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When my mother came up with the name of her first cookbook the term "All-American" only seemed fit. After all, she was 1st generation Chinese married to an American, Irish, Norwegian man living in Nebraska where traditional Chinese ingredients were not made readily available. It isn't until now that I truly understand the meaning of the All-American... (read more)

Posts Tagged ‘Spicy’

9

Oct

2009

Braised Jalapeno Peppers

The people in China’s Szechwan province create many kinds of braised hot chili pepper dishes. Since fresh jalapeño peppers are accessible in most supermarkets, you can make this wonderful and spicy side dish at home.


1 pound fresh green jalapeño peppers
2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil (for cooking in a non stick wok or a fry pan)
¼ cup white vinegar
¼ cup soy sauce (Kikkoman brand)
1 teaspoon sugar

Preparation:
Wash the peppers and remove the stems. Cut each pepper lengthwise in half and then into quarters. Use a small knife to carefully cut out the white color membranes with seeds. Try not to touch them with your fingers as they are very hot!

To Cook:
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a non-stick wok over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add peppers. Cook and brown the peppers for about 5 minutes. Add white vinegar, soy sauce and sugar. Lower the heat to medium-low. Cook and stir until the peppers are soft and tender for about 10 minutes.  Serve warm or cold.  Goes well with steaks and other meats.

Makes 6 to 8 servings as a side dish
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes


23

Jul

2009

Summer Spicy Noodles

Summer is in full swing and the last thing I want to do on a hot day is slave over a hot stove! Cold noodles make for a great summer time dish. Served them room temperature or chilled. These noodles go well with any BBQ meat entrée.


½ package thin spaghetti (8 oz.)
6 cups water
1 teaspoon salt for boiling the spaghetti
1 small carrot
½ English cucumber

Sauce:
3 cloves garlic
3 tablespoons soy sauce (Kikkoman brand)
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons white vinegar
2 tablespoons smooth peanut butter (Skippy brand)
2 teaspoons pure sesame oil
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon dried crushed red chili peppers

Preparation:
Peel and slice carrot diagonally into ¼ inch thin pieces and then cut into strips. Put in a small bowl and set aside. Wash (do not peel) the cucumber, slice diagonally into ¼ inch thin pieces and then cut into strips. Put in a small bowl and set aside. Crush, peel and finely mince the garlic. In a small bowl, mix the sauce ingredients together thoroughly and set aside.

To Cook:
In a medium size pot, bring 6 cups water to a boil over high heat. Break the spaghetti in half and place into the boiling water. Add salt and stir well. Boil uncovered for approximately 8 minutes while stirring occasionally. Drain the cooked spaghetti through a colander and drain well (do not rinse with cold water), put in a large bowl and set aside.

In a small sauce pan, bring the sauce mixture to boil over medium-high heat and boil for just a few seconds. Remove  from heat. Pour sauce over spaghetti in bowl. Toss, mix well together and let the noodles rest in the bowl for at least 10 minutes. The noodles will expand just a bit and the sauce will adheres to the noodles. Toss the noodles again before serving. You can also refrigerate and serve cold. Sprinkle cucumber and carrot strips on top of the noodles to serve.

Makes 4 to 6 servings
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes


1

Jul

2009

Hot and Spicy Potato Strips

I have fond memories of Hot and Spicy Potato Strips while growing up. They are not exactly the American French fry but rather used as one of our vegetable side dishes at home in China. You can make them mild or hot but as a family, we prefer hot! Why not serve with hamburgers and hot dogs during this weekend’s Fourth of July celebration!


2 large size russet potatoes (about 1-½ pounds)
1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil (for cooking in a non-stick wok or a fry pan)
1 teaspoon dried crushed red chili peppers
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon soy sauce (Kikkoman brand)
2 teaspoons white vinegar
1 teaspoon pure sesame oil
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon sugar

Preparation:
Wash and peel the potatoes. Slice the potatoes lengthwise into ¼ inch thick pieces. Crosswise cut the potatoes into ¼ inch thick strips.

To Cook:
Heat oil in a non-stick wok over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot. Brown crushed red chili peppers for a few seconds. Add potato strips, cook and stir for about 3 minutes. Lower heat to medium. Add water, soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, salt, and sugar to wok. Cook and stir constantly for 6 to 7 minutes. The potato strips should be tender and slightly crispy. Serve hot.

Makes 4 servings
Preparation time: 6 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes


18

Apr

2009

Spicy Beef With Leeks

Leeks are like mild onions with wonderful flavor. I’ve read somewhere that they can be described  as a cross between a green onion and cucumber. I am always happy when I cook with leeks or find recipes that include them. Beef served with Leeks is a Northern Chinese style stir-fry dish.

1 pound flank steak
1 leek (½ pound)
1 fresh green jalapeno pepper
1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil (for cooking in a non-stick wok or a fry pan)

Marinade:
2 tablespoons soy sauce (Kikkoman brand)
2 tablespoons rice wine or cooking sherry wine
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon pure sesame oil
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon sugar

Preparation:
Cut flank steak along the grain into 1-½ inch wide strips. Angle the knife away from you at a 45-degree angle against the grain and slice the beef into ¼ inch thick pieces. In a bowl, combine the beef with the marinade ingredients. Mix together thoroughly and set aside.

Wash the leek thoroughly and trim the ends keeping the green top. Cut the leek lengthwise in half. Diagonally slice the leek into ¼ inch thick pieces. Thinly slice the jalapeno pepper and include the seeds to make this dish spicy!

To Cook:
Heat oil in a non-stick wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the marinated beef into the wok. Cook and stir for 1 to 2 minutes. Add leeks and jalapeno peppers. Stir-fry for approximately 2 to 3 minutes until the beef is cooked and the leeks are soft. Serve hot.

Makes 4 servings
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 5 minutes


20

Jan

2009

Mongolian Beef

Mongolian Beef is a classic Northern Chinese style, spicy dish.

1 pound flank steak
1 medium size yellow onion (8 oz.)
1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil (for cooking in a non-stick wok or a fry pan)
1 teaspoon dried crushed red chili peppers
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Marinade:
2 tablespoons soy sauce (Kikkoman brand)
2 tablespoons rice or cooking sherry wine
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger root
1 teaspoon pure sesame oil

Preparation:,
Cut flank steak along the grain into 1-½ inch wide strips. Angle the knife away from you at a 45-degree angle against the grain and slice the beef into ¼ inch thick pieces. Peel and finely grate the ginger root. In a bowl, combine the beef with the marinade ingredients. Mix together thoroughly and set aside. Peel the onion and cut off ends. Cut the onion in half lengthwise and then into quarters. Crosswise cut the onion into ¼ inch thick pieces.

To Cook:
Heat oil in a non-stick wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, brown the dried crushed red chili peppers for a few seconds. Add the marinated beef and stir-fry for approximately 2 minutes. Add onions, salt and black pepper. Cook and stir until the beef is cooked and the onions are tender for approximately 2 more minutes. Serve hot.

Makes 4 servings
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 5 minutes


8

Jan

2009

Hot Pepper Shrimp

Hot Pepper Shrimp is a spicy dish however if you really like hot, you can take it up a few notches by not removing the seeds of the jalapeno. Any variety of fresh chili pepper may be substituted for the jalapeno peppers. Of course fresh shrimp is super but for the sake of convenience, I also enjoy frozen shrimp. It’s available whenever I feel like it and it comes already peeled and deveined. What a time saver!

1 pound medium size raw shrimp (31 to 40 count per pound)
3 fresh green jalapeno chili peppers
½ red bell pepper
2 scallions, including the green top
½ oz. fresh ginger root
1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil (for cooking in a non-stick wok or a fry pan)

Sauce:
2 tablespoons soy sauce (Kikkoman brand)
1 tablespoon rice or cooking sherry wine
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon white vinegar
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon pure sesame oil

Preparation:
Peel, devein and rinse shrimp. Wash and cut jalapeno peppers in half lengthwise. Remove the seeds and cut crosswise into ¼ inch pieces. Cut the red bell pepper into 1 inch strips.  Wash and trim the green onions, finely chop. Peel, thinly slice and then chop the ginger root into small pieces. In a small bowl, mix the sauce ingredients together however add the seasme oil at the very end and set aside.

To Cook:
Heat oil in a non-stick wok or a large frying pan over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, brown onions and ginger for a few seconds. Add shrimp into the wok. Stir-fry for approximately 2 minutes until the shrimp changes to pink in color. Be careful not to over cook the shrimp. Add jalapenos and red bell peppers. Mix well. Stir the sauce mixture and pour into wok. Stir-fry for one more minute. Serve hot.

Makes 4 servings
Preparation time: 15 -20 minutes
Cooking time: 4 minutes


28

Dec

2008

Spicy Green Beans

Szechuan-style green beans are my favorite Chinese veggie side dish. It was only recently however that I realized that those healthy green beans are deep-fried before stir-fried in restaurants. No wonder they tasted so good!?! Here’s a spicy and delicious alternative we now make at home minus the frying oil.

1 pound fresh green beans
4 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil (for cooking in a non-stick wok or a fry pan)
1 teaspoon dried crushed red chili peppers
1/3 cup water
1 tablespoon Hoisin sauce*
1 teapsoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon pure sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preparation:
Wash and break off the stringy tips of the green beans and discard. Break each green bean in half. Crush, peel and finely chop the garlic.

To Cook:
Heat oil in a non-stick wok or a large frying pan over medium heat. When the oil is hot, brown garlic and red chili peppers for a few seconds. Add green beans. Cook and stir for 1 minute. Add water, hoisin sauce, vinegar, sesame oil and salt. Reduce heat to low. Cover and cook until all the liquid is nearly absorbed and the green beans are tender, approx. 14 to 15 minutes. Stir occasionally. Serve hot.

Makes 4 to 6 servings
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 17 minutes

*Hoisin sauce is a sweet brown sauce made from soybeans.  Sold in jars or bottles at the Asian section of most supermarkets.  After opening, it can be stored for several months in the refrigerator.


6

Nov

2008

Pan Fried Spicy Salmon Filets

I am always trying to incorporate more fish into our diet. It doesn’t help that some of my family members (aka husband) won’t eat salmon. Yet they will eat salmon fillets when prepared with spicy Asian flavor, hence this wonderful recipe.  Other times I just don’t give them a choice since it’s what’s being served for dinner!  🙂

4 fresh salmon fillets (1-1/2 pounds)
4 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon canola, vegetable or olive oil (for cooking in a non-stick pan)

Sauce:
4 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons soy sauce (Kikkoman brand)
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons rice wine or cooking sherry wine
1 teaspoon dried crushed red chili peppers
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon pure sesame oil

Preparation:
Use a sharp knife to remove the skin from each salmon fillet. Rinse with cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Mix salt and black pepper together then sprinkle evenly to cover both sides of the salmon fillets. Place flour on a large plate. Lightly coat each piece of salmon with the flour. Crush, peel and finely chop the garlic. In a small bowl, mix the sauce ingredients together and set aside.

To Cook:
Heat oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat. When the oil is hot, brown the salmon pieces in a covered pan for 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Pour the sauce mixture over salmon. Cook with the cover on for a few seconds longer. Serve hot.

Makes 4 servings
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 8 minutes


16

Oct

2008

Kung Pao Chicken

Ever wonder what “Kung Pao” is exactly? Besides being one of the most popular dishes in a Chinese restaurant, it’s a classic Szechuan dish named for a 19th century governor of the Sichuan province in China. So there’s the history lesson for the day but all you really need to know is, Caution! Do not to eat the dried red peppers as they are extremely hot. And if you have ever eaten one by mistake, you know exactly what we mean 🙂

1 pound boneless and skinless chicken breasts
1 small green bell pepper
½ small yellow onion
1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil (for cooking in a non-stick wok or a fry pan)
4 dried red chili peppers
½ cup dry roasted peanuts
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce*
1 tablespoon white vinegar

Marinade:
3 cloves garlic
3 tablespoons soy sauce (Kikkoman brand)
1 tablespoon rice wine or cooking sherry wine
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon pure sesame oil

Preparation:
Cut chicken breasts into 1 inch cubes. Crush, peel and finely chop the garlic. In a bowl, combine chicken with the marinade ingredients. Mix together thoroughly and set aside. Wash, discard stem and seeds from green pepper and cut into 1 inch squares. Chop onion into ½ inch squares.

To Cook:
Heat oil in a non-stick wok or a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Break each of the dried chili peppers in half and add to wok. Cook the peppers for 1 to 2 minutes until darkened. Add chicken cubes and stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes until the chicken is nearly cooked through. Add green peppers, onions, dry roasted peanuts, hoisin sauce and white vinegar. Stir-fry for another 1 to 2 more minutes. Serve hot.

Makes 4 servings
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 7 minutes

*Hoisin sauce is a sweet brown sauce made from soybeans. Sold in jars or bottles at the Asian section of most supermarkets.  After opening, it can be stored for several months in the refrigerator.

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