Chinese Soul Food is our current Online Cookbook Club book choice. This cookbook is your friendly guide for homemade dumplings, stir-fries, soups and more!
I'm so excited about this book and the author has given me permission to share two recipes with you. She says,
Chinese home cooking is about being resourceful and adaptable. Any kitchen can be a Chinese kitchen. ~ Hsiao-Ching Chou
The first recipe is Stir-Fried Noodles with Shrimp and Vegetables. My kids love noodles, like most kids and this is a great way to incorporate some veggies along with a food most kids will happily eat.
Stir-Fried Noodles with Shrimp and Vegetables by Hsiao-Ching Chou
- 3/4 pound dried Chinese noodles
- 1/2 pound raw shrimp peeled and deveined 1 teaspoon soy sauc
2 teaspoons cornstarchFor the sauce:
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
- 1 stalk green onion finely chopped 1 large clove garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon vegetable oil divided
- 1 stalk green onion cut into 2-inch segments
- 1/2 medium carrot julienned (about 1⁄2 cup)
- 3 to 4 cups roughly chopped greens such as baby bok choy, yu choy, or Chinese broccoli
- 1/2 tsp sesame oil optional
- salt and pepper to taste
- Bring a large pot of water to boil over high heat. It’s not necessary to salt the water, since the sauce is quite savory. Add the noodles and cook for 9 to 11 minutes, or until the noodles are soft but not mushy on the outside, and have a little chew on the inside. The cooking time will depend on the thickness of the noodles.
- In a small bowl, put the shrimp and the soy sauce, and mix well. Add the cornstarch and mix well again. Set aside.
- To make the sauce, in a small bowl, put the water, soy sauce, ginger, onions, and garlic, and stir to combine. Set aside.
- Drain the noodles and set aside. If you are not using the noodles within 5 minutes, to prevent sticking, add 1 tablespoon oil to the noodles and incorporate with tongs.
- Add 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil and heat until it starts to shimmer. Add the shrimp in a single layer to the bowl of the wok and sear for 30 to 40 seconds, or until the shrimp have begun to turn pink. Flip the shrimp and sear for 30 to 40 seconds more. Remove the pan from the heat, transfer the shrimp to a small bowl, and set aside. If there are any charred bits in the wok, gently scrape them out.
- Return the wok to the stove over high heat. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon vegetable oil, immediately add the onions, and stir for about 5 seconds to release the aroma. Add the carrots and stir for a few seconds. Add the greens and continue stirring and scooping to mix for about 1 minute. Add the shrimp and the sauce, and stir again to combine. Add the noodles and carefully stir and scoop to mix. It may be helpful to use tongs. Once well combined, drizzle on the sesame oil. Remove the wok from the heat. Add a dash more soy sauce or salt to taste. Serve.
The second recipe is Dry-Fried Green Beans which is actually can be easily adapted if you follow a low-carb lifestyle by simply switching out the small amount of sugar with some stevia or erythritol.
If you have a large family, double this recipe because it's gonna be gone! The author mentioned in her book that she once brought these to an office potluck where they were one of the first dishes to disappear!
Dry Fried Green Beans by Chinese Soul Food author Hsiao-Ching Chou
- ¾ pound green beans haricots vertsor regular
- ⅓ cup plus 1 tablespoon vegetableoil divided
- 4 ounces unseasoned ground pork or ground beef about ¼ cup
- 1 stalk green onion finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
- 1 large clove garlic finely minced
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce plus more as needed
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1½ teaspoons sugar
- Trim the green beans and cut them in half. Line a baking sheet with a few layers of paper towels. Set aside.
- Preheat a wok over medium-high heat until wisps of smoke rise from the surface. Add 1⁄3 cup of the oil and heat for 30 to 60 seconds, or until it starts to shimmer. In batches, add the beans to the oil in a single layer. Quickly stir-fry the beans, gently swishing them around in the oil. The skins of the beans will start to blister. Once you see that most of the beans look lightly wrinkled but not necessarily browned, about 1 to 2 minutes, using a slotted spoon, transfer the beans to the prepared paper towel–lined baking sheet to absorb the residual oil. Repeat with the remaining beans. Use a wad of paper towels to absorb any residual oil in the wok and brush away any charred pieces.
- Return the wok to the stove over high heat, and add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Add the pork and, using a spatula, break up the pork. Stir-fry for 1 to 2 minutes, or until brown and cooked through. Add the onions, ginger, and garlic, and stir and toss for a few seconds to combine. Add the soy sauce, water, and sugar, and stir to combine.
- Add the beans, and stir and toss for a few seconds to combine. If it doesn’t taste salty enough, add an additional splash of soy sauce, and stir to incorporate. Serve with steamed rice.
Another thing I absolutely adore about this book is that the author shares helpful tips and techniques, a pantry list, acceptable substitutions, and more.
According to the Chinese American Restaurant Association, there are over 45,000 Chinese restaurants currently in operation across the United States. This number is greater than all the McDonald’s, KFCs, Pizza Huts, Taco Bells and Wendy’s combined. When asked to rank their favorite types of restaurants, Chinese places almost always come out on top. On every day of the Lunar calendar, it seems there’s nothing quite as all-American some good Chinese food.
Why not make your own Chinese food at home? According to Cambridge, people who eat at home consume fewer calories than people who eat in restaurants.
This is part of why I started my online cookbook club; to get families cooking at home and enjoying meals at the family dinner table. In addition, another study found that families who prepare home-cooked meals enjoy diets lower in calories, sugar, and fat, without adding any extra weight to a monthly food budget.
Hsiao-Ching Chou is an award-winning food journalist, cooking instructor, and communications consultant. She is a member of the James Beard Foundation cookbook committee and Les Dames d'Escoffier. She lives with her family in Seattle. You can follow her on Instagram, and Facebook.
*(c)2018 by Hsiao-Ching Chou. All rights reserved. Excerpted from Chinese Soul Food by permission of Sasquatch Books.
http://time.com/4211871/chinese-food-history/ Chinese Food in America: A Very Brief History | Time February 15, 2018