• toasted sesame oil
  • chicken breasts
  • cornstarch
  • Chinese five spice
  • soba noodles
  • carrots
  • Napa cabbage
  • red bell pepper
  • ginger
  • garlic
  • honey
  • sriracha
  • hoisin sauce
  • soy sauce
  • chicken broth

As promised, here is the recipe for this week’s CSA share. I discovered my love of Chinese food while living in NYC. We had our little place, sometimes we’d eat there, sometimes we’d get it delivered…every time it was delicious. Man I miss that little place, it was called the Cottage…I wonder if it’s still there. When we moved back to NC I quickly realized my Chinese takeout options were limited, to say the very least! Then we realized Baby B had food allergies and Chinese takeout was pretty much taken off the menu. That is until I figured out how to make it myself. I still don’t own a wok, just a really big skillet but we do have our own chopsticks and I’m proud to say my NC transplanted, NYC born kids can handle them properly. I also watched a lot of cooking shows. Recently I learned the trick is in the cornstarch. Seasoning the protein you use and properly dredging it in cornstarch will thicken up your sauce and really pull your dish together. I learn so much from cooking shows.

Now that I think about it, I’ve been watching cooking shows FOREVER! Way back when – crap, this is going to make me sound older than I really am – we didn’t have the Food Network or the Cooking Channel…we had PBS. We certainly didn’t have DVR to schedule recording so you had to schedule your time based on what the TV Guide told you…yep, good old print on paper, listing the week’s shows. Anywho…PSB is where I cut my teeth on cooking shows – Julia Child, Jacques Pepin, some Cajun fella I could barely understand and for the life of me I can’t remember his name…I don’t even know where to start googling him. But my favorite was Yan Can Cook. Chef Martin Yan, I could barely understand him but I would sit, pen and paper at the ready and watch his show every single week. Once he made a dish of fried rice and I knew that was something I had to make for my family…not too exotic, not too spicy, not to foreign for my farm raised parents. My 10 year old self was on a mission. I carefully wrote down all of the ingredients and steps to make this recipe. I remember practicing my knife skills with my pencil, trying desperately to get that rocking motion down so I could chop quickly and without looking. I still can’t look away when I’m chopping…all eyes on the fingers people! After lots of begging, I got my Mom to take me to the grocery store for supplies…I grew up out in the middle of nowhere, on a tobacco farm…soy sauce was not a staple in my pantry. When we got home, I went straight to work…I followed the directions perfectly and was so very proud of myself when I placed my completed dish on the table. It looked almost as good as Chef Yan’s…almost. I knew something wasn’t quite right but what? I did every thing I wrote down. As I proudly served my Fried Rice to my family, a hush fell across the room and the rice tinkled and clattered across their plates. I missed one little step…you have to COOK the rice before you “fry” it. Details, details, the devil is in the details. Of course my Stinky Brother (7 yrs my senior) abused me with his comments…even my Mom laughed and refused to eat it but my Dad…oh, what a good Dad. He ate everything I put on his plate and told me it was the best crunchy fried rice he’d ever had. I’ve always been my Dad’s favorite…sorry Stinky Brother, it’s Me, Me, Me – I win!

I’ve come a long way since my terribly undercooked Fried Rice experience. My Dad still eats everything I serve him and my Stinky Brother’s mouth is too full with my food for him to abuse me with nasty comments! Yes, I’ve come a long way…thank goodness for DVR, rewind and the internet! Click on over to Destination Wake Forest for my Chinese Takeout recipe. I hope you enjoy it as much as my family does.

Click here for Tarheelmom’s Homemade Chinese Takeout recipe!!