Scallion and Beef Stir-Fry

Fake-out take out is one of my favorite things to make at home. Whether it’s lo mein, General Tso’s, egg rolls, a stir-fry, or just simple veggie fried rice…it’s always a hit around here! We don’t have any greasy Chinese places here on our tiny seaside island. And the one great place we do have, Saigon Village, is closed during the winter months. Counting down the days until she re-opens in the spring!

So, needless to say – I’m DIYing it on the Chinese field in the kitchen quite a bit these days. This was a new recipe that I tried last week. It was super quick, easy, and everyone really enjoyed it. I loved the tender-crisp slivers of onion and pieces of scallion mixed throughout. And the sauce! I’ll usually make my stir-fry sauces with a base of chicken stock. But the use of oyster sauce as a base produced a sauce that was rich and brown, absolutely delicious!

I served over a bed of rice with some steamed broccoli on the side. Another great bonus is it takes less than 20 minutes to cook, from start to finish. You couldn’t have take-out on the table that quickly, even if you wanted to!

Source: adapted from Rasa Malaysia

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!