Recipes

    • Hot Pepper Beef

      This is a recipe I recommend for cooks who have limited access to Asian ingredients. The sauce has a wonderful balance of savory, spicy, mellow sweet flavors. Probably the most “exotic” ingredient is hoisin sauce. My favorite brand has always been Koon Chun but Kikkoman now produces a good hoisin sauce.

      • 12 ounces lean flank steak
      • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
      • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
      • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
      • 1 teaspoon plus 1 tablespoon Shao Hsing rice wine or dry sherry
      • ¾ teaspoon salt
      • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
      • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
      • 1 tablespoon ketchup
      • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
      • 2 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
      • ½ cup thinly sliced red onion
      • 3 slices ginger, smashed
      • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
      • 1 large green bell pepper, cut into ½-inch wide strips
      1. Cut the beef with the grain into 2-inch-wide strips. Cut each strip across the grain into ¼-inch-thick slices. In a medium bowl combine the beef, garlic, soy sauce, cornstarch, 1 teaspoon of the rice wine, ¼ teaspoon of the salt, pepper, and 2 teaspoons cold water. Stir to combine. Stir in the sesame oil. In a small bowl combine the ketchup, hoisin sauce, and the remaining 1 tablespoon rice wine. Stir to combine.
      2. Heat a 14-inch flat-bottomed wok or 12-inch skillet over high heat until a bead of water vaporizes within 1 to 2 seconds of contact. Swirl in 1 tablespoon of the peanut oil, carefully add the beef and spread it evenly in one layer in the wok. Cook undisturbed 1 minute, letting the beef begin to sear. Then, using a metal spatula, stir-fry 1 minute, or until the beef is lightly browned but not cooked through. Transfer the beef to a plate.
      3. Swirl the remaining 1 tablespoon peanut oil into the wok, add the onion, ginger, and red pepper flakes, and stir-fry 10 seconds or until the aromatics are fragrant. Add the bell pepper, sprinkle on ¼ teaspoon of the salt, and stir-fry 30 seconds or until well combined. Return the beef with any juices that have accumulated to the wok, sprinkle on the remaining ½ teaspoon salt, swirl the ketchup mixture into the wok, and stir-fry about 30 seconds to 1 minute or until the beef is just cooked through. Serves 2 to 3 as a main dish with rice or 4 as part of a multicourse meal.
    • Stir Fried Chicken with Pineapple and Peppers

      Most stir fries are made with bite-sized pieces of meat or vegetables but this calls for fairly large pieces of boneless chicken thigh meat. I have also prepared it with chicken breast with excellent results. To do that first separate the chicken supreme (which is about ½-inch thick) from the breast and cut it in half crosswise. Then cut the chicken breast crosswise into ½-inch-thick large slices. The chicken is first pan-fried over medium heat before it is stir-fried. When I first saw Amy adding 4 teaspoons of sugar I thought the chicken would be super sweet but it mellows with the other ingredients giving the sauce just a hint of sweetness. This is best cooked with a wok because the sugar can really burn into a skillet.

      • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken thigh or breast, cut into ½-inch-thick large slices
      • 1½ teaspoon cornstarch
      • 1 large egg yolk
      • 4 teaspoons sugar
      • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
      • 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
      • ½ teaspoon salt
      • 1 tablespoon peanut or vegetable oil
      • 1½ cup cubed fresh pineapple
      • ½ cup julienned red bell pepper
      • ½ cup thinly sliced scallions
      1. In a medium bowl combine the chicken, cornstarch, egg yolk, 2 teaspoons of the sugar, soy sauce, dark soy sauce, and ¼ teaspoon of the salt. Stir to combine. Marinate the chicken uncovered 15 minutes. Using a slotted spoon transfer the chicken to a separate bowl shaking off excess marinade over the first bowl. You should have about 2 to 3 teaspoons of the reserved marinade.
      2. Heat a 14-inch flat-bottomed wok over high heat until a bead of water vaporizes within 1 to 2 seconds of contact. Swirl in the oil, carefully add the chicken and spread it evenly in one layer in the wok. Pan-fry, undisturbed 1½ minutes, letting the chicken begin to sear. Then, using a metal spatula, turn the chicken slices over and pan-fry undisturbed 1½ minutes letting the chicken brown. Reduce the heat to medium and stir fry the chicken 2 minutes or until the chicken is golden brown. Add the pineapple, bell peppers, scallions, the reserved marinade, and sprinkle on the remaining 2 teaspoons sugar, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Increase the heat to medium-high and stir fry 1 to 2 minutes or until the chicken is just cooked through and the bell peppers are crisp-tender. Serves 2 to 3 as a main dish with rice or 4 as part of a multicourse meal.
    • Stir-Fried Mussels with Ginger and Scallions

      I have had equally excellent results with wild and cultivated black mussels or greenshell New Zealand mussels. It is critical to stir-fry mussels immediately after removing the mussel’s beard which look like a tuft of hairy-like fibers. Mussels must be alive when cooked because the mussels die soon after the beard is removed.

      • 1 pound mussels (about 2 dozen)
      • 2 tablespoons Shao Hsing rice wine or dry sherry
      • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
      • 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
      • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
      • ½ teaspoon cornstarch
      • 2 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
      • 1 tablespoon finely shredded ginger
      • 1 tablespoon thinly sliced garlic
      • 1 tablespoon chopped scallion, white parts only, plus 2 scallions cut into 2-inch sections
      • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
      1. Thoroughly wash the mussels in several changes of cold water, discarding any open mussels. Grab the beard near the shell opening and give it a firm tug to remove it. Scrub the shells with a stiff brush to remove the grit and rinse well. Drain the mussels in a colander shaking out excess water. Pat dry with paper towels. In a small bowl combine the rice wine, soy sauce, dark soy sauce, and pepper. In a separate small bowl combine the cornstarch and 1 tablespoon cold water.
      2. Heat a 14-inch flat-bottomed wok or skillet over high heat until a bead of water vaporizes within 1 to 2 seconds of contact. Swirl in the peanut oil, add the ginger, garlic and 1 tablespoon of the chopped scallions, and stir-fry 10 seconds or until the aromatics are fragrant. Add the mussels and swirl the rice wine mixture into the wok. Cover, and cook on high heat 1 minute. Uncover, restir the cornstarch mixture and swirl it into the wok. Add the remaining cut scallions and stir-fry 1 to 2 minutes or until the mussels have just opened and the sauce is just thickened. Stir in the sesame oil. Discard any unopened mussels. Serves 2 as a main course with rice or 4 as part of a multicourse meal.
    • Classic Dry-Fried Pepper and Salt Shrimp

      There are many versions of this beloved dry-fried stir-fry. The absence of liquid in the stir-fry allows you to experience a concentrated shrimp flavors accented by the garlic, ginger, chilies, and Sichuan peppercorns. For this reason it’s imperative to use the freshest ingredients. In recent years my fishmonger has been carrying fresh shrimp and you can really taste the difference in this recipe. Frozen shrimp will work just make sure it’s quality shrimp.

      • 2 tablespoons plus ½ teaspoon salt
      • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
      • ¼ teaspoon sugar
      • ¼ teaspoon roasted and ground Sichuan
        peppercorns
      • 2 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
      • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
      • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
      • 1 teaspoon minced jalapeno chili, with seeds
      1. In a large bowl combine 1 tablespoon of the salt with 1 quart cold water. Add the shrimp and swish the shrimp in the water with your hand for about 30 seconds. Drain. Add 1 more tablespoon salt to the bowl with 1 quart cold water and repeat. Rinse the shrimp under cold water and set on several sheets of paper towels. With more paper towels, pat the shrimp dry. In a small bowl combine the remaining ½ teaspoon salt, sugar, and ground peppercorns.
      2. Heat a 14-inch flat-bottomed wok or 12-inch skillet over high heat until a bead of water vaporizes within 1 to 2 seconds of contact. Swirl in 1 tablespoon of the oil, add the garlic, ginger, and chili, then, using a metal spatula, stir-fry 10 seconds or until the aromatics are fragrant. Push the garlic mixture to the sides of the wok, carefully add the shrimp and spread them evenly in one layer in the wok. Cook undisturbed 1 minute, letting the shrimp begin to sear. Swirl in the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, and stir-fry 1 minute or until shrimp just begin to turn orange. Sprinkle on the salt mixture, and stir-fry 1 to 2 minutes or until the shrimp are just cooked. Serves 2 as a main dish with rice or 4 as part of a multicourse meal.
    • Cantonese-Style Stir-Fried Pork with Chinese Broccoli

      Stir-fried pork with Chinese broccoli is a Cantonese favorite and when I was growing up it was an essential menu item for every restaurant in San Francisco’s Chinatown. This recipe comes from Chef Danny Chan who has made this dish hundreds of times since he arrived in America in 1966 and began his career as a Chinese chef.

      • 12 ounces lean pork shoulder or butt, cut into ¼-inch-thick bite-sized slices
      • 2½ teaspoons cornstarch
      • 4 teaspoons soy sauce
      • 1 teaspoon Shao Hsing rice wine or dry sherry
      • 1 teaspoon minced plus 1 teaspoon sliced garlic
      • 1 teaspoon plus 2 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
      • 2 teaspoons oyster sauce
      • 1¼ teaspoon sesame oil
      • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
      • 4 tablespoons chicken broth
      • 1½ teaspoons dark soy sauce
      • 6 medium stalks Chinese broccoli (8 ounces)
      • 2 teaspoons finely shredded ginger
      • 4 medium fresh water chestnuts, peeled and sliced (about ½ cup)
      • ½ cup canned straw mushrooms
      • ½ cup red bell pepper cut into 1-inch squares
      • 8 snow peas, strings removed
      1. In a medium bowl combine the pork, 2 teaspoons of the cornstarch, 2 teaspoons of the soy sauce, rice wine, 1 teaspoon minced garlic, 1 teaspoon of the peanut oil, 1 teaspoon of the oyster sauce, ¼ teaspoon of the sesame oil, and pepper. In a small bowl combine 3 tablespoons of the chicken broth, dark soy sauce, and the remaining 2 teaspoons soy sauce and 1 teaspoon oyster sauce. In a separate small bowl combine the remaining 1 tablespoon chicken broth, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, and ½ teaspoon cornstarch.
      2. In a 3-quart saucepan bring 1 ½ quarts water to a boil over high heat. Add the broccoli stalks and cook, stirring 2 minutes or until the broccoli is just crisp-tender. Drain the broccoli in a colander, shaking well to remove excess water.
      3. Heat a 14-inch flat-bottomed wok or 12-inch skillet over high heat until a bead of water vaporizes within 1 to 2 seconds of contact. Swirl in the remaining 2 tablespoons peanut oil, add the ginger and the remaining 1 teaspoon sliced garlic, then, using a metal spatula, stir-fry 10 seconds or until the aromatics are fragrant. Push the aromatics o the sides of the wok, then carefully add the pork and spread it evenly in one layer in the wok. Cook undisturbed 1 minute, letting the pork begin to sear. Then, stir-fry 1 minute, or until the pork is lightly browned but not cooked through. Add the water chestnuts, mushrooms, peppers, and snow peas, and stir-fry 1 minute or until the snow peas are bright green. Swirl the dark soy sauce mixture into the wok and stir-fry 30 seconds or until well combined. Restir the cornstarch mixture, swirl it into the wok, and stir-fry 15 to 30 seconds or until the pork is just cooked. Put the broccoli on a serving platter and spoon the pork mixture over the broccoli. Serves 2 as a main dish with rice or 4 as part of a multicourse meal.
    • Stir-Fried Cilantro with Bean Sprouts and Shrimp

      I was immediately intrigued when my friend Chef Yong Soon told me his mother Potsam Loo, a Hakka home cook from Malaysia makes a delicious cilantro stir-fry. This is a dish that is infused with the profound delicate aroma and taste of cilantro. Cilantro bunches vary in size. When I cook this I use a medium bunch which weighs about 4 ounces. Be sure to pick through the bunch and remove any wilted or yellow sprigs. If your cilantro has roots remove them before cutting the entire bunch including the stems into 2-inch pieces. I then put the cilantro in the colander portion of a salad spinner and wash it under cold water before spinning it several times to remove all the excess water. You will have about 5 cups of cilantro after it’s been spun. If you desire a subtler cilantro flavor you can reduce it by half and increase the bean sprouts to 4 cups.

      Loo’s village Hui Zhou in China makes a version of this recipe that calls for about 1/3 cup dried shrimp as pictiured. According to Chef Soon the villagers like their food pungent and the dried shrimp has a stronger flavor. If using dried shrimp soak the shrimp in about 1/3 cup cold water for about 30 minutes to soften. Drain and pat dry before adding it to the stir-fry as you would the fresh. Less salt is required if using dried shrimp.

      • 2 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
      • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
      • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
      • 4 ounces small shrimp, shelled and deveined
      • 3 cups bean sprouts, rinsed and patted dry (6 ounces)
      • ½ cup julienned carrot
      • 1 bunch cilantro, cut into 2-inch pieces (4 ounces)
      • ¾ teaspoon salt
      • ¼ teaspoon sugar
      1. Heat a 14-inch flat-bottomed wok or 12-inch skillet over high heat until a bead of water vaporizes within 1 to 2 seconds of contact. Swirl in the peanut oil, add the garlic and ginger, and stir-fry 15 seconds or until the garlic begins to brown. Add the shrimp and stir-fry 30 seconds to 1 minute or until shrimp begins to turn color but is not cooked through. Add the bean sprouts and stir-fry 5 seconds. Add the carrots and stir-fry 30 seconds or until the bean sprouts just begin to wilt. Sprinkle the cilantro over the entire mixture without stirring it in. Cover, and cook on high heat for 20 seconds. Uncover, and stir-fry 10 seconds until combined. Sprinkle on the salt and sugar, and stir-fry 30 seconds to 1 minute or until the shrimp are just cooked and the cilantro is just wilted. Serves 4 as a vegetable side dish.

One Comment

  1. grace
    Posted March 24, 2014 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    It is a delicious recipe. I’m so happy you enjoyed it. Keep wokking!

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