Wonton Soup

Won ton soup is one of the few soups I can make that won’t be meet with resistance or turned up noses when served.  It’s not that my soup is bad, no one else in my life loves soup as much as me.

When ordering out, wonton soup quality seems to vary between restaurants.  Some places it is really good, and others it’s just meh.  There are even nights that ordering won ton soup from the really good places results in disappointment.

If you have followed the blog, you already know my solution to these kind of problems.  That’s right, I’ll make it myself.  I figured it couldn’t be any worse than some of the disappointments we have had.  And if by some off chance it was, we could always order pizza or eat a sandwich.

This recipe was inspired by the numerous Asian restaurants I have eaten in or carried out from.  This is not anything authentic, but it is simply the way we like it.  If you prefer something different in your soup, or in your won tons, feel free to make your own adaptations.  I actually encourage you to “play with your food” and make it taste just the way you like it.

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Asian Inspired Noodles

Asian inspired noodles are simply my take on Pancit and Japchae. Yes, I know they are from different countries. Yes I know this recipe is nowhere near authentic. Yes I know they are separate dishes, but I can hardly tell the difference. Since I cannot determine which one this is more like, I just call them Asian Inspired Noodles. Makes my life easier, and everyone knows I am all about simple.

Like my other Asian inspired dishes, this is another way I like to get extra veggies into our diets.  I know, salads are good for that, but if you know me, you already know salad generally miss my plate somehow.

I also have a non-authentic recipe for Lo Mein that I will feature at a later date. When you see that one, you will think it is just combination of chow mein and Asian noodles.

I prefer this recipe with cellophane noodles or glass noodles. But my store doesn’t always have them available. There are several Asian markets in my area, but they are clean across town and I do not want to fight the traffic between here and there only to learn they are like all the other stores in town – out of stock or don’t carry them.

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Sautéed General’s Chicken

General’s  chicken is a Chinese favorite, but we don’t always want heavy deep-fried food when we want Asian flavors for dinner. I also do NOT enjoy the task of cleaning up after deep-frying. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll do it, some things like fried mushrooms, fried chicken, and egg rolls are worth a mess.

We don’t call this General Tso’s chicken at my house. Number 1, we are not exactly sure how to say it and number 2 we can.

This chicken dish is kind of sweet and savory with a bit if heat at the end.  You can increase the heat in this dish by allowing the dried peppers to spend more time simmering in the sauce.  But be careful with the heat level you are looking for, I let this simmer for too long once and thought I had eaten lava.

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Eggrolls

Egg rolls are my downfall in life.  They are like potato chips, I can’t eat just one.  Growing up an hours drive from Chicago we grew up eating at Chiam’s in Chinatown.  It is no longer in business which meant no more egg rolls from Chiam’s.  Eventually we started going to Rising Sun in Mokena, it was closer and we could do carry out orders.

But when we moved to Florida we were in for a rude awakening.  Chinese food was all the same at all locations (and it wasn’t delicious).  It is a phenomenon that has plagued us since.  The need for a good egg roll that reminded us of Chiam’s or even Rising Sun was nowhere to be found, so the experimenting started.

You may not like these, and it won’t hurt my feelings.  Egg roll preferences are a very personal thing.  Most people like the ones made in their area of the country and some like the generic version you get at most Chinese restaurant today that taste the same at all locations. Continue reading “Eggrolls”

Chicken Chow Mein/Chop Suey

This recipe for chow mein is simple enough to make during the week. Some folks call this chop suey.  I make this dish at least once a month. I love it with jasmine rice, but white rice works too. I like everything about jasmine rice. The smell while it is cooking reminds me of popcorn. The taste is a little nuttier to me than white rice.

I generally have both kinds of rice in the pantry, but to me jasmine just pairs better with Asian cuisine. Unless of course, it’s Cheater Fried Rice, then it’s whatever kind of rice the manufacturer sticks in the bag.

Chow Mein is fairly versatile too. You can substitute or add just about any vegetable or protein. This is just a base recipe and I would encourage you to add your own spin to this. Any recipe of mine is usually just a good starting point. They tend to be a representation of how I like whatever recipe I have featured. Like a famous chef once said, “There are no food police.” It’s your kitchen, it’s your choice.

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Cheater Fried Rice

Cheater fried rice is my take on Chinese fried rice. I have seen hundreds, if not thousands, of recipes online for fried rice. I have read many tips and tricks for the “perfect” fried rice. If memory serves me correctly and it might not, I am getting a touch older every day, they all start with cold leftover rice.

I can never seem to remember to make rice the day before. I have used boil-in-the-bag rice before on days when I could remember to at least cook it early enough in a day to refrigerate it for 6 hours or so first. That tactics seemed to work OK, but that too required more pre-planning than I care for some days.

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