I heart film. - A little over a year ago I bought a Canon Ae-1 and last week I found the first roll of film I shot on it and finally had it processed (Its been a crazy year ...
Monday, May 30, 2011
Probably the number one thing I miss from the US, food wise, is Chinese food. Cheap, fast, totally Americanized, Chinese take-out. I love it - and there is absolutely nothing comparable in Germany. My favorite Chinese food ever comes from Hunan Garden in Kingwood, Texas (if you live in the Houston area, you should go) (And don't let anyone tell you Hin's Garden is better, its a filthy lie). But honestly, I miss it so bad that Orange Chicken from Panda Express is sounding pretty freaking amazing right about now.
Not that I should be eating it anyway - seeing as I am trying to lose that pregnancy weight and Chinese take-out is notoriously bad for you. The thing is, I am realizing that its super easy to make and it doesn't have to be battered, fried and greasy (not that it is at Hunan Garden. Go there!). It can be made with low-fat chicken breast, full of vitamin-rich green vegetables, and when cooked in a good wok requires hardly any oil.
This is a recipe I have perfected over nearly a year of making it probably once a week. That would be because it is both my husbands and I's favorite meal. I seriously look forward to it all week (I would eat it multiple times a week, no problem). Its incredibly easy to make - the prep only takes a few minutes and once it all goes in the wok its just another few minutes until its done. The key is to prep everything and have it all ready to go next to your wok - then just throw each ingredient when its time and its a piece of cake. Get yourself a rice cooker and you have a super easy, very light and healthy weeknight meal.
2 boneless, skinless Chicken Breasts, diced (could sub firm tofu, turkey breast, or steak and it would probably be good too)
2 Tbs dark soy sauce
1 tsp + 2 Tbs corn starch (seperated)
Juice of one orange (about 1 cup juice)
1/4 cup Hoisin sauce
2 Tbs (or to taste) Sriracha
1 tsp grated fresh ginger (or 1/2 tsp powdered)
2 Tbs honey
1 cup sliced/chopped Scallion (reserve some of the green tops for garnish)
zest from one orange
Fresh sturdy green vegetable, such as Bok Choy, Broccoli, or Asparagus, chopped
few Tbs Sesame Seeds
1 or 2 Tbs vegetable oil (not olive)
Take diced Chicken Breast and combine in a bowl with soy sauce and 1 tsp corn starch. Mix up so chicken is all well coated. Set aside.
Whisk together Hoisin, Sriracha, Orange juice, ginger and honey in a small bowl and set aside. Whisk together 2 Tbs cornstarch and 3 Tbs water and set aside.
If using bok choy, heat some oil in a wok over medium high heat. Add in bok choy and cook until its starting wilt just a tad. Add a bit of soy sauce and stir while cooking another 30 seconds more. Remove from wok and set aside. (If using a different green veg you can pre-steam if you want, until its not-just-quite finished or you can just skip to next step, I find that it will often be fine if I add it to the pan raw).
Heat vegetable oil in a wok or large skillet over high heat. When oil just begins to smoke, toss in the chicken. After about a minute throw in the scallions and half the orange zest and toss with tongs. Continue to cook, stirring continuously, for a couple minutes or until chicken is browning. When its starting to brown, toss in the green veg and cook/steam until chicken is cooked all the way through and vegetable is just starting to soften (the idea is for the veg to be lightly cooked with still a bit of crunch to it, and its still going to boil some more, so don't overdo it). The timing will vary - it will be super fast if you are cooking over a gas flame, but if you are cooking on an electric like mine it might not get as hot and will take a bit longer.
Add the orange sauce and let it come to a boil. Add the cornstarch/water mixture and stir well. Cook until sauce is starting to thicken, tossing with tongs to coat all the chicken. Add cooked Bok Choy, if using, and combine. Add sesame seeds and remaining orange zest and toss until everything is well coated and sauce is nice and thick.
Serve immediately over steamed white or brown rice (I just stick in the rice cooker before I start on everything else and its ready by the time the chicken is done). You can also garnish with some of the chopped green scallion tops.
If the chicken breasts are large, this can probably feed up to four. It normally feeds me and my husband and one of us for lunch the next day as well :)