Luke and I love Chinese food, especially when I make it myself. These are a few of my favorite recipes, including ones I just tried last night – Wonton soup. I usually either make two chicken dishes with a vegetable stir-fry and rice, or do the soup and one other chicken dish. Eventually I’ll post another recipe for a Panda Express Orange Chicken clone, but I’m still working on making it taste just like Panda Express.
First up, a really old recipe of mine that I make all the time. It was adapted from a family friend’s recipe that cooked in the oven. I wanted something that was a little bit faster and that tasted more like the sweet Sesame Chicken from a local restaurant back in Delaware. So here you have it, my Sesame Chicken:
1 lb. chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces
Sesame oil for frying
2-3 cloves minced garlic
1 T. sesame seeds
Sauce (Note that I NEVER measure when I make this, so these are approximate. Taste the sauce as you go along to get it right!):
1/4 c. honey
2 T. white wine vinegar or rice wine vinegar
1-2 T. soy sauce
1/2 t. dry ground ginger
1/2-1 t. Szechuan sauce (to taste, it’s a Chinese hot sauce)
2 T. cornstarch
Mix up the sauce and taste as you go along. It should be sweet with a tiny bite. Heat around 2-3 T. sesame oil in a medium skillet. Cook the garlic for around 1 minute then add the sesame seeds. Cook until the garlic starts to brown, then add the chicken and toss to distribute the garlic and sesame seeds. Cook until the chicken is completely opaque, then add the sauce mixture to the chicken. Continue cooking until sauce has thickened, around 3 minutes. Serve over rice.
This next recipe is one of Luke’s favorites. It’s supposed to be a little spicier than I make it so you can add dried chili pepper or fresh chilies to the sauce.
General Tso’s Chicken
Combine for Sauce:
1/3 c. soy sauce
1/3 c. rice vinegar
1/3 c. water mixed with 2 t. cornstarch
2 t. sesame oil
2 cloves of minced garlic
3/4-1 t. dry ground ginger
Beat 2 eggs with 2 T. cornstarch and coat 1 lb. bite-sized cut chicken in the mixture. Fry the chicken pieces in a wok with vegetable oil, removing pieces as the chicken finishes cooking. Drain most of the oil and add the sauce to the pan and cook down until thick, adding the chicken back towards the end to glaze.
Wonton Soup is one of my favorite things to order from a Chinese restaurant but the places out here (at least the takeout places) don’t have it! So I found this recipe (I have NO idea where it came from, possibly a really old issue of Everyday Food?) and tried it out last night. I have to say, this is probably even better than what you get in the restaurants!
24 Wonton wrappers
1/2 c. finely chopped napa or Savoy cabbage
6 oz. ground pork, not all lean
3 scallions, finely chopped
1 T. finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
1 t. soy sauce
1 t. toasted sesame oil
Toss cabbage with salt. Let stand 10 minutes, then wrap in paper towels and squeeze out excess liquid. Return cabbage to bowl and add other ingredients. Mix well with a fork.
Work with one wrapper at a time, keep the rest covered in the package. Spoon one rounded teaspoon of filling in center. Wet the edges of the wrapper and fold in half in a triangle, press edges firmly to seal. Moisten one tip on the long side and bring tips together, overlapping. Press to seal. Fold top corner back. Place wontons on a oiled plate, cover with a damp towel to keep moist.
2 c. chicken broth
4 c. water
3 scallions, thinly sliced
2-3 t. rice vinegar
1/2 t. toasted sesame oil
Combine chicken broth, water and 1 t. salt in a large pot; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and add wontons. Simmer until wontons are just cooked, 4-6 minutes. Add scallions, vinegar and oil, season with salt to taste.