Mrs. Fox also said that everyone is so friendly and all of Beijing is immaculate. There is even a carpool lane with the Olympics symbol painted on the road to indicate that buses carrying people to and from the Olympics are the only ones allowed in this lane. The excitement is building and I think that China is trying to give their best impression of a welcoming country.
Before I get any further, My Kitchen, My World cooking group is showing support for the Olympics in China by all of us getting together in our separate kitchens and creating a meal of Chinese food. Would you believe I found over 30 dishes that I wanted to make? Time gets pretty limited when we have other not-so-fun duties, like work, so I went with time efficient dishes that were fun to put together. I made wontons for the first time and found that I loved making them. Very easy to make and the possibilities are limitless for fillings. What I really loved was finding out I could make oodles of wontons, freeze them, then take out what I wanted for dinner and throw those in boiling water, then into the waiting broth or sweet-and-sour base for soup. Easy, fast, and delicious! My Dinner consisted of:
Vegetable Lo Mein
Wonton Soup in Chicken Broth - Easy and Fun
Vegetable Lo Mein - Using Spaghetti
Szechwan Shrimp - Simple and Very Impressive
The wontons were stuffed with ham and shrimp finely diced, a little Sake, some soy sauce, and a little ginger root. I had so much fun making the cute little wontons and the soup smells just like fresh chicken broth, the flavor is kitchen fresh, and being able to serve a soup that looks this pretty was the best part.
1/2 pound pork loin or ham, coarsely chopped
2 ounces peeled shrimp, finely chopped
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
2 teaspoon finely chopped green onion
1 teaspoon chopped fresh ginger root
24 wonton wrappers
4 cups chicken stock
1 T. instant chicken bouillon granules
1/8 cup finely chopped green onion
In a large bowl, combine pork, shrimp, sugar, wine, soy sauce, 1 teaspoon chopped green onion and ginger. Blend well, and let stand for 25 to 30 minutes.
Place about one teaspoon of the filling at the center of each wonton skin. Moisten all 4 edges of wonton wrapper with water, then pull the top corner down to the bottom, folding the wrapper over the filling to make a triangle. Press edges firmly to make a seal. Bring left and right corners together above the filling. Overlap the tips of these corners, moisten with water and press together. Continue until all wrappers are used. Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil and drop wontons in and cook for 5 minutes.
FOR SOUP: Add instant chicken bouillon granules to the chicken stock. Bring the chicken stock to a rolling boil. Transfer wontons from boiling water to the hot chicken stock. Garnish with chopped green onion, and serve.
The vegetable lo mein was fantastic! I loved the flavor, and again, I can not imagine not feeling comfortable throwing everything but the kitchen sink into this. Do not be afraid of adding spices to this dish. It is so easy for the flavor to get lost with all the vegetables and pasta. I LOVE my hot chili sesame oil. The oil gives the dish just the right amount of kick without offering an overpowering flavor.
Vegetable Lo Mein
8 ounces uncooked spaghetti
2 T. vegetable oil + 2 T. hot chili sesame oil
****NOTE**** Use any mixture of veggies that makes you happy! =D
2 cups fresh sliced mushrooms
1 c. broccoli florets
1/2 cup sliced red bell peppers
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups fresh bean sprouts
2 c. shredded cabbage (I had a bag of mixed carrots and cabbage, shredded)
1/4 cup chopped green onions
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/2 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
3 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 tablespoon chili flakes
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
Heat oil in a large wok or saute pan. Stir fry mushrooms, broccoli, bell pepper, cabbage, onion, and garlic until tender. I put a lid over my wok to allow for steam cooking. Stir in bean sprouts and green onions; cook one minute. Mix cornstarch and chicken broth in a small bowl and add to stir fry. Stir in hoisin sauce, honey, soy sauce, ginger, cayenne pepper and curry powder. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly.
Add cooked spaghetti, and toss. Serve immediately.
Last, the Szechwan Shrimp. I like the way the name rolls off the tongue. . .sounding very impressive and what is shocking is just how easy this dish is to make. I already had leftover rice in the refrigerator, so I just added a little water and steamed the rice back to a fluffy life in the microwave while cooking the shrimp in a skillet on the stove top. For me, the key to cooking Chinese food and remaining calm, since every time I know of, a mad pace is involved when putting any of the dishes together. . .Have ALL the ingredients prepped and ready BEFORE starting to cook. As you can see from a photo above, I had everything pre-chopped and measured before beginning my adventure in the kitchen.
Next time, I want to cook brown rice and put the shrimp with sauce over all. For more or less heat, just adjust how much crushed red pepper you want to add.
4 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon honey
2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
2 tablespoon hot chili sesame oil
1/4 cup sliced green onions
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound cooked shrimp, tails removed
In a bowl, stir together water, ketchup, soy sauce, cornstarch, honey, crushed red pepper, and ground ginger. Set aside.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in green onions and garlic; cook 30 seconds. Stir in shrimp, and toss to coat with oil. Stir in sauce. Cook and stir until sauce is bubbly and thickened. Place over cooked rice of choice or just eat as is.