Sweet & Sour Chicken

4-5 boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1 1/2″ cubes
2-3 T Shaoxing wine or sake
2 t ginger, grated
1 large garlic clove, very finely minced
1 t kosher salt
1/3 C corn starch
2 T mirin
1 egg, beaten
vegetable or peanut oil for frying

1 poblano pepper
1 red or yellow bell pepper
1 large yellow onion

Sauce:
4 T white sugar
4-6 T white rice vinegar (depending on how sour you like it)
2 T Chinkiang black Chinese vinegar
2 T light soya sauce
1 T dark soya sauce
3 T hoisin sauce
1 T ginger, grated
4 T Shaoxing wine or sake
1/2 C chicken stock or water
4 t corn starch

Marinate the chicken with the wine and aromatics for a minimum of an hour up to overnight. Before cooking, add the corn starch, mirin and beaten egg to the chicken and mix very well. Add more corn starch if too liquid, more mirin if not saucy enough. Shallow fry in a wok or cast iron dutch oven on medium-high until just barely cooked through. Remove to paper towels to drain.

Mix all ingredients for the sauce together and set aside.

Cut the peppers and onions into 2″ square pieces, then stir fry over high heat for 1-2 minutes until just barely softened, with slight charring and blistering. Add in the chicken and stir fry until warmed back through and then add in the sauce. Cook for a minute or so until the sauce thickens up. If too thick add in some water/sake to thin it out. Serve over steamed rice.

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Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 large shallots, minced
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced thinly lengthwise
  • 3 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 red chiles (fresno, jalapeño, or serrano), stemmed, and chopped
  • 1 red Thai bird chile, stemmed, seeded and chopped
  • 1 lb beef chuck or boneless shin, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 teaspoons Chinese 5 spice powder
  • 2 quarts vegetable or beef stock
  • 8-12 ounces dried flat udon noodles
  • 3 medium carrots, chopped 
  • 4 teaspoons brown sugar 
  • 2-3 teaspoons Chinese chili bean sauce, plus more as needed OR 1 t each of akamiso/doenjang, gochujang, and chile-garlic paste/sambal oelek
  • 3 teaspoons dark soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch mixed with 2 teaspoons water (opt.)
  • 5 baby bok choy or equal amount of other tender cabbage or hearty lettuce, sliced into 1 inch ribbons
  • 4 scallions, chopped
  • small handful fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallots and onions and cook until softened, 3 to 4 minutes, and then stir in the ginger, garlic and chiles and cook, stirring, for about 1 minute. Meanwhile, season the beef cubes with kosher salt and the 5 spice powder. Add the beef and stir-fry until it begins to brown, and then pour in the vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and cook until the meat is very tender, 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes. 

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the udon according to package instructions. Drain and rinse under cold water. Set aside 

Add the carrots to the simmering soup, cover, and cook until crisp-tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Whisk together the sugar, chile bean sauce and soy sauce in a small bowl until the sugar is dissolved and stir it into the soup. While stirring, pour the cornstarch slurry into the soup and cook until thickened, about 1 minute. Stir the cabbage into the broth 1-2 minutes before serving, or if using lettuce, add directly before service.

Just before serving, divide the noodles between 2 bowls and ladle the hot soup over each bowl. Garnish with scallions, cilantro and sriracha. Recipe adapted from Ching’s Classic Beef Noodle Soup by Ching-He Huang.

Gong Bao Chicken

This recipe is loosely based on this one at Food52.com but has been altered quite a bit.

Chicken Marinade:

  • 5 chicken thighs, boned and skinned
  • 1 T beaten egg
  • 1/4 C corn starch
  • pinch salt
  • 2 t rice wine (chinese cooking wine OR sake will work here)
  • 2 t Japanese white rice vinegar
  • 2 t grated fresh ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced

Remove as much visible skin and fat from the thighs as possible and cut into 1″ cubes. This is much easier if the thighs are slightly frozen. Put into a large bowl and add all the marinade ingredients and let sit while you prepare the rest of the ingredients, or do early in the day and place in the fridge until ready to fry.

  • 1/2 C unsalted, roasted peanuts
  • 12 scallions, chopped into 1-inch pieces, dark green separated from white/light green parts
  • 2-3 sweet bell peppers, red, orange and/or yellow, diced into 1″ inch squares
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 5 t grated ginger
  • 8-12 dried red chiles, crushed with your hand
  • 4 teaspoons Sichuan peppercorns, semi-coarsely ground
Sauce:

Whisk all ingredients together and set aside.

Fry the chicken in 3-4 batches in the bottom of a very hot wok (425°F+) until light brown and crispy in about 1/4 C peanut or canola oil. Drain on paper towels and set aside. Clean out wok and bring back up to a high temperature.  In a couple T of high-temperature, neutral oil (peanut, safflower, canola), very quickly sauté the bell peppers, peanuts, white parts of the scallions, garlic, ginger, half the Sichuan peppercorns and chilli peppers until the bell peppers are seared but still very crunchy. Add back in the chicken to reheat and then add in the sauce, adding water/stock/rice wine as needed to keep the sauce from getting too thick. Add in the green parts of the scallions and remaining Sichuan peppercorns just before serving. Serve with steamed rice and garlic sautéed green beans or pea pods. Serves 5-6