Thursday, March 13, 2008

White Girl Teriyaki

Yep, that's what I'm calling it. The hard thing about being a "mix breed" or "Heinz 57" is that you don't really have a culture. All the food that you learn how to cook growing up is from another culture (well, for the most part). Spaghetti. Tacos. Lasagna. Nothing really felt like it was passed down from generations long ago. I never got to say, "Oh, this is my great, great grandmother's recipe from France." Everything I learned how to cook was either adapted from a cookbook, or made up by combining Top Ramen and a can of chili (yes, that means that we were on Welfare....).

Anyway, since living in Seattle, I've been surrounded by Asian culture. The city I live in, Federal Way, has a very high Asian population. I have within walking distance: four different Chinese retaurants, two Vietnamese Pho restaurants, three Thai restaurants, a Japanese $1.50 store and an Asian supermarket. So, I've been really trying to learn how to incorporate these recipes into my mealtime regimen, but they always come out tasting... like a white girl made it. Not that it doesn't taste good, it's not like I sabotage my meals, they just don't taste as authentic as they could be.

I blame the fact that I don't have access to the freshest veggies. And I'm stickin' to it (well, for now at least... till the farmer's market starts running next month... then I'll have no excuse!!). I do have quite a few Asian friends who have been trying to help me out, so at least I've got them!!

I went to Trader Joe's recently (LOVE Trader Joe's) and picked up some of their $2.99 stir-fry veggies, and thought I'd give them a try. They looked quick and simple, so I figured "what the hell?" And am SO glad I did!

I made up some chicken teriyaki, that I think turned out pretty good! I'll post the recipe, but you might want to change it up a bit to suit your personal tastes.

Mehgan's White Girl Teriyaki

-1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized chunks
-1 package of Trader Joe's stir-fry vegetables
-1/4 cup teriyaki sauce
-3 tbsp soy sauce
-1 tbsp Aloha Shoyu sauce
-1/2 tsp ginger
-2 cloves minced garlic

Instructions: Preheat oven to 375F. Line a baking dish with aluminum foil (this will help with an easy cleanup later!). Combine chicken, sauces, ginger and garlic in a small bowl, then pour that into the baking dish. Bake in the oven for 35-45 minutes. While that is baking, heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a saucepan, then pour the stir-fry vegetables into the saucepan. Cook over low heat, covered for 6-10 minutes. Layer the veggies and the chicken over a bed of Jasmine rice, and enjoy! (I should probably mention that I added extra edamame to my veggies for this, since I had some extra lurking in my freezer).

I know it's cheating, but it was soooo good. Especially when followed up by these lovely little ginger snap-like cookies I bought at Daiso the other day.

The gal working there highly recommended them, and I'm glad that I was feeling so open to new foods that day, because these are truly yummy. They're so good that I was half-tempted to dump 'em in a bowl, pour milk over them and dig in! But... I didn't. I'm trying to savor them. I am definitely going to have to stock up on these babies before we move to Alaska in July!!

Don't they look so cute? I got the little strawberry dish from my brother in-law's Japanese girlfriend for Christmas last year, and finally found a good use for them (my blog!).
And this yummy meal was wonderful for my lunch today! I hadn't used my bento box in a while (I've been utterly addicted to PB&J sandwiches for some reason). Yesterday I went to Daiso and picked up these cute little sauce bottles that fit perfectly in my bento box. I also picked up a star onigiri maker, so I could shape my rice into a star. I was definitely the envy of the office today!

I just love that I have more excuses to pack my lunches in my bento box, because it's such a fun and girly way to eat your meals. And I can't believe how cheap the stuff at Daiso is, only $1.50!! I got the most adorable stationary to write to my sister with, OMG, it's so cute.
Stay tuned, folks, I'm on a roll!


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Angel said...

Woot Bento's are the best. You are so lucky to have a Daiso near you. I have to order all my bento supplies online and its freaking a rip off.
Your meal looks awesome!

Deb S., said...

Hi Mehgan,

I'm a fellow Heinz 57 (never heard that term) I always refer to myself as a mutt. My family has been here forever. Grew up on casseroles, anything with cream of mushroom soup in it really. I am always so jealous of the people with grandparents who are right off the boat and come with recipes handed down from generation to generation. Oh, well, I plan to inspire my children and hope they talk to there kids about "Grandma's secret recipes" Thanks for the great blog. Best of luck in AK.

Anonymous said...

For sophisticated recipes, I usually use only the best ingredients since I find they enhance the flavor of the foods greatly.

I highly recommend trying the extra-virgin olive oil from Holy Food Imports.
It is imported to the US from Israel, and it is produced using cold presses,
as was the method over 3,000 years ago.