in the kitchen

with chen

Tag: ginger

when i was a child + gingery omelette soup

June 1st, Children’s Day.

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oh, friday + poached salmon with creamy peas

A strange Friday.

It was rainy and, at the same time, sunny this morning.

I had 3 lectures in a row today, and I had to finish a soggy sandwich in 10 minutes on the way from north campus to south. Why? I forgot to squeeze out the water from sauteed arugula before putting them in my waffle sandwich.

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as ruled by mom: braised tofu and mushroom

“Start cooking tofu in COLD base.”

“You need more salt than you think to bring out the flavor.”

“Add ginger.”

“Eat hot.”

braised tofu and mushroom
Makes 4 servings

1 package (14 oz) firm tofu, drained and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
8 oz button mushrooms, cleaned and quartered
1 tsp minced fresh ginger
1 tsp vegetable oil
1 1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 tsp soy sauce

1 tbsp cornstarch
2 tbsp water

salt and WHITE pepper

Add oil and ginger to a large saute pan over medium heat. When the ginger starts sizzeling, add mushrooms to the pan along with a generous pinch of salt. Stir occasionally until mushrooms turn brown and begin to release their juice, about 5-7 minutes.

Pour in chicken broth. Add tofu cubes and stir in soy sauce. Turn the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a boil. Then turn the heat to medium-low. Cover and cook for another 15 minutes or until the mushrooms are tender.

Uncover and turn the heat to medium-high. Adjust salt to taste. Cook until the liquid reduced to 1/4 (barely cover the bottom of the pan). Whisk cornstarch and water together and add into the pan. Add white pepper to taste. Once the sauce is bubbling and thickened, which takes less than 1 minutes. Turn off the heat. Serve hot.

steamed mushroom, green onion, and ginger stuffed chicken + sweet and sour cucumber

Sunday. In my slouchy sweatpants. Preparing some hearty chicken. Making my mom’s repetition for warm weathers–sweet and sour cucumber. Writing a new post.

It could be better if this was not a weekend towards the final exams…

Chicken, chicken, and more chicken. I notice that I am so into chicken. Don’t you think these birds are the most easy-cooking and nutritious and delicious yet inexpensive eats?

I was not clear how I came up with the steamed stuffed chicken. Maybe the coming of finals was driving me crazy. But I did know why I tried to make (or at least imitate) my mom’s sweet and sour cucumber–something refreshing was called.

steamed mushroom, green onion, and ginger stuffed chicken
Makes 4 thighs

4 chicken thighs, skinless and boneless

For EACH thigh, you need:
1 dried mushroom, soaked overnight then sliced
1 green onion, cut into 2-inch long
1/4 tsp chopped fresh ginger

For the marinate:
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp water from what you soaked mushroom in
1 tbsp cooking wine
1 tsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt

In a large bowl, mix the ingredients for marinate until well incorporated. Add the chicken thighs to the marinate and let sit for 30 minutes.

Remove the chicken from the marinate and place cut side up. Distribute mushroom, green onion and ginger in the center and roll up. Place the thighs in the bowl you use to steam. Pour the marinate over the top.

Steam for 25 minutes. Turn off the heat and let it stand for 10 minutes WITHOUT removing the lid of the steamer. Serve warm.

sweet and sour cucumber
Makes 2 servings

1 cucumber, about 8-inch long and 2-1/2-inch in diameter
2 tsp sugar (I was out of sugar so I used honey)
3-4 tbsp Chinkiang vinegar or balsamic vinegar, depending on how sour you like
1/8 tsp salt

Half the cucumber lengthwise then slice diagonally.

Toss the remaining ingredients and cucumber together in a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

miso & ginger marinated pork tenderloin, roasted

Life without meat is bland.

I usually step away from cooking large piece of lean meat like whole turkey breast and beef roast and tenderloin. It is easier to ruin the dish than make it right since the protein gets tough once overcooked.

However, what makes a difference is marinating before cooking. I’m not good at chemistry at all, but I’m sure that something happens “in there.”

And here is the good news: USDA has lowered the cooking temperature for pork.

Want some tender tenderloin?

miso & ginger marinated pork tenderloin
Makes 2-3 servings

8 oz pork tenderloin

For the marinate:
1 heaping tbsp miso
1 tsp chopped fresh ginger
2 tbsp cooking wine
1 tsp soy sauce
1 1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar or Chinkiang vinegar
1 tsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp sesame oil

Day 1
In a heavy duty plastic bag with zip, mix the ingredients for marinate. Place the tenderloin in the bag and zip it. Massage the meat until it is coated with the marinate. Leave the bag in the refrigerator overnight.

Day 2
(It is better to take the bag out and bring the meat to room temperature before cooking.)

Preheat the oven to 375F. Line a baking sheet with foil. Discard the marinate. Place the tenderloin on the baking sheet and roast for 15 to 20 minutes. I check whether the meat is done by insert a chopstick; if it is easy to insert the chopstick into the thickest part and no juice runs out, then stop cooking (well, I don’t have a thermometer in my apartment in LA).

Let the meat stand for 10 minutes before slicing. It should be slightly pink in the center. Reserve the sauce on the baking sheet. Spoon it over meat and serve warm.