Let me start by saying I've never really liked Chinese food. I know what you're thinking, "Why are you blogging about it then?" Well, my husband and my daughter love it. They go to the Chinese Buffet together a lot. It's their "Daddy Daughter Time", which is fine by me. They get to bond and I don't really like Chinese food, anyway. It just doesn't sit well with me. I always end up with a tummy ache when I eat at a Chinese restaurant. Well, one day I was watching Food Network and I saw a recipe for Pork Fried Rice using left over pork. I always have left over pork tenderloin or chops and I never know what to do with it, so I tried the recipe...and I liked it! So, then I tried cooking a few more Chinese dishes at home and I liked them, too! I liked that I could control the quality of the ingredients and the amount of sodium in the dishes when I made them myself. When food is fresher, it is obviously better. So make your own Chinese food at home. It's easy and delicious. Plus, you'll save a lot of money compared to the Buffet. "Daddy Daughter Time" still happens, but we all get to enjoy Chinese more often when we make it at home.
This first recipe is the Pork Fried Rice. The first time I made it my son called it "Chinese Jambalaya".
PORK FRIED RICE
1 TBS Canola oil
1/2 onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp fresh ginger, minced (Tip: peel your ginger root and keep it in a zip top bag in the freezer. It'll keep longer and you can grate it easier when frozen)
2 cups left over cooked pork, cubed
2 cups cold cooked rice (use left over rice or make ahead and chill in fridge- must be cold)
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
2 TBS sesame oil
pepper to taste
1 green onion, sliced
Heat large skillet to medium-high heat. Saute onion, carrot, garlic and ginger in canola oil for 2-3 minutes. Add pork and cook for 2 more minutes. Push everything to one side. Beat eggs in a bowl then put into skillet (where you made room). Scramble eggs. Mix everything together. Add rice to skillet and saute till heated through. Add soy sauce and sesame oil. Stir to combine. Season to taste with pepper. Garnish with green onions.
I always make this next recipe to go with the Pork Fried Rice. My son loves it!
WON TON SOUP
2 cans chicken broth
1/2 cup left over meat (pork, chicken, etc.), finely diced
1 carrot, finely diced
1 green onion, diced
1 tsp low sodium soy sauce
12 won ton wrappers (I find these in the produce aisle for some reason, they are refrigerated)
Mix meat, carrot, green onion and soy sauce in a bowl. Spoon 1 tsp of filling into the center of each won ton wrapper. Dip your finger in a little bowl of water and wet the edges of the wrapper, all the way around. Pull corners up to the center and twist, forming a "beggar's purse". It should look like this:
Let them sit for a few minutes or they'll fall apart in the soup. Meanwhile, heat broth in a pot to a simmer. Gently place won tons in simmering broth. Let them gently simmer for 5 minutes, without stirring. Garnish with extra green onions, if desired.
Another fun side to make with this meal is Crispy Sesame Won Tons. These are very tasty and addictive! But don't worry 'cause they are low fat, too!
CRISPY SESAME WON TONS
12 won ton wrappers
2 TBS low sodium soy sauce
2 TBS brown sugar (or honey)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Place won ton wrappers on baking sheet. In a small bowl, combine soy sauce, brown sugar and garlic powder. Brush this mixture onto the won ton wrappers. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake at 400 degrees for 7 minutes (or until brown and crisp).
Here's one more main dish recipe that's quick and easy. It's delicious, too!
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced into strips
1 small can mandarin oranges (do not drain - you need the juice, too)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 TBS grated fresh ginger
1 TBS sesame oil
2-4 TBS low sodium soy sauce
1 TBS canola oil
In a large skillet, heat canola oil on medium-high heat. Salt/pepper chicken. Saute chicken in skillet until brown. Remove chicken and set aside. Add sesame oil to skillet. Stir in garlic and ginger. Cook for a few minutes, careful not to burn. Add soy sauce, mandarin oranges with juice, green onions and parsley. Add chicken back to skillet. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer 10 minutes. Oranges will break up and melt into the sauce. Yum! Serve over rice or noodles. I like it with rice.
It's funny, I never thought I liked Chinese until I made it at home. Now I eat it all the time. One day I even attempted to make my own fortune cookies from scratch! That was fun! I'll have to give you that recipe another day because the Olympics are on and I don't want to miss Michael Phelps. Good night!