Pressure Cooker Soy Sauce Chicken Noodles (You Ji Mian)

4 leg quarters (which include both thigh and drumstick). See notes
500 gr Chinese egg noodles thin or thick

Braising spices and seasonings:
2 star anise
1 whole head garlic, remove the papery skin
1 tsp five-spice powder
1 cinnamon stick
6 stalks green onion cut each stalk into half
1 inch knob of ginger peeled and cut into thin slices
6 cups water
1/2 cup dark soy sauce
1/2 cup soy sauce
50 gr rock sugar

To brush the chicken (optional):
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp soy sauce
Serve with:
Vegetables like baby bok choy, chye sim, or few leaves of lettuce
Pickled green chili

Place all the ingredients for braising in the inner pot of pressure cooker. Add the leg quarters. Cover the lid. Turn the steam release valve to “sealing”. Press “pressure cooker” and make sure it’s on “high pressure”. Set timer to 25 minutes.

When cooking is complete, wait for 5 minutes and then release pressure. Have a taste and adjust by adding more soy sauce and/or small pinch of sugar to your taste.

Combine sesame oil with soy sauce to brush on the skin of the chicken. This is totally optional but it gives a nice shine and color.

Remove the leg quarters into a cutting board. Gently brush with the sesame oil and soy sauce mixture. Let them rest for 5 minutes and then slice the thigh. You can leave the drumstick in whole.

Cook the noodles according to the instructions on the package and then portion into an individual serving bowl
Toss the noodles with about 4-5 spoonful or more of the braising liquid. Top with slices of chicken or drumsticks. Top with some chopped green onion, fresh cilantro leaves.

you use different cut of chicken, here’s the cooking time in pressure cooker: 1. Drumsticks : High pressure for 15 minutes 2. Boned-in Thighs only: High pressure for 15 minutes 3. Whole chicken: High pressure for 23-25 minutes.

For stovetop: Place all the ingredients for braising in the pot. Bring to a boil and then put the leg quarters in. Lower the heat to simmer and then partially cover and braise for the next 45 minutes to 1 hour or until the leg quarters are tender but not falling apart yet. Taste and adjust sugar as needed.

Sate Lilit Bali (Minced Meat Satay on Lemongrass Skewers)

1/2 lbs minced duck or chicken meat
2 cups grated unsweetened coconut
2 oz gula jawa / Indonesian palm sugar (finely chopped)
1 tsp salt
3 Tbsp cooking oil (and extra for brushing)
About 10 stalks of lemongrass or 20 bamboo skewers

Ground spices:
5 shallots (peeled)
7 cloves garlic (peeled)
1- inch galangal (peeled)
1- inch kencur/Kaempferia galanga (peeled) or substitute with 1/2 galangal and 1/2 ginger if you must
2- inch turmeric (peeled)
2 tsp coriander seeds
5 candlenuts/kemiri sub with macadamia nuts or omit if you must
1 tsp shrimp paste/ belacan
4 kaffir lime leaves Cut off the tough vein in the middle
1/2 lemongrass stalk cut into 1-inch piece
2 cloves
5 Thai red chilis remove stems (optional)
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg

Sauce:
4-5 red chili (seeded and finely chopped)
1/4 cup kecap manis / Indonesian sweet soy sauce
1/4 cup fried shallot crisps/ bawang goreng

Place all the ground spices ingredients in a food processor and process into a paste. Add a bit of water to help it going
If you use bamboo skewers, soak the bamboo skewers in water for few minutes. If you use lemongrass as skewers, cut the stalks into half and get rid of extra layers if necessary.

Preheat 3 Tbsp of oil in a wok or skillet. Add in the ground spices and saute until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Remove from the wok or skillet and let it cool down completely.

In a large mixing bowl, mix the meat with the spice paste above, coconut, palm sugar, and salt. They should come together nicely without falling apart.

With clean hands, scoop up about 2-3 Tbsp of the meat mixture and mold it onto the bamboo or lemongrass skewers. Repeat until you are done with the meat and skewers.

Preheat the grill. Brush the sate with a bit of oil and grill the sate until cooked and golden brown all over. You can also use grill pan for this purpose. Serve with the sauce.

Ayam Suwir Pedas Bali (Ayam Sisit Bali-Balinese Shredded Chicken)

Ingredients
300 gr cooked chicken meat shredded, or use 500 gr uncooked chicken
1 Tbsp cooking oil
100 ml coconut cream
2 Tbsp water or chicken broth from cooking the chicken

Ground spice paste:
4 Tbsp sambal oelek adjust the amount if you want it less or more spicy
4 Thai red chili remove stems
1 small red onion peeled and quartered
4 garlic peeled

Other ingredients:
1 Tbsp turmeric powder
3 Tbsp galangal powder

Herbs:
2 stalks lemongrass
5 bay leaves (daun salam)
5 kaffir-lime leaves

Seasonings:
2 Tbsp coconut sugar or to taste
1 tsp salt or to taste
2 Tbsp Tamarind juice

Prepare the spice paste:

Place red onion, garlic, and sambal oelek in a food processor and grind into a paste

Cook the spicy sambal paste:
Preheat 1 Tbsp cooking oil in a wok or skillet. Add the spice paste, turmeric and galangal powder, and herbs. Stir fry until really aromatic, about 5 minutes. Add water and continue to stir fry for another 3 minutes

Add the coconut cream and stir to mix. Add the shredded chicken in and cook until the mixture is still moist but no more runny juice. Have a taste and adjust seasonings to your liking. It should be spicy, savory, a hint of tartness and sweetness.

Notes: WHAT TO SERVE WITH AYAM SUWIR PEDAS BALI

– NASI CAMPUR BALI: In Bali, ayam suwir is served with nasi campur (mixed rice). Meaning, white rice served with few other entrees such as fried chicken, hard-boiled eggs or omelet and side dishes like fresh slices of cucumber, tomatoes, Indonesian-style salad, sate lilit Bali, sate ayam kecap, crackers, etc. You don’t have to have all of those, but usually a combination of those.

– PLAIN RICE WILL DO TOO: Serve with white rice and few slices of fresh cucumber and tomatoes and trust me.

Sambalado (Sambal Balado – Indonesian Chili Sauce)

While typical sambal is usually served as a condiment on the side, Balado is usually cooked with other food to make Sambal Terong Balado (Eggplant Balado), Telur Balado (Egg Balado), Ayam Balado (Chicken Balado), Udang Balado (Shrimp Balado), Squid Balado (Cumi Balado), Dendeng Balado (usually made with Beef), Kentang Balado (Potato Balado), etc. You get the idea! Pretty much anything!

Ingredients to grind:
100 gr shallots or purple onion
200 gr large red chili or use premade garlic sambal chili
2 cloves garlic

Other ingredients:
1 large tomato
1 Tbsp cooking oil
3 kaffir lime leaves optional
Juice of 1 lime
1 tsp sugar

Place shallots, chili (if using fresh chili), and garlic in a food processor and finely chopped them

Preheat a skillet with cooking oil. Add the ingredients you chopped above (if using premade garlic sambal chili, don’t add just yet) and stir fry until fragrant, about 3 minutes.

Add the premade garlic sambal chili (if not using fresh chili) and stir fry for another minute.

Add tomato pieces and kaffir lime leaves (if using). Continue to cook until the tomatoes are wilted and softened. Squeeze in lime juice and sugar. Stir to mix. If you are preparing a balado dish, this is the point you add them in and toss with the balado sauce, otherwise, remove from the heat and serve as a condiment to your meal.

TO MAKE A BALADO DISH: If you are preparing a balado dish, this is the point you add your other cooked ingredient in and toss with the balado sauce, otherwise, remove from the heat and serve as a condiment to your meal.

Storage:

REFRIGERATOR: Sambal can be stored in an air-tight glass jar for up to one week in the refrigerator.

FREEZER: For longer storage, portion the sambal into smaller portion and freeze them. They can be kept frozen for up to 3 months.

Thai Pineapple Fried Rice (Khao Pad Sapparod)

1 large pineapple
3 Tbsp cooking oil divided
4 cups cooked jasmine rice (best is leftover rice)
1 lb large shrimp (peeled and deveined)
1 large onion (peeled and diced)
3 large eggs
1/3 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup roasted peanuts

Seasonings:
1 Tbsp shrimp paste
1 Tbsp curry powder
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp fish sauce or more to taste
2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt

Garnishes:
3 stalks green onion (finely chopped)
Fried shallots crisp

Prepare the pineapple:
Cut the pineapple into half lengthwise. Scoop out the meat on each half of the pineapple. Cut the meat into 1-inch cubes. You’ll only need 1 cup of the pineapple cubes (drain off extra juice). Keep the rest for other use. Empty the juice that’s left on the shell and set aside to place your finished dish into the pineapple shells later.

This step is totally optional. Put the pineapple shells in the oven at 350 F and bake it for 30 minutes to dry it up.

Cooking the fried rice:
Preheat a wok or large skillet. When the wok is hot, add 1 Tbsp of oil. Add the shrimp and stir fry quickly until pink and cooked through, about 2 minutes or so. Dish out and set aside.

In the same wok, add the rest of the cooking oil. Crack in the eggs and break the yolk a little bit and then let it cook for about 10 seconds without stirring. When the eggs are half cooked, add chopped onion and stir fry for another 10 seconds. Add the rice follow by seasonings. Stir fry to mix everything.

Add the pineapple cubes, raisins, and roasted peanuts and stir again to mix everything. Have a taste and add more fish sauce if needed. Finally, garnish with green onion, give it one last stir and dish out into the pineapple shells. Garnish with some fried shallots crisp. Serve immediately.

Semur Daging Kecap (Indonesian Beef Stew – Pressure Cooker or Stove Top)

1 kg beef you can use chuck, round, rump
2 Tbsp butter, melted
Water see instruction for the amount
50 gr bean thread noodles optional

Aromatics:
8 shallots thinly sliced
5 cloves garlic peeled and finely chopped
1 inch fresh ginger

Herbs:
2 bay leaves

Seasonings:
4 Tbsp kecap manis
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp coconut sugar or more to taste
Salt to taste

Spices:
1/2 tsp nutmeg powder
Vegetables (cut into large chunks if cooking with Instant Pot):
2 large potatoes peeled and cut into large chunks
2 large tomatoes quartered

Garnishes:
Fried crispy shallots
Chinese celery leaves finely chopped

Grind the aromatics:

Place ingredients for aromatics in food processor and grind into fine pieces or a paste.

Cooking with pressure cooker:
Melt the butter in an inner pot of Instant Pot pressure cooker. Add in ground aromatics and stir fry for about 5 minutes. Add the beef, herb, spice, and seasonings. Add potatoes and tomatoes. Pour in the 1/4 cup of water (yes, I know that sounds like not much at all). Stir to mix. Not much liquid is lost and you’ll be surprised by how much liquid you ended up with later. Scrape the bottom of the pot to make sure nothing is stuck there.

Cover the lid. Turn the steam release valve to “sealing”. Set timer to 25 minutes and make sure it’s on “high pressure”. Wait 5 minutes and then release pressure completely after that. Unlock the lid and have a taste and season with salt if needed. It should be savory and slightly sweet. Proceed to serving.

Cooking on the stove:
Melt the butter in a large pot. Add in ground aromatics, nutmeg and bay leaves. Stir fry until fragrant. Add the beef and seasonings. Pour in the 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil and lower the heat and slowly simmer for about 45 minutes to 1 hour or until the meat is tender. Add the potatoes and tomatoes after 30 minutes of cooking. Gently stir everything to mix. Have a taste and season with salt if needed. It should be slightly sweet from the sweet soy sauce.

When ready to serve:
If using cellophane noodles, blanch the cellophane noodles in boiling water, it just take few seconds to soften. Portion into individual bowl and portion out the beef and potatoes over each bowl. Laddle the hot broth over the noodles. Garnish with fried shallot crisp and celery leaves. Drizzle with some kecap manis and you are good to go. Or just serve this with rice on the side.

Notes:
Traditionally, we used deep-fried potatoes, you can deep fry the potatoes or you can just add the potatoes and carrots in 30 minutes before end of cooking time. Roasting or deep-frying the potatoes first sure makes it taste even better.

Mee Goreng Jawa

500 gr Yellow egg noodles you can use instant noodles, ramen noodles, angel hair pasta, spaghetti pasta
3 large eggs
3 Tbsp cooking oil divided
1 leek optional, cut into 1-inch length and wash thoroughly
150 gr large shrimp peeled and deveined. You can use meat like chicken, pork, beef
2 cups shredded cabbage
1/4 cup water
1 large tomato quartered and seeded

Seasonings:
3 Tbsp kecap manis
3 Tbsp soy sauce and more to taste
2 Tbsp sambal oelek optional, more if you want it spicier
1/2 tsp ground white pepper
Aromatics to grind/chop in food processor:
4 shallots
4 cloves garlic
5 candlenuts or sub with macademia nuts

Garnish:
Fried shallots crisp (bawang goreng)

If using dried egg noodles, cook according to direction. I suggest to undercook it because we will be stir frying it later
Place the shallots, garlic and candlenuts in food processor and process into a paste.

Preheat a wok or a large pan. Add 1 Tbsp of oil. Add in shrimp or uncooked meat (like chicken for example) pieces and stir fry until the shrimp or meat is cooked through. Dish out and set aside.

Add another 1 Tbsp of oil. Crack in 3 eggs. Let them cook for about 10 seconds and then scramble the eggs into large chunks. Dish out and set aside Add the rest of the cooking oil. Add in the ground shallots, garlic, and candlenuts you prepared earlier. Saute until they are brown and really fragrant, around 5 minutes. Add the leeks (if using) and saute until they are limp and soft.

Add shredded cabbage and saute for about 1 minute. Add 1/4 cup of water to help soften the cabbage, cook for another 3 minutes. Add carrots and tomatoes and stir fry for another minute. If you are using leftover cooked meat (like shredded chicken for example), add it at this stage.

Add the noodles, shrimp, and eggs back into the wok/pan followed by seasonings. Mix well to make sure the sauce is coating the noodles and everything else add more if needed. Adjust taste by adding more kecap manis and/or soy sauce to your taste.

Garnish with bawang goreng and serve immediately

Shrimp and Dragon Fruit Salad (with Variations)

1 dragon fruit, any varieties will work
8 Large shrimp unpeeled, deveined
3 cups Spring salad mix

Sesame plum dressing:
3 Tbsp plum sauce
2 tsp apple cider vinegar or rice vinegar
1 Tbsp honey
1 tsp water
Fresh herbs and aromatics:
Small bunch of fresh cilantro leaves roughly chopped
1/4 red onions peeled and thinly sliced

Toppings:
1 Tbsp sesame seeds
1/4 cup roasted peanuts

Cut the dragon fruit in half and then peel the skin off and cut the flesh into large cubes. Set aside and let them chill in the refrigerator while you prepare other things.

Prepare the dressing by mixing all the ingredients in a bowl and set aside.

Steam the shrimp with the shells on, on high heat for 2 minutes or until they are cooked through.

Peel off the skin after they have cooled down a little bit. Steaming the shrimp with the shells on is to prevent the shrimp from curling. It’s really just for presentation and makes the shrimp looks bigger.

Assembling the salad:
Place the salad greens in a large mixing bowl.

Add sliced red onions.

Add freshly chopped cilantro leaves.

Add the cooked shrimp.

Add dragon fruit pieces.

Pour on the dressing when you are ready to serve the salad

Sprinkle on some sesame seeds.

Add some roasted peanuts.

Give the salad a gentle toss to mix everything.

Serve immediately.

Notes: This salad is highly customizable. You can change up the dressing, the toppings, the type of greens and veggies you want on the salad, the protein. Here are some suggestions:

Protein: Leftover chicken meat, pan-fried tofu, tempeh, chickpeas, seared scallop, seared ahi tuna.
Topping: Avocado cubes, tortilla strips, crispy chow mein noodle strips, wonton strips.
Dressing: Any vinaigrette dressing, sweet balsamic vinegar.

Stir-Fried Mee Tai Mak (Pin Noodles with Shrimp and Pork)

1 lb mee thai mak noodle/ Vietnamese Ban Bot Loc noodles
3 Tbsp cooking oil
8 oz large shrimp peeled and deveined
2 oz minced pork marinade with 1 Tbsp of soy sauce, pinch of sugar
2 eggs
3 cloves garlic peeled and finely chopped
3 to 4 small bunches of yu choy/A choy/Choy Sum trim large stalks into smaller pieces

SEASONINGS:
4 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
1/4 tsp white pepper powder

GARNISHES
1 stalk green onion finely chopped
Fried shallots crisp optional

The noodles are hard when it is cold or refrigerated but will soften when heated. Briefly blanch the noodles in a boiling water for about 1 minute or you can just microwave them for 30 seconds or so. Set aside.

Heat up the wok/skillet with oil. Add shrimp and cook until they turn pink and cooked through. Dish out. Add garlic and stir fry for 10 seconds. Add the minced pork and stir fry and kinda break them apart and cook until they just turn color, about 2 minutes.

Push the meat to the side and break in two eggs and let them cook for about 1 minute before breaking them up lightly with a spatula.

Add the vegetables and stir fry until they are started to wilt but still has that fresh green colors.

Add the rice pin noodles and seasonings and continue to stir-fry for another minute or so until the noodles pick up the dark brown color from the seasonings. Add the shrimp back in and stir everything to mix.

Have a taste and add soy sauce if needed. Turn off heat. Garnish with some chopped green onion and fried shallots crisp and served immediately.

Dai Chili Fish Soup

1 1/4 to 1 1/2 lbs firm-flesh fish steaks or fillets , such as tilapia, striped bass, or lake trout, or an ocean fish such as snapper or cod
4 cups water
3 dried red chiles
2 fresh green bird chiles or serrano chiles
1 Tbsp ginger , cut into small matchsticks
1 garlic clove , smashed
1 large or 2 small scallions , sliced lengthwise into ribbons, then crosswise into 2-inch lengths
1 cup coriander leaves and stems , coarsely chopped
1 medium tomato , ripe or green, as you wish, finely chopped (I used green tomatoes)
1 1/2 to 2 tsp salt , or to taste
Freshly ground black or white pepper
2 Tbsp peanut oil or vegetable oil
4 dried red chiles
1 Tbsp thinly sliced garlic

Cut the fish into 1-to 2-inch pieces. Place in a small pot, add the water, whole chiles, ginger, garlic, scallions, and coriander, and bring to a boil, then immediately lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. (meanwhile prepare the flavored oil)
Heat the oil in a small heavy skillet. When it is hot, lower the heat and toss in the chiles and garlic and wait several seconds, until they start to brown but not burned, then remove from the heat. Add the oil, garlic and chiles to the hot soup, or put out as a table condiment.

Add the tomato and 1 1/2 tsp salt to the hot broth and simmer for another 5 minutes or so. Taste for salt and adjust if necessary, then add pepper to taste.

The soup is traditionally served with all the flavorings still in it. The chiles and garlic cloves are not meant to be eaten, but are just put aside by each diner as she or he eats. If you wish, you can strain the soup before serving it.

Sichuan Ma La Fish

2 Tbsp of Szechuan chili sauce
1/2 Tbsp Szechuan peppercorns (crushed)
1.5 lbs fish fillet (use sole if available. I use swai fish)
2 Tbsp chili powder
1/2 C chicken broth
1 block of soft tofu (cut into cubes)
3-4 cloves garlic (minced)
2 Tbsp of canola oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 Tbsp of corn starch (mix with 1/4 C of water)
1 stalk of spring onion (finely chopped)

Heat up your wok with oil. Add in garlic and peppercorn. Saute until fragrant

Add in szechuan chili sauce and continue to saute for about 30 seconds. Add in the chicken broth and bring it to boil

While boiling, add in the fish fillet pieces and let them cook until they turn white. Add in tofu cubes. Season with salt and pepper

Spicy Tomato Chicken

2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into pieces
1 large onions cut into pieces
7 oz green peas if frozen is used, thawed first
6 potatoes cut into pieces and deep fry
1 can 16 oz crushed tomato
4 inches cinnamon stick
5 pieces cardamon mace
6 Tbsp of Canola oil

CHILI PASTE:
15 bird’s eye red chilis or 3 large red chilis or you can skip the chili
25 shallots peeled or 1 big red onion (peeled and cut into big pieces)
6 cloves garlic peeled
2 inches ginger peeled
1 tsp of shrimp paste/belacan available at Asian grocery stores

SEASONINGS:
Salt to taste
2 Tbsp sugar

MARINADE:
3 Tbsp grounded coriander seeds

Heat about 3 Tbsp of oil in a heavy-bottom pot, stir-fry coriander-marinated chicken till half cooked and set aside.

Fry the chili paste till fragrant with 3 Tbsp of canola oil. Add in cinnamon, cardamom, onion, chicken, tomato paste and potato, stir-fry well.

Add in seasonings and water, cook until chicken is cooked through and tender. Lastly, add in green peas and mix well. Turn off the heat.

Dong’An Chicken

About 4 quarts chicken stock
About 2 3/4 lbs free-range chicken
1 3/4- inch piece fresh ginger , unpeeled
3 scallions
1 fresh red chili
3 dried red chilis
2 tsp Shaoxing wine
2 Tbsp clear rice vinegar
1/2 tsp whole Sichuan peppercorns
Salt to taste
3/4 tsp corn starch mixed with 2 tsp cold water
1 tsp sesame oil
4 Tbsp lard or peanut oil for cooking

Bring the stock to the boil in a large saucepan over a high flame. Add the chicken and return the liquid to the boil, skimming the surface, as necessary. Crush half the ginger and one scallion with the flat side of a cleaver or a heavy object, then add to the pan with the chicken. Reduce the heat and poach the chicken for 10 minutes. Remove the chicken from the cooking liquid and allow it to cool; reserve the cooking liquid. The chicken should be about three-quarters cooked. There will still be some blood, don’t worry.

when the chicken is cool enough to handle, remove the flesh from the carcass and cut as far as possible into bite-size strips, along the grain of the meat. I never discard the skin. (the bones and scrappy pieces of meat can be returned to the cooking liquid and make into stock).

Cut the fresh chili in half lengthwise and discard the seeds and pithy part, then cut into very fine slivers about 1 1/2 inches long. Peel the remaining ginger and cut into slices and then slivers similar to the chili. Cut the green parts of the remaining 2 scallions into slivers of a similar length; set aside.

Heat the wok over a high flame until smoke rises, then add the lard or peanut oil and swirl around. When the oil is warming up but before it is smoking hot, add the fresh chiles, and ginger, along with the dried chiles and Sichuan pepper and stir-fry until fragrant, taking care that the seasonings do not take color or burn.

Add the chicken and continue to stir-fry. Splash the Shaoxing wine around the edges of the chicken. Add the vinegar and salt to taste. Add up to 1/2 cup of the chicken poaching liquid, bring to a boil and then turn the heat down a little and simmer briefly to allow the flavors to penetrate the chicken, spooning the liquid over.

Add the corn starch mixture to the liquid and stir as the sauce thickens. Throw in the scallion greens and stir a few times. Remove from the heat and stir in the sesame oil. Serve.

Bhutanese Spicy Chicken Stew (Jasha Maru)

INGREDIENTS:
1 1/2 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs (cut into 1-inch cubes)
4 cloves garlics (peeled finely minced)
3 shallots (peeled and chopped)
2 Tbsp of finely grated ginger
1 medium-size leek (cut into slices and wash properly-refer to notes)
1 large tomato (dice)
4 red chilis (seeded if you like and cut into small pieces)
Salt to taste
1 cup chicken stock
1 small bunch of cilantro leaves for garnish
2 Tbsp of oil

Preheat a wok or skillet with lid and add in oil. Add in the garlic, ginger, onion, chili, and leeks. Stir-fry until the vegetables are soft. Tip in the chicken and tomatoes and continue to stir-fry until the chicken started to turn opaque in color. Pour in the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and cover with the lid and let it gently simmer until the chicken is cooked through.

Serve warm with a bowl of steamed rice. Garnish the stew with cilantro leaves.

Black Tea-Infused Satay

INGREDIENTS:
1/2 lb of boneless skinless chicken thigh cut into 1/2-inch strips
Bamboo skewers soaked in water for 30 minutes before grilling

MARINADE:
10 bags of black tea
2 cups of hot water
2 Tbsp of brown sugar
1 Tbsp salt
1 Tbsp paprika powder
1 Tbsp of cooking oil
7 cloves garlic peeled and finely minced

BLACK VINEGAR SAUCE:
1/4 cup of black vinegar
1/4 cup of brown sugar

Place the black tea bags inside a cup of hot water and let it steep for 10 minutes. Discard the tea bags and add in the brown sugar, salt, paprika powder, oil and garlic. Let the tea cool down.

Place the chicken thigh pieces in a large bag or container and pour in the tea mixture to let the chicken marinade overnight or minimum of 6 hours.

Place the black vinegar and brown sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil and then lower the heat until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and let it cool down
Remove the chicken pieces from the marinade and thread it into the bamboo skewers. Repeat with the rest of the chicken meat. Preheat your grill on medium heat and place the satay on the grill and cook until you get a nice char on the meat, about 2-3 minutes on each side
Serve with black vinegar sauce on the side

Stir-Fried Nian Gao Rice Cakes

INGREDIENTS:
1 lb Chinese or Korean Rice Cake 450 gr
2 Tbsp cooking oil divided
3 cloves garlic finely chopped or grated
8 oz boneless chicken thighs/breast 250 gr, cut into thin strips (see notes)
5 oz Napa Cabbage 150 gr, cut into large chunks or shred
3.5 oz baby bok choy 100 gr
1/4 cup chicken broth

MARINADE FOR MEAT:
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp oyster sauce
1/4 tsp sugar
1 tsp cornstarch

SEASONINGS:
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp oyster sauce
1 Tbsp shaoxing wine
1/2 tsp sugar

GARNISH:
2 stalks green onion finely chopped

PREPARE THE RICE CAKES:
If you get the refrigerated rice cakes or dried rice cakes, soak them in the water for at least 2 hours (overnight for dried rice cakes). If you use frozen ones, thaw in the refrigerator and then soak.

Drain off the soaking water and the rice cakes are ready to be used.

MARINATE THE MEAT:
Place the chicken or meat of your choice in a mixing bowl along with the marinade ingredients and marinade for 30 minutes or overnight in the refrigerator.

COOKING:
Preheat a large skillet or wok over high heat. Add 1 Tbsp cooking oil and swirl to cover the base of the skillet or wok. Add chicken and stir fry until the chicken pieces turn opaque and cook through. Dish out the cooked chicken.

Wipe the wok clean if necessary. Bring the skillet/wok back to high heat. Add another 1 Tbsp of cooking oil. Add garlic and stir fry for about 20 seconds. Add the napa cabbage and stir fry for about 2-3 minutes. Add bok choy and stir fry another minute.

Add rice cakes, seasonings, and broth. Give them a quick stir. Cover with a lid and cook for about 3 minutes or until the rice cakes soften.

Uncover the lid and give it a good stir to mix everything. Add the chicken back into the skillet/wok and give it a stir. Have a taste and add more soy sauce as needed.

Garnish with chopped green onion and serve warm.

Notes: This recipe uses plain nian gao log that is cut into slices. They don’t have any taste on its own and are meant for stir-fries or “noodle” soup. They are similar to the Korean Tteokguk rice cakes. Both made with sticky rice flour. (The Korean version is usually available at Wegmans in the refrigerator section.) Notice that they are labeled as “Rice Cake”, but actually they are made with both sticky/glutinous rice and regular rice flour (though more of the glutinous rice flour in composition). Once refrigerated, the rice cakes loose their elasticity completely. They will have turned hard like a rock. Soak in water for at least 2 hours or you can soak overnight. If you get the frozen version, thaw first and then soak. There is also a dried version, which also requires soaking overnight in the water.

You can use any protein of your choice like ground meat, or slices of beef or pork loin. This dish is also perfect to use any leftover turkey or rotisserie chicken. You can also opt for meatless protein like using extra-firm tofu slices.

Chicken Tarkari (Nepalese Chicken Curry)

1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into bite-size pieces
2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp of salt
1 tsp of freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp mustard seeds
2 Tbsp of cooking oil
3 cloves garlic peeled and finely minced
1- inch of fresh ginger peeled and finely chopped
1 large onion peeled and chopped
5 dried red chilies seeded and chopped
2 bay leaves
2 large tomatoes diced
2 cups of low sodium chicken broth
Small bunch of fresh cilantro leaves for garnish

Marinade the chicken pieces with turmeric powder, cumin powder, salt and black pepper for at least one hour in the refrigerator
Preheat a large skillet over medium heat and add in the mustard seeds and roast it until fragrant, take care not to burn the seeds. Remove from the skillet and crush them into coarse powder.

In the same pan, add in cooking oil and heat it up a bit and then add in the onion and saute until soft and translucent, then add in the garlic,ginger, bay leaves, chiles and continue to saute for another minute. Add in the marinated chicken pieces and stir fry until they turn into opaque color.

Add in tomatoes and chicken broth. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat to let it simmer until the chicken is fully cooked through. Have a taste and season with more salt and pepper if needed.

Garnish with cilantro leaves and serve with rice or flat breads if you prefer.

Ayam Masak Bugis (Buginese Chicken)

INGREDIENTS:
3 lbs mixture of boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into large chunks
1 Tbsp of cooking oil
4 cloves garlic peeled and finely chopped
10 small shallots peeled and thinly sliced
2 Tbsp of shrimp paste
2 bay leaves/ daun salam
3- inch of cinnamon stick
1/4 tsp of nutmeg powder
2 cups chicken stock
1 Tbsp of brown sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp of white distilled vinegar
4 cups of coconut milk
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups packed of baby spinach leaves
1/2 cup of sweet corn kernels if frozen, thawed

Preheat a large pot on high heat. Add in 1 Tbsp of cooking oil. Add in garlic and the rest of the ingredients up to nutmeg powder on the ingredient list. Stir fry until fragrant, about 5 minutes.

Add in the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Add in brown sugar, vinegar, and coconut milk. Bring it back to a boil and then lower the heat and let it simmer until the chicken is cooked through and the liquid is roughly reduced by half. Have a taste and season with salt and pepper to your taste. It should be savory. Add in spinach leaves and sweet corn kernels. Stir to mix everything and cook just until the spinach leaves started to wilt. Remove from the heat and serve immediately or warm with plain rice.

Clay Pot Chicken with Ginger and Lime Leaves

3 cloves of garlic peeled and finely minced
2 Tbsp of cooking oil divided
3 Tbsp of chopped shallot
1 Tbsp of sugar
3 Tbsp of fish sauce
1 Tbsp of freshly ground black pepper
1 fresh kaffir lime leaves cut into strips
4 fresh kaffir lime leaves for garnish
1 lb of boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into bite-size chunks
2- inch knob of fresh ginger peeled and cut into thin strips

Place garlic, I Tbsp of oil, shallot, sugar, fish sauce, black pepper, and strips of lime leaves in a large bowl. Stir to mix everything. Add in the chicken and turn to coat. Make sure all the pieces are coated with the mixture. Cover and refrigerate to let it marinade for 30 minutes.

If you don’t have a clay pot, you can use a heavy-bottomed pan. Preheat the pot. Add in the rest of the cooking oil. Add in the ginger and saute for about 2 minutes. It should be fragrant. Add in the marinated chicken along with its juices. Stir and cook until the chicken started to turn into opaque color. Reduce the heat, cover and let it gently simmer for about 45 minutes. Uncover and have a taste. Add more fish sauce if needed. Remove from the heat and garnish with the rest of the lime leaves and serve while pipping hot.

Bun Thit Nuong (Vietnamese Grilled Pork and Noodles)

INGREDIENTS:
1 lb dry rice vermicelli noodle

THIT NUONG:
2 lbs pork shoulder/butt
1/3 cup chopped lemongrass
2 shallots finely chopped
2 cloves garlic peeled and finely chopped
1 Tbsp dark soy sauce
3 Tbsp sugar
3 Tbsp fish sauce
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper

FISH SAUCE DIPPING SAUCE / NUOC MAM CHAM:
3 Tbsp sugar
1/4 cup hot water
3 Tbp fish sauce
Juice of 1 lime
1 red chili seeded if you like and finely chopped

SERVE WITH:
1 large cucumber peeled, seeded, and julienned
lettuce leaves shredded
Do Chua
1/2 cup roasted peanuts chopped
Fresh Vietnamese perilla (tia to)
Mint leaves