Stir-fried chicken with young corn & mushrooms ( above )
Successfully resisted the temptation to run to the nearest Chinese restaurant for some take-out. Stir-fried chicken with young corn and wild mushrooms & the classic, sweet and sour pork meatballs. Two of our favorites. Using Lee Kum Kee ready sauces make these dishes quick and easy to cook. The best thing about cooking chinese at home is achieving a distinctive flavor for each dish. Having tried so many chinese buffets, I find that most of the dishes if not all usually have this very common and similar taste or ingredient. No distinction. At home, at least you get the advantage of trying out different spices and sauces. Like the chicken dish above has a soy sauce base, similar to chop suey, while the meatballs have a spicy sweet & sour sauce. For the meatball dish, blanching the veggies helps retain their bright colors. The carrot flowers add a nice touch to the colorful dish, but as far back as I could recall, we have always cut & sliced the carrots this way for this dish. I guess it's something that I just have to keep doing, a simple tradition but something which doesn't fail to bring back memories. Have the veggies all set & mixed with the cooked meatballs, then when it's time to serve, just pour over the hot sweet & sour sauce. This is a great make-ahead party food. For the chicken with mushrooms & young corn, stir-fry the chicken until lightly browned before adding the canned veggies & sauce. All kinds of canned wild mushrooms from the oriental store are good to use. I have yet to find an authentic chinese restaurant in our area, I still remember those HK restaurants I've tried and even those in the Binondo area...until then, these two chinese take-out versions are two good reasons for staying home.