Taiwanese food is a relatively recent new cuisine I have encountered. We have two Taiwanese restaurants in Northern Nevada, and I absolutely love them. One of the dishes I had when I dined out was three-cup chicken. I absolutely loved it, and was intrigued with the promise of “three cups.”

Not quite just three ingredients.
Not quite just three ingredients.

One of my Chinese-American friends told me the most simple version of this recipe is one cup soy sauce, one cup rice wine, one cup oil. But, as it turns out, no one really makes it that way; HE doesn’t even make it that way. In fact, perhaps like Filipino chicken adobo, everyone seems to have their own way of making this deceptively simple dish. (Consequently, like chicken adobo, this is also a deliciously easy meal).

Ginger, the manna of the foods of Asia. And who can forget garlic and green onions?
Ginger, the manna of the foods of Asia. And who can forget garlic and green onions?

After doing some research, I settled on the New York Times Cooking Section’s recipe, which also provides a great explanation for this dish. Sure, The New York Times recipes aren’t always written by people who are native to the country of origin, but they tend to do their research and often consult with those who are. From my conversation with my friend from China, it seems like this one is just as good as any. I love the NY Times Cooking section.

The flavors are melding.
The flavors are melding.

This was a very quick dish. In fact, I went outside, ran a mile, took a shower, then cooked this dish while letting my hair air dry, and we were still eating dinner by 7:30. Not bad for such an awesome dish!

Three-cup chicken with bok choy.
Three-cup chicken with bok choy.

I paired this dish with bok choy, but I would highly recommend serving with rice a) to be more authentic and b) to sop up some of that wonderful salty-sweet-with-a-touch-of-spice sauce coating the chicken.

Sampling the meal before sitting down to dine.
Sampling the meal before sitting down to dine.

If you’re looking for something quick to whip up after work (and working out!), I highly recommend this dish. Plus, it’s got flavors even the pickiest of eaters will love. Try it out!

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Any cook knows that every now and then, a meal doesn’t quite turn out as planned. My attempt at making Greek pork souvlaki was just one of those times.

Prepping the cucumber and garlic for the tzatziki sauce.
Prepping the cucumber and garlic for the tzatziki sauce.

I’m not a baker. As much as I love to cook and feel right at home hopping into anyone’s kitchen and picking up a knife to mince some garlic, I just can’t get the hang of baking. That’s definitely my sister’s department. That’s why I probably should have listened to the little voice in my head telling me that I should buy some pita bread for this dish rather than try to make it myself. But, alas, I insisted I had to try to make it myself (for the blog).

I wish I could bake. I’m not exactly sure why I’m not as adept at it, other than that there’s a science and exactness to baking that doesn’t exist in cooking. Ironically, my sister says that’s why she’s better at baking: it’s so exact! (She is the scientist).

Cutting up pork while the pita dough rises and the tzatziki sauce marinates.
Cutting up pork while the pita dough rises and the tzatziki sauce marinates.

I’ve had my eye on this recipe for a while. My friend Mike bought me a grill recently, and so I finally had a chance to make this the way I wanted. To follow the recipe exactly takes three different full recipes: tzatziki sauce, pork skewers, and the pita bread.

Pork skewers ready to be grilled.
Pork skewers ready to be grilled.

The pork was fabulously easy. Chop it up, skewer it, sprinkle the meat with spices, and then pop it on the grill. The pita bread… that’s a different story. I’m not 100 percent sure what went wrong with it, but I have my suspicions. Suffice to say, it was a mess when I tried to put it on the griddle, and it did not get better with heat. So, I had to improvise, and Mike and I had a gluten-free meal.

Carrots and pork skewers on the grill. Yum.
Carrots and pork skewers on the grill. Yum.

I had some carrots in the fridge, and I just read an awesome article in the New York Times Taste section about how great grilled carrots are. (Ignore the one that fell through the grate). They were right! I simply brushed each orange tuber with oil, sprinkled with salt and pepper, and put them on the grill. They sweetened up and got a nice roasted flavor.

On to the tzatziki sauce: while you may be tempted to purchase some, DON’T. The recipe is very easy, and it was the best tzatziki sauce I’ve ever had. I had a lot left over, and I used it to dip some sweet peppers and pita chips I had a few days later. The recipe instructs you to grate the cucumber. That was a little difficult. Next time, I will just stick it in a food processor and then wring out the extra water from it.

Greek pork souvlaki, sans the pita bread.
Greek pork souvlaki, sans the pita bread.

Next time, I probably will buy the pita bread. I’m sure the homemade stuff is good, and if you’re more baking-inclined, go for it! But I’ve learned my lesson for now. However, I will make this recipe again. It’s great for the hot summer months ahead, and the tzatziki is just what I need to cool off.

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My friend Mike always comments that I seem to specialize in one-pot dishes. I’ll admit, I’m not a fan of washing dishes. It’s so nice to only have a single dish to wash after my meal.

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Getting ready to chop.

I came across this recipe for Russian plov pretty early into researching for my blog. It looked colorful, easy, and comforting.

Pretty colors
Pretty colors

A lot of cultures have some variation of this dish: plov, pilaf, paella, pulao… You can see where I am going with this one. There might be an accidental minor theme running through my blog to cook all the variations of this one-pot rice dish. Now that I have made so many variations by accident, I think I will start doing it on purpose. I can say I haven’t been disappointed with one yet!

An easy way to chop carrots: in the food processor!
An easy way to chop carrots: in the food processor!

The recipe instructed me to mince the carrots, not create matchsticks like the pulao recipe. I pulled out my food processor and let it do the chopping for me (this was another dish to clean, though!).

The finished product.
The finished product.

All of these rice dishes do tend to take a few hours, so I wouldn’t suggest one for a weeknight. They are, however, highly versatile. One of these days, I’m going to make one of these with lamb, or, at the very least, a different meat than chicken. The author of the recipe said she is now vegetarian and doesn’t always put meat it in, so it is easily converted for my no-meat friends.

Digging in!
Digging in!

I loved this flavorful, tasty dish. Make sure you step away from the stove just as instructed–the crispy bits are the best. Try out this recipe, and savor how much time you’ll save doing dishes!

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I know. It’s been a while. I got busy, and all that boring stuff. But now I’m back, and happier than ever to be cooking my way around the world.

I love Pinterest. I was a late adopter, but now it is definitely a giant time-suck: a giant, day-dreaming that I can achieve craftier and cuter things, time-suck. My house does look way cuter for less, though.

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I found galangal! Although, I am still hunting for the fresh stuff.

I had to click on the pin that said “14 spicy recipes from around the world.” It had all of the things I love in it: food, spice, and “the world.” I’m glad I did, because I not only stumbled across Malaysian Devil’s curry, but I also have a lot of future recipes.

Soaking the dry red peppers. This does not frighten me at all.
Soaking the dry red peppers. This does not frighten me at all.

I love spicy foods. I also have a fondness for Malaysian food. My boyfriend and I frequented a Malaysian restaurant in Las Vegas when we wanted something tasty, savory, hearty, and not very expensive (pretty much sums up all of law school). I am always up for the challenge of trying something with a bit of kick to it. I was not at all scared by the instruction of 20-30 dried red chiles for this recipe.

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The paste.

I have to say… it might have been the peppers I used (although, these were the same peppers I used when I famously burned my friend Ashley from the inside), but this was not nearly as spicy as I anticipated. I’ll probably add a few more peppers next time.

The finished product.
The finished product.

However, even though I could have gone spicier, I definitely still loved it. Once again, my boyfriend was licking the sauce from his fingers. Devil’s curry is not to be missed. And for those of you who are afraid of spice: don’t worry, it’s not so bad!

I always taste test everything. Because, you know, it might be poison.
I always taste test everything. Because, you know, it might be poison.
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