ABOUT
When my mother came up with the name of her first cookbook the term "All-American" only seemed fit. After all, she was 1st generation Chinese married to an American, Irish, Norwegian man living in Nebraska where traditional Chinese ingredients were not made readily available. It isn't until now that I truly understand the meaning of the All-American... (read more)
20

May

2012

Asian Style Baked Chicken: 100th Recipe!

Melisa, my lovely daughter, presented me with this website as a birthday gift in 2008. This recipe will mark #100 for this online cookbook. It has been a pleasure to share my recipes with family, friends and people from literally all over the world. It’s the time for me to take a break from my test kitchen. Summer has arrived and I am going to return to my second favorite art form of painting. Thank you for allowing my recipes into your kitchens and your kind comments over the years. Happy Cooking! - Lucy

***

It’s a simple and easy recipe for an everyday family meal. Marinate the chicken pieces a few hours ahead of time, then bake and serve with vegetables, rice, potatoes or salad and bread.

asianbakedchicken

1 whole chicken (4 to 5 pounds)
Canola oil or Pam cooking spray

Marinade:
2 scallions, including green top
¼ cup soy sauce (Kikkoman brand)
¼ cup teriyaki sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine or cooking sherry
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons Sriracha hot chili sauce (sold in the Asian section of your local supermarket)

Preparation:
Use a heavy, sharp knife to remove the legs, thighs and wings. Cut the whole chicken breast in half lengthwise. Cut each half breast crosswise in half again for a total of 4 pieces. Cut the back side of the chicken into 3 chunks. Do not remove the skin and bones but be sure to trim any excess fat from the chicken. Rinse the chicken pieces with cold water and pat dry with paper towels.

Wash and trim the green onions and finely chop. In a large bowl, mix the marinade ingredients together. Add the chicken pieces into the marinade and coat well. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours or longer. Turn pieces once or twice while marinating.

To Cook:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. For easy cleanup, line a large flat pan with tin foil. Spray cooking spray on top of tin foil to prevent chicken from sticking. Place chicken pieces, skin side up, evenly on the baking sheet and pour the remaining marinade sauce over the chicken. Bake for 30 minutes, turn pieces over, and bake for another 20 minutes. Turn chicken pieces over one more time and bake for 10 more minutes until the chicken skin side is browned. Serve hot or warm.

Makes 4 servings
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Marinating time: 4 hours or longer
Cooking time: 1 hour


8

Mar

2012

Tofu with Kale

This vegetarian dish is full of protein and vitamins thanks to the so called “Super-Food” kale.

tofuwithkale

1 package firm or extra firm tofu (14 oz. or 16 oz.)
1 bundle fresh kale (about 10 oz.)
2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil (for cooking in a non-stick wok or a fry pan)
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup water with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper to boil the kale

Sauce:
½ cup vegetable broth
2 to 3 medium size dried shitake mushrooms (soaked until soft  in warm water for 10 minutes or longer)
1 scallion, including the green top
2 tablespoons soy sauce (Kikkoman brand)
2 teaspoons pure sesame oil
1 teaspoon sugar
A few drops of Sriracha hot chili sauce or Tabasco sauce (optional)

Preparation:
Rinse the tofu block with cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Cut the tofu in half lengthwise and then crosswise cut into ¼ inch thick pieces (about 20 pieces total).

Break off the tough stem portion of  kale and discard. Wash and rinse the kale leaves.  Use one hand to hold several kale leaves tightly together and cut them into ½ inch pieces. Repeats to finish the rest of kale. (Looks like a lot of Kale but it will cook down once boiled)

Cut off stems if any from the soaked, soft mushrooms and finely chop them. Wash and trim the green onion then finely chop.   In a small bowl, mix the sauce ingredient together and set aside.

To Cook:
In a medium size pot with cover add 1 cup water, ½ teaspoon salt , ¼ teaspoon pepper and the kale.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.   Lower the heat to medium.  Stir well, cover and cook for about 5 minutes until the water is almost absorbed and the kale is tender.  Remove from heat, keep warm and set aside.

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, place tofu pieces in pan and sprinkle 1 teaspoon salt over the tofu.  Pan fry the tofu for 5 minutes on each side until both sides are slightly golden brown.   Pour in the sauce mixture over the tofu and gently stir.  Cook uncovered for about 1 minute then remove from heat.  Place the cooked kale onto a large serving plate and spread them around evenly.  Spoon the cooked tofu with sauce over top the kale.   Serve hot or warm.

Makes 4 servings
Preparation time: 15 to 20 minutes
Cooking time: 18 minutes


21

Jan

2012

Happy Chinese New Year! The Year of the Dragon 2012

This Sunday we celebrate Chinese New Year’s Eve with delicious food and usher in the Year of the Dragon. It is a special year, not only because it’s my personal Chinese Zodiac sign but more importantly because the dragon is a symbol of power. It’s also the only mythical creature in the Chinese Zodiac which lends itself to beautiful legends and myths for the Chinese people. The Chinese New Year celebration involves great tradition and great food. My brother Jason is living in Taiwan this year and we look forward to seeing his photos and hearing about his experience during the 15-day long celebration.

photo credit: YUM

photo credit: Yum

Last year we celebrated my son’s 1st birthday with a Chinese New Year themed party. Our guests enjoyed tasty dim sum and an over the top dessert bar consisting of both Chinese and American sweets. Click here to view more photos. My, has the year gone by quickly!

chases-1st-bithday

This year, we are adding three new recipes by my mother Lucy dedicated to the Year of the Dragon:

Combination Chinese Chow Mein

Traditional Chinese Chicken Soup

Honey Nut Sticks

Here’s also a sampling of our family’s past Chinese New Year dinner menu:

Fried Wontons with Sweet & Sour Sauce

Pan Fried Gyoza Dumplings (aka Potstickers)

Boiled Soy Sauce Eggs

Chicken Hot & Sour Soup

Mongolian Beef

Baked Soy Sauce Chicken

Oven Baked Pork Ribs

Chicken Chow Mein

Stir-fry Spinach with Garlic

Crunch Tea Cookies

Banana Delight

We hope you and your families enjoy a healthy and prosperous New Year! Happy Eating.

- Melisa & Lucy


21

Jan

2012

Combination Chow Mein

For the Chinese New Year celebration, serving a large plate of chicken, beef and shrimp stir-fried with noodles is not just very tasty but a symbolic meaning of a long life for everyone who eats the noodles on New Year!

combination-chow-mein

½ package thin spaghetti (8 oz.)
6 cups water and 1 teaspoon salt for boiling spaghetti
6 oz. boneless and skinless chicken breast (about half breast)
6 oz. top sirloin steak
6 oz. medium size raw shrimp (about 12 pieces)
2 scallions, including the green top
2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil (for cooking in a non-stick wok or a fry pan)

Marinade:
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon rice wine or cooking sherry
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon sugar

Sauce:
2 tablespoons soy sauce (Kikkoman brand)
1 tablespoon teriyaki sauce
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce*
2 teaspoons pure sesame oil

Preparation:
Slice the half chicken breast lengthwise in half. Cut crosswise into ¼ inch thin pieces. Cut the steak into 1½ inch wide pieces then slice against the grain into ¼ inch thin pieces. Peel and devein the shrimp and rinse with cold water. In a medium size bowl, combine chicken, beef and shrimp with the marinade ingredients. Mix together thoroughly and set aside. Wash and trim the green onions and finely chop. In a small bowl, mix the sauce ingredients together and set aside.

To Cook:
In a medium size pot, bring 6 cups of water to a boil over high heat. Break the spaghetti in half and drop into the boiling water. Add salt and stir well. Boil uncovered for approximately 7 to 8 minutes while stirring occasionally. Drain the cooked spaghetti through a colander.

Heat oil in a non-stick wok or a large frying pan over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, brown onions for a few seconds. Add chicken, beef and shrimp. Cook and stir 3 minutes until the chicken, beef and shrimp are almost cooked through. Add the cooked spaghetti to wok first followed by the sauce. Stir-fry for approximately 2 minutes until the noodles absorb all the seasoning. Serve hot.

Makes 4 to 6 servings
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes

*Hoisin sauce is a sweet brown sauce made from soybeans. Sold in jars or bottles at the Asian section of most supermarkets. After opening, it can be stored for several months in the refrigerator.


21

Jan

2012

Traditional Chinese Chicken Soup

A popular way for families to celebrate the Chinese New Year is to make a big pot of whole chicken soup. It has symbolic meaning to serve the chicken whole for year “round” good luck!

chinese-chicken-soup-copy

1 whole frying chicken, about 3-½ pounds
1 oz. fresh ginger root
2 scallions, including the green top
4 medium size shiitake dried black mushrooms (soak in warm water for 10 minutes or longer until soft)
2 tablespoons salt
4 quarts (128 fl oz.) of water

Preparation:
Wash and trim any excess fat from chicken. Wash and use a heavier knife to crush the fresh ginger root. Wash and trim scallions, then cut in half. Drain water from the soaking mushrooms. Cut off stems (if any) and cut each mushroom into quarters.

To Cook:
Place the whole chicken in a large soup pot. Add crushed ginger root, green onions, black mushrooms, salt and water (approximately 2 inches of water above the top of the chicken). Cover the pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer the chicken for 2½ hours. Meanwhile, the fat that will congeal on the surface and should be removed and discarded from time to time while cooking. When the chicken is tender and nearly falling off from the bone, turn off heat and discard both the ginger root and onions.

At a traditional Chinese New Year meal, the whole chicken with soup is presented in a large bowl on the center of the round table for everyone to help themselves. Or, after the presentation, the host will serve guests some of the chicken meat with broth in an individual small bowl. Serve hot.

Makes 10 to 12 servings
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 2 hours 30 minutes


21

Jan

2012

Honey Nut Sticks

This is my own sweet version of the Chinese deep fried bread stick as a delicious dessert.

honey-nut-sticks

1 package refrigerated buttermilk biscuits (10 per package)
½ cup pure clover honey
½ cup dry roasted lightly salted peanuts
2 cups canola or vegetable oil for deep-frying

Preparation:
Pour honey on a large plate and set aside. Use a food processor to ground the peanuts into a powder. Place the powdered peanuts onto another large plate and set aside. Set a large serving plate nearby.

To Cook:
Heat oil in a wok or a deep fryer over medium heat for 5 minutes or longer. Open the package of biscuits and separate them. Cut each biscuit in half. Use both palms of your hands to roll each biscuit into a 4 inch long and ¼ inch round rope and set aside. (Note: the ropes will naturally shrink a little).

When the oil is medium in temperature (not burning hot), use hands to pick up each rope and stretch it back to 4 inches in length and drop into the hot oil. Deep-fry 5 at the time for approximately 1 to 2 minutes. Sticks will turn a light golden brown and also expended resemble the size of a hot dog. If the oil becomes too hot, the biscuits will brown immediately and remain uncooked inside.

Using a pair chopsticks or tongs, remove the fried sticks and roll onto the honey plate. Coat each stick with honey. Next, roll and cover the honeyed sticks with the powdered peanuts. Place on the large serving plate. Repeat the above steps with the remaining sticks. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Makes 20 honey nut sticks
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Frying time: 4 to 8  minutes


25

Dec

2011

Stir-Fry Mixed Vegetables

With the holiday season behind us, it’s time to start thinking New Year resolutions! Ours includes eating right and eating healthy. Here’s a great vegetable stir-fry dish that makes for a perfect side dish or complete meal when served with rice. You are welcome to substitute our favorite vegetables below with any other firm vegetable such as cauliflower, celery, green bell peppers, baby corn and more!

stir-fry-mixed-vegetables

6 fresh mushrooms (4 oz.)
4 oz. fresh broccoli
4 oz. fresh snow peas
1 carrot (4 oz.)
½ small yellow onion (3 oz.)
½ red bell pepper (3 oz.)
½ can (drained 2 ½ oz.) sliced water chestnuts
½ can (drained 2 ½ oz.) sliced bamboo shoots
1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil (for cooking in a non-stick wok or a fry pan)
1 tablespoon soy sauce (Kikkoman brand)
1 teaspoon pure sesame oil
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon sugar
¼ teaspoon black pepper

Preparation:
Wash and trim stems of mushrooms and slice into ¼-inch thin pieces. Wash and cut broccoli into small florets. Wash and break off the tips of the fresh snow peas, remove stringy edges from the pea pods and discard them. Peel carrot and slice diagonally into ¼-inch thin pieces. Cut onion along the grain in half then crosswise slice into ¼-inch thin slices. Cut red bell pepper into thin 1-inch long strips.

To Cook:
Heat oil in a non-stick wok or a large fry pan over medium high heat. When the oil is hot, add mushrooms, broccoli, snow peas, carrots and onions. Cook and stir for about 3 to 4 minutes. Add soy sauce, sesame oil, salt, sugar and black pepper, stir well. Add red bell peppers, water chestnuts and bamboo shoots. Cook and stir for 1 to 2 more minutes until the vegetables are tender but still crunchy. Serve hot.

Makes 4 servings
Preparation: 15 to 20 minutes
Cooking time: 7 minutes


12

Nov

2011

Tofu, Tomato and Spinach Soup

We’re always looking for tasty, healthy options, especially during the holidays when the turkey and stuffing is in overdrive. Here’s a light soup to make you feel good both inside and out!

tofu-tomato-and-spinach-soup

½ package firm tofu (8oz.)
2 roman tomatoes
1 bunch fresh spinach (12oz.)
6 cups water
3 chicken bouillon cubes (Knorr brand)
1 scallion, including the green top
1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon pure sesame oil
¼ teaspoon black pepper

Preparation:
Rinse tofu and cut into small ½-inch cubes. Wash and slice the tomatoes lengthwise in half and then into quarters. Cut each quarter twice crosswise. Remove the stems from the spinach if any and wash thoroughly. Cut the spinach into 1-inch pieces. Wash and trim the green onion. Finely chop.

To cook:
Heat oil in a non-stick wok or a medium size pot over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, brown onion for a few seconds. Add spinach, cook and stir for approximately 1 minute until soft. Add tomato chunks, tofu cubes, salt, sugar, sesame oil and black pepper. Add water and chicken bouillon cubes (cut cubes into small pieces to dissolve quickly). Cook while stirring for 5 to 6 minutes, until the soup is brought to a full boil. Remove from heat. Serve hot.

Makes 6 servings
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 8 minutes


12

Nov

2011

Chinese Style Pork Stew

We promise you this is sooo much better than it looks. In fact, it’s my daughter’s favorite dish. Although she was against me publishing it because it’s well, not exactly attractive. Pork stew is a traditional, Chinese home-style meat dish perfect for a family meal. Serve with steamed rice and stir-fried vegetables.

chinese-style-pork-stew

2 pounds boneless lean pork for stew
6 shiitake dried black mushrooms (soak in warm water for 10 minutes or longer until soft)
2 scallions, including the green top
1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger root
1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil (for cooking in a non-stick wok or a fry pan)
½ cup soy sauce (Kikkoman brand)
2 tablespoons rice wine or cooking sherry
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 cup water

Preparation:
Cut pork into 1 inch cubes. Drain the water from mushrooms. Cut off stems if any and cut each mushroom in half or into quarters. Wash and trim the green onions, cut them into ½ inch pieces. Peel and chop the ginger root into very small pieces.

To cook:
Heat oil in a non-stick large pot over high heat. When the oil is hot, brown the onion and ginger root for a few seconds. Add the pork cubes. Brown the pork and stir for about 2 minutes. Add mushrooms, soy sauce, wine and brown sugar. Cook and stir for another 2 minutes then add water. Bring it to a boil, reduce the heat to
medium-low. Cover and simmer the pork for 1 hour 30 minutes. Stir occasionally until the liquid is absorbed and approximately ½ cup of sauce is left and the pork is tender. Serve hot.

Makes 4 to 6 servings
Preparation time: 10 to 15 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour 35 minutes


27

Sep

2011

Vegetable Egg Rolls

Vegetarian egg rolls were one of my most popular appetizers in my two California restaurants. Don’t forget to serve them with my tasty sweet and sour dipping sauce.

veg-egg-roll-2

1 package egg roll wrappers (20 pieces) - found in the produce section of most supermarkets.
1 egg, beaten (to seal the egg rolls)
3 cups canola or vegetable oil for deep-frying

Filling:
1 pound cabbage (one very small or half of a medium size)
2 large celery stalks
1 large carrot
1 small yellow onion (6 oz.)
½ red bell pepper (4 oz.)
1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil (for cooking in a non-stick wok or fry pan)
1 tablespoon soy sauce (Kikkoman brand)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon pure sesame oil

Preparation:
Wash and core the cabbage. Cut cabbage in half, then into quarters, and again into 8 wedges. Cut crosswise, shredding the cabbage into ¼-inch thin strips. Cut celery crosswise into ¼-inch thin pieces. Slice carrot diagonally into ¼-inch thin pieces then cut into thin strips. Cut onion along the grain in half and then into quarters. Cut crosswise into ¼-inch thin slices. Cut red bell pepper into thin 1-inch long strips.

Vegetable Egg Roll

To Cook:
Heat oil in a non-stick wok or a large fry pan over medium high heat. When the oil is hot, add cabbage, celery, carrots and onions. Cook and stir for about 4 minutes. Add soy sauce, salt, sugar and sesame oil. Stir-fry until the vegetables are tender, approximately 2 to 3 more minutes. Add red bell peppers and mix well. Remove from heat. Drain the cooked vegetables through a colander. Stir until all liquid is drained. Cool to room temperature. Note: You may make the filling ahead of time and refrigerate until ready to assemble.

To Assemble:
Place ½ cup of vegetable filling diagonally across the center of an egg roll wrapper. Lift one lower corner flap over the filling and tuck the point of the corner under the filling. Bring the corners of each side over the top of the enclosed filling. Lightly brush the remaining triangle with the beaten egg and then roll into a neatly sealed egg roll.

To Fry:
Heat 3 cups of oil in wok or a deep fryer over medium heat. When the oil is hot, drop one egg roll at a time into the hot oil. Deep-fry about 5 egg rolls at one time for 3 to 4 minutes until light golden brown. Transfer the egg rolls onto paper towels and let the oil drain off while deep-frying the remaining egg rolls. Serve the egg rolls warm with sweet and sour sauce for dipping.

Makes 20 egg rolls
Filing preparation and assembly: 50 minutes
Cooking the filling: 7 minutes
Deep frying time: 12 to 16 minutes

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