Thai-Spiced Rice Bowls

Asian food is one of my favorites. Thai and Japanese are at the top of my list. I have made this rice bowl twice and each time added more spice to the broth. Still, not spicy enough for my mom…she likes it super spicy. Next time I will knock it out of the park. The original recipe was found on cookieandkate.com, but as usual, I have altered it to my taste buds. The original recipe called for no proteins. I have added chicken and a poached egg. Shrimp would be a good addition as well. If you are a vegetarian, you can use vegetable broth and tofu. The choices are abundant.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked rice
  • salt
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • Fresh ginger, thumb tip sized, peeled and minced
  • 1 TBS Thai red curry paste (or more, if you want it spicier, start tasting once its all mixed)
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup natural peanut butter
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 can, 14 oz, light coconut milk
  • generous squeeze of honey

Garnishes to your liking:

  • 1 cup matchstick carrots
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 English cucumber, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced and seeded
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped
  • 1/4 cup dry-roasted peanuts, chopped
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 jalapeno, thinly sliced
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  • Rotisserie chicken, shredded or chopped
  • Poached egg
  • Shrimp, sauteed

Directions:

Cook the rice as directed. Make the broth by heating the oil, garlic and ginger in a saucepan over medium for about 30 seconds. Add the red curry paste, soy sauce, peanut butter, broth, coconut milk and honey. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce and simmer while you prep the garnishes. Chop all your garnishes. To serve, place rice in a bowl, top with broth and garnishes.

 

Thai Coconut Chicken

 

I spent my first 6 months working as a paramedic in San Francisco. Because I didn’t spend much time working in SF, I didn’t get to know the SF Fire Department men and woman very well. What I do know, is that dinner is very important to firefighters at the fire house. I spent 6 years with my ambulance housed at the station I now work at, and 2 years housed coast side. Some of my best meals were at the firehouse. With that being said, I found this recipe from a book titled Firehouse Food: Cooking with San Francisco’s Firefighters. I made it for my daughter and I this weekend and we both loved it. I may tweak it a bit next time to add more heat and acid.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups jasmine rice
  • 5 TBS vegetable oil (I used olive oil)
  • 1 medium white onion, halved and cut into 1/4 inch slices
  • 1 TBS minced garlic
  • 1 TBS minced ginger
  • 1 jalapeno Chile, stemmed, halved, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 4 boneless, skinless, chicken breast halves (I suggest trying boneless, skinless thighs as they are more tender) 2 pounds total
  • 1 can (13.5 oz) coconut milk ( I used unsweetened)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 3 TBS rice vinegar
  • 1 bunch basil, leaves thinly sliced

Directions:

cook rice, set aside. Heat oil, add onion, garlic, ginger Chile, stir fry until the onion is softened (3-4 mins). Set aside. Heat more oil and add chicken until opaque (5 mins). Return the onion mixture to chicken, add coconut milk, soy sauce, vinegar, bring to a boil and cook until reduced by 1/2 (8 mins). Stir in the basil, and serve.

Suggestions: add Thai chili paste for more heat, juice of lime for acid, cilantro in place of basil and crushed peanuts to garnish.

 

 

 

 

Chow Mein (Panda Express Copycat)

I know, I know, when you think of Panda Express you don’t think of yummy; or maybe you do?  My daughter brought this recipe home from her cooking class at school and I have made it several times. It is a simple and delicious version of chow mien.

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 2 gloves garlic, minced
  • 1 TBS brown sugar, packed
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 1 package refrigerated Yakisoba noodles, seasoning packets discarded
  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 stalks celery. sliced diagonally
  • 2 cups (heaping) shredded cabbage

Directions:

Combine soy, garlic, sugar and pepper in a bowl, set aside. Pierce noodles (all 3) and microwave for 1 minute. Loosen noodles and rinse in colander; place aside. Heat oil in wok or skillet. Add onion and celery until wilted (3-4 min) then add cabbage until soft and heated (2-3 min). Add noodles and soy mixture until all is well heated and mixed. Enjoy!

Roy Choi’s Stir-Fried Chicken Henhouse Bowl

 

I bought this wonderful cookbook titled Secrets Of The Best Chefs by Adam Roberts. The selling point of the entire book is the inclusion of this delicious recipe by Roy Choi. Ever since the first time I made this a month or so ago I’ve been craving it; it’s time to make it again tonight. But first, lets share it with anyone out in internet land that wants to try it and have their flavor senses thank them. To start, you must make his sweet chili sauce, it is an integral part of the dish and cannot be omitted.

Sweet Chili Sauce

This very spicy, slightly sweet sauce can be used on all types of protein or just plain rice. You can omit some ingredients, as I did, because I was unable to find everything and I needed it a little less spicy for the children, but don’t skip the key ingredients. Key to this sauce is the chili sauce, citrus, herbs, onion, garlic, and ginger.

Ingredients;

1 (10-ounce) bottle Mae Ploy sweet chili sauce
2/3 cup loosely packed Thai basil leaves
2/3 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves
1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (1 med orange)
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (5 med limes)
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
8 medium cloves garlic, peeled and slightly chopped (to get them started, the blender will do the rest)
3 TBS sriracha hot sauce
2 TBS Korean crushed red pepper
2 TBS toasted sesame seeds
2-inch piece of ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 dried Anaheim chili, stemmed and coarsely chopped (optional)
1 Serrano chili, stemmed and coarsely chopped (optional)
4 tsp. kosher salt
4 tsp. Korean chili paste
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

Add all of the ingredients to a blender. Blend for 1 minute, until you have a smooth puree. Taste to adjust for citrus, heat, and salt. Use immediately or refrigerate in a jar for later use. The sauce will last for about 1 week in the refrigerator.

Henhouse Bowl

Ingredients;

Canola oil
1/2 yellow onion, peeled and thinly sliced
1 cup cooked chicken, diced
1/2 cup cleaned and sliced Chinese broccoli or whole spinach leaves or a combination
2 cups cooked rice
1/2 cup Sweet Chili Sauce, plus more to taste
A big handful of cilantro leaves, plus more for later
A big handful of Thai basil leaves, plus more for later
1 or 2 red fresno chilies, thinly sliced
A few TBS of toasted sesame seeds
A three-finger pinch of fried shallots
2 fried eggs (optional)

Directions:

Set a wok on high heat. Swirl 3 TBS canola oil until it’s hot, add the onions. Lower heat and let the onions cook. When they start to brown, remove to bowl and set aside. Add more oil, add chicken, warm chicken and remove to onion bowl. Add more oil, increase heat, add the greens, stir until wilted, add to onion and chicken bowl. Oil again, add rice, flatten like a pancake. Allow to sit for a bit, lower heat, sizzle a minute, start moving it around. You don’t want a film on the bottom; you want the rice to be in direct contact with the heat. Slowly cook and warm rice without adding color. Add onions, chicken, and greens to wok and stir. Add the chili sauce. Stir and taste. Add cilantro, basil, sesame seeds, and fried shallots and top with the same and a fried egg.

If you want to use fresh chicken and not leftover or a cooked rotisserie marinate for 30 minutes in the refrigerator with;

1/2 cup lime juice
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup toasted sesame oil
1 med Asian pear (grated)
1 tsp. freshly ground pepper

Pat very dry and cook the chicken in the 1st step instead of the 2nd step, before cooking the onions.

Fried Shallots

You want the shallots and oil to come up in temperature together. So add sliced shallots to a pan of cold canola oil. Slowly bring up the heat and cook, until the shallots are deep golden brown.

Chicken Teriyaki

 

My daughter loves Asian inspired dishes and chicken teriyaki with steamed rice is one of her favorites. There are many teriyaki recipes out there but this one is really yummy and simple. Found on foodnetwork.com by Nigella Lawson.

Ingredients;

  • 2 TBS sake (Japanese Rice Wine)
  • 1/4 cup mirin (sweet Japanese rice wine)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 TBS light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp grated fresh ginger root
  • Splash sesame oil
  • Chicken breast
  • 1 tsp peanut oil
  • Sushi rice

Directions;
Combine the sake, mirin, soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger and sesame oil in a bowl. Slice the chicken into strips and place in the sauce for 15 minutes.

Heat the peanut oil in a sauté pan and add the chicken, sauté until cooked on the outside and then add the remaining teriyaki sauce. Cook thoroughly.

Serve with cooked rice.

Chicken Chow Mein

 

My daughter told me her favorite meal is now chow mein so I thought I would give the homemade version a try. I looked through my Jamie Oliver Food Revolution cookbook and sure enough he had a healthy version of chow mein. She liked this dish so much that she asked me to make it every night…success! I changed a few things to our liking from the original recipe. Also, you can omit the chicken for a vegetarian version.

Recipe found in Jamie’s Food Revolution cookbook.

Ingredients:

  • • 1 thumb-sized piece of fresh root ginger
    • 2 cloves of garlic
    • ½–1 fresh yellow chilli, to your taste
    • 1 large skinless chicken breast
    • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • Small bunch of fresh cilantro
  • • Peanut oil
    • 1 heaped teaspoon cornflour
    • 2–3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 scallions
  • 1 baby bok choy
  • 4 shiitake mushrooms (optional)
  • 4 ounces chow mein noodles
  • 1 lime
  • 1 8 ounce can of water chestnuts (i omitted this because I don’t like water chestnuts)


Directions:

Put a large pan of water on to boil. Peel and finely slice the ginger and garlic. Finely slice the chili. Slice the chicken into finger-sized strips and lightly season with salt and pepper. Cut the ends off your onions and finely slice. Pick the cilantro leaves and put to one side, and finely chop the stalks. Halve the bok choy length ways. If adding the mushrooms, either tear into pieces or leave whole.

Preheat a wok or large frying pan on a high heat and once it’s very, very hot add a good lug of peanut oil and swirl it around. Stir in the chicken strips and cook for a couple of minutes, until the chicken browns slightly. Add the ginger, garlic, chilli, cilantro stalks, mushrooms (if using) and half the onions. Stir-fry for 30 seconds, keeping everything moving round the wok quickly. Add your noodles and bok choy to the boiling water and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, no longer. Meanwhile, add the cornflour, water chestnuts and their water to the wok and give it another good shake to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom. Remove from the heat and stir in 2 tablespoons of soy sauce.

Halve the lime, squeeze the juice of one half into the pan and mix well

Drain the noodles and bok choy in a colander over a bowl, reserving a little of the cooking water.

Stir in the noodles and bok choy with a little of the cooking water to loosen if necessary, and mix well.

Have a taste and season with more soy sauce if needed.

Use tongs to divide everything between two bowls or plates, or to lift on to one large serving platter. Spoon any juices over the top and sprinkle with cilantro leaves.

Serve with lime wedges.

Fried Rice

 

This is my own version of fried rice adapted from the Food Network and courtesy of Tyler Florence.

My daughter came home from her friends and said she loved fried rice. I had never made it before so I found a recipe online and served it to her. She said “yuck peas”, so a couple weeks later I tried again, but this time I replaced the peas with mushrooms, which she loves. This version turned out great but I took the cabbage and shrimp out of Tyler’s recipe. The nice thing is you can add whatever veggies you like and include or omit shrimp and/or chicken.

Ingredients:

  • 6 Tbs peanut oil
  • 2 shallots
  • 1 (2in) piece ginger, peeled and grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6-8 oz mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 4 cups cooked rice, preferably cooled.
  • 3 Tbs soy sauce
  • ¼ bunch scallions, sliced for garnish
  • ½ cup chopped peanuts, for garnish

Directions:

Heat 2 Tbs of the peanut oil in a wok or large nonstick skillet over medium high. Give the oil a minute to heat up, then add the shallots and ginger stir-fry for 1 minute until fragrant. Remove from pan and set aside.

Add 2 more Tbs of peanut oil, add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, sauté mushrooms until tender, set aside.

Add remaining oil in wok and when hot, crack the eggs into the center. Scramble the egg lightly, and then let it set without stirring so it stays in big pieces. Fold the rice in and toss with egg until well combined.  Return all other ingredients to dish and season with salt and soy sauce, heat through. Garnish with scallions and peanuts.