Growing up in the Midwest, most of my friends considered their mom’s meatloaf or pot roast to be the ultimate comfort food after a crummy day at school or losing a track meet (something that never applied to me because I was more of the marching band clarinet type rather than athlete type. I know, dork alert and one time at band camp…) In my house though, whenever I was feeling down or blue from the subzero temperatures during the winter, my mom would whip up her melt-in-your-mouth pepper steak for me. It’s tender and juicy and loaded with protein as well as vitamin c from the red bell pepper. Served over brown rice, this is an easy and healthy weeknight meal sure to put everyone in your family in a great mood. Dark soy sauce, also known as mushroom soy sauce, is sweeter and a bit thicker than regular soy sauce. It is sold at Asian markets. If you can’t find dark soy sauce then regular soy sauce is a fine substitute.
- 1 pound top sirloin steak or filet mignon, cut into 2-inch x 1/8-inch slices
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- dash white pepper
- 1 small red bell pepper, diced
- 1 small green bell pepper, diced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1/4 cup chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 3 tablespoons cooking oil
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- Toss beef with the oil, cornstarch salt, soy sauce and white pepper.
- Mix the 1/4 cup chicken broth, 2 tablespoons cornstarch, 2 tablespoons soy sauce and the sugar together until blended. Set aside.
- Heat a wok or skillet to medium high heat. Add 3 tablespoons oil and swirl to coat. Add the onion, ginger and garlic and stir-fry until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the beef and stir-fry for 3 minutes. Remove from wok.
- Add 2 tablespoons oil and swirl to coat. Add peppers and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Add 1/2 cup chicken broth and heat to boiling. Stir in the cornstarch mixture and stir-fry until thickened. Add the reserve beef and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Serve immediately with steaming hot jasmine rice.
Looking to put the POW in your Kung Pao? Look no further because my simple vegetarian take on this classic Szechuan recipe is loaded with yummy flavors from the sesame oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce, srircha and Chinese rice wine and some POWerful protein from the tofu and peanuts. For a vegan version, just replace the soy sauce with tamari. If you prefer it less spicy then replace the srircha with dried Chinese chili peppers or chilies de arbol. Stir-fry the chiles with the garlic and toss everything else in. I love to serve this over some steaming hot brown jasmine rice or quinoa. It pairs nicely with a glass of sauvignon blanc.
- stir-fry sauce
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoons Chinese rice wine or dry cooking sherry
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar or white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon srircha sauce
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 cups diced firm tofu, drained and patted dry with paper towel
- 1 small red pepper, diced
- 2 finely chopped green onions plus more for garnish
- 1 cup dry roasted peanuts, plus more for garnish
- Combine stir-fry sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Heat a wok or large frying pan until hot over medium-high heat. Add garlic and stir-fry until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add tofu and and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add the red bell pepper and stir-fry 2 minutes. Add the stir-fry sauce and cook for 1 minute, tossing to coat. Add the peanuts and green onion and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Garnish with more green onions and peanuts and serve immediately with hot, steaming jasmine rice.
Has Spring finally sprung? While it’s been in the 90′s in Los Angeles, I know some peeps are still dealing with snow! Yikes! This appetizer always makes me feel light and springy. It’s also easy to handle one of these babies while holding a glass of bubbly in your other hand. The crispness of the wonton chip along with the tender and fresh coolness of the ahi tuna are a dynamic duo and instant crowd pleaser! This couldn’t be easier to make and it’s super fast. Plus, a little tuna goes a long way.
- 10 wonton wrappers, cut into quarters
- oil for frying
- 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
- 3/4 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 1/2 teaspoon sriracha (Asian chili sauce)
- 8 ounces sushi grade ahi tuna, cut into 1/4-inch dice
- toasted sesame seeds
- Heat oil in a deep skillet or wok to 375 degrees. Fry wonton skins until golden brown. Drain on a paper towel lined baking sheet.
- Whisk together the mayonnaise, soy sauce, sesame oil and srircha sauce. Add the tuna and toss to coat.
- Spoon tuna onto wonton crisps and garnish with toasted sesame seeds.
My friend and fellow food blogger Erika Kerekes recently launched a line of amazing tangy gourmet sauces called Not Ketchup. They’re made with fruit – like cherries, blueberries and dates – instead of tomatoes as well savory spices and cider vinegar to give it a tart kick. One taste and I was hooked. I’ve tried it on burgers and sandwiches and couldn’t wait to experiment with it in the kitchen.
My favorite flavor is cherry chipotle and thought it would pair well with the exotic Asian spices found in 5-spice powder (star anise, cloves, cinnamon, szechuan peppercorn and fennel). The blend turned out to be a delicious and easy marinade for beef skewers. The smokiness of the chipotle mixed with the tangy cherries and complex Asian spices was incredibly yummy. My whole family loved it and I can’t wait to make it again! Click here to order Not Ketchup or find out where to buy it if you live in Los Angeles or Orange County.
- 1 1⁄2 lbs boneless beef rib-eye or top sirloin, cut across the grain into 1/4-inch thick slices
- 1 cup Not Ketchup Cherry Chipotle Sauce
- 1 tablespoon 5-spice powder
- 12 wooden skewers, soaked in water at least 20 minutes
- Combine the cherry chipotle sauce and 5-spice powder in a small bowl until well blended.
- Place slices in a 1 gallon resealable plastic bag. Pour the sauce mixture over slices, and mix well. Refrigerate 2 hours, or overnight.
- Thread beef onto skewers.
- Prepare a grill for high heat cooking. Brush the grill grate with oil. Grill the skewers, turning once, until the beef is browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Serve with a side of Not Ketchup Cherry Chipotle sauce.
Whether or not you’re into March Madness or basketball at all for that matter, you’ll go MAD for these sweet and spicy Honey Srircha Chicken Wings. We just served them at a March Madness party we had and these wings flew off the platter. Srircha sauce is made with chili peppers, distilled vinegar, garlic, sugar and salt. It is spicy but not crazy hot so you can serve this to everyone in the family. I love this recipe because spicy Srircha is mixed with honey for a hot, sweet, sticky and salty taste sensation. The wings are flash fried before being tossed in the sauce adding a subtle crunchy texture sublimely coated with this addictive glaze. Why serve the same-old, same-old Buffalo or BBQ chicken wings when you can shake things up with these babies? I guarantee this recipe will bring MAD love to your next party…Score!
- Chicken wings:
- 2 lbs chicken wings
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon World Market Chinese five spice powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- pinch white pepper
- oil for deep frying
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/4 cup Sriracha sauce
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 lime, juiced
- Preheat oven to 375°.
- In a small bowl, mix together the flour, five spice powder, salt and pepper. Place chicken wings in a large bowl and toss in the flour mixture until they are evenly coated.
- Heat oil in a deep fryer or a deep skillet to 375°. The oil should be just enough to cover wings entirely. Fry the coated wings in hot oil for 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer onto a paper towel lined baking sheet.
- Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the honey, Sriracha, soy sauce and lime juice and stir until the mixture bubbles gently. Remove from heat. Pour the sauce over the wings in a large bowl and toss to coat.
- Place the wings on a non-stick baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Drizzle with more honey before serving if desired.
I’ve really been craving these Spicy Thai Peanut Noodles lately so I couldn’t resist reposting this easy, fast and delicious recipe. These noodles are awesome because you can throw in any veggie you like and any leftover meat (like the roast chicken from dinner last night) for an easy breezy one pot meal. Follow the recipe as is and you’ve got a fast and fresh vegan feast. Coconut milk, peanut butter, lime juice, soy sauce, brown sugar, red curry paste and srircha sauce are blended together to create the perfect balance of sweet, salty, sour and spicy flavors. This dish is great served warm or chilled. Substitute the fettucine with rice noodles and use gluten free soy sauce for a tasty gluten-free meal.
- 8 ounces dried fettucini
- 3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
- 3/4 cup coconut milk
- 1/4 cup water
- 4 teaspoons red curry paste
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon Srircha
- ½ cup blanched snow peas, julienned
- ½ cup carrot, cut into matchsticks
- Crushed roasted peanuts for garnish
- Boil the pasta according to package directions. Rinse, drain and set aside.
- Heat the peanut butter, coconut milk, water, red curry paste, lime juice, soy sauce, brown sugar and crushed red pepper over medium-low heat in a saucepan until the mixture begins to simmer, stirring constantly. Add the snow peas and carrots and stir for 30 seconds. Transfer to a large bowl.
- Add the reserve pasta and toss until pasta is coated. Garnish with crushed peanuts.
When I was pregnant with the twins, I constantly craved mashed potatoes, cheeseburgers and chicken teriyaki bowls (I was eating for three after all!) I craved it so much I came up with this recipe and made my hubby make it for me all the time (in between foot rubs). As growing-up-too-fast five year-olds, Dylan and Becca have inherited my love of chicken teriyaki and so has my stepdaughter, Kyla. They love this dish as much as me because the luscious glaze is perfectly sweet and the chicken is tender and juicy. They don’t seem to mind eating their veggies when everything’s nestled in a bowl with yummy chicken pieces in a delicious teriyaki sauce intermingling with everything in the bowl. You can get premium rice vinegar in the gourmet section at Cost Plus World Market. Surprise your family this week and whip up the ultimate meal in a bowl. It’s sure to bowl them over!
- 1 cup jasmine rice
- 3 cups water
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
- 3 tbsp packed brown sugar
- 1-1/2 tsp dry mustard
- 1-1/2 cups soy sauce
- 3-1/4 cups water, divided
- 3 tbsp rice vinegar
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 3 tbsp cornstarch
- 3 tbsp cold water
- toasted sesame seeds for garnish
- Prepare the rice: Wash thoroughly and drain. Place in rice cooker on regular cycle.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the garlic, ginger, brown sugar, mustard, soy sauce, 1-1/2 cups of the water and vinegar. Add chicken and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Remove chicken to a plate and reserve the marinade.
- Heat a grill on medium high heat. Grill chicken thighs 5-7 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and cover with foil.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine cornstarch and cold water. In a medium saucepan, bring reserved marinade to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir in cornstarch mixture. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring, for about 12 minutes or until sauce is thickened.
- Cut chicken thighs into bite sized pieces and add to the sauce and stir to coat.
- Fill four bowls with the jasmine rice. Top each bowl with chicken pieces. Place steamed broccoli florets to the side of the chicken. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds and serve immediately.