Posts Tagged ‘chinese’

Spicy-Crispy Chinese Green Beans

September 3, 2010

On Facebook a while back one of my friends asked if I had a recipe for spicy Chinese green beans, and well, I didn’t. Intrigued, and digging into my memory banks to try and remember if my mom had made these for dinner when I was growing up, or if it was something we had when we went out to an authentic Chinese restaurant.

Spicy green beans with ground pork and shrimp.

 

But the closest thing I had to a family recipe was remember the smell and flavors of the food my parents cooked growing up. And technique? Likewise, plus a few years helping out in my family’s Chinese/American/Polynesian/Wisconsiny restaurant (where else can you get General Tso’s chicken, ham steak with pineapple, and Friday night fish fry with breaded cod and tartar sauce with a baked potato the size of your foot and a brandy old fashioned to wash it all down?)

Oh, and I used the Google. Yes, the Google. I ain’t gonna lie. Throw in some improvisation and inspiration and this is what I got, and if you ask my boyfriend, it turned out pretty delicious. 

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Potstickers (gyoza)

March 4, 2009

My boyfriend came home to Wisconsin with me for Thanksgiving this year. He’s been subjected to my family’s feasting before, last when I dragged him along to my sister’s wedding, first when he came to my grad school graduation and met my parents when they came to visit me as well. That time, my mom threw together a meal of NY strip, garlic shrimp, cheesy mashed potatoes, and salad. At my sister’s wedding, he got the full wedding-banquet treatment, whole roast pig and all. My mom fed him so much (you must accept your girlfriend’s mom’s hospitality on penalty of death, I guess) that, as he likes to tell it, he broke out into a nervous sweat, kind of like when you drink too much and you suddenly realize you are very comfortable and don’t know what to do with yourself. Eventually, my mom commanded him to go take a nap.

Thanksgiving, then, in comparison, was relatively light fare. That is, if you consider “light fare” as having pork and shrimp potstickers at every meal, including at breakfast. This apparently is what results when you bring your boyfriend home and your boyfriend tells your mother that he loves all of her food, but the dumplings in particular. It was nothing but the truth, but even I didn’t think my mom would make sure that he’d never go a single meal (this included breakfast) without at least a few. I can’t say I didn’t completely mind, as I more than once snuck down the fridge to steal a few cold on, washing them down with a glass of water and a little bit of shame.

Call them by whichever name you prefer--Chinese dumplings, gyoza, potstickers--theyre irresistible by any name and in any language.

Call them by whichever name you prefer--Chinese dumplings, gyoza, potstickers--they're irresistible by any name and in any language.

Before I left I had to ask my mom for the recipe and technique, as she is in fact, the master of such things, but in typical-mom fashion, there were no exact measurements or times or directions…just a, you add a little bit of this, then you look at it to make sure it cooks to a golden brown…so on and so forth. And truly, this is the way to cook, and the way I generally cook, whether or not I have hard and fast directions, because really, where cooking (and not baking) is concerned, I think the try-as-y0u-go method is best.

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Presidential Eats

February 22, 2009

Inauguration lit DC up! Rice, myself, and our partners headed into the cold to watch our new President take the oath. I know the post is a little late, but better late than never, right?

We started our day, bright and surly, getting up at 5ish am. We braved the traffic jam to the parking structure and were on the Metro by 6:30 (not too shabby). You can tell by the looks on our faces that we were actually pleased with ourselves.

Ok, so we look terrible. We left the house at 5:30 am. What do you honestly want?

Ok, so we look terrible. We left the house at 5:30 am and were super bundled-up. What do you honestly want?

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Shitake Mushrooms and Snow Peas (with chicken and tofu)

December 12, 2008

Shitake Mushrooms and Snow Peas

I’ve been having a sort Asian-revival where it concerns food. Maybe it’s the winter. Maybe it was the impending trip I had home for Thanksgiving, but as of late I’ve been accessing the recesses of my mind and finding all sorts of goodies my parents used to prepare for dinner. One ingredient that I’ve rediscovered and fallen in love with all over again is the dried shitake mushroom. The dried shitake mushroom has a very different taste and texture than that of a fresh one. Thick and meaty and sweet, they are now a real treat. I grew up hating these–I used to pick them out of my bowl of rice at dinner–and somewhere along the way I thought to revist them and found that they were in fact, delicious. How taste changes, thank goodness. If it didn’t, I might still be sitting around eating bags of Funyuns and drinking Mountain Dew (oh wait, I still do that on occasion–if I start smelling of Axe body spray, though, please, call the authorities). (more…)