Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Feeding My Boy from China - Asian Food

Hot and Sour Thai Soup
- 2 boxes (8 cups) Swansons chicken broth
- 1/2 can coconut milk
- 1 rotisserie chicken - remove bones and skin and tear chicken into small pieces
- juice from 3 limes
- garlic powder- to taste
- red pepper flakes - to taste
- Thai fish sauce - to taste
- fresh cilantro
- 1/2 box angel hair pasta
Bring first eight ingredients to boil.  Break angel hair pasta into thirds and cook until done.  You can also add fresh sliced mushrooms and fresh chopped carrots if you want some veggies.  Just play with it.   We like lots of red pepper flakes (hot!) and lots of lime juice (sour!).  Delicious served with a side of jasmine rice.
Occasionally prospective adoptive parents ask me about recipes for Asian food.  I'm lucky in that I lived for many years in Bangkok, Thailand, so I already love Thai food (different from Chinese, I know, but a lot closer than most American food.) Since Wenxin's been home, I've cooked more Thai and Asian foods and everyone enjoys them.  The soup recipe above is currently our family's favorite meal.

One great thing about China adoptions is they require adoptive parents to spend some time in country.  Our trip was 17 days.  This trip is a great opportunity to observe your new child and find out what kinds of foods they like.  We did the travel package offered by our agency.  They put us in nice hotels with huge breakfast buffets.  For most other meals, a Chinese guide took us to a variety of restaurants. 

I learned a lot about Wenxin's tastes at these meals.  I learned that he'll gobble up most fruits and veggies.  I learned he likes meat.  I learned he can eat spicy food.  I learned he loves ketchup.  Rice and noodles were always eaten.  And McDonalds or KFC were considered special treats.  All good to know.

Food is such an important part of life.  It's definitely an important part of attaching to an adoptive child and helping him feel secure and at home.

A couple of things I learned surprised me.  First, I learned he doesn't like congee - a rice porridge that's a common breakfast food for Chinese kids.  Second, I learned he hates Chinese dumplings.  So no need for me to try to perfect my congee recipe or dumpling making skills.  That was good to know before we got home.

The best "adoption gift" we received was a rice cooker.  It's so easy to cook perfect rice in a rice cooker.  And all rice is not created equal.  Our favorite rice for Asian meals is jasmine rice from Thailand.  These days you can even buy it at Wal-Mart.  A big steaming side of jasmine rice can make most any meal a little more familiar for Wenxin.

I've learned not to throw away left over rice, because fried rice  (with veggies and an egg thrown in) makes a quick easy hot lunch.  Now I cook a little extra rice just so we'll have leftovers.

Finding sauces your child likes can help you easily modify a meal.  I have a Thai sweet chili sauce that Wenxin loves on fried chicken.  So while everyone else is eating their chicken plain, Wenxin can douse his in hot chili sauce.  Win-win for everyone.

In closing, here's what we had for dinner last night.  Everyone had seconds.  Some had thirds.  We licked the platter clean.

Photo from The Pioneer Woman Cooks

Beef with Snow Peas, from The Pioneer Woman Cooks website.  Pioneer Woman, I've come to find out, has a soft spot for Asian cuisine so this is a good place to find new Asian recipes.


  1. dang that looks good.... What a cute boy you have...

  2. Thanks Robert! I couldn't figure out who you were, until I found Donna's blog through your blog. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Yes please, send those recipes my way. Good tip on PW. We make lots of her stuff. Great post, Dana. The food importance in adoption did not really sink in until we took our training classes for international adoption. Thanks for the reminder and ideas.

  4. looks like a keeper recipe...gotta try that. Our boy likes kidney beans and black beans


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