Visitors to this website have responded overwhelmingly positive to our posts of the last few months featuring simple and fast Chinese recipes. Here's a few more!
Cafe Drake likes this rice side dish with braised ribs or pork chops; it's also surprisingly perfect alongside spicy black beans. Unfortunately brown rice does not substitute successfully.
1 8-oz. can of crushed pineapple in natural juice / 1 1/3 cups water / 1 carrot, peeled and grated / 1 cup long-grain white rice / about 1/2 t. salt / 3 green onions, sliced / 1/2 t. sesame oil
- Drain the pineapple and pour juice into a saucepan. Add to the pan: water, carrot, rice and salt and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to medium and simmer UNCOVERED for about 6 minutes - you should see tiny "craters" appearing in the rice. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 10 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed.
- Fluff rice with a fork and add pineapple, green onions and sesame oil.
- Serve hot.
SOYBEAN FRIED RICE
The perfect use for leftover rice and that bag of shelled edamame languishing in the freezer. Oyster sauce can be found in most supermarkets in the Asian food section and the toasted nori is optional as the rice will be delicious without it as well.
1 cup shelled soybeans (edamame) , thawed / 2 t. oil / 2 cloves of garlic, minced / 4 cups of cooked, cold rice / about 2 T. or so of chicken broth / 1-2 T. oyster sauce / 2 eggs, beaten / toasted nori sheets
- Cook soybeans in salted water till tender/crisp - about 3 minutes in boiling water. Drain.
- Add oil to a large skillet and heat till very hot. Add garlic and cook for about 10 seconds, then add rice. Break up rice as needed with a spoon.
- Stir in the soybeans and cook till rice is heated through (about 2 minutes).
- Add broth and oyster sauce and stir well.
- Now make a "well" in the center of the rice and add the eggs. Stir gently, lowering heat if needed, until the eggs form soft curds.
- Serve hot top with shredded nori or as desired.
COCONUT BRAISED VEGETABLES
Leave out the pistachios if you don't have them (or forgot to add to grocery list) but the nuts add a pleasing richness and texture to this vegetarian entree or side dish. If you like, add 1 large onion, sliced, to the mix in Step 2.
5 dried shitake mushrooms (optional) / 4 cups sliced and peeled sweet potatoes / 2 cups coconut milk / 1 cup veggie broth / 1 zucchini, thinly sliced / 1 T. or so of good soy sauce / small handful of cilantro sprigs / about 1/2 cup of shelled pistachios
- If using: in a bowl soak the dried mushrooms in hot water for 10 minutes to soften. Cut into narrow strips.
- In a large saucepan combine the sweet potatoes, mushrooms, coconut milk and broth. Bring to a bowl then reduce to low and simmer until sweet potatoes are soft. This may take awhile.
- Add the zucchini and soy sauce and return to a boil. Cook for 2 minutes or until zucchini is tender.
- Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with the cilantro and nuts.
QUICK CHAR SIU
Char siu is the Cantonese term for barbecued pork, and the real thing takes hours and loads of patience. This quickie version is almost as good, especially when served with bowls of rice and a crisp veggie dish such as stir-fried broccoli and cauliflower.
1/3 cup hoisin sauce / 1/4 cup dry sherry / 3 T. honey / 2 T. sesame oil / 1 clove of garlic, minced / about 1 T. or so of grated ginger / 1/2 - 1 t. of five-spice powder / 1 lb. of boneless pork butt
- Make a marinade by mixing in a large bowl all ingredients except pork.
- Now cut the pork into very thin strips and add to marinade.
- You can let it stand at room temp for 20 minutes or, and this is best, cover and refrigerate overnight.
- When ready, preheat your broiler.
- Line a baking sheet with foil and arrange pork strips in a single layer on sheet.
- Broil for 7 minutes, turning once.
- While meat cooks, take remaining, leftover marinade and boil it in a small saucepan.
- Remove meat from oven, brush with marinade and let rest 1o minutes before serving.
So so easy. Almost too easy.
2 lbs. small clams in shells / 1 lemon, sliced thinly / a few cilantro sprigs / a T. or so of minced ginger / 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock / 3 T. dry sherry / 1 T. of butter, cut into small bits
- Scrub clams under cold running water, discarding any with overtly open shells that do not close when tapped.
- Place lemon and cilantro in a stir-fry pan and add clams on top.
- Sprinkle all with ginger, broth and wine. Dot with butter.
- Cover and cook over a high flame until shells open - about 5-7 minutes usually.
- Pour all, including cooking liquid, into a large bowl or individual soup plates and serve while hot. Make sure you have some crusty bread to soak up the juices.
FIERY PAN-FRIED SQUID
Guests at Cafe Drake always ooh and ahh over this simple, lightening-fast entree, usually served with fried rice or buttered whole wheat egg noodles. Precede with a simple salad and follow the calamari with fresh fruit and you've got an uncommonly good meal for hot weather appetites.
1 1/2 lbs. cleaned squid (sliced into rings, small bodies left whole) / 2 t. cornstarch / 1/2 t. salt / 1/4 t. five spice powder / 1/2 t. cayenne pepper / 1 T. oil / 4 cloves of garlic, minced / 2 T. minced ginger / 1 large jalapeno or 2 serrano chilies, sliced in thin rings / small handful of chopped cilantro
- Toss the squid with cornstarch and set aside.
- Heat oil over a high flame and add ginger, garlic and chilies and cook for 30 seconds. Add squid and cook until edges begin to curl (2 minutes, possibly even less).
- Add salt, five-spice powder and cayenne and mix well. Cook for another thirty seconds then serve hot.