You might be wondering why I have 2 separate main dishes in the title of my blog post this time. Well, my husband prefers vegan whenever I can make it work. I make 2 different main dishes; this time it is Szechuan Fava Bean Stir-fry and Filipino Chicken Tocino (both served with a Korean style banchan style side dish- blanched or quickly stir fried veggie with a touch of salt/soy sauce and sesame oil). It was my first time making both, but I’m happy to say it came out pretty good.

We purchased fava beans a few months again when Bob’s Mill had a good sale going on and have yet to use them. We used to buy the ones canned from Trader Joe’s all the time with tomato sauce and was obsessed with it for awhile, having it plain right out of the can and sometimes on toast. We soaked it for an entire day and my husband pan fried it with a little salt, but we felt it was missing something in flavor. It was good for snacking, but not savory enough to be satisfying. We had Szechuan peppercorn in hand and my husband loves that stuff. I like it too, but I’m not as crazy about it as he is. But there goes the inspiration for the fava beans.

Szechuan Fava Bean Stir-Fry (recipe by The Woks of Life)


2 cups of cooked fava beans

3 Birdseye chili chopped

1 tbs Szechuan peppercorn

5 pieces minced garlic

2 scallion stalks chopped finely

1/4 tsp white pepper

1/2 tsp sesame oil

A small splash of Shaoxing cooking wine

Salt to taste

1- Cook fava beans according to package instructions.

2-Heat oil in wok over medium-high heat. Add garlic, Szechuan peppercorn, dried chili, and half of the chopped scallion. Sauté for about 1-2 minutes until you smell the aromatics of the peppercorn ( love the slightly floral smell). Mix quickly so nothing burns.

2-Add fava beans and stir fry for about 2 minutes. Add salt, white pepper, sesame oil, shaoxing wine and and stir fry until the beans are cooked through and soft. I omitted the 2 tablespoons of water because I prefer a drier stir fry. Chicken Tocino


1 package boneless chicken thighs (1/3 of those pouches from Costco-about 1.5 lbs)

6oz can pineapple juice

2 tbsp soy sauce

2 tbsp garlic powder

1 tbsp salt (you can use more or less according to your liking)

1/2 tsp black pepper (add more to your liking)

1/4 cup water

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 tbsp olive oil


1-Marinade everything in ziplock for at least 2 hours. I marinaded nine for about 4 this time.

2- Heat 2 tbsp olive oil on pan and put in the marinaded chicken ( without liquid). I put 3 pieces at a time due to my small pan. I cook it on one side for about 6-8 minutes on medium. Keep careful watch because it burns easily. Pour out liquid that collects on the bottom of pan.

3-Flip over chicken and cook another 6-8 minutes.

*Note: Cooking time really depend on how large your chicken pieces are. It helps to use a kitchen safe food scissor to cut the largest piece of the chicken to see if it cooked through. I chose to flip the chicken over another time to get an extra sear on the chicken.

3- Cook remaining pieces of marinated chicken according to steps 1 and 2.

4- Serve with white rice and veggies (The corn on the cob was left over from snack time).

*Note: This dish pairs extremely well with garlic fried rice and fresh diced tomatoes. I believe that is the way traditional Filipino way to serve this dish ( usually eaten for breakfast, along with sunny side/ fried egg). Also, I recommend cooking this on medium low heat and to watch it avidly– it can burn easily because of all the sugar in this recipe!


Do you have any family members that have dietary restrictions? How do to change your meal plan or recipes to suit their needs/ preference?

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