large wok with water. Bring to boil. Add ginger, scallion, honey, vinegar, and sherry. Bring to boil. Pour in dissolved cornstarch. Stir constantly.
Place duck in large strainer above larger bowl. Scoop boiling mixture all over duck for about 10 minutes.
Hang duck again in cool, windy place for 6 hours until thoroughly dry.
Place duck breast side up on a greased rack in oven preheated to 350 degrees. Set a pan filled with 2 inches of water in bottom of oven.
(This is for drippings). Roast 30 minutes.
Turn duck and roast 30 minutes more. Turn breast side up again. Roast 10 minutes more.
Use sharp knife to cut off crispy skin. Serve meat and skin immediately on a prewarmed dish.
The duck is eaten hot with hoisin sauce rolled in Mandarin Crepes. Garnish with scallion flowerets. Serves 4 to 6.

Sesame Chicken

November 6th, 2007

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 whole boneless chicken breasts
  • Marinade:
  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon cooking wine or dry sherry
  • a few drops of sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • Sauce for Sesame Chicken:
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/8 cup vinegar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 TB dark soy sauce
  • 2 TB sesame oil
  • 1 tsp chili paste, or more if desired
  • 1 clove garlic (minced)
  • Other:
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds (see recipe directions for link to how to toast)
  • 3 1/2 – 4 cups peanut oil for deep-frying

PREPARATION:

Toast the sesame seeds and set aside.

Cut the chicken into 1-inch cubes. Mix the marinade ingredients and marinate the chicken for 20 minutes. 

To prepare the sauce: mix together all of the sauce ingredients.  Pour them into a small pot and bring to a boil, stirring continuously. Turn the heat down to low and keep warm while you are deep-frying the chicken. 

To deep-fry the chicken: add the marinated chicken pieces a few at a time, and deep-fry until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Repeat with the remainder of the chicken. 

Just before you are finished deep-frying, bring the sauce back up to a boil. 
Place the chicken on a large platter and pour the sauce over.  Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve the Sesame Chicken with rice.

Lettuce Wraps

November 6th, 2007

The latest trend at Asian restaurants, flavorful lettuce wraps make a great appetizer or main dish.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 head iceberg lettuce or romaine lettuce leaves (whichever you prefer)
  • Sauce:
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dry sherry
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Remaining Ingredients:
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 slice ginger, minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 lb meat from chicken breasts or sliced white chicken meat
  • 1 red pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 can water chestnuts, rinsed in warm running water and chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons water

PREPARATION:

Wash the lettuce, dry, and separate the leaves. Set aside.
 
Mix together the sauce ingredients. Heat the sesame oil in a non-stick frying pan on high heat. Add the garlic, ginger, and green onions and fry until the garlic and ginger are aromatic. Add the chicken and cook until the chicken is browned. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
 
Add the red pepper, water chestnuts, and celery to the frying pan. Add the sauce ingredients and cook at medium heat, Give the cornstarch/water mixture a quick restir and add to the sauce, stirring to thicken. Add the chicken back into the wok. Cook for 2 – 3 more minutes, stirring, to heat through and finish cooking the chicken.

Lay out a lettuce leaf and spoon a heaping teaspoon of the chicken and vegetable/sauce mixture into the middle. The lettuce wraps are designed to be eaten “taco-style,” with the lettuce/chicken mixture folded into a package. Continue with the remainder of the chicken and lettuce leaves. Serve.
 
   Variations: Try substituting different vegetables, or using one of the many stir-fry sauces that are now on the market in place of the sauce.

Egg Drop Soup

November 6th, 2007

Traditionally, the broth for Egg Drop Soup is rather bland, allowing the egg flavor to stand out. I’ve added white pepper for extra bite, but you can leave it out if desired, or substitute 1/2 teaspoon sugar.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 cups chicken broth or stock
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 -2 green onions, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • A few drops of sesame oil (optional) 

PREPARATION:

In a wok or saucepan, bring the 4 cups of chicken broth to a boil. Add the white pepper and salt, and the sesame oil if using. Cook for about another minute.
Very slowly pour in the eggs in a steady stream. To make shreds, stir the egg rapidly in a clockwise direction for one minute. To make thin streams or ribbons, gently stir the eggs in a clockwise direction until they form.
  Garnish with green onion and serve.

Nutritional Breakdown – 4 servings
Each serving contains: Calories 81, 2 g Carbohydrates, 8 g Protein, 4 g Total Fat, 1 g Saturated Fat, 106 mg Cholesterol, trace Fibre, 866 mg Sodium

Egg Drop Soup Variations
These would be added after the seasonings. After adding, let the soup cook for a few more minutes and then add the beaten egg.
**1/2 cup frozen peas.
**If you are preparing the soup for someone who is ill, try adding a slice of fresh, grated ginger. Among its many benefits, ginger is believed to be helpful in treating colds and flue.

Sweet and Sour Pork

November 6th, 2007

This sweet and sour pork is prepared American-style with more batter and deep-fried twice for extra crispiness.

Serves 4 to 6

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3/4 pound pork tenderloin
  • 2 – 3 teaspoons soy sauce
  • Pinch of cornstarch
  • Sauce:
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup water or reserved pineapple juice
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch dissolved in 4 tablespoons water
  • Batter:
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 
  • 1/3 cup warm water, as needed
  • Other:
  • 1 carrot
  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • 1/2 green bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup pineapple chunks
  • 3 cups oil for deep-frying, or as needed

PREPARATION:

Directions for sweet and sour pork
Cut the pork into 1-inch cubes. Marinate in the soy sauce and cornstarch for 20 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine the sugar, ketchup, dark soy sauce, salt, water or juice and vinegar. Set aside. In a separate bowl, dissolve the cornstarch in the water. Set aside.

Peel the carrot and chop on the diagonal into 1-inch pieces. Cut the bell peppers in half, remove the seeds and cut into cubes.

Heat the oil for deep–frying to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

For the batter, combine the flour and cornstarch. Stir in the egg white and vegetable oil. Add as much of the warm water as is needed to form a thick batter that is neither too dry or too moist. (The batter should not be runny, but should drop off the back of a spoon).

Dip the marinated pork cubes in the batter. Deep-fry in batches, taking care not to overcrowd the wok. Deep-fry the pork until it is golden brown. Remove and drain on paper towels.

(If desired you can deep-fry the pork at second time to make it extra crispy. Make sure the oil is back up to 375 before you begin deep-frying again).

To prepare the sweet and sour sauce, bring the sauce ingredients to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the carrot, green pepper, and pineapple. Bring to a boil again and thicken with cornstarch mixture, stirring. Check the sauce one more time and adjust seasonings, adding salt and/or vinegar if desired. Serve hot over the deep-fried pork. Serve sweet and sour pork hot over rice.

Easy Orange Chicken Stir-fry

November 6th, 2007

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • Marinade:
  • 2 tablespoons Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • Sauce:
  • 1/3 cup orange juice*
  • 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon chile paste
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 slice ginger, minced
  • Oil for stir-frying, as needed

PREPARATION:

Place the cubed chicken in a bowl, and add the marinade ingredients. Marinate the chicken for 30 minutes. 

While the chicken is marinating, prepare the sauce ingredients and the garlic and ginger.

Heat the wok and add oil.

When oil is ready, add the garlic and ginger and stir-fry until aromatic.

Add the chicken and stir-fry until it changes color. Push up to the sides of the wok, making a well in the middle. Add the sauce.

Combine the sauce and the chicken. Stir-fry for another minute and serve hot.

*If you find the orange flavor too overpowering, try substituting a combination of orange juice and water to make 1/3 cup.

Hot and Sour Soup

November 6th, 2007

Hot and sour soup is reputed to be good for colds. To increase the health benefits, feel free to add 2 or 3 teaspoons of finely chopped ginger.

For a vegetarian version of Hot and Sour Soup, leave out the pork.

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cake tofu (fresh, if possible)
  • 2 ounces pork tenderloin
  • Marinade:
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon tapioca starch (or cornstarch)
  • Other:
  • 1/2 cup bamboo shoots
  • 2 tablespoons black fungus (Wood Ear) or Cloud Ear fungus
  • (or 3 – 4 Chinese dried black mushrooms or fresh mushrooms)
  • 1 small handful dried lily buds
  • 6 cups water (or 6 cups water and 1 cup Campbell’s chicken broth)*
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons red rice vinegar, white rice vinegar, or red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch dissolved in 1/4 cup water
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 green onion, finely chopped
  • White pepper to taste (no more than 1 tablespoon)
  • Hot chili oil, to taste, optional

PREPARATION:

Hot and Sour Soup Directions:
Shred pork. Mix marinade ingredients and marinate pork for 20 minutes.

Cut tofu into small squares. Cut bamboo shoots into thin strips and then into fine slices. To reconstitute the fungus, soak in warm water for 20 minutes. Rinse, and cut into thin pieces. (If substituting Chinese dried mushrooms, soak to soften, then cut off the stems and cut into thin strips. If using fresh mushrooms, wipe clean with a damp cloth and slice.)

To reconstitute the dried lily buds, soak in hot water for 20 minutes or until softened. Cut off the hard ends.

Bring the water to a boil. When it is boiling, add the bamboo shoots, fungus or mushrooms, and the lily buds. Stir. Add the tofu. Bring back to a boil and add the marinated pork.
Stir in the salt, sugar, soy sauce and vinegar and sesame oil.
Test the broth and adjust the taste if desired. (If using chicken broth, you may want to add a bit more rice vinegar).

Mix the cornstarch and water. Slowly pour the cornstarch mixture into the soup, stirring while it is being added. Let the broth come back to a boil. As soon as it is boiling, remove the broth from the stove.

Slowly drop in the beaten egg, stirring in one direction at the same time. Add the green onion and the white pepper to taste. Drizzle with chili oil if desired. Serve hot.

(Hot and Sour Soup can be prepared ahead of time and frozen. When making the soup, leave out the tofu. When ready to serve, thaw, add the tofu and bring to boiling. When the soup is boiling, add the egg.)

*Adjust the ratio of water to chicken stock as desired.

Sweet and Sour Sauce

November 6th, 2007

Yields about 1/2 cup

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/3 cup white or rice vinegar
  • 4 TB brown sugar
  • 1 TB ketchup
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch mixed with 4 teaspoons water

PREPARATION:

Mix the vinegar, brown sugar, ketchup, and soy sauce together and bring to a boil in a small pot. Mix together the cornstarch and water, add to the other ingredients and stir to thicken.

(If desired, you can add 1 green pepper, cut into chunks, and pineapple chunks as desired after adding the cornstarch. For a thicker sauce, increase the cornstarch to 4 teaspoons while keeping the water constant.)

Egg Roll Recipe – Cooking Chinese Egg Rolls

November 6th, 2007

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 package egg roll wrappers (4 1/2″ by 5 1/2″)
  • Filling:
  • 1 pound fresh pork (or barbecued pork)
  • 1 medium onion (sliced)
  • 2 stalks celery, cut diagonally
  • 1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 6 water chestnuts (fresh if possible), sliced
  • 1/2 pound suey choy (Napa Cabbage), sliced thinly, 1 inch lengthwise
  • 2 green onions, diced
  • 1 pound fresh bean sprouts
  • Pork Seasoning:
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon oyster sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • a bit (less than 1 teaspoon) cornstarch
  • Gravy:
  • 4 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons oyster sauce
  • salt, pepper, accent (if desired) to taste
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 2 teaspoons cold water*
  • 2 tablespoons oil for stir-frying
  • 2 to 4 cups oil for deep-frying

PREPARATION:

Mix seasoning ingredients together. Cut the pork into thin strips, add the seasonings and marinate the pork for between 10 and 15 minutes. 

While the pork is marinating, prepare the vegetables, and the gravy mixture. 

Heat the wok over medium-high to high heat. Add the oil for stir-frying. When the oil is iready, add the celery and onion and stir-fry.

Taste and add salt and sugar if desired. Remove from the wok. Add the pork to the wok and cook until well done (place cover on wok). Remove. Clean the wok and stir-fry separately the mushrooms, water chestnuts, and bean sprouts. Check the seasoning while stir-frying the bean sprouts and add salt and/or sugar as desired. Stir-fry the suey choy, covering and cooking for approximately 1 minute, again adding salt and/or sugar if desired. Combine all the ingredients in the wok. If necessary, drain some of the juice from the vegetables out.

Add the gravy, pushing the vegetables up against the sides of the wok to form a well in the middle for the gravy, and stir to thicken. Mix thoroughly. Add green onion. Set the filling aside to allow to cool before wrapping.

Wrapping: Mix the cornstarch and water, slowly adding the water to the cornstarch until you have a “glue” which will be used to seal the wrappers.

To wrap, lay the egg roll wrapper out with the short (4 1/2″) side directly in front of you. This will be the dry side. The two long sides will be called sides 1 and 3, and the other short side directly across from you will be called side 2. Place approximately 1 tablespoon of filling in the middle of the wrapper, spreading it out but not getting too close to the edges. Using your fingertip, spread a bit of the cornstarch/water glue along edges 1, 2, and 3. Fold over the dry side, then take side 2 and fold it over, making sure the two sides overlap. Press down firmly on sides 1 and 3, making sure they are well sealed.

Deep-frying: When oil is ready, slide each egg roll carefully into the wok one at a time. Deep-fry until they are golden brown, then drain on deep-fry rack or paper towels. Keep on a tray lined with fresh paper towels until needed. The egg rolls should not be stacked. If possible do not reheat in the oven, as this can dry the eggrolls out, but if necessary, reheat them on low heat for 10 minutes on each side.