CRAVING ‘CHINESE’ FOOD

CRAVING ‘CHINESE’ FOOD  

September 2008

Here’s a funny fact. We are actually one of the few families I know that rarely take out Chinese food.  The truth is there are many Chinese take-out places near us and others that even call themselves “restaurants.”   Most of them however, are simply cooking God-awful food not even worthy of being labeled as “Chinese” or any other ethnicity.  This doesn’t mean on occasion I don’t pick-up some wonton soup or cold sesame noodles but more often than not, I can whip up a quick stir fry myself or even deep fry some eggrolls in a pitch.

I started to think about my own recent attempt to cook “Chinese” for the three of us one evening. Yes, I could have gone and ordered “bad Chinese” but you know what happens when I think about ordering?  I start running the numbers in my head – as in what the meal will cost.  Any time I’ve ordered out, we have to get lots of dishes in the hope that at least one is edible.   That said, when I realized I would be spending over $60 to order dishes that I thought might be decent, I decided my “craving” for Chinese would have to be handled differently.  I would make “Chinese” myself.

Dinner that night consisted of:

Pork fried rice (I pulled off the meat from a couple of leftover pork chops I had in the fridge and mixed the meat with some rice.  I then heated up some vegetable oil and soy sauce, threw in some chopped scallions and scrambled an egg and threw the meat and rice mixture into the hot pan.) 

Cold sesame noodles (Linguine tossed with freshly grated ginger, chopped garlic and scallions, a spoonful of peanut butter, some soy sauce, olive oil and sesame oil.)

Homemade eggrolls (Filled with shredded cabbage and carrots, diced shrimp, cilantro and onions. Eggroll wrappers can usually be found in the produce aisle and admittedly, it does take a bit of practice to roll them but eggrolls you make yourself just taste so much better than the fried gunk you get everywhere else.)

Steamed broccoli (Then tossed with hot chili oil.)

Tempura green beans (I had picked the green beans from our garden.)

Sauteed pork with mushrooms (Pork cutlets I had quickly sliced.)  

Ok, I’m not one of those people who figures out that it just cost me $3.59 to feed the three of us.  But it sure as hell wasn’t $60 and not only did everything taste pretty damn good it had to be a lot healthier than eating out.

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