Air Fryer Orange Chicken

Orange zest, grated
1/2 Tbsp soy sauce
5 Tbsp white vinegar 5 Tbsp sugar
1/2 cup + 1 Tbsp cornstarch
1/4 cup water
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 white pepper
1 Tbsp oil
1/4 cup flour
1 Tbsp ginger root, minced
1 tsp garlic, minced
1/4 cup green onions, chopped
1/2 tsp red pepper, crushed
1 Tbsp Shaoxing rice wine
1/2 tsp sesame oil
2 lbs. chicken breasts, boneless & skinless

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the orange zest, soy sauce, white vinegar and sugar, mix well. In a separate mixing bowl, combine the cornstarch and water until mixture is stirred together.

In another separate bowl, add in the egg, salt, pepper and oil and whisk until combined.

Add in the flour and cornstarch in another bowl and stir together.

Slice the chicken into small pieces. Dip each piece into the egg mixture, then the flour mixture until fully coated.

Line the air fryer basket with perforated parchment paper (optional) and place the chicken pieces in the air fryer. Air fry at 380°F for 4 minutes.

In a saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of oil. Add in the ginger root, garlic, green onions, red pepper and rice wine. Stir in the orange sauce, bringing to a boil and mix well.

Add in the air fried chicken and then stir in the cornstarch mixture. Lastly, add in the sesame oil, stirring thoroughly, then serve.

Bok Choy Chicken

6 oz (170g) boneless and skinless chicken breast, cut into thin pieces
2 tablespoons oil
8 oz (226g) bok choy (sliced into pieces)
1 inch (2cm) piece ginger, peeled and sliced into pieces

Marinade:

1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon cornstarch

Sauce:

1/2 tablespoon oyster sauce
2 tablespoons water
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
3 dashes white pepper
1 teaspoon wine
1/2 teaspoon sugar

Marinate the chicken with the ingredients in Marinade for 10 minutes. Combine all the ingredients in the Sauce in a small bowl, stir to blend well.

Cut the bok choy into pieces.

Heat 1/2 tablespoon oil in a wok until the oil becomes hot. Add the chicken and quickly stir-fry until the surface of the chicken turn opaque or white. Dish out and set aside. This step seals in the juice in the chicken so the texture is tender and vevelty smooth.

Heat up the remaining oil in the wok until hot. Add the ginger into the wok and stir-fry until aromatic. Add the chicken back into the wok and do a few quick stirs. Add in the bok choy and stir to combine well. Transfer the sauce into the wok and continue to stir-fry until the bok choy is cooked but remain crisp. Do not overcook.

Dish out and serve immediately with steamed white rice.

Taiwanese Popcorn Chicken

1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons Chinese five-spice powder
1 teaspoon ground white pepper
4 teaspoons kosher salt
6 cups vegetable oil
1 tablespoon Sichuan peppercorns or whole black peppercorns
1 cup/115 grams tapioca flour
1 cup fresh basil leaves

In a large bowl, season chicken thighs with soy sauce, sugar, five-spice powder, white pepper and 2 teaspoons salt. Set aside to marinate about 1 hour at room temperature, or refrigerate it overnight.

When ready to cook, fit a medium pot with a cooking thermometer and heat vegetable oil over medium to 350 degrees. Coarsely grind the peppercorns in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle and mix with the remaining 2 teaspoons kosher salt. Set aside.

Wet your hands and toss marinated chicken with tapioca flour and about 1 tablespoon water until the tapioca flour looks like small beads and clings to the chicken. (Adding a little moisture to your chicken helps the tapioca flour form small beads that will also stick to the chicken and give it a very crunchy crust.)

Working in batches, add the battered chicken to the hot oil and fry until golden brown and crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. With a slotted spoon or spider, transfer fried chicken to a paper towel-lined plate and season each batch with peppercorn mixture.

Fry basil leaves until translucent and crisp, 1 to 2 minutes, then scatter over the fried chicken. Serve with leftover peppercorn mixture for sprinkling to taste.

Loaded Baked Potato Soup

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 slices bacon
1/2 cup (2 ounces) chopped white or yellow onion
2 large garlic cloves, minced or grated, about 1 tablespoon
1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes (2 to 3 medium), peeled and diced (or try cauliflowere)
4 cups no-salt chicken or vegetable low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1/2 cup (2 1/4 ounces) shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
1/4 cup snipped fresh chives or finely chopped scallion greens, for serving
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt (optional)

Set a paper towel-lined plate or a rack near the stove. In a large saucepan over medium heat, add the oil and heat until shimmering. Add the bacon and cook, turning occasionally, until crisp, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to the prepared plate to drain, leaving the oil and bacon drippings in the pan.

Add the onion to the pan and cook, stirring, until starting to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the potatoes and broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low to maintain a simmer. Cook until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer about half the potatoes to a bowl and mash until almost smooth but still a little chunky. Return the potatoes to the pan along with the sour cream, 1/4 cup (about 1 ounce) of the cheese and the pepper.

Cook, stirring, until the cheese is melted and the soup is heated through, about 2 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning, if needed.

Ladle the soup into bowls, garnish with the crumbled bacon, the remaining cheese and the chives or scallion greens, and serve.

Vegetable Yaki Udon

12 ozUdon Noodles

Sauce:
1 tablespoon oyster sauce (or vegetarian oyster sauce)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon Shaoxing wine (or dry sherry)
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon sesame oil

Stir Fry:
2 tablespoons peanut oil (or vegetable oil)
2 cloves garlic , minced
1/2 onion , diced
1 bell pepper , sliced
1/2 cup carrot , cut into matchsticks
1/2 cup snow peas , sliced
1 can (5 oz) water chestnuts , sliced

Combine the sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Stir well and set aside.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and fry until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Add the onion, bell pepper, carrot, snow peas, and water chestnuts. Cook and stir for another 30 seconds, until the veggies just start to turn tender.

Add the noodles over the vegetables, followed by 2 tablespoons of water. Gently break apart the noodles using a pair of chopsticks (or a pair of tongs) while the water cooks off. Then add the remaining tablespoon of oil and stir everything together.

Pour the sauce over the vegetables and noodles. Stir and mix until the noodles and vegetables are evenly coated. Cook for another minute until the vegetables are cooked through but remain crisp. Taste the noodles carefully, add a pinch of salt to your taste if needed.

Serve hot as a main or side dish.

Kung Pao Tofu

1 medium or small head cauliflower , cut into small florets
1 tablespoon peanut oil (or vegetable oil)
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup milk (or non-dairy milk)
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup roasted peanuts
1 bell pepper , cut into 1” (2.5 cm) pieces
4 green onions , cut into bite-sized pieces (*Footnote 1)

Sauce:
1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons Chinkiang vinegar
1/4 cup Shaoxing wine (or dry sherry)
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon peanut oil (or vegetable oil)
1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns , crushed
6 dried Chinese chili peppers
1 ” (2.5 cm) ginger , minced
4 cloves garlic , minced

Preheat the oven to 450°F (232°C). Line a large baking tray with parchment paper and spray with a light coating of cooking spray.

Combine the Chinkiang vinegar, Shaoxing wine, soy sauce, sugar, and cornstarch in a medium-sized bowl. Stir to dissolve the sugar and cornstarch.

Dry the cauliflower thoroughly with paper towels. Add the cauliflower florets to a large bowl. Drizzle with oil and toss a few times. Add the flour and toss until the the florets are coated. Pour in the milk and toss again. Add the cornstarch and toss until the cauliflower is evenly coated. Spread the coated cauliflower on to the lined baking tray, making sure the pieces are evenly spaced out with gaps in between (*Footnote 2). Bake for 25 minutes in total. Check the cauliflower at the 15- and 20-minute marks. If the bottom is browned, flip the cauliflower. Once the baking is finished, the cauliflower should turn golden brown spotly and crispy throughout.

While the cauliflower is baking, make the sauce. Add the oil, peppercorns, and dried chilis to a small saucepan and turn the heat to medium-low. Once they become fragrant, about 1 minute, add the ginger and garlic. Cook until they are just starting to brown, another 1 to 2 minutes. Stir the sauce again to re-dissolve the cornstarch completely and add it to the pan. Raise the heat to medium-high and bring it to a boil. Boil until the sauce is just thickened. Remove the pot from the heat and set it aside.

After the cauliflower has baked for 25 minutes, pull the tray out and turn the heat to 500°F. Add the peanuts, peppers, and green onions. Put the tray back in the oven and cook for another 5 minutes, until the peppers are lightly cooked.

Pour the sauce over the cauliflower and gently toss to coat (*Footnote 3). Serve immediately as a side or a main.

Notes
It’s important to cut the cauliflower to the right size to ensure even roasting and browning. See the blog post above to see how to cut the cauliflower.

It’s very important to leave some space between the cauliflower florets, so the cauliflower will release steam and turn crispy once baked. If your baking tray does not have enough space, bake the rest in a separate tray. You can bake both trays at the same time by place the smaller tray on a different rack.

If you’re not serving the dish immediately, let the cauliflower cool off for a bit before tossing in the sauce. The cauliflower will stay crispy better this way.

Chinese Eggplant and Garlic Sauce

2 (10 oz. / 300 g) small Chinese long eggplant , chopped to bite-size pieces (*Footnote 1)
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cornstarch

Sauce (*footnote 2):
1 tablespoon light soy sauce (or soy sauce)
1 tablespoon water
1/2 teaspoon dark soy sauce (*see footnote 3)
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch

Stir-fry:
2 1/2 tablespoons peanut oil (or vegetable oil)
1 teaspoon ginger , minced
3 cloves garlic , chopped

(Option 1) Place eggplant in a large bowl and add water to cover. Add 1 teaspoon salt, mix well. Place a pot lid on top to keep the eggplant under water for 15 minutes. Drain and pat dry.

(Option 2) Spread the sliced eggplant out on a paper towel. Sprinkle Kosher salt on both sides of the eggplant slices. Allow to rest for 45-60 minutes. Pat dry without rinsing.

Combine the sauce ingredients in a small bowl, mix well.

Sprinkle eggplant with 1 tablespoon cornstarch and mix by hand, until eggplant is evenly coated with with a thin layer of cornstarch.

Add 2 tablespoons oil to a big nonstick skillet and heat over medium high heat until hot. Spread eggplant across the bottom of the skillet without overlapping. Cook the eggplant one side at a time until all the surfaces are charred and the eggplant turns soft, 8 to 10 minutes in total. Transfer the eggplants to a plate. If the skillet gets too hot and starts to smoke, turn to medium heat.

Add the remaining 1/2 teaspoon oil, the ginger and garlic into the same skillet. Stir a few times until fragrant. Add all the eggplant back into the skillet. Mix the sauce again until cornstarch is fully dissolved and pour it over the eggplant. Immediately stir a few times, until the eggplant is evenly coated and the sauce thickens. Transfer everything to a big plate.

Serve hot as a side or as main over steamed rice or noodles.

Home Style Tofu with Peppers

1 block (14 oz/396 g) soft or medium firm tofu , cut into 1 cm thick triangles (Footnote 1)
1 cup vegetable oil , for deep frying
4 cloves garlic , sliced
1 ” (2.5 cm) ginger , thinly sliced into strips
3 green onions , cut into 1″ pieces, white and green parts separated
1 tablespoon doubanjiang
1/2 carrot , sliced (about 1/3 cup)
1 bell pepper , cut into 1” diamonds
1 (8-oz / 226 g) can sliced bamboo shoots , or 1 bamboo shoot, sliced (about 1/3 cup)
1 teaspoon sesame oil

Sauce:
3 tablespoons light soy sauce (or soy sauce)
1 tablespoon Chinkiang vinegar
2 teaspoons vegetarian oyster sauce (or sweet bean paste) (Footnote 2)
1 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons water (or vegetable stock)

Slurry:
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon water

Mix the sauce ingredients together in a medium bowl.

Add the slurry ingredients into a small bowl and stir to mix well.

In a high-walled skillet or pot, heat the oil to 375°F (190°C). Carefully add the tofu. Fry until both sides turn golden, about 3 minutes. Flip once or twice to ensure even cooking. Remove the tofu from the oil and transfer it to a big plate.

Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of oil from the pan (alternatively, you can heat 1 tablespoon of oil in another large skillet).

Add the garlic, ginger, green onion (white part), and doubanjiang to the pan. Turn the heat to medium. Stir fry to release the fragrance until the oil turns red, about 2 minutes.

Add the fried tofu, carrots, bell peppers, and bamboo. Stir fry for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Pour in the sauce. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer, gently flipping occasionally. Simmer for 5 minutes.

Add the green onion (green part). Mix the slurry again so the cornstarch is fully dissolved. Pour in the slurry and mix with a spatula until the sauce thickens.

Drizzle in a teaspoon of sesame oil to finish up.

Serve hot over steamed rice as a main dish.

General Tso’s Tofu

Tofu:
1 block (16 oz / 450 g) extra firm tofu (or medium firm tofu)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon maple syrup (or agave nectar)
5 to 6 tablespoons cornstarch

Sauce:
2 tablespoons Shaoxing wine (or dry sherry)
3 tablespoons Chinkiang vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch

Stir fry:
3 tablespoons peanut oil (or vegetable oil)
2 teaspoons whole Sichuan peppercorns (Optional)
4 to 5 dried chili peppers
1 tablespoon garlic , minced
1 tablespoon ginger , minced
2 teaspoons doubanjiang (spicy fermented bean paste) (Footnote 1) (Optional)
4 green onions , roughly chopped
1 bell pepper , chopped
1/3 cup fried peanuts

Cut tofu into 1-inch pieces and transfer to a large ziploc bag. Add soy sauce and maple syrup. Gently flip the bag a few times to coat tofu with the liquid. Marinate for 10 to 15 minutes.

Mix all the sauce ingredients with 2 tablespoons water in a small bowl.

When tofu is marinated, open the bag just a little bit without letting the tofu fall out. Drain the liquid and discard it. Add cornstarch, a tablespoon at a time, and gently toss the bag to coat the tofu. It is OK if the tofu isn’t coated evenly.

Heat a large skillet with 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat until hot. Add the tofu with your hand (or a pair of tongs), shaking off any extra cornstarch. Let cook without moving for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the bottom turns golden. Flip to brown the other side. If the pan gets too hot, turn to medium or medium low heat. Transfer cooked tofu to a plate. Set aside.

Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and the Sichuan peppercorns. Cook and stir until the peppercorns turn dark (but not black). Remove the Sichuan peppercorns and discard them.

Add the chili pepper, garlic, ginger, and doubanjiang. Stir for 20 to 30 seconds to release the fragrance.

Add the bell pepper and green onion. Stir for 20 seconds.

Stir the sauce again to dissolve the cornstarch completely. Pour into the pan. Stir a few times until the sauce thickens.

Add back the cooked tofu. Gently toss to coat with sauce. Add the peanuts and give it a quick stir. Immediately transfer everything to a big plate.

Serve hot as main with steamed rice.

Baked Crispy Tofu

1 (14 oz/ 396 g) extra firm tofu (or firm tofu)

Batter:
1/2 cup soy milk (or other plant-based milk)
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons parsley , dried (or Italian seasoning blend)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt

Coating:
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup cornmeal

Serving options:
Thai sweet chili sauce, ketchup, Sriracha sauce, or mayonnaise

Preheat oven to 400 degree F (200 C). Spray a thin layer of oil onto a baking tray.

Carefully press the tofu with your hands. Wrap a few layers of kitchen paper towels (or cheesecloth) around it to absorb the extra liquid. Cut tofu into squares that are about 1/3 inch (1 cm) thick and 2 inches (4 cm) long.

Mix the batter in a large bowl. Mix the panko and cornmeal in another bowl.

Set up your workstation by placing the batter, plate of panko mixture, and the baking tray all in a row.

Pick up a piece of tofu with your hand and dunk it into the batter. Then place it into the panko bowl, flip to coat the other side, then transfer it onto the baking tray. Repeat the process with the remaining tofu.

Spray tofu with a thin layer of oil. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, flipping once in between, until both surfaces turn golden.

Serve hot or cold with homemade sweet chili sauce, ketchup.

Crispy Tofu with Garlic Sauce

Crispy tofu:
1 12-oz. / 340-g block extra firm tofu
Salt

Garlic sauce:
2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari for gluten-free option
1/2 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
4 garlic cloves minced
1 green onion chopped (*Footnote 1)
Optional Toasted sesame seeds for garnish
Optional Sriracha sauce for serving

Crispy tofu:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 C). Line a baking tray with parchment.

Press the water out of the tofu while heating up the oven. Carefully press the tofu with your hands. Slice the tofu into two even-thickness pieces. Wrap a few layers of cheesecloth (or kitchen paper towel) outside the tofu, and place a small tray with a heavy weight on top. The weight can be a jar of pickles or canned tomatoes.

When the oven is heated, cut the tofu into 1/2-inch (1-cm) pieces. (*Footnote 2)
Season both sides with salt. Bake for about 30 minutes, until the tofu turns golden and the surface puffs.

Now you can use it in stir fries or serve the tofu with sauce.

Garlic sauce:

Prepare the garlic sauce while baking the tofu. Whisk the soy sauce, sugar, water, and cornstarch in a small bowl until completely dissolved.

Heat the oil in a small pan over a medium heat until hot. Add the garlic and green onions. Stir for 20 seconds to release the aroma.

Stir the sauce again to make sure the cornstarch is dissolved. Pour into the pan. Stir constantly for 10 to 20 seconds, until the sauce has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon. Transfer immediately into a small bowl, so the sauce won’t overcook in the residual heat.

When the tofu is baked, drizzle the sauce over the tofu. Garnish with green onions and sesame seeds, if using.

Serve immediately as a snack or appetizer.

Notes:
Use the white part to cook the sauce and save the green part to garnish the tofu before serving.
It is OK to cut the tofu slightly larger, up to 3/4-inch (1.5-cm) thick. It will take longer for the pieces to crisp up, about 35 to 40 minutes.

Crispy Marinated Tofu

1 block (14 oz / 400 g) extra-firm or firm tofu
Optional 3 to 4 green onions, coarsely sliced to fill the marinade (*Footnote 1), reserve green parts for garnish
Vegetable oil for pan frying

Marinade:
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup shaoxing wine (or dry sherry)
2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons chili paste (or hot sauce you like) (*Footnote 2)
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
1 teaspoon lemon juice
4 cloves garlic, grated
1 inch ginger, grated

Coating:
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt (Skip the salt if using doubanjiang in the marinade)
1/2 teaspoon cumin

Marinate (4 hr to overnight)
(Optional) Press the tofu gently using your hands or a few layers of paper towel to get rid of excess water. Use this step if you’re short on time and need to use less time to marinate the tofu. You can skip this step if you’re going to marinate the tofu overnight.

Prepare a container that’s slightly bigger than the block of tofu. Combine all the sauce ingredients in the container. Stir to mix well. Transfer 2 to 3 tablespoons of the marinade into a separate small bowl to use as a dipping sauce later.

Cut the tofu in half lengthwise, then into half-inch-thick squares. Transfer the pieces into the container by making them “stand”, so it helps the marinade to disperse evenly (see the blog post above to see how to arrange the tofu). Use your hand to gently separate the tofu slices, so all the surfaces will be in touch with the marinade. If the marinade cannot cover all the tofu, use some green onion (or white onion) to fill up the empty space in the container, so the marinade covers most of the tofu.

Cover to seal the container. Gently shake it. Marinate overnight in the fridge or at room temperature for at least 4 hours.

Cook
When you’re ready to cook, remove the tofu from the marinade and lay it on a few layers of paper towels to drain the extra liquid.

Combine the coating ingredients in a plate. Stir to mix well.

Prepare a big plate with a few layers of paper towels, for the cooked tofu.

Heat a thin layer of oil in a nonstick (or carbon steel) pan over medium-high heat until hot.
You might need to cook the tofu in batches depending on your pan size. While heating up the pan, coat each piece of tofu with the coating mixture and place it on a plate. You should only coat the pieces you’re going to fry immediately.

Carefully add the coated tofu pieces into the pan. Cook without moving until the bottom is browned, 2 minutes or so. Flip to cook the other side until browned, another 2 minutes. Turn the heat down to medium if the pan gets too hot and the oil starts to smoke. Repeat the process until you’ve fried all the tofu pieces.

Transfer the fried tofu onto the paper towel lined plate to drain the excess oil.

Serve the fried tofu with the reserved dipping sauce on the side and garnish it with chopped green onion. Enjoy!

Notes:
I put green onion in the marinade container so the liquid would rise high enough to cover the tofu. You can skip it if the marinade covers the tofu already.

Sriracha, Thai chili paste, doubanjiang, and any other type of hot sauce will work in this recipe. Note, if you use doubanjiang, skip the salt in the coating since doubanjiang contains a lot of salt already.

The nutrition facts were calculated based on an estimate of the amount of marinade that gets absorbed by the tofu.

Chinese Deviled Eggs

6 extra large eggs
5 tablespoons mayonnaise (or to taste)
1 heaping teaspoon wasabi or Chinese hot mustard (or to taste)
1/4 teaspoon rice vinegar
2 tablespoons zha cai Chinese pickled mustard greens, diced (Optional)
1 green onion , thinly sliced
Chinese chili flakes (or your favorite chili sauce)

To boil the eggs, fill a pot with enough water to cover the eggs. Bring the water to a boil, then slowly lower the eggs using a ladle. Boil for 12 minutes, stirring the water in a circular motion with a spoon for the first minute (to keep the egg yolk in the center). Once the eggs are done, run them under cold tap water to stop cooking.

Once the eggs are cooled, peel them and slice them in half lengthwise.

Gently pop out the cooked yolks into a big bowl using a small spoon. Mash them with the backside of a spoon. Make sure to mash them as finely as you can, so the finished filling will be smooth.
Add the mayonnaise, wasabi or mustard, and rice vinegar to the bowl. Mix with a spatula (or an immersion blender) just until it forms a smooth paste. You can adjust the taste by adding more mayo, wasabi, or vinegar.

Add the zha cai pickles, if using. Mix again to distribute throughout the yolk mixture.

Transfer the yolk mixture to a piping bag with a large star tip, or a small ziplock bag with a corner cut off.

Pipe the yolks into the halved egg white cups.

Garnish the eggs with chili flakes (or hot sauce) and green onions. Serve as an appetizer.

These eggs can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge in a sealed container for up to 2 days.

Sheet Pan Tofu and Green Beans with Chili Crisp

3 tablespoons chile-crisp condiment, plus more for serving
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons Chinese black vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon honey
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
2 tablespoons chopped scallions
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 (14-ounce) package extra-firm tofu, drained and sliced crosswise into 8 (1/2-inch-thick) slabs
3/4 pound green beans
1 tablespoon neutral oil, like canola or grapeseed
White rice, for serving

Heat oven to 450 degrees. In a baking dish or casserole, whisk together the chile crisp, soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, honey, garlic, scallions and cilantro.

Add the tofu slices to the dish, and coat them with the sauce, then allow to marinate for as long as it takes to heat the oven and trim the green beans.

Add the green beans to a large sheet pan, then drizzle the neutral oil on top and toss to coat. Slide the green beans to the sides of the pan, and arrange the slices of tofu in an even layer in the center of the pan. Pour remaining marinade over the tofu, and place in oven.

Roast until the green beans start to blister, 20 to 25 minutes. Serve immediately with rice and extra chile crisp on the side.

Turmeric Black Pepper Chicken (or Tofu or Pork) with Asparagus

3 tablespoons honey
3/4 teaspoon black pepper, plus more to taste
Kosher salt
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground turmeric
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 tablespoon coconut or canola oil
12 ounces asparagus, trimmed and thinly sliced on an angle
1 teaspoon unseasoned rice vinegar or soy sauce
1 lime, cut into wedges (optional)

In a small bowl or measuring cup, stir together 1/4 cup water with the honey, pepper and 1/2 teaspoon salt; set honey mixture aside.

In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, turmeric and 1 teaspoon salt. Add the chicken and toss until coated.

In a medium (10-inch) nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium-high. Add the chicken and cook until the turmeric is fragrant and the chicken is golden brown on both sides, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Add the asparagus, season with salt, stir to combine and cook until crisp-tender, 1 to 2 minutes.

Add the honey mixture and cook, stirring, until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce has thickened, 2 to 3 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in the vinegar, if using. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with lime squeezed over top, if you like.

Chili Oil Noodles

14 ounces dried udon noodles
1/4 cup chile oil with crunchy garlic
2 tablespoons pure sesame oil
2 teaspoons Sichuan chile oil, or to taste
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1/2 cup finely sliced garlic chives or scallions, plus more for garnish
2 tablespoons store-bought fried shallots, crumbled by hand (optional)
1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro (see Note), plus a few sprigs for garnish

Bring a large pot of water to boil and cook noodles according to package instructions, stirring from time to time to prevent them from sticking. Drain well in a colander, then run noodles under cold water until cooled.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine all three oils with the soy sauce and 1/2 cup garlic chives.
Toss cooled noodles into the chile oil mixture. Gently fold in the crumbled fried shallots and chopped cilantro. Divide among four bowls, and top with more garlic chives and cilantro sprigs.

Baby Bok Choy (or Broccoli) with Oyster Sauce

1 tablespoon soy sauce
3 1/2 tablespoons oyster sauce
Pinch of sugar
2 tablespoons rice vinegar (do not use seasoned rice vinegar)
1 tablespoon neutral oil
1 tablespoon finely minced garlic
4 to 6 bunches of baby bok choy, approximately 1 1/2 pounds, cleaned, with ends trimmed (or equivalent amount of broccoli)

Combine soy sauce, oyster sauce, sugar and rice vinegar in a bowl and set aside.

Heat oil in a skillet or wok set over high heat. When it shimmers, add garlic, then bok choy, and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add 2 to 3 tablespoons water to the skillet or wok, then cover it and allow to cook for 2 to 3 minutes more, until bok choy has softened nicely at its base.

Remove bok choy from the skillet or wok and place it on a warmed platter. Drizzle the reserved sauce over the greens and serve.

Orange Beef

FOR THE SAUCE:
1 tablespoon neutral oil
1 1 1/2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
2 tablespoons orange zest, plus the juice of one orange
3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup rice vinegar (do not use seasoned rice vinegar)
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce

FOR THE BEEF:
1 large egg white
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 pinch kosher salt
1 boneless rib-eye steak, approximately 1 to 1 1/2 pounds, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup neutral oil
6 scallions, white and green parts cut into inchlong pieces and separated
2 to 4 dried red chiles, or to taste

Make the sauce: Heat oil in a small sauce pan set over medium-high heat. When it begins to shimmer, add ginger, jalapeño and orange zest and stir to combine. Sauté mixture until ingredients soften, approximately 2 to 3 minutes, then add garlic and continue cooking until it softens, approximately 1 to 2 minutes longer.

Add orange juice, brown sugar, rice vinegar, soy sauce and fish sauce to pan and stir to combine. Allow mixture to come to a boil, then lower the heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until it thickens and reduces by half, approximately 10 to 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the meat: Combine egg white, cornstarch and salt in a bowl. Add steak, tossing to coat the meat with the batter.

In a large skillet or wok set over high heat, heat oil until it shimmers and is about to smoke. Add beef to the pan or wok in a single layer and cook without stirring until the bottoms of the pieces are crisp and golden, approximately 60 to 90 seconds. Add white pieces of scallion and chiles to the pan, then turn the beef pieces over and cook the other sides, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes more for medium-rare. Transfer to a platter.

Pour orange sauce into the hot pan or wok, let it boil and stir it as it thickens. Add meat and white scallions and stir to coat with the sauce. Return meat and sauce to the platter and scatter green scallions over the top. Serve with steamed broccoli and white rice.

Pressure Cooker Spiral-Cut Ham with Char Siu Glaze

4 lbs boneless spiral-sliced ham

Char siu glaze:
2 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp hoisin sauce
1 Tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp five-spice powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 cup pineapple juice
1/4 cup brown sugar – packed, or more as needed
1/4 tsp salt

Prepare the glaze:

Mix all the ingredients for the glaze in a bowl. Stir to mix and set aside.

Prepare the ham:

Get 2 layers of heavy-duty aluminum foil, enough to cover and wrap the ham up entirely. Remove the ham from its packaging. Place the ham on the center of the foil and then shape the foil into bowl-like. Use your clean hands to gently separate the layers of sliced ham and then pour the glaze you prepare earlier, trying to get into each layer as much as you can.
Wrap the ham up with the foil, leaving no gap.

Pressure cook in Instant pot:

The ham is already cooked when you bought it. All we are doing is to heat it up and to make sure it stays moist. Pour in 1 cup of water into the inner pot of the instant pot. Place the trivet in. Carefully and gently transfer the foil-wrapped ham and place on top of the trivet, careful not to let the trivet puncture the foil (it happened to me before) and the liquid will leak out and the ham won’t be moist.

Secure the lid and turn the steam release valve to seal. Press “pressure cooker” and make sure it’s on “high pressure”. The cooking time should be 2 minutes for each pound of ham. Mine is close to 4 lbs so it should be 8 minutes, but we need to account for the fact that it is wrapped in 2 layers of heavy-duty foil to keep the ham moist during cooking, which means it takes longer to heat it through, so add another 10 minutes on top of that. So, in my case, the total cooking time is 18 minutes. The pressure cooker may take about 10 minutes or less to comes into pressure
When 18 minutes of cooking time has elapsed, wait 15 minutes. The pressure valve would have collapsed by then. Unlock the lid and then carefully lift the ham out from the cooker. Then carefully unwrap the foil. Check the internal temperature to make sure it has come to between 135-140 F. If it’s not, wrap it back up and pressure cook on high for another 3-5 minutes
There should be some cooking juice collected inside the foil. Very carefully transfer the ham out to a platter. Save the juice.

Prepare the glaze:

Pour the liquid out from the inner pot of Instant Pot. Pour in the juice from cooking the ham back into the inner pot. Press saute and bring it to a boil. Have a taste. Is the sauce sweet enough for you or not. You can always adjust the taste by adding more brown sugar. Cook until the sauce has slightly reduced and thickened slightly, may take about 3-5 minutes. The glaze will thicken as the sugar caramelized. Don’t reduce the sauce too much because they thicken further once it cools down. If it gets too thick, you can always add a bit of warm water to thin down the consistency a bit, especially if you plan to serve the extra glaze on the side.

Glaze the ham:

Brush some of the glaze on top of the ham and in between slices. Reserve some of the glaze to serve on the side.

Broil the ham (optional):

I didn’t do this, but if you want a more caramelized glazed ham, place the ham on top of a baking sheet lined with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Broil the ham on high for 2-3 minutes or until you are happy with the caramelization.

Serve:

Slice the ham, which shouldn’t be hard, since it is already pre-sliced halfway and you just need to cut it all the way. Serve with the extra glaze on the side.

Cantonese Wonton Noodle Soup

8 oz. ground pork (225g)
3/4 teaspoon salt (plus more to taste)
3/4 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
1 tablespoon shaoxing wine
2 teaspoons oil
1 tablespoon water
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
6 oz. shrimp (170g, chopped)
1/2 pack wonton wrappers (the square-shaped egg wonton skins)
12 oz. wonton egg noodles (340g, see photo above)
8 cups high quality, low sodium chicken broth (1.9 liters)

Start by making the filling. Add the pork, 3/4 teaspoon salt, sugar, sesame oil, white pepper, wine, oil, water, and cornstarch to a bowl and whip everything together by hand for 15 minutes, or in a food processor for 5 minutes. You want the pork to look like a paste. Mix in the chopped shrimp.

To make the wontons, take a wrapper, and add only about a teaspoon of filling. Use your finger to coat the edges with water (this helps the two sides seal together), and fold in half so you have a triangle shape. Bring together the two outer corners, and press to seal. Continue assembling until you’ve used up the filling (this recipe should make about 3 dozen wontons).

To assemble the dish, heat up the chicken broth in a medium pot. Adjust seasoning by adding salt, to taste.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and boil the noodles just until al dente. Divide among 6 bowls. Add the wontons and boil for about 4-5 minutes until they float and the filling is cooked through. Divide wontons among the bowls, and cover with hot broth. Serve!

If you want your soup a little more flavorful, you can also add a couple drops of sesame oil, chopped scallion, and white pepper over the top!