Image provided by: University of Oregon Libraries; Eugene, OR
About The Asian reporter. (Portland, Or.) 1991-current | View Entire Issue (Jan. 15, 2018)
January 15, 2018
THE ASIAN REPORTER n Page 13
Have some over-ripe bananas?
Then make better pancakes
By Elizabeth Karmel
The Associated Press
hate to throw over-ripe bananas
away. It is such a wasted opportunity
for fresh fragrant banana bread. But,
there is only so much banana bread one
can eat. That is why I asked myself, what
else can I make with over-ripe bananas?
And, since it was Sunday, banana
pancakes popped into my head. I had never
made banana pancakes with over-ripe
bananas. I usually make them with slices
of firm, slightly green bananas because
that is how I like to eat fresh bananas. As it
turned out, the over-ripe bananas are way
better for pancakes.
I also wanted to try a pancake technique
that a friend of mine swears by. You
separate the egg and blend the yolk and
the white into the batter at different times.
It is supposed to make the pancakes
lighter. I am not sure it made that much
difference, but it is easy to do, doesn’t take
any extra time like beating egg whites, and
the resulting pancakes were light and
fluffy and toothsome all at once.
The recipe is pretty basic with both sour
milk and cream used as the liquid. I had
cream on hand, but you could use half and
half. I opted for cream because my milk
was two percent and not whole milk. If I’d
had whole milk in the fridge, I would have
used whole milk and half and half. I also
soured my milk with white vinegar, but
you could substitute buttermilk for the
milk and vinegar combination.
A touch of nutmeg accented the ripe
banana. I mashed the bananas as if I was
making banana bread and added it to the
batter right before I made the pancakes.
The result was incredible — almost like
banana-bread pancakes. I love how the
essence of banana was evident through the
entire pancake but there were no
discernable chunks of fruit.
Melissa d’Arabian via AP
Coconut milk and curry paste
take chicken to new heights
By Melissa d’Arabian
The Associated Press
oneless skinless chicken breasts
save the day for so many busy folks
who want to get a lean,
protein-filled, affordable dinner on the
table in a hurry.
I always have a package or two in my
freezer — I buy them when they are on
super-sale (which they are once every four
to six weeks in my experience) and freeze
them, a strategy even more helpful if you
seek out the pricier organic or free-range
Even if I forget to pop the frozen chicken
in the fridge to thaw the night before I need
it, I can always do a quick-thaw in a big
bowl of cold water, and still get dinner on
the table quickly.
This ubiquitous cut of meat is chock-full
of lean protein — a four-ounce serving is
only 125 calories, and has about 26 grams
of protein, plus a smattering of minerals
and B vitamins, and only a gram or two of
The downside to the boneless skinless
chicken breast is that the flavor is a little
lackluster. But what some call bland, I call
a blank slate! And with so little fat in the
meat, you have a little wiggle room to
indulge a bit with other ingredients.
In my Weeknight Thai Chicken Curry
recipe, for instance, I use full-fat coconut
milk — a mere half cup for six servings of
chicken is enough to create a luxurious
mouth-feel without adding more than a
few grams of fat per serving.
In this quick weeknight-friendly recipe,
I use fragrant Thai curry paste as a rub
right on thin chicken cutlets, infusing
them with a ton of flavor, and I serve the
sauce as an accompaniment, rather than
having the chicken swim in it.
A quick sauté gives the chicken just the
right amount of char (don’t overcook), and
the coconut sauce is made flavorful with
fresh basil, green onion, and garlic, and
quick — just a few pulses in a blender and
a few minutes stovetop. Dinner in about 20
minutes will prove that weeknight cooking
need never be boring.
Chef’s note: I used full-fat coconut milk for
unctuous texture since the quantity is relatively
low, but you may substitute a low-fat version.
Food Network star Melissa d’Arabian is an
expert on healthy eating on a budget. She is the
author of the cookbook, Supermarket Healthy.
Weeknight Thai Chicken Curry
Start to finish: 20 minutes
6 chicken breast cutlets, about 4 ounces each
2 tablespoons red Thai curry paste
1 teaspoon neutral oil
1/2 cup coconut milk (canned)
1/2 cup chicken broth
2/3 cup fresh basil leaves, loosely packed (about 10 large or 20 small leaves)
3 cloves garlic, chopped or passed through a garlic press
3 green onions, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups of cooked brown rice, for serving
Lightly pound or press the chicken breasts so they are no thicker than 3/4 of an
inch. Coat each cutlet with a teaspoon of the curry paste. Heat the oil in a large
nonstick pan over medium-high heat, brush the oil to coat the whole pan.
Place the chicken cutlets in the pan, smooth side of the cutlet down. Turn the heat
slightly down to medium, and cover the pan. Cook for five minutes, uncover, and flip
the chicken using a spatula. (If the chicken is stuck to the pan, let it cook for another
minute or two and then flip.)
Let the chicken cook on the second side, uncovered, for another five minutes, or
until the internal temperature is 160º Fahrenheit. Remove from heat and set on
cooked brown rice on plate or platter to serve. Meanwhile, place all the sauce
ingredients in a blender and pulse just enough to mix, leaving some of the basil in
flecks. Pour the sauce into a small saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer over
medium heat. Spoon a few tablespoons of sauce over the chicken and rice.
Nutrition information per serving: 310 calories (79 calories from fat); 9 g fat (4 g
saturated, 0 g trans fats); 86 mg cholesterol; 602 mg sodium; 26 g carbohydrate; 3 g
fiber; 1 g sugar; 30 g protein.
Support the efforts of
The Asian Reporter Foundation
while shopping at Fred Meyer! It’s easy!
Just “link” your rewards card to The AR Foundation’s number,
which is 91860, at <www.FredMeyer.com/CommunityRewards>.
(Linking does not affect your current card rewards.)
PERFECT PANCAKES. This undated photo
shows a stack of Ripe Banana Pancakes. The bananas
are mashed as if making banana bread and added
to the batter right before the pancakes are prepared.
The result is almost like banana-bread pancakes.
(AP Photo/Elizabeth Karmel)
Most pancake recipes instruct you to
heat oil or melt butter in a skillet and “fry”
the pancake. I prefer to cook them on a dry
non-stick skillet so they brown and bubble
without any extra fat. If you do a
side-by-side taste test, you can really see
the difference. One looks like the top of a
grilled quesadilla and the other resembles
a baked good. The non-fried version is
softer and more delicate in texture. The
fried has a slightly crunchy top and is a bit
greasy. Neither is right or wrong, it’s all a
matter of preference.
It’s important to serve the pancakes
with a good salted butter to bring out the
banana flavor — I like Kate’s Homemade
Butter or Kerrygold — and real maple
syrup. Other good additions are mini
chocolate chips, dried coconut, toasted
walnuts, and pecans. These pancakes are
good for breakfast, but even better served
as “Breakfast for Dinner” with a side of
Chef’s note: If cooking for a crowd, this recipe can
be easily doubled and extra pancakes can be frozen
and re-heated with very little difference in taste.
Editor’s note: Elizabeth Karmel is a barbecue and
Southern foods expert. She is the chef and pit master
at online retailer CarolinaCueToGo.com and the
author of three books, including Taming the Flame.
Ripe Banana Pancakes
Servings: 18 medium pancakes
Start to finish: 25 minutes
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/2 plus 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 large egg, separated
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1/4 cup cream or half and half
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 ripe banana, mashed with a fork
Salted butter and real maple syrup for serving
Heat the oven to 250º Fahrenheit and prepare a sheet pan with a rack. Set aside.
Whisk the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and nutmeg together in
a large bowl. Combine the milk and the vinegar in a two-cup glass measuring cup
and let sit one to two minutes. Add the egg yolk, and cream or half and half, and mix
well. Add the melted butter to the milk and egg yolk mixture and blend with a fork
until well combined.
Pour the yolk and milk mixture into the flour mixture and stir with a blending
fork until barely combined. Mix the egg white in a small bowl until slightly foamy
and add the egg white to the batter. Stir just until a thick batter is formed. Set aside
for five minutes.
Meanwhile, mash a ripe banana in a separate bowl. Just before cooking, combine
the mashed banana and the pancake batter.
Heat a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, use a spoon or a ladle
to drop batter in heaping spoonfuls to the pan, allowing room for the batter to
spread out. Unlike most recipes, I prefer not to “fry” the pancakes in oil or butter. I
like a drier non-oily finish. If your skillet is non-stick, this will not be a problem.
Cook for about one to two minutes, depending on size. When the pancake begins
to bubble, use a thin off-set spatula to gently flip to the other side. The pancake
should be golden brown (if the heat is too high, the pancake will burn on the outside
and be uncooked on the inside). Cook on the other side for another two minutes, or
until the bottom of the pancake is golden brown.
Remove from the skillet to the baking sheet and place the sheet in the oven while
you cook all the batter. Scrape any stray crumbs or scraps out of the skillet as you
make the pancakes or the fresh pancakes will pick up the burned bits as they cook.
Serve as soon as possible, with salted butter and maple syrup.
Nutrition information per pancake: 99 calories (47 calories from fat); 5 g fat (3 g
saturated, 0 g trans fats); 26 mg cholesterol; 145 mg sodium; 11 g carbohydrate; 1 g
fiber; 2 g sugar; 2 g protein.