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Gluten Free Orange Chicken – The Real Deal!

My son loves loves loves orange chicken!  Did I say love?  Yup, loves and always asks for it.  He will eat it here and there.  He will eat it anywhere and from anywhere.  Where can most people have access to orange chicken?  Panda Express.  The fast food chain of Chinese food for the non-Chinese!!  As a Chinese gal myself, eating at Panda Express is the worse sin I could ever commit.  It’s like a guy from Italy getting pizza at Pizza Hut or from Mexico buying tacos at Taco Bell or from the south buying fried chicken at KFC! You get the picture?  Can’t do it, won’t do it… my chef dad would never speak to me again! So, I must make my own orange chicken to appease my son and my entire family and also, put my mind at ease knowing I’m feeding my family organic, antibiotic free chicken with fresh ingredients and sauce made from real foods – no chemicals, no dyes, no additives. Oh yes, I made it one step better and also made it gluten-free.

I use a mix of thigh meat and breast meat because the darker meat fries a little crispier.  This is not a heavy batter that creates a thick skin.  It’s light, crispy and flavorful.  I have to use at least 3 pounds of chicken because there is just never enough orange chicken in my family

 

Gluten Free Orange Chicken - The Real Deal!
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Light, crisp, flavorful orange chicken.
Servings
6
Servings
6
Gluten Free Orange Chicken - The Real Deal!
Print Recipe
Light, crisp, flavorful orange chicken.
Servings
6
Servings
6
Ingredients
Chicken
Fresh Orange Sauce
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Cut chicken into bite size pieces. I cut them about 1 1/2 inches. Make sure your chicken is somewhat dry and that the pieces aren't wet.
  2. Place chicken in large bowl or ziploc bag and massage sea salt into the pieces.
  3. Mix potato and corn starch together and then add to chicken to coat pieces thoroughly. You can also use 1 cup of cornstarch if you don't have potato starch handy. Add more starch if the chicken isn't fully coated.
  4. Heat coconut oil on medium-high in wok or heavy pan until temperature reaches 350 degrees.
  5. Start putting 10-15 pieces in the oil at a time. Fry for about 5 minutes if the chicken is submerged in oil.
  6. Strain and place on paper towel to absorb excess oil. Fry all pieces until coating has a nice crispiness to it.
  7. For the sauce, place of the sauce ingredients into sauce pan and whisk it together.
  8. Place saucepan on stove and turn on to medium high. Keep mixing until the sauce thickens and bubbles.
  9. Once the sauce bubbles, place all your fried chicken pieces into the sauce pan to quickly coat.
  10. Put your chicken on a serving plate and you're ready to eat!
  11. Orange chicken goes great on fluffy white rice and sautéed garlic spinach!
Recipe Notes

I use a combination of potato and corn starch, but you can use all of one or the other, depending on what you have handy.  Also tapioca starch is a good substitute as well.

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Hainan Garlic Ginger Chicken Rice

My ethnic background is Chinese.  My mom was born in Nanjing and raised in Taipei, Taiwan.  My dad is ethnically Chinese but was born and raised in Da Nang, Vietnam. I grew up the majority of my life in Seattle, Washington and my only connection to my parents’ culture is through the food.  Taiwanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, Indo-Chinese..you name it, I loved eating it.  One of my favorite dishes that my father introduced me to is Hainan chicken rice.  It’s from his father’s hometown of Hainan, China.  This dish is what Hainan is famous for and there usually are 1 or 2 restaurants in every chinatown that specializes and serves only this dish.  It’s so flavorful and delicious!  It’s a family favorite and I love making it for friends.

This is a dish full of garlic and ginger and savory chicken flavor and you can easily replace the chicken broth for vegetable broth to make it vegan.  This side dish pairs well with my Perfect Salmon and definitely any chicken dish.  Heck, this dish is so good on its own and with anything you want to accompany it with!

Enjoy!  Chi Fan!!!

Hainan Garlic Ginger Chicken Rice
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Servings
8
Servings
8
Hainan Garlic Ginger Chicken Rice
Print Recipe
Servings
8
Servings
8
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Soak rice in water and put aside while you prepare your ginger and garlic. Let it soak for at least 10 minutes.
  2. To easily remove the skin off ginger, use the edge of a spoon and scrape. The spoon makes it easy to scrape around the curves and bumps of the ginger root and minimize waste.
  3. Mince your ginger and garlic.
  4. Rinse rice until water runs clear. Usually this take 3 rinse and drains.
  5. Add coconut oil to a large pot on medium high heat and then add all your minced garlic and ginger. Stir for 30 seconds until you smell the aromatics of the garlic and ginger.
  6. Add drained rice in pan and stir constantly with the garlic and ginger for 1 minute. Add sesame oil and salt and stir a minute more.
  7. If you have a rice cooker, add all the ingredients from the pan as well as the chicken broth into the cooker and turn it on. It will be done when the cooker notifies you.
  8. If you don't, just add the chicken broth directly into the pot and bring it to a boil. Once it starts to boil, turn down the stove to low and put a lid on the pot. Let it cook for about 17 minutes.
  9. When the rice is done, use a wooden spatula or spoon and fluff up the rice by gently scooping and stirring. Your Hainan Rice is ready to serve!
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Perfect Salmon

My husband invited his friend and friend’s family over for dinner one night.  I didn’t know him well at that time and asked Stephen (my hubs) what they like or don’t like.  Of course, husbands are the best communicators who tell you everything in complete detail….HA!  He said, “He loves everything.”  So I figured, ok, I’ll do salmon.  It’s light and perfect for the hot weather we were having.

Lo and behold, they all arrive and the guy hates salmon!  Barely likes fish, and couldn’t stand salmon because it was too “fishy” to him.  I was bummed and hoped he could at least eat the salad I made to accompany the fish.  Well, he was courteous enough to try a bite after seeing his son and girlfriend devour theirs.  He then had another bite and another and then asked for a second helping!  I love the idea my cooking can convert the nay sayers!  These kind of accomplishments are great badges of honor for me.  My girlfriend made my salmon recipe and converted her twin 9 year old boys!  (pat, pat – myself on the shoulder)

I always believe that kids and adults may not like a certain food because they haven’t eaten that food cooked correctly.  Who’d like fish if it were dry or smelly?  Who’d like broccoli if it was overcooked and tasteless or undercooked and chewy?  Who’d like liver if it was mealy? Yep, I’ve even converted people who didn’t like liver!   Ask my kids! Anyways, back to salmon!  When it comes to any food, it’s important that it’s fresh and when it comes to seafood, it’s even more important to me that it’s wild.

Hope you try this recipe if you are a fan of salmon or not.   There’s onions in it and please try that if you’re a fan or not as well… you may become my bragging rights if I turned you. hehehe!

Perfect Salmon
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Please buy wild salmon verses farmed. So much farmed fish have been heavily contaminated and are genetically modified. To get the best flavor and nutrition for your body, it's always best to spend a little more for wild.
Servings
4
Servings
4
Perfect Salmon
Print Recipe
Please buy wild salmon verses farmed. So much farmed fish have been heavily contaminated and are genetically modified. To get the best flavor and nutrition for your body, it's always best to spend a little more for wild.
Servings
4
Servings
4
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Take a sheet of foil the length of your salmon fillet and place it under your salmon.
  3. Cut lemon in half and squeeze one half all over salmon. Slice the other half into thin round slices.
  4. Take the 2 tsp of sea salt and sprinkle over salmon.
  5. Mix 1 tbsp of dry dill or 3 tbsp of fresh dill (4-5 sprigs chopped) with mayonnaise. Spread mayonnaise over salmon.
  6. Cut onion in half and slice both halves thinly into half circle slice. Lay them over the dill mayonnaise.
  7. Grind fresh pepper and sprinkle a pinch of salt over the the onions.
  8. Layer slice lemon rounds on top of the onions.
  9. If your foil is big enough like mine, take both sides and fold to a close and fold close the ends. Or, take another sheet and place it on top and fold at the sides and ends.
  10. Bake for 20 minutes. Take it out of the oven and let it sit for another 5 minutes.
  11. Transfer to a platter and you are ready to serve.
Recipe Notes

I use my Just Mayo for my salmon.  It's pure simple ingredients that is vegan, gmo-free.

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