Simanaitis Says

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RECIPES OFTEN CALL this “Chinese Chicken Corn Soup,” but then this begs the question, “Where do I find a Chinese chicken?” Indeed, Wife Dottie and I have been avoiding chicken altogether in response to inhumane practices in the poultry industry. 

However, Daughter Suz, who particularly likes Chinese Chicken Corn Soup, offered us one of her Moink humanely raised chicken breasts (in fact, the entire chicken is humanely raised). 

This is a straightforward Chinese recipe and I believe it compares favorably with the soup offered by our favorite Chinese restaurant. 

The Chicken. Cooked shredded chicken breast is fine (I’ve never tried canned). On the other hand, I had Daughter Suz’s frozen Moink chicken, which works too because of a trick for getting uniform slices of, say, 1/4-in. When the chicken is only partially thawed, I use a small Chinese cleaver. 

The same trick works great in slicing bacon for stews and chowders. A pound of slightly frozen bacon, sliced perpendicular to the rashers, gives eight handy chunks ready to freeze and briefly zap when needed. 

Soup. Some recipes call for stir-frying the chicken. Since I’m doing a soup, I blanch the chicken in the boiling broth (I make mine with Knorr Chicken Flavor Boullion). The pieces turn opaque in seconds. 

Then comes the easy part; the essential tool is a can opener. Into the chicken broth go the creamed corn, a generous handful of frozen corn kernels, Mirin, sesame oil, garlic, ginger and cornstarch. Heat to a boil, reduce to a simmer, stir occasionally, and cook for five minutes or so as the cornstarch does its thickening magic. 

The Egg Threads.Turn off the heat. Whisk the eggs and slowly add a thin stream into the soup. Recipes say to whisk only in one direction; I guess I always do anyway, clockwise by habit, right- or left-handed. 

Season to taste (I add a teaspoon of sesame oil), stir to cook the egg stream. Strew sliced scallions atop and serve. 

Another Easy Chinese Dish. An easy Hoisin Beef and Broccoli can be made with prepared meatballs from the frozen food department and fresh broccoli. Defrost the meatballs by microwave zapping for a couple minutes (our microwave is a baby one). Saute some chopped onion, minced garlic, and ginger in a little vegetable oil and sesame oil. Add the sliced meatballs and chopped broccoli, stir fry for a bit, then cover and steam a little (leftover broth? water?). Add a quarter-cup or so of Hoisin sauce and perhaps some water to thin it out. Heat and stir. Serve with rice. 

Bon appetite. 好胃口, Hǎo wèikǒu (which Google Translate says is either Traditional or Simplified Chinese). Indeed, my Chinese cooking has transitioned over the years from the Traditional to the Simple too. ds 

© Dennis Simanaitis,, 2021 

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