Monday, April 19, 2010


When spring comes around, I get really excited.  Not just for the warmer weather, but also because my husband will step up to the barbecue several nights a week.  All I have to do is throw together a salad and a simple side dish, and dinner is d-o-n-e! 

This Sesame Noodle recipe is one of those super-easy, yummy dishes you will make over and over again.  It's so easy, you'll spend the most time waiting for the pot of water to boil!  This is a perfect side for steaks, grilled chicken, fish, kabobs, anything really.  It makes for a very nice, simple lunch, too.  This is also a big hit for potlucks, picnics, tailgates, and buffets because you can make it in advance, and have it room temp or chilled.  Just one warning:  before you serve it, make sure you have the recipe on hand, because everyone will ask you for it!  Better yet, direct them to the Dragon Lady Kitchen.

The hot chili oil gives this dish a "subtle zippiness."  For spicier palates, offer Srirachi Hot Chili Sauce on the side.
Serves 6
1 pound Chinese noodles (found in Asian food aisle in most supermarkets)
½ cup low sodium soy sauce
½ cup sesame oil
¼ cup rice wine vinegar
¼ cup sugar
2 tablespoons hot chili oil

2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
¼ finely chopped green onion

In a large stock pot, bring 5 quarts water to boil.  While waiting for water to boil, combine soy sauce, sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, sugar and hot chili oil in a medium bowl.  Whisk together and set aside.

When water boils, add noodles and cook until done (about 5 minutes; do not overcook).  Drain noodles in a colander, but do NOT rinse.  Shake out excess water completely.  Transfer noodles to a 9x13 Pyrex dish (or some sort of wide, deep bowl)*.  Pour sauce mixture over hot noodles.  Toss to coat evenly; continue to toss about every 5 minutes, until completely cool and all the sauce is absorbed by the noodles.  Transfer to a serving platter or bowl.  Garnish with sesame seeds and green onions.  Serve at room temperature, or cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours to serve cold.

*Note:  tossing the noodles in a very wide dish, like a 9x13 Pyrex, will allow the noodles to absorb all the sauce much faster and easier.  You can keep the noodles in the Pyrex, but can transfer to a prettier platter or bowl for picture perfect presentation!

Saturday, April 3, 2010


I hate the “L” word:  you know, leftovers.  If I open my fridge and see remnants of last night’s dinner in little Tupperware containers, I cringe:  “Been there, done that…why did I bother saving it?”  However, fried rice is actually a yummy way to use up the excess main course from the previous night (can you tell I’m trying to avoid using the “L” word?).  Barbecued pork, teriyaki chicken or marinated flank steak all work really well with this recipe.  Extra steamed white rice?  Even better.  Fried rice works best with rice from the night before, rather than freshly made rice.  According to mom, a firmer rice is better.  The other basic ingredients for this recipe are things you would normally have in your kitchen…eggs, frozen peas, green onions.  I’ve included shrimp in this recipe, but if you don’t have any, don’t worry about it – just leave it out.  But feel free to throw in anything else you may have.  Chop up those last few grilled asparagus spears, throw in some corn off yesterday’s cob, or dice up that last portion of sautéed green beans...stretch out the “L” word into two meals.  Left with any leftover fried rice?  It actually re-heats great in the microwave for a quick lunch the next day.  Wow, double leftovers!  In this economy, maybe I should call this “Recession Rice.”

Serves 4
1 tablespoon + 2 tablespoons + 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
½ pound cooked shrimp (size 51-60 count/lb.)
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons cold water
1/8 teaspoon salt + ¼ teaspoon + 1 teaspoon salt
6 cups steamed white rice
1 ½ cups leftover cooked meat, cut into small dice (ie: barbecued pork, flank steak or teriyaki chicken)
1 ½ cups frozen peas, defrosted
4 teaspoons soy sauce
3 finely chopped tablespoons green onions
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in wok over medium heat.  Add shrimp, sprinkle ¼ teaspoon salt; stir-fry quickly just to warm through (about 45 seconds); remove from wok; set aside in small bowl.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in wok over high heat.  While wok is heating whisk eggs in a small bowl; add water and 1/8 teaspoon salt; continue to whisk until well-blended.  When wok is very hot, add eggs; scramble quickly, breaking eggs into small pieces.  Turn off heat after 1 minute, but continue to cook eggs until fully cooked; remove from wok; set aside in small bowl. 

Heat 2 more tablespoons of oil in wok over high heat.  Add rice; stir-fry for 3-4 minutes or until rice is heated through and clumps (if any) are broken up.  Add meat and peas; stir-fry for 2 more minutes, mixing well.  Add soy sauce, green onions, soy sauce; sprinkle in last teaspoon of salt and white pepper.  Continue to stir-fry until all ingredients are mixed in completely.  Serve hot.