Here in Minnesota, Chinese restaurants are a pretty popular option floating amidst the sea of endless eating establishments. I will admit, I love a plate of well-made sesame chicken and hot crispy egg rolls as much as the next guy, but what I really don’t like are the preservatives and flavor enhancers, like the terribly toxic MSG, infused into the foods served in most Chinese restaurants these days. So when I asked my friend Rachael to teach me how to make delicious, healthy, authentic Chinese food at home, I was thrilled to hear her say yes.
Rachael was born in Szechuan China and she moved to the United States many years ago to start a business and a family. Amidst the many talents Rachael has, it is her gift of creating quick and easy meals that, in my opinion, rival the best Chinese restaurants on this side of Szechuan.
What I admire most about my Rachael’s style of cooking is her creative ability to use whatever ingredients are occupying her refrigerator and turn them into a magnificent meal in minutes. Rachael’s cooking is uncomplicated, incorporates basic ingredients, and results in savory, mouthwatering meals that can rival the best Chinese food anywhere. My favorite part, no additives, preservatives, and absolutely no MSG!
Recently, Rachael taught me to make her Chinese Smashed Cucumbers marinated in a delightful little sauce that takes a simple cucumber to a whole new level of deliciousness. This recipe is extremely easy to make and pairs perfectly with fish, beef, lamb, or your favorite poultry recipe. What I find most intriguing about this recipe is the technique of smashing the cucumbers to enhance flavor and soften the meat. This creates a uniquely delicious salad or side dish that is perfect for lunch, dinner, or appetizer.
If you are a fan of Asian food and have always wanted to learn to make delicious authentic Chinese food at home, give this one a try and stay tuned because you will enjoy an entire chapter of Rachael’s delicious Chinese recipes in my upcoming global cookbook. I promise it’s a chapter you won’t want to miss.
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