Sunday, September 28, 2008

Inspired by Penny! Oriental...For Sure

***Dedicated to the person who always (well, not all the time) takes me to the grocery store. Even though she makes me buy her stuff just to take me (what are friends for, right) to the store - I'm still dedicating this post to her - lol - hey!***

So, I ended up at one of my's Penny's Noodle Shop. I think there are two in the Chicago area; I go to the one in Oak Park. They're a great place - I love them. I almost always get this soup that's like a broth with vermicelli and beef and some type of crispy roll. It's always on point. So, inspired, I figured I'd try my luck at something similar at home. Good idea because it turned out totally awesome. So, I present to you the DTW version of Beef Soup (that I really made with chicken stock) and Chicken Crispy Rolls.

Oh, I should mention that I'm always upset because you typically don't get enough of the noodles (hence the name of the joint) with the soup. So, I increased the amount - and of course I amped up the beef too - lol. It proved to be worth it. The recipe calls for cilantro - but, guess what - I had none. So imagine the picture above just the way it is - but with cilantro. Wanna know why I have no cilantro? Well because of the Mexican affair (and a second round of fish tacos during the week) I had last weekend. ANYWAY, enough of me talking - here are the recipes and the pics which are in no particular order!

Beef Noodle Soup

-¼ lb. of whole wheat vermicelli

½ medium onion, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, minced

4 cups of chicken stock

1 pound of bottom round steak, cut into strips

2 table spoons of olive oil

1 teaspoon of five spice powder

Salt and pepper

Cilantro, to taste

In a pot, sauté onion and garlic in olive oil until translucent. Add bottom round and cook until well done and seared. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil. Add five spice powder and a dash of salt and pepper. Add vermicelli and cook until done. Top with cilantro and serve.

Chicken Crispy Roll

1 lb of ground chicken

½ medium onion, chopped

1 cup of each, chopped cabbage, peas, chopped carrots, and sweet bell peppers

1 pack (20 count) won ton wrappers

1 teaspoon of each, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder.

4 tablespoons of olive oil, separated by two tablespoons each

Any non-flavored high temperature cooking oil for frying (canola, corn, or vegetable)

Brown ground chicken and onions in 2 tablespoons of olive oil until cooked well. Remove from pan and add the other 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add cabbage, peas, carrots, and sweet bell peppers until heated through but still with a bite. Remove from pan and combine with chicken, onions, and seasonings (salt, pepper, cayenne, paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder). After well combined taste and adjust if necessary. Using a tablespoon as a guide, add a spoonful of the mixture to the egg roll wrapper. Wrap (I show you how below) and then fry in 375 degree oil on both sides until golden brown.

The finished product! Why this pic is first I'll never know!

Fyring up the crispy rolls. Notice that cast iron skillet?

Just starting to fry.

Finished rolling - ready to fry it.

The finished step. Use a touch of water to seal the deal.

Step 5 - Roll the wrapper leaving the top edge available so you can seal it

The ground turkey (or chicken if you don't forget like I did) and veggies mixture.

Step 1 - spooning a tablespoon of the mixture in the bottom-center of the wrapper

Step 2 - Fold the bottom into the middle.

Step 3 - Fold the left side into the middle.

Step 4 - Fold the right side into the middle.

The onions and garlic for the soup.

The beef, garlic, and onions for the soup.

Ground turkey and onions. I know the recipe says chicken, but I took out turkey by mistake. Just as tasty though.

Prepping the veggies. And yes - those peas and carrots are TOTALLY frozen.

Cooking off the veggies for the crispy rolls.


Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Both dishes look mighty scrumptious! I love Asian food! A great meal!

Cheers and have a great week,


Núria said...

It looks delicious Darius! I hardly ever cook asian at home but your dishes are mouthwatering :D

laughingwolf said...

good stuff, thx d :)

Anonymous said...

Looks good. But I though you said you made soup. I don't see any soup in that bowl. I see beef and I see noodles, but no soup. Maybe it's just the angle of the picture.

glamah16 said...

I went to Pennys in Bucktown when I used to work nearby. It was good. CS and I love the University Villages and Chinatowns Joy Yees. Some disagree, but you shlould check it out if you havent. So much from all regions and the best value.

Darius T. Williams said...

@ Rosa - Thanks - have a great week too!

@ Nuria - thanks so much. I never really cook Asain either. I'm just trying my hand at my interpretation of a great meal I always have.

@ laughingwolf - you're totally welcome!

@ Boredntalkative - I did make soup. LOL - look at the recipe, there's stock - it's a broth. It's in there - kinda. The restaurant always gives TONS of broth and no noodles - so during my interpretation I upped the noodles and downsized the amount of broth. LOL - but there's broth in there - you just can't see it.

Foodycat said...

I don't know how you can fit in those crispy rolls after that soup - I could do one or the other. They look fantastic. I haven't had a good Asian soup in ages!

Anonymous said...

I am SO making those chicken rolls this week!!!

What kind of sauce did you put on them??

OhioMom said...

I so want YOU to make me these crispy rolls ... I have tried and failed more than once. You are only a few hours away, come on over and I will make a pot of tea :)

Anonymous said...

Those egg rolls look perfect! The noodles sound delicious too. I think Asian is my favorite food.

BaL said...


I really enjoyed reading your profile :) Sharing same passions.

And this dish looks more than a daily cooking stuff lol Quite charming!

Cheers from Istanbul...

jameil1922 said...

i don't even like oriental food most of the time. but once again you made something look deeeelicioso!!

RunningMom said...

Those crispy rolls look great! I'm allergic to Turkey though, so ground (or maybe shredded) chicken would have to do for me.

I have a great Asian soba noodle and seaweed soup recipe that I love. I had to recreate the soup after my favorite Japanese resturant closed. Inspiration comes from many places and why buy it when you can make it yourself!

I made Botanas last night - I put pictures up too, come take a look when you have a sec.

Lovebabz said...

Ahh this I can EAT! Asians do not use butter, cheese, milk! This looks delicious!

I am WOWED again! Shoot you may have me putting back on my chef jacket...ok maybe not (smile)

Nik Snacks said...

Yeah, I want the rolls, too. I'll eat like 5. And that'll be my meal for the entire day. And a coke. OK, and maybe some rice. And a fortune cookie. Did I mention I'd like some orange slices as well???

sony said...

::drool:: Wow...Asian food cooked in a cast iron skillet. Now THAT's what I call talent, lol.
Asian food is my fave cuisine & I just thank you for the step by step instructions that we can try. Everything looks absolutely delicious....I feel like I can smell the food from here.

Dee said...

Man, you eat well! I have my eye on the beef noodles!
Thank you for the kind words, Darius :)

Katrina said...

Your food looks SO good! And yes, my next post will be more cookies. Don't say I didn't warn you! ;)

The Lady Girl said...

I think I want to marry you based on this post alone. Dang this looks delicious.

Bellini Valli said...

This meal is a great tribute to Penny's Noodle Shop:D

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

The crispy rolls look like they're to die for. I love your soup too. It looks very authentic.

Natashya said...

I love Asian food too. Especially spring rolls, I could live on spring rolls. Yum.

Pat said...

Darius, you made this look so simple! I want to amke those rolls now and the soup sounds awesome! Thanks!
I love the fish tacos below too!
Pat in NY

StickyGooeyCreamyChewy said...

Whoa! Those eggrolls look perfect! I can never get mine like that. The whole dish looks great. I love any kind of noodle bowl!

Prudy said...

Love the step by step pics-it's been far too long since I made egg rolls.

Barbara Gallo Farrell said...

Egg rolls and noodles, I'm there, but veggie all the way.

Don't you just love that cast iron skillet for frying, and just about anything else?!

One Man’s Opinion said...

You know what's funny? I am not a cook, by any means, but i am totally drawn to your cooking blog. I have no idea why. Am I nuts?

Anonymous said...

I added you to my Blog Roll I am glad I found you bruh! Keep the good recipes rolling in.

chou said...

Darius--you've basically visually deconstructed the crispy roll by doing it backwards. So. Cool.

Proud Italian Cook said...

Oooh, Those crispy rolls have my name on them! Great job with everything! You did Penny proud!

Anonymous said...

I keep wanting to try fish tacos. I hear so much about them :)

Lela said...

Those rolls have way too many steps for my style, but I'll be making the soup for sure! Thanks!

Rayrena said...

Yum! I love fried eggrolls! You make it look pretty easy to make.

kellypea said...

I'm totally schlepping through your posts and drooling this morning. LOVE those rolls...Hmm...maybe Asian tonite?

Nicole said...

Where did you find such large won ton wrappers? My husband would love those too! I may put it on the menu this week.