haters gonna hate

And by haters I mean Erik. We all know about my love and obsession with Asian food – stir fry, Thai food, Chinese food, my beloved spring rolls – all of it. Over the years, Erik has just sucked it up with an “ew nasty” face and eaten it when I made it (and begrudgingly admitted it tasted fine) but now he’s starting to fight back and refuse. Korean chicken dish I wanted to try? “No.” Stir fried beef with shitakes and snow peas? “No.” Ginger chicken thing I made up over steamed rice? “No.” It all makes me want to smash a wok of fried rice over his head. But that would be a monumental waste of good fried rice.

I’ll admit that I sometimes feel like cooking for just me is silly. If I weren’t a married lady, there would be a lot of bowls of cereal or scrambled eggs and toast or handful of tortilla chips dinners going on because sometimes it’s not so fun to cook for one. But I’m taking a page from my friend Son (again) because he often just cooks for himself and he makes some pretty spectacular (and just plain beautiful) dishes. Why shouldn’t dinner be an occasion just for yourself? It should. So I briefly thanked the gods of Asian food love that Erik is still sick and not so interested in eating things yet and made myself some damn General Tso’s Chicken and vegetable fried rice. And spring rolls. And it made me happier than most dinner’s have made me in a long time. Truthfully, even if he had decided after all that he wanted some, I wouldn’t have let him have any. I’m a rude dude that way. ::evil laugh::

General Tso’s Chicken
recipe adapted from Joelen’s Culinary Adventures

You Need:
chicken breasts cut into 1 inch pieces (I used 2 boneless skinless breasts which gave me enough for a fairly big dinner and lunch leftovers)
hoisin sauce, I think I used 1/2 cup (dunno, I eyeballed it)
regular white vinegar (hm 1/4 cup, perhaps a little less)
a few big shakes of soy sauce
a Tablespoon or so of sugar
couple Tablespoons cornstarch
sesame oil
minced garlic cloves
grated ginger
red pepper flakes

Coating: (I kept to the original measurements and had some coating leftover. Better too much than too little, I say)
3 egg whites
1 1/2 cups cornstarch
1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoons baking soda
vegetable or canola oil, for frying

scallions, sliced
cooked white rice, or fried rice, and spring rolls whatever you want to serve it with

For the marinade, whisk the hoisin, soy sauce, vinegar, sugar and cornstarch in a bowl. Pour some of the marinade into a ziplock bag. Add your chicken and toss the bag around a bit to coat all the chicken pieces. Let this marinate in the fridge for about 30 minutes. Set aside the remaining marinade in the bowl. Heat a couple Tablespoons of sesame oil in your wok until the oil is shimmery. Saute the garlic, red pepper flakes, and ginger for about 30 seconds. Add the marinade from the bowl to the wok and let it simmer until thickened. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Whisk the egg whites until foamy. Set aside. In another bowl or shallow dish, combined the cornstarch, flour and baking soda. Drain your marinated chicken. Dredge the pieces in egg whites, then dip them in the cornstarch mixture. Transfer the chicken pieces to a plate to ready them for frying. In another pan or Dutch oven, heat up some oil. Fry the chicken pieces in batches until golden brown and cooked through. Drain on a paper towel lined plate. Warm your sauce from the wok up, then place in a bowl. Toss the chicken pieces in the sauce. Serve over rice with the scallions as garnish, maybe with some spring rolls on the side. The little crispy chicken nuggets are amazing – the cornstarch is really the way to go to fry things up very light, airy and crisp. The coating just shatters in your mouth and it’s crunchy and hot and just wicked awesome. (wicked awesome? how’s that for being totally inarticulate? Whatevs. This chicken is amazing.

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5 Comments

Filed under Chicken, Uncategorized, Wok-a-licious

5 responses to “haters gonna hate

  1. emily

    ugh. billy is the same way.. and like you, i’ve learned to linger in my asian-food-alone-time as long as possible, because i know i won’t have it again for quite a while. i actually used to like when he was gone on jobs for weeks at a time because i got to eat at hu-dat in corpus like every day..how effed up is that.. anyway, this chicken looks yum!

  2. rebekah

    hehehe there’s something in me that likes the idea of being all super secret sneaky spy and having a clandestine affair with the local chinese buffet. in a wig and a trench coat, heaping rice and stir fry onto your plate. that’s hot. 😉

    i don’t get all this “ew nasty” attitude about asian food. there is absolutely nothing offensive about it. it’s like when i made some outstanding pumpkin muffins the other morning, erik refuses to try them because there is pumpkin in them. and god forbid pumpkin taint his sensitive palate. this from a man who eats pigs feet. go figure. men are weird. i’m going to start my own island where ladies who love asian food can live and eat stir fry in peace and the haters won’t be allowed on it …

  3. emily

    i love that island idea. i’m going to think about it before i fall asleep tonight so i can dream about it..

  4. jewelboxer

    i really like this recipe because i could make it as ridiculously spicy as i want.

    also, while my husband does eat asian food (quite happily, at that), he sucks for other reasons. so i want to go to the asian food island too please.

  5. rebekah

    1. YES. next time i make this dish, it’s getting double the amount of red pepper flakes and whatever else i can think of to spice it up. the coating on that chicken begs for some heat.

    2. well, to be honest with you lady, an asian food island would be no fun without you so you were probably going to end up on it whether you wanted to or not. 😉

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