Need a quick dinner? Stir fries are the way to go! Stir Fried Yu Choy is fast, healthy, and satisfying. Sometimes I make it with tofu, but today I’m sharing my recipe for Stir Fried Yu Choy with Chicken. I love the Asian practice of read more
Tag: veggie sides
I don’t love green bell peppers. There, I said it. They have a bitterness that I’ve always found a little off-putting. When a recipe calls for them, I often substitute red bell peppers instead. But if there’s one thing I like less than green bell peppers, it’s food waste. And a couple weeks ago, I got a bunch of green bell peppers in my CSA box. (CSA stands for community supported agriculture. Local farmers let you buy in on the harvest before the growing season, and then each week you get locally raised fresh produce. Great support for local farmers, great food for you. To find one in your area, check out Local Harvest.)
So that’s how these Braised Peppers were born. I funked them up with some fun Asian ingredients, and for the first time in my life I actually enjoyed a green bell pepper dish. And I look forward to making it again. You can absolutely make this with red bell peppers instead, but I hope you try it with the green peppers; their assertive flavor works really well here.
Funky Braised Peppers
I approached making these Braised Peppers by first reaching for some of my favorite flavor boosters. Dried shrimp for a briny funk, and fish tofu for both texture and flavor. Fish tofu looks like firm tofu, and has a similar chewy texture, but it’s actually made from fish. It’s a fun and surprising ingredient that also packs a lot of protein, and it’s already conveniently made into bite sized pieces. You can use any other fish cakes that look appealing to you at your Asian market- there is a dizzying array. Oyster sauce adds a sweet complexity, and a drizzle of toasted sesame oil brings an appealing nuttiness.
So full disclosure, it seems like there are an awful lot of ingredients in this “green pepper” dish. I know, but baby steps. And I wanted to make sure there were plenty of other ingredients I love in the dish, just in case I didn’t love the peppers. So for those of you who are equally hesitant, I promise this is the green pepper dish for you!
Once the veggies have been stir fried, it’s time to add the liquids and braise. Braising is an old technique used around the world, and if you typically eat your veggies raw or quickly cooked, it can be a revelation. The soft silky texture and muted flavors are so delicious and can pleasantly surprise even those who typically don’t love vegetables.
These Braised Peppers are hearty enough to serve on their own with some steamed rice. But they also make a great side to my Mom’s Chicken, or serve them with a few other veggies dishes like Brown Butter Enoki and Japanese Style Spinach for a lighter meal.
Either way, this is a great recipe to convert you to green bell peppers, which are plentiful and inexpensive right now. Let me know what you think by rating and commenting on the recipe below; we love hearing from you! And of course tag us in your pics @funkyasiankitchen.Print
- 4 green peppers (or a mix of red and green)
- 1 large onion
- 2 Tablespoons neutral oil
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 Tablespoons dried shrimp
- 1 pack (7.5 oz) fish tofu (or other fish cakes)
- 2 Tablespoons oyster sauce
- ½ cup chicken stock
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- Fresh ground pepper to taste
- Cut the peppers in half lengthwise and pull out the stem and seeds. Cut the peppers into thick ½ inch wedges and set aside.
- Trim and peel the outer skin from the onion. Cut it in half and then slice the onion into thin ¼ inch pieces. Set aside.
- Heat a large deep skillet (or a Dutch Oven) over medium high heat for several minutes and add the oil. Swirl the pan to spread the oil and then add the peppers and onions.
- Stir fry for 3 minutes until the onions start to become translucent and the skin on the peppers starts to blister.
- Add the dried shrimp and the garlic and stir them into the vegetables.
- Add the chicken stock and oyster sauce. Stir to combine.
- Bring the pot to a simmer and cover with a lid.
- Lower the heat to medium and simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring a couple of times while the peppers simmer. The peppers should be fully cooked and tender.
- Add the fish tofu to the vegetables and stir to combine.
- Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes without the lid. Add the sesame oil and ground black pepper and stir one last time. Transfer to a deep plate and serve immediately.
Keywords: braised peppers, bell peppers, asian braised peppers, healthy sides, veggies
Apparently there’s something known as Sneak Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor’s Porch day, for people “suffering” from too much zucchini in their gardens this time of year. I have sadly never had this problem. And I was actually thinking about people with zucchini problems and the question of what to do with all that extra zucchini. And the easiest solution is to do what people typically do when they have bushels of extra fruit on hand. Jam it. So here you go people who have so much zucchini you don’t know what to do. I’m taking one for the team!
This Zucchini Jam is a cross between the sesame zucchini side dish you see at every Korean BBQ joint and a pan of caramelized onions. It is so easy to make and is delicious spooned on just about anything: sitting on a rice bowl, on top of noodles, or as a bed under Teriyaki Chicken. And it works just as well with non-Asian foods too: on top of toast with some good cheddar, stuffed into an omelette, or as a simple green veg with any protein.
It’s caramelized jammy goodness enhances just about everything. So if you want to dump all your extra zucchini on my porch, please do and I’ll happily turn it into this Zucchini Jam. But with so few ingredients and a process so simple, I’m sure you’ll want to keep that zucchini and give it a try- so let’s go!
Zucchini can be both a little bland, and a lot watery. Salting it before cooking takes care of both of those issues. The salt starts to season it, and it also draws out the extra water so you don’t have a soupy mess.
Thoroughly toss the zucchini with the salt to ensure it’s evenly distributed.
The salt will immediately start drawing out water from the zucchini, so make sure the colander is over a bowl or in the sink. While the zucchini is draining, start on the chopping and sautéing of the onions. The zucchini should sit for about 30 minutes. Most of the liquid will be drained off in that time. If you don’t have time to let it sit, you can manually squeeze out the liquid after letting it sit for 10 minutes.
As the zucchini cooks down, it may become a bit sticky. Make sure to keep stirring up all those brown bits and mixing it into the jam. They add little explosions of flavor. Keep cooking it down: you’ll end up with about half the amount you started with and your zucchini will be super soft but the shreds still be visible, not a mush.
Zucchini Jam is so versatile, I know you will find a thousand ways to use it up. Dollop on top of fried eggs, add a spoonful to your ramen, or slather it on toast-show us what you come up with! Tag us @funkyasiankitchen. And when you make it, please take a moment to rate and leave a comment on the recipe below-we love hearing from you.
- 2 lbs zucchini or a combination of zucchini and yellow squash
- ½ large onion
- 2 large cloves garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons neutral oil
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- fresh ground black pepper to taste
- Grate the zucchini with a box grater into a colander. Add the salt and toss to evenly distribute the salt. Zucchini is very waterlogged and it will immediately start to exude liquid so let it drain in the sink. Let the zucchini drain for 25-30 minutes. (If you don’t have the time to let it sit, you can also squeeze out the water manually. After salting, let the zucchini sit for 10 minutes. Next, grab large handfuls and squeeze out the liquid. Then proceed with the recipe).
- Cut the onion into a fine dice and set aside.
- Heat a medium 10” pan over medium high heat. Add the oil and the onions. Stir fry the onions for 5-7 mins, stirring frequently. The onions should lightly caramelize but turn down the heat to medium if they brown too quickly.
- Then add the garlic and stir to combine. Next add the zucchini, season with fresh ground pepper, and continue to cook over medium high for 5 mins., stirring occasionally.
- Lower the heat to medium, add the sesame oil, and continue to cook for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the zucchini looks melted and jam-like. It will shrink down quite a bit, and it will start sticking to the pan and caramelizing slightly. Just keep scraping the pan and mixing in all of the browned bits.
- Turn off the heat, and scoop the zucchini jam onto a serving plate. You can serve the jam hot, room temperature, or cold.
*Some easy ways to use out this jam:
-Eat as a veggie side dish to any entree
-Toast bread and spread with zucchini jam and some crumbled cheddar or feta cheese
-Use it as a topping for fried eggs
-Stir into noodles with some chopped cilantro or basil and a touch of oyster sauce
-Really endless ways…
*This zucchini jam keeps for several days in the fridge.
Keywords: zucchini, jam, summer, veggie sides