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Better Butter Burger

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Better Butter Burger

Makes: 4 burgers
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

The idea of cramming a big chunk of butter inside a burger might not be the first thing you think of – but it should be.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 ½ lbs ground sirloin
  • Kosher salt & fresh ground pepper
  • 4 hamburger buns, toasted
  • Herb Garlic Butter, see recipe 
  • Lettuce, tomato, mayo – you know what to do here
     

DIRECTIONS

  1. Form meat into 4 loose balls
  2. Remove Herb Garlic Butter from fridge, unwrap and cut four ½ inch discs, and gently press a disc into each ball, then gently form patty around the disc
  3. Preheat grill to medium high and cook burgers to your desired doneness, about 4 to 5 minutes a side for medium rare
  4. Build on toasted buns with whatever you like – not that it’ll really matter, cuz honestly it’s that good.
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* Finlandia butter is available at Vons, Albertsons and Safeway.

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Pork Chow Mein

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Pork Chow Mein

Get ready for the Chinese New Year with these great noodles - and the quick little black bean sauce makes this ridiculous.

Serves 2-4

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tablespoons black bean garlic sauce
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • ½ pound boneless pork (tenderloin or country style ribs work great), thinly sliced 
  • ½ tablespoon of neutral oil*
  • *(unflavored oils such as canola, vegetable or peanut)
  • ¼ pound sugar snap peas sliced diagonally
  • ½ pound shitake mushrooms
  • 4 oz chow mein noodles, cooked
  • green onions, chopped to garnish

 DIRECTIONS

  1. Combine black bean and soy sauce, set aside
  2. Heat sautéed pan on medium-high, add oil and pork and cook cooked until pork is just done, about 4 minutes ­ - remove pork mixture to a bowl
  3. In same pan, heat to high and add a little more oil
  4. Add peas and stir fry until crisp tender, about 3 minutes then add to pork mixture
  5. Return pan to heat again, add more oil and the shitakes, cook until softened, about 5 minutes
  6. Turn heat up to high, add the pork mixture and then the add soy/black bean - stir until heated through
  7. Add chow mein noodles, combine well, plate and garnish with green onions
  8. Serve

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Wings with Curry Sauce

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Wings with Curry Sauce

When it comes to curry, I’m like the little old lady in the Frank’s commercial – I put that shit on everything.

INGREDIENTS

  • 18 chicken wings
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon flour 
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 1/3 cup coconut milk
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon Sambal Chili Paste or Sriracha
  • Kosher salt
  • cilantro or diced green onion for garnish 

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat broiler
  2. Place wings on a foil lined baking sheet and broil until done, 10 - 15 minutes a side
  3. While they're cooking, melt butter in a small pot over medium/low heat
  4. When it’s melted, add flour and curry powder – stir well, mix together about a minute 
  5. Pour in both milks – stirring well with a whisk until it begins to thicken
  6. Add chili sauce, season with salt and stir well – keep warm
  7. Remove wings from oven, put in a large bowl and toss with as much curry sauce as you like
  8. Plate and garnish with cilantro or green onions
  9. Serve
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Scallop Pan Roast

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Scallop Pan Roast

These remind me one of my favorite restaurants - the Oyster Bar at the Palace Station Hotel in Las Vegas. Btw, I said favorite restaurant, not hotel.  This is the place where OJ was arrested.

Serves 2 generously

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 Sea Scallops defrosted or fresh
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup dry vermouth
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1/4 cup clam juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon horseradish
  • 1/2 lemon, juice only
  • 1/2 tablespoon Tabasco (I used Cholula) 
  • small pinch Kosher salt
  • parsley for garnish

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a deep skillet on low/medium heat melt the butter
  2. Then, EXCEPT for the scallops, whipped cream and parsley.. add all the remaining ingredients, simmer for 3-4 minutes
  3. Pat the scallops dry
  4. Add the cream and scallops to the skillet, simmer for 3 minutes
  5. Serve on a bed of steamed white rice, garnish with parsley enjoy! 
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Fry Sauce

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Fry Sauce

Meant for dipping and not frying. Serve with fries for dipping…or put on a burger…or on a hotdog…or in a sandwich…or in egg salad…or tuna salad, or on a brisket grilled cheese. Ok, basically everywhere.

Makes 3/4 cup

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup of ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon Cholula hot sauce (or whatever kind you like)
  • 2 tablespoons dill pickle juice
  • 1 regular size dill pickle, diced very small
  • Kosher salt & fresh ground pepper

DIRECTIONS

  1. Put all ingredients in a bowl and mix well to combine
  2. Store in fridge a couple weeks

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Salmon Soup

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Salmon Soup

A Finnish classic – that you MUST make. 

Serves 4-6

INGREDIENTS 

  • 2 small leeks, cleans and sliced thin– but just the white & light green parts 
  • 2 tablespoons Finlandia butter*
  • 5 cups fish stock, chicken or vegetable stock will work but try to find fish stock if you can
  • 1 pound fingerling potatoes, sliced crosswise into ¼ inch slices
  • 3 small carrots, sliced crosswise into1/4 inch slices
  • 1 pound fresh salmon, no skin and bones removed cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • ¾ cup finely chopped fresh dill
  • Kosher salt & fresh ground pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

  1. Cook the leeks in butter over medium heat in a pot until just softened – about 5 minutes
  2. Add the stock, potatoes, carrots and bring to a boil 
  3. Let cook 10-12 minutes or until vegetables have softened
  4. Then add the cream and salmon and cook about 5 minutes more or until salmon is firm – try not to let it boil
  5. Turn off the heat, add the dill, stir well and season to taste with salt and pepper
  6. Cover with a lid and let sit 5 or so more minutes and serve (with some delicious dark bread like they would in Finland).

*Finlandia Butter can be found at Vons, Albertsons and Safeway. Finlandia Cheeses are also available, in Southern California at Costco and other fine retailers.

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Loose Meat Sandwich

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Loose Meat Sandwich

An old-school, terrible sounding thing – but oh crap is it fricking good!

Makes 4-6

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 yellow onion, diced or thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 lb approx. ground beef (I feel the packages are closer to 1.3 pounds for some reason theses days – but anything close will do)
  • Salt & fresh ground pepper to taste
  • ½ teaspoon each onion powder & garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire
  • 4 -6 of your favorite buns, even hot dog buns will work nicely you’ll just need more of them
  • ½ cup French Fried Onions

DIRECTIONS

  1. Soften onions in pan with oil over medium heat about 5 minutes
  2. Put in the ground beef and cook until most of the pink is gone
  3. Add seasonings, stir well to combine and cook a couple minutes
  4. Add broth & Worcestershire and let simmer about 15 minutes or until the broth has just evaporated
  5. Toast buns lightly, add some of the meat, then the crunchy onions, the top bun and… eat.

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Cacio e Pepe

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Cacio e Pepe

One of the absolute simplest and most delicious pasta recipes ever.  A classic from the old country (Italy, not Canada) and it must be in your lineup of pastas.

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS

  • ¼ pound dried spaghetti
  • 2 tablespoons Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1-2 teaspoons course ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup Pecorino romano cheese, finely grated

DIRECTIONS

  1. Cook pasta in salted water for 7 minutes
  2. Put olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat and add pepper – cook, stirring often about 3-4 minutes, turn off the heat and add 1/3 cup of the pasta water
  3. When the pasta is ready, drain – keeping about a cup and a half of the pasta water and add pasta to the pan with pepper
  4. Turn the heat back on low and add the cheese
  5. Stir the pasta with the cheese well, adding reserved pasta water to make a smooth sauce – as thick or thin as you like
  6. Plate with a little more cheese and fresh ground pepper
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Mexican Lasagna

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Mexican Lasagna

I made this one night after using a box of lasagna noodles I had dropped - gotta say it's much easier than dealing with the whole noodles. Either make it an oven proof pan, or make it then put into an oven safe casserole dish for baking. 

Serves 4-6

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 lb lasagna noodles, broken into 2 inch-ish pieces
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • ½ yellow onion, diced small
  • 2 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1 pack fajita seasoning, about 1.3 ounces
  • 15oz can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, finely chopped 

DIRECTIONS

  1. Heat oven to 350
  2. Break the lasagna noodles into 1 to 2” pieces and cook until done
  3. Brown ground beef in cast iron pan or oven proof skillet until about halfway done, then add onions and garlic – cook until beef is fully cooked and vegetables softened - drain any excess fat
  4. Put back on heat and add fajita seasoning – start with about half the pack, mix well and taste - I generally use most of the pack
  5. Then stir in tomatoes, drained noodles and 1 cup of the cheese
  6. Combine everything well, and season with salt and pepper if necessary
  7. Simmer about 5 minutes, top with remaining cheese and put into the oven, or put into a casserole dish - then bake until bubbly and the top is beginning to brown - 20-30 minutes
  8. Remove and serve, garnished cilantro.
mexican lasagna cooking guy

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FRESH SPRING ROLLS

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FRESH SPRING ROLLS

Perfect food for when it is 800 degrees outside (San Diego summertime).

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 8 rice wrappers (approx 8 inch diameter)
  • 1 cup poached shrimp, chilled, shells and tails removed, sliced lengthways
  • 1 cup my Black Bean Salmon  recipe, chilled
  • 1 cup shredded Napa Cabbage
  • 1 cup matchstick carrots
  • 1 cup matchstick red pepper
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • big handful of lettuce leaves

SAUCE

  • hoisin sauce
  • Chili Garlic sauce (Huy Fong brand, the same people that make Sriracha)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Prep everything
  2. Mix Sauce: 3 parts Hoisin to 1 part Chili Garlic sauce, set aside  
  3. Fill large bowl with warm water
  4. One at a time, place 1 rice paper in water for 15 seconds
  5. Place flat on clean kitchen cloth
  6. Layer a strip of each ingredient, on top of each other, then roll it up like a mini buritto  
  7. Repeat until you have used up all the ingredients
  8. Serve with sauce, dip and enjoy! 
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Hash Brown Crust Quiche

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Hash Brown Crust Quiche

 But the hash browns aren't in, they're the crust!

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cups thawed frozen hash browns
  • ¼ pound bacon, diced
  • 1 cup mushrooms, sliced thin
  • ½ green pepper, diced
  • ½ small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 6 eggs
  • ½ cup Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • Big pinch Kosher salt

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 400
  2. Press hash browns into pan or pie dish – like you would pie dough
  3. Bake until golden brown, approx 25 minutes
  4. During this time, cook bacon in a large skillet, until almost crispy, then add mushrooms, peppers & onions and cook on medium heat, until softened -add garlic in the last minute and spread into pan
  5. Beat eggs, stir in cheese, season with salt & pepper and mix in cheese
  6. Pour mixture into pan and bake I oven, 15-20 minutes or until just firm, serve.

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Chinese Green Beans & Pork

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Chinese Green Beans & Pork

I could swear these are exactly like they made em at the Bamboo Terrace about a 100 years ago.

Serves 2-4

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 5 ounces green beans, cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 5 ounces ground pork ( or chicken)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Pinch Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper (Szechwan pepper corns if possible)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce

DIRECTIONS

  1. Heat wok or pan on high until almost smoking, then add oil and green beans
  2. Stir quickly about 3 minutes, or until crisp tender - remove to a bowl
  3. Return wok to heat, add a little more oil and then the pork
  4. Stir quickly until almost no longer pink, and add garlic stirring well - season with salt & pepper
  5. Add soy sauce, stir through to mix and serve
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HOISIN SRIRACHA WINGS

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HOISIN SRIRACHA WINGS

These are deliciously sweet with a little kick, you can dial up the heat a little more just add more Sriracha.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 dozen chicken wings
  • 3 tablespoons Garlic Hoisin Sauce
  • 3 tablespoons soy
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 3 tablespoons Sriracha
  • big pinch Kosher salt
  • 2 big garlic cloves

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven 425
  2. Mix all ingredients, everything but chicken
  3. Coat chicken with 3/4 of the sauce
  4. Cook on lined baking sheet for 15 minutes, flip, brush with a little sauce, cook for 15 minutes
  5. Flip again, brush with the remaining sauce and cook another 5 minutes

 

TO GRILL

    Pre-heat medium grill. Cook plain wings, turning occasionally, for 20 minutes. Baste generously with sauce and grill for 5 minutes.

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    Orzo Carbonara

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    Orzo Carbonara

    Makes 4 servings

    INGREDIENTS

    • 1/2 pound bacon, diced
    • 1/2 pound orzo
    • 1 pound asparagus, cut into 1 inch lengths
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • 1 egg yolk
    • 1/3 cup heavy cream
    • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese plus extra for serving
    • Kosher salt & freshly ground pepper

     

    DIRECTIONS

    1. Cook bacon in a large skillet until just getting crispy, remove all but 2 tablespoons of oil and turn off heat
    2. Boil large pot of water and add orzo cook 8 minutes and after 4 minutes of cooking, add asparagus to cooking orzo
    3. While it cooks, beat egg in a bowl and stir in cream
    4. When orzo is done, drain but reserve 1 cup of the water
    5. Add drained orzo and asparagus to the pan with bacon, and heat on medium until warmed through
    6. Add garlic, and stir through until very fragrant - about 45 seconds, turn off heat
    7. Stir in beaten egg/cream and 1/2 cup of the cheese - season with Kosher salt and lots of black pepper
    8. Mix well and add as much reserved pasta water to make it creamy
    9. Serve with extra Parmesan
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    Loose Meat Sandwich

    This is essentially a hamburger with no structure. And if ur not from where they're popular, you might think they sound gross. But they’re anything but - in fact they’re effing great!

    Makes 4 sandwiches

    INGREDIENTS

    • 1 yellow onion, diced
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1 pound ground beef
    • 1/2 teaspoon each salt, onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper & cayenne
    • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
    • 1 cup beef broth
    • 4 hamburger buns, or rolls or whatever - some bread kinda thing
    • Butter for buns
    • 2 ounces French’s French Fried Onions

    DIRECTIONS

    1. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook onion in oil until softened - about 5 minutes
    2. Add ground beef and continue cooking until just browned
    3. Add seasoning and Worcestershire sauce, mix well and add broth
    4. Simmer until the broth is gone - about 15 minutes
    5. Butter and toast or grill buns
    6. Put some loose meat on a bun, top with a layer of crispy onions and add top bun
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    Spanish Chorizo Hash

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    Spanish Chorizo Hash

    Who says hash has to be corned beef? Cuz I certainly don't!

    Makes 2 - 3 servings (kinda depends on you)

    INGREDIENTS

    • 2 tablespoons butter
    • 1/2 medium red onion, diced
    • 1/2 pound cold leftover cooked potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
    • 4-6 ounces Spanish Chorizo, chopped
    • Kosher salt
    • Eggs poached, fried, scrambled – again, up to you

    DIRECTIONS

    1. Add butter to a medium sized pan and cook onion until just softened, about 3 minutes
    2. Add potatoes and cook another 5 minutes until just getting crispy
    3. Add Chorizo, season with salt & cook stirring often for maybe another 5 - 7 minutes, until crispy all around
    4. Serve with eggs
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    Egg, Bacon and Hash Brown Taco

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    Egg, Bacon and Hash Brown Taco

    This was created when I opened the fridge and thought... "what the hell am I gonna make, and what can I use up?". I love leftovers.

    Makes 2

    INGREDIENTS

    • 2 eggs, whisked
    • 4 bacon strips, chopped (keep fat)
    • 1 cup hash browns
    • 2 teaspoons Adobo sauce
    • 2 tablespoons sour cream
    • 2 appetizer size corn tortillas

    DIRECTIONS

    1. In medium skillet, medium heat cook bacon until little crispy, set bacon aside, keep 2 tablespoons of fat in skillet
    2. Add hash browns to skillet, cook on medium heat for 2 minutes
    3. Cook scrambled egg separately
    4. Warm the tortillas
    5. Build: tortilla, sour cream, drizzle Adobo sauce, egg, hash brown and bacon
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    Super Simple Black Bean Burgers

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    Super Simple Black Bean Burgers

    Makes 2 big burgers or 3 smaller ones

    INGREDIENTS

    • 1/4 yellow onion, diced
    • Olive oil
    • 1 small clove garlic
    • One 15 ounce can black beans, drained
    • 1/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs
    • 1 egg, beaten
    • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
    • 1/2 teaspoon paprika, smoked paprika if you have
    • Kosher salt & fresh ground pepper to taste
    • Sliced Monterey jack cheese
    • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
    • 2 or 3 buns, something good though ya hear me?

    Optional: tomato slices, shredded iceberg lettuce, avo slices – basically whatever your little heart desires

     

    DIRECTIONS

    1. Cook onion in a non-stick pan with a little oil until just softened
    2. Add garlic and cook until really fragrant, 30-45 seconds more, then set aside
    3. Mash 2/3’s of the drained beans in a medium bowl, then add remaining beans, onion & garlic, egg, panko and seasonings
    4. Mix everything well to combine, put a little oil on your hands and shape into 2 or 3 patties
    5. Heat the pan you cooked the onions in, add a little more oil and cook patties until crispy and brown on each side – 6-7 minutes total
    6. Add cheese slices when you flip them over
    7. Toast buns lightly and serve
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    Simple Lemon Pasta

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    Simple Lemon Pasta

    If you can't make this, no one can.

    Serves 2

    INGREDIENTS

    • 1/2 pound pasta, you can choose
    • 1/3 cup olive oil
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 lemon, zest and juice
    • 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
    • 1/3 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese, plus a little more for garnish
    • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

    DIRECTIONS

    1. Cook noodles according to package directions
    2. About 1/4 way though, heat olive oil a large pan on medium heat and add garlic
    3. Just as it get super fragrant, about 30 seconds, and zest and juice of lemon and red pepper flakes
    4. Stir well to combine and let simmer about a minute
    5. Drain pasta and add to sauce along with cheese and parsley - mix well to combine
    6. Plate and top with a little more cheese and parsley
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    SWEET AND SOUR CHICKEN

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    SWEET AND SOUR CHICKEN

    With almost no ingredients. I'm always here for you. This is awesome, I say, it beats takeout any day!

    Serves 4

    INGREDIENTS

    • 1/2 cup ketchup
    • 1/4 cup soy sauce
    • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • 1 tablespoon. cornstarch
    • 1 tablespoon canola oil
    • 1.5 pounds chicken, breasts or thighs sliced into thin strips
    • 2 green onions, white & light green parts only, diced fine
    • sesame seeds for garnish

     

    DIRECTIONS

    1. Combine first 5 ingredients, mix well and set aside
    2. Heat wok or pan well, then add oil and then chicken
    3. Stir fry until just done, then add about 1/3 the sauce
    4. Mix to combine and let bubble away about a minute so it thickens
    5. Serve on rice or noodles garnished with green onions and sesame seeds
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