Lao Gan Ma Noodles

2 teaspoons light soy sauce
1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon Chinese black vinegar
2 tablespoons minced scallions
1 teaspoon minced ginger
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 1/2 tablespoons of your favorite “godmother” sauce (lao gan ma), or to taste
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
3 tablespoons finely chopped za-cai (pickled radish)
2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds (optional)
3 tablespoons oil
1/3 cup raw peanuts
200 grams dried rice noodles (this makes a big single serving or two small servings)
A large handful of your leafy greens of choice
A small handful chopped cilantro

First prepare the sauce base in a large bowl by mixing together the light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, Chinese black vinegar, scallion, ginger, garlic, “godmother” sauce, sesame oil, za-cai, and sesame seeds.

Heat the oil in a wok using medium heat, and wok fry the peanuts for 5 to 7 minutes until cooked through. Take out the peanuts and drizzle the hot oil left in the wok into the sauce base.

Boil the rice noodles per package instructions. Once the rice noodles are a minute away from done, add in the leafy greens to blanch. Cook for the remaining minute, and then drain the noodles and the greens. Pour the sauce base over the noodles, stir to combine, and top with chopped cilantro.

Sha Cha Chicken Stir Fry

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, thinly sliced (can also substitute boneless skinless chicken thighs)
1 teaspoon soy sauce, plus 1 tablespoon
2 teaspoons cornstarch
Vegetable oil
1-2 tablespoons minced ginger
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons Sha Cha Sauce
2 teaspoon sugar
5 scallions, cut on an angle into 2-inch lengths

In a medium bowl, add the sliced chicken breast, 1 teaspoon soy sauce, 2 teaspoons cornstarch and 1 tablespoon vegetable oil. Mix well.

Heat your wok over high heat until smoking. Add 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, and sear the chicken until it just turns opaque (it can still be slightly pink). Remove the chicken from the wok and set aside.

Reduce the heat to medium, and add another couple tablespoons of oil to the wok. Add the ginger and cook for 1 minute. Add the garlic, sha cha sauce, and sugar, and fry this mixture for 2 minutes.

Then add the chicken back to the wok along with the scallions and the remaining tablespoon of soy sauce. Increase the heat to high, and stir-fry for 1 minute, until the scallions are wilted. Serve immediately with steamed rice!

Sha Cha Beef Stir Fry

1 pound beef, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon soy sauce, plus 1 tablespoon
2 teaspoons cornstarch
Vegetable oil
1-2 tablespoons minced ginger
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons Sacha Sauce
2 teaspoon sugar
5 scallions, cut on an angle into 2-inch lengths

To the beef, add 1 teaspoon soy sauce, 2 teaspoons cornstarch and 1 tablespoon vegetable oil. Mix well. Heat your wok over high heat until smoking. Add 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, and sear the beef until it just turns opaque (it can still be slightly pink). Remove the beef from the wok and set aside.

Reduce the heat to medium, and add another couple tablespoons of oil to the wok. Add the ginger and cook for 1 minute. Add the garlic, sacha sauce, and sugar, and fry this mixture for 2 minutes.

Add the scallions and beef back to the wok, along with the remaining tablespoon of soy sauce. Increase the heat to high, and stir-fry for 1 minute, until the scallions are wilted.

Pressure Cooker Soy Sauce Chicken

2 teaspoons oil
7 slices ginger
2 scallions, cut into 3-inch pieces
3 whole star anise
(3/4) 1 1/2 cups rose-flavored rice wine (mei kwei lu) or shaoxing wine
(3/4) 1 1/2 cups light soy sauce
(2/3) 1 1/4 cups dark soy sauce
(1/2) 1 cup sugar, plus 2 tablespoons
(1) 2 teaspoons salt
(5) 8 cups water
8 boneless skinless chicken thighs

Grab your instant pot. Turn on the sauté setting, and add the oil and ginger. Let it caramelize for about 30 seconds. Then add the scallions and cook another 30 seconds. Add the star anise, rice wine, soy sauce, dark soy sauce, sugar, salt, and water.

Close the lid of the instant pot, and make sure you have your vent set so it is not venting. Cook for 5 minutes on the high pressure cooking setting.

Safely release pressure, open the lid, and carefully lower the chicken thighs into the instant pot.

Cook the chicken for 15 minutes on the high pressure setting. Carefully release the vent when the timer is up. As soon as all the steam has escaped, you can open the instant pot.

Use two forks to shred the chicken into big chunks and serve over rice with sauce spooned over the top. Let the braising liquid cool, and store it in containers in the freezer. When you need it again, let it thaw in the refrigerator and throw it back in the instant pot with more chicken.

Here’s a quick set of guidelines:

If making the full recipe, you can freeze the reserved liquid and use it again 3 to 4 times.
If you halve the recipe, you’ll have less liquid, which is good for 1 to 2 additional uses.
When reusing the liquid, just add more water, more ginger and scallion, and an additional teaspoon of salt, if desired.
If you’d rather use chicken on the bone, you could also make this recipe with bone-in chicken thighs, chicken legs, wings, and/or chicken leg quarters.

Chicken Stir Fry with Nam Prik Pao

1 1/2 pounds chicken breast, sliced into ¼-inch thick pieces
1 tablespoon cornstarch
3 tablespoons oil, divided
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 Thai bird chilies, thinly sliced (optional)
1 red bell pepper, de-seeded and thinly sliced
5 scallions, sliced at an angle into 2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons Thai Chili Sauce (Namprik Pao)
1 tablespoon fish sauce

Add the chicken to a bowl, along with the 1 tablespoon cornstarch and 1 tablespoon oil. Mix well and set aside.

Heat a wok over high heat until smoking. Add 2 tablespoons of oil, and the chicken. Stir-fry the chicken for 1-2 minutes, until well-seared.

Add the garlic, chilies (if using), bell pepper, scallions, chili sauce, and fish sauce. Stir-fry for another 2 minutes.

Serve with steamed jasmine rice.

Red Curry Noodles with Chicken

8 oz. boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into thin strips
1 teaspoon cornstarch
Vegetable oil
3 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 pound fresh cooked egg noodles
1/2 of a red bell pepper, thinly sliced
2 cups bean sprouts
5 scallions, cut into 2-inch lengths
Lime wedges
2 tablespoons chopped peanuts (optional)

Combine the raw chicken with 1 teaspoon of cornstarch and 1 teaspoon vegetable oil. Set aside while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

When you’re ready to cook, heat a wok over medium high heat, and add a tablespoon of vegetable oil, along with the chicken. Stir-fry the chicken until opaque, remove from the pan, and set aside.

Add the red curry paste. Fry for one minute, and add the coconut milk. Add the noodles and stir-fry, loosening up the noodles as you go.

Add the red bell pepper and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the cooked chicken, bean sprouts and scallions and cook for another 2 minutes, until the scallions are wilted.

Serve with lime wedges, and garnish with chopped peanuts if using.

Bang Bang Chicken

1 large chicken breast (or 2 smaller ones), about ½ lb
3 slices ginger
1 scallion, plus 2 tablespoons finely chopped scallions
1/2 seedless cucumber, julienned
1/2 cup chicken stock (i.e., the cooking water from the chicken)
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
4 teaspoons Chinese dark vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon chili oil (or to taste)
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
1 teaspoon ground Sichuan peppercorn
1/2 teaspoon salt

First, poach the chicken. In a small pot, add 2 cups water, 3 slices ginger and 1 scallion. Bring it to a boil, then add in the chicken breast. Once the water boils again, put the lid on and turn the heat to the lowest setting. Cook for 10-12 minutes. The chicken breast is done if the juice comes out clear when you poke the middle with a chopstick. Transfer the chicken breast to an ice bath to stop the cooking process and keep the chicken moist. Don’t discard the cooking water, as we’ll be using it later in the recipe.

Second, assemble the plate. Julienne the cucumber and spread it in an even layer on a shallow plate. Now, hammer the chicken with a rolling pin to flatten the meat and break it up into shreds. Layer the chicken on top of the cucumber.

Third, prepare the sauce. Mix together the following: 1/2 cup chicken stock (i.e., the cooking water from the chicken), 2 tablespoons light soy sauce, 4 teaspoons Chinese dark vinegar, 2 tablespoons sugar, 1 1/2 tablespoons sesame oil, 1 tablespoon chili oil (or to taste), 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds, 1 teaspoon ground Sichuan peppercorn, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 2 tablespoons finely chopped scallions.

Finally, pour the sauce over the chicken and cucumber, and serve. Toss the chicken and cucumber to coat with the sauce just before you’re ready to dig in!