Recipe of the Day

Today I wanted to use up some leftovers from yesterday’s veggie platter so I essentially used the sauce and style of this recipe without actually using exactly these ingredients — for example, mine had no onion, bell bepper, bamboo shoots, pineapple or mushrooms. My goodness, you say, how can you possibly call it the same recipe? B/c the sauce is what does it.

I had leftover baby carrots that I cooked for awhile before adding the broccoli, pea pods, celery and chopped jicama. Now many of you are asking ‘what’s jicama?’ (pronounced /he-cama/) It’s a Mexican root veggie (brown outside, shaped like a turnip, with a white inside) that is crisp and slightly sweet but w/o much flavor of its own; makes an excellent dipper for veggie trays, salads and when cooked it stays crisp for a long time so it works sort of like a water chestnut in stir-fries — and if you come to my house for a meal, you’re likely to have seen it one of those uses b/c I LOVE jicama! Also, I didn’t have any sake and didn’t open any other alcohol today — just used the soy sauce on the chicken. Since I don’t buy bouillion anymore, I also used No-MSG boxed chicken broth instead of water and bouillion.

I’m just doing a cut-n-paste from my computer file cookbook so there are more notes at the end of the recipe of what I often do.

Sweet and Sour Chicken Japanese Style

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken, cut in small pieces

2 medium onions, chopped in 1 inch pieces

2 green peppers, chopped in 1 inch pieces

1 carrot, chopped

1 can bamboo shoots

2 slices pineapple cut in large pieces

mushrooms, chopped in large chunks

2 teaspoons soy sauce

1 teaspoon sake or dry sherry

5 Tablespoons brown sugar

3 Tablespoons rice vinegar

2 ½ Tablespoons soy sauce

1 Tablespoon potato or corn starch

1 teaspoon sake

½ teaspoon chicken bouillon

2/3 cup hot water

Marinate chicken in 2 teaspoons soy sauce and 1 teaspoon sake for 10 minutes. Coat in potato or cornstarch and deep fry. Remove to paper towel covered plate to drain.

Mix together brown sugar, rice vinegar, soy sauce, corn starch, sake, bouillon and water; set aside.

In large skillet or wok, saute all vegetables. Begin with carrots as they take longer to cook then add others. Add the chicken. Add the sauce mixture. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, until thickened. Serve over rice.

Notes: I rarely deep fry the chicken anymore out of laziness and reducing fat (it is more tender and has a nice texture when you do, however). I usually marinate the chicken in a small plastic bag and often use more soy sauce and sake than listed. I pour off excess liquid, toss several tablespoons of cornstarch in the bag and shake together until the chicken is coated. Then I stir fry the chicken in the pan until it is done, remove the chicken and cook the veggies (or cook the veggies first and then the chicken), then follow the recipe from that point. It will make ‘brown sticky stuff’ on the bottom of your pan while cooking the chicken, but it only serves to make the ending sauce a bit richer.

This recipe came from a Japanese friend, Kuniko.

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