Tag Archives: Chinese

Sweet and Sour Halibut

28 Jan

Sweet & Sour FishI’ve had this recipe in my collection for almost 40 years, and finally — finally! — had a the time to make it and all the ingredients on hand, sort of.

I didn’t have halibut, so I used mahi-mahi, which worked fine. I didn’t have apricot nectar so I used pineapple juice. In fact, you will get about the right amount of juice by draining a can of pineapple chunks.

My dad is the one who gave me this recipe. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, he made several business trips abroad. On one United Airlines flight, maybe to Japan, he was served this dish, and they distributed the recipe to the passengers, printed on a sheet of nice, heavy paper. Those sure were the good old days of air travel – I bet he wasn’t even in Business Class!

The dish is kind of a bother to make, so I waited until I had company — my daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter were visiting. (Of course my granddaughter’s immediate 3-year-old reaction, before even tasting it, was “I don’t like it!”) The dish was a hit! My daughter said it tasted like the sweet-and-sour fish we used to order in Chinese restaurants when she was a child.

A couple of hints: This recipe makes an enormous amount of sauce. You can easily halve it, or make it and save half the sauce to use another time, which is what I did. And I don’t have a deep-fryer, so I used a wok to cook the fish. I fried it in small batches, drained the fried cubes on paper towel and kept them warm till I was ready to serve.

Ingredients:

1 cup white vinegar
1 cup apricot nectar or pineapple juice
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
½ cup ketchup
2 tsp. cornstarch mixed with 2 tsp. water
2 cups pineapple chunks (1 can), drained
1 cup green or red pepper, cut in 1-inch pieces
2 medium tomatoes, peeled and cut into eighths
1½ lb. halibut (or other firm, white fish), cut into ¾-inch cubes
3 Tbs. cornstarch
3 Tbs. water
1 Tbs. soy sauce
Salt and pepper
Oil for frying

Directions:

Prepare the sauce by combining the vinegar, apricot nectar, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce and ketchup in a medium saucepan. Simmer 30 minutes. Thicken with 2 tsp. cornstarch blended with 1 tsp. water. Add the pineapple, pepper and tomatoes. Keep warm.

Mix 3 Tbs. cornstarch, 3 Tbs. water and the soy sauce to a paste. Dip the halibut cubes into this batter to coat lightly and deep fry in a wok or saucepan. Drain and place in a serving dish. Pour the sauce over.

Serve with rice.

Serves 6

Jo-Ann’s Chinese Chicken Salad

1 Mar

Jo-Ann's Chinese Chicken SALAD We recently ate for half a week from one Empire kosher Cornish roasting chicken! We roasted the chicken for Shabbat dinner, eating the wings, a bit of the breast, and the meat that clung to the carcass after we carved the pieces off.  (Of course we froze the carcass so we could make Cheater’s Chicken Soup later!) We used the leftover dark meat for Chicken Pilaf (recipe to come), which made enough for a dinner and a lunch. Then we used the leftover breast for this lovely chicken salad. We used half the amounts given in this recipe, and it made two huge portions.

This recipe comes from Jane Brody’s Good Food Gourmet, an excellent cookbook. Brody, in turn, says she got it from her friend, and founder of the Jane Brody Fan Club, Jo-Ann Friedman. The only change I made is to increase the dressing amounts a bit because I found that using the stated amount of dressing left the salad a little dry (and I don’t like a lot of dressing; if I change the amount given in a recipe it’s usually to decrease it!)

You can substitute some of the vegetables if you like; I have made this using bean sprouts instead of zucchini. You can use leftover chicken  breast or cook chicken breasts just for this salad.

Here is Jane Brody’s method for cooking the chicken breasts if you start with raw chicken. Place the chicken breasts in a medium-sized saucepan and add 1½ cups of water, 1 Tbs. vinegar, ½ tsp. salt and ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes. Bring the liquid to a boil, remove the pan from the heat, cover the pan and let the chicken stand for 10 minutes. Remove from the liquid and cool before making the salad (and save the liquid to use for making chicken soup!)

Ingredients:

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and cut into strips about 1½ x ¼ inches
½ lb. snow peas or sugar snap peas, trimmed and steamed for 2 minutes
½ lb. broccoli flowerets, steamed for 5 minutes
1 small zucchini, unpeeled, julienned
½ sweet red pepper, cored, seeded and julienned
½ sweet yellow pepper or the rest of the rest pepper, cored, seeded and julienned
2 scallions, slivered diagonally
⅓ cup rice vinegar
1½ Tbs. Oriental sesame oil
1½ Tbs. soy sauce
1½ tsp. grated gingerroot
Cayenne pepper – several dashes to taste
1 Tbs. toasted sesame seeds
Lettuce or salad greens (optional)

Directions:

In a serving bowl, combine the chicken and vegetables.

In a small jar or bowl, shake or whisk together the vinegar, sesame oil, soy sauce, gingerroot and cayenne pepper.

Just before serving, stir the dressing and pour it over the salad. Sprinkle the sesame seeds on the salad and toss gently. Serve on a bed of lettuce or salad greens if you like.

Serves 4