Tag Archives: Asian

Thai Sweet Chili Broccoli

22 Apr

Easter with my loves
Did you all have a wonderful Easter? We spent the weekend with my parents enjoying the gorgeous weather, partaking in Easter egg hunts, church and a big dinner with some of our favorite people.
Excited about her basket

He was most excited about the $1 jump rope…figures.
A $1 jump rope? Yesss!

Me and my favorite boy.
Easter Egg Hunt with my boy

Sweet little chickie in her Easter basket.
Hannah in her basket.
Because Easter marks the end of Lent, that meant I got to feast on all kinds of naughty things that I haven’t had in months. Like peanut butter bars, cucumber dip, mac-n-cheese, corn casserole and a cherry coke or two. Needless to say, I felt very sick afterward.

During my 40 days of eating clean, I found that I had more energy and generally felt so much better. So, the plan going forward is to eat clean 5 days a week and the other two to still eat healthy but not so restrictive. Since starting a healthier lifestyle at the New Year, I’ve lost 30 pounds and would love to continue on that path.
Stir-Fried Broccoli
The only problem with healthy eating is that there aren’t a ton of vegetables that I love so the routine can get old kind of fast. I’m pretty sure I’ve professed before that broccoli is one of my favorite foods and I eat it several times a week. Joel doesn’t enjoy it as much as me so I have been on the hunt for different ways to prepare it rather than just serving it steamed as I usually do. When I came across this recipe at Mel’s Kitchen Café I knew it would be a hit with everyone.

Tender crisp, charred broccoli tossed in a slightly thickened sweet Thai chili sauce is the perfect side dish to grilled chicken and a bit of brown rice. You have to try this! It’s quickly become a staple in our dinner routine.

Thai Sweet Chili Broccoli
recipe from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

1 Tbsp. olive oil
3-4 cups broccoli florets
2 cloves garlic, finely minced

For the sauce:
1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth
4 tsp. low-sodium soy sauce or liquid aminos
1 Tbsp. Thai sweet chili sauce
2 tsp. sesame oil
2 tsp. cornstarch

1. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the broccoli and cook until the broccoli starts to brown in spots and turns bright green, making sure to stir often (about 7-9 minutes). Meanwhile, stir together the sauce ingredients.

2. Add garlic to skillet and cook an additional minute. Pour in the sauce and cook an additional minute or two until it thickens and the broccoli is coated.


Sweet and Spicy Asian Ribs

27 Jan

Sweet and Spicy Asian Ribs
Looking for something easy and delicious to nosh on during the big game on Sunday? These sweet and spicy Asian ribs will totally hit the spot. They will cook away in the crock pot while you whip up the rest of your Super Bowl feast. Right before serving, drench them in sauce and throw them under the broiler for some crispy carmelization. Soo good.
Sweet and Spicy Asian Ribs
I personally would use more Sriracha for more zing but if you want to keep it mild for your crew go ahead with the stated amount in the recipe.
Sweet and Spicy Asian Ribs

Who are you cheering for this Sunday? I think I’m going to root for the Broncos since Manning always yells Omaha before his plays. Good logic in choosing my winner, right? Either that or whoever has the prettiest uniform.
Sweet and Spicy Asian Ribs
recipe from Family Favorite Recipes

2 racks baby back pork ribs
Seasoning salt
1 cup water
2/3 cup sweet chili sauce
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
4 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
1 tsp. grated ginger
1 tsp. Sriracha hot chili sauce (or more if you like things spicier)

1. First, be sure to remove any membrane from ribs. Rub ribs with seasoning and place in large crock pot (you may have to cut the ribs up so they all fit). Pour in water and cook on low heat for 3-5 hours, until ribs are cooked through and they are already starting to fall off the bone.

2. In a small bowl, combine chili sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, ginger and sriracha. Place ribs on a baking sheet and put on the top rack of the oven. Broil for about 3-5 minutes or until the sauce begins to caramelize. Watch them closely as they will burn quickly.  Remove from oven, lightly cover with foil and allow to sit for about 5 minutes before serving.

Sweet and Spicy Asian Ribs

Asian Chicken Salad with Chili Lime and Peanut Dressings

17 Jul

Asian Chicken Salad 4
I have been wanting to make an Asian Chicken Salad for quite some time now and I keep seeing them pop up everywhere around the blogosphere. My absolute favorite version is from Granite City and it was my mission to recreate it and share it with you all.
Asian Chicken Salad 5
Please don’t be intimidated by the ingredient list…a lot of the ingredients are the same throughout the different elements and the dressings and marinade can be mixed up ahead of time.
Asian Chicken Salad 3
Although this wasn’t exactly like the restaurant version, it was still quite a light and delicious dinner on a hot night. I have to say the dressings are what made it for me. That sweet chili lime vinaigrette is sweet, a little spicy and has just the right amount of sesame. I could probably eat it with a spoon. The light drizzle of the peanut dressing gives a nutty depth that puts the salad over the edge for me. And I just can’t eat a salad without some kind of crunch on top so the wonton strips were a perfect addition.

Joel wasn’t a huge fan so it probably won’t be hitting the dinner table too often but it will be on frequent rotations for my weekday lunches.
Asian Chicken Salad 2
Asian Chicken Salad with Chili Lime and Peanut Dressings

For the Pineapple Chicken Marinade:
1 lime, zested and juiced
6 oz. can pineapple juice, or 1 cup
1/4 cup roughly chopped cilantro
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 chicken breasts

For the Salad:
1/2 head green cabbage, shredded
1/2 head iceberg lettuce, shredded
1 English cucumber, sliced into half moons
2-3 carrots, julienned or shredded
1 red pepper, small dice (I didn’t use but thought it would be a good addition)
1/4 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
Green onion, to taste
Wonton Strips

For the Chili Lime Dressing:
recipe adapted from Pinch of Yum
1/2 cup sweet chili garlic sauce
4 tablespoons honey
4 tablespoons sesame oil
3 tablespoons vinegar
4 tablespoons lime juice

For the Peanut Dressing:
recipe adapted from myrecipes.com
3 Tbsp. water
2 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. green onion, chopped
2 Tbsp. peanut butter
1 Tbsp. low sodium soy sauce
1 tsp. fresh grated ginger
1 tsp. Sriracha
1 tsp. dark sesame oil
2 tsp. dry-roasted peanuts

1. For the chicken: Combine all marinade ingredients together in a ziplock bag and mix around to combine. Pound chicken to 1/2 inch thickness and marinate for 1-4 hours.

2. While the chicken is marinating, mix up the dressings. For the chili lime vinaigrette: combine all ingredients in a mason jar, seal tightly and shake until well combined. Refrigerate. For the peanut dressing: Combine first 8 ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Add in peanut and blend for 10 seconds more. Place in bowl or jar and refrigerate until ready to use.

3. Preheat grill to medium heat and cook chicken until juices run clear. Meanwhile, put the salad together. In a large bowl, combine the cabbage, lettuce, cucumber, carrot, red pepper, cilantro and green onion. Mix to combine ingredients. Once chicken has been grilled, slice into bite size chunks and place on top of salad. Scatter with wonton strips and drizzle with a good amount of chili lime vinaigrette and a bit of the peanut dressing. Enjoy!
Asian Chicken Salad 1

P.F. Chang’s Mongolian Beef

13 Mar

Mongolian Beef 3
I’ve been really off my game lately when it comes to cooking. But I finally bit the bullet and made a real meal for the first time in forever. It was this P.F. Chang’s Mongolian Beef and it was the best thing I’ve made in a really really long time. I love this dish at P.F. Chang’s and when I found the copycat recipe I figured it would be good but nowhere near what the resturant produces. Well, I was wrong because it really was just as good and so much cheaper to make than the real deal.

It was crispy and tender and the sauce was just perfect. Not only was the flavor spot on but it thickened up nicely to coat the beef just right. Mmm, I’m not usually a leftover kind of girl but as soon as we were done eating this for dinner, I was dreaming about having it for lunch the next day. Now that’s a sign of a good dish!
Mongolian Beef 1
P.F. Chang’s Mongolian Beef Copycat
recipe from food.com

2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon ginger, minced
1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
vegetable oil, for frying (about 1 cup)
1 lb flank steak
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 large green onions, sliced on the diagonal into one-inch lengths

1. Make the sauce by heating 2 tsp of vegetable oil in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add ginger and garlic to the pan and saute until softened. Add the soy sauce and water before the garlic scorches.
2. Dissolve the brown sugar in the sauce, then raise the heat to about medium and boil the sauce for 2-3 minutes or until the sauce thickens. Remove it from the heat.
3. Slice the flank steak against the grain into 1/4″ thick bite-size slices (Tilt the blade of your knife at about a forty five degree angle to the top of the steak so that you get wider cuts).
4. Dip the steak pieces into the cornstarch to apply a very thin dusting to both sides of each piece of beef. Let the beef sit for about 10 minutes so that the cornstarch sticks.
5. As the beef sits, heat one cup of oil in a wok (you may also use a skillet for this step as long as the beef will be mostly covered with oil).
6. Heat the oil over medium heat until it’s nice and hot, but not smoking. Add the beef to the oil and sauté for just two minutes, or until the beef just begins to darken on the edges. You don’t need a thorough cooking here since the beef is going to go back on the heat later. Stir the meat around a little so that it cooks evenly.
7. After a couple minutes, use a large slotted spoon to take the meat out and onto paper towels.
8. Put the pan with the sauce back on the stove over medium-low heat. Add beef and green onions to the sauce then stir until they are thoroughly coated. Bring to a simmer for about a minute. Serve over steamed white rice.

Salt and Pepper Pork Chops

23 Jan

Salt and Pepper Pork Chops
I know I am always talking about quick and easy weeknight meals and hopefully I’m not boring you with them because I am sharing another one today. Wondering why they have become so prevalent around here? Joel’s new job is downtown. All of the garages downtown are FULL. You know what that means? Well, it means that Noah and I are driving him to work and picking him up every day. I kind of grumbled about it at first but it’s actually been kind of great so far. We are able to sit down and have breakfast together then chat even more during our drive. It gets Noah and me out of the house a bit which is always nice for a stay at home mom, even if it is only a 10 minute drive in our jammies. Let’s hope we never see anyone we know during this process….it would be uncomfortable explaining the polka dot pants.

Anyway, since we are picking him up everyday and don’t usually get home until close to 5:30 I have lost a lot of cooking time. I try my best to plan ahead and get some prep done during nap time if needed but sometimes it just doesn’t happen. And that’s where this meal comes in. I mix up the ridiculously easy marinade in the morning, throw in the chops and put it in the fridge all day. Then before I head out to pick up Joel, I throw some rice into the rice cooker. When we get home, all I have to do is cook these chops real quick (which literally takes about 5 minutes) and steam some broccoli. It’s a real life saver when you have less than 20 minutes to throw something together for a hungry toddler that’s used to eating at 5:30. And they taste amazing and aren’t dry. A miracle for me when it comes to pork chops!

Salt and Pepper Pork Chops
recipe from One Perfect Bite

3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-1/4 pounds boneless thin-cut pork loin chops
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1. Combine soy sauce, cornstarch, pepper, sugar and salt in bottom of 9 x 13 x 2-inch baking pan. Stir with a fork until all ingredients are combined and marinade is smooth. Add chops, turning to coat both sides. Cover dish with plastic wrap. Refrigerate, turning occasionally, for 1 to 24 hours.
2. Heat oil in a large frying pan set over medium high heat. Add pork, working in batches if necessary. Cook 1 to 2 minutes per side, until golden brown and cooked through. Transfer to serving plate or serve from pan. Yield: 4 servings.

Veggie Stirfry

18 Jan

Veggie Stir Fry 2
This is almost always the meal I make when Joel is working late or has something going on that takes him away at dinner time. I wait until Noah goes to bed then whip this up and eat my dinner in peace all by myself! As much as I love those boys of mine, sometimes it’s really nice to just have some time to myself and eat something Joel doesn’t like while enjoying silly, ridiculous shows that he makes fun of me for watching. My life is happy and uncomplicated so I sometimes like to get a little fix of stupid drama, so sue me.

Anyway, this is healthy and simple to throw together using ingredients I almost always have in the kitchen. You can add in anything you like, I just have listed what I had on hand that day. I also really like it with green beans and/or zucchini. I always look forward to whipping it up anytime I have a night to myself.
Veggie Stir Fry 1
Veggie Stirfry

6 oz. whole grain egg noodles
1-2 cups shredded cabbage
1/2 tsp. grated ginger (use microplane)
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 egg
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/2 Tbsp. sesame oil
1/2 tsp. Sriracha
1/2 tsp. sugar
Sesame seeds
Additional add ins: green beans, zucchini, onion, carrots, mushrooms, peppers

1. Bring water to a boil then cook noodles according to package directions and add broccoli at the last 2 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, combine soy sauce, sesame oil, Sriracha and sugar in a small bowl. Heat a wok over medium high heat. Spray with non-stick spray and crack egg into it. Scramble it quickly then let it cook until set. Flip and cook until no longer runny. Remove from pan and chop into tiny pieces.

3. Pour vegetable oil into wok then saute ginger, garlic and cabbage for about 5 minutes or until translucent. Add in pasta, broccoli and sauce mixture and saute for 2-3 minutes. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Enjoy!

Quick Grilled Hunan Chicken

11 Jan

Quick Hunan Chicken
As I’m sure you already know, I am a big fan of Asian food. I made the menu for the next few weeks and about half of it ended up being Asian dishes…oops. But there is so much variety that it never seems like we are eating the same thing which is why I love it so much! So needless to say, there is going to be a lot of Asian food up in here for awhile. Yep, I just said that.
Quick Hunan Chicken
I am not a fan of hoisin sauce so I wasn’t sure how this chicken would go over but I was pleasantly surprised. The peanut butter, soy sauce and oils combined with the hoisin so that it wasn’t overwhelming but complimented it instead. It was a really great, quick weeknight meal. And it was even warm enough to grill it outside. Take that Minnesota!

Quick Grilled Hunan Chicken
recipe from food.com

4 Tbsp. hoisin sauce
2 Tbsp. peanut butter
4 teaspoons soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoon hot pepper oil
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast

1. Pound chicken breasts to 1/2″ thickness.
2. Mix together hoisin sauce, peanut butter, garlic, and oil; spread over both sides of chicken.
3. Grill or broil chicken 4-5 inches from heat source until chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes per side.
4. Slice chicken diagonally across the breast and serve on a piece of iceberg lettuce.
5. If you desire, serve with ramen noodles and steamed snow peas, as fast and easy side dishes.

3 Cup Chicken

19 Dec

3 Cup Chicken
Asian food is one of my favorite types of food to cook and eat. Although Asian recipes often call for a lot of ingredients, once you have them stocked in your pantry/fridge, the possiblities are pretty much endless in what you can whip up. I have a whole section of my refrigerator door dedicated to Asian ingredients, yum!
3 Cup Chicken
This 3 Cup Chicken is one of my new favorite Asian dishes. Not only is it delicious but it’s easy to prepare and you can make it from start to finish in about 30 minutes. You all know those are big, important factors in my weeknight meals.

3 Cup Chicken
recipe from Simply Vicky

1/3 cup sesame oil
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup rice wine
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
20 cloves garlic
10 ginger slices
1 1/2 lbs boneless chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces
2 large handfuls of fresh basil, loosely chopped
3 green onion stalks, cut into 2-inch pieces 2 cups rice, cooked
1. Marinate chicken thighs with 1 tablespoon cornstarch and 1 tablespoon sesame oil (to tenderize the meat). Set aside for 5-10 minutes.
2. Heat large wok or dutch oven to high heat and add 3 tablespoons sesame oil. Once hot, add in garlic and ginger and stir fry until fragrant, about 1 minute.
3. Add in chicken thighs and brown well, about 4 minutes.
4. Stir in soy sauce, rice wine, and sugar to cover chicken.
5. Bring to a boil, then turn heat down to medium low. Let simmer, uncovered, until sauce thickens, about 20 minutes.
6. Meanwhile, cook rice according to package instructions (I use a rice cooker, but stovetop works too).
7. After the sauce has thickened in consistency, turn heat up to medium heat and add in basil and scallions. Cook until basil and scallions wilt, about 2 minutes.
8. Serve over white rice and enjoy!

3 Cup Chicken

Crispy Baked Asian Wings

17 Oct

When I served these for dinner recently, Joel asked me if I fried them….that’s how crispy they are after being baked in the oven! The recipe for these wings is from Alton Brown’s show Good Eats. I am not really into science so I don’t watch it too often but I happened to catch the episode where he made these wings and I knew I had to try them.
Asian Wings
The trick is steaming them first, thoroughly drying them and then baking them at a high temperature. They turned out unbelievably crispy so I will be cooking wings this way always.

I usually go for traditional buffalo sauce  but Joel isn’t a big fan of spicy foods so I try to change it up occasionally so I don’t have to hear his whining. We both like Asian inspired sauces so I searched for a copycat of the Asian Zing sauce from Buffalo Wild Wings and it was pretty good. The sauce is not as spicy so that’s something to consider if you like things hot. If I were making these just for me, I would add in a good amount of red pepper flakes to bump up the spice factor.
Asian Wings
Crispy Baked Wings in Asian Sauce
recipe from Alton Brown

24 whole chicken wings
1 sauce recipe, follows

1. Place a 6-quart saucepan with a steamer basket and 1-inch of water in the bottom, over high heat, cover and bring to a boil.

2. Remove the tips of the wings and discard or save for making stock. Using kitchen shears, or a knife, separate the wings at the joint. Place the wings into the steamer basket, cover, reduce the heat to medium and steam for 10 minutes. Remove the wings from the basket and carefully pat dry. Lay the wings out on a cooling rack set in a half sheet pan lined with paper towels and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

3. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

4. Replace the paper towels with parchment paper or liberally spray the baking sheet with non-stick spray. Roast on the middle rack of the oven for 20 minutes. Turn the wings over and cook another 20 minutes or until meat is cooked through and the skin is golden brown.

5. While wings are roasting, make sauce recipe below.

Asian Sauce 
recipe from Food.com

2 teaspoons cornstarch
4 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
1/2 cup corn syrup
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup chili-garlic sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic, minced

1. Dissolve corn starch in rice wine vinegar in a small bowl and set aside.

2. In a small sauce pan combine remaining ingredients.

3. Add corn starch and rice wine vinegar mixture and stir well.

4. Heat mixture on low/medium heat, stirring often until sauce reaches a boil and thickens.

Sesame Beef Lettuce Wraps

15 Jul

Sesame Beef Lettuce Wraps
As evidenced in my previous post, I have a new obsession with lettuce wraps and this one definitely tops my list. Why is that? Because it combines another one of my obsessions, Asian food. I love to eat and make Asian food so we usually have some sort of Asian dish at least once a week. Because of this, I am always on the lookout for new and unique meals to add to the rotation. I am so glad I found this one. Sesame Beef Lettuce WrapsThe sesame marinade for the beef was incredible to say the least. I seriously will soak anything in it…pork, chicken, fish, veggies. It is so good! I decided to marinade some chicken along with the chicken for the wraps and the combination of the two in the wraps was really yummy. This is a great, healthy, simple and quick (minus the marinade time) meal to whip up for your family.

Sesame Beef Lettuce Wraps
recipe from For the Love of Cooking


2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp sugar
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
Freshly cracked pepper, to taste
1 lb flank steak

Korean Barbecue Dipping Sauce:

2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 tsp sugar
3 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp rice vinegar
1/2 tsp sriracha chile sauce (more if you want it spicy)
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp green onion
1/2 tbsp sesame seeds
1 Tbsp water

Other ingredients:

Butter lettuce leaves
Shredded carrot
Green onion, chopped
Brown rice, cooked per instructions

1. Combine all of the marinade ingredients together in a ziplock bag then mix well. Place the steak into the marinade and mix until the meat is evenly coated. Place in the refrigerator for 1-3 hours.

2. Combine all the sauce ingredients together and mix well. Set aside to let the flavors mingle.

3.Cook the rice per instructions. Once the rice is cooked it’s time to cook the beef.

4. Heat 1/2 tbsp of canola oil in a large skillet  or your outdoor grill over high heat. Once the pan/grill is hot add the beef and cook for about 1-2 minutes or until lightly browned (if cooking in a pan). Remove from heat and put onto a cutting board. Let rest for about 5 minutes then slice thinly against the grain.

5. For serving, place a bit of rice in a lettuce leaf followed by beef, carrots, and green onions. Drizzle a bit of the dipping sauce on top then fold and eat. Make sure you have plenty of napkins on hand because these are messy. Enjoy.


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