Archive for category Asian

Indonesian Chicken Wings

Asian Soy WingsI’d have to say that soy sauce (or Tamari) is one of those ingredients you should never be without. However, this recipe calls for Indonesian soy sauce, or Ketjap Manis, which is slightly sweeter and thicker than traditional soy sauce. It’s difficult, if not impossible, to buy this at your local grocer. You would definitely have to go to an Asian market to buy it. Or you could make your own without much effort. Therefore, I’ve included a recipe for this delectable little condiment at the bottom of this recipe.

I love Asian food. They say that the Chinese invented noodles and the Italians perfected it. I think that’s a perfectly legitimate claim. But Asian food is so much more than Chinese and Japanese. Indonesian and Vietnamese food is amazing. So are these wings.


2.5 lbs party wings (these are wings that have already been trimmed and separated)

1 cup Ketjap Manis (recipe follows)

2 tbsp Sambal Oelek

2 tbsp minced garlic

1/2 cup rice wine vinegar (seasoned or unseasoned is fine)

2 tbsp ginger paste

Sea salt and fresh-ground black pepper to taste

1/4 cup lime juice

Chopped scallions or chives (for garnish)


The first order of business is to make the marinade, so this is a simple recipe because it requires you to mix all the ingredients together (except the salt and pepper). Whisk to make sure everything is thoroughly combined.

Put the wings in a resealable plastic bag along with the concoction, and marinate overnight. I like to use a toothpick on the wings and poke holes in them prior to marinating. This helps to infuse the wings with the sauce.

When you are ready to cook the wings, preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Place the wings in a single layer in a long baking pan. Pour in the marinade. Season with salt (lightly) and fresh-ground pepper. Cook for about 30 minutes, turning at least once to cook on both sides. Prior to removing the wings, turn them again and put the oven on “broil” for about 5 minutes.

Remember to put on the hood of your stove and open a window as you might generate a little smoke.

Remove the wings to a serving tray and get ready to feast. Garnish with chopped scallions or chives. These are delicious!

How to Make Ketjap Manis

Ingredients for Ketjap Manis

1 cup packed dark brown sugar

1 cup water

1 cup dark soy sauce

7 tbsp dark (blackstrap) molasses

1 tsp ginger paste

1/2 tsp ground coriander

1/2 tsp fresh-ground black pepper


Combine the dark brown sugar and water in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat until all the sugar dissolves.

Then, increase the heat to high and cook until the syrup begins to thicken. This takes about 5 minutes.

Reduce the heat to low and add the rest of the ingredients. Simmer for 3-5 minutes.

Remove from heat and allow to cool. This can be stored for 2-3 months (covered) in your refrigerator.


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Chinese-Style Baby Back Ribs

baby-back-ribsI absolutely love barbecued baby back ribs. However, I’m not a fan of traditional, store-bought, ketchup-based barbecue sauce. It just doesn’t work for me, for the most part, unless I’m making my own barbecue sauce.

This recipe is unbelievably good. It’s tasty without that “smoky” flavor. I’ve always said that Asian barbecue is far superior to American, and this recipe will prove that opinion out.


2 lbs of pork baby back ribs

2 cloves of garlic, minced

Chinese barbecue sauce (recipe follows)

Ingredients for Chinese Barbecue Sauce

6 tbsp honey

3 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce or Tamari

3 tbsp Hoisin sauce

2 tsp white pepper

1 tbsp Chinese Five-Spice Powder

1 tbsp sesame oil


First, make your barbecue sauce by vigorously whisking all of the ingredients together. Put in a small pan and heat on medium-low for about 10 minutes. Set aside and allow to cool.

Once the barbecue sauce has cooled, rub the baby back ribs with the minced garlic and about two-thirds of the barbecue sauce, place in a glass roasting pan and allow it to marinate overnight. You do not need to refrigerate the rest of the barbecue sauce.

When you’re ready to cook the ribs preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Wrap the ribs in two layers of aluminum foil, making sure there is no opportunity for leakage. Roast in a 325 degree oven for about 3 hours.

After 3 hours, unwrap the ribs and place in a roasting pan. Switch the oven to “broil.” Brush the top of the ribs with the remaining barbecue sauce, and broil for 3-5 minutes. Remove from the oven, cut the ribs, and serve.

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Forbidden Black Rice Salad

Black-RiceChinese Forbidden Black Rice is awesome. It’s short-grain, so the consistency is perfect for this salad. However, I have to tell you that it is not easily found in a supermarket. I buy mine at an all-natural grocer. It costs about $6 for a pound, but it’s well worth the investment. There is no substitute for this, so do not use the Black Japonica Rice that you can find at the supermarket. This rice truly is “black,” not purplish.

The recipe calls for roasted, diced butternut squash. The one thing you do not want to do is cook this until it is mush. You want to put it in the oven in a single layer, making sure to turn it and brown it on each side. Taste test it to be sure it will hold up when you toss the salad.

The rice isn’t the only thing that makes the salad great. The very simple dressing is just plain delicious. No additional spices are needed.


2 cups forbidden rice

3.5 cups water

pinch of salt

1 lb roasted, diced butternut squash

1.5 cups snow peas, blanched and cooled

1/2 cup diced red pepper

1/2 cup diced yellow pepper

1/2 cup diced orange pepper

6 scallions, sliced

6 tbsp Tamari

9 tbsp sesame oil (or 6 tbsp sesame oil and 3 tbsp hot chili sesame oil if you like a little heat)

sea salt and fresh-ground black pepper to taste


Bring rice, water and a pinch of salt to a boil. Cover and lower heat. Simmer for 30 minutes.

While the rice is cooking, bake the butternut squash (see note above), and allow to cool. Bring another pot of water to a boil, toss in the snow peas for no more than a minute or two, drain and rinse under cold water. The idea here is to make them a bit “pliable” if you will.

When the rice is done, drain it and put it into your serving bowl. Whisk together the Tamari and sesame oil. Add it to the rice while it is still a bit warm.

After the rice has cooled, add the peppers, snow peas, scallions, and butternut squash. Mix together. Add salt and pepper to taste. Not only is it absolutely delicious, but it’s a pretty attractive salad as well!




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Asian Soy Wings

Asian soy wings 2I have a number of really great chicken wing recipes. I was considering putting them up on the blog the same way I did the burger recipes, but then I decided against that. I wish I could give you a good reason why, but I cannot.

These are great wings. My kids even like them, which is amazing to me because they are so picky. Marinating is the key to these wings. They need to marinate for at least four hours but, of course, overnight is the absolute best.

You can buy whole wings and trim them by cutting off the tip and separating them at the joint. However, I buy the “party” wings which are already trimmed and cut in half.  It’s just a lot easier, and you get more for your money.


3 lbs chicken wings

1 cup low-sodium soy sauce or Tamari

1 cup water

1/4 cup lime juice

2 tbsp honey

3 tbsp minced garlic

3 tbsp minced fresh cilantro (or the cilantro in the tube)

2 tbsp Sambal Oelek

1 tsp sesame oil

1 tbsp rice wine vinegar

Sesame seeds (for garnish)

Chopped scallions (for garnish)


Mix the soy sauce (or Tamari), lime juice, water, honey, sesame oil, cilantro, and vinegar in a small bowl. Whisk to mix thoroughly. Place the wings and the marinade in a resealable plastic bag and marinate for four hours or, preferably, overnight.

Place in a preheated 425 degree oven along with some of the marinade (but not all). Cook for 20 minutes on one side, then turn and cook for another 20 minutes (or until the wings are no longer pink in the middle). Turn the wings back onto the “top” side and place the oven on broil for about 7 minutes.

Before serving, sprinkle on sesame seeds and garnish with chopped scallions.

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Korean Braised Short Ribs

Beef Short RibsThis is a tremendously flavorful falling-off-the-bone dish. This recipe was contributed by my partner-in-crime, the charming Bill McKenzie, who is teaming up with me so we can take this blog to the next level.

For this recipe you’ll need a Dutch oven because this masterpiece starts on the stove top and finishes up in the oven.


1.5 lbs beef short ribs

1 cup soy sauce

1/2 cup Sake

1/4 cup Mirin

1/4 cup sesame oil

1 tbsp ginger paste (or minced fresh ginger)

1/4 cup sesame seeds

1 tsp sea salt

2 tsp red pepper flakes

2 tsp coarse ground black pepper

4 scallions, greens and white separated and cut into 1/4 inch pieces

12 cloves garlic

2 cups low-sodium beef stock

Canola oil


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Drizzle canola oil on the bottom of the Dutch oven. Sprinkle the beef short ribs with sea salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes. Brown the ribs in the Dutch oven on the top of the stove.

Once browned, add the rest of the ingredients, with the exception of the scallion greens and sesame seeds. Cover the Dutch oven and bring everything to a boil, then transfer to the oven. Bake for 1.5 to 2 hours.

Place in a serving dish over white rice. Sprinkle sesame seeds and scallion greens on top.



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