Category Archives: Moist Stir-fry (滑炒)

A Love Affair with Pan-Fried Noodles

Hong Kong Style Pan-Fried Noodles

My family is originally from the coastal Chinese province of Fujian. Traditionally our noodles are cooked in soup, boiled unadorned except for seasonings, or stir-fried in a wok with a thin sauce. When I was about ten years old my family went to a Cantonese dim sum house in Singapore, which at that time was an exotic excursion for a family accustomed to mostly eating Fujianese food. We were served a pan-fried noodles dish of delicious seafood vegetable sauce dripping all over thin golden brown crispy noodles. That was the beginning of my life long love affair with Hong Kong pan-fried noodles.

Also posted in Chicken, Noodles, Recipes, Techniques | Tagged , , | 7 Responses

Moo Goo Gai Pan by Definition

Moo Goo Gai Pan

Arriving in America in the 1970’s I was introduced to a few American Chinese restaurants that still served chop suey and chow mein. I remembered that one particular item on the menu aroused my curiosity. It was Moo Goo Gai Pan. Expecting a dish with mushrooms and chicken I ordered it. Imagine my horror when the dish arrived displaying a rainbow array of vegetables with pork slices. There was no Moo Goo. There was no Gai Pan.

Also posted in Chicken, Recipes | 18 Responses

Pumpkin Bowl and Thanksgiving

Seven Treasures Stir-Fry in Pumpkin Bowl

Seven Treasures Stir-Fry in Pumpkin Bowl

As a newly arrived foreign student from Singapore during my university years in Boston, I had to learn the customs and traditions of American holidays. Although I was already familiar with Christmas and New Year celebrations, Thanksgiving was totally unknown to me. For my first Thanksgiving in America my roommate invited me to spend the holiday with his family in New Hampshire. Unbeknownst to me I was to experience a classic yet quaint practice of American holiday celebration: an enormous turkey dinner and a football game.

Also posted in Recipes, Vegetables, Vegetarian | Tagged | 7 Responses

Summer Cooking with Fresh Lychees

Rose Flavored Stir-fried Shrimp with Lychees

Rose Flavored Stir-fried Shrimp with Lychees

Summer in Shanghai heralds the arrival of bountiful local fruits like lychees (荔枝), longans (龍眼), peaches, and yangmei (waxberries 楊梅). Street vendors hawk them from overflowing bamboo baskets, which they carry on poles balanced on their shoulders. They are a welcome, yet increasingly rare, sight in modern Shanghai as urban life whizzes by. Although I’m not adept at the art of bargaining I would always try to get the best deal from the vendors. It simply is part of commerce in China. After successfully negotiating a purchase I would bring my fruits home, chill them and serve them at the end of dinner. But this is not the only way to enjoy these summer fruits. Cooking with fruits is a long-standing tradition in Chinese cuisine.

Also posted in Recipes, Seafood | Tagged | 5 Responses

Lily Bulbs: Westerners Plant Them, The Chinese Eat Them

Stir-fry Lily Bulbs and Celery

Stir-fry Lily Bulbs and Celery

I can’t believe it’s been more than a month since my last post! I’d just completed a major system development project for a client at work. The delivery of this system had taken over my entire attention. Perhaps some of the technologist readers out there might sympathize with me and I ask for your apology. As soon as the project was over I went to Chinatown and was excited to find edible lily bulbs (百合) in season. I was itching to get back to my kitchen.

Also posted in Recipes, Vegetables, Vegetarian | Tagged | 12 Responses

Beyond Bok Choy: Other Shades of Green

Stir-fried Mustard Green with Crabmeat

Many Chinese vegetables are known to Americans as bok choy or simply Chinese cabbage. Although there is a wide variety of these “Chinese cabbages,” they all have a very similar, neutral, non-threatening taste recognizable to the American palate. But don’t be fooled, not all Chinese vegetables are bland and blah. There is also a large selection of mustard greens, not commonly known by Americans, that have much more distinct bitter and spicy flavors.

Also posted in Recipes, Seafood, Vegetables | 7 Responses

Stir-fry Fortnight IV – Moist Stir-fry

YuXiang Stir-fry Pork

YuXiang Stir-fry Pork

If plain stir-fry is the least known stir-fry variation in America, then moist stir-fry is the best known. The gooey, tasteless sauces in “Chop Suey” and Moo Goo Gai Pan found in so many Chinese-American restaurants all rely on this technique. Whoever created these recipes obviously had a special affinity for this common technique and used it ad nauseum.

Also posted in Pork, Recipes, Techniques | Tagged | Series: | 10 Responses

Double Winter Delights

Double Winter Delights

Winter Bamboo Shoots

I was in Chinatown last weekend shopping for Chinese provisions to bring back to Harlem. To my delight I noticed that dong sun (冬筍), or winter bamboo shoots, are in season. Winter bamboo shoots are one of the prized vegetables, along with dong gu mushrooms (冬菇 or winter mushroom) eagerly awaited in markets by shoppers in China during winter. They used to be two of the few fresh vegetables available during the harsh winter months. Therefore they are revered and commonly paired in winter dishes.

Also posted in Recipes, Techniques, Vegetables | 2 Responses
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