Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Savings by the Chopstickful: Send Your Taste Buds to China

Anyone who has ever lived on a student’s or otherwise restrictive budget knows that eating out can be a real luxury. The remedy for any student’s dietary blues is often Chinese food, which uses inexpensive ingredients and is filling. Here are three recipes that cut out the middleman and let you take control of the Chinese food you eat:

Chinese Boiled Chicken

Spark People provides us with this method for preparing a truly versatile dish:

  • 1 chicken or chicken cutlets, boneless or otherwise
  • Chicken bullion

Preparation is easy: bring a large pot of water to a boil and drop the chicken into it once it reaches a rolling boil. When the boiling stops, remove the chicken and cover the pot. When boiling starts again, replace the chicken in the pot. Cover the pot again, remove heat, and leave for one hour. This easy preparation method readies your chicken for anything with minimum hassle!

Wonton Soup

Everybody is familiar with wonton soup, and now your wallet will love it as much as your kids! This recipe comes to us from the Food Network:

  • Meat from 1 spare rib, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1 scallion, thinly sliced
  • 12 wonton wrappers
  • 2 (14.5-ounce) cans chicken broth
  • 1 cup broccoli

Once you’ve got these items together, mix the meat, carrot, and scallions in a small bowl. You can make the wontons by filling a wrapper with a tablespoon of filling and sealing the edges with dampened water. Then, bring the chicken broth to a simmer in a medium saucepan, add the wontons and broccoli and cook for three minutes.

Chinese Fried Rice

Rice is so inexpensive and comes in such a high quantity that it practically pays for itself! Doctor up your plain white rice with this cheap recipe for fried rice. You’ll need:

  • 3/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 3 drops soy sauce
  • 3 drops sesame oil
  • 8 ounces cooked, lean boneless pork or 8 ounces chicken chopped
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped carrot 
  • 1/2 cup peas
  • 4 cups cold cooked rice, grains separated
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 2 cups bean sprouts (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce

To start, heat one tablespoon of oil in a wok, add the onions and stir-fry until onions brown. Mix your egg with a few drops of soy and sesame oil and cook quickly in the wok. Once your egg is cooked, chop and set aside. Oil the wok again and add your choice meat along with carrots, peas, and cooked onion. After two minutes add the rice, green onions, and bean sprouts. Once these are cooked, add your egg to the rice mixture, heat, and serve!

These fun recipes will wow your guests and keep your wallet plump!

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