Posts Tagged ‘Chinese’

Quick Refrigerator Pickles: Szechuan Green Beans

The green beans have been quite prolific this year. We have a couple of pounds in the freezer and a couple of pounds in the refrigerator. This is the year I plan to experiment with more food-preserving techniques, so last year, I purchased “Put ‘em Up!: A Comprehensive Home Preserving Guide for the Creative Cook, from Drying and Freezing to Canning and Pickling.” It’s full of wonderful ideas for enjoying fresh garden produce now and later.

Szechuan Pickled Green Beans
Szechuan Pickled Green Beans

This refrigerator-pickle recipe for Szechuan Green Beans intrigued me because it’s so simple. It doesn’t involve the scary-seeming boiling-water method that is generally used for canning vegetables for the relatively long term – a few months to a year. This recipe just requires covering blanched beans with a seasoned vinegary brine and keeping it in the fridge. It will last for a month and the flavor deepens every day. Yum.

Szechuan Green Beans

  • 1 pound green beans, washed, topped, and tailed
  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons dark sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon whole peppercorns, preferably Szechuan
  • 1 (1-inch) knob ginger, sliced into coins
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced

Line several baking sheets with dish towels and set aside. Prepare an ice-water bath in a large bowl or clean sink.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Drop the beans into the water, no more than 1 pound at a time, and return to a boil. Blanch for 1 minute.

Scoop the beans out with a spider or slotted spoon and plunge them into the ice-water bath. Continue blanching in batches. Remove the beans from the ice bath with a slotted spoon and spread on the towel-covered baking sheets. Blot dry.

To make the pickles, pack the beans vertically in a quart jar.

Combine the remaining ingredients in a medium nonreactive saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer for 1 minute. Pour the hot brine over the beans to cover by 1/2 inch. Leave 1/2 inch of headspace between the top of the liquid and the lid.

Refrigerate: Cool, cover, and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

Szechuan Pickled Green Beans with Quiche and Tomatoes

GYO: Spicy Chinese Cucumber Salad

grow_your_own_logo-2009-bldgAs you can see, we have lots of really big cucumbers coming in right now, so I’ve been looking for new recipes to use them in. I came across this “Spicy Chinese Cucumber Salad” recipe that sounded really good and decided to try it. Delish!

It could use a bit more seasoning, but we liked it. Dan was worried it would be too vinegary, because I *love* vinegar-soaked cucumbers, but this had only a few tablespoons of rice vinegar, which is less acidic than the white vinegar I usually use, and other ingredients as well. It turned out very good, but I think I will double the chili-garlic sauce next time.

Spicy Chinese Cucumber Salad

1 large cucumber
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp rice vinegar, to taste
2 tsp sesame oil, to taste
2 tsp sugar, to taste
2 tsp soy sauce, to taste
1/2 tbsp chili paste, to taste (optional)
2 tsp sesame seeds, toasted

Wash and then peel the cucumber skins in alternating stripes (or peel completely or not at all). Slice the cucumbers in half lengthwise and scoop the seeds and pulp out with a spoon. Slice the cucumbers into 1/4-inch pieces. Sprinkle the cucumber slices with the salt and toss to coat evenly. Cover and place in refrigerator for an hour.

After an hour, squeeze the cucumber slices of as much liquid as possible with your hand. In a medium bowl, combine the cucumber with the rice vinegar, sesame oil, and sugar. Add a little soy sauce and mix the salad. Taste and add more soy sauce until you reach the desired saltiness. Stir in the chili paste and serve cold; it will taste even better if you let it marinate overnight in the fridge. Just before serving, sprinkle with sesame seeds

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spicy-cucumber-salad

This is my contribution to Grow Your Own, the food blogging event that celebrates growing and preparing our own food. It was originated by Andrea of Andrea’s Recipes and is hosted this time by Graziana from Erbe in Cucina (Cooking with Herbs). The roundup of all the tasty recipes is here.

Chinese Starry Noodles

I wanted a nice, healthy side dish for grilled tuna and scallops, and put together this delicious noodle dish with some of the dozens (it seems like) Asian condiments in my refrigerator. Good stuff.

Chinese Starry Noodles

1/2 lb. spaghetti

1 tsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. oyster sauce
1 tbsp. dry sherry
1 tsp. chile puree with garlic
1/8 tsp. ground star anise
1/8 tsp. cinnamon

1 tbsp. canola or peanut oil
1/2 cup each red and green pepper and onion, thinly sliced and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 large or two small cloves of garlic, minced (about 1 tbsp.)
1 tsp. grated fresh ginger
sliced green or red pepper and 1 whole star anise, for garnish

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil; boil spaghetti 8-10 minutes or until al dente. Combine soy and oyster sauces, sherry, chile puree, star anise and cinnamon in a small bowl and set aside. Heat oil in a large skillet and lightly saute peppers, onion, garlic and ginger. Set aside to cool.

Drain spaghetti and rinse with cool water. Place in a large bowl and combine with the sauce. Mix in vegetables and pour into a serving dish. Garnish with pepper and star anise. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

chinese-starry-noodles

GYO: Fried Rice with Bok Choy

Grow Your Own 2008I still have some basil and a few green tomatoes in the garden, but a couple of weeks ago, we started our fall garden, including onions, a variety of lettuces and bok choy.

On Saturday, Dan came in from the garden and asked me what I had planned for dinner. I hadn’t really planned it out, but when he told me some of the bok choy we planted was ready to use, I decided to make fried rice with some leftover white rice I had in the freezer; I thought, this would be great with crispy baked chicken and a Chinese-inspired dipping sauce. We also have a few pimento peppers left, so I added those in, too. I looked at a few recipes and then got going. It turned out really well.

Bok choy

Fried Rice with Bok Choy

2 tbsp. peanut or vegetable oil
1 small red and 1 small green pimento or bell pepper, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups leftover cooked white rice (leftover works better than fresh, because it’s more dry, so it browns better)
5 large leaves and stems of bok choy, leaves julienned and stems sliced crosswise

1 tbsp. oyster sauce
1 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. sesame oil

Heat oil in saute pan or hot wok over medium-high heat till it shimmers. Add onions, peppers and garlic and stir-fry 4-5 minutes or until softened. Sprinkle with oyster sauce and soy sauce and stir well. Add sliced bok choy stems and stir-fry 2 minutes. Add bok choy leaves and rice and stir-fry 3 minutes. Drizzle with sesame oil and serve. Makes 4 servings.

Fried rice with bok choy

This is my entry in the food blogging event Grow Your Own, which celebrates growing or raising fresh ingredients. It was originated by Andrea of Andrea’s Recipes and is hosted this time by A Laboratory in the Kitchen.

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