I used to work downtown and had the opportunity to choose a different place to eat lunch every day. One of my favorites was eating General Tso’s and Kung Pao Chicken at the Panda Express. So I want to use those flavors in my Asian-inspired Dinners.
One thing that I loved about my Mom’s cooking, was that she was not afraid to try new cuisines. I remember her making an “Asian-style” dinner using La Choy products. “East Meets West, La Choy makes Chinese food – swing American!” This dinner will include the Pork Chops and Teriyaki Rice.
RIP: Momma Bear slow cooker. I had 3 different slow cooker sizes to accommodate large, medium and small meals. So Papa Bear, Momma Bear and Baby Bear slow cookers. The Momma Bear slow cooker somehow got grease trapped inside the cooking unit, so she had to be banished to the basement. I was searching for a 4 Quart replacement slow cooker, and came across the Presto Indoor Electric Smoker/Slow Cooker combination. I cannot be trusted with either a gas grill or wood/gas smoker. So I gave my smoker to my brother and had planned to buy an electric one to replace it. They were in the $100.00 range, so I put it on the back burner. Until, I came across the smoker/slow cooker for less than $60.00. Cool! I can kill two birds with one stone. Found a cheaper smoker and a replacement for the Momma Bear slow cooker.
- Pork Loins, Chop Bone-In Brined Louisiana Style Griller, 3 lbs.
- Soy Sauce, recommended: Great Value, 2 teaspoons
- Sazón, recommended: Goya, 1 packet
- Kung Pao Sauce, recommended: Panda Express, ½ to 1 cup, per your preference **
- Peanuts, Salted, recommended: Planters, two 1.75 oz. bags
- Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce, Recommended: Huy Fong Foods, 1 to 2 teaspoons
- Sesame Seed Oil, recommended: Imperial Dragon, 2 teaspoons
- Fish Sauce, recommended: Thai Kitchen, ½ teaspoon
- Rice Wine Vinegar, Natural & Mellow, recommended: Nakano, 1 to ½ teaspoons, as desired
- Liquid Smoke, Applewood, recommended: Wrights, 1 cap
- Hickory BBQ Wood Chips, recommended: Western, enough to fill “Charring” cup, or your favorite brand. The Wood Chips are not required if you only want to pan-grill the pork chops, use a slow cooker or BBQ Grill. This is optional, depending on your preferred cooking method.
- Marinade the Pork Chops with the Soy Sauce and Sazón, overnight or up to 30 minutes. I had to freeze the Pork Chops after this marinade, because I was not sure how I was going to cook them yet.
- After unthawing the Pork Chops, I added the Fish Sauce and Liquid Smoke to the marinade bag, 30 minutes before cook time.
- Preheat a skillet and add the Sesame Seed Oil, then cook the Pork Chops for 2-3 minutes per side. I used a “grill” skillet to get grill marks on them. Add a splash of Rice Wine Vinegar to de-glaze the skillet.
- Next, you can use a Slow Cooker to slowly cook for 4 hours on high or 6 hours on low. At this point, you can add enough Kung Pao sauce to your preference. I am going to “smoke” the Pork Chops for 4 hours in the Smoker/Slow Cooker combo.
- Then I will put them in the Slow Cooker and cover with the Kung Pao sauce, Peanuts and Sriracha for 2 hours on low.
** You can also make your own Kung Pao (pao = peanuts) sauce using soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, garlic, ginger, scallions and/or dried red peppers. To save money and time, I preferred to use a shortcut by buying pre-made Kung Pao. I have most of those ingredients, but not all of them. So it was cheaper to buy the bottled sauce.
Side Dish: Teriyaki Rice with Stir Fry Vegetables
- Teriyaki Rice, recommended: Knorr, 5.4 oz.
- Stir Fry Vegetables, frozen, recommended: HyVee, 8 oz.
- Chicken Won Ton Soup, recommended: Campbell’s, 10 ½ oz.
- Chicken Broth, recommended: That’s Smart, 2 ½ cups, divided
- Ponzu Citrus Seasoning Dressing & Sauce, recommended: Kikkoman, ¼ to ½ teaspoon, or use lemon or lime juice to add freshness
- Soy Sauce, recommended: Great Value, 2 tablespoons
- Stir Fry Oil, recommended: Tsang, ½ teaspoon
- Butter, 2 tablespoons, divided
- Chinese Five Spice, recommended Tone’s, ¼ teaspoon
- Wonton Strips, recommended: Great Value, as desired
- Sriracha Sauce, recommended: Huy Fong Foods, ½ teaspoon
- Kung Pao Pork Chops (leftovers, including the peanuts), optional
- Prepare the Stir Fry Vegetables in a separate pot. Melt 1 tablespoon of Butter with Stir Fry Oil and Chinese Five Spice for 2 minutes. Add 1 cup of Chicken Broth and bring to a boil. Add the Stir Fry Vegetables and bring to a boil. Season with Soy Sauce and a dash of Ponzu Citrus Dressing. Cover and simmer on low for 5 minutes.
- In a separate pot combine Rice, 2 tablespoons of Butter and 2 Cups of Chicken Broth. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer on low for 7 minutes.
- Combine the Chicken Won Ton Soup with the Stir Fry Vegetables and then combine both pots together.
- Thinly slice the Kung Pao Pork Chops (or other meat, or keep it meatless). I warmed up the Pork Chops slices for a few minutes and then added the Rice/Vegetable mixture. Heated together for a few minutes.
- I dressed this All-in-one Bowl with Sriracha Sauce and crunchy Wonton Strips.
Since I have 4 Pork Chops, that will be 4 dinners made in advance. Then combine them with the Rice and Vegetables for the rest of the week.
It was delish and something different for a change. I usually have Salad as my side dish for 4 days out of the week. The Stir Fry Vegetables and Rice will be a great substitute, to get veggies and fiber into my diet on non-salad days.
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