Beef and Broccoli

Wanting to use the wok while it’s out, checking on the seasoning job.  It worked pretty well.  I expect it will get better with use.
These are sliced from a flat iron steak and were marinated in sesame oil and chili garlic paste.Set the cooked beef aside and add more oil to the pan.  I added the cut broccoli with some onion, added a splash of water, and covered for four minutes.  Stir it once or twice and add more water, a little at a time as it boils off and steams the veggies.  Add back the beef and let it heat through.
I made a sauce of chicken broth and soy sauce, sesame oil, minced ginger and garlic, a couple of slugs of Chinese cooking wine, a spoonful of chili garlic paste, and enough cornstarch to thicken it when added.
When the beef and veggies are cooked pour the sauce and stir until it thickens.
Serve over rice and garnish with sesame seeds and green onions.Combining my hobbies –  cooking, eating, and watching cooking and eating videos.

Wok This Way*

I mentioned the reversible range  grates the other day that helped with that humongous griddle, here is one flipped for a round bottomed wok.Naturally I had to get a round bottomed wok .  I had one years ago that came with a ring – I think it went away in a yard sale.   I wish I still had it.  This one is really too heavy to flip one handed.  I guess the helper handle should have given that away.It needed seasoning.  Scrub it out and then heat it till it discolors from the flame and then rub with an oil soaked wad of paper towels.  It will smoke!  Do it several times.  These Youtubes will walk you through it.  I sacrificed a kitchen towel instead of paper towels.  Be careful!  Hot stuff!Chicken, peppers, carrots, and snow peas with a side of green beans stir fried with soy and oyster sauces.  The sauce for the chicken and snow peas was a simple chicken broth with ginger and some sweet chili sauce, thickened with cornstarch..  I added some sambal and chili oil to mine at the table.

*Apologies to Run-DMC


Mmm… Stir Fry Green Beans

DSC_9715 (1600x1060)I always add the green beans to my plate whenever we hit the Chinese buffet that’s located in the same complex that holds the grocery store and the farm goods retailer.  I tell myself I’m going to make them next time I have some fresh beans but I never seem to remember.  I made a point of making them today since I was already set on stir fry.  They aren’t too hard, trim to the size you like and cook them in oil with minced garlic in whatever measure you like.  I added sliced onions to these and cooked them for three or four minutes before adding a splash of water and covering the pan.  Cook for another few minutes, add a slug of oyster sauce and toss to coat.  Cover and reduce the heat until you are ready to plate.  I cut the onions too small this time.DSC_9712 (1600x1060)The main dish was chicken and snow peas in a spicy brown sauce over rice.  Cut up the chicken into bite sized pieces and marinate in soy sauce, minced garlic, a splash of Chinese cooking wine, a few tablespoons of water or stock, a tablespoon of chili garlic paste, and a spoonful of corn starch.  I usually make additional sauce that is similar to the marinade but with more stock and a splash of oyster sauce or sugar to sweeten it a tad.  I find that if I nuke the snow peas for a minute or two in the microwave all they take is another minute in the wok, added with the extra sauce when the chicken is finished.

Chicken-Cashew Stir-Fry

It doesn’t get much easier than this.  You can substitute another chicken breast for the boneless thighs if you desire.  This goes from prep to table in 20 minutes.  Start the rice cooking before you begin prepping the stir-fry and both should finish up at the same time.  To save time you can buy stir-fry vegetable mixes, either in the produce section of the store (remember to wash thoroughly before using) or in the freezer section.  I usually add some chopped green onions to the mix, but it’s optional.

Chicken-Cashew Stir-Fry

  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp oil (sesame oil if desired)
  • 2 boneless chicken breasts, cubed
  • 3 boneless chicken thighs, cubed
  • 4 oz sliced carrots
  • 4 oz broccoli crowns
  • 4 oz snow peas
  • 1 small yellow squash, sliced
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • ¾ cup whole cashews

wok or deep skillet

Mix together chicken broth and soy sauce, add cornstarch, mix well. Set aside. Heat 1 tbsp oil in wok, add chicken and stir-fry quickly, 5 – 7 minutes, move to one side. Add remaining oil, when heated, add vegetables and stir-fry additional 5 minutes. Mix chicken, vegetable and soy mixture, bring to a boil 1 minute, reduce heat and let simmer 2-4 minutes and add cashews. Serve over rice or rice noodles.

Fried Rice

I made a couple of cups (pre cooking) of rice last night for the chicken chili, Mrs J didn’t eat any of it so there was spare.  What to do with leftover rice?  Fried rice!This is easy enough to make, the only drawback being the low BTU output of most stove top burners.  A workaround I use to get by is a cast iron wok, it holds the heat much better than one of the usual thin steel woks, takes a lot longer to heat up though.

You need to get all of the ingredients assembled before you start. Beat some eggs as you see in the center there, the rest clockwise from the left are: ham, then shredded carrots and peas, onions and garlic with ginger paste, and the rice.  Now heat your pan, doesn’t have to be a wok, any nice pan will do, just make sure it’s large enough to hold everything with room to toss it around.  Ok, fire the wok and when it gets hot add some oil.  I use peanut oil because it doesn’t smoke too bad.  When the oil does begin to smoke toss in the veggies, stir them around and when they’ve begun to turn take them out and set aside. 

When the wok heats back up, add some more oil and toss in the ham.  Let it get good and warm and then stir in the eggs.  Stir them about until they’re set and then remove everything again.  Let the wok heat back up. Add more oil.  Now it’s time to dump all the rice in, stir it around to get it nice and warm, then add a splash of soy sauce and some oyster sauce.

When you have it stirred well and the rice is hot, add back the veggies and the ham and scrambled eggs.  Bring it all back up to heat and then remove to a serving dish.  Now ring the dinner bell!


Fish and Cats

Cooking fish with cats in the house takes on a whole new dimension.  At least in my house, it drives them wild.  There is all manner of misbehavior going on – and begging.  How un-cat like, how undignified.  My favorite way to serve fish is brushed lightly with oil and then broiled or grilled and served with lemon juice.  I like firm white fishes, cod, haddock and meaty fillets like swordfish and tuna. 


Here’s a nice light, quick recipe.  Serve with rice and a vegetable.


Fish in Lime Sauce

  • 4-6 oz fresh white fish
  • ¼ cup white wine (non-alcoholic ok)
  • ¼ cup chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp limejuice
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp honey
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp ground coriander
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ red pepper, seeded and sliced
  • ½ green pepper, seeded and sliced

wok or skillet


Cut fish into large cubes. Mix together wine, broth, cornstarch, honey & spices, set aside.  Heat ½ oil in wok or skillet and sauté peppers 1 to 2 minutes, remove from wok.  Heat remaining oil, add fish and stir-fry 2 to 3 minutes until fish flakes easily.  Push fish to the sides of the wok, add sauce to middle, cook and stir until it bubbles and thickens. Return peppers to the wok, stir all ingredients together and cook for 1 minute.