Billionaires Love Millionaire Chicken
Millionaire chicken is a recipe my friend’s mother learned in China decades ago. Her incredible cooking – for three hungry sons and sometimes me – helped inspire my love of Asian food. I modified her recipe a bit.
You’ll want to poach a whole chicken, let it cool and pull the meat.
Add half a cup of rice vinegar and chill in the fridge.
Clean and chop a head of lettuce.
Toast 1 teaspoon crushed Sichuan peppers until they smoke, then add:
1 tablespoon Sichuan chili oil
5 tablespoons neutral oil
1 clove of minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
4 slices of ginger
4 tablespoons honey or brown sugar
8 tablespoons soy sauce.
When this starts to sizzle pour it over your plates of chicken and lettuce.
Garnish with chopped scallions.
The key to this recipe is the Sichuan peppers. As you probably know these have more of a numbing effect than chilis.
One thing about this dish that I remember from my childhood is the crunch they provide to the dish.
The Mala Market imports potent Sichuan peppers. For $15 plus $5 shipping I got a 2 ounce bag of Da Hong Pao Sichuan peppers from Wudu, China. Just inhaling from the bag of untoasted peppers made my face feel numb and the effect stayed with me for hours. You only need to use tiny amounts of this stuff.
I discovered Mala Market on J. Kenji Lopez-Alt’s Instagram page. Kenji’s book, The Wok, is out now and is a best-seller. Mala Market sells his book too:
“The Wok: Recipes and Techniques, the newest masterwork from J. Kenji Lopez-Alt, is, as the name suggests, dedicated not to a specific cuisine but to a specific pan—the all-day, everyday, all-purpose wok. It includes recipes from Japan, Korea, Thailand and Southeast Asia, and—primarily—from China, the birthplace of the wok. And within China, it has a heavy emphasis on Sichuan dishes, much to our delight.
I’ll write a review of The Wok at some point after I walk two blocks down the street from Nirvana Wok headquarters to buy a copy at the bookstore that now also contains a bar with 50 beers and ciders on tap, a kosher bagel place and a different food truck every night. Life in Seattle is rough for some of us.
“Delivery Orders by the Pound: All year round!”
Saw a van in the parking lot of U.S. Foods with branding for Sharkbite Ceviches. They have a weird yet charming origin story:
“One day, after working several years as a food prep, Marcos’s roommate asked him to prepare some shrimp ceviche. Marcos decided – even though he did not know how to prepare it – that he would give it a shot, so … he fried it! When his roommate came back, he found an enthusiastic Marcos who was proud of his creation. His roommate laughed and he proceed to teach Marcos how to make real ceviche.”
Take This Job and Prep It!
Exactly two years from the day that a combination of COVID and Seattle real estate intrigue ended my last prep cook job I started another prep cook job!
Boy, that was a weird two years of generous unemployment benefits, weird luck with financial stuff and other positive developments. All this gave me the time and the freedom to create Nirvana Wok.
A million people in the United States who died of a horrible disease during those two years were not so lucky.
Take This Ill-Gotten Fortune and Distribute It!
You know what would be incredible? If Nirvana Wok had a food truck that drove around to homeless camps and low income housing areas and gave out free food. Or a fleet of trucks.
If American novelist and philanthropist MacKenzie Scott can send a few million very dirty but very welcome Bezosbucks our way we’ll be ready to roll!
NEW! The Nirvana Wok menu has been updated. Replaced Phad Thai with Peanut-Free Dan Dan Noodles and made some other adjustments. Ignore the prices - no plans to do anything other than give out free food for now.