Sweet and Sticky Sesame Chicken

PIN-Sweet and sticky sesame chicken recipe - cookin5m2 -2763

Fear takes different forms.
When we are young, we are afraid of the darkness.
We grow up and find that it’s not that scary.
We grow up and start getting scared of things we never expected to induce fear in our spines.
We fear getting older.
We fear responsibilities
We fear the death of someone dear
We fear ending up alone, dying alone, meeting new people, getting out of our comfort zone and trying something new,…
We fear failure as we fear success.
We are afraid of other people’s jealousy, their opinions, their comments, their criticism.
We are afraid of ourselves. No wonder we’d be afraid of others.

As adults, all the fears inside our heads materialize in front of us. And sometimes we stand helpless in the face of those fears that block the road for us.

Fear stops us from doing what we want to do. And unless we put our fears in front of us, and get nuclear on their asses, we will still be controlled by them.

But that’s not easy.
Just, one step at a time.
We can do it
Yes we can

I was binge-watching (as it has been going on for some time now) Desperate Housewives, and this closing line came up to fit exactly what I wanted to say in this post:

“There is much to be afraid of in this world. But what we fear has nothing to do with gruesome masks, or plastic spiders, or life-like monsters. It’s the thoughts in our heads that terrify us the most […] How do we conquer these terrifying thoughts? We start by reminding ourselves, what does not kill us just makes us stronger!”

DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES S04E06: Now I Know Don’t Be Scared

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If you’re scrolling to check the recipe, the long list of ingredients might spread some fear across your spine.
But fear not. Most of the ingredients are things you can find in your kitchen cabinet, or in any supermarket nearby. So conquer those fears and rush into the kitchen because this is a kickass recipe and I’m sure you’ll be licking your plate clean, if not the cooking pot itself!

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Serves 4 persons

Ingredients

For the sauce

  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp sweet chili sauce
  • 1kg skinless boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper (or black pepper)
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 3 tbsp corn starch
  • 5 tbsp flour
  • Vegetable oil
  • 3 large carrots, sliced diagonally
  • 3 regular zucchinis, sliced diagonally
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 5 cm ginger root, minced or grated
  • 4 stalks green onions
  • 2 tbsp sesame
3 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • Salt

Procedure

  • Cut the breasts into cubes and season with salt, white pepper, nutmeg, cloves, and plenty of corn starch and flour then set aside
  • In a large wok or pot, heat 1/4 cup vegetable oil and fry the chicken in batches without overcrowding the pan. Cook undisturbed for 3-5 minutes on each side until golden and crispy
  • Remove from the oil and drain on paper towels while you fry the rest. Add more oil if needed
  • In the same bowl with leftover seasoned flour, mix the sauce ingredients and set aside
  • In the same pot or wok, adding more oil if needed, put half of the garlic and ginger then add the carrots and toss in the oil for 5 minutes until slightly softened on the outside. Add the zucchinis and onion and toss to cook
  • Add the chicken and toss to combine
  • Pour the sauce and sesame seeds and stir until it thickens slightly
  • Add the sesame oil and green onions and take off the heatFor the rice:
  • In a large pot, pour 2L of water with around 2 tablespoons salt, the cardamom, cloves, and coriander and cumin seeds and bring to a boil
  • Wash and strain the rice until the water runs clear. Carefully add to the boiling water and reduce to medium low
  • Boil for 12-15 min until the rice is cooked. Pour over a colander and it’s ready to be served

Asian Duck Stir-fry

I don’t always get my hands on duck meat. It is only recently that I was able to taste it and fall in love with it. It is true that ducks are birds, but the meat is darker than chicken and it can be more tender. Did you know that duck has less fat than turkey?  That’s what I was told

Asian Duck Stir-fry recipe - cookin5m2-PIN

What I didn’t know is that duck meat is best eaten when the inside is still pink, unlike chicken. The filets that I got are part of the breast. When cooked, they are so tender and more flavorful than chicken and they should only be cooked for a short period to keep the center pink and moist.

This recipe uses the stir-fry method, which is cooking the food for a short period of time in oil until done. This keeps the duck meat soft and tender, just the way I want it. The sauce is incredible! The aroma of sesame oil while marinating is so appetizing the anticipation for marination time was a killer.

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Black Bean Broccoli Fried Rice

Black Bean Broccoli fried rice recipe - cookin5m2 -3Black Bean Broccoli fried rice recipe - cookin5m2 -6This is one of the quick recipes that you could use to clean your leftovers and whatever is there in the fridge. Fried rice is a staple in Asian cuisine and I like to think it is a complete meal. It has carbs, vegetables, and proteins with enough salt to flavor the dish. The extra dose of proteins from the black beans makes this dish a super dish and takes away the guilt of carbs, if ever found! Continue reading

Soujok & Mixed Bean Stew, and Counting my Blessings

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When your life takes an unexpected turn and gives you a lot to think about and process, sometimes you are left with your thoughts, overworked from the craziness of things in your head at one moment. Early this year I was an employee working from 8 to 5 in an office, on a desk, behind a screen, endlessly clicking the mouse before the bell rings announcing the day’s end. I had an opportunity that seemed to bright, and too got to be true. I knew I would be dumb and regret it if I didn’t take it. So I jumped.
In the past five months, my life matched my soul; floating, figuring things in the ether, finding it’s calling. I’ve cooked, managed the restaurant, sous chef-ed, catered at a gala event as part of the Bi Bayti team(you can hire me to cook at your home now!), cooked in the mountains for more than 50 person each time, got my name and work printed (read my interview on one8one magazine here, and buy the latest issue of The Carton to read my entry), and I went on TV.  Continue reading

Vegan Chili Bowl with Rice, and Almost Fatal Snow-shoeing in Laqlouq

A couple of Sundays ago, I joined a group of my colleagues for a long walk across the snow up the Lebanese mountains in a well-known winter sports town; Laqlouq. Vegan Chili Recipe - Cookin5m2-8Laqlouq Vegan Chili Recipe - Cookin5m2-11The plan was to take a 3-hour walk across the snow-covered hills, around the high hill with the large white cross overlooking the whole area, back to our starting point. We wore special snow shoes to help us walk better and prevent our feet and legs from taking a dive into the high heaps of fresh snow. We began our journey with enthusiasm and excitement, enjoying the warm first of March sun, that kissed us really badly at the end of the day. I turned off my mobile data and decided that I don’t want to use my phone. I took out my camera and took a few shots every now and then.

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