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Lo Mein refers to the process for cooking noodles; mein means noodle in
Chinese.

VEGETABLES LO MEIN

1/4 lb soft, fresh wheat flour noodles
6 dried Jyo mushrooms (OR
10 Nami mushrooms)
3 large stalks celery
1/2 c sliced bamboo shoots
2 T cooking oil
1/4 t salt
1 c chicken broth
1/2 t sugar
cornstarch paste

Noodles: Add soft noodles to boiling salted water; stir with chopsticks &
cook until noodles lose their floury taste but are still firm. Immediately
drain in colander & rinse in cold water to arrest cooking process. If you
hold noodles for more than 10 minutes toss them with a little oil to prevent
sticking.

Vegetables: Soak Jyo mushrooms for 2 hours in warm water (1 hour for Nami
mushrooms); slice in thin strips. Slice celery with the grain in thin
strips about 3" long. Cut bamboo shoots in strips to match celery.

Stir-Frying: Heat wok to medium-high. When hot, dribble oil around side of
pan. Add salt; stir briefly. Add mushrooms & bamboo shoots; stir for about
30 seconds. Add celery, stir vigorously for 30 seconds. Push vegetables up
side of wok; add broth & sugar, bring to boil.

Add noodles, a handful at a time, stirring them into broth for about 20
seconds. Combine vegetables & noodles, cover wok, steam for 30 seconds.
Push all ingredients to side. If necessary, thicken juices slightly with
cornstarch paste. Add paste a little at a time, stirring constantly. Serve
immediately.

Serves 4

KEY WORDS: menu 10, stir-fry, boil
----
Contrary to popular belief, lobster sauce does not contain lobster. It's
delicious served OVER lobster or shrimp.

SHRIMP WITH LOBSTER SAUCE

16 raw shrimp, 3-inch unshelled
2 T oil for stir-fry
LOBSTER SAUCE:
2 t salted black beans
1 large clove garlic, minced
2 green onions
1 large egg
1 T water
2 T cooking oil
1/2 lb ground pork (not sausage)
1/2 c chicken broth
1/2 T thin soy sauce
1 t sugar
cornstarch paste

Lobster Sauce: Soak salted black beans for 10 minutes; rinse & drain. Mash
with garlic. Cut green onions in 1/2" sections. In small bowl, beat egg with
water.

Shrimp: Shell, devein & butterfly shrimp. To butterfly shrimp, slice along
the back about 3/4 of the way through the flesh with a small paring knife.
Spread shrimp open; cover but do not refrigerate.

To stir-fry, heat wok to medium-high. When hot, dribble oil around side of
pan. Put shrimp in wok all at once, & start tossing. Keep shrimp in
motion, so they will cook uniformly. When they just begin to curl, remove
to the serving dish.

Heat wok to medium; add remaining oil. When oil is hot (not smoking) add
garlic/bean mixture. Stir briskly until aroma of beans & garlic is strong,
but don't overcook. Add ground pork in little pieces; stir-fry until
cooked, about 4 minutes. Add broth, soy sauce & sugar, stirring while
mixture comes to a boil. Thicken mixture with cornstarch paste to create a
light cream-like sauce (not too thick). Slowly stir in beaten egg. Cook
briefly. Add shrimp. Mix and serve.

Serves 4

KEY WORDS: menu 10, main dish, stir-fry
----
"Singapore" signals that this dish is seasoned with curry.

SINGAPORE FRIED NOODLES

6 skeins dried shrimp noodles
1/2 c dried shrimp
1 egg
1 t water
1/2 lb barbecued pork
2 stalks celery
2 c bean sprouts, blanched
1 medium yellow onion
1 green bell pepper
1 medium firm tomato
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 t fresh ginger, minced
1 T curry powder
4 T peanut oil
SAUCE:
1/2 c stock
2 t thin soy sauce
1 t sugar
1 t chili oil

Noodles: Rinse shrimp noodles. Boil noodles in water until cooked but
still firm. These thin noodles only take about 3 minutes to reach this
stage. Drain, reserving boiling water, & rinse with cold water until
noodles are cooled & will not stick together. Place in oiled bowl,
refrigerate until firm. The noodles must be firm before frying. Can be
prepared day before.

Preparation: Wash & soak dried shrimp for 30 minutes; cut into thin pieces.
Combine egg & water; cook as very thin omelet; cool; slice into 2" long
shreds. Thinly slice pork to match. Blanch bean sprouts in noodle water
(this water will have other uses, so hold onto it). Peel strings off celery
stalks, thinly slice. Peel & halve onions, slice thinly. Core pepper,
slice thinly in 2" lengths. Slice tomato in thin wedges. OR: slice these
vegetables to match size of bean sprouts for better looking dish (a good
shredder does this job quickly). Mix sauce ingredients in bowl.

Stir-fry: Add 1/2 of peanut oil to hot wok. When oil begins to smoke, toss
in garlic, ginger, shrimp & vegetables, except tomato; stir-fry on high heat
for 2 minutes. Add sauce, & continue cooking until sauce reduces by half.
Remove to holding bowl.

Rinse wok; return to high heat; when it is dry, reduce heat to medium & add
remaining peanut oil. Heat oil to moderate (don`t let it smoke); add curry
powder, stirring to mix with oil. Avoid burning curry; if it burns, start
over. Cook curry powder for about 30 seconds. Add noodles a fist-full at a
time, breaking noodles into short pieces. Toss noodles to coat & heat them.
When hot, add cooked shrimp & vegetables; toss together to mix. Turn off
heat. Add pork, egg shreds & tomato wedges; mix together. Serve. By the
time dish is on the table, tomatoes will be hot, but still firm.

Serves 8

KEY WORDS: menu 21, stir-fry
----
Steamed mushroom caps, filled with a mound of moist meat, make delicious
party food.

STEAMED MUSHROOMS

8 dried "jyo" black mushrooms
8 large button mushrooms
2 c stock
1 piece star anise
1/2 t Sichuan peppercorns
SAUCES:
1/2 c plum sauce
1 T warm water
2 T dry mustard
3 T water
1/2 t white vinegar
1 t thin soy sauce
FILLING:
1 lb fatty pork shoulder
1/2 t cornstarch
1 t water
1 t oyster sauce
1 t dark soy sauce
1/4 t black pepper
2 green onions, minced
1/4 t fresh ginger, minced
1 t Chinese parsley, minced

Preparation: Wash & soak "jyo" mushrooms in warm water for at least 1 hour.
Add star anise and peppercorns to stock. Stew button mustrooms in stock for
30 minutes; remove from stock; discard mushroom stems. Strain stock for use
in another dish. Mix plum sauce with warm water in dip saucer, cover &
reserve. Make a paste of dry mustard & water; cover & let marry for 30
minutes; then add white vinegar & thin soy sauce.

Filling: Finely chop pork shoulder. Mix cornstarch & water; add oyster
sauce, soy sauce & black pepper. Add chopped pork; work with your fingers
into thick mixture. Add onions, ginger & Chinese parsley. Allow filling to
stand in covered bowl for 30 minutes. Mound about 1 1/2 teaspoons of
filling on each mushroom. Arrange on serving plate.

Steaming: In steamer, bring water to rapid boil first; steam "jyo"
mushrooms for 30 minutes; steam buttons for 20 minutes. Serve. If you plan
to reheat before serving, steam for 5 minutes less, then reheat for 10
minutes.

Serves 8

KEY WORDS: menu 21, make ahead, steam
----
A flavorful addition to soups and sauces.

FIVE-SPICE BOUQUET

small piece of star anise
cassia bark
orange peel
cardamon
ginger root

Put ingredients together in tea strainer or cheesecloth bag. Add to soups
or sauces during cooking; remove before serving.

Makes 1 bouquet
-----
This dish is a good example of the whole being greater than the parts.

BRAISED CHICKEN DRUMSTICKS

8 chicken fryer drumsticks
cornstarch for dredging
3 c oil for deep-frying
1 c dried chestnuts
1 five-spice bouquet (OR
1 T five-spice powder)
4 c cold water
1/2 c dark soy sauce
1/2 c rock sugar
1/2 c medium sherry
1/2 t salt

Preparation: At least 12 hours before cooking this dish, rinse several
times then soak dried chestnuts. After soaking, remove pieces of skin
wedged in nutmeat.

Deep-frying: In wok or suitable pan, slowly heat deep-frying oil; oil is
ready when bubbles quickly form around chopstick held vertically in oil.
Meanwhile, dredge drumsticks in cornstarch; shake off excess starch. Deep-
fry drumsticks 2 at a time until brown, about 5 minutes. Remove from oil;
drain.

Red-cooking: Pour water in sandy pot or comparable casserole dish; add 5-
spice bouquet, soy sauce, sherry & salt (5-spice powder can be substituted,
though the final flavor will be less distinctive). Slowly bring to boil,
reduce heat, cover pot & simmer 15 minutes. Remove cover; discard bouquet;
add salt & rock sugar; dissolve rock sugar. You can stop here until near
serving time.

About 30 minutes before serving time, add drumsticks & soaked chestnuts to
hot red-cooked sauce. Simmer in covered pot for 15 minutes; remove cover;
simmer for another 15 minutes. Sauce should have reduced by about 1/3, and
become bright & thick.

To serve, prop drumsticks up around sides of sandy pot; spear chestnuts with
sate sticks or long toothpicks.

Serves 8

KEY WORDS: menu 21, make ahead, braise
----
Contrary to the name, salt baked chicken is not the least bit salty. Rather
the salt acts as a heat conductor. To work well, salt must be very hot.

SALT BAKED CHICKEN

3 lb fryer
6 lb rock salt
parchment paper
1/4 c peanut oil
1 t salt
3 T dark soy sauce
1 whole star anise
2 T sherry
1 T fresh ginger, minced
1 T garlic, minced
2 green onions, coarsely chopped

Preparation: Wash chicken & pat dry. Swab cavity with sherry; stuff with
ginger, garlic & green onions; seal with clip or string. Rub outside of
chicken with dark soy sauce; allow to stand until soy sauce is absorbed.
Wrap chicken in 3 layers of parchment paper, tie with string, coat outer
layer with peanut oil.

Baking: In wok or large pot, heat rock salt, stirring periodically, until
it begins to brown. Place wrapped chicken in rock salt, spooning some salt
around sides & over top. Cook for about 10 minutes. Turn over chicken,
cover with rock salt (but always have at least 2" layer of salt under
chicken) & cook for another 10 minutes. This cooking time will give a
moist, slightly underdone chicken. Increase baking time to 15 minutes on
each side, for well done.

Remove chicken from salt; strip off paper; allow to stand for 15 minutes to
cool & congeal juices. Cut in half, then into bite-size pieces. Serve with
soy dip.

Serves 4

KEY WORDS: main dish, roast
----
Steaming maximizes nutrition and minimizes last minute preparation.

STEAMED BREAST OF CHICKEN WITH BLACK MUSHROOMS

1 large chicken breast
8 dried Nami black mushrooms
2 green onions
8 water chestnuts
1 Chinese sausage (opt)
MARINADE:
2 T dry sherry
1 T cornstarch
2 slices ginger root, minced
1 t sesame oil
2 T thin soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 t sugar

Preparation: Soak dried mushrooms in hot water for 1/2 hour or until soft.
Remove stems; thinly slice caps. Debone chicken; slice into 1/2" thick,
quarter-size coins; place pieces in shallow, heat-proof dish. Add marinade
ingredients to chicken; marinate for at least 30 minutes. Slice water
chestnuts in thin circles. Cut green onions on bias into 1" sections.

There are 2 varieties of "Cantonese-style" Chinese semi-dried sausage
available in Chinese markets: duck liver & sweet pork meat. Either will do
for this dish. Cut sausage on bias into 1/8" thick slices. Marinade is not
used with sausage.

Steaming: Mix sliced mushrooms & water chestnuts with chicken. If desired,
add sausage. Steam for 20 minutes. If using deep bowl, stir chicken after
10 minutes to make certain bottom pieces get cooked. Just before serving,
add green onions. Serve immediately, since cornstarch will become gummy if
dish is allowed to cool.

HINT: If using metal steamer, stretch dish towel under steamer cover, to
prevent build-up of condensed steam in dish.

Serves 2

KEY WORDS: main dish, steam
----
A popular Cantonese tea house treat.

HONEY SPONGE CAKE

6 eggs, separated, at room temperature
1 c granulated sugar
1/4 c almond powder (OR
1 t almond extract)
1 T honey
1 1/2 c all purpose flour
1 1/2 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
1/2 t baking soda
4 T milk
2 T melted butter, cooled (or peanut oil)

In bowl, sift flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. In another bowl,
beat egg whites until stiff.

With electric mixer, beat egg yolks; gradually blend in sugar and almond
powder. Cream mixture until smooth, about 5 minutes. Add honey (and almond
extract). Mix together milk, baking soda and cooled melted butter; add to
egg yolk mixture. Gradually add sifted flour mixture.

When batter is thoroughly blended, quickly but gently fold in egg whites.

Steaming: Before mixing, bring water in steamer to boil. Grease bottom
only of 9" round flat-bottom, high-sided bowl (or tube pan, bundt pan or
cupcake tins). Pour batter into bowl. Steam for 1 hour.

Best served steaming hot, cake can always be resteamed without suffering.

Makes 1 cake

KEY WORDS: make ahead, dessert, steam
----
Chinese chefs tend to favor a milder curry sauce, compared to Indian and
Southeast Asian cooks.

STEAMED FRESH CRAB IN CURRY SAUCE

1 large whole fresh crab
6 slices ginger root
2 T dry sherry
3 spring onions or Chinese parsley
SAUCE:
1/2 bell pepper, coarsely diced
1 t curry powder
1/4 t salt
1/2 t sugar
1 c stock
1 t ginger, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 T peanut oil
cornstarch paste

Make Sauce: Heat oil in medium-hot saucepan. Saute minced garlic until
fragrant. Add curry powder. Stir over medium heat for about 1 minute -
avoid burning powder. Add stock, salt, sugar and ginger; bring to boil;
cook for 1 minute. Add bell pepper, which has been coarsely diced into 1/4"
squares; stir in enough thin cornstarch paste to make a light sauce. As
soon as sauce thickens, remove from heat and reserve. This sauce can be
made up ahead and reheated just before serving.

Clean & Steam Crab: Pry off plate from crab in one piece. Separate legs
with cleaver; wash all parts, cleaning out junk; cut soft inner sections of
legs into manageable pieces. Carefully crack claws, keeping them intact.
Reassemble crab on oval platter. Before putting on back, sprinkle meat with
dry sherry; lay ginger on top; then put on back plate. Wash green onions,
remove roots, and shred, greens and all, into 2" sections.

Bring water in steamer to rolling boil. Steam crab for about 15-20 minutes,
depending on size. Meanwhile, reheat curry sauce (or keep hot in double
boiler). Remove steamed crab from steamer; drain excess water. Lift back
plate off crab; pour curry sauce over crab; sprinkle with onion shreds;
return back plate. Serve.

Serves 4

KEY WORDS: main dish, menu 22, steam
----
The further ahead you start this delicious "soup" the better it will taste.

BRAISED LION`S HEAD IN A SANDY POT

1 lb pork butt, ground or chopped
1/4 c water chestnuts, minced
1 t ginger root, minced
2 green onions, minced
1/2 c cooked rice, minced
1 T dark soy
1/2 t sesame oil
2 T water
3 c Chinese mustard cabbage, shredded
4 c stock (or water)
1/2 t salt, to taste
1/4 t sugar
6 T peanut oil

Preparation: In bowl, thoroughly mix pork, water chestnuts, ginger root,

green onions, cooked rice, dark soy, sesame oil & water. Allow mixture to
marry for 30 minutes. Form into firm balls, one for each serving, each the
size of a tennis ball (about 3 1/2" across).

Braising: Heat wok or skillet to hot; add oil. When oil begins to smoke,
introduce meatballs 1 at a time, so as not to cool oil. Fry meatballs until
a brown crust has formed. They must be well crusted in order to retain
their shape while stewing.

Cooking in Sandy Pot: Line sandy pot with shredded Chinese mustard cabbage;
sprinkle with pan oil from meatballs, salt & sugar. Add meatballs, then add
cool or cold stock. Bring slowly to boil; cover; reduce heat to medium &
simmer for about 2 hours. Correct seasoning if necessary. Serve.

Serves 4

KEY WORDS: menu 22, soup, braise
----
We suggest serving this flavorful soup bubbling hot in the traditional
Mongolian Fire Pot. It is both a dramatic presentation and very practical.

LAMB SOUP POT

4 lbs lamb bones, cracked
1 lb lamb meat (shoulder or leg)
4 qts. cold water
1 T fresh ginger, sliced
1 large onion, quartered
1/2 t salt
1 t sugar
1/2 c light sherry
1/2 lb canned salted mustard green
1 lb bean sprouts
1/2 c unsoaked "cloud ear" dried black fungus
4 scallions
1/2 lb dried bean thread noodles
8 charcoal briquettes

Make stock: Put lamb bones, ginger, onions & water in stock pot. Bring to
boil, reduce heat & simmer for 2 hours, reducing liquid by half. Skim
froth. Shred lamb meat. Add meat, salt, sugar & light sherry to stock.
Simmer for another 20 minutes.

Finish soup: Wash & soak "cloud ears." Soak noodles for a few minutes
until soft. Drain & rinse mustard green; slice into shreds. Rinse bean
sprouts. Wash & remove roots from scallions; shred on bias, greens & all.

Prepare Fire Pot: Heat charcoal briquettes. When they start to turn white,
transfer to bottom of Fire Pot; place pot on heat-proof tile on your table.
Add half the broth & half the other ingredients, reserving the rest for
later in dinner. Serve after broth has boiled briefly.

Serves 4

KEY WORDS: soup, boil
----
Unlike so many Chinese lamb recipes, the aim here is to retain and enhance
the fat-rich lamb flavor.

LAMB SLIVERS IN PUNGENT SAUCE

1 lb lamb meat (shoulder or leg)
2 T sherry
1/4 t salt
1/2 t cornstarch
1/2 c peanut oil
4 scallions
1/2 large bell pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1 t fresh ginger, minced
1/2 c stock
1 T thin soy sauce
1/2 T dark soy sauce
1/2 t sugar
1/2 T cider vinegar

Preparation: Cut lamb across grain in slivers about 2" long. In bowl,
sprinkle lamb with salt & cornstarch; rub into meat; add sherry. Marinate
lamb for 15 minutes. Trim & cut scallions in 2" pieces. Halve, core &
slice bell pepper into slivers to match lamb. Combine stock, soy sauce,
sugar and vinegar; reserve.

Cooking: Heat peanut oil in wok to deep-fry temperature (bubbles form
around dry chopstick held upright in oil). Fry lamb slivers briefly, until
coating of starch begins to brown. Remove to strainer & reserve. Remove oil
from wok and save. Wash wok.

Return wok to high heat. Add 2 T oil to very hot wok. When oil starts to
smoke, add scallions & bell pepper. Stir-fry for 30 seconds; add garlic &
ginger. Keep stir-frying. When pepper turns bright green, add stock
mixture. Stir until liquid boils and reduces slightly. Add lamb. Stir-fry
until lamb is hot. Serve.

Serves 4

KEY WORDS: main dish, stir-fry
----

BRAISED CHINESE CABBAGE

2 lbs Napa (or celery) cabbage
1 t salt
8 Chinese "jyo" black mushrooms
1 T dried shrimp
1/4 c Sichuan preserved mustard green
1 T peanut oil
1 c chicken stock
1/4 t salt
1 T sherry
1/2 t sugar
1 t thin soy sauce
cornstarch paste
1 T rendered chicken fat

Preparation: Wash & soak Chinese mushrooms & dried shrimp in warm water for
1 hour until soft. Mince shrimp. Remove hard stem from mushrooms. Wash &
thinly slice mustard green. Separate cabbage leaves; blanch in salted
boiling water for 30 seconds; drain; slice into 2" sections. In a bowl,
combine stock, salt, sherry, sugar & soy sauce; reserve. Render chicken fat
in small saucepan at medium heat; discard pieces of fat; keep oil hot.

Braising: Heat peanut oil in wok until hot but not smoking. Stir-fry
mushrooms, shrimp & mustard green for 15 seconds. Add cabbage; stir-fry for
1 minute. Add stock mixture; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover wok, &
simmer for 10 minutes, reducing liquid by half; add more stock if needed.
Turn up heat; add enough cornstarch paste to make light sauce. Swirl in hot
chicken oil. Serve.

Note: Cabbage leaves should become transparent, but avoid overcooking; they
should be soft but not wilted.

Serves 4

KEY WORDS: main dish, braise
----