Posts tagged rice plate
Hoisin Chicken
Hoisin Chicken - Eat Cho Food

How is it that the last few days before you go vacation are always absolutely crazy? I thought that was only something that happened when you worked a normal job, but nope! It definitely still has a way of happening when your job title is a hybrid of a million things. We’re heading back to Cleveland in a few days for a wedding and I’ll be staying an extra week to hang out with my family and learn a few more recipes from my mom! But before we get on that red eye flight to Cleveland I have a bajillion things I need to cook and cross off my to-do list!

I’m still coming down from a high after my Sur La Table dumpling class this Sunday. It was such a dream. The team at Sur La Table Los Gatos made my life so easy. They prepped and cleaned EVERYTHING for me. Normally, I’m prepping for a solid day and Reuben is covered in water from doing dishes afterwards. I just had to show up, remember how to make dumplings, and hang out with a bunch of people who love dumplings too! What a life it must be to always have people that help prep and access to 249,383 sets of bowls, mixing spoons, and dumpling steamers?! I have to get back to reality and clean my kitchen for the next few days of cooking. I have an exciting video shoot I’m styling for tomorrow! I’m super excited because it’s going to be on Food Network and Travel Channel, I think! I have 8 dishes I need to make by tomorrow afternoon, so I’ll probably spend of the rest of today standing in my kitchen prepping things and bopping to the Jonas Brothers. Not a bad day of work : )

Hoisin Chicken - Eat Cho Food
Hoisin Chicken - Eat Cho Food

In honor of going home for a few days, I wanted to share a meal that I grew up eating almost on a weekly basis. Hoisin Chicken! My mom makes this using chicken drumsticks, but you can use any cut of chicken you like! It’s sweet, salty, a little spicy, and soooooooo quick and easy to make. Whenever I tell people that I grew up in a Chinese restaurant, I feel like they assume I lived on chow mein and orange chicken. Chinese people don’t eat egg rolls, orange chicken, or scallion pancakes as a regular home cooked meal. Most of the dinners that my mom made consisted of 3 parts: Rice, Protein, and Vegetables. Sometimes the rice part would be replaced with noodles, but it was more or less a plate comprised of those components. Honestly, it’s not too different than what other cultures have for dinner. Mashed potatoes, steak, and broccoli is pretty much it!

Hoisin Chicken was part of a rotation of delicious meals coming out of my mom’s kitchen. Chinese BBQ ribs, chicken and broccoli, steak with oyster sauce, and shrimp with black bean sauce served over fluffy white rice and a side of stir-fried zucchini, green beans, or Chinese broccoli were some of my favorites! Other than the fact they all tasted amazing, they were also affordable and incredibly easy to make! I’m all about spending the extra time to slow cook things and making every component from scratch, but sometimes the days are crazy and you just gotta eat! That’s when meals like this come in handy!

Hoisin Chicken - Eat Cho Food

How to Make Hoisin Chicken

This dish comes together in about 30 minutes if you work quickly!

Start by marinating the chicken in oil, cornstarch salt, pepper, and hoisin. The cornstarch is key because it tenderizes your meat and helps make a thick and shiny sauce when you cook it! After about 15 minutes of chilling in your fridge, heat up some oil in a pan and throw your chicken in the pan. Make sure the chicken is in a single layer so all the pieces have a chance to get crispy on the edges. Leave the chicken alone for a few minutes and then stir it around so the other side of the chicken has a chance to cook.

Whisk together all the sauce ingredients and pour it over the chicken. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for a few minutes until the sauce is thick and shiny and your chicken is cooked through!

Serve immediately with warm jasmine rice and your favorite vegetable! I included a bonus step at the end of the recipe for how to quickly cook your vegetables in the same pan too!

Hoisin Chicken - Eat Cho Food

Hoisin Chicken

serves 2

chicken materials:

1 lb skinless chicken thighs
3 tbsp olive oil + 1 tbsp for cooking
1 tbsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp white pepper
1 tbsp hoisin

sauce materials:
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup hoisin
1 tsp cornstarch
1 tbsp Sriracha


  1. Cut chicken thighs into 1/2” pieces and place in a mixing bowl. Add 3 tbsp olive oil, cornstarch, salt, white pepper, and 1 tbsp hoisin to the chicken. Mix to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 15 minutes

  2. While the chicken is chilling, whisk together all your sauce materials in a small bowl. Mix until cornstarch has dissolved and set aside.

  3. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken to the pan so that it is in a single layer. Allow the chicken to sear on one side for 3 minutes. Use tongs or a spatula and stir the chicken so that the other side cooks for another 2-3 minutes. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally until chicken is cooked through.

  4. Lower heat to a medium and pour the sauce mixture into the pan. Stir the pan so that the chicken is evenly coated. Continue to cook for 2-3 more minutes until the sauce is thick and shiny.

  5. Serve immediately with warm white rice and vegetables!

bonus step:

  1. Once you remove the chicken from the pan, increase the heat back up to medium high and add a little bit of oil in the pan. Add in your zucchini or vegetable of choice and stir fry for a few minutes until vegetables are at your preferred doneness. Season with a bit more salt and pepper or as you wish!

Vietnamese Style Pork Chops and Coconut Rice

Hey! Happy hump day, guys! We are going to make it! 

Quick Unimportant Updates: Reuben and I watched Ratatouille over the weekend and it was wonderful! Next Food Network Star is back on and my desire to try out/practice has been reignited. I think Giada would be into me. Russell Sage tapped out on Naked and Afraid XL and the the women who watch this show (is it just me?) rejoiced! Ever since Reuben started @beermeatsbread, we've been collecting the beer cans in a nice clean bag and handing them over directly to the sweet old asian ladies/gentlemen that collect cans. You should do it too! It makes them so happy and their happiness will make you so happy!

My Love Hate Relationship with SF Update: Lately, I've been really overwhelmed/overstimulated by downtown San Francisco. My new work commute and new office location is a lot more "active" than it was before. The bus I take now is more cramped with a constant flow of people squeezing on and off. I walk right through the tourist center downtown to get from my bus stop to work and there are so many crazies! There is woman at my bus stop that hisses at everyone. And ugh. The smells. This past week alone (it's only Wednesday) I've see some nasty (I mean real nasty) things doing down on the block my new office is on. I'll spare you the details. I don't know if I'm just being a wimp or if anyone else who works downtown feels this way, but it's just a lot! I cry a little inside when I have to leave the safety of my Inner Richmond apartment... jk... but sort of.

I've talked about this before, but I'm an easily over stimulated person and I have to really work on including daily routines and rituals into my life that calm and center me. SF stresses me out. I juggle a lot of random passions and I don't want to give up any of them. I try to be a good friend/girlfriend/daughter/sister/niece/cousin. I hate disappointing or saying no to anyone. A lot of times, I feel like all these things pull me into every direction, but I just want to stay wrapped up in my blanket... alone. Sometimes, my emotions get the best of me, but I try my best to keep my mind balanced and in check. Although, this overwhelming feeling is the reason why I paint and cook. It's how I focus my thoughts and relax. Chopping vegetables and watching watercolors move on paper is so cathartic. Mental health and wellness is so so so so so important and I wish more people made maintaining their own mental health a priority!

If I told you mental health included making pork chops, would that make you take it seriously? 😜

Just a little perk! These pork chops are juicy and pack a flavor punch after some sweet caramelization in the pan. But, the unexpected star of this plate is the coconut rice. It is incredible! I want to take a nap on a bed of this coconut rice and never take the bus downtown again! For real though, this rice plate is I'mgoingtoinhalethis good. It's just like those giant meat and rice plates you get from your favorite Vietnamese place. I'm sure this will be on my dinner menu rotation if we move out of SF into the rural Ohio countryside. Aaaa the dream.

Make a pork chop, paint some flowers, dance your pants off, run 10 miles, watch Say Yes to the Dress, do what you got to do to keep your mind in tip top shape!

Vietnamese Style Pork Chop and Coconut Rice

serves 4


1. Start by making your coconut rice. Add rice to the bowl of your rice cooker or pot and rinse under cold water until the water runs clear. Add coconut milk, water, brown sugar and salt to the rice and mix to combine. If cooking in a rice cooker, cover with lid and simply press "cook" and wait until it pops to "warm". If cooking in a pot, bring the pot to a boil and then cover with lid and reduce to a simmer on low heat. Cover and allow to cook for 40-45 mins. In both instances, once the rice is done cooking fluff with a fork of rice paddle and cover again to sit for another 20 minutes. The rice will still seem really wet, but after 20 minutes it will be light and fluffy.

2. While your rice is cooking, mix together shallots, garlic, brown sugar, fish sauce, dark soy, rice vinegar, and black pepper.

3. Season your pork chops on both sides with salt and poke them with a fork to help the marinade soak in. Transfer pork chops to a gallon size ziplock bag and pour your marinade into the bag. Seal bag and allow the pork chops to marinade at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.

4.  Heat up oil in your skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium high heat. Once hot, add your pork chops in to the pan. 2 can normally fit. Sear on one side for 3-4 minutes. Flip and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Remove pork chops from heat and allow to rest for 5 minutes.

5. Serve pork chops with coconut rice and some refreshing thinly sliced cucumbers!

Bonus step : sear some green onions in the skillet with the leftover oil and pork drippings and serve with the meal... so good!

For Pork Chops:

4 - 1/2" Pork Chops

1 finely chopped small shallot

3 finely chopped garlic cloves

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup fish sauce

2 tbsp dark soy sauce

2 tbsp rice vinegar

1 tsp black pepper


2 tbsp olive oil

1 cucumber thinly sliced 

green onions - optional


For Coconut Rice:

2 cups Jasmine Rice (my fav)

1 - 13.5 oz can coconut milk

3 cups water

2 tbsp brown sugar

1 tsp salt