Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Chinatown Cheap

The grand total:  $6.17 per person (for 2), LOTS of leftovers!

The saga begins on Stockton and Broadway in a little town called San Francisco. My roommate and I were making Shabbat dinner. So we went straight to Chinatown. How old fashioned of us.

 *Bought 'em in Chinatown, unless otherwise noted

$0.25 Scallions (I bought a pack of 6 cuz it was just that cheap)
$1.49 Soy Sauce
$1.39 Hoisin Sauce
$1.21 Pack of 30 mushu pancakes
$1.29 Chinese five spice seasoning
$0.20 A nub o' ginger (Confession: It's sold by weight. I broke off a lil bit)
$1.31 Bean Sprouts
$.20 Garlic
$2 pack of mixed cabbage/veggies (on special at Safeway)
$2.99 6 pack portabella 'shrooms (Trader Joe's)
(If you have honey and/or sugar, use that too for a little added sweetness.)

*Worked off this Food Network recipe for ideas but made it my own.

Peel the ginger. Chop the garlic and ginger into tiny pieces. Wash and slice the mushrooms. Spray a large skillet with Pam or 2 tbsp. of oil (whatever you have on hand - peanut or sesame would be preferable but beggars can't be choosers). Place it on medium-low heat. Add the garlic and mushrooms. Add a tsp. of Chinese Five Spice Seasoning (more to taste). 

Let the mushrooms cook for 5 mins., stirring occasionally. Add a cup of soy sauce and spoonful of honey or sugar. Add 2 cups each of the cabbage and bean sprouts to the mushrooms. Let veggies cook for another 5-10 mins., or until they look soft and brown and taste good. If they start to look dry, add more soy sauce, but beware of making it too salty!

While the veggies cook, slice the scallions into little pieces. Steam the mushu pancakes by placing as many as you're going to use (we each had 2) on a microwave safe plate. Place a wet paper towel over them, then cover with another plate and microwave for 1 min. Then spread 1-2 tbsp. hoisin sauce on each. Slosh a big scoop o' cooked veggies on each one, then add some uncooked/still crunchy cabbage and bean sprouts. Wrap them up like burritos. Chow down.


The bad news: we decided our wallets weren't big enough to purchase fortune cookies.
The good news: we made our own happy endings... Chinese Crepes.

If you're interested, steam mushu pancakes in the microwave the same way you did for dinner. Slather the insides with butter, sugar or honey (I used about 2-3 tablespoons of sugar) and lemon zest. Fold the corners in to make a pocket and sprinkle lemon zest on top. Holler at your girl.

If you're as clever and sweet-craving as me, you've noticed you can also use nutella or any other fruit you have on hand to fold into these Chinese-French pockets of love.

Until next time....

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