Asian Dishes · New Favorite

Vietnamese-Style Caramelized Ground Pork Bowls

Vietnamese and Thai food are a favorite of mine and I was delighted to find this recipe. The caramelized ground pork is out-of-this-world and makes the dish. I also thought the caramelized pork would be great in street tacos (ok, so now I’m on to Mexican food). The leftovers were equally as good, warmed in the microwave. For those that do not like spicy hot, I was relieved that the green curry paste from the grocery store was not at all spicy hot, it just added the right about flavor to the dish.

Vietnamese-Style Caramelized Ground Pork Bowls

INGREDIENTS:
  • For the Quick-Pickled Carrots:
    • 4oz grated carrots
    • 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
    • 1/2 cup water
    • 2 Tablespoons sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • For the Caramelized Ground Pork:
    • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
    • 1lb ground pork
    • 1 shallot, chopped
    • 2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
    • salt and pepper
    • 1/4 cup brown sugar
    • 2 Tablespoons fish sauce
  • For the Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice:
    • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
    • 12oz fresh or frozen cauliflower rice
    • salt and pepper
    • squeeze fresh lime juice
    • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • For the Green Curry Drizzle:
    • 2 Tablespoons green curry paste (I like Thai Kitchen)
    • 1 teaspoon sugar
    • 1/2 cup coconut milk (I like full fat)
    • 2 Tablespoons chicken broth
    • squeeze fresh lime juice
  • For the toppings:
    • 8oz broccoli florets, steamed
    • sliced jalapeños
    • chopped cilantro
    • chopped green onion
    • kimchi
DIRECTIONS:
  1. For the Quick-Pickled Carrots: Add vinegar, water, sugar, and salt into a microwave safe dish then microwave on high for 1 minute. Stir until sugar is completely dissolved then pour over carrots, stir to combine, and refrigerate. Can be done several days ahead of time.
  2. For the Caramelized Ground Pork: Place 2 layers of paper towel on a large plate then set aside. Heat oil in a large wok or skillet over high heat. Add ground pork, shallot, garlic, ginger, salt, and pepper (to taste) then saute until pork is just barely cooked through, breaking it up as it cooks. Add brown sugar and fish sauce to the skillet then stir to combine. Spread pork into an even layer in the bottom of the wok or skillet then saute for 2 minutes – DO NOT DISTURB OR STIR THE PORK as it caramelizes. Stir then spread the pork into an even layer again and cook for 2 more minutes, undisturbed. Continue cooking then stirring in two minute increments – leaving the pork alone as it cooks and caramelizes – until the pork is brown and caramelized. You may need to cook in 1 minute increments near the end to prevent the sugar from burning. Scrape the caramelized pork onto prepared paper towel lined plate to drain then set aside.
  3. For the Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice: Get out a serving bowl then set aside. Place wok or skillet back over high heat then add oil. Once oil is hot, add cauliflower rice, season with salt and pepper, then stir fry until cauliflower is crisp tender, 3-4 minutes. Add lime juice and chopped cilantro then stir to combine. Scrape cauliflower rice into serving bowl then set aside.
  4. For the Green Curry Drizzle: Place wok or skillet back over medium high heat. Add curry paste then saute for 30 seconds, scraping/flattening/stirring it with a spatula. Add coconut milk, chicken broth, and sugar then stir until smooth and bring sauce to a simmer. Turn heat down to medium then simmer until sauce is slightly thickened and reduced, 3-4 minutes. Squeeze in a little lime juice to taste.
  5. To assemble: Scoop the Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice into bowls then top with the Caramelized Ground Pork, Quick Pickled Carrots, toppings, and Green Curry Drizzling Sauce.

Recipe from IowaGirlsEats and RecipeTinEats

Asian Dishes · New Favorite · Soups and Stews

Quick & Easy Won Ton Soup

Lunch time and what to eat? I had limited time and the ingredients to make this quick and easy Won Ton Soup. I first saw this recipe on the Facebook page, Favorite Trade Joe’s products. The Chicken Cilantro wontons from Costco (or Trader Joe’s) are delicious but I’ve never used them in Won Ton Soup. This soup took about 20 minutes to make, from start to finish and it was delicious. It would be easy to mix it up and use spinach and/or pea pods. It serves 2-3 for an entrée or 5-6 for an appetizer.

Easy Won Ton Soup

INGREDIENTS:
  • 6 cups chicken broth low sodium
  • 1- inch piece fresh ginger (sliced thin)
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 20 mini frozen wontons (I love the Chicken Cilantro one’s Costco but may be available at Trader Joe’s)
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced shiitake mushrooms (I used baby portabella)
  • 4 baby bok choy (halved lengthwise and halved)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • scallions (sliced green parts only for garnish)
  • Optional: I added a bit of onion powder and salt
DIRECTIONS:
  • Bring chicken broth to a boil in a large pot.
  • Smash the sliced ginger with the side of a knife to bring out the flavor and add to the pot with the garlic, cover and cook 5 minutes.
  • Add the bok choy and partially cook 5 minutes, then add the frozen wontons and mushroom, simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, until the wontons are heated through and bok choy is tender and wilted.
  • Stir in soy sauce and sesame oil.
  • Divide soup in four bowls. Garnish with fresh scallions.

Recipe slightly adapted from SkinnyTaste.com

Asian Dishes · Book Club · New Favorite · Poultry

Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken

Our book club met at my home for our March review oDo Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien. I must admit I did not care for the book and did not finish it. Others had the same difficulty, finding it complex and hard to follow, especially in the beginning. However, for those that finished the book, they thoroughly enjoyed it finding the Chinese Cultural Revolution to be similar to world experiences today.

Our potluck cuisine was Asian and my Asian recipe file is devoid of recipes.  I found this wonderful Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken recipe online and will definitely make it again and again.  Very flavorful and wonderful with rice and stir fry vegetables.

SLOW COOKER CASHEW CHICKEN

2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch pieces
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
4 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
4 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoons sweet chili sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 cup cashews

  • Combine cornstarch and pepper in resealable food storage bag. Add chicken and shake to coat with cornstarch.
  • Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Brown chicken about 2 minutes on each side. Place chicken in slow cooker. (Frankly, next time I make it I will skip this step)
  • Combine soy sauce, vinegar, ketchup, sweet chili sauce, sugar, garlic, ginger, pepper flakes, and cashews in small bowl; pour over chicken. (Optional: If you like the cashews to be softer, you can add them during the cooking process.  If you like more crunch, add them right before serving.)
  • Cook on LOW for 3 to 4 hours.
  • Service over rice. Optional: Garnish with chopped scallions.
  • Makes 4-6 servings.

Recipe slightly adapated from therecipecritic.com