Living in the city of Baltimore, I find it difficult to come across good and real Chinese food. So whenever I return home, I ask my mom to cook my favorite Chinese foods (dumplings, steamed buns, etc.) Growing up, my mom would always cook Chinese food for our family. However, when I started cooking by myself I found it hard to replicate her dishes because I didn’t have a recipe that quantified the ingredients.
Last week when I was home, my mom and I cooked a few of her dishes. We measured out the ingredients together so we could quantify the exact measurements to create a recipe. We cooked several spicy dishes such as fish, chicken, and cold noodles. These recipes require many of the same ingredients, such as ginger, garlic, and soy sauce (the basic staples of Chinese cooking). With these ingredients, you can make a variety of Chinese dishes!
I especially loved the chicken recipe because it was easy and extremely flavorful from all the spices. When I returned to Baltimore, it was one of the first things I cooked. My roommates were all amazed by the delicious smell that filled the room. Because the dish is so flavorful, it can be served with a simple vegetable, such as broccoli, and rice.
- 4-5 chicken thighs
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 star anise
- 1 tsp Chinese peppercorns (optional)
- 2 cloves garlic
- 4 slices ginger
- 1 cup soy sauce (divided into 1/2 cup and 1/2 cup)
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 scallion
- 2 tbsp Hunan Black Bean Sauce (optional)
- Mince garlic, slice ginger.
- Chop scallion into small pieces and set aside.
- Cut chicken thighs into bite-sized cubes. Place into a large bowl.
- Add 1/2 cup soy sauce chicken thighs and marinate for 15-20 minutes.
- In a large pot (or Dutch oven), heat 2 tbsp olive oil to high heat. Add star anise, Chinese peppercorns, ginger and garlic.
- When fragrant, add Hunan black bean sauce or other spicy sauces (optional).
- Place chicken thighs in the pot. Braise chicken on both sides, stirring occasionally. If the pot is too small for all the chicken, cook 2 batches.
- Add the other ½ cup of soy sauce, and stir again.
- Add water, cover the pot with a lid and let it simmer on low heat for 10-20 minutes.