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Tag: sweet chili sauce

Orange Chicken with Sauteed Gai Lan (Chinese Broccoli)

July 28, 2010

Orange chicken2 I felt like eating the really unhealthy Chinese dishes like the orange chicken. The amount of fat, salt and all the other bad stuff turned me off- plus who can afford the calories??

I decided to make my own. I got some boneless, skinless chicken breast; cut it in small pieces and marinated them in tamari. I then sprinkled them with corn starch and sauteed them- instead of deep frying. I saved loads of calories by simply sauteing the chicken pieces.

I then assembled the sauce with fresh navel oranges, rice wine vinegar, tamari, garlic and honey. With the help of some more cornstarch, I had a delicious, thick sauce- perfect for orange chicken.

While shopping for the chicken, I found Chinese broccoli (at Whole Foods). My husband and I usually buy the greens in Chinatown in NYC and love eating it as often as we can. So, when I saw it in the market, I was super excited. I simply sauteed it with garlic and served it with the chicken and brown rice.

It was a delicious meal- my daughter and husband loved it.
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MaPo Tofu- Silken Tofu Cooked with Ground Turkey

February 8, 2010

Mapo Tofu My husband introduced this Chinese dish to me. I had never heard of it. He loves tofu- in any form. Before meeting him, I wasn’t much into tofu- not sure why but I just wasn’t interested.

We usually have this szechuan dish in restaurants. I like it a lot- definitely not a combination that comes to mind easily. I never think of pairing two proteins together. In this dish it works really well.

I was thinking of what to make and Chinese food came to mind. I typically make a broccoli and chicken stir fry but I wanted to make something different and so this dish came to mind. I went shopping for some chili paste, etc. While I was researching the dish- most of the recipes had lots of heat in them. I can’t really do that since neither my husband nor my daughter eat very spicy dishes. I still wanted to have great flavor so I decided on a black bean sauce and a chili paste I picked up in Whole Foods. I prefer tamari to soy sauce- it is more concentrated and has more flavor. The sauce is quite simple to make and so is the dish.

I served roasted broccoli and brown rice with it. My daughter looked at the dish and wasn’t very happy. I have to say- it doesn’t look very appetizing but it is delicious. She thought so too once she tasted it. I keep telling her not to judge a book by it’s cover but somehow it doesn’t register… Anyway, I would highly recommend MaPo Tofu- good for you and easy to make.

  • 1 block silken tofu, drained
  • 2 tablespoons extra light olive oil
  • ½ to ¾ pound ground turkey (dark meat)
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced thin
  • 4 green onions, whites and greens separated


  • 3 tablespoons tamari
  • 1 tablespoon black bean sauce
  • 1 tablespoon chili bean paste
  • 1 tablespoon sweet chili sauce

Mix well and keep aside.

  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons corn starch

Add the cornstarch to the chicken broth and mix well.

Heat a wok like pan with the olive oil. Add the ground meat and separate it with a wooden spoon and sauté until crispy and golden brown. Reduce the heat to medium and add the garlic and white part of the green onion. Saute 2 to 3 minutes. Add the tamari sauce and sauté for a minute. Add the silken tofu and break it into small pieces with the spoon. Add the cornstarch mixed with the chicken broth. Bring to a boil and check for seasonings. Garnish with the green parts of the green onions. Serve with roasted broccoli.

Chicken with a Tamarind Glazed on a Crisp Noodle Cake

January 25, 2010

Tamarind Chicken with Noodle Pancake1One of my favorite places to eat in our area is Khun Thai. It is a Thai restaurant in Millburn, NJ. We have been going there for many years now and all the dishes are really good.

One dish I always get (most of the time) is a grilled beef with a tamarind sauce. It is served with grilled vegetables and sticky rice. I find it very satisfying and relatively healthy. I always ask for extra tamarind sauce on the side. I wish they would sell the sauce in a jar- I would buy tons of it. It is salty, savory with a bit of spice- absolutely perfect in my book.

We went for dinner the other day to Khun Thai and yes I had the same thing. While I was eating it, I decided to make my own version at home. I knew I won’t be able to make an exact replica but it will be make take on the tamarind sauce.

I was reading the latest Food and Wine and a chef was featured who cooks with a lot of Thai and Chinese flavors. He made a chicken with a tamarind glaze on top of a noodle cake. I decided to use that as an inspiration and came up with my own version. I started with chicken stock and tamarind concentrate. I added a bit fish sauce- which is a great thing to keep in your pantry. It gives Asian dishes great nutty, salty flavor.

The noodle cake was very easy to make and a lot of fun to eat. My daughter loved it. I sauteed broccolini to serve with the meal. It was perfect- it looked gorgeous on the plate and the sauce was delicious. It definitely was not the same as the restaurant but it was still good.

Try it- you will love it, guaranteed…


  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon tamarind concentrate (available at Whole Foods)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons honey (to taste)
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sweet chili sauce
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro stems, finely chopped
  • 1 medium shallots, finely sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
  • 1 green onion, green and white parts separated

Add the chicken stock, tamarind, honey, fish sauce and chili sauce to a small saucepan. Add the cilantro stems, shallots, garlic cloves and white part of the green onions. Bring to a boil and simmer on medium heat till it reduces to 1 cup. Keep aside.

  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken pieces
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons extra light olive oil

Tamarind Chicken with Noodle Pancake

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Heat a large frying pan with the olive oil. Brown the chicken pieces on both sides, about 3 minutes each on high heat. Sprinkle salt generously on both sides. Add the tamarind sauce in the pan and bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes basting once. Take the chicken pieces out on a plate and boil the liquid till thickened, about 3 minutes. Place the chicken back in the frying pan and place it under a high broiler for 2 to 3 minutes, till the pieces are golden brown.
Serve on top of a crispy noodle wedge and some sauce on top. Garnish with the green parts of the green onion.

Crisp Noodle Pancake

  • 4 ounces dried thin egg noodles
  • 2 tablespoons extra light olive oil

Crisp Noodle Pancake

Boil the noodles according to instructions. Drain and spread onto a cookie sheet and pat dry. Heat a non-stick frying with 1 tablespoon olive oil and add the noodles, spreading them thin covering the pan surface. Take a spare lid and press down and cook for 8 to 9 minutes on medium heat. Invert the pancake onto a plate. Heat the same pan with the remaining olive oil and slice the pancake back now browning the other side. Cook for 8 to 9 minutes on medium heat. Once both sides are golden brown and crisp, slide the pancake onto a cutting board. Slice into 4 wedges and serve with the chicken.

Sauteed Broccolini

  • 1 pack or a pound of broccolini
  • 1 tablespoon extra light olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Sauteed Broccolini

Blanch the broccolini in boiling water for a minute. Take out and shock in cold water to retain the color. Heat a frying pan with the olive oil. Saute the blanched broccolini on medium high heat, about 4 to 5 minutes on each side. Serve with the chicken and noodle pancake.

Orange Beef with Sauteed Bok Choy and Garlic

January 12, 2010

Orange Beef with Bok Choy This was a delicious meal. I had some tenderloin steak in my freezer and decided to use it. I wasn’t in the mood to make a regular, run of the mill steak with vegetables and potatoes (not that any thing is wrong with that). I was in the mood for something sweet, salty, sour and spicy- essentially something that will assault my taste buds- all the way.

Chinese food came to mind. I went food shopping and found great looking packs of baby bok choy. If you haven’t yet tried this vegetable, consider doing so. It is a sweet, crunchy green with a turnip like flavor- definitely one of my favorites. It is my husbands favorite as well. Sia will eat it- she doesn’t love it but she will eat it.

I marinated the steak and cooked it with long green onion cut on a bias- just like they do at restaurants. I made a sauce with orange juice, tamari, vinegar, etc. I was thinking of the orange beef served at Chinese restaurants. The problem is that it is fried and quite unhealthy- not my cup of tea at the moment. I decided to make a sauce instead infused with major orange flavor.

I sauteed the beef and added the sauce and corn starch. I cooked the bok choy separately and served it on the side. I find the green parts of the bok choy get quite wilted and soft if served in a sauce. It was delicious on the side especially with a serving of brown rice.

The healthy cooking continues… For those who want to make the dish healthier, use chicken or shrimp instead. For vegetarians, I would do a firm tofu and treat it the same way as the beef.

  • 1 pound skirt steak (tenderloin steak is great as well), cut into thin strips
  • 2 tablespoons tamari
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons cooking rice wine

Marinate the steak with tamari, garlic and the rice wine for 4 to 5 hours.


  • 2 cups orange juice

Pour the orange juice in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes or till it reduced to one cup or even less.

  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons tamari
  • 2 teaspoons sweet chili sauce

Mix the reduced orange juice, rice vinegar, honey, tamari and chili sauce. Keep aside.

  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch, mixed with 2 teaspoons water
  • 4 green onions, cut at a bias
  • 2 tablespoons extra light olive oil

In a wok like pan, heat the olive oil on high heat. Add the green onions and sauté for a minute. Add the marinated steak and sauté for 4-5 minutes till golden brown. Add the sauce and the cornstarch. Bring to a boil and cook till thickens. Taste for seasonings and serve with bok choy and brown rice.

Orange Beef

Sauteed Bok Choy with Garlic

  • 2 large heads of bok choy or 6 small ones, chopped, the greens and whites separated
  • 1 tablespoon extra light olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • Salt

In a large frying pan, add the olive oil. Add the white parts of the bok choy. Saute for 2-3 minutes on a high heat. Add the greens and garlic. Saute for 4-5 minutes or till the whites are tender. Add salt and serve.
Bok ChoyBok Choy1