Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Grilled Asian Chicken Salad

In preparation for last night's meal and the beef pho I plan to make today, I ventured to the Asian Market yesterday.  Well, first I went to Westside Market, remembered they were closed on Tuesdays, ate at the cafe so it wasn't a completely wasted trip, and then ventured to Midtown to the Asian Market.  I went into the Asian Plaza where Li Wah restaurant is on E. 30th and Payne.  The grocery, called "Park and Shop" is actually behind the plaza, further north on E. 30th - in case you decide to actually park and shop there.  

The market was situated just like any regular American grocery, except I couldn't read much of anything.  A nice man helped me find everything I was looking for including: rock sugar, thai basil, miso paste, Chinese chili-garlic sauce, and the miscellaneous produce I needed. I wandered through the store and thought about getting some meat form the butcher.  Their short ribs were thinner than what I was looking for, so I passed on buying them and kept wandering down the case.  There was all different kinds of fish, duck, and whole chickens.  I wasn't surprised by any of that, however I was not expecting to find a bucket of live eel at the end.  Then I noticed next to it there was a cage with these huge live soft shelled turtles.  And next to that there was a tank full of live frogs - I felt like I was at the zoo!  I love trying new foods, and I would be all for trying any of these prepared by a chef in a restaurant, but if I took home a turtle or a frog it would definitely end up a pet before it made it on a plate.

Driving down Payne I also passed the Koko Bakery.  Bender has recommended this place to me and it was pretty busy for a Tuesday afternoon, so I stopped in.   The cases are full of asian pastries, and they serve bubble tea and assorted sandwiches.  The lady behind the counter gave me some samples and I bought some things to try, but I really had no idea what I was buying.  These buns (see below) have duck yolk and sweet red bean paste in them.  I tricked CC and the Little Potato into trying them before I told them what they were.  They are sweet, but kinda weird.  I also bought a loaf of sweet bread that is delicious!

Before heading home I stopped at Gallucci's cuz I don't know of a better deal on spice in the city - $1.85 for a tub of cumin, yes please!

Last night's dinner recipe came from Food and Wine's 2007 Annual Cookbook.  I messed a few things up: 1. I asked CC to pick up chicken breast, but the recipe actully called for chicken thighs.  No biggie, just a little healtheir.  2.  I decided to just shred the whole head of cabbage I had in the fridge from the CSA and didn't measure it.  I think it was way more than 4 cups.  I just get so carried away when I start shredding things in the food processor.

The paste has a fantastic flavor and can be rubbed on steak, shrimp, or pork.  But too much cabbage diluted the overall flavor.

Ginger-Miso Spice Paste
Makes 1/4 cup

1 tbsp. finely grated ginger
1 tbsp. miso paste
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1 tsp. Chinese chile-garlic sauce
1 tsp light brown sugar
1 twp Asian sesame oil
1 1/2 tsp fresh lime juice

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mash to a paste.

Grilled Chinese-Chicken Salad
4 Servings

1 lb. skinless, boneless chicken thighs
1/4 c. Ginger Miso Spice paste (above)
1/4 c. vegetable oil
1/4 lb. snow peas
1 1/2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
2 scallions, cut into thin 1 inch julienne strips
10 oz. shredded colesaw mix

1. Light a grill.  Make 1/4 inch deep slashes in the chicken thighs.  In a bowl, combine 2 tbsp. of the spice paste with 2 tbsp of the oil and spread all over the chicken.  Grill over high heat until cooked through, 7 to 8 minutes.  Let cool then cut into thin strips.
2.  Meanwhile, bring a small saucepan of salted water to boi.  Add the snow pease and blanch for 1 minute.  Drain and rinse under cold water; pat dry.  Slice in half lengthwise.  In a large bowl, whisk the remaining 2 tbsp. of paste with the lime juice and the remaining 2 tbsp. of oil.  Season with salt.  Add the snow peas, scallions, coleslaw mix and chicken, tolls well and serve.

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