(Original Post Date: Feb 27, 2010)
Who needs Chinese take-out when you can make it yourself at home? Of course, not being Chinese, there are a bunch of typical Chinese or Taiwanese ingredients that I just don’t have in my kitchen. But I have the next best thing… Japanese ingredients that are somewhat similar, and way more familiar to me.
One night I decided (after hearing my husband complain for too long about how he wished he could be eating Chinese food instead of whatever American/Italian/Japanese/Austrian/Mexican concoction that I had made that night for dinner) to attempt making something vaguely Chinese. I found a recipe for Kung Pao chicken online, but my husband being the super picky type, does not like “nuts” in his food. Sigh. So I decided to use the basics of that recipe to create something similar, that did not include nuts, and would incorporate the ingredients that I did have on hand. Feel free to leave the orange zest out if you do not care for the flavor of orange peel.
Orange Peel Chicken:
- 2 small chicken breasts
- 1 c. shitake mushrooms
- 1/2 c. snow pea pods
- 1 large stalk green garlic
- 1 T. soy sauce
- 1 T. cornstarch
- 1 T. Mirin (Japanese sweet cooking wine)
- zest of 1 orange
- 2 tsp. sugar
- 2 T. rice vinegar
- 2 tsp. sesame oil
- 4 T. soy sauce
- 1 T. Mirin (sweet cooking wine)
- 2 tsp. cornstarch
- 1 tsp. korean red pepper
- 1/3 c. chicken broth
1. Cut the chicken breasts (or about 5-6 chicken tenders)
into small bite-sized pieces. Mix the chicken with the marinade ingredients and set aside.
2. Zest one orange. Mix the zest with all orange sauce ingredients and set aside. Korean red pepper is flaked red chili pepper. You could substitute with regular red pepper flakes, but I prefer the Korean kind. Now, if you don’t have Mirin in your kitchen, you could substitute with something like sherry, or a really sweet Moscato. You could also substitute apple cider vinegar (or even regular white vinegar in a pinch) for the rice vinegar.
3. Slice the green garlic stalks. You can substitute with 2-3 stalks of green onion if you can’t find green garlic.
4. Wash the shitake mushrooms, discarding the stems as you go. Cut each mushroom into quarters. If you can’t find fresh shitake mushrooms, you can substitute with regular fresh mushrooms.
5. Clean and pick over the snow pea pods.
6. Heat 1 T. canola oil in a large wok, on high. Add the white part of the green garlic, and the chicken. Stir fry until chicken is cooked.
7. Add the mushroom, and stir fry 30 seconds. Then, add the Orange Sauce.
8. Stir, and add the remaining green garlic.
9. When sauce is thickened and bubbly, add the snow peas and cook for about 30 seconds longer.
10. Serve with steamed calrose rice.