Peppered Chicken & Steamed Halibut with Ginger serves four
Very seldom, if ever do we make Chinese food at home because…1) we think it’s too much work and 2) it’s easier to go to a Chinese restaurant for the assortment. Yes, you will get more selection from going out but you can experiment with a couple of delicious recipes at home that will be on par with any fine Chinese restaurant. Aside from these two main dishes, you can add sides like fried rice and an easy broccoli (gai lan) with oyster sauce to round out the menu for variety. The rice and vegetables for peppered chicken can be made in advance & easily re-heated.
Steamed Halibut with Ginger (fresh & lovely Asian dish)
1 lb. halibut fillet – 1 tsp. coarse kosher or sea salt
1 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger – 3 Tbsp. thinly sliced green onion
1 Tbsp. dark soy sauce – 1 Tbsp. light soy sauce
1 Tbsp. peanut oil – 2 tsp. toasted sesame oil
¼ cup lightly packed fresh cilantro sprigs
Pat halibut dry with paper towels. Rub both sides of fillet with salt. Scatter the ginger over the top of the fish and place onto heatproof ceramic dish.
Place into a bamboo steamer (widely available in Chinatown) set over several inches of gently boiling water, and cover. Gently steam for 10 to 12 minutes.
Pour accumulated water out of the dish and sprinkle the fillet with green onion. Pour both soy sauces over the surface of the fish.
Heat peanut oil and sesame oils in a small skillet over medium-high heat until they begin to smoke. When the oil is hot, carefully pour on top of the halibut fillet. The very hot oil will cause the green onions and water on top of the fish to pop and spatter all over – be careful. Garnish with cilantro sprigs and serve immediately.
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
1 cup soup stock (chicken or vegetable)
1 hot pepper, diced
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 cup onion, diced
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
2-3 green peppers, diced
1 cucumber, diced
2 sweet red peppers, diced
1 lb. uncooked chicken meat, cut into ½ or 1 inch pieces
Marinate the chicken meat with 1 Tbsp. cornstarch and 1 Tbsp. soy sauce for ½ hour. Fry in peanut or sesame oil until brown and tender. *Saute all vegetables with remaining ingredients and stir constantly. Combine meat and vegetables. Serve hot. *If vegetables were made in advance, just reheat with the chicken meat.
For the Gai Lan (Chinese broccoli) with oyster sauce – parboil 2 lbs. fresh gai lan (or you can even use broccolini) in boiling water for 3 minutes with a pinch of salt. For sauce: 1 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. sugar, 2 Tbsp. dark soy sauce, 1 Tbsp. sherry wine vinegar, 4 Tbsp. oyster sauce, 1 finely minced slice of ginger.
Heat saucepan with oil, sauté broccoli for about 2 minutes, remove and pour sauce ingredients over top with ½ tsp. cornstarch which will thicken it like gravy. Pour a few drops of sesame oil over the broccoli and serve hot.
Fried rice is easy. Make or use leftover cold rice (it can be plain, jasmine or basmati) and fry in peanut oil with two beaten eggs, cut-up green onion, fresh or frozen cut green beans, mushrooms, peas and a bit of soy sauce, Chinese five spice (optional) & salt to taste. Garnish with green onion. You can also add shrimp, diced chicken meat or crab. *Make sure to pour slowly the beaten eggs with a bit of salt over the rice so that they will coat it but not settle in lumps.
Have you tried making Chinese food? It’s a lot easier than you think.