Thursday, March 10, 2011

Recipe - Braised Asian vegetables with Kung Pao meat sauce

This recipe is inspired by the Kung Pao Chicken recipe from, but with my own tweaks.

Braised Asian vegetables with Kung Pao meat sauce


  • 1 1/2c low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2T dry sherry or rice wine
  • 2T hoisin sauce
  • 2T oyster sauce
  • 2t soy sauce
  • 4t black rice vinegar or plain rice vinegar
  • 3t cornstarch
  • 12 small whole dried red chilies (pref. serrano)
  • 1 lb ground pork (or other meat as preferred)
  • 1 egg
Herbs and spices:
  • 1 inch ginger, minced
  • 6 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 4T peanut oil
  • 4t toasted sesame oil
  • 1 can sliced water chestnuts (14oz)
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 1 head chinese cabbage (bok choi), chopped
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 stalk celery, sliced.
  • 1 can baby corn (14 oz)
  • 1 can bamboo shoots (14oz)
  • 1 container bean sprouts
  • 1 container straw mushrooms (can substitute ordinary ones), sliced
  • 1/2c unsalted roasted peanuts
  • 6 medium scallions
  • Mix the sauce ingredients in a large bowl.
  • In another bowl, put the ground pork and break an egg over it. Work the egg into the meat with your hands until evenly mixed. Form the mixture into a few patties.
  • Put the patties into the sauce and allow to marinate for ten minutes or more.
  • In a wok or stir fry pan, add about a third of each oil, heat to medium, then add the ginger and garlic and fry, stirring, until they begin to become fragrant.
  • Turn the heat to high, add the meat, and stir fry, breaking up the patties, until the ground meat is evenly seared and beginning to brown.
  • Remove the meat from the pan and set aside.
  • Add the rest of the oil to the pan.
  • Still on high, add the vegetables and fry until they are seared and beginning to brown.
  • Turn the heat to low, add the meat and the sauce, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened to the desired consistency.
  • Add the peanuts and cook for another minute or two.
  • Serve over rice, garnished with a sprinkling of scallions.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Recipe - Chicken Vindaloo (or other meat/tofu)

This is a very spicy Indian curry dish. My recipe is a fusion between the one found on jars of Patak's Vindaloo Curry Paste and one I found on the 'Net. This recipe serves 4.

Chicken (or other meat/tofu) Vindaloo


  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil (I use olive oil)
  • 1 lb cubed chicken (or pressed/extra-firm tofu, pork, lamb, shrimp, etc)
  • 1 1/2 c water
  • 8 tbsp Patak's Vindaloo Curry Paste
  • 1/2 c diced tomatoes (about one medium tomato)
  • 1 large potato, cubed
  • 4 c cooked basmati rice
  • Cook the rice. While it is cooking:
  • Fry the onions in the oil on medium heat until translucent.
  • Add the meat or tofu and potatoes and fry, stirring and turning, until nothing uncooked shows (for tofu, fry until tofu is light brown on all sides).
  • Add vindaloo paste and fry, stirring, for a minute
  • Add water and tomatoes, reduce heat, and simmer uncovered for 45 minutes. Potatoes should be soft, not firm, after simmering.
  • Serve over basmati rice.
535 calories per serving (chicken, no rice). 735 calories per serving (chicken, with rice).

Monday, April 06, 2009

Recipe - Sio Pao (pork-filled steamed buns)

This Filipino street food snack common in Asia is also known as Salapao (Thailand), Baozi (China), Momo (Tibet), Nikuman (Japan), Bánh bao (Viet Nam), Manapua (Hawaii), and probably other things in other places. The primary difference from Peirogi, Ravioli, Chinese steamed (or pan-fried) dumplings (aka pot-stickers) and the like is that Sio Pao uses leavened flour, giving the finished product a more bready texture.

Sio Pau

Makes 1 dozen buns.


  • 1 16oz package Bot Banh Bao flour. It should say "Steamed Buns" somewhere on the label. If you can't find it or order it online, I believe you can substitute one pound of all-purpose flour (or farina/semolina flour) and add one package of active dry yeast.
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1 c fresh milk
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • flour
  • 2 tbsp warm water
  • cupcake papers
  • (optional) 2 tbsp vinegar


  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1 large onion, chopped fairly fine
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • cooking spray or 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • (optional) 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Preparing the dough:

  • Add the sugar and milk to a bowl, and stir until the sugar has dissolved.
  • Gradually add the flour (and yeast if you're using that) to the bowl, stirring all the while.
  • Knead the dough about 20 minutes.
  • Add the oil.
  • Knead another 10 minutes, making sure to get all of the oil into the dough.
  • Leave the dough to rest in the bowl, covered with a damp cloth, for at least a half hour.

Preparing the filling:

  • Mix the cornstarch, paprika, nutmeg, brown sugar, chili powder, and (optional) cayenne pepper in a small bowl so it can be added all at once later.
  • Grease a frying pan with the oil (or spray it with cooking spray).
  • Add the onlion and garlic, and fry at medium heat, stirring and turning constantly until the onions turn translucent and soft.
  • Add the ground pork and continue to fry, breaking up the pork with the edge of your spatula as you go, turning and stirring until all of the pork appears a greyish color (cooked with no pink showing).
  • Add the soy sauce, and then immediately the dry mixture from the small bowl.
  • Stir until well mixed.
  • Taste. If the filling isn't spicy enough, you may want to add more cayenne pepper.
  • Divide into twelve equal portions (about 2 tbsp each) and set aside.

Making the buns:

  • Put a tablespoon of flour and two tablespoons of warm water in a small clean bowl and mix to form a thin paste.
  • Fill your steamer with water and put it on high heat. Add the vinegar if you want the buns to be especially white.
  • Divide the dough into twelve equal portions and put all but one back in the bowl and cover.
  • Scatter a pinch of flour on a flat surface.
  • Put the dough piece on top of the flour and mash it down with the palm of your hand to make a disk.
  • Roll the dough with a rolling pin, making sure to turn the dough as you go (or roll in different directions) so that the dough retains a roughly circular shape. When you're done the dough should be about five inches across.
  • Dip a finger in the flour paste and run it around the outside edge of the dough. The paste will act as a glue to help seal the bun together.
  • Pick up the dough and lay it across the palm of your hand.
  • Spoon one portion of the filling into the center of the dough.
  • Use the hand not holding the dough to bring up the sides of it from all directions, then pinch the top of it together to seal the bun. Make sure there are no holes.
  • Turn the bun over so the folded side is down, and put it in one of the cupcake papers.
  • Continue making buns until you have enough to fill your steamer's basket without deforming each other as they expand. My steamer basket holds six, your results may vary.
  • Take the basket out of the (now boiling) steamer and put your buns in it.
  • Put the basket back in the steamer and steam, covered, for ten minutes. While it's steaming, continue to make buns.
  • Take the cover off the steamer and shake the condensation off it.
  • Put the basket back in the steamer and steam, covered, for ten minutes.
  • Take the buns out (I use a serving spoon as they're too hot to touch)
  • Continue making and steaming batches of buns until done.

These are best eaten while still hot. However, they can be frozen and re-steamed (or microwaved) later.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Recipe - Pad Thai

This is just the Pad Thai recipe found in the article, Techniques: To make great pad Thai use hot wok, right noodles. I loved the results, and so did everyone else who got a sample,


Makes 4 servings.

  • 1/2 pound dried wide rice noodles (they should resemble translucent linguini)
  • 1/2 cup fish sauce, divided use
  • 1 tablespoon tamarind concentrate
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup palm sugar (sometimes called jaggery; see cook's note)
  • 4 tablespoons peanut oil, divided
  • 4 teaspoons dried chile flakes, divided use
  • 1 pound firm or extra-firm pressed tofu, cut into 1/2-inch squares
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup dried shrimp
  • 1 cup chopped garlic chives or scallions
  • 1 cup mung bean sprouts
  • 1/3 cup crushed dry-roasted peanuts
  • 4 eggs
  • Lime wedges
  • 2 Thai chiles or serrano peppers, seeded, veins removed, then thinly sliced

To soak noodles: Place noodles in large bowl. Add enough warm, but not boiling, water to cover. Set aside for 30 minutes.

To make sauce: Meanwhile, in small saucepan, combine 1/4 cup fish sauce, tamarind concentrate, water and palm sugar. Over low heat, whisk until sugar dissolves and sauce is just warm. (Note: Do not boil.) Remove from heat. Set aside.

To boil noodles: Bring large pot of water to a boil. Drain noodles. Add to boiling water for 1 minute. Drain. Rinse with cool water. Set aside in colander.

To fry tofu: Heat wok or large heavy saute pan over high. Add 2 tablespoons oil, swirling pan to coat surface. When oil begins to lightly smoke, add 2 teaspoons chile flakes and half of tofu. Fry for 5 seconds. Add half of garlic and half of dried shrimp. Fry for 30 seconds or until tofu is lightly brown.

To add eggs: Add half of noodles and small ladleful of sauce, stirring quickly to mix so noodles do not stick together. Cook for 30 seconds. Push noodles to 1 side of pan. Crack 2 eggs into pan. Let eggs sit for 5 seconds. Scramble for another 5 seconds. Toss with noodles to mix well.

To finish: Add half chives or scallions, half of sprouts and half of peanuts. Toss quickly. Transfer to serving plates.

To make other servings: Repeat frying process with remaining ingredients.

To serve: Serve with lime wedges, remaining fish sauce and fresh chiles.

Cook's note: Most palm sugar is sold as hard lumps. A box grater can be used to break it up, but a food processor is easier and faster.

Recipe - Vegetable Samosas

This recipe is essentially the same as the one given at Manjula's Kitchen: Samosa. I've adjusted the recipe for USA potato sizes, and have made the recipe easier and faster by substituting tortillas for self-made dough, and steaming the potatoes instead of boiling them. Makes 16 pieces.

Vegetable Samosas


  • 8 fajita-size flour tortillas
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 4 tablespoons lukewarm water


  • 3 large potatoes
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 4 chopped green chilies
  • 2 teaspoons coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 2 teaspoons amchur (mango powder)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 tablespoons oil
  • 1 cup green peas (frozen)



  1. Start heating water in a steamer for the potatoes.
  2. Peel and dice the potatoes into 1/2" to 3/4" chunks.
  3. Once the water is boiling, steam the potatoes for twenty minutes.
  4. Heat the oil in a frying pan on medium-high heat. Test the heat by adding one cumin seed to the oil; if it cracks right away, oil is ready.
  5. Add cumin seeds. As cumin seeds crack, add green chilies, coriander powder and stir for few seconds.
  6. Next add green peas, turn heat to medium and stir until tender.
  7. Add the potatoes, mix well, and stir-fry for about 4 minutes. Stir in garam masala and amchur. Add more salt or amchur according to taste.
  8. Let the filling cool to room temperature.

Making Samosa:

  1. Take 4 tablespoons of water and 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour to make a paste and set aside.
  2. Cut tortillas in two, making two semicircles of each.
  3. Spread the paste lightly all along the edge of one semicircle. Pick this semicircle up with both hands and fold it into a cone shape. Pinch the side of this cone so that it is completely sealed.
  4. Fill the cone with 3 tablespoons of filling. Press this filling down with your fingers. Now close the top of this cone into a triangle shape, pinching the top edge so that it is completely sealed.
  5. Continue filling the rest of the samosas.
  6. Heat about 1-1/2 inch of the oil in a stir-frying pan or wok on medium heat. To check if oil is hot enough, place a small piece of dough in oil. Dough should sizzle and come to the surface slowly.
  7. Place the samosas in the frying pan a few at a time.
  8. After samosas are floating on top of the oil, turn them slowly. Fry the samosas until the samosas turn a light golden-brown color on all sides. If you use a high heat, the samosa crust will be too soft and not crispy.


  1. If the filled samosas sit for too long, they will dry out. To avoid this, cover with a damp cloth.


  1. Samosas can be prepared ahead of time and frozen for up to a month.
  2. Before freezing, fry them until the color of the samosas changes to a very light golden brown.
  3. After the samosas are at room temperature, put them in zip lock bags and freeze them.
  4. To use the frozen samosas, take out as many you need and fry them on medium heat.
  5. If you'd rather not deep-fry them, instead brush the samosas with oil and bake 15 minutes at 425 degrees F. Reduce heat to 375 degrees F. and bake for 10 minutes more. For maximum crispness, turn the samosas over when you turn the oven down.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Recipe - Meat Loaf (tomato-based)

Meat Loaf w/Tomato

1 1/2 lb ground beef
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 teaspoon fine ground black pepper
1 c fresh breadcrumbs
2 8 oz cans hunt's tomato sauce
1/2 c water
3 tbsp vinegar
3 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp mustard
3 tbsp worcestershire sauce

Preheat oven to 350. Mix meat, breadcrumbs, onion, egg, salt and pepper and 1/2 can tomato sauce. Put into greased loaf pan. Combine remaining ingredients, pour over meatloaf. Cook 1 hour at 350, basting at 30 and 45 minutes.

Recipe - Banana Bread

Banana Bread

3 overripe bananas
1 c white sugar
1 1/2 cup flour
4 tbsp olive oil
2 eggs
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 c raisins (optional)
1/2 c walnuts or pecans (optional)

Preheat oven to 350. Mash bananas. Add sugar, eggs, oil. Mix well. Add flour, soda, and salt. Mix well. Add raisins and nuts if desired. Stir until evenly mixed. Put in greased loaf pan. Bake at 350 1 hour or until done. Stick in toothpick. If dough doesn't stick to toothpick, it's done.

Recipe - Chicken and Dumplings

Chicken and Dumplings

6 chicken thighs, bone in
1 1/2 qt water
1 tsp salt

2 eggs
1 tsp salt
1/2 stick butter
1 1/2 c flour

Put salt, chicken, and water in pot. Slow boil chicken until tender, 30-45 minutes. While boiling, mix well eggs, salt and butter. Mix in flour slowly until ready to roll, doughy consistency. Sprinkle flour on rolling surface. Take 2 tbsp of dough, roll into a ball covered with flour. Flatten thin with rolling pin, cut into 2 inch squares. Repeat until dough used. Remove chicken from pot, de-bone and set aside. Bring broth to a rolling boil. Drop in dumplings one at a time, avoiding dumpling collisions. Turn heat down to low, let cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add chicken back to pot, turn off heat, let stand for 3 hours.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Potato Soup Recipe

Potato Soup

4 large potatoes, cubed
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 tsp garlic
1/2 cup celery, chopped fine
1 can chicken broth
1 can cream of chicken soup
1c milk
1 tbsp butter
(optional) 2 strips of bacon and olive oil or cooking spray.

(optional) Mash some of the potatoes to thicken soup. (optional) Fry bacon in olive oil or cooking spray, drain grease and set aside. Sautee onions and celery and garlic in butter until the onions are translucent. Add broth and potatoes. Boil until potatoes tender. Add cream of chicken soup and milk and (optional) bacon. Simmer on medium heat 5 minutes or until hot. Serve.

Lemon Icebox Pie Recipe

Lemon Icebox Pie

1 can eagle brand sweetened condensed milk
1 6oz can frozen lemonade or 1/3 c lemon juice
1 8oz bowl of cool whip
1 9 inch graham cracker crust
(optional) graham cracker crumbs
(optional) fruit pie filling (blueberry, strawberry, cherry, etc)

Add milk and juice to bowl, stir. Fold in cool whip. Pour into graham cracker pie crust. Freeze for three hours. Serve frozen.

You can optionally top the pie with graham cracker crumbs or fruit pie filling.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Shrimp Gumbo Recipe

Shrimp gumbo

3 lb raw shrimp
1/2 lb okra
1 small onion
1/3 to 1/2 large bell pepper
2 tbsp parsley
3 tbsp flour
1/2 8oz can diced tomatoes
2 bay leaves
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp salt
olive oil or cooking spray

Preferably use small shrimp, already peeled. Otherwise you'll have to peel them yourself. Fry okra in pan with olive oil or cooking spray for a couple of minutes. Add pepper, add onion, saute until onions are translucent. Add flour, and brown the mixture. Add tomatoes. Fry until dry and brown. Put shrimp in a pot with parsley and bay leaves and just enough water to cover them. Simmer shrimp five minutes. Add okra mix to shrimp and simmer until shrimp cooked and most of the liquid has evaporated.