Well, there went September, huh?? It's my favorite month of the year (and not just because it's my birthday month) yet it seemed to fly by in one blink! Then again, we're almost halfway through October and it feels like it just started. This summer was one of our busiest, with 5 awesome weddings scattered across the globe (okay, mostly the Northeast but Puerto Rico and Florida too!). We were traveling somewhere or other for 6 weekends in a row beginning in August and lasting through mid-September, so needless to say there wasn't much food photography going on midweek between laundry, errands, and packing. I feel like I'm finally back on my game and then some, trying new recipes most nights each week. I've got lots of great ones to share in the coming weeks, provided that I get back on my blogging game as well. That remains to be seen...
Don's favorite Chinese take-out item is General Tso's Chicken, so last month I decided to treat him to a homemade version. It was surprisingly easy and had relatively few ingredients compared to much of the Asian/Southeast Asian cooking I do. Probably not the healthiest, but worth the indulgence and certainly healthier than the take-out version. The original recipe called for deep-frying, but I pan-fried the chicken instead.
Have I mentioned Rasa Malaysia before? If you love Asian food as much as I do, then you must check out this blog. The recipes are easy to follow, contain ingredients that are easy to find (having an Asian grocery definitely helps sometimes), and result in some amazing, exotic flavors. Pad See Ew is another one of her recipes I've made. Recently I've also tried her Malaysian Curry Laksa... I can't remember if I took pictures of it but let's hope!
General Tso's Chicken
adapted from Rasa Malaysia
2-3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized cubes
1/2 tbsp Shaoxing wine (I used Mirin, the Japanese version)
1/3 cup cornstarch
1" fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
4-5 dried red chiles, reconstituted in water and chopped, or 2-3 jalepenos, chopped (seeded if too hot)
2 scallions, diced, white and green parts separated
3 tbsp rice vinegar
2 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tsp Hoisin sauce
1/4 cup water
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tbsp Shaoxing (or Mirin) wine
1 tsp cornstarch
Marinate the chicken pieces in the wine and a good pinch of salt for about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, mix all the sauce ingredients together and set aside.
Heat 1-2 tbsp oil in a wok over medium-high heat. Coat the chicken in cornstarch, then pan-fry until almost cooked through (add more oil if needed). Add the ginger, garlic, chiles, and white parts of the scallions. Cook until aromatic, then pour the sauce into the wok. Stir to combine and cook until the sauce thickens a bit.
Serve immediately with rice and some veggies (we had asparagus).