Sweet and Sour Bangkok-Style Chicken with Chilies

Ketchup - it’s what’s for dinner! Okay, okay, it’s not only what’s for dinner. But did you know that ketchup is amazing in stir-fry dishes?

Ketchup is best used in sweet and sour recipes that can range from being super quick and easy, like this NYT Recipe for Stir-Fried Chicken with Ketchup, or still easy but with complex flavors, like the one I adapted from Chef Andrew Zimmern below! You may be surprised, but ketchup successfully builds an incredible sauce that’s tangy, bright, and delicious!

In making a stir-fry with ketchup, it’s important that I trust the ketchup I’m using. I adore Primal Kitchen’s Organic Unsweetened Ketchup because it’s not only organic, but it also contains ingredients I can trust. It’s even Whole30 Approved and Paleo Friendly! Plus, the color of the ketchup has a beautiful red hue and the ketchup flavor just pops! 

If you love Thai flavors, you’re going to enjoy this dish! In addition to ketchup, Thai ingredients like lemongrass, shallots, garlic, and turmeric are utilized to really make this dish exotic. The peas and carrots also add a nice healthy touch and a satisfying texture!

So what are you waiting for! Get your Primal Kitchen Ketchup (stir-fry) on!

Sweet and Sour Bangkok-Style Chicken with Chilies


Time: 1 Hour
Serves 6


Pickled Tomatoes
1 tsp sweet soy sauce (kecap manis)
2 tsp coconut vinegar or distilled white vinegar
2 tsp light brown sugar
1 tsp sambal ulek
1/8 tsp shrimp paste
1/2 tsp salt
3 medium vine ripe tomatoes, quartered

Bangkok-Style Stir-Fry
10 fresh birdseye chilies
4 lemongrass stalks, tender inner white part only, roughly chopped
8 shallots, chopped (2 cups) 
8 garlic cloves, peeled
2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs  
1 tablespoon ground turmeric
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
Kosher salt
3 tablespoons peanut oil
1 cup Primal Kitchen Organic Unsweetened Ketchup
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
2 carrots, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1/2 cup lightly packed mint leaves, coarsely chopped

In a medium mixing bowl, prepare the pickle by stirring together the sweet soy sauce, vinegar, light brown sugar, sambal, shrimp paste, and salt. Add tomatoes and stir to combine. Allow pickle to marinate for at least 20 minutes. 

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the chilies, lemongrass, shallots and garlic. Puree, scraping the mixture off the sides as needed, until smooth, about 4-5 minutes.

In a medium bowl, toss the chicken with the turmeric, cinnamon and 1 tsp kosher salt. In a large, deep skillet, heat the oil until shimmering. Add half of the chicken thighs and cook over moderately high heat, turning once, until browned on both sides, about 8 minutes total; transfer to a plate. Repeat with the remaining chicken.

Add the pureed chili mixture to the skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring and breaking up any browned bits from the chicken, until golden brown, about 5-7 minutes. Add Primal Kitchen ketchup, vinegar, sugar and 1/2 cup of water and bring to a simmer. Return the chicken to the skillet with accumulated juices and simmer over moderately low heat until the chicken is tender and cooked through, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium pot of salted boiling water, cook the carrots until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes; drain. Add the carrots and peas to the chicken and simmer until heated through, about 5 minutes. Stir in the mint and season with salt. Transfer the chicken to a platter and spoon the sauce over the top. Serve With steamed Jasmine rice and pickled tomatoes.



Quick & Easy Chicken Noodle Soup


It all started with a sneeze and I knew I was sick! And boy did this sickness come on fast and strong.

Unfortunately for me, it’s not one of those weeks where I can sit back and relax under the covers bingeing on my favorite TV shows. Nope! I have multiple projects to complete, recipes to design, and family gatherings to attend.

So what’s my go-to for powering through weeks like this? It’s always a remedy of DayQuil Severe to get me through the busy days and NyQuil Severe to rest as much as possible at night. I’m never more relieved to know that I have DayQuil and NyQuil tools at my disposal.

Feeling so much better, I was able to whip up this Quick and Easy Chicken Noodle Soup, which couldn’t have been be more comforting. There’s truly no better combo than a little soup + DayQuil and NyQuil to prove that having no sick days is possible to achieve!

Quick & Easy Chicken Noodle Soup


Adapted from Thai-Infused Chicken Noodle Soup
Time: 20 Minutes
Serves 6

3 quarts low-sodium chicken broth
1 15 oz can whole sweet corn, drained, liquid reserved
8 nests Mandarin Noodle Nests (about 200 grams)
1 lb ground chicken
1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 bunch green onions, finely sliced
1 large serrano, finely sliced
8-10 dried birdseye chilies (optional)
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp light brown sugar
1 tbsp sambal oelek chili paste
Zest and juice of 2 kaffir limes
1 small bunch cilantro, roughly chopped (reserve 2 tbsp for garnish)

To Garnish
Fish Sauce
Chili garlic sauce
1 lime, cut into wedges
Chopped cilantro

In a large skillet or Dutch oven, heat chicken broth and reserved corn liquid over high heat and bring to a boil. Add noodles and cook according to package directions until al dente (about 4 minutes). Carefully ladle noodles out of broth with a pasta spoon and set aside.

Add the chicken, corn kernels, ginger, garlic, green onions, serrano chilies, birdseye chilies, fish sauce, light brown sugar, and sambal oelek to the broth. Bring to a simmer on medium heat for 5 minutes, breaking up chicken with a spoon.

Return noodles to the broth and stir in lime juice, lime zest, and cilantro. Serve immediately in bowls and season to taste with additional fish sauce and chili garlic sauce. Garnish with lime wedges and cilantro.

If you liked this recipe, you will love my recipes for Korean Beef and Daikon Radish Soup, Easy Beef Pho, and Ramen with Rainbow Chard!



Tofu Banh Mi with Sunflower Seed Pate and Squash Pickles

Banh Mi Up, Scotty! 

Check out the recipe below for this incredible Tofu Banh Mi from Purple Carrot. The sandwich was so good that it transported me to a place where it is effortless to #PledgePlants and consume 100% plant-based dishes. 

As an omnivore, it is still important for me to cook up vegan meals on a regular basis because doing so reduces my carbon footprint and allows me to focus on nutrient-dense foods that lead to better health outcomes. 

If you want a meal kit that is healthy, easy to make, and extremely delicious, look no further than Purple Carrot. You can use the code Diet30 here to receive $30 off of your first order and thank me later for an out-of this-world gastronomic experience! 

Tofu Banh Mi with Sunflower Seed Pate and Squash Pickles

Adapted from Purple Carrot

Time: 45 Minutes
Serves 2

½ cup sunflower seeds
1 package extra-firm tofu, drained and sliced into 6 pieces
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
⅓ cup potato starch
1 small bunch cilantro, leaves and tender stems
1 garlic clove
1 tbsp olive oil
2 French rolls, sliced lengthwise
2 tbsp Vegenaise®
2 oz squash pickles
2 large carrots (about 5 oz), grated
1 jalapeño, thinly sliced
2 oz spring mix
1 tbsp miso ginger dressing

Preheat the oven to 400°F. 

Place the sunflower seeds in a small saucepan and cover with an inch of water. Bring to a boil over high heat and reduce heat to low for 35 minutes. Drain. 

Wrap each tofu piece in a paper towel and gently press to remove excess water. Lightly season the tofu with salt and pepper.

Place the potato starch on a plate. Coat each piece of tofu in the potato starch, dusting off any excess. Place the tofu on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake until browned and crisp on the top side, about 15 to 20 minutes. Flip and cook on the second side for another 15 minutes.

Add the sunflower seeds to a food processor. Add half the cilantro, 1 clove of garlic, 1 tbsp olive oil, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Pulse until nearly smooth, scraping down the sides of the food processor as necessary.

Place French rolls in the oven to toast, about 3 to 5 minutes.

Spread the sunflower pate on one side of the warm rolls. Spread Vegenaise® on the other side and lay the crispy tofu on top. Add a few squash pickles, remaining cilantro, carrots, and jalapeño slices. 

Divide the spring mix between your plates and drizzle with miso ginger dressing. Add tofu banh mi sandwiches to the plates and serve with any remaining squash pickles.




Stir-Fried Noodles with Mushrooms & Broccoli

It doesn’t get better than weeknight stir-fries! 

This stir-fry recipe is delicious because it’s packed with flavor, from the mushrooms and chilies, to the lemongrass and garlic. I added a bit of broccoli for an additional punch of nutrients, but also because I had some leftover in my refrigerator! Stir-fries are great for that.

Is it just me, or is this easy stir-fry recipe just way too good to eat on a weeknight?

Stir-Fried Noodles with Mushrooms & Broccoli

Serves 4
Time: 20  Minutes

12 oz fresh udon noodles
2 cups broccoli florets
2 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp hoisin sauce
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp light brown sugar
2 tbsp fresh lemongrass, grated
1 large red onion, thinly sliced
2 tbsp garlic, minced
4-8 Thai chilies, roughly chopped
12 oz cremini or shiitake mushrooms, sliced
1 large jalapeño, seeded, halved, thinly sliced
1 tbsp sesame oil
Sriracha, to taste
1 bunch fresh chives, roughly chopped

Bring a pot of boiling salted water to a boil. Add the udon and boil for 2 minutes. Stir in the broccoli and continue boiling for 2 minutes until broccoli is al dente. Drain. Shock broccoli and udon in cold water. Drain again. Separate broccoli from udon and set aside. 

In a medium bowl, stir together light soy sauce, fish sauce, hoisin, vinegar, and sugar until combined. Set aside.

Heat a large wok with 1 tbsp sesame oil over medium-high heat. Stir in lemongrass, red onion, garlic, and chilies, and cook for 1 minute. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.

Add mushrooms to the wok and season with salt and pepper. Stir mushrooms over medium-high heat for 4-5 minutes, until tender. Return onion and chili mixture to the pan and stir-fry for 1 minute. Stir in the soy sauce mixture and add the broccoli. Continue stirring for 2 more minutes. Gently stir in noodles to combine and remove from heat.

Serve noodles in bowls. Garnish with chives and sriracha if desired. 



Stir-Fried Mushrooms and Tofu with Bok Choy

Aren't stir-fry recipes the best?! I love them because you have all of your ingredients prepped and ready, and then you toss them into the pan for a few minutes, and bam! Dinner is done!

I wanted to go vegetarian for my weeknight stir-fry recipe this week. Knowing that mushrooms and tofu make for amazing meat substitutes, that are healthy to boot, I added them to the mix with all of my favorite ingredients from Chinese cuisine, including five-spice, mirin, and sesame oil. Served over a bed of rice, with bok choy, this is definitely a stir-fry recipe to hit the spot!

Stir-Fried Mushrooms and Tofu with Bok Choy

Time: 25 Minutes
Serves 4

2 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
2 tbsp mirin
1 tsbp hoisin
2 tsbp sesame oil, divided
1/4 cup honey
2 tsp five-spice powder
1 tbsp ginger, minced
1 tsp garlic, minced
12 oz cremini or shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
14 oz tofu, drained, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 bunch Chinese chives, roughly chopped
8 birdseye chilies (optional)
3/4 lb bok choy, stemmed
1 tbsp peanut oil
Steamed rice, to serve

In a large bowl, stir together light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, mirin, hoisin, 1 tbsp sesame oil, honey, five-spice powder, ginger, and garlic. Add mushrooms, tofu, chives, and birdseye chilies, and stir to combine. Let marinate for 15 minutes.

Add 4 cups water 1 tbsp sesame oil to a large wok or Dutch oven and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add bok choy and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 1-2 minutes, until bok choy is still crisp, but tender. Transfer to a platter and toss with hoisin sauce. Keep warm.

Wipe out the wok and heat peanut oil over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and tofu mixture and stir-fry for about 5 minutes, until the mushrooms are tender. 

Serve stir-fry with bok choy over steamed rice. 



Szechuan Beef Lettuce Wraps

Feeling a little carbo-loaded after the weekend? Try this delicious recipe for Sichuan Beef Lettuce Wraps! They are finger-licking good! I like rice just as much as anyone else, but sometimes it’s nice to take a break from excessive carbing for a meal or two. Plus that means you get to eat a little more of the filling, guilt-free. Mmm, mmm, mmm!

Szechuan Beef Lettuce Wraps

Adapted from Kylie Kwong’s Simple Chinese Cooking
Time: 40 Minutes
Serves 4

1.5 lb ribeye beef fillets
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 large red chillies, finely sliced
1 tbsp finely diced ginger
3 garlic cloves, finely diced
2 tbsp Hoisin sauce
2 tsp Sichuan pepper & salt
1 cup finely sliced spring onions
Pinch Sichuan pepper & salt, extra
1 large head iceberg lettuce, leaves separated

Wrap beef fillets in plastic cling wrap. Place on a tray in the freezer for about 30 minutes or until slightly firm, so they are easy to slice finely without tearing. Remove plastic cling wrap and, using a sharp knife, cut beef fillets into 1/4 inch strips. Mince if desired.

Heat oil in a hot wok until surface seems to shimmer slightly. Add half the beef and stir-fry for 1 minute, stirring constantly to prevent beef sticking together. Remove from wok with a slotted spoon, drain well on kitchen paper and set aside. Repeat process with remaining beef. Remove excess oil from wok and wipe clean.

Heat extra oil in the same hot wok. Stir in chili, ginger and garlic and cook on a medium heat for 30 seconds, stirring constantly to ensure garlic doesn’t burn. Return beef to the wok with hoisin sauce and stir-fry for a further 30 seconds. Add Sichuan pepper & salt and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Lastly, stir through spring onions.

Divide beef and arrange over four large lettuce leaves. Sprinkle with extra Sichuan pepper & salt. 

Seitan and Bok Choy Stir-Fry over Wild Rice

Wheat meat, it’s what’s for dinner! I decided to work with seitan again, but this time in a bok choy stir fry and a twist on the recipe: adding soy sauce and minced garlic and ginger to the dough. It’s such an amazing meat substitute and really so incredible that vital wheat gluten and water can combine to form the likeness of your favorite style of meat. Not only is it economical, but your meat palate is pleased with that one vegan meal (or more) that we all should be eating a week for our health and to let the environment have a night off from meat production!

If you’re not sure what seitan is, have no fear. I didn’t even know what it was before a suggestion of a friend after I started my Instagram account last May. You can buy it at your local natural market, or you can easily make it on your own. All you do is mix a little vital wheat gluten with water and knead it into a dough for a few minutes. Then you pop it in some broth and cook it for about 45 minutes. Easy, right? The stir-fry recipe that follows is so simple that you can make it in your sleep, so definitely check this one out!

Seitan and Bok Choy Stir-Fry over Wild Rice

Time: 1 Hour
Serves 4

2 cups vital wheat gluten
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp minced ginger
4 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce, divided
1 1/4 cups water
4 cups vegetable broth
4 slices of ginger

Wild Rice
4 cups vegetable broth
1.5 cups wild rice

1 tbsp olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup water
4 heads baby bok choy, trimmed
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp ginger, minced
2 tbsp light brown sugar

In a large mixing bowl, combine vital wheat gluten, garlic, and ginger. Stir in 1 tbsp soy sauce and 1 1/4 cups water to combine. Knead dough for about 5 minutes, until the dough is firm. Let dough rest for 5 minutes and cut into 4 even pieces.

In a large skillet or Dutch oven, add vegetable broth, 3 tbsp soy sauce, and ginger slices and bring to a simmer. Add seitan pieces and reduce heat to low for 25 minutes. Flip pieces over, cover, and continue cooking for another 20 minutes, adding more water if needed. Remove from broth and let cool. Thinly slice seitan and set aside.

While seitan cooks, prepare wild rice by bringing broth to a boil. Add rice and reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 40-45 minutes, until some of the grains have burst open. Drain off any remaining liquid, fluff with a fork, and set aside. Keep warm.

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add seitan and season with pepper. Cook, stirring, until lightly browned. Set seitan aside. 

To the same skillet, add 1/4 cup water and bok choy. Bring to a simmer and cover for 2-3 minutes, until bok choy is tender. Stir in seitan, soy sauce, rice vinegar, ginger, and light brown sugar, and cook for 1-2 minutes, until combined. Serve immediately over wild rice. 



Thai Stir-Fried Noodles with Kale and Chicken: Pad See Ew

Sometimes your noodles fall apart and the dish is still tasty. This is a great example of that! I was sooo excited that the grocery store started carrying "fresh" flat rice noodles that I purchased them the first time I saw them on the shelf. But, it turned out that these noodles weren't as fresh as what I was used to purchasing at an amazing Asian market in downtown San Jose. Darn it! 

Adrian and I learned in the past that even storing the fresh noodles in the refrigerator for longer than a week would cause them to disintegrate, so I'm assuming that's what happened at the store. So if you're going to make these, you might want to check the shipment date with your marketplace to ensure freshness. I'm not too disappointed though, it's really just a different texture and the seasonings brings immense joy to my palate!

We usually make this dish with Chinese broccoli, but we have so much kale growing that it was a fun experiment. If you have access to Chinese broccoli, definitely go ahead and use it over kale. But even though it's not authentic, I'm loving the kale flavor. I'm pretty sure this dish works well with any related green from the brassica family.

Note/Reminder: Light soy sauce is not low-sodium soy sauce! Check out this article on Serious Eats for more.

Thai Stir-Fried Noodles with Kale and Chicken: Pad See Ew

Adapted from Thai Table
Time: 25 Minutes
Serves 4

2 tbsp peanut oil
6 cloves garlic
1/2 cup thinly sliced chicken thigh or breast
1 lb fresh flat rice noodles, 3/4-inch thick
2 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 lb kale or Chinese broccoli (Gai Lan), cut into two-inch long pieces; large stems halved
1 tsp ground white pepper

Light brown sugar
Fish sauce
Ground chili pepper
Light brown sugar
White vinegar
Ground white pepper

Heat a wok to high heat and then add oil. Drop in the chopped garlic and stir until fragrant, about 20 seconds. Add in the sliced chicken and stir until light brown. Add rice noodles, stirring carefully to break up the noodles. Then stir in light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, and sugar. Stir to mix the seasonings into the noodles and chicken. 

Open a spot in the middle of the pan, and drop the egg in. Scramble the egg until it is almost all cooked. Fold in the noodles into the egg until combined.

Add the kale stems and stir for a couple minutes. Then add kale pieces, a couple handfuls at a time, and carefully fold them in. Once the kale is tender, turn off heat and mix in white pepper. Serve on plates with condiments of your choice!