Spent most of the day thinking about this dish. Didn’t think hard enough, as we’ll see. The dish was going to be relentlessly green/brown and I needed something to relieve that. Trouble was I really didn’t have much to hand that would work. It wasn’t until too late I remembered that dried red chilies would be perfect. You’ll see where I remember them in the slide show. And then only when I tasted a bit of the chicken and thought “needs more heat”. Face palm.
Here’s a side that is flavorful and full of goodness. Great served with rice noodles or rice.
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 cup water
- 1 tsp (1 cube) chicken bouillon
- 6-8 mushrooms, washed & sliced
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp fresh minced ginger (or 1/2 tsp dry ginger)
- ¼ tsp crushed garlic
- 8 oz broccoli crowns
- 8 oz sliced carrots
- 6 oz can sliced water chestnuts or bamboo shoots, drained
- salt & pepper to taste
wok or deep skillet
Mix cornstarch, soy, water & bouillon*. Set aside. Heat wok, add oil and heat, then add all ingredients. Stir-fry quickly, 2 minutes, until vegetables are crisp-cooked. Add sauce, bring to boil for 1 minute or more until thickened. Let cook 2 min. more, you want vegetables to be tender but still crisp.
* you can substitute chicken broth for water and bouillon.
OK, OK, ya’ll talked me into it. Easy peasy. And anyway, I have these pics in the can already. First thing, catch a rabbit…er, buy some wraps. If you know how to make them from scratch you sure don’t need to read this. The wraps we bought had instructions and a pretty good recipe printed right on the package but if for some reason yours lack that info read on.
Nearly anything will work as stuffing for these, but cabbage will usually be the main ingredient in the ones I make. Cabbage is cheap and tastes good and I’ll wager it makes up most of the filling in the rolls you see at the buffet. You can use a food processor to chop it, but I think slicing it thin with a knife or a mandolin makes for the best texture. You’ll want to chop the resulting strands a bit shorter, perhaps. Other ingredients include: carrots, either grated or slivered, onions, green onions, bok choy, water chestnuts, bean sprouts, bamboo shoots, parsley, mushrooms, peppers, and on and on. Don’t forget the ginger root and garlic. I haven’t used turnips or parsnips but there is no reason they wouldn’t work. The same goes for the meat component: pork, chicken, beef, shrimp-all of these are classic fillings. I usually do use a food processor for the meat, pulse it until you get a mince and not a puree. Mix all of your fillings together in a bowl and flavor with some soy sauce and oyster sauce, maybe a dash or two of fish sauce. Salt and pepper.This works best if two people work together, but one can do it. Mrs J usually does the shaping and I do the frying. Kids could certainly do the rolling, though I would hesitate to allow them around a pot of hot oil. Speaking of hot oil, I use a four quart sauce pot with about a quart, maybe a quart and a half of peanut oil. It’s large enough to do three or four at a time and that pretty well keeps up with your partner. Heat the oil to 350 before you drop any thing into it, and use a thermometer. Don’t let it get past 375 or you will risk getting the outside done before the meat in the filling is cooked.
The mechanics of it: Place a single sheet of the wrap on a plate with a corner towards you. We spritz a film of oil onto the plate to prevent the wrap sticking to it, you may not need to. Now place a couple of tablespoons of the filler into the middle and smoosh it into a rough line from left to right leaving the corners uncovered. Pick up the corner nearest you and lay it across the filling, tucking the filling a bit. Now dip a finger into water and wet the left and right corners to help seal and fold them up and onto the flap you did first. Wet the top flap and roll the little bundle you have away from you right onto the top corner. Ta Da! Note: We keep the filling in a colander so it will drain well, excess liquids will soften the wrap if they sit for too long and the roll will fall apart in the oil. That’s a bad thing-the hot oil will hit the wet filling and there will be turmoil that the pot will not contain. Lots of spatter to clean up.
Your preparation and effort is rewarded!Just a note on the dipping sauces-on the left is a store bought sweet and sour dip, and on the right is a soy sauce based dip I made myself. You can replicate either sauce at home. A good subject for another post?