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.
I don’t typically make dishes with Asian flavors, so this dish was a nice change of pace. Tsukune, Japanese grilled chicken meatballs, and the sweet and sour sauce they are typically served with were the inspiration behind this weeknight dish. The sauce was essential to this sheet-pan meal as well- we repeatedly drizzled it over everything.
This recipe was adapted from Bon Appétit, contributed by Deb Perelman. I used freshly ground chicken thighs and omitted the water in the meatballs. The original recipe suggests using this tasty sauce on pork chops as well.
Yield: Serves 4
For the Sauce:
2/3 cup ketchup
4 T (1/4 cup) Worcestershire sauce
2 T rice cooking wine or water
2 T honey
4 tsp soy sauce
1 1/2″ piece ginger, peeled, finely grated
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
For the Meatballs & Assembly:
2 heads of broccoli or 2 large broccoli crowns (about 1 1/2 lbs)
2 to 3 T vegetable oil, divided (I used canola oil)
2 1/2 tsp kosher salt, divided
crushed red pepper flakes, optional
1 to 1 1/4 lbs ground chicken (I used freshly ground chicken thighs)
1 large egg, beaten to blend
4 scallions, thinly sliced, plus more for serving
2 garlic cloves, finely grated
2″ piece ginger, peeled, finely grated
1/3 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1 T toasted sesame oil
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
cooked rice, for serving (I used brown Basmati rice)
lightly toasted sesame seeds, for serving, optional
To Make the Sauce:
Mix ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, rice wine or water, honey, soy sauce, ginger, and pepper in a small saucepan.
Measure out 1/4 cup mixture into a small bowl; set aside for glazing meatballs later.
Bring remaining mixture to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally and reducing heat if needed, until sauce thickens, about 5 minutes. Transfer sauce to a small bowl.
To Make the Meatballs & Finish the Dish:
If freshly grinding chicken, use a meat grinder with the medium disk. Grind trimmed chunks of meat. (I used boneless, skinless chicken thighs.) Chill ground meat until ready to use.
Place a rack in upper third of oven; preheat to 450°. (I set my oven to convection roast.)
Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.
Trim broccoli stems and remove from crown. Peel off tough outer skin; slice crosswise into ½” pieces.
Cut florets into 2″ pieces.
Toss on prepared baking sheet with 1 to 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and a few pinches of red pepper flakes (if using). (I used a dash or red pepper flakes.)
Push broccoli to the edges of baking sheet to create a space for meatballs.
Brush space in the center of the pan with remaining 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil.
Mix chicken, egg, scallions, garlic, ginger, panko, sesame oil, pepper, and remaining 1 1/2 tsp salt in a medium bowl.
Using wet hands or a large cookie scoop, form into twelve 1 1/2″-diameter meatballs. (I placed the rationed scoops on a plate and then gently formed them into meatballs.)
Arrange the meatballs on the baking sheet; brush with some of the reserved glazing mixture.
Bake until meatballs are cooked through, 14–18 minutes, rotating halfway through the baking time
Remove from oven; heat broiler.
Brush meatballs with remaining glazing mixture; broil until broccoli is charred and meatballs are browned in spots, about 3 to 5 minutes- watching carefully.
Spoon meatballs and broccoli over rice in bowl. Drizzle with sauce and sprinkle with sesame seeds and scallion slices, as desired. Serve with additional sauce on the side to pass at the table.
This was a great side dish to prepare with my CSA Napa cabbage and scallions. We ate it with spicy pork kebabs and brown Basmati rice. The original recipe recommends serving it with rice to soak up the wonderful sauce. I agree!
This recipe was adapted from Food and Wine, contributed by Kate Winslow. I used crushed red pepper flakes instead of Korean hot red-pepper flakes. It would be a great accompaniment to any grilled meat or fish.
Yield: Serves 4 to 6 as a side dish
4 cloves garlic—two chopped and two minced
4 scallions, finely chopped
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon Asian sesame oil
1 tablespoon water
1/2 to 1 teaspoon coarse Korean hot red-pepper flakes or crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
One 1 1/2-pound head Napa cabbage, thinly sliced (I used 1/2 of a large head ~about 2 pounds)
2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds, toasted
Mince and mash the 2 cloves of chopped garlic to a paste with a pinch of salt.
In a mini food processor, mince the scallions and remaining 2 cloves of garlic.
Stir together the garlic paste, minced scallions, minced garlic, soy sauce, sesame oil, water, hot red-pepper flakes and sugar together in a small bowl. Set aside.
Heat the oil in a wok or large skillet over high heat. Add the cabbage, season with a pinch of salt, and stir-fry, using tongs to stir, until the cabbage is just wilted, 3 to 5 minutes.
Remove from the heat and pour the dressing over the cabbage and toss gently to combine.
Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with the toasted sesame seeds.
Note: The sauce can be made 2 hours ahead and kept at room temperature.
*Korean hot red-pepper flakes are available at Korean markets. Store any leftover flakes, tightly sealed, in the freezer.
These Thai-style pork chops were very juicy and flavorful. I used very thick pork chops but this garlic-packed marinade would also be great with pork tenderloin.
The recipe was adapted from The Barbecue Bible by Steven Raichlen. I modified the grilling method. We ate it with special Aahu Barah Basmati rice and Ritzy Summer-Squash Casserole– a great combination.
Yield: 4 to 8 servings
4 thick (1 to 2-inch) or 8 thin (1/2-inch) pork chops or pork tenderloin (about 2 pounds)
1 head garlic, broken into cloves and peeled
3 T granulated sugar
5 T Asian fish sauce or soy sauce (or a combination)
3 T honey
3 T rice wine or sherry wine
2 T toasted sesame oil
1 T grated fresh ginger
2 tsp coarse salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
If using thin pork chops, cut 1 or 2 cuts in the fat side of each pork chop to keep them from curling during grilling.
Arrange the pork chops in a glass baking dish and set aside.
Combine the garlic and sugar in the bowl of a mini food processor; process into a paste. (Alternatively, pound into a paste using a mortar and pestle.)
Add the fish sauce, honey, rice wine, sesame oil, ginger, salt, and pepper; process to combine.
Pour the mixture over the pork chops. Spread to coat both sides.
Cover and let marinate in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours. (I flipped the meat over after the first hour.)
Preheat the grill to high on one side and low on the other.
When ready to cook, oil the grill grate.
Arrange the pork chops on the low heat side and cook for 5 to 10 minutes per side for thick chops (possibly half the time for thin), or until the internal temperature reaches 130 degrees.
Move the pork chops to the high heat side and continue to cook until nicely browned on both sides, or until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees.
Transfer the chops to a platter and serve immediately.