Frontline Stories

3 Easy Recipes to Get Your Kids Talking

What’s for dinner? Travel the world for dinner with these authentic recipes from China, Bolivia and Kenya.

China: Cold Noodles with Chicken and Sesame-Peanut Sauce

Cold noodles with chicken are from the Sichuan area, but it’s popular across China especially during the hot summer months. Cold noodle dishes in general are popular in China, and most families have their own favourite recipe. The noodles are usually prepared with a slightly tangy sauce of sesame paste (or peanut butter), garlic, and scallions.


Ingredients (yields 4 servings)
  • 2 chicken breasts, chopped, or 2 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • 1 scallion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger (optional)

Noodles
  • 16 ounces fresh Chinese egg noodles (or any long pasta like spaghetti)
  • 1 cucumber, seeded and julienned
  • 1/2 cup dry roasted peanuts, chopped
  • 1 scallion, chopped

Sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons rice or wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup tahini sesame paste or peanut butter

Directions (20 minutes)
  1. Cook the chicken: fill a small pot with enough water to submerge the chicken breast (but don’t add the chicken yet), and add the ginger and scallion. When the water comes to a boil, add the chicken, and bring to a boil again. Immediately cover the pot, shut off the heat, and soak the chicken in water for 20 minutes. In the meantime, prepare the rest of the ingredients.
  2. Prepare the sauce by combining all the sauce ingredients in a bowl.
  3. Cook the noodles according to the package. Watch the clock; don’t overcook! Drain and rinse them thoroughly under cold water.
  4. If you’re not ready to eat them right away, mix in about 1-2 teaspoons of oil to prevent the noodles from sticking together.
  5. Layer the noodles, chicken, cucumber, chopped peanuts, and scallion. Pour the sauce over everything and toss together.

Chinese dinner prayer

Thank you Father, please bless us. Keep my body strong, and give me bread for today.
Lead my spirit strong and vibrant. Yet gentle and modest, the apple of your eye. Amen.

(感謝天父,賜福予我們。潔淨今日的飲食,保守我們的身體;又讓我靈剛強活潑,為人謙敬,蒙主悅納!阿們!)

Bolivia: Baked Cuy with Boiled Gold Potatoes

Eating cuy (guinea pigs) has been a delicacy for Andean mountain nobility since at least the 1400s when the Incas ruled Ecuador, Peru, Chile, and Bolivia along eastern South America. Today, they are a nutritious staple of the regional diet and an important income source for impoverished farmers to raise their families. Cuys are typically served whole, either baked or fried, with a spicy pepper sauce alongside potatoes or rice. You can always use chicken instead!


Ingredients (yields 4 servings)
  • 4 cuy (or 8 boneless chicken thighs)
  • 8 medium gold potatoes

BBQ Rub
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (more if you like it spicy)

Sauce

  • 1/4 cup toasted cornmeal
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Directions (20 minutes preparation; 30 minutes cooking)
  1. Make your rub (taste it before you put it on the meat; adjust as necessary for your family’s taste because most American BBQ is sugar-based, but the authentic recipe values heat over sweet)
  2. Rub meat with your spice mixture and set aside in air-tight container (leave it in the fridge overnight for best flavour or for 10 minutes as you prepare the potatoes)
  3. Turn on your BBQ or oven to about 190℃
  4. Scrub the potatoes (peel them if you prefer); put them in a pot covered with 1-2 inches of cold water and 1 teaspoon of salt; boil
  5. Cook the meat on a medium-high barbecue for 15 minutes or in a 190℃ oven for about 30 minutes until done
  6. While meat is cooking, check the potatoes; once the water boils, reduce to a bare simmer
  7. Mix sauce ingredients in a small saucepan
  8. Heat sauce to boiling, stirring often, then cover and remove from heat
  9. Once potatoes are fork-tender (15-20 minutes), drain and serve
  10. Once meat is done, serve with sauce… buen provecho!

Bolivian dinner prayer (Spanish)

The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food at the proper time. You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing.

(Los ojos de todos esperan a ti que tú les des su comida a su tiempo. Abres tu mano y con tu buena voluntad satisfaces a todos los seres vivos.)

Kenya: Ugali with Sukuma Wiki and Beef Stew

Ugali na sukuma wiki (maize meal with collard greens) is Kenya’s comfort food. Translated from Swahili, “sukuma” means push and “wiki” means week. This traditional dinner gets families through the week. Silverware is not needed for this dish because the ugali should be stiff enough to pick up the sukuma wiki and put it in your mouth. It’s often served with stew.

Photo courtesy of www.tasteoftheplace.com/a-kenyan-meal

Ingredients (yields 4 servings)
Ugali
  • 2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 1/2 cups white maize meal (white corn meal)

Sukuma Wiki
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 bunch (6 cups chopped) collard greens, kale, or spinach
  • 2 onions
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed

Beef Stew
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 pounds beef stew meat, cut up
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 14 ounces canned diced tomatoes or 2 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 4 cups beef stock

Directions (20 minutes preparation; 30 minutes cooking)
  1. In large pan, add in 2 tablespoons of olive oil, saute 2 chopped onions until tender
  2. Add tomatoes, paste, and broth; cook on medium for 5 minutes
  3. Add beef, cover, and cook on medium for 30 minutes as you prepare the rest of the meal
  4. Put water and broth for the ugali in a medium pot and put on high to boil
  5. While water is heating, heat oil to medium-high in large frying pan for the sukuma wiki greens
  6. Chop the onions and saute them with the garlic in oil until soft, about 5 minutes
  7. Chop the greens; the thinner the better
  8. Add greens to the onions, lower heat to medium-low, and saute until tender, about 7 minutes
  9. While greens are cooking, once water is boiling, add the maize meal slowly, stirring constantly with a whisk to avoid lumps
  10. Cook on medium-low, stirring constantly, until the ugali begins to pull away from the sides of the pan and hold together, about 5 minutes
  11. Turn ugali onto serving plate; it will firm as it cools
  12. Add salt and pepper to greens, as needed, and serve
  13. Serve beef stew on the side or over top of ugali…Hebu Kula!

Kenyan dinner prayer (Swahili)

Bless us O Lord, and these your gifts which we are about to receive from your goodness, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

(Tubariki ee Bwana, na zawadi hizi zako ambazo tunazipokea kutoka kwa wema wako, kwa njia ya Kristo Bwana wetu. Amina.)

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