on-line cooking group was great motivation. The main group goal is to discover and share new recipes that could easily aid in a regular meal rotation. We are to use new-to-us recipes; either those we've been wanting to try or original recipes.
Additionally, my criteria for the meal is that it needs to have good, fresh ingredients (maybe even introduce some new things into our repertoire), be an easy weeknight meal and get a decent review from the majority of the family. I would love it if all five of us loved something but for starters I aimed at a new meal that most of us would enjoy. To my delight, I got approval and a clean plate from all.
Anna's favorite (and maybe mine too) Chinese dish is egg foo young. I've often thought of trying to make it myself and this challenge seemed like the perfect opportunity. After a little research I realized it's actually a very easy dish. I would most closely liken it to an omelet -- with a good sauce.
I narrowed my efforts to items I mostly had or could easily get and reuse. With a few adaptations, I stuck most closely to this recipe (added more veggies, used tofu and doubled the sauce).
Classic Egg Foo Yong Recipe
1 cup bean sprouts. broken in smaller pieces
1 medium onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped cooked tofu (or any cooked meat; such as chopped sausages or shredded roast chicken)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper, white
6 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons oil, vegetable (canola or any other light-tasting oil)
4 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoon Hua Tiao Chinese wine (or dry sherry)
2 tablespoon cornstarch
Cooked veggies for topping (ie: cut corn, peas, baby corn, bamboo shoots, etc.)
(Part A) Stir Fry the main ingredients
1. Rinse bean sprouts in cold water.
2. Heat oil in a pan (or a wok if you have one) and add scallions, onion & sprouts. Stir fry using medium-high heat for about 45 seconds, or until vegetables are tender.
3. Add garlic and stir fry for another 15 seconds (don't burn the garlic).
4. Add cornstarch, soy sauce, cooked ham, salt & pepper. Mix well.
5. Remove to a dish & allow to cool.
(Part B) Cook the eggs in batches to get a layering effect
6. In a pan, heat 2 tbsp oil & ladle in 1/3 of the eggs.
7. Add 1/3 of the stir-fried ingredients (from step 5)
8. Fry til golden on both sides.
9. Add another 1/3 of the eggs and 1/3 of the stir fried ingredients (from step 5)
10. Fry til golden on both sides.
11. Add the last remaining 1/3 of the eggs and 1/3 of the stir fried ingredients (from step 5)
12. Fry til golden on both sides.
(Part C) Make the Sauce
13. To make the sauce: combine sauce ingredients in small pan, bring to boil.
14. Simmer gently til thickened.
15. Add cooked veggies to the sauce and top egg dish
We would probably use more veggies next time, like mushrooms (layered with eggs), peas and snow peas (on the topping). I also think the sauce needs a little something else. It wasn't quite right. It was much more soy heavy than we prefer and missing something. But not bad and certainly no complaints from the little people at the table. Everyone cleared their plate.
All in all it was a good first run. It could be perfected a bit and I would easily make this again.
It's a good way to get rid to stash and repackage leftovers or hide some veggies your peeps may think they don't like or normally eat (like cabbage, bean sprouts or mushrooms).
As for the tomato ginger dressing on our wedge. It's a old Benihana recipe. Nothing original here. Personally I could have licked the blender clean. I l-o-v-e the Benihana dressing. And my not-yet-salad-loving kids ate it with no comments at all. Had they known it had a tomato paste base I am certain they would have tried to protest. Ha! Got 'em.
Benihana's Salad Dressing Recipe
Makes 6 Servings
1/4 C chopped onion
1/4 C vegetable oil
2 TBSP rice wine vinegar
1 TBSP water
1 TBSP chopped ginger root
1 TBSP chopped celery
1 TBSP soy sauce
1 1/2 tsp tomato paste
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
Combine all ingredients in a blender. Process until smooth. Any unused portions may be stored in a covered container in the refrigerator.