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Red-cooking is a form of stewing with a seasoned liquid containing soy sauce
and spices.


3 1/2 lb. (approx) whole frying chicken
1/2 c dark soy sauce
1 1/2 c peanut (or vegetable) oil for braising
2 T peanut oil for stewing
4 green onions
1/2 t minced fresh ginger
4 c water
1/2 c medium sherry
1/2 c thin soy sauce
1 clove star anise
1 t salt
3 lumps rock sugar
1 T sesame oil
cornstarch paste

If serving more people, get more chickens. Chickens should not exceed about
4 lbs. each.

Marinating: Wash chicken thoroughly under cool water: dry. Cut off fat
pockets around cavity opening. Place chicken in snug bowl. Brush or rub
dark soy sauce into skin; let stand in bowl for 30 minutes; repeat brushing
several times. Remove from bowl.

Braising: In wok heat oil for braising under medium high flame. When oil
is hot, but not smoking, quickly lower chicken into oil. Protect yourself
against splattering oil by holding wok lid over wok; don't actually cover
it. Using large spoon, baste chicken with hot oil, & turn once or twice so
skin browns evenly (about 10-15 minutes). Carefully remove chicken from
wok, trying not to break skin.

Stewing: Chop green onions into 2" sections. Heat peanut oil in heavy pot
or dutch oven, in which chicken will fit snugly. When oil is hot, add green
onions & ginger. Saute until onions are lightly brown. Add water, sherry,
thin soy, star anise & salt. Bring mixture to boil. While liquid is
heating, loosely tie legs of chicken together with a piece of twine. Lower
chicken into boiling liquid.

Bring liquid to boil again, then reduce heat for very slow simmer. Chicken
should actually be floating free in liquid. Cover & simmer for about 1 hour
or until chicken is very tender. Leave chicken in covered pot until 5
minutes before serving. Then remove it carefully to serving platter; remove
twine. Remove all but 1 cup of liquid from pot (including onion pieces).
Bring liquid to boil; thicken slightly with cornstarch paste; glaze with
sesame oil. Pour sauce over chicken & serve.

Serves 4

KEY WORDS: main dish, menu 13, braise
This attractive dish is spiced with pungent, hot chili sauce with garlic.


1 large end-cut pork chop (OR
1/2 lb pork butt)
1 1/4 c slivered winter bamboo shoots
1 t minced ginger root
2 large garlic cloves
2 T peanut oil
1/2 c chicken stock
1 t chili paste with garlic
1 pinch sugar
1 1/2 c vegetable oil
1/2 c rice stick noodles
2 t thin soy sauce
2 t cornstarch
cornstarch paste
1 t Chinese red vinegar

Preparation: Rinse bamboo shoots; slice & sliver to the size of thick
matchsticks. Slice pork like bamboo & marinate in thin soy sauce &
cornstarch for 10 minutes. Peel & slice garlic in thin rounds. Combine
stock, chili paste & sugar.

Deep-frying Rice Stick: Break up rice stick before measuring. Heat
vegetable oil in hot wok. When oil is medium hot, test a few pieces of rice
stick: it should fry quickly to a puffy white. If it browns, turn down the
heat. Fry rice sticks in very small batches. Spread out fried snow on
serving platter, reserve in warm place.

Stir-Frying: Clean wok; then reheat to very hot. Add peanut oil, heating
until it just begins to smoke; add drained pork & stir-fry briskly for about
2 minutes. Add bamboo, garlic & ginger. Toss with pork for 1 minute. Re-
stir liquids and add to wok. Cover wok, & simmer for 3 minutes. Remove
cover; turn up heat again; boil briefly to reduce sauce; sprinkle on
vinegar. Ladle over rice stick & serve.

Serves 4

KEY WORDS: main dish, menu 13, stir-fry, deep-fry
This recipe can be used with any firm, mild flavored vegetables in season.


2 medium turnips
2 small carrots
4 green onions
3 fresh asparagus spears
1/2 c button mushrooms
1/2 c peeled straw mushrooms
8 baby sweet corn
8 water chestnuts
1/2 t fresh ginger root
1 T Tientsin preserved vegetable
2 T peanut oil
2 c chicken stock
1 t salt
1 pinch sugar
cornstarch paste
1 T chicken fat
1/2 c crab meat or shelled shrimp (opt)

Preparation: Peel turnips & carrots. Use melon scoop to cut turnips into
large balls. Slice carrots 1/2" thick; then with paring knife, cut 4 evenly
spaced notches into rim of each slice (don't cut into center core). Carrots
should look like little flowers. Parboil turnip & carrots in stock until
barely tender. Remove from stock & plunge pieces into cold water; drain.
Cut onions, asparagus & baby corn into 1 1/2" pieces. Mince together fresh
ginger root & Tientsin preserved vegetable. Insmall pot or beaker on medium
heat, render pieces of chicken fat.

Stir-frying: Add peanut oil to hot wok. When it begins to smoke, briskly
fry crab meat or shrimp for 1 minute. Add asparagus, baby corn, mushrooms &
water chestnuts, stir-frying until they are hot. Add ginger mixture, then
onions. Stir-fry another 30 seconds. Add 1/2 stock, salt & sugar; bring to
boil. Add turnips & carrots. Cover & reduce heat; simmer for 5 minutes.
Uncover, push ingredients out of liquid, & dribble in cornstarch paste to
thicken slightly. Stir liquid to prevent lumping while it thickens to a
thick soup. Recombine, then mix in chicken oil. Remove to serving platter.

Serves 4

KEY WORDS: menu 13, main dish, stir-fry
Serve this unusual dish as a dessert, as a mid-way course in a large dinner,
or as a snack. Pudding may be misleading, since it is really a thick, hot


1/3 c sweet rice flour
2 T + 2 t almond powder
1/2 c cold water
3 c cold milk
1/4 c granulated sugar
1/4 c sliced pitted red dates
3 T cold milk, if needed

In small bowl, mix rice flour & almond powder; add cold water a little at a
time to make a thick, smooth paste. Thin further with 1/2 cup of milk.
Pour into heavy saucepan, add remaining milk, and slowly heat to just under
boiling, stirring constantly. Keep stirring to prevent lumping & burning.
Turn off heat, cover & remove to cool place. You can prepare this first
stage anytime ahead of dinner, keep covered & refrigerated. Pudding should
be finished just before serving.

Just before serving, reheat pudding, stirring constantly. When hot, add
sugar a little at a time. Keep stirring. Add sliced dates. Cook just
under boiling point for 1 minute. Add extra milk if pudding becomes too
thick: it should have consistency of melted ice cream. Pour into individual
bowls & serve hot.

Serves 4

KEY WORDS: dessert, menu 13, soup, boil
Great as a before dinner snack or served with a dinner dish, such as roast
or steamed stuffed chicken, to offer a flavor and texture contrast.


1 lb box shrimp chips
3 1/2 c (approx) vegetable oil

Shrimp chips are thin translucent wafers in assorted colors, made from
shrimp flavored rice flour paste. When deep-fried very briefly, they puff
up to three times their original size.

Heat vegetable oil to deep-frying temperature, and fry a few chips at a
time. Serve hot. Keep leftover wafers in an airtight jar.

Serves 4

KEY WORDS: menu 14, snack, deep-fry
This is one of the most appealing and unique recipes in Chinese cooking that
goes by this name.


2 whole chicken breasts
1/3 c water chestnut powder
1/3 c lemon sauce
5 c vegetable oil
1 T water
1/2 T sugar
cornstarch paste

Preparation: Pull chicken skin from breasts, then carefully pull meat from
breast bone, keeping meat intact. Thin inner filet will come off
separately. Cut meat across the grain into strips about 3/4" wide by 1 1/2"
long. Put water chestnut powder in bowl large enough to hold chicken, &
deep enough to keep powder from flying around. Add chicken pieces a few at
a time, tossing gently to thoroughly coat each piece; they should be
entirely white. Leave them in bowl while you prepare sauce.

Sauce: In small saucepan, mix prepared lemon sauce (we suggest Mee Chun
brand from Hong Kong), water & sugar. Bring to boil; reduce heat & simmer
for 2 minutes. Just before serving, thicken with cornstarch paste to
consistency of a fudge sauce.

Deep-frying: In deep-fryer or wok, slowly heat oil to deep-frying
temperature. (Don't let oil smoke.) Test with piece of chicken: it should
reach a medium brown in about 35 seconds. Fry chicken in batches of 5-6
pieces at a time; drain. Place on serving plate, keeping warm until ready
to serve. Pour lemon sauce over chicken at last minute.

Serves 4

KEY WORDS: menu 14, main dish, deep-fry
Always a favorite, you will want to serve this fresh tasting combination
over and over again.


1/4 lb fresh or frozen medium-sized shrimp
1/3 lb fresh snowpeas
8 large fresh or canned water chestnuts
1/2 c unpeeled straw mushrooms
2 t fresh ginger, slivered
1 large clove garlic, minced
2 green onions
3 T peanut oil
1/2 c chicken stock
2 t thin soy sauce
1 t dry sherry
1/2 t salt
1 pinch sugar
cornstarch paste

Preparation: Soak snowpeas in cold water for 2 hours to make crisp. Soak
shrimp in salted cold water for 1 hour. Drain straw mushrooms. Break off
ends of snowpeas. Peel & rinse water chestnuts. Shell shrimp, keeping tail
intact. Deeply slit shrimp around upper curve (don't cut through),
deveining, & spreading shrimp almost flat. Cut freen onion on the bias in
2" lengths. Slice water chestnuts thinly crosswise. In small bowl, mix
stock, soy sauce, sherry, salt & sugar.

Stir-frying: Swirl peanut oil into very hot wok. When oil begins to smoke,
add shrimp & stir-fry until they curl (about 20 seconds). Remove shrimp to
serving platter. Stir-fry mushrooms for 30 seconds; add garlic & ginger;
stir-fry another 30 seconds. Add snowpeas & water chestnuts; stir-fry
briskly for 1 minute. Add stock mixture; bring to boil; keep tossing until
snowpeas are bright green. Push ingredients out of liquid, dribble in
cornstarch paste to thicken slightly. Return ingredients, including shrimp.
Stir briefly. Serve immediately. HINT: snowpeas should be slightly
undercooked when served.

Serves 4

KEY WORDS: main dish, menu 14, stir-fry
A simple yet exotic dessert of mixed tropical fruits and an unusual
nutritious prepared gelatin, grass jelly, made from a subtle tasting


1/2 can lychee fruit with juice
1/2 c canned mandarin oranges
1 can grass jelly

Have all ingredients well chilled. Open both ends of grass jelly can; push
out gelatin; slice, then cut into 1/2" cubes. Place grass jelly cubes in
serving bowl with lychee fruit and mandarin oranges. Cover and keep
refrigerated until ready to serve.

Serves 4

KEY WORDS: menu 14, dessert
Asparagus salad is typical of many Chinese vegetable salads, in that the
vegetable is first steamed, then cooled, before slicing and dressing.


12 medium-size asparagus
4 pieces pickled red ginger
1 T thin soy sauce
1/4 t ginger juice
1 pinch sugar
1 T sesame oil

Wash asparagus spears. Use sharp paring knife to peel off tough white skin
on lower stem and cut off the very end. When steamer is hot, steam spears
until barely cooked. They are overcooked when the color is olive. Remove
from steamer, drain any water, and cool to room temperature. Meanwhile, mix
dressing ingredients in small bowl. Slice pickled red ginger into thin
slivers. About ten minutes before serving, slice spears on the bias into 2"
segments. Place on serving dish, intermingled with pickled ginger. Pour
dressing over asparagus, and let it permeate the salad. Serve at room
temperature. This salad can also be served while asparagus is still warm,
or it can be chilled.

Serves 4

KEY WORDS: salad, steam
Marinated meat, skewered and barbecued, is popular throughout the Orient -
much of the world, for that matter. This recipe from central Asia, where
lamb reigns supreme, is seasoned with a piquant marinade.


2 lbs stewing lamb, cut in 1 1/4" cubes
4 T fresh lemon juice
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 T hot chili oil (or
1/2 t cayenne and
1 T salad oil)
1/4 t salt
1 pinch sugar

Combine all ingredients and marinate lamb cubes for 2 hours in covered bowl.
Drain lamb, reserving marinade for basting during barbecuing. Skewer lamb;
you should have enough for two skewers per serving. Barbecue until browned,
but still juicy. Overcooking will dull flavors. Serve with nang (Moslem
bread) or shao bing (baked sesame rolls).

Serves 4

KEY WORDS: New Year, main dish, roast
A New Year's dinner is incomplete without a whole fish, which symbolizes
prosperity and good fortune for the coming year: the larger, plumper and
more decorative the fish, the better. Quite often, the fish is not even
eaten, just presented.


2 lb whole fish (cleaned weight)
e.g. rock cod, flounder, pomfret
2 t salt
4 scallions
1 T ginger slivers
1 c stock
1 T dry gin
1/2 t sugar
cornstarch paste
2 T peanut oil
1 sprig Chinese parsley

For more people, use more than one fish. Each fish should be no more than 2
lbs. unless you have a very large steamer. Have your fishmonger clean and
scale fish, leaving head and fins intact. You can tell if fish is fresh by
the clearness of the eyes and a red tint on the inner edge of the gills.
Wash and pat dry, rub with salt. Allow to stand at room temperature for 30

On both sides of fish, make parallel diagonal cuts 1" apart through meaty
section. Trim and shred scallions diagonally in 2" lengths. Peel and shred
fresh ginger root. Place pieces of scallion and ginger in cuts.

Place fish on greased plate. Steam at rapid boil for 15 to 25 minutes,
depending on size. Fish is cooked when you can flake flesh. Overcooking
will toughen flesh, so watch closely.

Heat peanut oil in beaker or small saucepan. In wok, heat stock, gin and
sugar. When fish is cooked, remove from steamer. Drain juices into stock
mixture. Thicken slightly with cornstarch paste. Pour hot oil, then stock
mixture, over fish. Garnish with Chinese parsley. Serve.

Serves 6

KEY WORDS: New Year, main dish, steam
Here's a way to make the cornstarch paste called for in many of our recipes.


3 T cold water
1 T cornstarch
1 T cold water
1 t cornstarch

Our recipes call for cornstarch paste as the thickening agent without
specifying the exact proportions of cornstarch and water. This recipe is
offered as an approximate guide until you find what works best for you.
Some cooks prefer the thin paste, some prefer thick.

Thoroughly mix together cornstarch and cold water. Always stir mixture
again just before using because the starch settles.
This dish can be prepared ahead and served at room temperature, or served
right from the wok.


2 sq seasoned pressed beancurd
2 stalks celery
1 large carrot
6 c boiling water
1/2 c giant bamboo shoots, cut into sticks
1/2 medium white onion
1 T peanut oil
1/2 c chicken stock
1/4 t salt
1 pinch sugar
1/2 t ginger root, minced
2 t medium sherry
1/2 t sesame oil
cornstarch paste as thickener

Preparation: Cut pressed beancurd into sticks 2" long, the size of a lead
pencil. Wash and trim celery and carrots; trim strings from back of celery;
cut into sticks to match pressed beancurd. Wash and slice giant bamboo
shoot across grain to match beancurd sticks. Peel onion, take apart layers;
cut into sticks.

Combine chicken stock, salt, sugar, ginger, sherry and sesame oil in bowl.

Put carrots in rapidly boiling water; in 15 seconds, add celery; in another
15 seconds, drain and plunge vegetables into running cold water to stop
cooking process. Drain and reserve.

Stir-frying: Heat wok to very hot; add oil. Let oil heat for a few seconds,
then add onions; toss for 10 seconds. Add celery, carrots and bamboo
shoots; toss for 1 minute. Slowly pour in chicken stock mixture around
sides of pan so it will heat quickly. When liquid boils, add beancurd
sticks, taking care not to break pieces. Thicken liquid slightly with a
dribble or two of cornstarch paste. Keep stirring gently to reduce liquid.
Remove to serving platter.

Serves 4

KEY WORDS: menu 23, stir-fry
The unique character of this dish is the marriage of firm textured oily fish
with a good quality of wine. We suggest you also use white rice wine, such
as sake. Don't stint on the quality of the wine; flavor is important. This
dish is an entree, not a soup course, so the amount of broth is less than
you would expect for a soup.


2 lb oily fish, such as mackerel
2 t salt
1/2 c good quality dry white wine
3 c chicken stock
1/2 t ginger root, minced
1/4 t salt
4 Napa cabbage leaves
2 scallions
2 cubes hard beancurd
1 T cooked salad oil
1/2 t ground white pepper

Marinating: Have fishmonger clean fish, discard head and fins. Wash fish,
cut across fish in 1 1/2" sections. Mix salt and white wine in bowl. Add
fish chunks; rub with marinade; cover bowl; refrigerate for 6 hours. After
2 hours, turn fish to mix with marinade.

Preparations: Wash cabbage; slice leaves down middle, then in 2" sections.
Rinse beancurd; cut into 1" cubes. Wash, trim and shred scallions, greens
and all. Peel and mince ginger. Heat salad oil to point of smoking.
Remove from heat; reserve.

Cooking: Rinse fish chunks, drain. Heat chicken stock, beancurd, ginger
and salt in sauce pan. Reduce heat, cover pan, and simmer for 10 minutes.
When you are ready to add fish and cabbage, turn up heat to boil; add fish
and cabbage when liquid boils; cover pan. Fish and cabbage are cooked in
about 3 to 5 minutes - cabbage leaves will be bright lime green.

Ladle fish, cabbage and beancurd into warm shallow serving bowl; add soup.
Garnish with cooked oil, minced scallion and pepper. Serve.

Serves 4

KEY WORDS: menu 23, main dish, boil


2 chicken thighs
12 medium asparagus spears
3 T peanut or corn oil
1 T dry sherry
1 t cornstarch
2 t thin soy sauce
1 pinch sugar
2 t fermented black beans
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 t brown sugar
2 t black soy sauce
3/4 c chicken stock
cornstarch paste as thickener

Marinating: With sharp paring knife, scrape chicken meat from thigh; slice
into thin strips across the grain. (Breast meat is not preferred for this
dish, as meat is too dry and spongy.) Combine sherry, soy, cornstarch and
sugar in bowl; massage liquid into meat with your fingers. Marinate for 15
to 30 minutes.

Preparation: Wash asparagus; peel tough white outer skin off ends; slice on
diagonal in 2 1/2" sections. Rinse fermented black beans. In bowl, combine
and mash black beans and garlic, brown sugar, black soy sauce and chicken
stock; stir; reserve for 15 minutes.

Stir Frying: Add 2/3 of oil to hot wok; when oil is very hot, add chicken.
Stir-fry for about 3 minutes on high heat - or until chicken begins to
shrink and firm up. Remove chicken to holding bowl.

Reheat wok to high, add remaining oil. When oil is hot, add black bean
sauce. Stir-fry for 1 minute. Add asparagus; mix with sauce. Stir sauce
with asparagus. When sauce boils, add cooked chicken; toss to combine.
Dribble in a little cornstarch paste if needed; cornstarch in chicken
marinade might be enough. Toss ingredients until very little liquid remains
and is reduced to glaze. Dish is ready when asparagus brightens. If you
still have too much liquid, remove ingredients, continue to reduce sauce,
then return ingredients to coat them with sauce. Serve in individual

Serves 6

KEY WORDS: main dish, stir-fry