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, 2009




Tofu Stuffed with Shrimp

A very tasty tofu dish. Be sure to spoon plenty of the sauce over tofu before eating!

1 package firm tofu (16 oz.)
½ pound small or medium size raw shrimp
1 scallion, including the green top
1 tablespoon rice or cooking sherry wine
1 teaspoon cornstarch
½ teaspoon salt
Pinch of white pepper
2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil (for cooking in a non-stick wok or a fry pan)

½ can chicken broth (about 1 cup)
2 tablespoons oyster sauce*
1 teaspoon sesame oil
½ teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch dissolved in ¼ cup water

Rinse the tofu block with cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Cut the tofu in half lengthwise. Then cut the tofu crosswise into 20 (¼ inch thick) pieces. Peel, de-vein and rinse the shrimp. Cut the shrimp into very small pieces. Wash and trim the green onion, finely chop. Save 1 tablespoon of green onions for garnish. In a small bowl, combine the shrimp, onions, wine, cornstarch, salt and white pepper. Mix the ingredients together thoroughly. Carefully place 1 full tablespoon of the shrimp mixture between two pieces of tofu. Makes 10 tofu sandwiches. In a small bowl, dissolve 2 tablespoons cornstarch with ¼ cup water and set aside.

To Cook:
Heat oil in a non-stick 10″ frying pan over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, place the 10 pieces of stuffed tofu into pan. Pan-fry one side of the stuffed tofu for approximately 5 minutes until lightly golden brown. Carefully turn each stuffed tofu sandwich over, cover the pan with a lid and pan-fry for another 5 minutes. Remove the cooked tofu and place onto a serving plate.

In a small pot, heat the chicken broth with oyster sauce, sesame oil and sugar over medium heat and bring to a boil. Stir the dissolved cornstarch again and add to pot. Constantly stir and cook until the sauce thickens and becomes clear. Pour sauce evenly over the stuffed tofu. Sprinkle with remaining chopped green onions for garnish. Serve hot.

Makes 10 stuffed tofu
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 12 minutes

* Oyster sauce by the bottle is sold in the Asian section of the most supermarkets. After opening, it can stored for several months in the refrigerator.




Braised Jalapeno Peppers

The people in China’s Szechwan province create many kinds of braised hot chili pepper dishes. Since fresh jalapeño peppers are accessible in most supermarkets, you can make this wonderful and spicy side dish at home.

1 pound fresh green jalapeño peppers
2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil (for cooking in a non stick wok or a fry pan)
¼ cup white vinegar
¼ cup soy sauce (Kikkoman brand)
1 teaspoon sugar

Wash the peppers and remove the stems. Cut each pepper lengthwise in half and then into quarters. Use a small knife to carefully cut out the white color membranes with seeds. Try not to touch them with your fingers as they are very hot!

To Cook:
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a non-stick wok over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add peppers. Cook and brown the peppers for about 5 minutes. Add white vinegar, soy sauce and sugar. Lower the heat to medium-low. Cook and stir until the peppers are soft and tender for about 10 minutes.  Serve warm or cold.  Goes well with steaks and other meats.

Makes 6 to 8 servings as a side dish
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes




Shrimp and Pear Salad

If you enjoy shrimp and pears, you’ll enjoy the combination of ingredients in this recipe. It makes for a wonderful main dish for lunch or an appetizer for dinner. For added formality to your presentation, serve the salad individually on a bed of green lettuce.

1 pound medium size raw shrimp (31 to 40 counts per pound)
2 cups water and 1 teaspoon salt to boil the shrimp
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon red hot chili oil
½ teaspoon salt
1 scallion, including the green top
1 oz. fresh cilantro (about ¼ cup after chopped)
3 firm but ripe Bartlett Pears (about 7 oz, each)
3 tablespoons tomato ketchup
2 tablespoons light mayonnaise

Preparation and Cooking:
Peel and devein shrimp. Rinse with cold water. In a medium size pot bring 2 cups water and 1 teaspoon salt to a full boil. Add shrimp, cook and stir until shrimp turns pink and firm for about 2 minutes. Careful not over cook them. Remove shrimp from heat and immediately rinse with cold water for a few seconds. Pat dry with paper towels. Cut each shrimp in half.

In a large bowl, combine the shrimp with 1 tablespoon lime juice, 1 teaspoon red chili oil and ½ teaspoon salt. Mix together thoroughly and set aside. Wash and trim the green onion and cilantro. Finely chop both. Wash and core the pears. Do not peel the skins. Cut pears into 1 inch cubes.

Add the chopped green onions, cilantro, ketchup and mayonnaise to the shrimp first. Mix together thoroughly then add the pear cubes. Gently stir to coat the pears. Serve chilled.

Makes 4 to 6 servings
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 2 minutes

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