PORK FRIED RICE

Fried rice should be made with day old rice. Most of the time, I use day old jasmine rice, but almost any white rice will do. It just needs to be allowed to sit overnight in the fridge. In this case, I made Spanish Rice 2 days ago…and this Pork Fried Rice came out really flavorful.

You’ll find find Fried Rice recipes all over the internet and YouTube, but this one is just one of my favorites. Please note that MSG is in this recipe but is totally optional. It most certainly adds a level of umami that makes your fried rice, well…just like fried rice! MSG has made somewhat of a comeback of late. It was really given a bad rap in the 80’s, but it is not really that bad. Leave out some salt when you use MSG…you won’t need the extra sodium from salt.

Ingredients:

  • About 2-3 tablespoons of vegetable oil (I like to use avocado oil)
  • 2-3 large eggs, beaten well
  • 1/2 cup shallot, chopped
  • 1/2 cup carrot, 1/4 inch dice
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • Kosher salt
  • White pepper
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp fresh grated ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 4 cups day old cooked white rice
  • 2 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp Hoisin sauce
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp MG (optional)

Directions:

  • Mix together in a small bowl the soy sauce, fish sauce, sesame oil, and sugar and set aside.
  • In a wok or large skillet over medium heat, heat 2 tsp of oil and add the eggs. Stir and and cook for about 30 seconds. Then remove to a plate a set aside. When cool, slice into slivers.
  • Heat 2 more tsp oil and add the shallot and diced carrots. Cook, stirring, for about 3 minutes.
  • Raise the heat and add the ground pork. Cook while breaking it up with a large spoon. Cook until no loaner pink. Season with salt and white pepper to taste.
  • Stir in the ginger, garlic, and peas and stir for about 1 minute.
  • Add the rice and start tossing to cook, abut 2 minutes. Add more oil if needed so it doesn’t stick in the wok.
  • Stir in the green onions. Season with MSG if using.
  • Toss to combiner then fold in the scrambled eggs. Serve immediately.

CHAR SIU BBQ PORK WITH CHINESE GARLIC NOODLES

The S.F. Chinese Garlic Noodles are great on their own, but I decided to pair them with the Char Siu Pork.

I hope you love garlic! Relatively easy to make. After marinating the pork overnight, it comes together quickly. The basic Char Siu recipe calls for pork shoulder but I chose to use some country pork ribs I had in the freezer. Don’t over cook the pork…or they will be chewy.

Ingredients:

For the pork:

  • 1 1/4 pounds pork (shoulder, tenderloin, country style ribs), 1 1/2 inch wide strips
  • 2 tbsp Hoisin sauce
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp Shaoxing wine (or dry sherry)
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp Chinese 5 spice powder
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled, thin sliced

For the Garlic Noodles:

  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire
  • 2 tsp fish sauce
  • 1/4 tsp sesame oil
  • 6 cloves of garlic, peeled, minced
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3 tbsp granted parmesan
  • 2 tbsp sliced green onions
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes (opt)
  • 6 ounces of spaghetti or other long noodle

Directions:

  • Mix together all of the pork marinade ingredients in a bowl.
  • Place the pork in a large zip lock bag then pour the marinade over the pork. Massage the pork to make sure it is all coat. Seal the bag and place in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours or overnight.
  • For the noodles, mix together the soy sauce, oyster sauce, Worcestershire, fish sauce, and sesame oil in a small bowl.
  • Remove the pork from the marinade and pour the marinade in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer on low for 2-3 minutes. Divide it in two small bowls, one for basting, one for serving.
  • Cook the noodles according to package direction. Do not salt the water.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium low heat and add the butter. When the butter has melted, add the garlic and cook, stirring, for about 1 minute. Add the sauce and simmer on low heat for a minute or so.
  • When the noodles are done, using tongs, transfer the noodles to the skillet with the sauce, sprinkle with the red pepper flakes, and toss completely. Turn off the heat and add the parmesan cheese.
  • Slice the pork against the grain into thin slices. Baste with the sauce.
  • To plate, place some noodles in a pasta dish and fan out a few slices of the pork. Baste again with the sauce. Garnish with sliced green onions. Serve iimmediately.
  • Pass the extra sauce and parmesan at the table.

CREAMY GARLIC MUSHROOM CHICKEN

This recipe uses bone in skin on chicken thighs, but you can use boneless thighs or boneless breasts. I just think you get more flavor with the bone in thighs.

I served it over what is called Hainanese Chicken Rice. I will include the recipe below. Brown rice or steamed white rice work just as well.

Ingredients:

  • 4 skin on bone in chicken thighs
  • 1/4 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp white or black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • Olive oil
  • 1/2 cup minced shallots
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, peeled, minced
  • 3 ounces white mushrooms 1/4 inch slice
  • 2 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1/4 cup dry sherry
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • Chopped parsley
  • Hainanese Chicken rice (recipe below)

Directions:

  • Trim any excess fat from the thighs. Pat dry with a paper towel. Lightly coat with olive oil Mix together the salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika in a small bowl. Use this to season with thighs on both sides. Place on a wire rack over a 1/4 sheet pan and place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Heat a medium skillet over medium heat and add 2 tsp of olive oil. Immediately place the thighs in the skillet skin side down. Let the thighs cook for about 3 minutes, until golden brown on the first side. Turn them over and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Remove the thighs back to the wire rack. Place in the oven and roast about 35 minutes, until the internal temperature of the thighs reaches 165 degrees.
  • While the thighs are cooking, drain most of the old oil from the skillet and add 2 tsp olive oil. Turn the heat to medium low and add the mushrooms, shallots, and garlic. Cook, stirring, for 6-7 minutes. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
  • Add the sherry, turn up the heat, add the thyme sprigs, and bring to a simmer for about 3 minutes to reduce the sherry by half. Add the stock and continue to simmer for about 10 minutes. Turn down the heat and add the cream. Let it all simmer for another 4-5 minutes as the cream reduces by half. Remove the thyme sprigs and discard.
  • Place cooked rice on a platter then top with the cooked thighs. Spoon over some of garlic mushroom sauce and place the remainder of the sauce in a bowl at the table.
  • Garnish with chopped parsley.

Hainanese Chicken Rice

  • Place 1 minced garlic clove and a 1 inch cube of peeled fresh ginger and 1 1/2 cups of chicken stock and 1 tsp sesame oil (optional) in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer for 5 minutes, covered.
  • Add 1 cup of jasmine or basmati rice, stir, and bring back to a simmer. Lower the heat as far down as you can, cover, and cook about 12 minutes, stirring half way through. When the rice is done, turn off the heat, fluff with a fork, a place the lid ajar until ready to serve. Season with salt and white pepper.
  • There are dozens of Hainanese rice recipes, this is just the way I make it.

EGG FRIED RICE

As with any popular, ubiquitous food dish, the debate rages on regarding how to make it.

This is my version of this favorite Asian takeout dish inspired by Uncle Roger (Nigel Ng, on YouTube).

A couple of important chef’s notes include: Use day old rice that was cooked with a little less liquid than usual. If you use fresh made rice, it will not turn out like you hope it will. Fried rice is not soggy! Also, I highly suggest the use of a little MSG. You know, the seasoning given a bad wrap in the 70’s? It’s made from seaweed and is back in vogue in a lot of kitchens. If you use MSG and of course soy sauce, you will not need any salt. And, use a wok over high heat. If you want to add a protein, make sure it is already cooked or cook it in the wok before anything else. Shrimp can be added just before the rice as it cooks very fast. I used a little cooked pork (leftover from the night before) in this recipe.

Here’s how I like to make it…

Ingredients:

  • Canola oil or peanut oil (do not use olive oil)
  • 1/4 cup diced shallots or red onion
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tbsp chopped red Fresno chiles (or use serranos)
  • 1 egg and 1 egg yolk, beaten
  • 1 tbsp chile oil or Sriracha
  • 3-4 cups cooked day old white rice
  • Protein of choice (optional), like cooked chicken or pork or raw shrimp
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • White pepper to taste
  • 2 green onions, sliced

Directions:

  • Cook about 1 1/2 cups of jasmine or basmati rice in 2 1/4 cups of water or chicken stock for about 15 minutes over low heat, lid slightly ajar. Fluff with a fork half way through then again when it is done. The liquid should be completely cooked off. Spread the cooked rice on a sheet pan and let it cool completely in the refrigerator. Cover with plastic after it has cooled. Leave over night or at least 4 hours.
  • Heat a large wok over high heat then add about 2-3 tbsp of canola or peanut oil (do not use olive oil). When the oil is smoking, add the shallots and garlic and stir for about 30 seconds.
  • Add the beaten eggs and Sriracha and stir for 30 seconds.
  • If you are using shrimp, add the shrimp now and stir and/or toss for about 1 1/2 minutes. If you are using cooked pork or chicken, add now and toss.
  • Add the day old rice and start stirring and/or tossing. Do this for about 2 minutes.
  • Mix the soy sauce and sesame oil together in a small bowl and add to the wok around the edge of the rice. Toss for 30 seconds.
  • Season with the MSG and white pepper. Taste and reseason if necessary.
  • Plate on a large platter or bowl and top with the sliced green onions.

INSTANTPOT HONEY GARLIC CHICKEN THIGHS

These flavorful, Asian-inspired chicken thighs cook in about 30 minutes in the Instantpot. You can braise them on the stove or in the oven in about 1 1/2 hours.

Also, use boneless thighs if you want…I think the skin on bone in thighs give out much more flavor.

Ingredients:

  • 4-6 bone in skin on bone in chicken thighs
  • Kosher salt and white or black pepper
  • 2 tsp canola oil
  • 1 tsp Sesame oil + more for sauce
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 inch piece of ginger, sliced
  • 6 ounce can of pineapple juice
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp light brown sugar
  • Sesame seeds
  • Sliced green onions

Directions:

  • Dry the thighs with paper towels. Season with Kosher salt and white pepper. Heat your Instantpot on Saute and add canola oil. When the oil is hot, brown the thighs about 4 minutes per side. Remove to a plate.
  • Add the garlic and ginger to the pot and stir for 30 seconds. Add the pineapple juice, stock, sesame oil, soy sauce, and honey and bring to a simmer. Return the thighs back to the pot. Cancel Saute and press Pressure for 30 minutes. Let it release naturally.
  • Remove the thighs to a plate and keep warm.
  • Strain the liquid into a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer. Mix 2 tbsp cornstarch in 1/4 cup cold water and stir into the simmering liquid. Let it simmer and start to thicken. Add the brown sugar and 1 tsp of sesame oil and simmer another 5 minutes. Taste and reseason if necessary.
  • Serve the thighs over steamed white rice and garnish with sesame seeds, green onions, and chopped parsley.

SRIRACHA HONEY CHICKEN

Loretta found this recipe today and it sounded too good to pass up since I had chicken thighs ready to go in the refrigerator. Although the original recipe calls for chicken drumsticks, it would work with wings, breasts, or thighs.

Don’t be weary of the sriracha, this is not super spicy. We even adjusted the honey versus sriracha ratio and it came out perfect for us.

I served ours over leftover creamy cheese grits from the night before. I just heated them up with a little cream and 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese.

I can’t wait to try this recipe on chicken wings! It’s sweet and spicy to the tee.

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs of chicken thighs, drumsticks, or wings (we used bone-in thighs)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground thyme
  • 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp sriracha sauce
  • 1 1/2 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • Chopped parsley

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line small sheet pan with foil.
  • Dry the chicken thighs completely and coat with olive oil.
  • Mix together the ground thyme, garlic powder, paprika, salt, and black pepper in a small bowl.
  • Season the thighs on both sides with the seasoning mix and place on the foil lined sheet pan.
  • Bake in the preheated oven until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees, about 45-50 minutes.
  • Combine the butter, honey, sriracha, and soy sauce in a small saucepan and heat to a simmer. Stir and let simmer about 3 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings. Turn off heat and set aside.
  • When the chicken is done, spread some of the sauce on the thighs with a pastry brush or spoon. Place back in the oven for another 2 minutes to let the sauce glaze.
  • To serve, place a chicken thigh on the plate and drizzle on more sauce. Garnish with chopped parsley. I served it on top of creamy cheese grits. Rice or mashed potatoes will work as well.

PEPPER AND CURRY CHICKEN STIR FRY AND RICE

Boneless skinless chicken thighs are God’s gift to any stir fry. Save the boneless breasts for Chicken Piccata and Spicy Chicken Sandwiches!

This stir fry is simple and quick…maybe 30 minutes to prepare.

Make sure you trim any excess fat from the thighs as some of them need more attention than others. Cut evenly into 1 inch pieces and you’re ready to rock. The sauce has soy sauce, honey, garlic powder, turmeric, ground ginger, curry, and a lot of black pepper.

Saute the chicken pieces in a hot wok until brown, remove to the side. Add the onions and red bells for a couple minutes, the garlic for another 30 seconds. Throw the chicken back in with the sauce, bring to a simmer, and cook for about 2 more minutes. Serve over steamed white rice and garnish with chopped green onions and chopped cilantro. That’s it.

Add less curry if that is not your thing. The amount in this recipe is minimal and won’t stink up your house (too much)! There is no added salt in the recipe as the soy sauce should take care of that angle.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1/2 cup minced onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, thin sliced
  • Chopped cilantro and green onions for garnish

Directions:

  • In a small bowl, combine the first 9 ingredients and mix well. Set aside.
  • In a wok or large skillet over medium high heat, add 1 tbsp canola oil. When the oil is hot, add the chicken pieces and cook until browned on both sides. Remove from the wok and keep warm.
  • Add 1 tbsp of oil to the wok, reduce heat to medium then add the onions and the red bell peppers. Cook, stirring, for about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and stir in for 30 seconds.
  • Add the browned chicken and the sauce to the wok and bring to a simmer, stirring. Let it simmer for about 2 minutes, covered.
  • Serve over a platter of white rice and garnish with chopped green onions and cilantro.

Hot and Sour Soup with Mushrooms, Chicken, and Leeks

When I was a kid, our family ate at a Chinese restaurant somewhere in the West San Fernando Valley, just outside L.A. Can’t remember the name of it. But I do remember the Hot and Sour Soup I used to get before every meal (you chose Egg Drop Soup or Hot and Sour).

I have tried to replicate it here. Pretty close facsimile I think. Add more rice vinegar is you want it more “sour”…more Sriracha if you want it more “hot”. Instead of white mushrooms, try porcinis or shiitakes for a more umami flavor. Also, you can substitute tofu for the chicken and vegetable stock for the chicken stock to make it vegan.

Ingredients:

  • 3-cups of low-sodium chicken stock or vegetable stock
  • 1 cup of mushrooms, remove the end stem, 1/4 inch slice
  • 1/4 cup of leeks, white part only, 1/4 inch dice
  • 1 tablespoon of rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon of toasted sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon of fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 teaspoon of Sriracha sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of dry sherry
  • 1/2 teaspoon of garlic, thin sliced
  • 2 tablespoons of cornstarch
  • 4-ounces of cooked chicken (I use the dark meat only from a rotisserie chicken), chopped or shredded
  • Kosher salt and white pepper
  • Chopped chives

Directions:

  • Add the chopped chicken, stock, mushrooms, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger, white pepper to taste, and Sriracha sauce to a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cover, lower heat, and simmer for about 30 minutes.
  • Whisk together the 2 tablespoons of cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of cold water and add to the simmer soup. Let it thicken for about 5 minutes. Stir in the cooked chicken and let it heat through, about 10 minutes. Taste. I found no need to add salt but you can if you want. Add more white pepper if desired.
  • Ladle into bowls and garnish with chopped chives.