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Crockpot Honey Garlic Chicken

I was so productive last weekend. I packed away all the shorts and t shirts and swapped them out for everybody’s jeans and sweaters. It was a cool 50 degrees all weekend and we were cozy and oh-so happy. And damn if I didn’t pat myself on the back for checking that giant task of our seasonal to-do list. Aaaaand then this weeek rolled around bringing us 70 degrees and you’d have thought I was trying to torture my boys.

My bad.

Any who, it may not seem like Winter is coming from the weather, despite what our wardrobe (and the local weatherman) says, but I can tell– especially as we shift from using the grill, and move firmly into oven and crockpot territory.

Crockpot Honey Garlic Chicken

This recipe is easy to throw together, and you let the crockpot do all the heavy lifting. Serve it over a warm bed of freshly cooked white rice, and make sure to ladle a generous scoop of sauce overtop the chicken. Because, this sauce. This sauce will have you smackin’ your lips and licking your plate clean. Shamelessly.

Crockpot Honey Garlic Chicken

4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup honey
1/2 cup ketchup*
1/2 cup soy sauce*
1/2 tsp dried oregano
2 tbsp fresh parsley
1/2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds


  1. Place the chicken thighs on the bottom of the crockpot.
    2. In a separate, medium sized bowl, combine the minced garlic, honey, ketchup, soy sauce, oregano and parsley, and stir them together until the ingredients are evenly incorporated.
    3. Pour the sauce over the chicken thighs.
    4. Cover the crockpot with its lid, and cook for 6 to 7 hours on LOW, or 4 to 5 hours on HIGH.
    5. Remove the lid and transfer the cooked chicken to a serving plate.
    6. Spoon the sauce over the chicken and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.
    7. Serve the chicken over a bed of white rice.

*Use low-sodium options if diabetic or of you have other health sodium-related health concerns. Similarly, this is just as tasty without the rice, or served over a bed of brown rice or quinoa for healthier options.


Sweet & Spicy Honey Sriracha Salmon

There’s a bit of recipe magic going on here. The flavors of the soy sauce, the sweetness of the honey, the spice from the Sriracha, the punch of fresh ginger, and the peppering of minced garlic meld to create a perfect marinade for the salmon. The flavors meld and each bite will transport you to your favorite seat, or corner booth in our case, and your favorite fine-dining restaurant.

Sweet & Spicy Honey Sriracha Salmon

Honey Sriracha Salmon

1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp Sriracha sauce (or more or less, to taste)
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger, or 1 scant tsp ginger powder
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 lb (skin-off) salmon fillet, cut into 4 (4-ounce) pieces
1 1/2 tsp sesame oil
2 tbsp thinly sliced green onions, for garnish


1. In a 1-gallon zip-top plastic bag, combine the soy sauce, honey, vinegar, Sriracha, ginger, and garlic. Add the salmon, toss to coat evenly, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or up to 8 hours, turning the fish once.
2. Remove the salmon from the bag, reserving the marinade. Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat ad add the sesame oil. Rotate the pan to coat the bottom evenly and add the salmon. Cook until one side of the fish is browned, about 2 minutes. Flip the salmon and cook until the other side browns, 2 more minutes. Reduce the heat to low and pour in the reserved marinade. Cover and cook until the fish is cooked through, 4-5 minutes.
3. Place a piece of salmon onto a bed of rice and sprinkle with the green onions before serving.

Crispy Homemade Egg Rolls with a Sesame Ginger Dipping Sauce

Why order take-out, when you can make you own fake-out, perfectly crisped egg rolls right at home and serve them with some yummy sesame ginger dipping sauce on the side?

Crispy Homemade Egg Rolls 7

It doesn’t get any easier than with this recipe. And they’re oh-so yummy.

Crispy Homemade Egg Rolls 5

Stuffed with perfectly seasoned, cooked ground pork sausage and a blend of freshly shredded cabbage and carrots these babies are egg roll heaven in a bite. And don’t let the simpleness of the stuffing fool you, each bite is loaded with Asian flavor. You may not want to go back to the take-out version. These pair perfectly with the sesame ginger dipping sauce, but even if you don’t feel like whipping together any special sauce, they’re yummy all on their own. Or pair them with your own favorite Asian dipping sauce(s). We have a whole kitchen drawer full of sauce packets for the hubs and the sons, just for such an occassion 🙂

Crispy Homemade Egg Rolls

Crispy Homemade Egg Rolls 6

1 lb ground pork sausage
1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp onion powder
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 ½ cups finely shredded cabbage & carrot blend (I just throw a bit of each into my food processor until I’ve met the mark), or prepackaged coleslaw blend
12 (6 inch square) egg roll wrappers
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 tbsp water
1 quart canola oil for frying

Sesame Ginger Dipping Sauce

2 tsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp minced fresh ginger root
¼ cup soy sauce
¼ cup honey
2 tbsp orange juice
¼ tsp sesame oil
1 tsp fresh lime or lemon juice
1/4 tsp sesame oil


Dipping Sauce

1. In a small pot, lightly saute the minced garlic & the chili flakes over medium heat, just until fragrant. Add in the remaining ingredients and cook an additional 3 minutes, stirring occassionally. Remove the sauce from heat and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Egg Rolls

1. In a medium-large skillet, over medium heat, add the sausage, ginger, garlic, onion powder, stirring to incorporate and breaking it up as you go, until no pink remains. Set aside.
2. Preheat oil to 375 degrees F.
3. In a small bowl, stir together the flour and water until evenly combined.
4. Lay out one egg roll wrapper with a corner pointed toward you. Place 2 tablespoons of the meat mixture and roughly 2 tablespoons of the coleslaw mixture in the center. Use your finger to spread a little bit of the flour mixture along the edges.

Crispy Homemade Egg Rolls 8

5.  Fold two of the corners together to make a triangle, gently press to seal the edges with the flour mixture, and then fold the sides in and roll up tightly.
6. Fry egg rolls until lightly browned and crispy turning occasionally.
7. Serve with sesame ginger dipping sauce.

recipe adapted from Spend With Pennies

Crab Rangoon Dip with Wonton Chips

No takeout order would be complete without a side of our favorite Chinese appetizer, Crab Rangoon. But I’m not always feeling fancy enough to spend the time to stuff and fold and seal an actual batch of the . So it really helps when I can scratch that itch by whipping up those same tastes into an easy, creamy, crabby dip instead.

crab rangoon dip with wonton chips

Love a good hot crab dip? well moms recipe needs to move on over and make some room I. The recipe binder. Here’s the hot crab dip of 2015.

And to up the ante, and to pay homage to the appetizer we love so much, this is ingeniously paired with wonton ‘chips’ instead of a freshly sliced baguette. But, if good bread is all you’ve got, by all means tear off a hunk and dig, or is it dip?, in!

Crab Rangoon Dip with Wonton Chips

crab rangoon dip with wonton chips 2

8 oz cream cheese, softened
½ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup sour cream
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
2 cans (6 oz) crab meat, drained, or the equivalent of imitation crab meat
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1 clove garlic, minced
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

Wonton Chips
1 package wonton wrappers
cooking spray


1. Cut wontons in diagonally, and then cut again so you have 4 triangles from each wrapper. Spray with cooking spray and spread chips on a pan.
2. Bake at 350 degrees 7-8 minutes or until brown and crispy, set aside.
3. Combine all dip ingredients in a casserole dish reserving ½ cup mozzarella cheese for topping.
4. Top with remaining cheese. Bake, again at 350 degrees, for 25 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Serve with the wonton chips.

Basil Chicken in Coconut Curry Sauce

Happy wife, happy life, right? Well even though it may be true in our house that if mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy I have found over the years that if daddy isn’t happy, then we aren’t all that happy either. And the daddy in our house loves him some Thai food, even if mama does not.

This recipe though is a mutual favorite, which a badly stained page in the family cookbook can attest to. This mama doesn’t even like coconut (the only definite exception to that rule being a Girl Scouts somoa cookie) and I love this dish.

Basil Chicken in Coconut Curry Sauce

Basil Chicken in Coconut Curry Sauce

3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp chili powder
1 medium red onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 14-oz can coconut milk, light or full fat
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp dried basil
1/2 tsp ginger powder
3 cups hot cooked rice


1. Cut the chicken into roughly 1 inch cubes. Place the cut chicken into a large bowl and set it aside. In a small bowl, stir together the curry, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, pepper and chili powder. Once they’re evenly combined, sprinkle the spice mix over the chicken, then toss together until the chicken is nice and coated. Cover the chicken and chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour, but no more than two.
2. In a large skillet stir together the onion, basil, garlic and peppers in the olive oil heated over medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes, or until the onion is translucent. Add in the chicken and then stir in the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt and cook for 5-6 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.
3. In a separate bowl, stir the coconut milk and cornstarch together until evenly combined. Slowly pour the mixture into the skillet, stirring constantly until evenly incorporated. Continue to cook, stirring, until the sauce has slightly thickened and is gently bubbling. now stir in the ginger and let the mixture bubble for another minute or so, again stirring vigorously. Remove the skillet from heat and Serve over hot rice.

recipe adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

Crispy Honey Chicken

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One Sunday after church, when the hubs and I were dating, he decided to take me out to lunch. At the time, church and lunch were in the county where our parents all lived, which was much more rural than the subburbs I was used to. There weren’t any delivery services. and only a handful of nice retaraunts to choose from. And by nice I mean not the terrible pizza place that only gets away with charging so much because it’s the only thing out here, or the obligatory McDonalds with its tiny menu. So we settled on Chinese. And it was damn good Chinese, worth every expensive penny. To this day, what I ended up ordering is still my favorite dish. Sadly though, it’s getting harder and harder for me to find, especially in those beloved suburbs we’ve since moved back to. You’d think more restaurants, more honey chicken, right? Well, wrong. I don’t know what it is. Maybe it’s that not enough people realize just how delicious it really is. But it is fantastic!

Crispy Honey Chicken

It’s so sad this much deliciousness hasn’t been contagious and hasn’t already swept the Chinese restaurant nation, but there’s always hope for the future! Even though the trend hasn’t caught on, the fever sure swept through our house and the recipe has stayed strong and withstood the test of time. If you haven’t discovered the deliciousness yet, well here you go. And if you’re like us and are having a hard time scratching the honey chicken itch then here’s a perfectly easy at home version without the restaurant pricing.

Crispy Honey Chicken 2

for the sauce

1/2 cup honey
2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
1/8 tsp sesame seed oil
1 dash of red pepper flakes
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp water

for the chicken

2 breasts of chicken, cut into 1 1/2″ cubes
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 cup buttermilk
peanut or canola oil for frying


1. Heat a medium to large skillet over medium heat, and then add in the honey, soy sauce, sesame oil, red pepper flakes and apple cider vinegar. Whisk or stir the sauce ingredients together and bring it to a boil. In a separate, small bowl, stir together the cornstarch and water. Once the sauce is boiling, while continuing to stir, slowly add in the cornstarch mixture. Bring the mixture back to a boil and then quickly turn down to a low simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the sauce from the heat and allow it to sit for a minute to finish thickening. You only want to thicken a little bit, as too much would make it hard to toss and evenly coat the chicken.
2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a dutch oven, or other designated pot for frying, over medium high heat. In a shallow dish, mix the flour and spices together evenly. Toss the chicken in the spiced flour, then the buttermilk, and then back into the flour. Once the oil is nice and hot cook the chicken, turning occasionally until golden on the outside and cooked through, about 3-5 minutes. Drain the fried chicken on paper towels and then toss in the sauce and serve over sticky rice.

recipe adapted from Oh, Sweet Basil

Asian Chicken Wraps

Spring has sprung which, for the sons and I, meant another Spring Break sprung (up) upon us and just as sneakily slipped away. Everybody enjoyed themselves for the most part. A few days were touch and go though. Son # 4 has developed a case of motor mouth. If he’s awake, it’s running. It’s pumpking out questions. Everything is why? And he’s a repeater. It doesn’t matter how fa into a sentence or a story he is, if he gets interupted by anything, he begins again. From the begining, repeating every words just the same, whether it’s the third or fifteenth try. And I mean interrupted by anything. By me, by another thought, but a bird chirping when he’s trying to talk. The whole world must stop and give their full attention to every. single. word. Aside from that he doesn’t talk. He spells. Everything. He asks to spell everything. It’s like having a conversation in textlish. ‘I W-A-N-T … … Mama, how do you spell lunch again? L-U-N-C-H.” Most days it’s cute, but by day 4 I had pulled out the plug. Ear plugs, a great investment for any parent.

But speaking of lunch, with a whole week of everyone home for all their meals I do try to ‘spice’ things up a bit, after all it is Spring Break. Even if we’re staying home we can still pretend we’re on vacation right? We don’t have to be as responsible, and that’s reason enough to celebrate. So plain old, ho hum lunches just wouldn’t do. Sandwiches just scream ‘school day’. We want lunches that loudly proclaim, we’re home for a week full of sleeping in, binge watching tv, and lots of fort building in the woods. I don’t know about you, but we’ve found wraps are a good way to transform a boring sandwich into something that’s so much more. It’s ok to break away from the loaf and leave the boring sandwich behind.

This east meets west, easy wrap idea is perfect for lunch, or even a lighter dinner. And doesn’t an Asian Chicken Wrap sound way more exciting than a sandwich? Chock full of flavor with a perfect chow mein noodle crunch these were the perfect way to say ‘School’s out for Spring Break’.

Asian Chicken Wraps

 Asian Chicken Wraps

4 medium sized tortillas
2 chicken breasts, cooked and thinly sliced into strips
2/3 cup General Tso’s sauce
1/4 cup Teriyaki sauce
romaine lettuce, or other lettuce variety of choice
1/2 cup shredded carrots
4 tbsp chow mein noodles


1. In a small skillet or pot, add both sauces and stir to combine. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and allow the sauce to simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened.
2. Add the cooked, sliced chicken to a medium sized bowl and pour the prepared sauce over top. Stir to toss the chicken with the sauce until all the chicken is well coated.
3. To make each wrap, add about 1/3 cup lettuce, 1/2 cup chicken slices, 1/4 cup carrots slices, and 1 tbsp chow mein noodles down the center or each tortilla.
4. Fold in the top and bottom of each tortilla and then roll it up. Enjoy!

Garlic Ginger Green Beans

The holidays may have ended for 2014, but it won’t be long at all (seems like in the blink of an eye) that they will be here again. Trying to round out your meal plan? Well, with these Garlic Ginger Green Beans, you’ve got a bright, fresh side dish that is sure to be gobbled up. Don’t expect any leftovers. These will get devoured, I promise. Plus, these are a nice green bean option for anyone that’s trying to watch what they eat, or anyone who appreciates change, and don’t want to indulge in the more traditional, and heavier, green bean casserole. I know that for me, as the primary cook in our household, it’s so nice to have a few, less stressful recipes in the works during those busy times, and let me tell you it doesn’t get much easier than these green beans! Well, unless you give this recipe to someone else for them to make and just bring it to dinner (that would be really quick and easy for you). The beans get a quick blanching and, after they’ve stopped cooking, a stir in a hot pan with some sesame oil, ginger, garlic, and some rice vinegar for good measure. It’s like a green bean stir-fry guys!! Who wouldn’t like that as a side at your next big meal?

And for any sticklers who claim there’s a strict holiday recipe schedule? Like you have to have green bean casserole at the Thanksgiving and/or Christmas meal? Remember your history. America is a melting pot after all, and what better way to celebrate that diversity than at the symbolic table where we originally all first came together?!

Garlic Ginger Green Beans

Garlic Ginger Green Beans

1 lb green beans, washed and trimmed
4 cloves of fresh garlic, minced
1 tbsp soy sauce
½ tbsp fresh, minced ginger
2 tsp rice vinegar
½ tsp sesame oil
⅛ tsp salt
1-2 tsp toasted sesame seeds


1. Cook the beans in a pot of boiling water for about 5 minutes, or until beans are just tender.
2. Drain beans in a strainer and then run under cold water cold water to stop the cooking process
3. While beans are boiling, in a small bowl, mix together all of the other ingredients except for the sesame seeds.
4. Transfer the beans to a pot or bowl and pour the sauce over cooked beans and stir until everything is nicely coated.
5. Serve with sprinkled sesame seeds over top.

Sauteed Garlic Teriyaki Green Beans

I can’t get enough of fresh veggies. There’s something soooo satisfying about the crunch they make. I like them so much, I usually prefer them raw or very simply seasoned. I was iffy when the hubs began insisting I try this recipe he’d seen. But, what the hubs wants the hubs gets. Haha. Yeah right, but in reality he rarely begs or even asks for a specific thing for supper so I despite my internal reservations, I jumped at the chance to do it for him. I just didn’t think I’d actually like it. Asian-style green beans just didn’t sound like my kind of thing.

I wish I’d had a camera to record his looks over dinner. First, the look on his face when he tasted them and confirmed they were everything he’d thought they’d be. Second, the look of smug satisfaction directed my way acroos the table as I wolfed my own serving down. What can I say? The man knows me. He also knows food. And he was spot on with this recipe. I should have known better to doubt him. I hate being told, ‘I told you so,’ but for once I was happily wrong.

Serve these over rice for an awesome Asian-style vegetarian option, or serve them as a satisfying side with pork or chicken.

Garlic Teriyaki Green Beans

 4 Sons 'R' Us: Garlic Teriyaki Green Beans

recipe adapted from Lori’s Culinary Creations

1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tsp minced garlic
crushed red pepper, to taste (optional)
1lb fresh green beans, trimmed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon teriyaki marinade or sauce
1/4 cup white wine, authentic or cooking wine, either is fine or 1/4 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup medium red onion, chopped
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder


1. Heat the oil & butter in a large skillet over medium heat until melted and begins to bubble.
2.  Add the garlic, pepper, beans, and salt. Cook for about 10 minutes.
3. Add the teriyaki sauce, wine, onion,  paprika, and garlic powder and keep cooking the beans for an additional 20-25 minutes until the beans are mostly soft, but with a slight crunch.

Asian Pasta Salad

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This pasta, tossed in a sesame oil and soy sauce-based dressing, is a refreshing, Asian-inspired side dish perfect for picnics.  This is great for lunch, a light main meal, or even a supper-time side dish, so serve it for the family, or make ahead for your next Bar-B-Q.

Do you ever roast a whole chicken, and then wonder what you’re going to do with all the leftover meat after dinner is over? This is perfect for a chicken dinner day after. Pick those bones clean! Don’t let anything go to waste. As my mom always said, ‘A penny saved is a penny earned.’ That, and some juicy, leftover pieces from your roast chicken would be the perfect reason to whip up this dish.  Vegetarian or looking for a meatless meal idea? Omit the chicken. All the original tangy flavors will still infiltrate every bite.

Summer will be here before we know it, and this quick, colorful, and oh-so tasty cold, oriental noodle salad will pair perfectly with the season!

Asian Pasta Salad

4 Sons 'R' Us: Asian Pasta Salad

recipe adapted from Lil Luna

1 lb.  Tri-Color Rotini
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1 tsp. sesame oil
3 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp. pepper
3 cups diced or shredded chicken breast
2 cups baby spinach
1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro
1 cup shredded carrot
1/2 cup sliced red bell pepper strips, optional


1. Make pasta as directed and set aside.
2. Cook sesame seeds in a skillet on medium heat for 1-2 minutes until lightly toasted. Set aside.
3. Mix together vegetable oil, soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, sugar, sesame seeds and pepper with a whisk until mixed well.
4. Pour dressing mixture over pasta and mix until coated evenly
5. Add chicken, cilantro, spinach, carrots, and peppers, if using. Toss and serve.

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