Ramen for breakfast

Sure, I like the quesadillas fine, for breakfast lunch or dinner.  That is no reason to forget about ramen noodles.  “Ramen Noodles”-is that phrase redundant?  I suppose it depends on where the stress is.  As far as I know all ramen are noodles.  Ramen might even translate to “noodles” but I don’t think so.  “We’re having noodles, ramen noodles.”  That seems a legit construction, eh?

Anyway, Mrs J is taking a couple of the critters to the vet for their annual rabies boosters and I’m taking her temporary absence as a good time to stink up the kitchen with hot peppers.  I set some dried mushrooms and some dried red peppers to simmering in a little water to hydrate them quickly, sliced some boneless chicken and onions.  Got out the mortar and pestle and ground a tablespoon of Szechuan peppercorns.  I marinated the chicken in rice vinegar, a teaspoon each of garlic chili paste and garlic black bean sauce, a sprinkling of the peppercorns, and a splash of hot chili oil.

Time to boil the ramen, I used the water from the mushrooms and dried chilies.  Heating a pan, I added hot chili oil and started the sliced onions, then added the chicken and the rest of the ground peppercorns, the mushrooms,sliced, and the soaked red peppers.  Drain the noodles and add them to the pan and stir to coat.  I used pre-cooked shrimp, so all I needed to do was thaw them and then add them in time enough to warm them through.  Mmm…my lips are still numb from the peppercorns.  Love that stuff.

 

Mmm…ramen for lunch

 

Sigh, I just can’t quit you, Ms Ramen.  Not that I’d want to.  LOL!

Repaired a small leak in the basement this morning, a pin hole in a piece of copper water pipe.  It was right over the kitty litter boxes and has ruined about a peck of litter.  Mrs J has gone to the store for more and will stop at the grocery while she’s in town.  Good chance to indulge my “hot” tooth with a generous squirt of sriracha sauce.

Just the basic ramen stir fry-this one with some roast pork that has been laying around.  Added some carrot and broccoli, half an onion, a rib of celery and various condiment type ingredients:  Garlic, peppers, ginger, etc.  Yummy and quick.

I bought some pot stickers at the Asian grocery last trip, I may steam those tonight, and do something with shrimp.  Mmm…shrimp.

Mmm…Spicy Pork Noodles

It’s hot and miserable outside and I just refuse to go out there.  Nice in the house, cool and dark.  Well, not dark-just no bright glare from the sun.  I broke a severe sweat three days running and I hope not to have a repetition of that today.  It does give me time to catch up on my picture filing and sorting.  Just a little bit bored though.  I know!  Let’s put on a play!

No, let’s not, Spanky.

I settled for a little bit of cooking.  Today I found myself with plenty of parts to a nice stir fry.  Dug some roast pork from the freezer, rustled up a pack of ramen noodles, hunted through the fridge for veggies that looked right.  Found some snow peas that were getting on, a yellow bell pepper that was looking pretty good still, and I do have all these nice sweet onions that go bad so fast.

I like a little spice so I cooked some dried red peppers in some chili oil until they started to turn brown, then dumped in the veggies.

The pork was already cooked, so I just needed to warm it up a bit.  In it went.

Next was the sauce.  This was pretty simple:  some chicken stock with a splash of dark soy sauce, a spoonful of hot chili paste, some Splenda to sweeten it a tad, a spoonful each of garlic and ginger paste, and a spoonful of corn starch to thicken it a bit.

While all of this is happening, prepare a package of ramen per directions and drain them, toss with a little oil if you won’t be tossing them into the pan right away.  Put them in and toss everything together as  the sauce thickens.

Turned out plenty spicy and rib sticking good:

Mmm…spicy beef

It’s just hard to beat ramen noodles for a quick meal.  These I topped with some quick fried thin strips of beef, cooked along with mushrooms and dried red peppers in chili oil, then doused with a sweet chili sauce.  Mmm..mm.

Orange Chicken with a Bok Choy Stir Fry

I had a yen for the same orange chicken I’ve detailed here before.  Used the same recipe since I’ve had such good luck with it.  Tonight was no exception-the chicken was really good.  I can’t think of any way to change the recipe that would improve it.  Maybe some Szechuan peppercorns, or a lot more of the dried red peppers.  Then Mrs J would be angry.

We were at the store getting a few items and I saw they had bok choy stocked in the produce aisle.  I picked up a bunch and looked around for a recipe when we got home.  Came across this one. It looked pretty good so I used it.  Misread the recipe so I ended up using some red bell pepper instead of  “hot” red peppers but I’d do the same thing again.  I think it looks pretty.  I used the whole stalk, they used only the white parts.  Looking over the recipe again, I see I failed the “chopping bok choy stalks” test.  They got all fancy and diagonal on me.  I may make this again but with a bit of corn starch in the sweet and sour sauce just to thicken it a tad.  Not bad at all just like it was.  Some decent crunch in the white parts, and the sauce flavored it well.

Lots of pictures, I just don’t know which ones to cut:

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Beef and Broccoli with Noodles

These beef and veggie dishes are a generic “Chinese” staple for the buffets, and with good reason.  Easy to prepare and quite tasty.  Nothing special about this recipe.  Did a marinade for the thin cut beef steak, some soy sauce, a bit of garlic and ginger, some corn starch, a drizzle of oyster sauce. Decided to add a fair number of Szechuan peppercorns, I’d guess maybe a tablespoon full.  I cooked the meat in a nonstick pan and set it aside until I needed it later.

Used wheat noodles for this dish-I like ’em and that’s plenty enough reason.  I did have some rice noodles that would have worked just fine, or rice, of course.  Went ahead and cooked the noodles, drained them, and set them aside in the boiling pot, covered.

The veggies were broccoli, carrot,and onion.  I minced a good amount of garlic and ginger root and started them in some hot oil, then dumped in all the veggies, plus a wee splash of water and covered.  Let that go about five minutes then added some beef stock with cornstarch, a bit of dark soy sauce, more oyster sauce, a dash of hoisin sauce, some black vinegar, a touch of rice wine and more stuff I’ll remember later, maybe.  Stirred the cooked beef in while the sauce was thickening, the corn starch in the beef marinade helped that along.  As the sauce started to thicken I dumped in the drained noodles.  Some stirring and lifting with the tongs to coat the noodles and “dinner’s ready, Sweetie Pie”.

Enjoy

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Sesame Oil Chicken

This is not the famous sesame chicken seen here and elsewhere.  It should be famous, though.  Pretty good stuff.

This recipe came from the same place as the sesame chicken recipe above.  The whole site is worth looking over anytime you are at a loss for what to fix, or how to fix it.  Not saying that I took no liberties with the recipe but the general outline is there.

I chopped some chicken thighs into 2 or 3 pieces with my trusty cleaver and set them aside, no marinade, no seasoning, nothing.  Heat a pan and add several tablespoons of sesame oil, toss in some sliced garlic.  Give the garlic a chance to cook for just a minute and then toss in those chicken pieces, along with some dried red peppers and some Szechuan peppercorns.  Brown the chicken on all sides, then add the mixture of soy sauce, oyster sauce, and Chinese cooking wine.  Stir in some ginger paste.  Add a bit of water, maybe half cup or so.  Cover and reduce the heat.  When the chicken was done I added some cornstarch in a slurry with the sauce the chicken cooked in to thicken the sauce.  Serve with rice.

Enjoy!

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Mmm…Iced Shrimp and Fried Rice

You see these in every Chinese buffet:  Cooked shrimp on a bed of ice, the big pan of fried rice on the hot line.  I suppose I could have added some noodles in a brown sauce.  No matter, we had all we could eat.

The shrimp were steamed, then cooled quickly in ice water and served on a bed of crushed ice.  No real reason to do it that way other than it made a cool presentation.  I bet there are a million fried rice recipes out there. [1,630,000 per teh Google-Ed.]  The only way to get a good fried rice is to start with good rice, not over cooked mush.  Bring a quart of water to a rolling boil, add one cup of rice and a tablespoon of butter.  Stir once as the water returns to a boil, half cover the pot and boil for 8 minutes.  Taste the rice, you want it semi soft, not crunchy, more “al dente” than anything.  Dump the pot into a colander to drain, return the rice to the pot and cover.  It won’t hurt to cool the rice and put it into the fridge if you will be some time before you need it.  Today I used jasmine rice.

There are various ways to go about putting the fried rice dish together, not going to say which is the authentic and only true way.  I scrambled three eggs in a non stick pan and put them aside.  Chopped some broccoli, julienned some carrot with my new gadget, thawed some frozen peas, minced some garlic, added a spoonful of ginger paste to the veggies.  Diced a bit of sliced ham and added some more garlic to it.  Fired the wok, and got it smoking hot, added some oil, and tossed in a few dried red peppers.  As they started to turn black I tossed in the veggies and gave them a stir, then the ham.  Followed that with the rice, stir it all about to get it all hot, add some fish sauce and a little oyster sauce, dump in those scrambled eggs and cut them up with the spoon.  Dump into a nice serving dish and holler “dinner’s ready”!

Enjoy!

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