When Takeout Isn’t an Option
I love Chinese takeout, but there isn’t a great option near me. So, I make my own! Or as best as this American with a Scandinavian heritage can muster. I prefer Jasmine rice for the base of my dishes and here is a secret – add extra water. To achiever fluffier rice I add around 1/2 cup extra water or 1 part rice to 2 parts water. The next key is that when the rice is still wet, but just starts to stick to the bottom of the pan TURN OFF THE HEAT and put on the lid. This allows the rice to absorb the extra water without half of your rice sticking to the bottom of the pan. Give it a fluff after 5-10 minutes and you will have achieved fluffy rice.
Mongolian beef is one of my favorite dishes, but making it at home takes some time. Last night I opted for Korean Beef that utilized ground beef vs steak slices. It was easy, fast and delicious.
Korean Beef Recipe
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 1 tbsp. sesame oil
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 bell pepper, diced
- 1/2 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
- Whisk together brown sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, and ground ginger in a small bowl. Set aside.
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat, brown and crumble the lean ground beef until no longer pink. Drain if necessary. Add diced bell pepper and saute for 2-3 minutes. Stir in soy sauce mixture, allowing to simmer until most of the liquid has reduced, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes.
- Serve immediately over steamed rice. Top with thinly sliced green onions.
Honey Garlic Chicken With Broccoli
Tonight I still had Asian cuisine on the brain so we went for a honey garlic chicken with roasted broccoli over rice. I prefer roasted vegetables, so I start by chopping my head of broccoli into bite size pieces and toss them in olive oil, salt and pepper. I place the broccoli on a rimmed baking sheet and set it aside while I work on my chicken. Before we dive in on the steps, here is what you need.
- 1-2 tablespoons oil
- 2 cups broccoli florets (or 1 head)
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup chicken broth or water
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 egg, stirred
- salt and pepper to taste
- Prep your sauce by mixing the soy sauce, broth, honey and garlic. Microwave for 30 seconds, then stir. Set aside.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- Next heat 1-2 Tablespoons of oil in your pan, enough to coat the bottom, medium heat should be plenty to warm things up. I like to use sunflower oil as it is good for high heat.
- Once my chicken is cut into bite size pieces, I toss it in the cornstarch. Then I add my egg and make sure all the pieces are coated. With the oil hot, place the chicken pieces in the pan. I usually do this in two rounds so as not to overcrowd the pan. You want the pieces to be lightly brown on each side, then transfer them to an oven safe baking dish. It’s ok if they are not cooked through.
- When all of your chicken has been sauted, pour the sauce over your chicken. Give it a good stir, then put your chicken and pan of broccoli in the oven for 30 minutes.
- While your oven is going, make the rice.
- After 30 minutes, mix your chicken and broccoli. Serve over rice.