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I’ve never had Hot and Sour Soup at a Chinese restaurant, so I don’t even know if I normally like it. But I did not like this recipe! The combination of flavors was way too much for me, and it was a little too spicy for my taste.

But it did get very good reviews on MyRecipes.com, so if you normally like Hot and Sour Soup from a Chinese restaurant, then I suggest trying this (and please let me know how it turned out!)

(Want to try a Chinese soup recipe that I really liked? Try my Egg Drop Soup!)

Hot and Sour Soup with Shrimp
adapted from Cooking Light, October 2006

1 1/2 cups  fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1/4 – 1/2  cup  pre-sliced mushrooms
1 1/2 teaspoons  low-sodium soy sauce
1/2 of an 8-ounce can sliced bamboo shoots, drained
1  tablespoon  fresh lemon juice
1/2  teaspoon  white pepper
3/4  pounds  medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
4  ounces  reduced-fat firm tofu, drained and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 1/2  teaspoons cornstarch
1  tablespoons  water
1  large egg white, beaten
1/8  teaspoon  chili oil
1 tablespoons  chopped green onions

Combine first 4 ingredients in a large saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes.

Add juice, pepper, shrimp, and tofu to pan; bring to a boil. Cook 2 minutes or until shrimp are almost done.

Combine cornstarch and water in a small bowl, stirring until smooth. Add cornstarch mixture to pan; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly with a whisk. Slowly drizzle egg white into pan, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in chili oil and onions.

serves 2

1 serving = 5 Weight Watchers Points

Calories: 233
Fat: 4.7g
Protein: 38g
Carbohydrate: 9.4g
Fiber: 2.3g
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Let me just start by saying that this recipe is so good! I usually don’t try to make Chinese food on my own – mostly because I never want to buy the long list of strange ingredients (fish sauce, hoisin sauce, oyster sauce, etc.). I mean, when else will I use stuff like that?! It’ll just sit in my fridge for months until it goes bad and I throw it out.

I decided to make this one because it only called for 1 ‘strange’ ingredient – oyster sauce. And that oyster sauce was pretty cheap at Market Basket 🙂

Also, the recipe was in the ‘Dinner Tonight’ section of this month’s Cooking Light – meaning that it’s quick and easy. Cooking Light says that it should only take 30 minutes to make.

I’d say the most time-consuming part of this recipe is preparing the ingredients (measuring sauces, chopping vegetables). This is a recipe where practicing ‘mise en place‘ is key; lay everything out on the counter, chop and set aside the vegetables… and then you’ll be good to go and the recipe will seem ten times easier. You’ll go crazy trying to pull everything out of your cabinets and measure and chop as you go.

I’ve already stated that I loved this recipe, but Stas loved it as well. He works next to Chinatown and used to have Chinese food a lot, so he doesn’t like it much (I’ve since started packing his lunch every day – lucky guy!) . In addition, he’s not a ‘sauce-guy’… but he couldn’t get enough of this sauce. I served it with white rice and he loved the combo of the sauce & white rice.

Chicken and Cashews
adapted from Cooking Light, May 2009

3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce, divided
2 tablespoons dry sherry
4 teaspoons cornstarch, divided
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 cup fat-free low-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons sesame oil, divided
3/4 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup chopped unsalted dry-roasted cashews

ingredients - minus the soy sauce (I forgot)

ingredients - minus the soy sauce (I forgot)

1. Combine 1 tablespoon soy sauce, sherry, 2 teaspoons cornstarch, and chicken in a large bowl; toss well to coat. Combine remaining 2 tablespoons soy sauce, remaining 2 teaspoons cornstarch, broth, oyster sauce, and honey in a small bowl.

imgp4227

coating the chicken

2. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken mixture to pan; sauté 3 minutes.

cooking the chicken

cooking the chicken

3.Remove chicken from pan. Heat remaining 1 teaspoon oil in pan. Add onion and bell pepper to pan; sauté 2 minutes. Add ginger and garlic; sauté 1 minute.

sauteeing the veggies

sauteeing the veggies

4. Return chicken mixture to pan; sauté 1 minute. Stir in broth mixture. Bring to a boil; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Sprinkle with cashews.

Serves 4

finished dish

finished dish

finished dish - take 2

finished dish - take 2

The original recipe called for 1/2 cup chopped celery to be added with the onions & red pepper, but I hate celery so I skipped it.

It also called for sliced green onions to be added with the cashews, but the grocery store didn’t have any!

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finished-soup

A few weeks ago, we had Chinese takeout at a friend’s house. I hadn’t had Chinese food in years (seriously), but for some reason, I found that I had a craving for egg drop soup.

It was very, very good!

So good that I wanted more! I really didn’t think that it would be easy to do – for some reason, I thought it was a long and complicated soup… something I could only get at a Chinese restaurant.

After Googling recipes, I was surprised to learn that it’s actually a pretty simple soup to make. Most use only a handful of very common ingredients – I didn’t even have to make a special trip to the grocery store!

The end result was okay – not great. The broth could’ve been better, but I think that’s just due to the vegetable stock that I used. I plan on making it again very soon, and next time, I’ll try a chicken broth.

And I think I over-stirred the egg right after I added it. It looked too broken-up.

… and the color is off. I think it should be more yellow. But that could be the vegetable broth thing.

Egg Drop Soup

1 egg, beaten
2 cups vegetable stock
1/2 tsp. cornstarch
dash of ground ginger
splash of soy sauce
chopped green onions

soup-ingredients

Step 1: Heat the stock over medium heat. Add the ginger and soy sauce.

Step 2: When it boils, take 2 tablespoons of the stock and mix it with corn startch to make a slurry. Once combined, add the slurry back into the stock and bring it back to a boil. Meanwhile, beat the egg.

egg-and-corn-starch

Step 3: Let the soup boil until it is slightly thickened, about 5-10 minutes. Then slowly mix in the beaten egg.

Step 4: Remove the soup from the heat and top with green onions.

Serves 1

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