I somehow ended up with 3 bottles of toasted sesame oil in my pantry. Toasted sesame oil? That's potent stuff. What the heck ever am I gonna do with 3 bottles of something that I normally use as sparingly as Spam in my kitchen? Not that I'd equate sesame oil with Spam or anything... it's just that I don't know much about Asian cooking. I ended up with those little bottles after I overbought for a cooking demo awhile ago, and not one to toss, waste, or give away anything (not when you're livin' on a student budget, sugar), I put them on the shelf and wished for the fairy of Asian Cookery to descend upon my kitchen in a flourish of kimono and chopsticks spouting inspiration and Zen wisdom... Or at least just hand me a copy of Better Homes and Gardens with the dog-eared section "Fourth of July Egg Foo Young for 40!"
That's my boys.
Spicy Orange Chicken Skewers
adapted from a recipe from Vegetarian Times Magazine
serves 4 -6
1.5 pounds boneless, skinless organic chicken breasts
1/3 cup orange juice
1/3 cup lime juice
1/3 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
2 teaspoons dried hot chili pepper (whatever's spicy and hanging around your spice rack)
4 large garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
2 tablespoons grated orange zest
1 small sweet onion, diced
handful chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari
Cut the chicken breast into pieces small enough to skewer. Skewer the chicken on the bamboo, making sure to leave a few millimeters of space between each piece. Prepare the marinade. Mix all of the rest of the ingredients together and marinate the skewers from 1 hour to 1 day. The longer the better.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove the skewers from the marinade and reserve the marinade. Place skewers on a broiler pan with a slotted sheet so that the liquid and fats may collect underneath. Cook until your tester skewer is no longer pink in the middle. A few times through baking, brush the skewers with the marinade. Add all of the marinade toward the end, so that it reduces a bit and gets syrupy. Serve the skewers with the sauce over coconut rice.
Coconut Basmati Rice
serves 4 - 6
You may use fresh lemongrass in this recipe, if available, but the dried is a good option too if you don't have access to an Asian market.
1.5 cups brown Basmati rice
2 cups coconut milk (lite or full fat)
1 cup water
2 tablespoons dried lemongrass
Bring the water to boil. Steep the dried lemongrass to make a strong tea. Strain out the lemongrass and set water aside. Bring the coconut milk and lemongrass water to a boil, then add rice. Stir once, then cover and cook until all the liquid is absorbed, about 50 minutes to 1 hour.