Category Archives: Recipes

Strengthen Your Kidneys with Mountain Yam and Fox Nuts

Herbal Pork Soup in a Ladle

Herbal Pork Soup in a Ladle

For millenniums the Chinese prepared their meals with the express purpose of maintaining a healthy constitution. In fact the earliest texts of Chinese cookery read more like a pharmacologist’s guide than recipe book. It is not surprising that this practice has become a formalized discipline known as food therapy, and making herbal soup one of its best-developed aspects.

Also posted in Pork, Soup | Tagged , | 16 Responses

Diana Kuan’s General Tso’s Chicken and the American Admiral

General Tso's Chicken

General Tso's Chicken

In 1953 Admiral Arthur W. Radford, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, visited Taiwan for talks with President Chiang Kai-Shek. The presidential palace chef, Peng Chang-Kuei (彭長貴), was asked to create a banquet to entertain the illustrious guest. After planning some traditional Hunan dishes, he decided to create a few new dishes for the menu. One of them was General Tso’s Chicken. Thus the world’s most famous Chinese dish was born.

Also posted in Chicken | Tagged , , | 23 Responses

Short Order Lunch with Fried Eggs

Fried Eggs Over Rice

Fried Eggs Over Rice

Writing a book is a fulltime job. This I discovered last fall once I started to earnestly concentrate on completing my cookbook. What with my commitments in restaurant consulting and teaching, I have no time at all to prepare lunch. To utilize my time efficiently I buy commercial cold cuts, sliced cheeses and wheat bread to make sandwiches. But I yearn for the occasional comfort Chinese lunch that invariably sooths my anxiety about writing the book. So I need a new lunch plan.

Also posted in Deep-Frying, Snack Food | Tagged , | 7 Responses

Jellyfish: To Eat or Not To Eat

Jellyfish and Wood Ear Mushroom Salad

If you feel that this has been a very hot summer then you’re right. In fact this last twelve-month period is the warmest ever recorded in the U.S. according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. To escape the heat of July and August, residents of overcrowded cities throughout the Northern hemisphere abandon their homes and flock to the nearest beach resorts. Over the last several years something else has been gathering to welcome the tourists: the jellyfish.

Also posted in Cold Dishes, Seafood | Tagged , , | 14 Responses

ZhaJiang Mian Alternative: Shrimp Sauce

Have you ever gotten into a situation where two friends you’ve invited for dinner have different dietary constraints? One doesn’t eat red meat, but another would eat just about everything except liver. And you’ve been planning to serve your signature beef Wellington to dazzle your guests. Being the good host that you are you put on your creative thinking cap and accommodate them by changing the menu.

Also posted in Noodles, Seafood | Tagged , | 10 Responses

Announcing the Opening of Lotus Blue

Lotus Blue Window


Photography by Jude Tan

It’s official! Lotus Blue is now open. Four months of researching and developing the menu, plus hiring and training of the kitchen staff finally culminated in our grand opening last Tuesday, February 21st. New York’s first restaurant serving a full menu of authentic and modern dishes from Yunnan province of China is now open… and I am having the thrill of a lifetime.

Also posted in Rice Dishes | Tagged , , | 19 Responses

Zhajiang Mian: A Meat Sauce Taste Test

Zhajiang Mian

Go to a Japanese noodle shop or a casual Korean restaurant and you’ll find two noodle dishes with very similar names: Jajangmyeon and Jajamen. Not unlike spaghetti Bolognese they consist of a bed of noodles topped with a brown ground meat sauce often accompanied by julienned cucumbers. Few people though realize that this dish originated in China. Known as Zhajiang Mian (炸醬麵) in Mandarin it is a classic snack food from the Beijing region.

Also posted in Noodles, Pork | Tagged , | 8 Responses

Breaking Bread with Barry the Berry

Pineapple Shrimp Fried Rice

Precariously balancing an overly full tray of pineapple shrimp fried rice I got off the elevator and entered a high ceiling open space loft in the Soho district of New York City. Workstations with flickering screens were everywhere, and a meeting room hides behind walls rising half way up to the ceiling. In another open space I saw the original painting of Barry the berry on a horse back looking out onto a valley, which is the same picture attached to the about page of gojee.com. Although I have no idea what is the significance of this picture I knew this had to be the right place. I was in one of the communal office spaces of the New York City’s many technology startups. It was the home of the team behind gojee.com, a recipe search site with thousands of recipe listings from the best food bloggers.

Also posted in Dry Wok Stir-fry (煸炒), Rice Dishes, Seafood, Techniques | Tagged , | 5 Responses

Project Yunnan

Stir-Fried Abalone Mushrooms with Purple Basil

What happens when the cooking of China collides with that of Burma, Thailand, Laos and Vietnam? The result is a fresh cuisine full of bold and explosive flavors. This is precisely what you’ll find in the cooking of Yunnan province of southwestern China. I’ve been researching and developing recipes from this region during the last three months. Indeed I took a trip to Yunnan in November last year to get a better understanding of the region’s foodways. Why the sudden interest in this cuisine? I’m glad you asked. I have great news to tell you about my involvement in the imminent opening of a Yunnan restaurant in Tribeca.

Also posted in Dry Wok Stir-fry (煸炒), Techniques, Vegetables, Vegetarian | Tagged , | 13 Responses

Turkey Another Way

Stir-Fried Turkey Over Rice

During Christmas, or Thanksgiving for that matter, many Chinese immigrant families like mine face a dilemma. Should we serve turkey or just simply make a Chinese meal? Turkey has always been an iconic American foods that the Chinese never embraced. Jeff Yang wrote in a Wall Street Journal blog post that his family serves both the big bird and “a long buffet line” of other Chinese dishes. This seems to be the most common solution for satisfying both the family’s preference for Chinese food and our desire to assimilate into the American culinary tradition.

Also posted in Dry Wok Stir-fry (煸炒), Techniques | Tagged , | 4 Responses