Category Archives: Chinese

Orange Chicken

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We can talk about authentic Chinese food vs. American Chinese food but I’m in my mid 30s, I was born in the US, and I occasionally crave greasy, deep fried chicken covered in a sweet sauce. I won’t deny it, and I won’t say authentic is better than Americanized. To me, Americanized Chinese is in it’s own category. OBVIOUSLY it isn’t authentic, and I don’t care.

I am the Chinese American woman eating American Chinese food at the Chinese restaurant sitting across from my Caucasian husband eating Authentic Chinese food because this is America and we do what we want!

Some Chinese restaurants don’t do a good job making  Orange Chicken, General Tso’s Chicken and Sesame Chicken taste different from each other. They all come out with the similar gloppy, syrupy sweet sauce to me. I could order Sesame Chicken and they could deliver General Tso’s and I’d eat it without realizing the difference. Also, most take-out Chicken dishes, being covered in sauce too long, become soggy and mushy with the batter separating from the chicken by the time you start eating it.

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Surprisingly the chicken for this recipe doesn’t come out greasy at all, and the batter fries up perfectly golden with all the craggily bits like Popeye’s chicken does. The sauce (with just the right level of sweet/tart) doesn’t make the chicken soggy and clings to all the cracks and crevices nicely. I can heat the leftovers up the next day and it will still retain it’s crunchiness and texture.

You can use white meat (tenderloins or breast) or dark meat (thighs) for this recipe. Dark meat will come out juicier, but I only had tenderloins, and that came out great as well.

Orange Chicken (adapted from Seriouseats)

Ingredients

  • For the Marinade:
  • 2 egg whites
  • 4 tablespoons dark soy sauce
  • 4 tablespoons Shaoxing wine
  • 6 tablespoons corn starch
  • 2 pounds chicken tenderloins or chicken thighs, cut into 1/2- to 3/4-inch chunks
  • For the Dry Coating:
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • For the Sauce:
  • 2 tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup Shaoxing wine
  • 1/4 cup Chinese rice vinegar or distilled white vinegar
  • 6 tablespoons low-sodium chicken stock
  • 8 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoon sesame seed oil
  • 4 teaspoons grated orange zest
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 4 teaspoons corn oil
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 4 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
  • sesame seeds (optional)
  • chopped scallions (optional)
  • For frying:
  • corn oil (enough to cover halfway up one layer of chicken in pan)

Directions

1) Whisk the egg whites until frothy. Blend in the rest of the marinade ingredients. Set aside 1/2 marinade (to combine with dry coating later). Use the other half of marinade to coat the chicken, cover and set aside in fridge.

2) Combine the dry coating ingredients in a bowl. Add the marinade and mix with hands until clumpy. Put coating into gallon sized zip lock bag.

3) In another bowl, combine ingredients for sauce excluding the ginger, garlic and oil. Set aside.

4) In a large skillet, sauté the ginger and garlic in 4 teaspoons oil on medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Add the sauce and bring to a boil until thickened. Pour sauce into a bowl and set aside. Clean out pan.

5) Put chicken into zip lock bag with dry coating. Shake shake shake. Use your hands and squeeze the bag to press the batter onto the chicken. Squeeze and shake.

6) Coat the large skillet with enough oil to immerse a single layer of chicken halfway up. I do it this way to save from deep frying and wasting quarts of oil. Heat to medium high heat, then place chicken pieces one by one into the pan, not crowding it. You may have to fry it in batches. Fry one side of the chicken for 2-4 minutes, or until golden brown, and repeat on the other side. Remove chicken to a plate, and repeat batches until finished.

7) Pour sauce on top of chicken, sprinkle sesame seeds or chopped scallions if you wish. Serve over rice.

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Directions with photos:

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Whisk the egg whites until frothy.

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Blend in the rest of the marinade ingredients. Set aside 1/2 marinade (to combine with dry coating later). Use the other half of marinade to coat the chicken, cover and set aside in fridge.

Combine the dry coating ingredients in a bowl. Add the marinade and mix with hands until clumpy (sorry no pics, imagine clumpy batter). Put coating into gallon sized zip lock bag.

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In another bowl, combine ingredients for sauce excluding the ginger, garlic and oil. Set aside.

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In a large skillet, sauté the ginger and garlic in 4 teaspoons oil on medium heat for 2-3 minutes.

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Add the sauce,

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and bring to a boil until thickened. Pour sauce into a bowl and set aside. Clean out pan.

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Put chicken into zip lock bag with dry coating. Shake shake shake. Use your hands and squeeze the bag to press the batter onto the chicken. Squeeze and shake.

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Coat the large skillet with enough oil to immerse a single layer of chicken halfway up. I do it this way to save from deep frying and wasting quarts of oil. Heat to medium high heat, then place chicken pieces one by one into the pan, not crowding it. You may have to fry it in batches. Fry one side of the chicken for 2-4 minutes, or until golden brown,

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and repeat on the other side. Remove chicken to a plate, and repeat batches until finished.

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Pour sauce on top of chicken, sprinkle sesame seeds or chopped scallions if you wish. Serve over rice.

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Enjoy!

Cantonese Pan Fried Noodles

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Since it was just my 20 month old baby and I in the house this afternoon, naturally I decided to make a lunch for 6 people. I mean, if I put in the same effort making lunch for 2 as I do for 6, I might as well make the entire package of noodles right? Also, leftovers.

Excuse the butter dish behind my noodles. And the coffee. I didn’t set up the shot all fancy.

I always thought Chinese stir fried noodles were greasy when ordering at a restaurant (or takeout). But this one surprisingly isn’t, and you can get the same fried noodle texture by just frying the noodles in a tablespoon of oil on high heat, then flipping them over to fry the other side. The high heat gives the noodles the flavor and texture of restaurant noodles, and you don’t need tons of oil to achieve the same effect.

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I also topped the noodles with minced pork, mushrooms and scallions along with a sauce made with a chicken broth base. If you don’t eat pork, you can omit it entirely, or substitute it with ground turkey or chicken (even healthier alternatives). Omit the mushrooms if you don’t like mushrooms. Add something else if you want. I threw in anything I had in the fridge for this.

Cantonese Pan Fried Noodles (serves 4-6)

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. package of fresh HK style noodles (found in most Asian markets)
  • oil for pan frying
  • 1/2 lb. ground pork
  • 5 large mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 scallions, julienned

Ingredients for Sauce:

  • 2 tsp. regular soy sauce
  • 2 tsp. low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tsp. Shaoxing wine
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. sugar
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 heaping Tbsp. cornstarch

Ingredients for marinade for pork:

  • 1 tsp. hoisin sauce
  • 1 tsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper

Directions:

1) Using a large pot or large skillet, heat up water to boil noodles with. Drop noodles in and boil for one minute. Drain in colander and rinse under cold water. Drain well and set aside.

2) In a bowl, combine all the ingredients for sauce, set aside. In another bowl, combine pork and marinade, set aside.

3) In a clean dry skillet, heat one Tbsp. of oil on high heat. Add noodles and spread evenly on the skillet. Let the bottom brown for 3-4 minutes, then flip the best you can (using tongs or spatula) to brown the other sides. This will create the crispy texture along with the soft noodles. Set noodles aside in large dish.

4) Add 1 Tbsp. oil to same skillet. On high heat, add ground pork and break up the pieces with a spatula. When browned, add mushrooms and scallions. Stir fry for around 3 minutes or until mushrooms have softened. Add sauce ingredients, and bring to a boil until thickened, around 2 minutes.* Pour sauce over top of the noodles and serve.

*If the sauce isn’t thick enough for you, make a slurry with cornstarch and chicken broth in a cup, and pour a little bit into the sauce at a time and stir until it is thickened enough.

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Directions with Photos:

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Using a large pot or large skillet, heat up water to boil noodles with. Drop noodles in and boil for one minute. Drain in colander and rinse under cold water. Drain well and set aside.

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Chop up mushrooms and scallions.

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In a bowl, combine all the ingredients for sauce, set aside.

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In another bowl, combine pork and marinade, set aside.

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In a clean dry skillet, heat one Tbsp. of oil on high heat. Add noodles and spread evenly on the skillet. Let the bottom brown for 3-4 minutes, then flip the best you can (using tongs or spatula) to brown the other sides.

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This will create the crispy texture along with the soft noodles (see the golden brown color developing). Set noodles aside in large dish.

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Add 1 Tbsp. oil to same skillet. On high heat, add ground pork and break up the pieces with a spatula.

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When browned, add mushrooms and scallions.

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Stir fry for around 3 minutes or until mushrooms have softened.

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Add sauce ingredients, and bring to a boil until thickened, around 2 minutes.*

*If the sauce isn’t thick enough for you, make a slurry with cornstarch and chicken broth in a cup, and pour a little bit into the sauce at a time and stir until it is thickened enough.

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Pour sauce over top of the noodles and serve.

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