Steamy Kitchen Recipes | RSS Feed http://steamykitchen.com Steamy Kitchen Food Blog: fast recipes, simple recipes, with fresh ingredients to create delicious meals. Thu, 30 Apr 2015 14:38:03 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.1 Thai Grilled Shrimp with Black Pepper Sauce http://steamykitchen.com/37993-thai-grilled-shrimp-with-black-pepper-sauce-recipe.html http://steamykitchen.com/37993-thai-grilled-shrimp-with-black-pepper-sauce-recipe.html#comments Tue, 14 Oct 2014 13:39:57 +0000 http://steamykitchen.com/?p=37993 Patience is what we’ve been practicing for the last two months in our house. Going into a major kitchen remodel is never a “fun” thing (well, except picking out wall colors, flooring options and kitchen bling), but I never expected a 2-week stall. So close, yet so far away. We’re currently hung up on the granite cutter. Counters need to ...

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Thai-Grilled-Shrimp-with-Black-Pepper-SaucePatience is what we’ve been practicing for the last two months in our house. Going into a major kitchen remodel is never a “fun” thing (well, except picking out wall colors, flooring options and kitchen bling), but I never expected a 2-week stall. So close, yet so far away.

We’re currently hung up on the granite cutter. Counters need to be cut and installed before anything else happens. So, I’m being extra patient and resisting the urge to drive to the granite cutter’s shop and doing my Asian mother nagging magic on his team to hurry up!

kitchen-remodel-2779

In the meantime, with no kitchen, I’ve asked Top Chef Harold Dieterle to write a quick little note and share a recipe from his brand new book, Harold Dieterle’s Kitchen Notebook.  I asked him, “Harold, I can’t wait to try your contemporary Thai restaurant next time I’m in NY. Tell us your love for Thai food!”

 

haroldHi Steamy Kitchen readers! My love of southeast Asian cuisine is pretty straightforward, actually.  I’ve always loved the flavors, spices, and freshness of the ingredients and dishes from that part of the world.   I also spent some time in Thailand before I opened Perilla Restaurant, and so a lot of the flavors and influences from that trip ended up being worked into the menu.

I traveled to Thailand a few more times before opening Kin Shop (and a few times since), because I realized I had so much to learn about balancing flavor and heat, as well as an endless variety of techniques.  It’s such a rich culinary culture, and really, I’m still learning something new every day.

Have fun cooking! Harold.

 

The recipe that Harold is sharing is a powerhouse of Thai flavors!  You’ll love how the smoky, grilled shrimp pairs so well with Harold’s Phuket-Style Black Pepper Sauce that comes easily together in one pot. While I’ve adapted the grilled shrimp to make it simpler for a weeknight meal, I’ve kept the Phuket-Style Black Pepper Sauce as-is, because that’s where the recipe really shines.

We made this recipe in 30 minutes even without a kitchen! We used our BBQ grill for the shrimp and a little camping stove for the sauce.

About the Phuket-Style Black Pepper Sauce:

From Harold Dieterle’s Kitchen Notebook:

“The sauce never fails to remind me of my first trip to Thailand, during which I visited a marketplace on Phuket, an island off the southern coast, where you picked out your own fresh fish and shellfish at various stalls, and the proprietor would cook it for you. I asked on purveyor if I could pay extra and cook my own food. The woman who owned the stall was reluctant, telling me it was dangerous, but after I showed her my burn-covered arms, the pride and joy of every cook, she figured I could take care of myself.

I started making a Phuket-sauce based on ones I’ve eaten on the trip. She didn’t like the direction I was going – she especially didn’t appreciate my tossing black peppercorns into her wok – so she began trying to course-correct for me, adding this like coconut milk and hoisin sauce. This recipe is for the sauce we ended up with. I thought it was delicious; she didn’t.

Serve this sauce over poached or grilled shellfish, white-fleshed fish such as halibut or cod, grilled pork, and grilled chicken dishes or fried chicken.”

Thai Grilled Shrimp with Black Pepper Sauce Recipe 2

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Thai Grilled Shrimp with Black Pepper Sauce Recipe

Servings: 4 Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 20 minutes
Thai Grilled Shrimp with Black Pepper Sauce Recipe

Recipe adapted from Harold Dieterle, "Harold Dieterle's Kitchen Notebook." Reprinted with permission.

Here are some tips for the Black Pepper Sauce:
-Instead of mincing ginger, I peel the ginger and grate it with a microplane grater.
-If you can't find lemongrass, use a microplane grater and lightly rub the lime in the recipe (before juicing) to zest.
-A great substitute for shallot is red onion

Shrimp tips:
This basic recipe can be used for shrimp, fish, scallops and even lobster. I like to use the largest shrimp I can find, and thread on bamboo or metal skewers to make easy to grill.

Serve with white rice if desired.

Ingredients:

FOR THE PICKLED CUCUMBER:

2 tablespoons very hot water
1/2 teaspoon sea or kosher salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1 hothouse cucumber, seeded, sliced



FOR THE BLACK PEPPER SAUCE
2 tablespoons neutral cooking oil (like canola)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon peeled, minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon minced shallot
1 tablespoon minced lemongrass
2 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper
2 cups unsweetened coconut milk
1 cup hoisin sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoons fish sauce
juice of 1 lime



FOR THE SHRIMP
1 pound large or jumbo shrimp, on skewers
1 tablespoon neutral cooking oil
salt and pepper

Directions:

1. MAKE THE PICKLED CUCUMBERS: In a bowl, whisk together the hot water, salt and sugar until dissolved. Stir in the rice vinegar. Toss with the sliced cucumber. Refrigerate while preparing the rest of the recipe or up to overnight.

2. MAKE THE BLACK PEPPER SAUCE: Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the garlic, ginger, shallot, and lemongrass and cook, stirring until the vegetables are softened but not browned, about 2 minutes. Add the pepper and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes.Pour in the coconut milk, hoisin, vinegar and fish sauce. Stir, bring to a boil and then lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes to develop the flavor. Stir in the lime juice. The sauce can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

3. GRILL THE SHRIMP (while the sauce is simmering): Heat a grill to high. Brush shrimp with the cooking oil, season with salt and pepper. Grill shrimp 2 minutes, flip and grill an additional minute or two until cooked through.

Serve with black pepper sauce, pickled cucumber and rice.

Other Thai Inspired Recipes from Around the Web

Thai Shrimp Halibut Curry – Bon Appetit

Steamy Kitchen Pinterest Board on Asian Seafood

Thai Shrimp and Pineapple Curry – RasaMalaysia

Thai Chicken with Sweet Chili Jam – David Lebovitz

 

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Sticky Asian Chicken Wings http://steamykitchen.com/27003-sticky-asian-chicken-wings-recipe-video.html http://steamykitchen.com/27003-sticky-asian-chicken-wings-recipe-video.html#comments Mon, 01 Jul 2013 19:21:58 +0000 http://www.steamykitchen.com/?p=27003 Eating wings is an 8-finger affair (my pointed-up pinkies tend to stay clean as they are too short to get in the way), especially if you serve wings whole like I have in this recipe. Any wing connoisseur will tell you that each of the 3 parts of the wings are incredibly different. The drumstick end is meaty, easy to eat, but ...

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Sticky Asian Chicken Wings Recipe

Eating wings is an 8-finger affair (my pointed-up pinkies tend to stay clean as they are too short to get in the way), especially if you serve wings whole like I have in this recipe.

Any wing connoisseur will tell you that each of the 3 parts of the wings are incredibly different. The drumstick end is meaty, easy to eat, but can be a little dry if you over cook them. The flat part is the most tender (especially the sliver of meat between the bones) but is a little fussy to eat.

The small flapper part, which gets discarded and ignored most of the time, is the little crispy treat that has the most flavor of all. Since it’s so thin and small, it tends to get caramelized the most – and nibbling the edge of the flap is so tasty.

Sticky Asian Chicken Wings Recipe

And lastly, because you and I have become friends, I’ll confess that my favorite part most of all (I know you’re saying, wait…there’s ANOTHER part!?) is the cartilage. Perhaps is my Asian heritage (we love to eat all sorts of strange animal parts), but the soft-yet-crunchy white bits that holds together each wing section is irresistible.

There. I’ve told you. It took me 4 months of dating Scott before I would let him see me eating the cartilage. The first time that I did, he was sitting across from me at Hooters, enjoying his plate of wings and beer.

“crunch. crunch. crunch.”

He looked up at me. “Are you eating the bone?”

When I told him, he just shrugged off my eccentricity and went back to eating.

That’s when I knew I was in love.

Sticky Asian Chicken Wings Recipe

These Sticky Asian Chicken Wings are a recipe from my friend, Heather Christo’s cookbook, Heather Christo’s Generous Table. You’ll love her – she’s funny, glamorous, laughs loud (like me!), and just such a happy presence.

Screen Shot 2013-07-01 at 3.19.00 PM

Take a look at her book – full of recipes that she makes together with her ADORABLE girls named Coco and Pia. These wings are everything that wings deserve to be – sticky, savory, sweet.

Sticky Asian Chicken Wings Recipe Video

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Sticky Asian Chicken Wings Recipe

Servings: 4-6 Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 30 minutes
Sticky Asian Chicken Wings Recipe

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon rice vinegar (substitute with red or cider vinegar)
4 tablespoons hoisin sauce
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 stalk green onions, chopped
1 tablespoon hot chili sauce
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
2 1/2 pounds chicken wings, with tips

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375F.

In a large bowl, whisk together all the ingredients except for the chicken wings. Set aside half of the sauce mixture to use later.

Toss the chicken wings in with the marinade in the large bowl to coat. Line a baking sheet with foil and spread the chicken wings in a single layer. Bake for 30 minutes or until the wings are cooked through.

When the wings are done, toss with the reserved sauce mixture.

 

Sticky Asian Chicken Wings Recipe

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Pork Belly Buns Recipe http://steamykitchen.com/22252-pork-belly-buns-recipe.html http://steamykitchen.com/22252-pork-belly-buns-recipe.html#comments Mon, 02 Jul 2012 12:30:00 +0000 http://steamykitchen.com/?p=22252 Recipe with step by step photos for Pork Belly Buns - learn a surprising cheater steamed bun recipe that my Mom taught me!

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Pork Belly Buns Recipe

  • Step by step photos – how to make caramelized pork belly
  • How to make Chinese steamed buns – plus a bonus cheater bun recipe using Pillsbury refrigerated dough (a secret ingredient!)
  • Top the pork belly with spicy fresh chilies, kimchi and a slather of sweet, sticky hoisin glaze

Pork Belly Buns is probably one of the biggest Asian food fads to hit American palates, right next to Korean Tacos and Bo-Ba Tea. It’s no surprise, since since pork belly is essentially where the much-loved bacon comes from. Slow-cooked pork belly is sliced and simmered in a sweet-savory Vietnamese caramel sauce and sandwiched between soft, pillowy steamed buns. But it doesn’t stop there – a hit of spice comes from kimchi and flash-fry of fresh chilies and green onions.

Pork Belly Buns Recipe chilies-and-onions

My version of Pork Belly Buns is sort of a mashup between three cultures: Vietnamese caramel braising sauce, Chinese steamed buns and pork belly and Korean kimchi. You won’t find a better combination of flavors or textures.

I’ve adapted the pork belly recipe from my buddy, John, of Food Wishes. Do you know John? If not, you must see his videos! He’s amazing. Plus, we have matching mustaches.

Pork Belly Buns Recipe kimchi

Those who live near a good Chinese market can find pre-made buns (usually frozen), but for the rest of us, I have 2 solutions for you. A flour mixture, specifically for steamed buns, is available in many Asian markets (there’s photos below). And if you can’t find that, a cheater recipe that I learned from my mom is also written for you using….get this…canned Pillsbury Buttermilk Biscuit dough. YES! Really!

Pork Belly Buns Recipe detail

Unfortunately, there’s no cheater recipe for the pork belly. But I swear, it’s all worth the effort.

Full disclosure here – THIS IS NOT A FAST RECIPE. Plan on an afternoon. Or you can slow-roast the pork belly one day and make the buns/finish the pork belly the next day, which is what I did.

How can you resist?!

Pork Belly Buns Recipe closeup

Pork Belly Buns Recipe

Caramel Braised Pork Belly

Ladies, gents, meet pork belly. It looks like bacon. Asian markets with a fresh meat counter will have pork belly. Otherwise you might have to request it from your meat man/woman.

Buy a nice slab of it – this recipe calls for 2 pounds – which will give you enough pork belly left over to enjoy with some ramen.

Pork Belly Buns Recipe pork belly raw

Season with salt and pepper on both sides. Not too much – just a nice sprinkle.

Pork Belly Buns Recipe pork belly seasoned

Wrap it up in 2 layers of tin foil. Wrap it nice and tight. You don’t want any of the juices or fat escaping.

Pork Belly Buns Recipe foil wrapped pork belly

Roast slow ‘n low: 275F for 2 hours. Do not open the package. You’ll lose all that precious liquid.

Then let it rest on the counter until cool enough to refrigerate (but remember, don’t open it yet! no peeking!) Refrigerate for a couple of hours or overnight.

Only after it’s fully chilled, then you can open it. This method will ensure that 1) the pork belly keeps its shape 2) no juices escape, which is important because that’s good flavor!

This is what it looks like after refrigeration:

Pork Belly Buns Recipe pork belly cooked

When you slice it, you’ll see what I mean about keeping its shape.

Pork Belly Buns Recipe pork belly slice

Slice into 1/2″ thick.

Pork Belly Buns Recipe pork belly fully sliced

Heat up a saute pan or wok swirl in a bit of oil and fry each slice on both sides until browned and the edges start to crisp up. Remove from pan.

Pork Belly Buns Recipe pork belly browned

Keep all that fat in the pan and you’ll use the fat to saute garlic, ginger, green onion (and fresh chilies if you want). Take care not to burn these aromatics!

Pork Belly Buns Recipe chili and onion flash fry

Now it’s time to make the caramel braising sauce. Whisk together fish sauce, soy sauce, rice vinegar, green onion, garlic, ginger and fresh chilies.

Pork Belly Buns Recipe caramel braising sauce

 Pour it sauce in.

Pork Belly Buns Recipe sauce in wok

Add the pork belly pieces back into the pan.

Pork Belly Buns Recipe pork belly in sauce

Let it simmer on low for about 20 minutes, covered.

Pork Belly Buns Recipe simmering

Resist the urge to just devour the entire thing.

Pork Belly Buns Recipe pork belly done

After that, you can just turn off the heat and let the pork belly hang out in the sauce until you’re ready to serve.

Pork Belly Buns Recipe set pork belly aside

 

How to make the steamed buns

I always start with a package of pre-mixed flour*. All you need to do is add sugar, milk and a bit of cooking oil. Easy. If you’re looking to make these buns from scratch, head over to my friend, Jen’s site Use Real Butter.

Cheater bun recipe is at the bottom of the post – which are just as amazing as these buns.

*Here’s another photo of different brand of mixed flour.

Pork Belly Buns Recipe bun ingredients

In a big bowl (you’ll need a big bowl!) Pour in the ingredients except for the flour. While mixing with a wooden spoon, pour in the flour mixture.

Pork Belly Buns Recipe pouring flour

Stir! Stir! Stir!

Pork Belly Buns Recipe stir stir stir

Keep stirring until it comes together like dough.

Pork Belly Buns Recipe dough coming together

Now use your hands to knead the dough for a few minutes in the bowl. Push with the palm of your hand towards the side of the bowl, lift dough, rotate and push again.

pssst…..yes, I give you permission to use a mixer + dough hook.

Pork Belly Buns Recipe knead dough

Once the dough becomes smooth, cover and let rise for 20 minutes.

Pork Belly Buns Recipe dough resting

It will rise and look like this:

Pork Belly Buns Recipe risen dough

Dust work surface with flour. Sprinkle a bit of flour on the dough.

Pork Belly Buns Recipe sprinkle flour

Cut into 8 pieces.

Pork Belly Buns Recipe dough in 8 pieces

And then cut those pieces in half, so you have 16 total.

Pork Belly Buns Recipe dough in 16 pieces

Roll into balls.

Pork Belly Buns Recipe dough balls

Keep balls covered! <– really important

Pork Belly Buns Recipe keep dough balls covered

Use a rolling pin or (ahem) a muddler. I prefer a smaller 1″ diameter rolling pin, but since I couldn’t find the one my mom gave me, I’m using a muddler. It will do. The giant rolling pin seems overkill on this itty bitty ball of dough.

Pork Belly Buns Recipe muddle the dough

Roll it out into an oval-ish shape.

It’s not completely round. There’s a reason for that. Just slightly oval.

Pork Belly Buns Recipe dough rolled into oval

The reason is because you’re gonna fold it in half into a half circle bun.

Pork Belly Buns Recipe folded into half circle

Place it on a parchment square. This makes sure that the bun doesn’t stick to the steamer.

Pork Belly Buns Recipe dough on parchment

Keep ’em covered until ready to steam! <– important too

Pork Belly Buns Recipe keep dough covered

To steam the buns, get a wok.

you: HEY. That’s a nice wok!

me: Really!? oh thanks! It’s the brand spankin’ new STEAMY KITCHEN WOK!!!

you: OMG. that’s awesome.

me: I know, right?! It’s the perfect wok. It even comes with the steamer rack.

Ok ok ok….back to the program. Fill the wok or large, wide pot with a inch-ish of water. Place a rack on top – or something to prop up a plate in the pot. I’ve been known to use 3 shot glasses or a can of tuna (without the tuna, of course).

Pork Belly Buns Recipe Awesome Wok

Place a plate on top of the rack.

Pork Belly Buns Recipe steaming plate

Put buns on plate (don’t over crowd – they puff up when they cook).

Pork Belly Buns Recipe buns on plate

Cover and steam for 15 minutes.

Pork Belly Buns Recipe buns steaming

They’ll puff up like this!

Pork Belly Buns Recipe hot steamy buns

Let ’em cool.

Pork Belly Buns Recipe buns cooled

Like clouds….

Pork Belly Buns Recipe buns done

 

How to make the chili/green onion topping

Chopped green onions + fresh chilies of your choice + vinegar + salt in a heat-proof bowl.

Pork Belly Buns Recipe green onions and chilies

In a small saucepan, heat 2 tbl of cooking oil until smoking. Yes – make sure you wait until you start seeing wisps of smoke.

But don’t set off your fire alarm, or start a fire. Keep yer eye on the oil!

Once it starts smoking, immediately pour the oil into the bowl. Carefully.

Pork Belly Buns Recipe adding hot oil

Magic happens! The hot oil sizzles, crackles and POWS! the green onion and chili, releasing its flavors without burning them.

Pork Belly Buns Recipe see it sizzle

You might also want some sweet hoisin sauce so spread on the buns.

Pork Belly Buns Recipe hoisin sauce

Take a bun, open it up and spread just a bit of hoisin sauce. Add a piece of pork belly, top it with the chili/green onion. Sneak in a bite of kimchi.

Enjoy.

Pork Belly Buns Recipe enjoy it

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Pork Belly Buns Recipe

Servings: Makes 16 buns, serves 8 as appetizer/side dish Prep Time: 1 hour + overnight chill in refrigerator Cook Time: 2 hours
pork-belly-buns-recipe-8378.jpg

For cheater buns using Pillsbury Buttermilk Biscuits - see note below the recipe.

Ingredients:

FOR THE PORK BELLY
1 slab pork belly (about 2 pounds)
1 tablespoon cooking oil
2-3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger
1 fresh chili pepper, minced (optional)
1 green onion, chopped
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
3 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 cup water


FOR THE BUNS
14 ounce package of steamed bun flour (banh bao)
+ ingredients as per package instructions (I used milk, sugar, oil)
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour for dusting work surface
16 squares of parchment paper (about 4"x4")FOR THE CHILI SAUCE
1 stalk green onion, minced
1 fresh chili, minced or sliced very thinly
1 teaspoon rice vinegar (or white vinegar)
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cooking oil
3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
Kimchi (optional)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 275F. Wrap the pork belly in heavy tin foil (or use 2 layers). Place on baking sheet and roast for 2 hours. Remove from oven and let cool before refrigerating at least 2 hour or up to 2 days.

2. Unwrap the pork belly, and slice into 1/2" pieces

3. In a large bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, rice vinegar, fish sauce, soy sauce and water.

4. Heat a wok or large saute pan over high heat. When hot, swirl in cooking oil and add several slices to the wok, but do not overlap. Fry each side until browned. Remove to plate. Repeat with remaining.

5. Turn the heat to medium-low. Add in the garlic, ginger, chiles (if using) and green onion. Saute for 30 seconds until fragrant. Pour in the remaining caramel sauce into the pan.Return the pork belly slices back into the wok and let simmer for 10 minutes.

FOR THE BUNS
1. Follow the directions on the package to make the dough, cover and let rise for 20 minutes.

2. Sprinkle clean work surface with the all-purpose flour. Place the dough on work surface and cut into 16 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and keep all balls loosely covered with plastic wrap or towel. You'll work with 1 ball at a time, keeping the rest covered.

3. Use a rolling pin to roll out each ball into an oval, about 4"x3". Fold the oval in half to create bun shaped. Place on parchment square. Keep covered loosely with plastic wrap or towel to prevent drying out. Repeat with remaining dough.

4. Prepare steamer (see photos above). Steam the buns for 15 minutes. You'll have to steam in 2 or 3 batches (avoid overcrowding the buns).

FOR THE CHILI SAUCE
Place the green onion, chili, vinegar and salt in a small heatproof bowl. In a small saucepan, heat the cooking oil until smoking, remove from heat and immediately pour on top of the green onion mixture. Please be careful, the oil will bubble and crackle.

To serve, carefully open each bun, spread a bit of hoisin sauce in the bun. Add a slice of pork belly and top with the chili sauce. Add a bit of kimchi if desired.

How to make steamed buns with Pillsbury Buttermilk Biscuit Dough

My friend, Isabelle, came over for dinner and she arrived the same time I was popping open this can of Pillsbury Biscuit dough. Even though my mom told me to use this dough 9 years ago, I had never experimented with this.

So Isabelle’s sitting at the counter, enjoying her wine and watching me roll these balls and I’m like, “This is SO NOT GOING TO WORK” — “I bet you $10 that this canned dough will fail miserably.”

Lesson learned: never doubt my Mom. They were just as tasty as the dough mixture – and they looked better with smooth, pillowy texture.

This will make 20 buns, however, they will be just a bit smaller than the buns I’ve made above – just make sure you cut the pork belly into thinner slices.

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour for dusting work surface
2 cans Pillsbury Buttermilk Biscuit dough (7.5 ounces each)
20 parchment squares (about 4″x4″)

1. Dust work surface with the flour. Open the can of dough. Separate out the biscuits – there should be 10 in each can.  Keep the dough covered loosely with plastic wrap or towel. Roll each biscuit into an oval and fold in half. Place on parchment square. Keep covered until ready to steam.

2. Prepare steamer as shown above in photos. Steam the buns for 12 minutes. You’ll steam the buns in batches, avoid overcrowding the plate while steaming otherwise the buns will stick to each other.

Use Pillsbury Buttermilk Biscuits:

Pork Belly Buns Recipe quick buns

Roll each biscuit out to oval-ish shape

Pork Belly Buns Recipe oval biscuit

Fold in half and place on parchment square:

Pork Belly Buns Recipe folded biscuits on parchment

Steam:

Pork Belly Buns Recipe steamy biscuit buns

Fluffy!

Pork Belly Buns Recipe puffy quick buns

Gorgeous. Brilliant trick, Mom!

Pork Belly Buns Recipe quick buns done

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Slow Cooker Vietnamese Chicken Pho Ga http://steamykitchen.com/13332-slow-cooker-vietnamese-chicken-pho-ga.html http://steamykitchen.com/13332-slow-cooker-vietnamese-chicken-pho-ga.html#comments Fri, 21 Jan 2011 22:53:54 +0000 http://steamykitchen.com/?p=13332 Cook Vietnamese chicken pho in a slow cooker! From cookbook author Jaden Hair.

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Bon Appétit and I are celebrating slow cookers this month — I’ve created three incredible slow cooker recipes for them, Slow Cooker Vietnamese Pho Ga Noodle Soup; Slow Cooker Cedar Planked Salmon and Slow Cooker Moroccan Lamb Stew. Oh, and if you don’t have a slow cooker, guess what? Bon Appétit is giving away a $150 KitchenAid Slow Cooker to one lucky duck.

For the full recipe for Slow Cooker Vietnamese Chicken Pho Ga Noodle Soup, head over to Bon Appetit. I’ll go into more detail about 3 of the secrets to the recipe.

Slow Cooker Vietnamese Chicken Pho Ga Noodle Soup

Vietnamese Slow Cooker Chicken Pho Ga Recipe

Secret #1: The Moist Chicken

See how moist and tender that chicken is? The secret is to separate your chicken. Chicken bones and parts for the broth; and 1 chicken breast reserved for slicing and eating with your Pho Ga.

The chicken bones and parts go into the slow cooker to make the soup.

The chicken breast is thinly sliced and poached just before serving – cooks in 3-4 minutes. If I had cooked the chicken-for-eating in the slow cooker, it would be flavorless and tough. All of the flavor would have transferred into the broth….and chicken cooked for hours on end in a slow cooker ends up chewy and tough.

Secret #2: Size Matters

Let’s talk about the Pho Ga soup for a bit. I add 2 pounds of chicken parts, whole coriander seeds, half an onion, ginger slices, whole cloves, star anise, and a bundle of cilantro.

Of the 2 pounds of chicken, 1/2 pound of that should be wing tips. Most slow cooker have capacity of 7 quarts. The chunkier the chicken, the less room you have left for broth.

Chicken wing TIPS (the section that really has no meat anyways) have maximum flavor, minimum size. That’s why I love using wing tips. Or chicken feet, if you can find them (did I hear someone squeal?! chicken feet is great for soup!) So remember, size matters. A 7-quart slow cooker will make enough Pho Ga soup for 4 big bowls.

After taking out the big chicken parts, I’ll strain through cheesecloth just to ensure that the broth is clean and clear. For cooking noobs, here’s something to remember. Anytime you are cooking raw chicken in simmering water, you’ll get quite a bit of “white stuff” in the water. Don’t be afraid of it, it’s just chicken protein. If you have time on your hands, you could parboil the bones first in a stock pot, discard water (and “white stuff”) and then proceed with the recipe. But if you have time on your hands, you could just make Pho Ga without the slow cooker.

Straining the broth gives you golden, richly colored, clean soup.

Secret # 3: The Noodles

Soak the dried noodles in COOL water first then DRAIN. This helps makes them pliable, soft and cook better.

To cook the noodles, bring a pot of water to boil and then put the cool drained noodles into the hot water and simmer for 1 minute. After 1 minute — the noodles are DONE!!! That’s it. Don’t overcook the rice noodles, they’ll get too soft and soggy.

Oh and a note on why I boil my noodles in water instead of the pho ga broth we made? Well, I always boil my noodles and pasta separately from my precious soup. That’s because dried noodles/pasta tend to have excess starch that boils out into the water (that’s why boiled pasta water is murky) and many times the dried noodles might have itty bitty weevils or dirt particles that I just don’t want in my soup.

Not so secret secret:

I love garnishing with shaved onions, fresh bean sprouts, cilantro and a squeeze of lime. No Sriracha or Hoisin for me, though many people do enjoy those condiments in their Pho Ga, I think it totally overpowers the beautiful broth.

For the full recipe for Slow Cooker Vietnamese Chicken Pho Ga Noodle Soup, head over to Bon Appetit.

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Crock Pot Pho (Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup) http://steamykitchen.com/3136-crock-pot-pho.html http://steamykitchen.com/3136-crock-pot-pho.html#comments Mon, 04 May 2009 12:00:16 +0000 http://steamykitchen.com/blog/?p=3136     It’s no secret that good Pho broth requires a gazillion hours of simmering time. Time that I just don’t have. Tony, a boyfriend from a lifetime ago, told me his Dad used to simmer giant vats of pho broth overnight for his little pho restaurant in Houston. So, one day, I thought it would be really genius to ...

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Crockpot Pho Recipe   

It’s no secret that good Pho broth requires a gazillion hours of simmering time. Time that I just don’t have. Tony, a boyfriend from a lifetime ago, told me his Dad used to simmer giant vats of pho broth overnight for his little pho restaurant in Houston. So, one day, I thought it would be really genius to do the same. Dump a bunch of beefy, tendony, knuckley, marrowey bones into the largest stockpot that I have and let it simmer away while I slept.

Crockpot Pho Recipe

It didn’t quite work out as I had intended:

11:30pm Initial hard boil of the bones to get all the yuck, guck and scum off. Char ginger and onion.

11:38pm Dumped out water, added clean water, the clean bones, spices, ginger and onion. Let the dance begin.

11:45pm Nighty-night

12:35am Is the flame low enough? Maybe I need to check to see.

1:23am Hmmm…I smell something funny. Go check.

2:41am What if it boiled over? Go check.

3:24am What if there’s a gas bubble in the pipe and the the stove spontaneously bursts out in big flames? Maybe I should sleep on the couch closer to the kitchen.

4:45am Gosh I’m hungry. Sneak a big spoonful of Ben & Jerry’s Pistachio Ice Cream.

4:51am Did I forget to put ice cream back in freezer? What if the gas bubble really does happen and stove spontaneously bursts out in flames? Then sleeping on couch is a dumbass idea. Crawl back to bed.

6:00am Kids wake up. Jumps up and down on my belly trying to wake me up.

6:15am PHO-KING TIRED

Enter the Slow Cooker

A few weeks later, I was contacted by the peeps at Crock-Pot® The Original Slow Cooker <- yes, they are insanely paranoid about me using their correct trademarked name, so much that they’ve given me very specific instructions 4 separate times on how to properly spell/mark their product names.) They sent me their new eLume Crock-Pot® Programmable Slow Cooker with Touch Screen Technology to test.

crock-pot-elume <- shiny, pretty and fancy. Oh crap, I forgot the ™ after eLume™.

It’s the perfect size (6.5 quarts) for a big mean mama pot of PHO!!!

Oh yeah, baby! It solves my problem of paranoia when leaving stove on all night.

What I love about the eLume™ Crock Pot® is© its™ lighted™© touchscreen®™©. Just a light tap is all that you need and it’s totally programmable from 30 minutes to 20 hours of cooking time. You can also set it to start cooking at a certain time, but when making my Crock Pot Pho Recipe, I don’t recommend a delayed start time since we are working with raw meat bones.

Crockpot Pho Recipe

How to make Crock Pot Pho

Whether you use the Crock Pot Pho method or the traditional stove top method, there are a couple of steps that you’ll need to do before throwing it all in the Crock Pot or slow cooker. Namely, toasting the spices, grilling the onion/ginger and pre-boiling the bones. These aren’t absolutely necessary steps…you’ll still make great pho…BUT these extra steps will make the difference between good pho and pho-bulous pho.

Toasting the Vietnamese Pho Spices

Toasting spices for Crock pot Vietnamese pho

You can buy Pho spices at most Asian supermarkets – you can buy the spices separately (coriander seeds, cloves, cinnamon, star anise, fennel and cardamom pod) or purchase them already mixed up in a package (which also includes a small mesh bag). The quality of these pre-mixed spices are just okay – but sometimes it’s just convenient to pick up a bag, not to mention much cheaper if you don’t already have many of these spices. A Pho spice pack will typically sell for $1-$3.

This day that I made the Crock Pot Pho, I used individual spices. I didn’t have cardamom pod. So yes, if you are missing one of couple of the spices, it’s okay. To get the best flavor from these spices, you’ll toast them in a dry skillet.

Grilling Ginger and Onion

This is a totally optional step, but it really gives the ginger and the onion a deep, sweet, mellow flavor. When I’m making Pho the traditional stovetop way, I’ll char them in the broiler. But with the crock pot method, I didn’t want to use the oven at all. After toasting the spices (above) in a frying pan, I add a bit of oil and grilled the onion half and thick ginger slices.

crockpot-pho-beef_090418__004_onion-web

Pre-Boiling the Bones

Knuckles, leg bones with lots of marrow are the best for making soup. The marrow will also make the soup rich and thick. The bones are pre-boiled for a few minutes on high heat to clean the bones and get rid of the nasty scum.

You’ll bring a big stockpot of water to a boil on high heat. Add the bones and boil hard for 10 minutes. You’ll see brownish scum rise to the surface. If you hadn’t taken the time to pre-boil the bones, all that scummy stuff ends up in your soup.

crockpot-pho-beef_090418__003_scum-web <– nasty pho-reaky scum

Drain, discard the scummy water and briefly rinse the bones.

Now you’ll add the spices, ginger, onion and bones to the slow cooker.

crockpot-pho-beef_090418__008_pot-web

Fill with fresh, clean, cool water about 1-1/2 inches below the surface. Set your slow cooker on low for 8 hours. I haven’t tried this method on high, but I’m sure it would be just fine.

So let this cook during all day while you’re at work or at night while you sleep and you’ll be rewarded with the cleanest, best tasting pho soups ever. Because the slow cooker doesn’t let the stock boil hard, it’s safe, easy and convenient.

Here’s what the stock looks like when it’s been cooking for 8 hours on low. Notice that the level of the liquid is still pretty high. The low, even setting doesn’t evaporate the precious liquid as much as a stove top can. The stock is strained before serving.

Crock Pot Pho Soup

Other Pho Ingredients

I used different ingredients than my previous version of traditional Vietnamese Pho and I wanted to highlight them. Instead of using dried rice noodles, I used fresh rice noodles found at Asian markets, in the refrigerated section because all these need is a quick dip in boiling water. Very fast!

Crock Pot Pho Noodles

I also bought a package of Vietnamese Beef Balls (called Bo Vien Dan). There are all sorts of balls – beef, pork, chicken, fish, crab, and my favorite – beef tendon. They come frozen in a package and they are pre-cooked, so all you need to do is throw the frozen balls into the same pot of boiling water as you cooked your noodles in. Just boil for a couple of minutes until the beef balls are heated through. I like cutting these beef balls in half, so make them easier to eat. It’s not so pretty trying to stick an entire beef ball in your mouth. Unless…you’re like really into that.

Crock Pot Pho Beef Balls

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Crockpot Pho Recipe

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Crock Pot Pho Recipe

Servings: 4 Prep Time: Cook Time:
crockpot vietnamese pho

This is a recipe for a 6.5 quart (or larger) Crock Pot. Any smaller really isn't that great - you won't get enough stock out of it...because the beef bones are really chunky and big. The thinly sliced meat for the bowls may be easier to slice if you freeze the chunk of meat for 15 minutes prior to slicing. You really want them as thin a possible. You can also do what I do - palm your butcher a $5 bill and he'll slice the meat for you on his fancy slicing machine

Ingredients:

For the Pho Stock:
4 pounds beef bones
1/2 onion
4 inch section of ginger, sliced
1 package Vietnamese Pho Spices (or as many of these spices as you have: 2 cinnamon sticks, 2 teaspoons whole coriander, 1 teaspooon fennel, 3 whole star anise, 3 whole cloves, 1 cardamom pod)
9 cups water
2 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce or to taste
1 teaspoon sugarFor the Pho Bowls
16 ounces fresh or dried rice noodles
1/2 pound flank, london broil, sirloin or eye of round steak, sliced as thinly as possible.
11 ounces Vietnamese beef balls, cut into halfFor the table
1-2 limes, cut into wedges
fresh herbs: cilantro, Thai basil, mint
2-3 chili peppers, sliced
2 big handfuls of bean sprouts
Hoisin sauce
Sriracha hot chili sauce

Directions:

1. Bring a large stockpot with water to boil over high heat. When it comes to a rolling boil, add the beef bones and boil vigourously for 10 minutes.

2. In the meantime, heat a frying pan on medium-low heat. Add the Vietnamese Pho Spices and toast until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. Dump the spices to the empty Crock Pot or slow cooker immediately. Return frying pan to medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon of oil. When the oil is hot, add the ginger slices and the onion half. Cook until the ginger is browned on both sides and the onion half is nicely browned and softened. Add the ginger and the onion to the Crock Pot or slow cooker.

3. When the bones have been pre-boiled, drain, discard water and rinse bones briefly to clean them. Add the bones to the Crock Pot or slow cooker. Fill the Crock Pot with fresh, clean, cool water to just 1-1/2 inches below surface, add the fish sauce and sugar. Cover and set the Crock Pot or slow cooker to cook on low for 8 hours. Taste and season with additional fish sauce if needed.

4. When you are just about ready to eat, you'll prep the rest of the ingredients for the Pho bowls. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the beef balls and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes. Remove the balls, keeping the water boiling and now cook the noodles according to package instructions. If you are using fresh noodles, all they need is a couple of minutes. Drain immediately.

5. Strain the stock with a fine meshed sieve. Discard the solids.

6. Line up 4 large bowls on counter. Distribute the noodles, beef balls and thin steak slices evenly amongst the bowls. Ladle the hot Pho stock into each bowl. The hot stock should cook the thin steak slices. Serve with lime wedges, fresh herbs, chili peppers, Hoisin sauce and Sriracha hot chili sauce at the table.

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vietnamese-pho-beef-noodle-soup-recipe Vietnamese Pho Recipe (cooked the traditional, long, slow, stovetop method)

vietnamese-chicken-pho-recipe Vietnamese Chicken Pho Recipe (Pho Ga)

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Vietnamese Summer Rolls with Cashew Butter Dipping Sauce http://steamykitchen.com/265-vietnamese-summer-rolls.html http://steamykitchen.com/265-vietnamese-summer-rolls.html#comments Thu, 31 Jan 2008 16:23:14 +0000 http://steamykitchen.com/blog/2008/01/31/steamy-kitchen-cooks-oishii-eats/ I made Vietnamese Summer Rolls (Goi Cuon) with Cashew Nut Dipping Sauce this morning on television! They came out fantastic and the crew devoured them seconds after ......

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Goi Cuon Recipe

I made Oishii Eats Vietnamese Summer Rolls (Goi Cuon) with Cashew Nut Dipping Sauce this morning on television on ABC7! They came out fantastic and the crew devoured them seconds after the camera shut off.

 

BTW, if you happened to catch the TV segment, the host was referring to this  Steamy HOT magazine photo shoot!

***

Both Oishii Eats and I enjoy our shrimp grilled rather than boiled. Below is the Vietnamese Summer Rolls (Goi Cuon) recipe and the Oishii Eats Cashew Butter Dipping Sauce.

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Vietnamese Shrimp Mango Summer Rolls Recipe

Servings: Makes 12 rolls Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: 5 minutes
Vietnamese Summer Rolls

Traditionally, the shrimp is boiled in Vietnamese Summer Rolls (Goi Cuon). However, I love the flavor of marinated and grilled Lemongrass shrimp in these Summer Rolls. You can find lemongrass in most supermarkets - peel off the outer leaves. Use a microplane zester to zest the bottom 4" of the lemongrass stalk. If you can't find lemongrass, substitute with fresh lemon zest, or just leave it out. You could also marinate the shrimp in a little bit of garlic/ginger/soy.

About the Cashew Butter Dipping Sauce: Most recipes for dipping sauce call for Peanut Butter, however a Cashew Butter or even Almond Butter is more fragrant, delicate and oh-so-delicious. I like my sauce a little thin, so that when I dip my roll in the sauce, it lightly coats the roll and I can still taste the fresh, vibrant vegetables inside.

Ingredients:

FOR THE SUMMER ROLLS
½ tsp fish sauce (substitute with soy sauce)
½ tsp freshly grated lemongrass
freshly ground black pepper
¼ tsp sugar
24 small sized shrimp, shelled and deveined
6 oz dried rice vermicelli
12 round rice papers (8" diameter)
1 head of butter or Boston Bibb lettuce, leaves separated
1 cup julienned or shredded carrots
½ cup julienned red bell peppers
½ mango, sliced into thin slivers
24 mint leaves

FOR THE CASHEW BUTTER DIPPING SAUCE
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3 garlic cloves, finely minced (about 3 teaspoons)
1/3 cup hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon chili garlic sauce
3 tablespoons cashew butter
1/4 cup water

Directions:

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the fish sauce, lemongrass, pepper and sugar. Add the shrimp and stir to coat. Marinate shrimp for 10 minutes. In meantime, boil a pot of water. Add vermicelli and cook for 4 minutes. Drain immediately, rinse with cold water, and drain again. Try to remove as much water as possible. Set aside.

Grill the shrimp in a large skillet with 1 tbl cooking oil on high heat until cooked through, about 2 minutes. You could also skewer the shrimp and grill on your outdoor grill. When shrimp is cool enough to handle, bisect each shrimp down the middle of its back so that you have two identical halves of shrimp. This makes the shrimp thin enough to wrap evenly.

Grab a pie plate or rectangular baking dish and fill it with about 1" of warm temperature water. Dip one rice paper round in the dish for a quick 2-seconds. Lift round and let the water drip off. Place on clean, dry work surface. Blot the top of the round with a paper towel. You'll work one roll at a time.

Now it's time to roll. The wrapper will still be a little stiff. By the time you finish piling on the ingredients, it will have softened enough to roll. Lay 4 halves of the shrimp in a line near the bottom 1/3 of the round. Top with some lettuce, vermicelli noodles, carrots, bell pepper, mango, and finishing with 2 mint leaves. Try to keep the ingredients compact and piled on top of the shrimp. Starting with the side closest to you, roll up the roll tight, stopping halfway to gently tug back on the roll to tighten. The wrapper is self-sealing. You can use a sharp knife to cut off the two ends to make it look neater.

Transfer to platter and cover with plastic wrap to prevent drying. Wipe counter or plate dry and repeat with remaining.

Some rice rounds are made thicker than others. If you find your wrapper is a little too stiff by the time you need to wrap, either blot less water off the rice round next time, let it sit for a few seconds before adding ingredients or dip in just slightly warmer water (but not hot!) Just remember to let the water drip off and wipe your working surface dry each time - a dry surface allows the rice paper to stick to the surface and create a little tension so that you can wrap.

Also, I've found it's best to work one roll at a time - since it only takes a few seconds for the rice round to soften, you really aren't saving a lot of time by dipping all your rice rounds at once. In fact, if 2 rounds touch each other - they will stick and you'll have a heck of a time getting them apart without tearing or wrinkling. If you must dip all at once, separate each wet round with a damp paper towel.

More great dishes for Chinese New Year

(Feb 7th, Year of the Rat)

Whole Grilled Fish on Banana Leaf – serving whole fish on Chinese New Year signifies abundance!

Chinese Style Steamed Fish

Chinese BBQ Pastries – super easy using store-bought puff pastry

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Asian Lettuce Cups Recipe with Ground Turkey & Green Apple http://steamykitchen.com/151-asian-lettuce-cups-with-ground-turkey-green-apple.html http://steamykitchen.com/151-asian-lettuce-cups-with-ground-turkey-green-apple.html#comments Tue, 24 Jul 2007 02:21:15 +0000 http://steamykitchen.com/blog/2007/07/23/asian-lettuce-cups-with-ground-turkey-green-apple/ Don't you feel like this dish should just ::wink:: and do a little sexy twirl? Such a flirty little thing!

"Asian Lettuce Wraps" or "Asian Lettuce Cups" is the most requested recipe on my site. I've updated the recipe to be lighter, more refreshing and healthier. No goopy cornstarchy sauce! Sorry, P.F. Chang! You can make a vegetarian version - just substitute crumbed tofu, more vegetables or even plain rice for the ground turkey. Traditionally, the recipe includes canned ...

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Asian Lettuce Cups

What you’ll learn:

  • How to make a vegetarian version of this Asian Lettuce Cups Recipe
  • How to properly “cook” the apples
  • How long you should fry the mung bean noodles

Don’t you feel like this dish should just ::wink:: and do a little sexy twirl?  Such a flirty little thing!

“Asian Lettuce Wraps” or “Asian Lettuce Cups” is the most requested recipe on my site.  I’ve updated this Asian Lettuce Cups Recipe to be lighter, more refreshing and healthier.  No goopy cornstarchy sauce!  Sorry, P.F. Chang!  You can make a vegetarian version – just substitute crumbed tofu, more vegetables or even plain rice for the ground turkey. Traditionally, the recipe includes canned water chestnuts, which honestly taste like crunchy styrofoam.  Instead, I’ve used crisp diced green apples – which is much tastier.

The mung bean noodles look clear and transparent when dried and puff up in just a few seconds time when fried. They are NOT “rice noodles” – when in doubt, look at the ingredient list on the back. It should say “mung beans.”

Hey…who’s stealing my apples?

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Asian Lettuce Cups Recipe

Servings: Prep Time: Cook Time:
Screen Shot 2014-02-18 at 3.59.12 PM

Ingredients:

The Sauce:
1-1/2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon Sriracha hot sauceFilling:
1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
2 stalks, scallions
1 pound ground turkey or chicken
2 cups mixed vegetables (frozen pea/carrots, finely diced bell peppers, etc.)
1/2 green apple, finely dicedToppings/Wrap:
1 head boston bibb lettuce, leaves washed and separated
2 skeins, Mung Bean Noodles
2 medium carrots, Use vegetable peeler to peel cut carrot into paper thin strips.  Use knife to further cut into super duper thin strands. Or, use the handy kitchen gadget <- I like this gadget

Directions:

1. To fry the mung bean noodles, heat a wok or small sauce pan (something not too wide at its base. the smaller the base width, the less oil you will need to use) with about 2 inches of cooking oil. While oil is heating to 375F, use your hands to separate the strands of the mung bean noodle into small clumps. When oil hot, fry one batch at a time. It should only take 10 seconds to fry. Remove, drain on paper towels.

2. Combine the sauce ingredients in a small bowl.

3. To make the filling, heat wok on high heat with cooking oil. When oil is hot, add scallions, ginger and garlic and fry a few seconds until fragrant. Add turkey or chicken and fry until almost cooked through. Add the vegetables  and cook 1 minute. Add sauce ingredients. Let simmer for 1 minute to thicken slightly.

4. Add the apples. Toss to coat. Immediately remove from heat. You don't want to "cook" the apples - keep them nice and crunchy. Serve with lettuce cups, carrot shavings and fried mung bean noodles.


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Kitt’s comment below just reminded me of the great weekend we just had with my baby birds.

Fighting for “THE BITE.”

Andrew is taller, he has the advantage.

But Nathan has sharp teeth

And swoops in for the kill

Did I scold him? Hell no. Smart strategy I say!

More recipes to explore:

Grilled Shrimp Lettuce Cups with Tropical Fruit Salsa (Steamy Kitchen)

15 Minute Asian Light Meals (Steamy Kitchen)

Fried Noodles with Garlic Shrimp (Steamy Kitchen)

Asian Slaw with Ponzu Dressing (Steamy Kitchen)

Chicken Lettuce Cups (Epicurious)

 

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Pho Ga: Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup http://steamykitchen.com/139-vietnamese-chicken-noodle-soup-pho-ga.html http://steamykitchen.com/139-vietnamese-chicken-noodle-soup-pho-ga.html#comments Sat, 14 Jul 2007 14:21:04 +0000 http://steamykitchen.com/blog/2007/07/14/vietnamese-chicken-noodle-soup-pho-ga/ You haven’t experienced wild until you’ve lived in the heart of Hollywood. My little duplex was squished in between movie-star wannabes, the homeless pushing shopping carts piled 8-ft high with trash treasures and gold-chained pimps proclaiming to the world, “GIRLS! GIRLS! GIRLS! Right over here!” The location was by choice and I had a very good reason for living 2 ...

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Pho Ga: Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup

You haven’t experienced wild until you’ve lived in the heart of Hollywood. My little duplex was squished in between movie-star wannabes, the homeless pushing shopping carts piled 8-ft high with trash treasures and gold-chained pimps proclaiming to the world, “GIRLS! GIRLS! GIRLS! Right over here!”

The location was by choice and I had a very good reason for living 2 blocks from the golden sidewalk stars. It was called, “just so I can say that I did.” I know. I was young. But seriously, where else can I shimmy into CFM boots, don an electric pink wig and just blend in without getting mistaken for $25? When the sun sets and street-level neon gas flows, Hollywood is pure freedom of expression.

After a night of clubbing 2 blocks south, my friends and I would walk 3 blocks east to a small, rinky-dink Vietnamese noodle shop to fill up on pho. Asian girly posters littered the walls and the same bad karaoke DVD played over and over. Thank goodness the steaming, hot, intoxicating bowl of pho drowned out the awful Chinglish rendition of, “Baby Got Back.” That soup was un-pho-king believable.

I don’t know what secret family recipe they followed, but after all these years, I finally mastered that bowl of chicken pho in my home kitchen, boots not required.

Pho Ga

Believe it or not, I’m actually more crazy and bold now that I’m in my mid-thirties. When I was younger, I cared deeply about what people thought of me.  Now I live in a very tame, sorta Stepford Wives-ish, suburban neighborhood (well, I guess any place is tame compared to Hollywood Blvd.) I kind of feel its my duty as an Official Ambassador of Chaos & Confusion to cause a little bit of trouble, you know, stir the pot a bit, just to make sure that my house doesn’t get sucked into the vortex of boring, bland and god-forbid…NORMAL.

My Modern Asian version of Pho Ga, Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup, takes everything that I learned from T’s Mom, Into the Vietnamese Kitchen and simplifies it just a bit for the home cook, but still as wonderful and authentic as it can be.

Pho Ga

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Pho Ga - Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe

Servings: 4 Prep Time: Cook Time:
jaden1

You can judge how good a Pho soup is by how much concentrated flavor is packed in the broth while still retaining a clean, uncloudy, clear broth. I like my Pho without Sriracha hot sauce or Hoisin sauce....I really enjoy the purity of the chicken broth without anything to hide its flavor and aroma.

There are 2 very important steps to a clear but intense broth - 1) parboiling the chicken to get rid of the impurities 2) charring the ginger and onion for a naturally sweet, robust flavor.

A note on fish sauce - I prefer the Three Crabs brand. Choose a fish sauce light in color...it should look like brewed tea. Anything darker than that (looking like Coca Cola) is inferior quality. Three Crabs fish sauce contains gluten, please check labels if you are making GF substitutions.

Ingredients:

1 whole organic chicken (4-5lbs)
1 whole onion, unpeeled and cut in half
3-inch chunk of ginger, unpeeled(A) Broth spices
2 tbl whole coriander seeds
4 whole cloves
2 whole star anise
2 tbl sugar (or rock sugar)
2 tbl fish sauce
small bunch of cilantro stems only, tied in bunch with twine(B) Accompaniments at table
1 lb dried rice noodles (about 1/4" wide)
2 cups bean sprouts, washed & tails pinched off
cilantro tops - leaves and tender stems
1/2 cup shaved red onions
1/2 lime, cut into 4 wedges
Sriracha hot sauce
Hoisin sauce
sliced chili

Directions:

Place ginger and onion on a small baking sheet. The top of the onion should be about 4" from the oven's heating element. Set to broil on high for 15 minutes. Turn the onion and ginger occasionally, to get an even char. The skin should get dark and the onion/ginger should get soft. After cooling, rub to get the charred skin off the onion and use a butter knife to scrape the skin off the ginger. Slice ginger into thick slices.
In a large stockpot, fill with water and boil. With a sharp cleaver, carve the chicken breast meat off and reserve. With the rest of chicken whacking hard through the bones to get sections about 3" big. The more bone that is exposed, the more marrow that gets in the broth (translation: rich, flavorful). You can even whack several places along the bone just to expose more marrow. When the water boils, add chicken sections (not breast) and boil on high for 5 minutes. You'll see lots of foam and "stuff' come up to the surface. Drain, rinse your chicken of the scum and wash your pot thoroughly. Refill with about 4 quarts of clean, cold water.

Add chicken, chicken breast meat, onion, ginger and all of (A) in the pot and cover. Turn heat to high - let it come to boil, then immediately turn heat to low. Prop lid up so that steam can escape. After 15 minutes, remove the chicken breasts, shred with your fingers when cooled and set aside (you'll serve shredded chicken breast with the finished soup). With a large spoon, skim the surface of any impurities in the broth. Skimming every 20 minutes ensures a clear broth. Simmer a total of 1-1/2 hours. Taste and adjust seasoning with more fish sauce and or sugar.

Strain the broth, discard solids. Prepare noodles as per directions on package. Ladle broth, add shredded chicken breast and soft noodles in each bowl. Have (B) ingredients set at table for each person to add to their bowl.

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Chinese Pastries with Hoisin Chicken http://steamykitchen.com/121-chinese-bbq-pastries.html http://steamykitchen.com/121-chinese-bbq-pastries.html#comments Sat, 16 Jun 2007 14:50:44 +0000 http://s198136598.onlinehome.us/blog/2007/06/16/chinese-bbq-pastries/ I don't know if you have the upscale Chinese chain called P.F. Changs near you, but in 90's Los Angeles, it was the chi-chi place to eat...a place to see and be seen, where the skinny, tall and deeluscious hung out waiting to be discovered by producers and sugar daddies. Me? I was ...

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Chinese Pastries with Hoisin Chicken

I don’t know if you have the upscale Chinese chain called P.F. Changs near you, but in 90’s Los Angeles, it was the chi-chi place to eat…a place to see and be seen, where the skinny, tall and deeluscious hung out waiting to be discovered by producers and sugar daddies. Me? I was an awkward, pimply-faced frog. That was an evening when I had a major case of “why can’t I look like them?!”

You see, I was born with thick, bushy eyebrows….thanks to my direct ancestors who probably had a great use for them. Thousands of years ago, those eyebrows protected my neanderthal ancestors from predators. All they would have to do wrap those thick cable brows around their head, do one of those primal yells and wave arms like an orangutan in heat. Predators would be scared shitless and skamper off. Of course unwrapping the brows proved quite complicated, as they had yet to invent the eyebrow pick or Paul Mitchell conditioner.

The next evolution of use was in the hot summer heat, those brows prevented forehead sweat from dripping down into the pot of horse stew quietly simmering on the outdoor firepit. My great-great grandfather probably was a world-class mah-jong player and his bushy brows shielded him from other players’ discovering his “mah-jong tells” My great-grand auntie most likely used her brows for fanning the hot porridge. My Mom’s second-cousin’s daughter even hung salted fish to dry on her brows.

And now the trait has passed on down to me. Obviously those eyebrows are destined for some great, honorable use, and I just totally ruined thousands of years of family legacy with a an innocent tool called the Tweezerman. I can blame it on that night when I thought what separated me from the sea of gorgeous models were my brows. How wrong I was. I had forgotten about family trait number two. I’m five-foot-two and fifteen pounds overweight.

While I never figured out how to grow an extra 6 inches, I did figure out how to re-create the flavors of P.F. Chang’s dish, Minced Pork Lettuce Cups. I’ve made a similar filling  with ground chicken, flavored by Hoisin (Chinese BBQ sauce) and Oyster Sauce…a little sweet…a little salty and requires no tweezing.

Chinese Pastries with Hoisin Chicken

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Chinese Pastries with Hoisin Chicken

Servings: Prep Time: Cook Time:
Screen Shot 2014-02-17 at 2.48.59 PM

If you don't have dried Chinese black mushrooms, feel free to use fresh shitake mushrooms or any type of fresh mushrooms.

Ingredients:

1/2 pound ground chicken
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon Shaoxing wine
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon sugar
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1/4 cup minced green onion
1/4 cup minced onion
1/4 cup minced canned bamboo shoots
1/4 cup diced Chinese black mushrooms (soaked overnight in cold water, stems removed)
1 tablespoon Oyster Sauce
1 tablespoon Hoisin Sauce
1 teaspoon garlic-chili hot sauce
1 package frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 egg + 1 tablespoon water (egg wash)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Marinate the chicken in the soy, wine, sesame oil, cornstarch and sugar for 15 minutes at room temperature.

In a wok or large saute pan, heat 1 tablespoon of cooking oil over medium-high heat. When hot, add onion. Fry until onions are softened, about 1 minute. Add the green onions, garlic and ginger. Fry another minute until fragrant. Turn heat to high.

Add the marinated ground chicken, mushrooms and bamboo shoots. Fry until the chicken is about 80% cooked through. Add Oyster, Hoisin & hot sauce. Stir through. Taste…need more salt? (add soy or Oyster) need more sweet/salty? (add more Hoisin) heat? (hot sauce)  Spread out on plate to cool. Tip the plate to one side and discard excess juice.

Take your thawed puff pastry and cut each sheet into 4 squares. Spoon filling onto one side, brush egg wash on the edges and bring over to fold into a triangle. Pinch to seal tightly, place on baking sheet. Brush egg wash on the tops of the pastry. Repeat with remaining.

Chinese Pastries with Hoisin Chicken

Bake 350F degrees for 20 minutes until golden brown. Serve with some hot sauce on side!


Chinese Pastries with Hoisin Chicken

**Note on Chinese black mushrooms

I always have a stash of dried mushrooms in my pantry. If I know I’ll be using them the next day, I’ll just throw a few in a bowl with water and leave to soak overnight.

If I’m pressed for time, I’ll use hot water and also microwave for 10 minutes (timing really depends on how thick your mushrooms are)

***

You may also like:

10 Minute Miso Soup

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Baby Back Ribs with Orange-Ginger Glaze http://steamykitchen.com/66-baby-back-ribs-with-asian-orange-ginger-glaze.html http://steamykitchen.com/66-baby-back-ribs-with-asian-orange-ginger-glaze.html#comments Fri, 06 Apr 2007 11:08:07 +0000 http://s198136598.onlinehome.us/blog/2007/04/06/baby-back-ribs-with-asian-orange-ginger-glaze/ YUM! These are finger-lickin good baby back ribs - the meat is so tender that it falls off the bone as you lift them out of the pan. The sauce is sticky, sweet, tangy, with a little hit of chili - the Asian version of BBQ sauce. The secret to cooking the very best ribs is "low and slow." Its so incredibly easy too - this recipe is practically ...

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Baby Back Ribs

YUM! These are finger-lickin’ good baby back ribs – the meat is so tender that it falls off the bone as you lift them out of the pan. The sauce is sticky, sweet, tangy, with a little hit of chili – the Asian version of BBQ sauce. The secret to cooking the very best ribs is “low and slow.” Its so incredibly easy too – this recipe is practically fool-proof. You just have to try this out.

The only drawback is that the ribs cook for 3 hours, so you’ll have to plan accordingly. But once the ribs are in the oven, they stay there and you don’t have to fuss with them at all.

I’ve never made ribs any other way since. My recipe includes a sticky Asian BBQ sauce – however, I’ve also made these ribs with my husband’s favorite store-bought BBQ sauce “KC Masterpiece.” Either way, I know you’ll love these ribs…and I know you’ll never ever order ribs from a restaurant again because yours is going to taste so much better. If there was only one recipe that I had to choose as a “must try” – this is it!

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Baby Back Ribs with Orange-Ginger Glaze

Servings: 4 or more Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 3.5 hours
baby-back-ribs-with-asian-orange-ginger-glaze

The quantity of ribs you use is up to you - although these ribs are SO delicious that everyone will want seconds! I usually go to my local warehouse store, BJs and purchase the "big momma" pack that includes 3 or 4 whole massive slabs and feeds 8. Plan on 6 ribs or more per person.

*For Gluten-Free - check label. If you can't find gluten-free Hoisin sauce: 1 cup gf soy sauce + 1/4 cup honey- simmer and reduce to half volume until you get a nice, sweet, syrupy sauce. It won't taste BBQ'-ey, but you'll still get a great Asian flavor!

Ingredients:

Baby Back Ribs (see headnote for quantity)Asian Orange-Ginger Glaze:1 tsp grated ginger (use a microplane rasp grater)
1 T minced garlic
1/4 cup minced red onion
3/4 cup hoisin sauce*
1 large orange, peel zested with rasp grater & juiced (you should have 1/4 c of juice and about 2 T zest)
1 T mirin
1 T sambal (asian hot chili/garlic paste)
2 T yuzu sauce (you can substitute with lemon juice)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 300. Pat the ribs dry and season both sides liberally with garlic salt and pepper. Place the ribs in a large roasting pan, overlapping is ok. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and place in oven. Roast 3 hours, up to 6 hours. If you are feeding less than 4 people, then check the ribs after 3 hours, they should be done.

2. To make the glaze: Heat a small saucepan over medium heat. Add 2 T canola oil, and when hot, add the red onion. Cook until the onion is soft, about 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic and the ginger. Cook another minute. Add the remaining ingredients, except for the yuzu sauce. Lower the heat to low and cook down the sauce until it thickens and reduces about 6-8 minutes. The sauce should be sticky and thick. Remove from heat and add the yuzu sauce (or lemon juice). You can also add more freshly grated ginger if you like for the extra kick.

3. The ribs are done when they fall off the bone. Trust me, you'll know. Try picking up a rib and see how the meat just falls off. Place the ribs in a single layer - you may have to use a baking sheet. Brush the Asian Orange-Ginger Glaze on the tops of the ribs. Broil on high until the sauce bubbles and carmelizes, about 3-5 minutes. Keep a watch on the ribs - don't burn them! Instead of the Glaze, you could just use your favorite BBQ sauce - the results will be outstanding.

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