Posts Tagged ‘vegetarian’

Gai Lan with Garlic and Oyster Sauce

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Gai lan is a Chinese broccoli served mostly in Cantonese cooking. The flower buds and stalks are both eaten. The recipe I’m about to show you can be used as a universal way of stir-frying any vegetable; you can use this for green beans, spinach, bok choy, choy sum, snow pea leaves, Chinese cabbage, etc. Gai lan has a slightly bitter flavor, and that’s why we cook it in garlic and oyster sauce.

I know, I’m using a non-stick wok. I look like a total amateur, with no authentic Chinese cookware. I gave my real wok away when I moved out of my apartment years ago, and never got a new one, due to laziness.

This is a fairly easy recipe. It actually shouldn’t be a recipe at all; after you do it once, you’ll always remember how to do it.

Gai Lan with Garlic and Oyster Sauce (serves 4)

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch of gai lan, washed and patted dry
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 Tbsp corn oil
  • salt
  • 2 Tbsp oyster sauce

*You will need tongs and a wok

Quick Directions:

1) Soak the gai lan in a big tub of water for a few minutes. Pat dry; the water on the gai lan will make the oil splatter, so the dryer the better.

2) Heat oil in a wok on high. Immediately after you drop the garlic in, put the gai lan in. Use a lid as a shield from splattering oil.

3) Using tongs, flip the gai lan from bottom to top, so all the leaves are coated with oil. Sprinkle salt over the leaves, this will flavor it plus force the water out of the vegetable.

4) Put a lid on it, turn heat down to medium. Cook for 3-4 minutes.

5) When it is done, the gai lan should be a vibrant green, and the stalks should be tender and crisp. You can put the oyster sauce in now, or drizzle it on top when you serve it.

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Illustrated Directions:

1) Soak the gai lan in a big tub of water for a few minutes. Trust me, if you saw my post on salad earlier, the state of gai lan is worse, given that you don’t purchase it pre-packaged in a fancy container. Pat dry; the water on the gai lan will make the oil splatter, so the dryer the better.

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2) Heat oil in a wok on high.

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3) Immediately after you drop the garlic in, put the gai lan in. It will splatter (no matter how much you dried the leaves), so use a lid as a shield.

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4) Using tongs, flip the gai lan from bottom to top, so all the leaves are coated with oil. Sprinkle salt over the leaves, this will flavor it plus force the water out of the vegetable.

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5) Put a lid on it, turn heat down to medium. Cook for 3-4 minutes.

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6) When it is done, the gai lan should be a vibrant green, and the stalks should be tender and crisp. You can put the oyster sauce in now, or drizzle it on top when you serve it.

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See how easy that was?

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Buddha’s Delight

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Buddha’s Delight is a vegetarian dish made up of lots of soy based proteins to mimic real meat. There’s probably a ton of different versions, but this one’s mine.  The can of ‘lo han chai’ I’m using has a variety of vegetarian meats and veggies, containing braised wheat gluten (people sensitive to gluten, beware – I’m also slightly sensitive to gluten, and if I eat enough of this it sits in my stomach like a rock), mushrooms, carrots, tofu.  Btw, the picture on the can shows snow peas, but THERE ARE NO SNOW PEAS.  So add them if you’d like. I also add other ingredients, like shiitake mushrooms (reconstituted in water, I buy bags of dehydrated mushrooms at the local asian market), Bean curd strips (also needs to be reconstituted, bought in dried strips in a bag), and chinese vermicelli. Chinese vermicelli is a noodle made of green beans so it is a good alternative for people sensitive to flour, and, ironically in this dish that doesn’t help much.  In my variety of Buddha’s Delight I add a tablespoon of curry, for an extra kick.

Ingredients:

  • 6 shiitake mushrooms, reconstituted (if dry) and sliced
  • 1 cup of bean curd strips, reconstituted and cut into smaller strips
  • 1 can of Lo Han Chai, drained
  • 2 packages of green bean vermicelli, soaked in hot water to soften, then drained
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth (or water)
  • 1 Tbsp yellow curry (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp green onions, chopped

Shiitake mushrooms, reconstituted

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Sliced shiitake mushrooms

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Bean curd threads, reconstituted in water

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Can of Lo Han Chai

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2 Packages of green bean vermicelli

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Vermicelli soaked in a bowl of hot water until ready for use

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Directions:

1) In a wok on medium high heat, pour the first 4 ingredients in, stirring quickly. Stir-fry for around 2-3 minutes.

2) Add sesame oil, oyster sauce, stir for another minute.

3) Add chicken broth, turn heat down to simmer. Stir curry in. When sauce thickens, turn off heat and pour into a dish to serve. Top with green onions.

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Breaded Zucchini

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Breaded zucchini. Be sure not to over fry them, or they get all soggy and limp.

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium zucchini
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • oil
  • salt

Directions:

1) Slice zucchini into quarter inch slices.  Whisk egg into bowl, dip zucchini slices into egg. Pour bread crumbs into dish, cover egg dipped slices into bread crumbs.

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 2) Pour oil to coat bottom of pan, heat at medium high. Place zucchini slices in pan for one minute until brown, flip and cook for another minute. Remove and place on paper towels to soak up excess oil. Sprinkle salt, serve.

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Guacamole

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 This is my husband’s recipe for guacamole.  It’s his prized recipe.  I’m exploiting it.  He’s not Mexican, but it’s better than guacamole from Mexico.  Everyone loves it, including Mexicans.  We eat bowls and bowls of it. It’s wonderful.  Serves 6.

Ingredients:

  • 3 ripe avocados
  • 8 oz. Jack’s Special Salsa (whatever flavor you wish, we use mild or medium)
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped
  • juice of 1 lime
  • salt

Directions:

  1. In food processor, blend avocados, salsa, and onion together.  Pour into bowl.
  2. Stir in lime juice, and add salt to taste.  Serve with tortilla chips.

* Guacamole will keep in the refrigerator for 2-3 days if well sealed in container.

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