My family LOVES Asian food. Any type of Asian food. Chinese, Japanese, Thai, even Cambodian. (we have a Cambodian ward in our Stake, so we've ate our share of it) Living in SoCal, we're blessed with many resturant options if we want some type of Asian meal.
On the 'low' end, there is Panda Express...(who doesn't love their Orange Chicken??). My husband won't eat there. (you're not surprised, are you?) Mid range is Pic-up Stix, which has those lovely Cream Cheese Wontons. Husband WILL eat there, but not the Wontons. 'High' end would be PF Changs, or their little brother, Pei Wei. I don't think there is anything on their menus my husband WON'T eat, lol.
Now, you also have your small, privately owned places,...our Favorite until recently was a Thai resturant, Siam Palace, over in Los Alamitos. But then the owner (Kelly. Yes, we knew her name) sold it to one of her employees. Not the same...sadness.
We love to eat out. However, considering the size of our family, and our up and down financial situation, eating out is rarely feasible. So, being the 'awesome' cook that I am, (direct quote from all my kids.) I try to cook many of our Asian Resturant favs at home. I am always on the lookout for recipes that will please hubby's 'high end' tastes, but fit my 'low end' budget.
I've found great recipes in cookbooks, and magazines, but most of our recent favorite copy-cat Asian recipes have come from food blogs. (some of my favorite food blogs are on my sidebar). This recipe, which we had again tonight, comes from Suzanne's food blog, Creating Post it Notes. Suzanne is a GREAT cook and baker. We 'met' on a scrapbooking message board, where I lurked on her blog for quite awhile before finally introducing myself to her. Suzanne is LDS, and owned her own small bakery in Florida. (yes, I'm jealous) She now lives in New York, and plans to go to Culinary School in the near future! (still jealous) Go Suzanne!! She is very generous with sharing her WONDERFUL recipes with her blog readers, for which I am so grateful. My White and Wheat Breads are based on her recipes.
Here is the Kung Pao Chicken recipe, which I changed just a bit to work with the ingredients I have. (you can see the original on her website) This serves 4 adults, but I always double it for our family. You can also adjust the heat, by adding or subtracting Chili Peppers.
**Watch the "t's" in my recipes. BIG T = Tablespoon little t = teaspoon **
Suzanne's Kung Pao Chicken (photo above is from Suzanne's blog)
4-5 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs (i buy those big bags frozen from Costco)
2 T. Cornstarch
2 T. Soy Sauce
2 T Sake, or Rice Wine, or Cooking Wine
1 T. Vegetable Oil
Cut up Chicken into bite-size pieces, put in bowl or Ziplock bag. Combine all marinade ingredients, pour over chicken, mix well and let sit for about 30 minutes. Prepare Stirfry Sauce.
2 T Soy Sauce
1 T Sugar
1 teaspoon Vinegar
2 T Water
1 T Cornstarch
(you might want to double this, if you like alot of sauce on your chicken)
Mix all together in bowl, and set aside. Prep the veggies.
1 bunch Green Onions, sliced
2 T grated Ginger, either fresh or from a jar
2 cloves of Garlic, or minced from jar
1/4 C roasted Peanuts
1 can sliced Water Chestnuts, coarsly chopped (optional)
1/2 to 1 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes (depending on how hot you want it)
To Cook: Heat 1 T oil in wok or large frying pan. Add chicken, and cook until almost done. Remove from pan and set aside. Wash pan.
Heat another tablespoon of oil in pan. Add garlic and ginget, sauteing for about 20 seconds. Add chili flakes, continue sauteing for another minute, then add peanuts. Stir well, add water chestnuts, chicken, and stir fry sauce. Stir to coat, let cook until thickened. Add green onions, stir well, and serve.
Menu: Kung POW Chicken over Steamed Rice
Chow Mein or Trader Joes Pot Stickers (yum!)
Fresh Fruit, like sliced melon,...or steamed veggie, like broccoli