East meets West

These Asian-inspired main dishes are versatile because they both work for chicken or steak.

Asian Chicken Pieces 370 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Asian Chicken Pieces 370
(photo credit: Courtesy)
In honor of Chinese New Year, this week it’s all about Asian-inspired main dishes.  I love the way the flavors work together, ginger, garlic, lime juice, soy sauce, coconut milk and so many others. The other great thing is that both recipes work for chicken or steak.  And, you can just use chicken wings or thighs if that is what you like, or a meat cut that is your favorite.  The flavorings work so well that they are interchangeable.
Asian Chicken PiecesServes 4
1.5 kg. chicken pieces 12 to 16 twelve-inch bamboo skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes (optional)1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk 2 medium cloves garlic, coarsely chopped 2 scallions, white parts coarsely chopped, green parts thinly sliced (3 to 4 Tbs.) 1 jalapeño, thinly sliced (including seeds) 1/4 cup packed fresh cilantro 3 Tbs. hoisin sauce 1 Tbs. coarsely chopped fresh ginger 1 Tbs. fresh lime juice 1 Tbs. granulated sugar Vegetable oil for the grill 1/2 cup sweet chili sauce
Pat the chicken pieces dry with paper towels. Thread each piece on a bamboo skewer (if using). Arrange the chicken in a large, shallow dish.
In a blender, purée the coconut milk, garlic, scallion whites, chiles, cilantro, hoisin sauce, ginger, lime juice, and sugar until smooth. Pour the marinade over the chicken, turning to coat evenly. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for two to four hours.
Prepare a grill for direct grilling or a grill pan. When ready to cook, clean the grate with a wire brush and, using tongs, wipe the grate with a paper towel or cloth dipped in oil.
Shake off any excess marinade from the chicken.  Grill the chicken (covered if using a gas grill), flipping halfway through cooking, until golden-brown on the outside.
Brush on both sides with the sweet chili sauce and grill until the glaze sizzles, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to a platter, sprinkle with the scallion greens, and serve.
Steak Skewers with Green Onion Dipping SauceServes 4
This steak is super flavorful and easy to make.  Make sure you soak the bamboo skewers for 30 minutes so that they don’t burn when you cook them.
Meat and Marinade:1 cup canned unsweetened coconut milk1/4 cup hoisin sauce2 tablespoons  (packed) light brown sugar1 tablespoon fresh lime juice6 garlic cloves4 jalapenos, One 1 1/2" piece ginger, peeled1.5 kg. thin cut steak, like skirt steak or thin cut London broil
Scallion Dipping Sauce:15 scallions, very thinly sliced1/4 cup soy sauce3 tablespoons canola oil2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
Basting Sauce:
1/2 cup canned unsweetened coconut milk3 tablespoons hoisin sauce1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice2 garlic cloves, crushed
Meat and Marinade
Purée all ingredients except steak in a blender or a food processor until smooth. Cut meat into approximately 1" cubes. Place meat in a large bowl. Add marinade and toss to coat; cover and chill overnight.
Remove meat from marinade, brushing off excess. Thread onto skewers, so that pieces are touching but not pressed tightly together (which would slow down cooking). Leave at least 1" of space at the ends of skewers for easy turning. Discard marinade.
Scallion Dipping Sauce
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl just before you begin grilling; stir occasionally.
Basting Sauce
In a small saucepan, add all ingredients and cook until just heated through; keep warm.
Heat a grill or grill pan, to medium-high. Grill skewers, brushing with basting sauce and turning every 2 minutes, for 10 minutes. Stop basting and cook, turning every 2 minutes, until browned around edges and cooked through, about 6 minutes more. Serve with scallion dipping sauce on the side.
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