Archives for posts with tag: garlic

This is my absolute favorite sesame chicken recipe! The fragrant sesame oil, sweet savory sauce and tender chicken, wonderful served with a bowl of steamy rice. You can adjust the amount of sugar and vinegar depending on how sweet and sour your palette prefers. Either black or white sesame seeds make the dish pretty. Happy May holiday weekend everyone!

3-4 chicken breasts, about 1 pound
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3 spring scallions, chopped
Toasted black or white sesame seeds
Peanut oil for frying

For the Sauce:
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 small onion, finely minced
2 dried red chilies
2 tablespoons good quality roasted black sesame oil
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 cup stock or water
3 tablespoons cornstarch, mix well into 3 tablespoons of water

Cut the chicken breasts into small bite size pieces. In a mixing bowl, marinade the chicken with 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon rice wine and dust with cornstarch, mix well, let sit for 15 minutes. Deep fry the chicken pieces until lightly-medium golden brown. Fry in batches to ensure they brown evenly and not overly cooked. Drain on paper towel.

In a large skillet or wok, heat the sesame oil until smoking, throw in the garlic, onions, red chilies and fry until your kitchen is filled with the aroma. Carefully pour in the stock, soy sauce, vinegar, sugar and bring to a boil. Thicken the sauce with the cornstarch mix while stirring constantly.

Put the chicken pieces in and flip the wok until the chicken pieces are well coated with the sauce. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, chopped scallions and serve immediately.


We have been gone a while, trekking and eating through South East Asia. Over our stop in Singapore, we have found some really great Hainan chicken rice, Indian curries and Katong laksa. The components of a good Hainan chicken rice are the tender meat that is expertly cooked, fragrant chicken broth infused rice and perfectly concocted ginger & chili sauces.

Heng Heng Hainanese Chicken Rice at the Maxwell hawker food center.

Little India, where colorful temples and mosques, shophouses stocked with spices, gold and incense lined the streets. We found a small, unpretentious corner food stall mobbed by locals.  Despite the heat, loud street noise and wobbly plastic stools, the food had our undivided attention. It was simple, spicy and straightforwardly good.

Last but not least, Katong laksa–made with slightly sweet coconut curry and strong aromatics. The noodles are cut up in small pieces so the soup can be eaten with the only utensil provided, the spoon. The version we had eaten had shrimp, strips of fish cake, bean sprouts and garnished with laksa leaves and sambal chili paste that was available on each dining table.

We love a steamy bowl of mac & cheese! Our version has an addictive garlicky flavor and a little cayenne heat. All of the ingredients can be found at Ole’! super market at Grand Gateway in Xujiahui. We made a big batch so to heat left overs back up the next day, just mix in a little milk and grate extra cheese on top. Enjoy ^.^~

1 package tiburon or macaroni, 250g
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
4 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
4 cups milk
2 cups loosely packed sharp cheddar, grated
2 cups loosely packed Gruyere, grated
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
A small pinch of nutmeg
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Cook the tiburon pasta according to the package directions, about 6 minutes. Drain well.

Warm the milk in the microwave for 3 minutes. Heat 3 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan, add the minced garlic and flour and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring with a whisk. Lower the heat and while whisking, pour the hot milk in. Continue to whisk until smooth and thickened. Simmer for 5 minutes to cook out the raw flour flavor.

Take the saucepan off the heat, add the cheddar and Gruyere, kosher salt to taste, cayenne and nutmeg. Put back on the stove with a very low heat. Add the tiburon pasta and stir until combined with the creamy cheese sauce.

Ladle mac & cheese into a bowl and serve immediately.

Jesse LOVES Chinese ribs, especially the ones at South Beauty on Yan’an lu, Di Shui Dong and at home. Here’s a recipe inspired by my childhood Taiwanese flavors – salty, savory fried garlic, cilantro, chillies, star anise and white pepper. It looks like a lot of garlic, but after they’re deep fried, they become sweet and nutty, not as garlicky as you think 8 cloves may be.

3 pounds pork rib (about 10 ribs)
3 tablespoons good soy sauce (Shanghainese mushroom soy is a good option)
1 tablespoon Shaoxing rice wine
8 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 small onion, diced
1 small bunch cilantro, chopped
2 red chillies, chopped
3 star anise
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon high-quality chicken powder (鸡精,available at any Chinese supermarket)
5 cups canola oil

Cut the rack into individual ribs. Marinade the ribs in mushroom soy and rice wine for 30 minutes.

You can either cook the ribs in a pressure cooker for 35 minutes or steam them for 1 hour then let cool.

In a deep pot, heat canola oil and fry the garlic until fragrant and golden brown. Strain the garlic and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, evenly coat the ribs in flour and shake off excess. Deep fry the ribs in batches, in the oil you fried the garlic with until crispy and golden brown. Drain ribs on a paper towel lined plate.

In a large saute pan, heat 1 tablespoon garlic oil on medium-high heat, add  chopped onions, star anise, chilies and saute until fragrant. Add the ribs, fried garlic, chicken powder, sugar, salt and white pepper. Shake the pan vigorously to coat the ribs with spices, about 2 minutes. Mix in cilantro at the end and serve.

When you cook these Chinese spinach, the water from the spinach turns to a beautiful bright red color. The leaves are light to dark green with reddish purple veins in the center. The flavor is sweet and savory, with a tender and creamy texture. It’s full of flavor and takes no time to prepare. It’s a wonderful accompaniment to any main course. Love them!

1 big bunch of Chinese spinach
3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon good olive oil
Squeeze of lemon
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Wash the spinach throughly, discard any yellowed leaves and trim off the roots. We like soaking them in water for 5-10 minutes, drain and repeat.

In a large saute pan, heat the olive oil on high heat, add the garlic and saute til fragrant, but not browned. Add the spinach, be careful as the oil is hot and it will sizzle. Toss the spinach with garlic and oil on high heat, and cook until the spinach is slightly wilted, about 45 seconds. Remove, add a squeeze of lemon and serve immediately.

In Shanghai, these are called mixi.

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