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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)

Posts Tagged ‘Vegetables’

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


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


29

Jan

2011

Chinese Hot Pot

The Chinese Hot Pot is a popular, interactive, winter dish for family and friends to enjoy around the table. Unlike the Western oil-based fondue, the Hot Pot recipe can be made with water or with any kind of stock to cook both meat and vegetables.

chinese-hot-pot-003

Everything for this recipe can be bought at your local grocery store. All you need is a 12″x12″ wide and 3″deep electric skillet which is the minimum required to cook with 4 to 6 people. The best part? Ingredients can be prepared ahead of time by thinly slicing the meats and vegetables. Guest can then mix their own sauces which is key for a tasty meal.

For the basic Chinese Hot Pot you will need to heat the electric skillet on the table first. Be sure to cover the table top with some kind pad so you do not burn your nice dining room table (we’ve learned the hard way!). Add 10 cups of water to the pot so it is approximately ¾ quarters full. One person should be responsible for controlling the temperature of cooking.

chinese-hot-pot-006

Meats and Seafood:
1 pound chicken breasts (about 2 breast halves). Slice thinly crosswise into ¼ inch pieces.
1 pound pork loin (very lean pork). Slice thinly against the grain into ¼ inch pieces.
1 pound medium size shrimp (31 to 40 count per pound). Peel, devein and rinse the shrimp.

Vegetables:
½ pound napa cabbage. Wash and cut into 2 inch chunks.
½ pound bok choy cabbage. Wash and cut into 2 inch chunks.
1 tofu block, firm. Cut into 1 inch chunks.
½ pound broccoli. Wash and cut into small florets.
1 bundle cilantro (4 oz.). Wash well and cut into 2 inch sections.

Note:
You may use other meats and seafood of your choice such as quality beef, lamb, scallops, calamari, etc. You can also use any kind of vegetables such as spinach, regular cabbage, etc.

Sauces & Condiments: You must have all 5!
1. ½ cup smooth peanut butter. Mix with ½ cup water and 1 teaspoon salt. Using a pair chopsticks or a fork, mix well into a soft and smooth paste.
2. ½ cup soy sauce (Kikkoman brand), ¼ cup white vinegar and 2 teaspoons pure sesame oil. Mix together in a bowl.
3. 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh garlic (8 clove garlic), 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh ginger roots (2 oz.). Mix them together in a bowl.
4. Bottle of Sriracha hot chili sauce. Drip as much as you wish when you mix your sauces for dipping. (Sold in the Asian section of most supermarkets).
5. Bottle of Tabasco sauce. Drip as much as you wish when you mix your sauces for dipping.

Note:
Authentic Chinese Hot Pot sauce includes sesame paste. Because you can only buy it in the Chinese market, we are using smooth peanut butter. You can also use any type of spicy chili sauce and/or BBQ sauce to mix with your sauce bowl for dipping the meat and vegetables.

Presentation and Eating:
As mentioned above, the skillet filled with water should be placed in the middle of the dining table. Large plates of meat and vegetable should be placed around the pot with bowls of sauces. Everyone should be given a large plate with a pair chopstick or fork and a small bowl for dipping sauce.

chinese-hot-pot-0071

First, spoon each of the individual sauces and spices into your own bowl. Carefully work on your sauce to make sure it is the way you like it –  mild or spicy?

When the water in the skillet comes to a boil, everyone around the table can begin to add their choice of meat, seafood and vegetables a little at the time to cook.  Cook items for no more than 1-2 minutes and be careful not to overcook your meats or seafood. There should be a large slotted spoon in the skillet to stir and pick up the cooked food for your plate. (Or, purchase little wired baskets as a fun way for your guests to cook and scoop their meal). With chopsticks, take the cooked food from your plate and dip into the sauce from your own bowl to eat. This is a very healthy meal with a lot of fun. Enjoy!

Makes 4 to 6 servings
Preparation time: About one hour


9

Oct

2009

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

Preparation:
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


28

Dec

2008

Spicy Green Beans

Szechuan-style green beans are my favorite Chinese veggie side dish. It was only recently however that I realized that those healthy green beans are deep-fried before stir-fried in restaurants. No wonder they tasted so good!?! Here’s a spicy and delicious alternative we now make at home minus the frying oil.

1 pound fresh green beans
4 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil (for cooking in a non-stick wok or a fry pan)
1 teaspoon dried crushed red chili peppers
1/3 cup water
1 tablespoon Hoisin sauce*
1 teapsoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon pure sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preparation:
Wash and break off the stringy tips of the green beans and discard. Break each green bean in half. Crush, peel and finely chop the garlic.

To Cook:
Heat oil in a non-stick wok or a large frying pan over medium heat. When the oil is hot, brown garlic and red chili peppers for a few seconds. Add green beans. Cook and stir for 1 minute. Add water, hoisin sauce, vinegar, sesame oil and salt. Reduce heat to low. Cover and cook until all the liquid is nearly absorbed and the green beans are tender, approx. 14 to 15 minutes. Stir occasionally. Serve hot.

Makes 4 to 6 servings
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 17 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.


20

Nov

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

Preparation:
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

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