P.F. Chang's China Bistro, Inc.'s 40-plus restaurant chain, operating in 19 states, owes much of its success to founder Paul Fleming's unique idea of pairing oriental cuisine with American-style service. At the outset, when he opened the first of the restaurants in Scottsdale, Arizona, Fleming broke with the traditional Chinese restaurant format. With his collaborator, chef Philip Chiang, he devised a comparatively limited menu that featured far fewer dishes than the menus of typical, full-service, Chinese restaurants. Incorporating an American steak house dining style and a formidable selection of wines and cheeses, P.F. Chang's offers such additional oriental restaurant anomalies as espresso and cappuccino. Although P.F. Chang's China Bistros are stylish in decor, displaying motifs from the Ming and T'ang Dynasties and hand-painted murals, the dishes are moderately priced, partly because one of Fleming's aims was to provide high quality but affordable Chinese food for "the masses."

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Coconut Curry Vegetables




COCONUT CURRY VEGETABLES
P.F. Chang's China Bistro Copycat Recipe

Serves  2-4

Vegetables:
1 small onion, cut into 3/4 inch cubes
1 small red bell pepper, cubed
1 cup halved mushrooms
3 cups broccoli
1 cup thinly sliced carrots or whole sugar snap peas

Coconut Curry Sauce:
1/2 cup canned coconut milk
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons unseasoned rice vinegar or cider vinegar
2 teaspoons canola oil
2 teaspoons cornstarch dissolved in 1 1/2 tablespoons cold water

Separately blanch the broccoli and carrots until tender crisp in plain boiling water. Drain and rush under cold water to stop the cooking. Drain again. Combine the coconut curry Sauce ingredients. Taste and adjust the sugar to your liking.

Heat a wok or wide skillet over high heat until hot. Add the canola oil, swirl to glaze the pan. Then add the onions and bell pepper. Stir-fry until tender-crisp, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the mushrooms and stir until hot, a few minutes more. Add the blanched vegetables and toss to mix. Stir the sauce and add it to the pan. Bring it to a simmer, tossing to combine. Stir the cornstarch mixture to recombine and add it to the pan. Stir until the sauce turns glossy, about 10 seconds. Add the sesame oil and toss to mix.

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