Recipe Review: P.F. Chang’s Dumpling Dipping Sauce

Remember when I told you a while back that we made our first trip to Trader Joe’s?  Well, one of the things we bought while we were there was some chicken and vegetable potstickers.  They’ve been hanging out in our freezer since then and we decided to cook them up the other night and make this dipping sauce to enjoy as well.  I have no idea where I originally found this recipe – I just searched for a copy cat of P.F. Chang’s Dumpling sauce years ago and found it.

P.F. Chang’s Dumpling Dipping Sauce

(note: this image is not mine – the source can be found here)

P.F. Chang’s Dumpling Dipping Sauce

Serves: not listed, but this made enough for probably 6 servings for my husband and I, perhaps more.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1 oz white vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon chili paste
  • 1 oz sugar
  • ½ teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • sesame oil, to taste
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tbsp cilantro leaves

DIRECTIONS

  1. Combine all ingredients.

THOUGHTS

  • My husband loved this – I thought it was waaaay too salty.  I added a lot more sugar to mine and it was much tastier that way (for me at least).
  • I’ve recently found a post on the P.F. Chang’s website that shows their recipe for their sauce.  I think I’ll be trying this sometime soon.  However, after looking over the ingredients I don’t think they were 100% forthcoming.  We’ll see.

You can view all of the recipes I’ve posted by clicking here.

 

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Recipe Review: Benihana Style Chicken Fried Rice

Have you ever been to Benihana’s?  We LOVE their food… it’s so delicious!  However, they’re a tad pricey.  So, when I ran across this recipe for copy cat Benihana Chicken Fried Rice you know I had to give it a shot.

Please note that some changes to the original recipe were found here.

Benihana Style Chicken Fried Rice (click photo to see source)

Benihana Style Chicken Fried Rice (click photo to see source)

Benihana Style Chicken Fried Rice

Serves:  2 as a side dish (we doubled the recipe and it made enough for 2 people as a main course with no sides)

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 ounces cooked chicken
  • 8 ounces steamed rice
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tablespoons onion, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons carrot, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons green onion, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons green peas
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seed, plus more to taste
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, freshly grated
  • 6 pinches pepper
  • 6 pinches salt (optional)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Scramble eggs and chop after cooking.
  2. Sauté chopped onion, green onion, seasoning and carrots in the oil until done and mix with chopped scrambled egg and chicken.
  3. Mix steamed rice with vegetable, egg and chicken.
  4. Add sesame seed, minced garlic, ginger, salt and pepper, stirring well.
  5. Add butter and soy sauce into the mixture, stirring well until done.

THOUGHTS

  • This dish was very tasty.  My husband would be happy if I made this weekly.
  • I actually baked one whole chicken breast the night before (about ½ lb) and used that (which resulted in more than 2oz of chicken)
  • I would have been happy with 3 cloves of garlic and only 2 Tablespoons of butter.  It was a smidge too buttery for Chinese food in my opinion.
  • I didn’t have any fresh ginger on hand and didn’t want to purchase some for just this one dish so instead, I used about 1/8 teaspoon of grated powdered ginger.
  • I did not add the optional salt

You can view all of the recipes I’ve posted by clicking here.

 

Recipe Review: Asian Spaghetti

I’ve mentioned before that I have a hard time successfully cooking Asian food for some reason.  I have no idea why, but that ability eludes me frequently.  However, the other night I made this dish from Taste of Home and it was delicious.

asian spaghetti

Asian Spaghetti

Serves:  5 (haha, yeah right – more like 2 to 3 if you’re eating this as your only side like we did)

INGREDIENTS

  • 8 ounces uncooked angel hair pasta
  • 1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 cup fresh snow peas
  • 3/4 cup shredded carrots
  • 4 green onions, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted

DIRECTIONS

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, sauté the mushrooms, snow peas, carrots and onions in oil until crisp-tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, sugar and cayenne. Drain pasta. Add pasta and soy sauce mixture to skillet and toss to coat. Heat through. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

THOUGHTS

  • I purchased presliced mushrooms and matchstick carrots which meant the only thing I had to chop was 4 scallions – this dish came together in a flash!  Great for a quick weeknight meal.  We served this with chicken marinated in a 30-minute Asian marinade I found near the salad dressings and BBQ sauce at our local grocery store.
  • This dish is a bit strong in the soy sauce department in my opinion but my husband disagrees.  I am not a huge lover of soy sauce like he is however.  I think next time I’ll use ½ soy sauce and ½ water or perhaps try tamari sauce which is supposedly a less salty, richer tasting type of soy sauce.

You can view all of the recipes I’ve posted by clicking here.

 

Recipe Review: Orange-Chicken Rice Bowl

I think I’ve mentioned before that I stink at making Chinese food.  Sometimes, however, I stumble across a recipe that does most of the work for me, like this one

orange-chicken rice bowl

Orange-Chicken Rice Bowl

Serves: 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 1lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
  • ¼ cup Asian Toasted Sesame Dressing
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • 3 cups frozen stir-fry vegetables
  • 3 cups hot cooked long-grain white rice
  • ¼ cup chopped salted peanuts

DIRECTIONS

  1. Heat large nonstick skillet on medium-high heat. Add chicken; stir-fry 5 to 7 min. or until done.
  2. Stir in dressing and juice. Bring to boil. Add vegetables; cook 5 to 7 min. or until heated through, stirring occasionally.
  3. Serve over rice; top with nuts.

THOUGHTS

  • The flavor of this dish is great, but I prefer mine with more sauce so I think next time I’ll double the sauce contents (the dressing and orange juice). 
  • I’m not an enormously huge fan of broccoli in my Chinese food and most frozen stir-fry mixes are at least 50% broccoli.  I think next time I’ll use half a bag of stir-fry mix and half a bag of frozen bell peppers and onions. 
  • This is definitely a quick and easy weeknight meal. 

You can view all of the recipes I’ve posted by clicking here.

Recipe Review: Spicy Asian Lettuce Wraps

I found this recipe via Cooking Light.  You can view it here.  I made this for lunch the other day and it was scrumptious and easy. 

Spicy Asian Lettuce Wraps

Spicy Asian Lettuce Wraps

Serves: 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 2-1/2 ounces bean threads (cellophane noodles)
  • ¼ cup minced fresh cilantro
  • ¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon chile paste with garlic
  • 2 teaspoons dark sesame oil
  • 2 cups chopped roasted boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 12 large Boston or romaine lettuce leaves

DIRECTIONS

  1. Cover bean threads with boiling water. Let stand for 5 minutes or until softened. Drain, and rinse under cool water. Chop noodles.
  2. While bean threads soak, combine cilantro, soy sauce, chile paste, and oil in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add noodles and chicken to soy sauce mixture; toss well to coat. Spoon about 1/3 cup chicken mixture down center of each lettuce leaf; roll up.

THOUGHTS

  • I didn’t know what the heck bean threads were and I had mung bean sprouts (those white, crunchy sprouts that are next to alfalfa spouts) on hand so I used those instead.  Bean threads are actually made from mung bean starch… so it’s kinda the same thing. This allowed me to skip step 1.
    mung bean sprouts

    mung bean sprouts

    bean threads / cellophane noodles

    bean threads / cellophane noodles

  • I also didn’t have cooked chicken on hand so I went ahead and cooked my chicken with the mixture of cilantro, soy sauce, chile paste, and sesame oil until no longer pink.  Then I added the mung bean sprouts and let that heat for about 5 minutes.  All in all, it took about 15 minutes.  If you had roasted chicken on hand, you could assemble this dish in about 5 minutes. 
  • Personally I didn’t feel like this made enough for 4 people for a ‘main dish.’  It would feed 2, however.  I split the dish in half and packaged it separately from my lettuce and brought both to work with me.  I tore my lettuce up, warmed my chicken mixture and ate this dish like a salad.  Delish!
  • These were definitely not spicy in my opinion.  If you think you’d prefer them spicy, I’d add a touch of red pepper flakes. 

I’ve linked up to these great parties:

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UndertheTableandDreaming

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Recipe Review: Chicken and Pepper Eggrolls

I have no earthly idea where I originally found this recipe.  However, I was able to locate it online again here.

Chicken and Pepper Eggrolls

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into thin strips
  • 2 large bell peppers (any color) cut into thin strips (I used red and green as per the picture)
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
  • 12 egg roll wrappers
  • Oil for frying*

DIRECTIONS

  1. Heat large pan over medium-high heat and add 2 Tablespoons oil.  Cook chicken strips just until no longer pink.  Push to one side of pan.
  2. Add pepper and onion and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often.
  3. Add soy sauce, garlic and ginger and stir well.  Cook until most liquid has evaporated.
  4. Remove from heat and cool for 15 minutes.  This is important!  Adding hot ingredients to the egg roll wrappers will cause them to break down and leak
  5. Once cooled, lay several strips of chicken, onion and peppers in the center of an egg roll wrapper that has been laid on a surface with one point toward you.  Fold the right point over and under the filling.  Fold the top and bottom points down and roll from right to left, securing the left point with a touch of water.
  6. Repeat with all wrappers and filling.  Heat ½ inch of oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Fry* egg rolls, turning over once during cooking, until golden brown.  Drain on paper towels.

* Alternately, these can be baked in the oven at 350 degrees F for 10-12 minutes or until browned.

THOUGHTS

Oooook – lots to say on this one!

  • First off – these were quite tasty.  My husband preferred them with a bit of extra soy sauce.  I did feel like they were missing something but couldn’t quite put my finger on what.  Perhaps a little spice?  I’m not really sure.  They’re definitely worth making again though!
  • My first attempt at using eggroll wrappers (documented here) went much smoother.  I think it’s because I didn’t cut my chicken into strips (it was more like chunks) and I just had a really hard time getting these suckers to roll right.  They ended up looking rather goofy.  The good news is – it doesn’t change the taste!
  • I definitely prefer using egg wash over water to help secure the eggrolls.  Basically you take 1 egg, crack it and stir it real good with a whisk.  Then use a basting brush to run the egg along the sides and the ‘tips.’  It sticks much better than when you use water!
  • Lastly – I fried these suckers in peanut oil.  I’ve heard that peanut oil is the best for frying but guess what?  I’ve never fried anything!  They turned out ok and were fairly crispy but still too oily for my taste.  I think next time I’ll try baking them instead!
  • It took more than 12 wrappers to roll all of the filling.  Luckily I had extra wrappers.  If you don’t though, just throw the extra filling on top of some cooked rice for lunch the next day.  Yum!

I’ve linked up to these great parties:

Under the Table and Dreaming
I Heart Nap Time
Delightful Order
One Artsy Mama
This Gal Cooks
Uncommon Designs
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Chef in Training
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Recipe Review: Chicken with Peanut Sauce and Lo Mein Noodles

I consider myself a pretty good cook.  Truthfully, we have very little ‘fails’ at our house in the kitchen… unless it’s lasagna, but that’s a story for another day.  Anyway, one of the few things that for the life of me I just can’t seem to cook right is Chinese food.  I mean I truly suck at it.  If we’re going to have a fail, it’s probably going to be because I tried to make Chinese food.  If we’re really craving it, we order out because that’s a sure thing.  However, when money is tight or I just happen to have a bag of stir-fry veggies in my freezer sometimes I’ll get a wild hair up my bum and try to make Chinese food at home.  This particular recipe is one I’ve made a few times and that my husband loves.  I don’t love it, but I don’t hate it.  Truthfully it’s really high in salt to me (although most things are) and as I’m not a huge fan of peanuts (or peanut butter) this isn’t particularly up my alley.  That being said, I do think this recipe is worth sharing… at least according to my husband.

I’m fairly certain that I got the original recipe out of a Cooking Light magazine however I scoured the internet and cannot find this recipe anywhere.  So, excuse the crummy picture… it’s been scanned in from the now several-years-old magazine page that I tore out.

Chicken with Peanut Sauce and Lo Mein Noodles

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

  • 8 ounces wide lo mein noodles (I can never find these, so I use linguine or fettuccine noodles instead)
  • 14-ounce can of fat-free, reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 1/8 cup reduced fat creamy peanut butter (I use full-fat regular creamy Jiff)
  • 2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons sweet chili sauce (such as Maggi)
  • 2 Tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons dark sesame oil, divided
  • Cooking Spray
  • 1 pound chicken breasts (or tenders) cut into bite-size pieces
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 18-ounce package of frozen stir-fry veggies
  • 3 Tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped, unsalted, dry-roasted peanuts

DIRECTIONS

  1. Cook lo mein (fettuccine or linguine) noodles according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain.
  2. Combine chicken broth, and next 4 ingredients in a small bowl; stir well with whisk.  Set aside.
  3. While lo mein noodles cook, heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large, deep nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat.  Add chicken to pan; sauté 6 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink and is completely cooked through.  Remove from pan and set aside.
  4. Add remaining 1 teaspoon oil to pan.  Add garlic and ginger to pan; sauté 30 seconds (be careful not to let it burn!).  Add vegetables to pan; sauté 4 minutes or just until crisp-tender.  Stir in peanut butter mixture.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; cook 5 minutes or until thick.  Return chicken to pan; cook 2 minutes or until chicken is thoroughly heated.  Add noodles; toss well.  Top each serving with chopped basil and peanuts.

THOUGHTS

  • If you know you’re going to be in a hurry, you can prepare the peanut butter mixture the night before and just let it sit in the fridge overnight.
  • I found it unnecessary to thaw my vegetables before cooking which is nice as I usually forget to take them out of the freezer until right before I start cooking
  • It usually takes longer than 5 minutes for the peanut butter mixture to thicken up.  Give it enough time or else your dish will be really watery.  It’s ready when it coats your spoon and doesn’t immediately run off.

I’ve linked up to these great parties:

Bloom Designs
Chef in Training
Delightful Order
Happy Hour Projects
One Artsy Mama
Skip to My Lou
Under the Table and Dreaming