I have two recipes that incorporate chili crisp to share. This saucy dish was subtly spicy and very creamy from the tahini. It had a deep sesame flavor. Next time, I may add a bit more soy sauce and rice vinegar to the sauce.
This recipe was adapted from Bon Appétit, contributed by Kendra Vaculin. It was a perfect springtime meal.
Yield: Serves 4 to 6
5 T (1/3 cup) chili crisp
5 T (1/3 cup) tahini
3 T soy sauce, plus more, to taste
3 T unseasoned rice vinegar, plus more, to taste
12 to 12.8 oz dried soba noodles
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed, cut into 2″ pieces
2 T vegetable oil (I used canola oil)
1 lb ground pork
thinly sliced scallions and/or cilantro, for serving
1/2 T to 1 T sesame seeds, toasted, for serving
Whisk chili crisp, tahini, soy sauce, and rice vinegar in a small bowl. Taste and adjust seasonings, as desired. Set sauce aside.
Toast sesame seeds in a 350 degree oven until fragrant and lightly browned, stirring once or twice, about 5 to 10 minutes.
Cook soba noodles in a large pot of boiling water until almost cooked, about 2 minutes.
Add asparagus pieces; cook until noodles are al dente and asparagus is crisp-tender, about 1 minute. Drain, reserving 1 cup cooking liquid.
Rinse noodles and asparagus under cool running water; reserve pot.
Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium-high.
Cook ground pork in an even layer, undisturbed, until browned, about 5 minutes. Continue to cook, stirring and breaking up with a wooden spoon, until cooked through, about 3 minutes. (Use a splatter screen!)
Add reserved sauce and cook, scraping up browned bits, 1 minute.
Transfer pork mixture, noodles, and asparagus to reserved pot. Add 2/3 cup cooking liquid; cook over medium heat, stirring gently with spoon and adding more cooking liquid if needed, until noodles and meat are well coated, about 2 minutes.
Serve topped with thinly sliced scallions, cilantro (if using), and toasted sesame seeds.
This is an upgraded version of the classic comfort food sandwich. The incorporation of Korean red chili paste, gochujang, added the perfect amount of heat.
The recipe was adapted from Bon Appétit, contributed by Hana Asbrink. I used ground turkey and modified the proportions. It was a great one-pot meal. Messy and tasty. 🙂
Yield: 6 servings
1 T canola oil
1 lb. ground turkey or ground beef (ideally 20% fat)
1 1/2 tsp Diamond Crystal or 3/4 tsp Morton kosher salt, divided, plus more
freshly ground black pepper
1 medium green bell pepper, ribs and seeds removed, chopped
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
10 garlic cloves, finely grated or pushed through a garlic press
3 T gochujang (I used Trader Joe’s)
2 T ketchup
1 T soy sauce
1 T Worcestershire sauce
1 T dark brown sugar
1 tsp yellow mustard
1 15-oz. can tomato sauce
1 T balsamic vinegar
6 potato rolls
Kosher dill spears and potato chips, for serving, recommended but optional
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high. (I used a 12-inch stainless steel sauté pan.)
Add ground meat, spreading out in a single layer; sprinkle with 1 tsp Diamond Crystal or 1/2 tsp Morton kosher salt and season with freshly ground pepper. Cook, undisturbed, until a light brown crust forms underneath, about 3 minutes.
Continue to cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon, until almost completely brown all the way through, about 3 minutes more.
Push meat to one side of pan. Reduce heat to medium and add chopped bell pepper, onion, chopped, grated garlic cloves, and 1/2 tsp Diamond Crystal or 1/4 tsp Morton kosher salt; season with pepper.
Cook, stirring often, until vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes.
Stir in gochujang, ketchup, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, dark brown sugar, and yellow mustard.
Add one 15-oz. can tomato sauce and 1/4 cup water and stir again to combine.
Bring to a simmer and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring and scraping up any brown bits, until thick and saucy, 10–12 minutes.
Remove mixture from heat and stir in balsamic vinegar; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Spoon saucy meat mixture onto potato rolls. Serve with kosher dill spears and potato chips, as desired.
This chicken and noodle stir-fry dish, tallarín saltado, is a classic Peruvian dish. According to Milk Street, simple stir-fry dishes like this are a staple of the Chinese-influenced cuisine known as chifa. Chifa cuisine combines South American and East Asian flavors and ingredients.
This recipe was adapted from Milk Street, contributed by Malcolm Jackson. Jackson uses balsamic vinegar in place of the more traditional red wine vinegar and substitutes a jalapeño or Fresno chile for the ají amarillo chile that would be used in Peru. The dish was fresh, fast and fabulous. We loved it!
We ate the stir-fry with roasted broccoli- a strange combination- but it was ultimately a nice compliment. 🙂
Yield: Serves 6
12 ounces spaghetti (I used whole wheat)
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 1/2 T oyster sauce
3 T light soy sauce
3 T balsamic vinegar
4 T grapeseed oil or other neutral oil
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 5), trimmed and cut into 3/4 strips
1 large red onion, halved and sliced into 1/2-inch wedges
6-7 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 large red, yellow, or orange bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and thinly sliced
1 Fresno or jalapeño chile, stemmed, halved, and thinly sliced lengthwise
freshly squeezed juice of 1 lime, plus wedges to serve
1/4 cup plus 2 T lightly packed fresh cilantro leaves
In a large saucepan, bring 2 quarts water to a boil. Meanwhile, prep all remaining ingredients.
Add the pasta and 1 tablespoon salt to the boiling water; cook, stirring occasionally, until just shy of al dente. Reserve about 1 cup of the cooking water, then drain. (I cooked my pasta for 5 minutes.)
In a small bowl, stir together the oyster sauce, soy sauce and vinegar; set aside.
In a 14-inch skillet over medium-high, heat the oil until barely smoking. (I used a stainless steel skillet.)
Add the chicken, onion, and garlic, distributing the ingredients evenly, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook, without stirring, until the chicken is well browned on the bottom and releases easily from the pan, about 4 to 5 minutes. (See Tip)
Add the oyster sauce mixture and cook, stirring and scraping up any browned bits, until the sauce is syrupy, 2 to 3 minutes.
Add the bell pepper and chile; cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 2 minutes.
Add the pasta and stir to combine. Add 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water and cook, tossing constantly, until the noodles are al dente, 2 to 3 minutes.
Off heat, stir in the lime juice. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
Place half of the stir-fry in a serving bowl and sprinkle with half of the cilantro. Repeat with the remaining stir-fry and cilantro. Serve with lime wedges on the side, as desired.
Tip: Don’t stir the chicken too soon after adding it to the skillet. Left undisturbed, it forms a fond, or browned bits that stick to the skillet. The dish’s flavor develops when the oyster sauce mixture deglazes that fond. After adding the pasta water, stir vigorously; this helps the sauce come together.
I’m a garlic girl but even I was worried that this dish was going to be so garlicky it may be overpowering. Nope. Twenty cloves!
This recipe was adapted from the cookbook “The Wok” by J. Kenji López-Alt, based on the noodle dish originally created and served by Helene An at San Francisco’s Thanh Long restaurant, via The New York Times.
Lopez-Alt uses the genius technique of cooking the pasta in a minimal amount of liquid which expedites the cooking process. The starch-concentrated pasta water is then used in the sauce. This dish was crazy quick to prepare and was absolutely packed with flavor. We ate it with roasted asparagus on the side.
Yield: Serves 4
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
20 medium garlic cloves, minced or smashed in a mortar and pestle
4 teaspoons oyster sauce
2 teaspoons light soy sauce or shoyu
2 teaspoons fish sauce
1 pound dry spaghetti or linguine fini
1 ounce grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano (heaping 1/4 cup)(I used Parmigiano-Reggiano)
small handful of thinly sliced scallions (I used 4 scallions)
Use a food processor to mince the garlic cloves, if desired. (I used a mini food processor.)
Melt the butter in a wok or saucepan over medium heat. (I used a stainless all-in-one pan.)
Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant but not browned, about 2 minutes.
Add the oyster sauce, soy sauce and fish sauce, and stir to combine. Remove from the heat.
Meanwhile, bring 1 1/2 inches of water to a boil in a 12-inch skillet or sauté pan over high heat. (Alternatively, heat up just enough water to cover the spaghetti in a large Dutch oven or saucepan.)
Add the pasta, stir a few times to make sure it’s not clumping, and cook, stirring occasionally, until just shy of al dente (about 2 minutes short of the recommended cook time on the package). (I used linguine fini and cooked it for a total of 4 minutes.)
Using tongs, transfer the cooked pasta to the garlic sauce, along with whatever water clings to it. Reserve the pasta water in the skillet; set aside.
Increase the heat to high, add the cheese to the pasta and sauce, and stir with a wooden spatula or spoon, tossing vigorously until the sauce is creamy and emulsified, about 30 seconds. If the sauce looks too watery, let it keep reducing. If it looks greasy, splash some more pasta cooking water and let it re-emulsify.
The only drawback of these flavor-packed chicken burgers is that they have to be pan-cooked in order to keep their shape because they are very moist. Worth the mess!
The original recipe notes that the ginger, garlic, cilantro and scallions incorporated into the burger makes them similar to a dumpling filling. They were fresh and light.
I loved the soy-lime mayonnaise sauce and loads of toppings. I served them with a generous amount of sauce, and jalapeño and avocado slices on potato rolls. There were so many toppings that we forgot to add lettuce! I may even try them topped with arugula next time.
This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Yasmin Fahr. I used freshly ground chicken thigh meat and froze the formed burgers for 20 minutes prior to cooking. We ate them with pickles and chips.
Yield: Serves 4
freezer for 20 min before cooking
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp soy sauce or fish sauce
1 lime, cut into wedges
1 packed cup cilantro leaves and tender stems, roughly chopped, plus more for serving
1/4 cup mashed, ripe Hass avocado (from about 1/2 avocado; slice the other half for serving)
2 scallions, light green and white parts only, thinly sliced
3 large garlic cloves, grated, minced, or pushed through a garlic press
1 (2-inch) piece ginger, grated or minced (about 2 tsp)
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes, to taste
1 pound ground chicken, preferably dark meat (I used freshly ground chicken thighs)
2 T neutral oil, such as canola oil, or ghee
4 potato, brioche, or other burger buns, lightly toasted, as desired
butter lettuce or other tender lettuce, for serving, or arugula
1 jalapeño, thinly sliced, for serving, optional
To Make the Sauce:
In a small serving bowl, combine the mayonnaise and soy sauce.
Season with the juice of 1 lime wedge and salt as needed.
To Make the Burgers:
In a medium mixing bowl, use a fork to mash and thoroughly combine the chopped cilantro, mashed avocado (see Tip), scallions, garlic, ginger, red-pepper flakes, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 tablespoon of the soy-lime mayonnaise sauce.
Add the chicken and gently combine. Form into 4 large balls.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate or freeze for 20 minutes to help maintain the shape while cooking.
Heat a large (12-inch) cast-iron or heavy skillet over medium heat until very hot, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes.
Add the neutral oil or ghee, then add the chicken meatballs, spacing them out in the pan. (We cooked 2 at a time.)
Use a metal spatula to press them until they form 1/2-inch-thick patties.
Cook without moving for 3 1/2 to 4 minutes, until a deep golden crust has formed and they easily release from the pan.
Flip the patties using the spatula and cook until done with a nice crust on the other side, about 3 minutes more. If the patties need more time, cover the pan and cook for 1 to 2 more minutes, adjusting the heat as needed to avoid scorching.
Squeeze a lime wedge over the patties and serve sandwiched between the buns topped with lettuce, a healthy slathering of sauce, avocado slices, jalapeño slices if using, and cilantro sprigs, if desired.
Serve with the remaining lime wedges and mayonnaise on the side.
Tip: Resist the urge to add more than 1/4 cup mashed avocado to the ground chicken, as the burgers will get too soft and fall apart during cooking.
I have never cooked cucumbers before! The cucumber slices in this stir-fry were quickly sautéed until just crisp tender- great. I also loved the seasonings in the finished dish.
This recipe was adapted from Bon Appétit, contributed by Christina Chaey. I used my largest skillet (14-inch) but would use a 12-inch next time. I don’t have a 14-inch splatter screen and I made quite a mess. It was worth it.
Yield: Serves 3 to 4
1 large English/European cucumber, peeled in alternating lengthwise strips, halved lengthwise, seeds removed, halves sliced crosswise on a diagonal 1/2-inch thick (I used a melon baller to remove the seeds)
1/2 tsp Morton kosher salt (or 1 tsp Diamond Crystal), plus more
2 T oyster sauce
2 T soy sauce (I used Trader Joe’s light soy sauce)
2 T Shaoxing wine (Chinese rice wine) or medium-dry sherry (I used dry sherry)
This quick weeknight dish was packed with flavor. The seasonings had a great balance too. The original recipe notes that tofu can be substituted for the pork to make a vegetarian version.
This recipe was adapted from 177milkstreet.com, contributed by Dawn Yanagihara. I reduced the amount of kimchi and increased the amount of garlic. This dish could definitely gobble up more kimchi- I may incorporate the full amount next time. I served it over brown Basmati rice to make a complete meal. Wonderful!
Yield: Serves 4 to 6
1 pound pork tenderloin, trimmed of silver skin (can substitute 14 oz extra-firm tofu, drained and cut into 1-inch cubes)
1 1/2 to 2 1/2 cups Napa cabbage kimchi, drained, large pieces chopped, with 2 T reserved juice (I used 10.6oz jar of Trader Joe’s kimchi)
2 1/2 T soy sauce, divided (I used reduced sodium soy sauce)
brown Basmati rice, for serving, optional (I used 1 cup rice cooked in 2 cups stock)
Cut the tenderloin in half lengthwise, then slice each half crosswise about 1/4-inch thick.
In a medium bowl, stir together the pork, 1 tablespoon of the reserved kimchi juice, 1 tablespoon of the soy sauce and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper.
In a 12 or 14-inch skillet over high, heat 1 tablespoon of the grapeseed oil until beginning to smoke. Swirl to coat the pan, then add the pork and cook, stirring, until no longer pink, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a clean bowl.
In the same pan over medium-high, heat 1 tablespoon of the remaining oil until beginning to smoke.
Add the mushrooms and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid released by the mushrooms has mostly evaporated, about 5 minutes.
Stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, if necessary (I omitted it), and the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Return the pork to the pan with any accumulated juices and cook until the juices evaporate, 30 to 60 seconds.
Add the kimchi, mirin, the remaining 1 tablespoon kimchi juice and the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce. Reduce to medium and cook, stirring and scraping up any browned bits, until the kimchi is heated through, about 3 minutes.
Stir in the sesame oil, half of the sesame seeds and half of the scallions.
Transfer to a bowl or platter, over rice, if desired. Sprinkle with the remaining scallions and sesame seeds. Serve.