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Mar 24, 2008 11:00 AM

Asian-Americans- Your Homestyle Dishes?

I hardly ever attempt the stuff my parents made at home, much less my favorite dishes from restaurants. But I do plenty of simple Asian-ish/Chinese-y dishes. You'd never find these in a restaurant (esp not a fusion), my mom would disdain them, but they are my staples and I only really make them for myself. Generally speaking they are 1) really simple, 2) healthy.

Here are my examples. Anyone else have any?
1) White cut chicken (also Hainan Chicken):
Organic chicken, brought to boil in plenty of water, let boil a bit, turn heat off till the it's cool enough to handle. Chop up. Should still be pink at the bones, extra tender. Serve with plenty of dipping sauce with soy, chili, ginger, garlic and scallions. If I'm not too lazy, I'll make some rice with the broth, but usually I just save the broth for something else.

2) Tofu salad:
Silken tofu, soy sauce, sesame oil, green scallions (very thin sliced)
Optional add ons are sriracha, thousand year old egg, bonito, umeboshi, lots of quick sauteed greens with garlic of any sort.

3) Fish Claypot:
Throw napa cabbage, preferably fresh shitake slices, slivers of ginger, garlic, squirt in some soy, fish sauce and water. Put it in the oven. Then when it's all boiling, put in some fish to cook till tender. Much better the next day. Very light.

These are all based on real dishes, but I skip or mess around with steps. I hope I generally retain the essence... I just make something that reminds me of dishes I liked, but within 20 min prep/cooking time requirements.

Any other Asian-Americans have embarrassingly easy, homestyle dishes they make for themselves? Please share!

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  1. Ketchup fried rice. Just make regular fried rice and add ketchup instead of soy sauce. Make an egg crepe and top over the rice. Add a dollop of ketchup on top. I use whatever I have on hand but always use peas. This is simple but by no means healthy!

    Or, I got this from Pei's blog, Chezpei--chicken fat on rice. I'll save some fat from Zuni chicken w/ other drippings and add it to white rice. Again, no where near healthy but quick and tasty.

    12 Replies
    1. re: chowser

      My mom used to make ketchup fried rice (with a fried egg hat) all the time for me ...

      1. re: ipsedixit

        I wonder where the whole idea came from? I don't think it's unique but it seems, unusual. I think it might have a Japanese base.

        1. re: chowser

          We used to eat this all the time and called it omurice. I could have sworn the Japanese version came with brown gravy as opposed to ketchup. But I could be wrong.

          1. re: chowser

            Have you ever had a ketchup fried omelette?

            Basically, a big dallop of ketchup fried rice wrapped in an omelette. Fantastic.

            1. re: ipsedixit

              I can't imagine this. We always had our eggs with soy sauce. (sunny side up, boiled, omelettes... All drizzled generously with soy).

              1. re: ipsedixit

                I just looked that up online--looks good. Along the same lines, with that crepe shaped egg (cooked flat), my mom would put the ketchup fried rice in a bowl, turn it upside and wrap the top of the bowl shaped rice w/ the egg. So, it wasn't completely enclosed but covered. Oh, now I wish I were closer to home so she can make me one.

                1. re: chowser

                  I am also intrigued by this ketchup fried rice...wouldn't the ketchup burn due to all the sugar in it, though? Son is on a low-sodium diet so of course, traditional fried rice is OUT but I do have no salt added ketchup in the house (which really does not taste too different from regular ketchup, I have to say)...would like to hear more about this, please. Okay, I'm a NON Asian replying to this! hee!

                  1. re: Val

                    You just add it near the end, stir until it's mixed in. I don't normally use a recipe but here's the omelette ipsedixit was talking about:


                    1. re: chowser

                      Yup, definitely add the ketchup towards the end (even adding it after you've turned off the heat isn't a bad idea).

                      As to the whole ketchup, rice, egg combo ... it's really natural when you think about it.

                      I love scrambled eggs with ketchup and I love rice, so what could be better than all 3 mixed together, right? :-)

                      1. re: ipsedixit

                        Youtube has some great example techniques for doing and placing the omelet topping. Search for "omuraisu" and "omurice". The topping sauces in restos indeed ranges from pure ketchup thru brown gravy to demiglace.

                1. re: hannaone

                  Thanks, everyone...will definitely try it out!

          2. Japanese peasant o-kazu dishes (that my mom made and that I make on week days) include:

            Simple vegetable plus meat in bit of shoyu, ginger, and water--sliced asparagus from the back yard (back then) with a bit of sliced beef; sliced green beans & bit of sliced pork; or napa, bit of fermented black bean, bit of sliced chicken. These dishes take only a few minutes from start to finish.

            Simple miso soups with fish, pork, or chicken, tofu, napa, and green onion.

            Quick teriyaki chicken organs or teriyaki poached fish.

            Sides include blanched spinach served cold with shoyu, lime juice, and sprinkle of sesame seeds; or cold tofu served with shoyu & bonito flakes.

            Other quick meals can be canned sardines with a touch of fish sauce and chile flakes served with hot gohan; hot gohan and Japanese pickled vegetables, quick home pickled vegetables, and/or ume; or red (ketchup) fried rice.

            Preparation of all but the red rice is done while the gohan is cooking.

            1. Teriyaki hot dogs. Spam in napa soup. Spam chirashi rice. Junk food actually.
              My mom added bacon to our ketchup rice and somehow called it Spanish rice.

              2 Replies
              1. re: mochi mochi

                I forgot about sata-shoyu sliced dogs! Going shopping.

                1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                  lol, Sam. Many memories of that as a youngster.

              2. Ok. Here's my lazy bastardized bi bim bap. Just saute a whole bunch of vegetables with some garlic, salt (or fish sauce) and top with toasted sesame oil. Serve over rice, fried egg and add some gochujang. Not quite the same as regular bi bim bap but a lot easier.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Miss Needle

                  i've got a lazy bibimbap recipe too...cut kimchee into small pieces, add to rice w/ soy sauce, sesame oil and gochujang. mix and enjoy. sometimes i add some microgreens and green onions.

                  also, another favorite is bibim guksu...thin noodles cooked and rinsed under cold water and tossed w/ soy sauce, sesame oil, hot red pepper, sesame seeds and green onions.

                  1. re: soypower

                    kimchee and gochujang make everything delicious. sometimes i'll just slather some gochujang on good firm tofu, tear of a piece of nori and chomp.

                2. To go along with the fried rice (I prefer mine fried with garlic and then "garnished" with ketchup): deep fried hot dogs with sweet chili sauce; sardines sauteed with sofrito, bay leaf, oregano and sambal; chicken adobo.