Category Archives: Asian

Spicy Stir Fried Celery

I don’t know if you are like me, but it often bothers me when I go to the store and buy a bunch of celery, let’s say for just using it in chili, and granted it is a bit pricey (as far as I am concerned), and then you are left with a bunch of leftover celery. The celery is placed in my bottom refrigerator door, and if not opened in time, well it gets forgotten and then tossed. Never a good thing. So recently I decided to combat that waste and do something different with the celery, and turn it into a spicy stir fried celery.

Spicy Stir Fried Celery

I wanted to have the celery shine and as I was thinking about what I could do with the ribs of celery, I looked over to my lazy susan filled with condiments, and immediately looked at the Chinese fried red chili oil I had made in the summer.

Let’s get started.

  • 4 ribs of celery, but into large match sticks
  • 3 tbsp Chinese chili oil
  • 1/4 cup crushed peanuts, optional
  • 1/4 tsp salt, to taste

Start by heating a large skillet, on medium-high heat, for about one minute.

How to make spicy stir fried celery

Add the chili oil, and toss in the celery. Cook for about 3 minutes, tossing and stirring along the way. Remove and pour onto a plate. Season with salt, and shower with the crushed peanuts.

Dig in.

The result is really, really good. If you have not made the chili oil yet, please do it. IT’S AWESOME. The great thing about this recipe is that it goes really quick, and it is a great use of celery. The subtle spiciness, along with the peanuts, really make this a great side dish, or snack for that matter. Hope you enjoy.

Lumpia Shanghai Pizza

A couple of weeks ago, my wife woke up on Saturday and said “I totally want some egg rolls today”.  Now many of you might not get overly excited about that, but I was actually pleased to hear that. I’ve had plenty of egg rolls in my time, however when I first met my wife, she turned me onto a whole different style of egg roll that she grew up with in the Filipino household. This style of egg roll is totally out of this world, but so pleasing to the taste. I decided to make nearly 30 Filipino lumpia shanghai, and I had some mixture left over to spare. I knew exactly what I was going to do with that mixture; make a pizza out of it.

Lumpia Shanghai Pizza

If you have never had lumpia before, it’s a must make, and it is especially awesome in a garlic and vinegar spooning/dipping sauce.

Let’s get started.

  • 1/2 lbs Ground pork (I grind my own pork shoulder)
  • 1/2 cups uniform cut, fresh green beans
  • 1/2 cups uniform cut russet potatoes, about 1/4 inch cubes
  • 1 1/2  tsp of fresh cracked pepper
  • 1/2  tsp salt, to taste
  • 1/2 cup baby shrimp, thawed, and rinsed
  • 1 batch of your favorite pizza dough
  • 1/2 cup pizza sauce
  • 1 1/2 cup fresh mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup plain corn chips, broken
  • light corn meal

Begin by mixing your pork in a large pot. Add in the green beans, potatoes, shrimp, and salt and pepper. Mix well.

Shape your pizza dough into about a 16 inch round.

If you are cooking in an oven, preheat a pizza stone for 30 minutes at 500 degrees.

How to make Lumpia Shanghai Pizza

Shower corn meal onto a pizza peel. Add the pizza dough, and reshape the pizza.

Spoon on the pizza sauce and slather it to lightly cover. Add on the cheese, then as if you were using uncooked Italian pork sausage, start taking tablespoons and adding dollops onto the top of the cheese.

Place in the oven for 20 minutes or until the pizza is cooked to your liking, but the pork cooked through.

I’ve been using my Kettle Pizza, so this pizza took about 6 minutes to cook in my grill. I highly recommend it.

Regardless, when the pizza is cooked, cut into slices, and shower with the corn chips for that crispy egg roll texture.

This pizza was everything awesome about having lumpia shanghai, but in pizza form. What’s not to love about that! What I should have done to make even better was to drizzle on some of that garlic and vinegar mixture. Next time. Next time… Hope you enjoy!

 

Chinese Beef and Broccoli

Our vegetable garden is really starting to take off and as I have mentioned in the past, we are picking bowls of a variety of tomatoes on a daily basis, along with fresh herbs, and recently we harvested our broccoli. My wife and I did not plant broccoli last year, but a few years ago we did, and to this day we admit that was probably the best broccoli we had ever tasted. That was no joke. So when I saw the heads of broccoli, I got pretty darn excited, I’ll admit that. As I wanted to simply lightly steam the heads of broccoli, I decided to go a different route and bust out a classic Chinese beef and broccoli, only because my sister-n-law had mentioned it and it was stuck in my head.

Chinese Beef and Broccoli Recipe

This recipe is super easy to make, and granted it uses a couple of ingredients that you may, or may not have (but probably should), and it is just packed with good old comfort.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb flank steak, 1/4 inch thick slides
  • 1 head of broccoli, trimmed
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 cups iced water
  • Cooked rice
  • 4 tbsp canola oil

For the Beef Marinade:

  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp corn starch
  • 1/2 tbsp sherry cooking wine
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/4 tsp cracked black pepper

For the Sauce:

  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp ginger paste
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 tbsp corn starch
  • 1/4 tsp cracked black pepper

Start by adding your sliced beef to a bowl. Mix the marinade and pour over the beef, and give it a good toss. Marinade for at least one hour in the refrigerator.

When you are ready to make the Chinese beef and broccoli, remove the marinated beef from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature, about 20 minutes.

Bring the water to a simmer, and toss in the broccoli florets. Cook for about 3 minutes, then remove them with a slotted spoon into a bowl of iced water.  Once cooled, drain the broccoli and set to the side.

Next heat a large skillet on medium-high heat. Add two tablespoons of oil, then toss in the beef, stirring along the way. Cook for about 5 minutes until the beef has some great color, then remove the beef onto a plate.

How to make Chinese Beef and Broccoli

Wipe out the skillet, and add the additional two tablespoons of oil, bringing to medium-high heat. Add the sauce, and give it a good stir. Cook for a couple of minutes, then add the broccoli, and return the beef to the skillet. Cook for a few minutes until everything is warmed through and the sauce has slightly thickened.

Did I mention I love corn starch, especially when making a great sauce?

When you are ready to place, add cooked rice to the bottom of bowl, and ladle on the Chinese beef and broccoli, ensuring you get plenty of that great flavored sauce.

This was a real winner and it was a perfect use of that broccoli, and again, some of the best broccoli we have had this year. Hope you enjoy!

Pickled Thai Chilies

I’ve been in a pickling mood for some time now. No clue why, but I have been. It’s most likely because I have had an abundance of chili peppers growing in the garden, and as I normally freeze them and use later, I also love doing a quick pickle and use the chilies on pizza, rice bowls, and omelets. I wouldn’t say that I am a true chili head, but I do love the spice, and the vitamin content that normally goes with them.  One of my favorite peppers has got to be the Thai bird chili pepper.  They have a great punch of hit along with some really nice citrus notes, and when used in sauces such as Nuoc Cham, well, hands down it’s a real winner.

Pickled Thai Bird Chilies

I know, big deal, these just look like regular Thai chili peppers right? Well, yes, but then again, they have been pickling for a couple of weeks in a great, and simple pickling mixture that makes these chilies pop even more.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of Thai bird chilies
  • 1 1/2 inch fresh lemongrass, lightly smashed
  • 6 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • 6 tbsp water
  • 1/2 tsp salt

That’s it. Great stuff.

Start by adding everything but the Thai chilies in a small sauce pan. Bring to a simmer, and let the sugar melt with the vinegar and water. Remove and let cool.

How to make pickled Thai Chilies

Once the mixture has cooled, add the chilies to a small, sealable container, and pour the vinegar solution into the container, making sure you have covered the chilies.

Seal, and place in the refrigerator for about two days. Then use freely.

Again, I love Thai bird chilies, but with the addition of the vinegar and sugar, and lemongrass really makes these shine even more. They are great sliced and served  (if you like that type of heat), with any type of dishes where you want to add a bit of heat. If you like chili peppers, you will most likely love these. Hope you enjoy!