Sweet-and-sour pork from China Star in Roosevelt

As promised in our May/June 2015 issue, here are writer Billy Yang’s recipes for chow mein and sweet-and-sour sauce, along with editor Mary Brown Malouf’s go-to recipe for orange chicken.

Chow Mein

2 tsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. rice vinegar
1 Tbsp. sesame oil
2 boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into thin strips
12 oz. chow mein noodles, cooked
2 Tbsp oil
1 small nappa cabbage, cut into thin strips
2 baby bok choy, cut into thin strips
5 oz. water chestnuts, drained and sliced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 Tbsp. oyster sauce
2 green onions, chopped

Combine the 2 tsp. soy sauce, the rice vinegar, and the sesame oil in a small bowl. Add the chicken and toss to coat thoroughly. Set aside for 10 minutes.

Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a wok or large skillet. Add the chicken and stir fry until cooked, then remove it.

Add the rest of the oil, then add the cabbage, bok choy, water chestnuts and garlic. Stir until vegetables start to wilt. Add the chow mein noodles and cook until hot, then add the soy sauce and oyster sauce and toss well. Add the chicken and toss to combine.


Sweet and Sour Sauce

Salt and pepper
1/2 cup chopped red pepper
4 tsp. cornstarch, mixed with 4 teaspoons water
1 cup canned pineapple chunks, drained with 1/2 cup reserved juice
3 Tbsp. light brown sugar
3 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1/2 cup onions

Cook red and green peppers for about 1 minute. Stir in pineapple chunks, juice, sugar, vinegar and chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Simmer until sauce begins to reduce. Stir in cornstarch mixture and bring liquid to a simmer. Cook until thick, about 5 minutes. Toss with cooked chicken or pork chunks and serve over rice.


Orange Chicken 

(4 servings)

1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons cornstarch, divided
2 large eggs, beaten
1 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp. sesame seeds
1 green onion, sliced
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup orange juice
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup distilled white vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. orange zest
1 tsp. Sriracha or chili oil
1/2 tsp. ground ginger

In a large bowl, whisk together chicken broth, orange juice, sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, orange zest, hot sauce and ginger.

In a gallon size Ziploc bag or large bowl, combine chicken and 2/3 cup of the marinade; marinate for at least 30 minutes, up to an hour. Then drain the chicken from the marinade, discarding the marinade.

Heat remaining marinade in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir together 2 tablespoons cornstarch combined with 2 tablespoons water. Bring marinade to a boil and stir in cornstarch mixture gradually. Cook, stirring frequently, until thickened about 1-2 minutes; keep warm.

Working one at a time, dip the chicken into the eggs, then dredge in remaining 1 cup cornstarch, pressing to coat.

Heat vegetable oil in a large saucepan or wok. Add chicken, a few pieces at a time, and fry until golden brown and cooked through, about 1-2 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate; discard excess oil.

Pour the marinade over the chicken and toss to coat. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and sliced green onion. Serve with rice.