Tag Archives: Soy Sauce

Oven Barbecued Chicken

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As I’ve mentioned before, I cooked dinner for my Mom for Mother’s Day, as I do every year, but this Sunday my Mom decided to surprise me, and cooked dinner for me.

She made fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, and I made bread.  We had a really good time, though I did find out that while cooking my Mom cannot support a conversation, which was not something I had noticed when I was living with her as a child.

We did have some nice conversation while we went shopping together for all the ingredients, and she insisted on buying me some pantry items I was missing.  Thank you Mom.  We also got one of those gigantor packages of chicken legs which has 14 pieces in it.  It was much cheaper per pound than the smaller packages, but obviously had more chicken in it than Mom had any intention of frying for two people.  I told her I would find something to do with it.

So I made Oven Barbecued Chicken.  The great thing about this recipe is that, except for the chicken legs, these are all pantry items for me, so it’s a recipe that needs very little fore planning and is pretty quick to prepare.  As an added plus it tastes great.

Of course, since my Mom did buy this chicken, I had to make it for her, and now she says she owes me dinner again.  I can see this cycle repeating for a very long time.

Enjoy

Ingredients

7 chicken legs

¾ cup sweet chili sauce

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon honey mustard

1 teaspoon fish sauce

½ teaspoon chili powder

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Preheat oven to 350OF

Personally I usually remove the skin from my chicken unless I’m frying it.  This is because a lot of times if I cook it in a sauce, like these are, the skin tends to absorb a lot of the flavor but the meat does not. When I remove the skin the meant tends to absorb the flavor a great deal better.

The easiest way to remove the skin is to hold the leg under running hot water and grasp the skin at the thickest part, and pull the skin.  Hard.  It won’t be that hard as long as keep the leg under the hot water, but the hardest part will be down at the joint.

Place the chicken legs in a deepish baking dish.

Mix the remaining ingredients well in a large bowl and pour entire contents over chicken.  Turn the chicken legs with a spoon a few times to ensure they have been completely coated, if you try to turn them with your fingers you’ll season your fingers very well, but will actually be whipping the sauce off of the chicken.

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Bake chicken for 30 minutes.  Open oven and turn chicken, again using a spoon.  Bake for another 30 minutes or until the meat begins to pull away from the bone.

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When serving, spoon extra sauce over the chicken and extra sauce with either rice or buttered noodles.

It does take about an hour, since that’s how long you bake it, but the prep time for this recipe is minutes.  It takes longer to just get everything out of the refrigerator than to make the sauce.

Enjoy, if you notice the final photo is actually what I took for lunch.

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Sweet and Sour Chicken

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I know I just made a post about how I generally avoid recipes that have a page worth of ingredients, but it doesn’t count if half the ingredients are things I keep in my house.  Right?  Yah, that sounds like an excuse to me too.

Anywho, I really like Asian food, I mean what’s not to like.  It’s hot, spicy (not always the same thing), it’s always served with either rice or noodles, and generally not the worst thing you could eat health wise.   But notice I do say generally.  This is because a lot of times really good Chinese food is fried.  I do so love my fried foods.

It’s a shame I don’t have the metabolism of a high schooler any more and can’t just eat fried foods all day.  Plus they tell me it’s bad for me, something about clogged arteries and heart attacks.  To bad.

I’ve wanted to try to make homemade Chinese takeout for awhile, but the way of getting crispy chicken without deep frying it was eluding me.  It all comes down to how you coat or bread the chicken.  I got this idea for coating the chicken from here http://stuffcynloves.com/2013/05/03/best-general-tao-chicken-recipe/.   It works really well as a pho-fried food breading.

Enjoy

Ingredients

1 cup cornstarch

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

3 tablespoons flour

2 eggs

1 cup panko

Chicken thighs or breasts

4 Tablespoons peanut butter

6 tablespoons soy sauce

1 Green pepper (sorry forgot to include in the picture)

1 package mushrooms, about ½ pound

2 sticks celery

4 green onions

2 heads brocoli

1 can crushed pineapple

6 tablespoons sugar

6 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 teaspoon garlic powder

Oil for frying

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If you’re working with chicken thighs, deskin and debone, and try to cut off any large chunks of fat.  For either chicken thighs or breasts, cut into approximately 1 inch pieces.

Set up a line of three bowls.  In the first bowl, pour 1 cup of cornstarch.   In the next bowl mix together the 2 eggs, salt, baking powder, and flour which will make a thick goo. In the last bowl pour the 1 cup of panko.  You can use breadcrumbs instead of panko, but the chicken won’t be quite as cruncy.

Dip each piece of chicken into first the cornstarch, then the egg mix, and finally the panko.  Try to shake off any extra cornstarch before coating your pieces with the egg mixture.

Put just enough oil in a deep skillet to cover the bottom and heat under medium to high heat.  After the oil is hot, put in the chicken pieces, evenly spaced and so they don’t quite touch.

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Cook until panko starts to brown and then turn and cook on the other side.  Make sure the chicken is cooked through and remove it from the pan, takes about 10-15 minutes.

While the chicken is cooking finely chop all your veggies and put in a big bowl, it’s a lot of veggies.

In a small mixing bowl add the peanut butter and 4 tablespoons of soy sauce.  Mix a little, until the peanut butter is not a blob in a sea of soy sauce but it’s not going to make a smooth mixture.  Pour the mixture onto the veggies and mix well.

Pour the veggie mix into the skillet and cook on medium to high heat stirring often until the veggies soften.  Takes about 10 minutes.

While cooking the veggies mix in a suacpan the pineapple, sugar, apple cider vinegar, remaining soy cauce, cornstarch, and garlic powder.  Mix in each ingredient one at a time beginning with the pineapple and mix well after every addition.  Cook under low heat until everything is well incorporated, you’re difficult ingredient here will be the cornstarch.  This really only takes 5 minutes or so.

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After the veggies are soft turn heat down to low and add back in the chicken.  Stir once or twice until the chicken is evenly mixed.  Add the pineapple sauce to the skillet and mix well.  Cook for another 5 minutes or so and you’re done.

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Serve with either rice or butter noodles.   If you’re a fan of broth with your rice, double the sauce mixture.

Really this is a pretty easy recipe, but it does take some time.  Around 45 minutes to an hour start to finish.

Enjoy.

Honey Ginger Chicken

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I love cookbooks.   Just about any kind of cookbook really.  The silly little paperback ones in the grocery store that you thumb through while you wait and try to decide is it really worth $5, for me it never is.  The really old cookbooks you can sometimes find at Goodwill where the families all have 4 people and they call for monosodium glutamate.  And I really like cookbooks from the library.

It’s like the best of all worlds, you get to try the recopies, copy down the ones you like, ignore the ones you don’t, and then you return it.  You don’t have another cookbook in your house taking up space with recipes you’re never going to try and you don’t have to spend any money to buy it.

But there is one drawback to working with recipes from books.  Unless it tells you, you never can know where a recipe comes from.  Even though the recipe has some Asian ingredients, I just assumed it was an American recipe, I mean; Food Network has started to suggest using soy sauce as a salt alternative, that’s totally Asian.  By the way, have you ever looked at how much sodium is in soy sauce, I don’t think it’s an improvement.

But where things come from is important.  It puts things in cultural context, it helps you understand a lot more about the food, for instance, when I first got this recipe it called for breast meat, which made it really dry.  Since I like dark meat better, I had already started substituting sliced thigh meat when I was talking to some people from Vietnam and realized that this was a made-easy version of Ga Kho Gung.

I really want to try the authentic Vietnamese recipe, coming soon, in addition to what the Amrican version calls for it also has coconut water, and coconut is one of my favorite things.

But this is still one of my favorite recipes.  It cooks really fast, within 30 minutes if you’re using cut chicken, while the authentic recipe calls for an overnight marinating step, and it re-heats really well,.  I almost always have all these ingredients in my house so it’s something, not from a box, that I can really easily cook up just about any time.  And one time I took it to a BBQ and the kids kept coming back wanting more.  If the kids like it over hotdogs, you know it’s good.

Enjoy!

Ingredients

1 onion

1 lb chicken, or 4 legs

2 tablespoons ginger garlic paste

If you don’t have ginger garlic paste you can use 1 tablespoon each of fresh garlic and ginger.  If you want to use powdered ginger, use 2 tablespoons.

½ teaspoon five-spice powder

1 tablespoon fish sauce

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons honey

½ teaspoon black pepper

1 fresh chili

Oil

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Traditionally this recipe should be cooked with boned chicken, but you can also use 1 inch pieces of boneless.  If you decide to do that, you might want to add a little more soy sauce because boneless chicken will dry out much faster.

First finely chop the onion.  I really like onions a lot, so I used an extra onion, another reason is that by the time you’re done you end up cooking your onions down to practically nothing and a little bit more is a good thing.

Deskin the chicken legs.  An easy way to deskin chicken, which is something I hate to do and usually make my boyfriend do, is to deskin it under running HOT water.  Hold the leg firmly in one hand, and take the loose skin around the thickest part of the leg and pull.  As long as you keep it under the hot water, it’ll be a little like pulling of a tight boot.

Heat around 3 tablespoons of oil in a frying pan until it is hot.  Fry the onions for about 30 seconds or until they are just translucent.  Add the chicken legs and cook, stirring and turning the chicken occasionally, until the onions are golden.

Add the ginger garlic paste and sprinkle the five spice powder over the chicken.  Stir well, try to coat the chicken.  Cook on high heat for about 2 minutes or until the chicken starts to brown and it can be pierced with a fork easily at its thickest part.

Add the fish sauce, soy sauce, honey, and black pepper.  Stir well; especially make sure the honey gets well incorporated.  Turn heat down and cook for an additional 5-10 minutes.

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At this point, the chicken should be done, and since the leg bone insulates heat, it’ll cook pretty fast.  At the same time, since I can’t actually see if the chicken is done I tend to go for the cooked to death approach instead of risking eating undercooked chicken.  When the chicken starts to pull away from the bone you can be pretty sure that it’s done cooking, and it’s time to enjoy.

Just as a note do not use this recipe to cook chicken that has been frozen unless it has been defrosted for several hours.  You are depending on the bone in order to cook the chicken from the inside out, but if the chicken bone is cold, then it won’t insulate the meat and the inside won’t cook as fast as the outside.

Finely dice the chili and use as a garnish.  Personally, I’m a fan of my food being pretty spicy so I used 3.

Eat with rice and serve with any remaining onions.

In total, takes about 30-45 minutes.  This honestly has to be one of the fastest cooking dishes I’ve ever made.

Green Curry Puffs Or Thai Samosas

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Vegetarian Green Curry Puffs

Or Thai Samosas

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I always give my boyfriend a hard time about his eating habits because he loves sweet things so much.  Since I love to bake, this is a bad habit that I find myself enabling a lot, but who can say no to someone who loves to eat your food?  But I myself also have a horrible food habit, I love fried foods.

I don’t mean I love fried foods like McDonalds or KFC, I love samosas, egg rolls, and these sesame balls filled with red bean paste I get at IG.  All so yummy.

While I know that fried foods will never be good for me, I feel that if I at least make them myself, and thus can limit the amount of salt and other preservatives (read as poison) that gets added to a lot of frozen foods they are not so bad.

Another thing making my own food allows me to control is that I’ve made these vegetarian.  I have a lot of vegetarian friends and when we get together, I prefer to cook foods that everyone can eat.  The original recipe (which can be found in Thai & South-East Asian Cooking & Far Eastern Classics) called for Fish sauce, which believe it or not, is actually made from fish.  I know in America we’re used to ketchup not really being made from tomatoes and orange juice generally coming from concentrate so you probably wouldn’t think that fish sauce was made from fish but it is.  Actually some varieties of fish sauce are the Asian equivalent of hot dogs, it’s the mystery fish.  By the way soy sauce is made from soy.  Who would have thunk it?

Ingredients

24ish wonton wrapper

As an alternative you can buy egg roll wrappers which are much bigger and about the same price and cut them into 4 equally sized pieces

1 potato

3 tablespoons peas

3 tablespoons corn

A few springs fresh cilantro (coriander)

About 1-2 tablespoons when chopped

1 fresh chili

1 tablespoon lime juice

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon green curry paste

1 teaspoon sesame seed oil

Oil for deep frying

Water

Boil the potato in slightly salted water until a fork easily pieces the potato in the thickest part.  You do not need to peel the potato before boiling it; it is much easier to peel after it has been boiled.  In fact, you don’t need to peel the potatoes at all as long as you wash the skin very well before you boil them; the peel actually has fiber and nutrients that are good for you.  One caution to this is to not eat the skin if the potato is under-ripe or has a green tinge.

If you are using frozen peas and corn, as I did, take them out of the freezer and defrost them while the potato is boiling which will take 15-45 minutes depending on the thickness of the potato.  If you want to use fresh ingredients you will need to cook them.  I suggest boiling them until they are just tender.

Drain the potatoes and let them cool to make them easier to handle.  Once you can handle them easily mash them, peeled or not, with either a potato masher or by hand.

If you are using frozen peas and corn measure them out together into a microwave safe bowl.  Microwave 1-2 minutes, stir and then microwave again for 1 minute.  This is to ‘cook’ them, but also to try to melt any residual ice and to evaporate a little of the water.  If the microwaved mixture is very wet drain it before adding it to the mashed potatoes.

Finely chop the cilantro (coriander) and the chili.  As a note, since you are using chopped chili it is difficult to evenly distribute a little bit of diced chili into a proportionally large amount of potatoes.  This leads to some of the puffs being very spicy, and others having a slightly sweet taste.  If you would like a more even incorporation use ground pepper, preferably dried pepper that has went through a food processer.  The amount used would depend on the level of spiciness you would like.

Add the cilantro, chili, lime juice, soy sauce, green curry paste, and sesame seed oil to the mashed potatoes.  Mix well.

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The next part is a little messy.  I suggest filling the wrappers on a cutting board, I used a wooden one.

Get some water in a bowl or cup that it is easy to dip your fingers into.  You’re probably going to want around ½ cup of water.  Place a wonton wrapper on a flat surface, such as a cutting board.  Dip your fingers into the water and brush the wonton wrapper so that the entire surface is moist, but not wet.

Take about 1 teaspoon-1 tablespoon of the mashed potato mixture and place in the center of the wrapper.

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Fold in half to form a triangle and press the edges down well.  It’s okay if the edges don’t come together exactly; the important part is that you make a good seal.  If some of the mixture comes out, brush it away with your fingers and re-seal the edges.

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Repeat until all of the potato mixture is used.  Depending on how full you stuff your puffs, this may make more than 24, the last time I made these I was really conservative with my filling and I got about 30.  Stuffing the puffs takes about 45 minutes.

After you’ve made all your puffs heat your oil over medium heat.  Don’t try to heat the oil earlier, it takes much less time to heat the oil than it does to stuff the curry puffs.  You can use pretty much any kind of oil you want.  Peanut oil is the best for deep frying, but it’s also the unhealthiest.  I generally use vegetable or canola oil since they are so much cheaper and are not as unhealthy.

You want to use enough oil that the puffs will be completely covered when they are dropped in.  This will mean that you probably want at an absolute minimum 3 inches of oil in the bottom of your pot; I used something between 6 and 7 inches of oil.  If this sounds like a huge amount, don’t worry, you can filter the oil and save it to use it again.

To filter the oil, after it’s cooled, take a paper towel and a funnel.  Fold the paper towel into quarters, or more if necessary, and put it in your funnel.  Put the funnel into an empty container and pour the used oil into the funnel.  The paper towel will act as a filter and remove any food particles that are left in the oil after cooking, and then you’ve got the vast majority of the oil back for use at a later date.  Generally oil can be used at least 4 times, but if it turns black or starts to smell bad it has gone bad and should be pitched.

Heat the oil until it’s about 400OF or until a small piece of onion cooks when dropped in.  Do not get impatient and try to cook the puffs before the oil is hot, they won’t cook and will taste like oil.  If your oil is so hot that when you drop in the onion or puff in it sputters up in your face like a small volcano, back away, turn the stove down and try again in a few minutes.

Drop your puffs in one at a time.  Depending on the size of your pot, you’ll probably be able to cook multiple puffs at one time, but don’t over crowd your pot.  I cooked 5 at a time.

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The puffs will cook in about 5 minutes.  When you first drop them into the oil they will sink to the bottom but as they cook they will rise and puff up from air trapped inside.  They have a tendency to want to float on one side, so you might have to turn them a few times to get them evenly cooked on both sides.  Cook until the body of the puff is a golden brown, the edges will probably be a red brown before the body is golden.

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Serve hot.  The puffs will gradually deflate as they cool.  If they need to be reheated re-fry them for 30-45 seconds.  If they are reheated in an oven or a microwave they will get rubbery.

Serve with sweet chili or tamarind sauce.

Entire cooking time 1 hour 30 minutes to 2 hours.