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Grandma's Cabbage Rolls

8 dried black mushrooms
2 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp oyster sauce
2 tsp sesame oil
1/8 tsp Chinese five-spice
1/8 tsp white pepper
1 tbsp cooking oil
2 tsp minced garlic
1 small carrot, julienned
3 tbsp julienned Szechuan preserved vegetable
1/4 lb bean sprouts
1 tsp cornstarch dissolved in 2 tsp water
2 tbsp chopped cilantro
8 large napa cabbage leaves

Soak mushrooms in warm water to cover until softened, about 20 minutes; drain. Discard stems and thinly slice caps. Combine sauce ingredients in a bowl.
Place a wok over high heat until hot. Add oil, swirling to coat sides. Add garlic; cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 10 seconds. Add mushrooms, carrot, and preserved vegetable. Stir-fry for 2 minutes, adding a few drops water if wok appears dry. Add bean sprouts; stir-fry for 1 minute. Add sauce and bring to a boil. Add cornstarch solution and cook, stirring, until sauce boils and thickens. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro. Let filling cool.
In a large pot of simmering water, parboil cabbage leaves just until limp, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain, rinse with cold water and drain again. Pat leaves dry with paper towels.
Trim leaves to make rectangles about 4 by 8 inches; discard heavy stem ends. If necessary, use a knife to shave any remaining thick white ribs to make leaves easier to roll. Make each roll. Place a leaf on work surface with stem end facing you. Spread 3 tbsp filling in a band across bottom of leaf. Roll leaf tightly to enclose filling. If making ahead, cover and chill until ready to serve.
To serve, trim ends of each roll; cut rolls in half. Stand rolls on a serving plate so filling shows.Makes 16.



Mixed Vegetable Stir-Fry

1/2 cup vegetable broth
1 tbsp dry sherry
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp minced ginger
1/2 cup sliced carrots
1/2 cup sliced lotus root
1/2 cup sliced water chestnuts
1/2 cup sliced zucchini
8 white button mushrooms
2 tbsp water
1/2 cup red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch squares
4 asparagus spears, trimmed and cut diagonally into 1 1/2-inch lengths
2 tsp cornstarch dissolved in 1 tbsp water

Combine sauce ingredients in a bowl. Place a wok over high heat until hot. Add oil, swirling to coat sides. Add garlic and ginger; cook, stirring until fragrant, about 10 seconds. Add carrots, lotus root, water chestnuts, zucchini, and mushrooms; stir-fry for 1 minute.
Add water, cover and cook for 3 minutes. Add bell pepper and asparagus; stir-fry for 1 minute.
Add sauce and bring to a boil. Add cornstarch solution and cook, stirring, until sauce boils and thickens. Makes 4 servings.



Minced Chicken with Walnuts in Lettuce Cups

6 dried black mushrooms
3/4 cup walnuts
1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken

1 tbsp oyster sauce
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp minced ginger
1 small carrot, cut into1/4-inch cubes
1 small zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1 cup diced water chestnuts

1 tbsp dry sherry
1 tsp sesame oil
Hoisin sauce
12 small iceberg lettuce cups

Soak mushrooms in warm water to cover until softened, about 20 minutes; drain, reserving 1/4 cup of the soaking liquid. Discard stems and chop caps.
Spread walnuts in a pie pan; toast in a 350 F oven, stirring once or twice, until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Let nuts cool, then coarsely chop.
Cut chicken into 1/4-inch pieces. Place in a bowl with oyster sauce; stir to coat. Let stand for 10 minutes.
Place a wok over high heat until hot. Add oil, swirling to coat sides. Add ginger and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 10 seconds. Add chicken and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add carrot, zucchini and water chestnuts; stir-fry for 30 seconds.
Add reserved mushroom soaking liquid; cook until vegetables are tender-crisp, about 2 minutes. Add wine and sesame oil; cook until heated through. Add walnuts and toss to coat.
To eat, spread hoisin sauce on a lettuce cup, spoon in some of the chicken mixture, wrap in lettuce cup and eat out of hand.
Makes 4 to 6 servings.



 

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