Mongolian Beef

Another take-out fake out favorite for you guys today! Mongolian beef is one of my favorite things on a Chinese menu, but I usually don’t order it because the beef is so tough and fatty. By making it at home you can choose the cut of beef that you want, ensuring a lean and tender bite.

In this case I used a sirloin that I cut down into thin strips. A quick stir fry with some garlic, ginger, and a quick sauce made up from things in the pantry. 10 minutes from start to finish! I served on a bed of white rice with some steamed broccoli on the side.

I really don’t think you could order out as quickly as you can have this on the table. And, it’s much better for your family, obviously. We love our fake-out take out nights around here!

Source: adapted from Food Network Magazine, March 2010

 

Pork Egg Rolls

Homemade egg rolls were one of the first things I learned to make at home, thanks to my mother-in-law. She’d been making egg rolls for her hungry boys for years, and her teaching me the craft was time that we really enjoyed spending together when we were first getting to know each other…long before Jon and I were actually married!

I remember the process being kind of frustrating in the beginning – before I got the feel of rolling them correctly, and my knife skills weren’t really up to par (would take me 2 months to shred a head of cabbage!). But now after making them for a good 10 years, I can make a batch for an easy weeknight dinner with no problem. I usually go for the chicken version – which is the “OG” for us, but sometimes I like to switch it up with other meats…in this case, ground pork. Shrimp is also great!

They can be made and rolled a couple of hours in advance, but I wouldn’t recommend any longer than that – as the wrappers tend to dry out and rip. Also, a great shortcut with the veggies is to use a couple of bags of shredded coleslaw mix instead of shredding your own cabbage and carrots. Saves a little bit of legwork at least!

I like to serve them with some veggie fried rice, and plenty of Chinese hot mustard and sweet chili sauce for dipping. Once you’ve made and enjoyed them at home, every egg roll you’ll get from a Chinese restaurant will always pale in comparison. Just a forewarning! You’ll be making them for years to come.

Veggie Fried Rice

Fried rice is one of the best “quick & easy” dishes out there. It’s filling, economical, and versatile. The perfect way to clean out the refrigerator at the end of the week! This time around I used carrots, peas, scallions, bean sprouts, and a scrambled egg. I’ll usually make this as a side dish whenever I make my mother-in-law’s famous egg rolls. I always had leftover bean sprouts, and I hated to let them go to waste. This was a great way to use them up, as well as being a way to fill tummies up that isn’t fried, or as labor-intensive.

You do have to think a bit ahead of time when it comes to the rice. Using rice that has been chilled is key to a good fried rice. If you use fresh, hot rice – you’ll end up with a sticky ball of mess. By using cooled rice, the grains of rice stay separated – creating the perfect fried rice. I also love the addition of egg to the mix. You don’t see egg in fried rice that often anymore, and it’s something I always loved, so I knew I wanted to add that as well.

It makes a pretty large batch, enough to eat for dinner one night and a couple of extra servings for lunch. You could certainly add a protein as well, if you wanted to make it a complete one-dish meal. Shrimp or chicken are my favorites. Just saute in the pan, and remove before cooking the veggies. A favorite that is guaranteed to be made again and again. Enjoy!

Singapore Mei Fun

I love making our favorite Chinese take-out dishes at home. They’re always tastier, healthier, and much easier on the old pocketbook. Jon’s favorite dish to order-out, hands down, would have to be Singapore Mei Fun. Now, I realize this probably isn’t anywhere close to the noodle dishes you’d actually find in Singpore – but let’s be honest, what comes out most Chinese restaurants in this country  actually is authentic? Am I right?

Soft rice noodles, sauteed with all kinds of crispy yet tender vegetables – and a protein if you like, all in a delicious spicy sauce chock full of curry. I’d never had it before her ordered it, he used to be a General Tso’s guy…but switched to this when he was trying to lose a little weight, and years later he’s still never gone back. I’ve almost grown to love it over my beloved lo mein noodles! Our local place always adds a scrambled egg to the stir-fry, which I feel is a great addition as it helps to soak up any extra sauce and flavor, so I added that to my at-home version too.

It turned out really great, and was a fairly quick and easy meal. I just softened the rice noodles while I was prepping the veggies (stuff I had laying around in the fridge and pantry), stirred together the spices with some soy sauce and sesame oil, and stir-fried for a delicious dinner. I sliced up half a pork tenderloin that I had from a meal earlier in the week and added it to the mix, to add a little protein – but shrimp, leftover chicken or beef would also be great. Ff you wanted to make it vegetarian try adding tofu, or even just bulking up the veggies. And by using your favorite soy sauce substitute, it’s easily gluten-free. You can also switch up the spices in a bit – adding more or less Sriracha or red chili flakes to adapt the heat to your liking. We like it pretty spicy, but I realize not all folks do.

This is one I’m definitely glad to be adding to my repertoire, as it’s a favorite of our whole family! 

Source: adapted from Messy Kitchen Stories