Sunday, February 21, 2016

Mochiko Chicken

2 TBSP mochiko flour
2 TBSP cornstarch
2 TBSP sugar
2 TBSP soy sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 inch piece of fresh ginger, grated
2 TBSP thinly sliced green onions
1 egg, beaten
1 lb boneless chicken thighs
oil for frying

Combine all ingredients except chicken thighs and oil for frying. Mix until smooth (should be the consistency of pancake batter). Cut chicken thighs into 1-2 inch cubes/pieces. Allow chicken to marinate in batter for 4 hours (or overnight). Heat oil (about 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep) in frying pan over medium-high heat. Fry chicken in small batches until deep golden brown on both sides.

Japanese Fried Chicken (Karaage)

1 lb boneless chicken thighs
3 TBSP soy sauce
1 TBSP sake
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, grated
about 1/2 c potato starch
oil for frying
couple drops of sesame oil, optional

Cut chicken thighs into 1-2 inch cubes/pieces. Mix chicken, soy sauce, sake and ginger, and marinate for about 30 minutes. Heat oil in frying pan over medium high heat (or heat in deep fryer to 350 degrees) - add a couple of drops of sesame oil to add extra flavor, if desired. Toss potato starch with the chicken (use enough potato starch to coat the chicken). Fry in small batches until deep golden brown.

TIP: Can substitute corn starch for the potato starch.
TIP: If marinating more than 30 minutes, use less soy sauce (about 2 TBSP).

Friday, February 19, 2016

Roasted Broccoli

2 heads of broccoli, cut into small/medium florets
olive oil
salt & pepper to taste
2-3 cloves garlic, minced (optional)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Drizzle olive oil over broccoli and sprinkle with salt/pepper. Mix until broccoli is well coated. Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, stirring 1-2 times. If using garlic, add it in for the last 5 minutes of baking.

TIP: This is also good with 1/2 lemon squeezed over top after it is roasted, and then 1/4 c shredded parmesan mixed in at the end. Could add 1/4 c roasted pine nuts as well.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Banana Muffins

1/4 c packed brown sugar
1/3 c oil
2 eggs
3 mashed ripe bananas
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 c flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 c semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine brown sugar, oil, eggs until well mixed. Stir in bananas and vanilla. Mix in flour, baking powder, and baking soda, just until moistened (do not overmix). Gently stir in chocolate chips. Pour into 12 muffin cups and bake for 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

TIP: I use a 1/4 cup dry measuring cup to divide the mixture into the muffin cups.
TIP: Can be used to make mini muffins - reduce baking time to 20 minutes or so.
TIP: Can be used to make banana bread - increase baking time to about 1 hour. Can also later slice the bread and make sticks, then bake sticks in oven at 150 deg for 1 hour to make teething biscuits (similar to biscotti).

Japanese Braised Pork Belly (Buta no kakuni)

1 lb pork belly (or boneless country-style ribs)
2 TBSP sugar
1" piece of fresh ginger, grated
1 star anise (optional)
3 TBSP soy sauce
3 TBSP sake
2 c water

Heat heavy sauce pan over medium high heat. Cut pork belly into 1-2 inch cubes. Brown pork belly cubes on all sides (no need for oil). Once all sides are brown, add sugar and stir to coat meat with sugar and allow the sugar to caramelize. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for about 3 hours, turning occasionally, until pork is very tender.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Easy Eggplant Pizza

1 medium eggplant, thinly sliced
1 TBSP olive oil
salt, pepper, garlic powder to taste
1/3 c shredded parmesan cheese
1/3 c tomato sauce (or pizza sauce)
1/2 c shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease 1-2 baking sheets. Lightly coat eggplant slices with olive oil and season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Place in a single layer on the baking sheet. Bake for 5 minutes. Flip the eggplant slices over and top with parmesan cheese. Bake an additional 5 minutes. Spread a small spoonful of tomato sauce on each eggplant slice and then top with mozzarella cheese. Bake an additional 5 minutes or until cheese is bubbly.

TIP: Slice the eggplant about 1/8-1/4 inch thick
TIP: If you want to get the cheese golden brown, you can broil on high for 1-2 minutes at the end.

Sunday, February 07, 2016

Asian Crispy Dry-Fried Chicken Wings (San Tung attempt)

For the wings:
Oil for deep frying
2 c corn starch
1 1/2 c water
3 lbs chicken wings (about 24)
salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Heat oil to 350 degrees in deep fryer or dutch oven. Rinse wings and pat dry with paper towels. Season with salt and pepper. Place 1/2 c cornstarch in a bowl. In another bowl mix together remaining 1 1/2 c cornstarch with 1 1/2 c water.  Dredge 6-8 wings at a time into the cornstarch and then into the water/cornstarch mixture (be sure to stir the water/cornstarch mixture before dipping because the cornstarch will settle to the bottom of the bowl). Fry the first batch of 6-8 wings for 5 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove wings and let sit on wire rack (put paper towels under the rack) for 5 minutes. While the first batch rests, prepare and fry the second batch of 6-8 wings. After the second batch has been fried, return the first batch to the fryer for 5 more minutes. Drain on wire rack and then place pan in the oven to stay warm.  Return the second batch to the fryer for 5 more minutes. Repeat until all wings have been cooked. Each batch will be fried for a total of 10 minutes with a 5 minute rest period in the middle.

For the sauce:
3 TBSP soy sauce
1/2 c sugar
1/4 c water
3 cloves garlic
1 TBSP rice vinegar
1 tsp fish sauce
1/4 tsp siracha (or more if you like it spicy)
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
Dash black or white pepper
Cilantro and green onions to garnish

In a small saucepan, combine all ingredients (except cilantro and green onions) and cook over medium heat until thickened. Toss the wings in sauce and garnish with cilantro and green onions.

Homemade Fruit Gummies

2/3 c. fruit puree (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, etc)
1/3 c. orange juice 1 TBSP lemon juice
2-3 TBSP honey
3 TBSP unflavored gelatin

If fruit is not already pureed, puree the fruit in a blender or using an immersion blender (you may want to strain through a fine mesh strainer). Heat fruit, orange juice, lemon juice, and honey in a small sauce pan until boiling. Very gradually stir in gelatin, whisking constantly. Cook until gelatin is completely dissolved. Pour into silicone molds and freeze 20-30 minutes. Remove from molds and store in air-tight container in refrigerator.

TIP:  You can use any combination of fruit and juice, as long as the total is 1 cup (can use all juice, or 1/2 juice and 1/2 fruit puree, etc)
TIP: If you use raspberries, you will probably want to strain the puree through a fine mesh strainer to remove seeds, otherwise, I usually don't strain the puree.
TIP:  If you sprinkle the gelatin in very slowly and whisk constantly, you shouldn't get any lumps, but if you get lumps that you are unable to whisk out, you can blend the mixture in a blender or with an immersion blender to get rid of the lumps.
TIP:  The mixture will look clear and glassy when the gelatin is dissolved (it may be cloudy if the gelatin is not completely dissolved.
TIP:  If you do not have silicone molds (I use chocolate molds), you can pour the mixture into a 9x9 inch glass baking dish and cut into squares after the gelatin has set.
TIP: Gummies can be stored for a couple of weeks in the refrigerator. You can store them for a couple of days at room temperature, but they will be softer.

Mini Cheesecakes (with Strawberry Topping)

2/3 c graham cracker crumbs (about 4 long crackers)
2 TBSP sugar
2 TBSP butter, melted

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line muffin tin lined with 12 paper liners. Crush or use food processor to create 2/3 c graham cracker crumbs. Mix with sugar and melted butter. Press about on tablespoon of mixture into bottom of each muffin liner. Bake in preheated oven for 5 minutes.

2 packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 c sugar
3 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs

Combine all ingredients until smooth. Pour over graham cracker crusts. Bake an additional 25 minutes at 325 degrees. Cool completely and serve. If you are not serving them immediately, but sure to store in refrigerator. Once cooled, top with fresh fruit and/or whipped cream; or top with strawberry topping (below); or fruit gel topping from this site.

Strawberry topping:
1 to 1.5 c sliced strawberries (fresh, or thawed if frozen)
2 TBSP sugar
1 1/2 tsp unflavored gelatin
2 TBSP lemon juice

Pour 2 TBSP lemon juice over 2 tsp gelatin and let sit 3-5 minutes. Heat 1-1.5 cups of strawberries and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat until strawberries begin to break down. Stir in gelatin mixture and mix until gelatin is completely dissolved. Cool to room temperature and then spoon or pour over mini cheesecakes. Return to refrigerator for 2-3 hours until topping is set.

TIP: can use 2 tsp cornstarch mixed with tsp of water to thicken the strawberry topping (it will be less firm than the gelatin version listed above)
TIP: can use other fruits (blueberries, raspberries, etc) to make the fruit topping as well.