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 November, 2008




Stir-Fry Brussels Sprouts

I know, many of you may be thinking “Yuck! I hate brussels sprouts”.  I only started liking brussels sprouts recently because of my father-in-law. Now I love them. And since it’s the season, some of you may want to try this recipe as a Thanksgiving side dish. We happen to think that Chinese-style is the most delicious way to prepare them so we figured it’s worth a shot…

1 pound brussels sprouts
4 strips of hickory smoked bacon
½ small yellow onion
2 teaspoons cornstarch dissolved in 2 tablespoons water
4 cups water (for boiling the brussels sprouts)
1 tablespoon soy sauce (Kikkoman brand)
2 teaspoons white vinegar
1 teaspoon pure sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon sugar

Wash and trim the ends of the brussels sprouts. Cut each brussels sprout lengthwise in half. Cut bacon into ½ inch pieces. Cut onion into ½ inch chunks. In a small bowl, dissolve 2 teaspoons of cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of water.

To Cook:
Bring water to a boil. Add the brussels sprouts to the boiling water and blanch for approx. 7 to 8 minutes (until they are almost tender). Drain water and set aside. Heat a non-stick wok or a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the bacon pieces. Cook and stir until the bacon caramelizes for about 3 to 4 minutes. Add onions, cook and stir for 1 minute. Add the cooked brussels sprouts, soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil and sugar to wok. Stir-fry for 2 more minutes. Add dissolved cornstarch to wok, and stir-fry for a few seconds until the liquid thickens and adheres to the sprouts.

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




Sweet Potato Bundt Cake

In China, sweet potatoes are popular sweets and snacks. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, we thought we would share a sweet potato recipe. This cake goes great with ice cream for dessert or your  morning cup of coffee!


2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2  teaspoon salt
1 pound and 13 oz. canned sweet potatoes in syrup
3 eggs
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup canola or vegetable oil
Canola oil or Pam cooking spray
powder sugar

*Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In a small bowl, combine dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.  Mix and set aside.  Drain syrup from sweet potatoes and cut into 1/2 inch cubes (approx. 4 cups).  In a large bowl, beat eggs with brown sugar until smooth.  Add vanilla, oil and sweet potato cubes.  Stir in the dry ingredients.  Mix together throughly into a soft thick paste.

To Bake:
Spray 12 cup bundt pan with cooking spray.  Spoon batter evenly into greased bundt pan.  Bake for 40 minutes or until an inserted fork comes out clean.  Cool for 10 minutes.  Invert onto serving plate.  Dust with powder sugar.  Wonderful when served warm!

Makes 12 servings
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Baking time: 40 minutes




Pan Fried Spicy Salmon Filets

I am always trying to incorporate more fish into our diet. It doesn’t help that some of my family members (aka husband) won’t eat salmon. Yet they will eat salmon fillets when prepared with spicy Asian flavor, hence this wonderful recipe.  Other times I just don’t give them a choice since it’s what’s being served for dinner!  🙂

4 fresh salmon fillets (1-1/2 pounds)
4 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon canola, vegetable or olive oil (for cooking in a non-stick pan)

4 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons soy sauce (Kikkoman brand)
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons rice wine or cooking sherry wine
1 teaspoon dried crushed red chili peppers
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon pure sesame oil

Use a sharp knife to remove the skin from each salmon fillet. Rinse with cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Mix salt and black pepper together then sprinkle evenly to cover both sides of the salmon fillets. Place flour on a large plate. Lightly coat each piece of salmon with the flour. Crush, peel and finely chop the garlic. In a small bowl, mix the sauce ingredients together and set aside.

To Cook:
Heat oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat. When the oil is hot, brown the salmon pieces in a covered pan for 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Pour the sauce mixture over salmon. Cook with the cover on for a few seconds longer. Serve hot.

Makes 4 servings
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 8 minutes

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