Asian, Indian, Savory, Stew

Coconut Pork Curry

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This is an amazing recipe!! Originally written in 2010, in Food and Wine magazine, I did not have the means to make the recipe till 2016.  I had bookmarked the recipe for 5 years and was waiting to have a kitchen of my own to make it. In 2016, my mother came to visit during the summer, and this was the perfect meal to make for her!  Unlike, my father, she grew up eating pork, so she really appreciated it.  I was intrigued by this recipe, it looked like a cross between an Indian and Thai dish.  Anyway, I made it and it was super hit!  In fact, my mother said that it tasted like a “curry” her mother used to make–what a compliment and what a food memory!  You can find the original recipe here.  I would strongly recommend following the recipe, word for word!  With that said, during the current pandemic,  I did not find pork shoulder, so I had to (with great trepidation) substitute with pork tenderloin.  Thankfully, after cooking for four hours, the meat did become soft and fork-tender.  I also never cook this in a slow-cooker; I love making it in my large dutch oven.  I also add a good amount of additional spices, mostly because it suits our palette.  Here is my tweaked version.

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Ingredients:

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

4 pounds boneless pork shoulder, cut into 2-inch pieces

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 large onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

3 tablespoons minced fresh ginger

1 tablespoon mild curry powder

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon of ground coriander

1/2 tablespoon of chili powder

1/2 tablespoon of sweet paprika

1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

One 14-ounce can diced tomatoes

1 cup unsweetened coconut milk

3 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth

1/2 tsp of garam masala at the end

a bunch of chopped cilantro and sliced scallions, for stirring into the curry at the very end.

Method:

In a large skillet, heat the oil. Season the pork with salt and pepper.  Brown the pork in batched and set aside.

Once the pork is done, add the onion, garlic, ginger, curry, cumin, coriander, chili powder, paprika, and turmeric and cook over low heat, stirring, until fragrant and the onion is softened about 5 minutes.

Add the tomatoes and their juices and coconut milk and scrape the bottom of the pan, lifting all the delicious brown bits from the bottom.

Return the pork to the pot, add the stock, cover, and cook on medium-high for 4 hours.

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At the 2 hour mark, I like to taste and the stew and adjust for salt and heat, mostly the heat—our household like a spicy stew.  Notice how the light creamy color is turning into a rich, dark stew–yum!

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Towards the end of the cooking process, add a bunch of chopped cilantro and scallions to the stew, stir and cook for another 15-20 minutes and remove from heat.

 

Serve with steamed rice or, our favorite, naan

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Asian, Meat, Quick Dinner, Savory

Sunday Stir-fry, Part 2: Beef Teriyaki

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In this stir-fry series (refer to part 1 for a more detailed recipe), I decided to change up the sauce and the protein.  I still but the Tsang brand of stir-fry sauces because they have the least amount of sugar in them.  This time, Teriyaki Beef was on the menu.  I like to but the think strips of beef that are cut for “stir-fry” (you can find the same cuts for chicken and pork too).  The trick to a good stir-fry is to have the meat at room temperature, the veggies cut, rinsed and dried, and a wok with hot oil! Start off by frying the 1 pound of beef strips on high heat for 5 minutes, remember, if you over-cook it, it will get tough and chewy.  Next, add the veggies (1 bag of frozen broccoli, 1 can of baby corn, 1 can or water chestnuts), 1tsp of red pepper flakes, 2 tsp of white pepper, and 1 tsp of ginger powder.  “Stir” “fry” the veggies and meat for an additional 2 minutes and then add 1/2 bottle of Teriyaki sauce and 1Tbsp of toasted sesame seeds.  Cook for an additional 5-7 minutes and serve hot over a bed of rice or with ramen noodles.  We devoured it just as it is!!!!

Asian, Poultry, Quick Dinner, Savory

Sunday Stir-fry, Part 1: Chicken in Classic Sauce

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I love Chinese takeout.  I love eating with chopsticks straight out of the paper container.  Alas, there is no Chinese takeout in my neck of the woods, so I have to make do with homemade versions.  I still have not figured out the secret to Asian cooking, so I take a lot of help from the store.  There is one particular brand of stir-fry sauce that I like because it is low in sugar content.  It is on the pricier side, so I stock up when the sauce goes to sale.  The rest of the ingredients, well, put in whatever you like!

 

 

 

 

Ingredients:

  • 1-1.5 lbs of chicken breast, cubed
  • 1 Tbsp of ginger paste
  • 1 Tbsp of minced garlic
  • 2 Tbsp of Sambal Olek (use less if desired, I like it spicy)
  • 1/2 bottle of the Tsang Classic Sauce
  • 1 bag of frozen broccoli florets
  • 1 can of baby corn
  • 1 can of oyster mushrooms
  • 2 Tbsp of canola/vegetable oil
  • Salt and white pepper (yes, white) to taste
  • White sesame seeds (garnish)

Method:

  1. Heat oil in a wok.  While the oil heats up, cube chicken

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  • Fry chicken with salt and pepper till pale golden
  • Add ginger, garlic and sambal olek-saute for a few minutes
  • Add all the vegetables and saute for 5-10 mins, till the water released from the vegetables has mostly evaporated.

 

 

 

  • Add the sauce and saute for another 5-10 mins, till the stir-fry comes to desired consistency.  I like it a little on the runny side–more sauce for rice/noodles !!!

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  • Garnish with white sesame seeds and serve hot !!!IMG_20190303_122239
Asian, Dinner, Fish & Seafood, Lent

Coconut Curry Shrimp

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My husband thinks he does not like Thai food.  In my opinion if you like Indian food, you will like most Thai food.  This recipe made it to our dinner bowls because I wanted to cook something in the neighborhood of “Thai” food and also something quick.  I saw Ree Drummond make this recipe on TV once.  I did not “follow” here recipe, I just recalled what she did and made this dish.  So here goes !

Ingredients:

1 lb of shrimp.  I usually get the EZ-peel shrimp and remove the tails myself.  I get whatever is on sale, however, the larger shrimps taste better in this recipe.

1 package of frozen peppers and onions.  If you don’t have this, I would take 1 yellow, red and green bell pepper and 1 onion, slice them length wise and use it.

1.5 tbsp of curry powder

1 can of coconut milk (not cream)

1/2 tbsp of olive oil

1/2 tbsp of ginger paste

1/2 tbsp of minced garlic

1 tsp of red pepper flakes

salt to taste

Method:

Heat oil in a skillet on medium-high, and saute ginger, garlic, salt,peppers and onions

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Once they are soft add the red pepper flakes and curry powder and saute for till the raw smell of the curry powder it gone, about 10 mins

Add the coconut milk and the reduce the heat to simmer.

Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes till the sauce thickens. Check and adjust seasoning, keep in mind that the shrimp will absorb some of the flavor so if the sauce is on the saltier or spicier side, its ok

 

Add the shrimp and cook till it turn pink. DO NOT over cook the shrimp !

Immediately remove from heat ans serve over warm Jasmine or Basmati rice.

If you have Thai Basil, you could fold some in the end

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Asian, Quick Dinner

PORK ZOODLE “LO MEIN”

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This faux lo mein dish is made with zoodles (zucchini
noodles) in place of noodles and the results are DELISH (and bonus under 300 calories)! Each bowl is loaded with chicken and vegetables in a savory sauce. If you want to make this meatless, tofu would also be great in this dish. Start to finish this takes about 20 minutes to make… quicker than waiting for your take-out to get delivered!

To make the zoodles you can use a vegetable spiralizer.

Since zucchini releases a lot of water as it
cooks, I use it to my advantage and purposely leave the sauce a little
thick. Once the noodles cook and release their liquid (I only cook them 2
minutes TOPS) the liquid from the zucchini thins the sauce and it comes out perfect.

Ingredients:

For the sauce:

  • 1/2 cup reduced sodium chicken broth*
  • 1 tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce (use tamari for gluten free*)
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce*
  • 1/2 tbsp rice wine
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch

For the zoodles:

  • 4 medium zucchini, ends trimmed
  • 4 pork medallions cut into strips
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • 2 tsp grapeseed or canola oil, divided
  • 3/4 cup sliced bok choy
  • 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms such as shiitake
  • 1 can of baby corn and water chestnut
  • 1/2 tbsp grated fresh ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped

Directions:

For the sauce – in a medium bowl, combine the chicken broth, soy sauce,
oyster sauce, rice wine and 2 tablespoons of water. Whisk in the
cornstarch until smooth.

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Using a spiralizer fitted with a shredder blade, or a mandolin fitted with a julienne blade, cut the zucchini into long spaghetti-like strips. If using a spiralizer, use kitchen scissors to cut the strands into pieces that are about 8 inches long so they’re easier to eat.

Season pork with salt. Heat a large nonstick wok over high heat. When very hot, add 1 tsp of the oil and the pork. Cook until browned on both sides and opaque throughout, 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside.

Add the remaining oil, bok choy, mushroom, babycorn and waterchestnut, ginger and garlic. Cook until crisp tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside with the chicken.

Pour the sauce mixture into the wok and cook, stirring, until thickened and bubbling, 1 to 1-1/2 minutes.

Add the zucchini noodles to the sauce, mixing so the zucchini is covered in sauce, and cook until the zucchini is tender, 2 minutes.

Add the pork and vegetables to combine, then divide between two serving bowls.

 

Asian, Fish & Seafood, Lent, Quick Dinner

Sweet Sticky Swai !

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I love cooking fish.  It is quick and easy and healthy.  Of late, I have become a huge fan of Swai.  The fillets tend to be a little larger than tilapia, with the same mild flavor.  Here is an Asian twist on your regular old fish fillet.

Ingredients:

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2Tbsp of cornstarch

3 Tbsp of honey and soy sauce

Zest of half an orange

1Tbsp of sambal

1tsp of ground ginger

1tsp of white pepper

Sesame seeds for garnish

Method:

Sprinkle (through a sifter for better coverage) cornstarch over the fish, make sure you get both sides.

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Mix the rest of the ingredients in a bowl, thoroughly.

Arrange the fillets in a skillet, snugly.  You want it to be cozy with the sauce.

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Pour the sauce over the fillets

Bake at 375 for 15-20mins, till the fillets are flakey and cooked through.

Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve hot with veggies of your choice.

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Asian, Comfort food, Gluten-free, Soups

Thai style Hot and Sour Soup

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I have an obsession with Asian style soups.  I think I get it from my dad.  I remember as a child downing a chicken egg drop soup and my dad and I would compete to see who had the longest egg-drop! Whenever I get a hankering for Asian soups, I would order take out.  Then I realized the amount of junk I was putting in my system, so I did some research and found this recipe.  It is easy, healthy and hits the spot ! I hope you like it.

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You will need:

Canned goods: Bamboo shoots, baby corn and straw mushrooms

Fresh stuff: Cilantro, scallions, juice of two limes and ginger paste

Carton stuff: Chicken stock and Liquid Eggs

Asian sauces: Sambal and fish sauce.

Spices: White pepper, salt.

This is where the recipe gets super complicated.  Dump everything in a pot and boil away.  OK, but here are a few tips.  I add 2 tbsp of fish sauce to every 32 Fl Oz chicken stock carton.  I like to add two heaping tablespoons of crushed ginger.  I added juice of four limes–that makes it nice and tart, but stick with two if you don’t like sour.  Add as much Sambal as you like.  White pepper is a must ! It tastes spicier than regular black pepper.  I use a whole bunch of scallions and a lot of cilantro.

 

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Once your soup is ready, stream in eggs and gently stir to create the egg drops.IMG_0986

Serve piping hot !

Asian, Quick Dinner

Salmon Edamame cakes

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Happy New Year Everyone !!!! I know it has been a while since I have posted and that is because I went on a massive detox to cleanse my system of all the sugar and alcohol that nourished me during the holidays.  Mostly yogurt and salads and grilled chicken and fish.  But now its time to cook again and make school lunches and dinners–back to the grind.  So, sticking to “let’s get healthy” idea, I can up with this recipe.  canned salmon and Edamame makes it budget friendly and asian spices add some ‘guilt’ to these otherwise healthy food items.  You could turn it into burgers but like most of my cakes and patties I like them without the bread.  So here goes.

Ingredients:

2, 14.7oz cans of salmon

1, 9oz bag od shelled edamame

1/2 tsp of garlic

2 tsp of ginger

2 tsp of red pepper flakes

2 Tbsp of soy

A dash of lime juice

2 eggs

2/3 cups of panko

Method:

Flake the salmon after removing the skin and bones.

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Saute edamame with ginger, garlic, soy red pepper flakes.

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Blend the edamame mixture to a course texture.

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Mix with the salmon.  At this point you could taste the mixture to adjust salt.  I did not need to add any, you might.

Add eggs and panko and stir till mixed thoroughly.

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Form into 12 cakes using an ice cream scoop.  Brush the tops with a little bit of olive oil.

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Bake in a 350 degree pre-heated oven for 20-25 mins till golden.

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Serve hot !

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Asian, Quick Dinner, Sides

Super Speedy Stirfry

You have frozen vegetables.  The boring microwave kind that taste more like water filled sponges than anything.  So this is what you do.  With a few ingredients that are either sitting on your pantry shelf or a few bucks at the store, you can get this lovely healthy asian style veggie stirfry.  This is how it goes….

Ingredients

Your choice of frozen veggies-I had carrots, peas, broccoli, waterchestnuts and sugar snap peas.

1/4 cup orange marmalade

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/2 Tbsp red pepper flakes

1tsp of ground ginger

Adjust salt and pepper at the very end

Garnish with chopped scallions and sesame seeds

Method:

Microwave all the vegetables and warm them through.  Set them aside in a pot.

In the mean time mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and microwave it for 5mins till the jam becomes runny.

Stir in the sauce into the vegetables and simmer for a few minutes till all the vegetables and sauce has combined properly.

Garnish and serve warm with rice or noodles or just as is.

Asian, Dinner

Soy-Ginger Glazed Salmon

Salmon.  You either love it or hate it.  I am lover and will have it any form–smoked, grilled, baked, in sushi and in a salad.  This is a nice recipe with an Asian flare.  It is quick and you will have dinner ready in an hour.  I like to pair it with roasted broccoli, lentils ( both of these recipes will be up shortly), sweet potatoes or soba noodles.  Make it this week and liven up your summer dinner–heart healthy and yummy !

Ingredients:

1 lb of salmon filets (about 5 pieces)

1/4 cup soy sauce

2 tsp of crushed ginger

2 tbsp of honey

1 tsp of sesame seeds

1 tsp of crushed red pepper flakes

Method:

In a mixing bowl or a measuring cup, mix all the ingredients and microwave it for 5 minutes.  Stop after every minute and stir.  This allows all the ingredients to mix and marry together and the heat thickens the honey, making it a nice glaze.

Pour the marinade over the salmon and let it sit for about 15mins.

While the fish soaks up all the wonderful flavors, preheat the oven to 350

Bake the fish for about 20 mins (till cooked through) and then broil it on high for the last 5mins to get a nice crust.

Garnish with some extra seasame seeds and scallions ( I did not have any–but I think it would add color and a nice freshness to the rich fish)

Serve hot with your choice of sides !