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)

Archive for October 24th, 2008




Tofu with Chicken

So it is our goal to provide you with wonderful pictures of the recipes we create and perfect. Tofu however is tough! Unless it’s deep fried or dried, it’s not all that attractive. And for those of you who are not big tofu eaters, you may never try this dish if we posted a pic. As an alternative, we gave a plateful to our best taste tester in the family to vouch for its yumminess. And while he’s only 19 months, he approves by enjoying two platefuls. That’s the greatest compliment any chef (Mom and Grandma in our case) can ever hope for! We think you and your family will also enjoy this light and healthy dish that is full of flavorful!

1 package medium-firm tofu (14 oz. or 16 oz.)
½ pound boneless and skinless chicken breast (about half breast)
2 cloves garlic
2 scallions, including the green top
1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil (for cooking in a non-stick wok or a fry pan)
1 teaspoon pure sesame oil

2 tablespoons soy sauce (Kikkoman brand)
1 tablespoon rice or cooking sherry wine
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon sugar

Rinse the tofu block with cold water. Cut tofu into ½ inch cubes. Slice the half chicken breast lengthwise in half then crosswise cut  into ¼ inch thin pieces. Crush, peel and finely chop the garlic. Wash and trim the green onions, finely chop. In a small bowl, mix the sauce ingredients together until the cornstarch dissolves and set aside.

To Cook:
Heat oil in a non-stick wok or a large frying pan over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, brown the garlic and onions for a few seconds.  Add chicken pieces into the wok, cook and stir until the chicken is nearly cooked through, approximately 2 to 3 minutes. Add tofu cubes, cook and stir for 1 minute. Stir the sauce mixture and add into wok. Stir-fry for a few seconds until the dish thickens a bit and the sauce is well mixed. This is where the tofu breaks down a bit which is okay. Add the key ingredient, sesame oil!  Stir-fry for just a few seconds longer. Serve hot.

UPDATE: Here’s a recent Chicken with Tofu photo that doesn’t look so bad after all! It’s delicious.

Makes 4 servings
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 5 minutes




Lemon Sesame Chicken

Who doesn’t love lemon or sesame chicken? We combined the two for a tasty dish. Not intended to have a ton of sauce all over the chicken but rather a lightly coated sweet and sour lemon sauce with sesame seeds.

1 pound boneless and skinless chicken breasts
3 cups canola or vegetable oil for deep-frying
2 tablespoons sesame seed

1/3 cup flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon salt

½ cup water
4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about ½ large size lemon)
4 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon soy sauce (Kikkoman brand)

Cut chicken breasts into1 inch cubes. In a bowl, mix the batter ingredients together until smooth. Add chicken cubes to batter, coating each piece well and set aside. In a small bowl, mix the sauce ingredients together until the sugar dissolves.

To Cook:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat 3 cups oil in a wok or a deep fryer. When the oil is hot, drop one piece of chicken at a time into wok. Deep-fry approx. 1/3 of chicken cubes at one time until light brown. Transfer to cookie sheet and keep hot in oven.  After frying all the chicken pieces, keep them hot in the oven for up to 15 minutes or until crisp.

Use a wok or a medium size pot over medium heat. Add the sauce, cook and constantly stir until the sauce has thickened and becomes clear. Remove the crisp chicken cubes from oven and add to sauce. Quickly stir and sprinkle 2 tablespoons of sesame seeds over chicken. Mix well. Serve hot.

Makes 4 servings
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes

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