the Pence family cookbook

Recipes Tagged with “chinese”

Spinach with Bamboo Shoots

side dish chinese spinach


  • 1 lb. fresh spinach
  • 1/2 cup peanut, vegetable, or corn oil
  • 1/4 cup finely shredded bamboo shoots
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar


  1. Wash spinach leaves thoroughly under cold running water, drain well.

  2. Heat the oil in a wok or skillet. Using a medium-high flame, cook the bamboo shoots in the oil approximately 45 seconds, stirring constantly.

  3. Add spinach and stir until wilted.

  4. Add salt and sugar, and cook, stirring, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes longer.

  5. Transfer to a hot platter, but do not add the liquid from the pan.

Epicurious, January 2001

Mapo Tofu

main course side dish chinese tofu


  • 1 block soft tofu (about 1 pound), drained and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 3 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 6 ounces ground pork
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 leeks, thinly sliced at an angle (or a handful of scallions can be substituted)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons chili bean paste
  • 1 tablespoon fermented black beans
  • 2 teaspoons ground Sichuan pepper
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 2 teaspoons white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons light soy sauce
  • Salt to taste
  • 4 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 6 tablespoons cold water

Optional garnish: 1 tablespoon thinly sliced scallions, or 1/2 teaspoon crushed roasted Sichuan peppercorn


1. Heat peanut oil in a wok over high heat. Add pork and stir-fry until crispy and starting to brown but not yet dry. Reduce heat to medium, then add the garlic and leeks and stir-fry until fragrant.

2. Add chili bean paste, black beans, and ground Sichuan pepper, and stir-fry for about 1 minute, until the oil is a rich red color.

3. Pour in the stock and stir well. Mix in the drained tofu gently by pushing the back of your ladle or wok scoop gently from the edges to the center of the wok or pan; don’t stir or the tofu may break up. Season with the sugar, soy sauce, and salt to taste. Simmer for about 5 minutes, allowing the tofu has absorb the flavors of the sauce. Then add the cornstarch mixture in 2 or 3 stages, mixing well, until the sauce has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon. (Don’t add more than you need).

4. Serve while still hot in a deep plate or wide bowl. Garnish with optional scallions or crushed Sichuan peppercorn.

Serves 4 to 5 as part of a multi-course meal, or 2 to 3 as the main entree

Appetite for China

Hangzhou West Lake Vinegar Fish

main course chinese fish untested


  • 1 whole fish (800 g, or about 1 3/4 lb.)
  • 1 tbsp shao xin wine (or rice wine, or sherry)
  • 2 tbsp. fresh ginger, finely sliced in strips
  • 2 tbsp. green onion strips
  • 3 tbsp. light soy sauce
  • 4 tbsp. black vinegar
  • 4 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 c. chicken or fish stock
  • 1/2 tbsp. corn starch and 2 tbsp. water, mixed well
  • sesame oil (optional)


1. Remove the scales & clean the fish. If the fish is thick, butterfly it. Make a couple of slashes on the thickest part of the body to help it cook faster. Put the fish in a skillet with high sides and scatter ginger strips under and over the fish. Pour the wine all over the fish.

2. Steam the fish for 10-12 minutes depending on the thickness of the body. Test with a fork by flaking the thickest part of the body. If it flakes off easily from the bone, it is done. Do not over cook.

3. While fish is steaming, put the soy sauce, black vinegar, brown sugar, and salt into a small pot and cook over low heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. When sugar is dissolved, add 1 cup stock to the sauce. When sauce boils, add the corn starch solution and stir well until sauce becomes shiny and thickened. Taste and adjust with more sugar, vinegar, or salt to taste.

4. Add a splash of sesame oil (if using) to the thickened sauce and pour it over the steamed fish. Sprinkle the green onion strips on the fish. Serve hot.

Adapted from Terri at Hunger Hunger (A Daily Obsession)

Lobster (or Crab) Cantonese

main course chinese crab lobster untested


  • 3 tbl vegetable oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 lb pork, finely minced
  • 1 1/2 tbl light soy sauce
  • 2 c chicken broth
  • 1 tsp honey or granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp powdered ginger (optional)
  • 1 lb lobster meat–meat from 2 1-lb lobsters or 1 1/2 lbs lobster tail, cleaned, shelled, and cut into 2 inch pieces (may substitute equal parts crab)
  • 2 tbl cornstarch
  • 2 tbl cold water
  • 2 green onions, washed and chopped (green part only)
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten


Heat the oil in a large wok or skillet over high heat. Add the garlic and pork and stir-fry until the pork loses its pink color. Stir in the soy sauce, chicken broth, honey, pepper, and ginger; bring to a boil. Add the raw lobster pieces, cover, reduce heat and cook for 10 min. Mix the cornstarch and cold water into a smooth paste. Add to the lobster and stir until the gravy is thickened. Stir in the chopped green onions. Pour the beaten egg over the lobster and stir until the egg is just set. Do not over cook! Remove and arrange on a platter. Serve with rice and veggies.

Penzey’s, Summer 2010

Spicy Szechuan Eggplant

main course chinese eggplant pork


  • 1/4 pound ground pork


  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • a Pinch (less than 1/2 teaspoon) cornstarch


  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon red rice vinegar, red wine vinegar, or balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar, or to taste
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch


  • 4 Asian eggplants
  • 1 cloves garlic
  • 4 tablespoons oil for stir-frying, or as needed
  • 1 tablespoon bean sauce (hot bean sauce if possible)
  • 1/2 teaspoon chile paste with garlic, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil


Combine the ground pork with the salt, pepper, and cornstarch. Marinate the pork for 15 minutes.

While the pork is marinating, prepare the remaining ingredients. In a small bowl, combine the chicken broth, dark and light soy sauce, vinegar, and sugar. Whisk in the cornstarch.

Cut the eggplant into 1-inch squares. Mince the garlic.

Heat the wok over medium-high to high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of oil. When the oil is hot, add the eggplant. Stir-fry the eggplant until it is softened (about 5 minutes). Remove and drain on paper towels.

Add 2 tablespoons oil to the wok. When the oil is hot, add the garlic and bean sauce. Stir-fry until aromatic. Add the ground pork. Stir-fry until it changes color, using cooking chopsticks or a wooden spoon to separate the individual pieces.

Push the pork up to the sides of the wok. Add the sauce in the middle and bring to a boil, stirring quickly to thicken. Add the eggplant slices and the chile paste. Cook for a few more minutes and stir in the sesame oil. Serve hot.

Rhonda Parkinson, About.com

Beef and Broccoli Wontons with Ginger Dipping Sauce

side dish chinese untested


  • 6 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 cup chopped broccoli florets
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 12-ounce package wonton wrappers
  • 2 tablespoons oriental sesame oil


Blend 4 tablespoons soy sauce, 1/4 cup ginger, vinegar and honey in small bowl.

Combine beef and next 6 ingredients in medium bowl. Mix in remaining 2 tablespoons soy sauce and 2 teaspoons ginger. Place several wrappers on work surface; brush edges lightly with water. Place heaping 1 teaspoon beef filling in center of each. Fold wrappers diagonally in half, pressing edges to seal. Place wontons on waxed paper. Repeat with remaining wrappers and filling.

Preheat oven to 250°F. Heat 1/2 tablespoon oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat; add 1/4 of wontons. Fry until wontons are golden and filling is cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to baking sheet; keep warm in oven. Repeat frying with remaining wontons, using 1/2 tablespoon oil per batch. Serve wontons with sauce.

Bon Appetit, March 1999

Faux Mongolian Hot Pot Rolls

bread chinese

Thaw a loaf of dough for about 3 hours on a plate covered with pam-sprayed plastic wrap - it should be thawed, still cool, and not starting to rise much.

Divide dough into 12 pieces. Flatten each piece and put it in your palm to form a cup shape. Then, using a marble-sized piece of dough, spread sesame oil on the surface.

Gather edges together, seal, turn over and pat flatish, place on greased baking sheet. Brush tops of rolls with sesame oil, sprinkle heavily with sesame seeds, cover with cloth and let stand for a couple of hours. They don’t need to rise much, so you have a lot of flexibility with when you get them into the oven.

Bake for about 20 minutes at 350 or until golden brown.

Roasted Broccoli with Ginger and Garlic

side dish broccoli chinese vegan vegetarian

Cut the big stem(s) off the brocolli, but leave a couple of inches of stem.

Then cut the brocolli into thin spears, about three or four inches long and 1/2 inch wide.

Place in a single layer on a baking sheet.

Sprinkle with salt, ginger root sliced into thin rounds (say 1/4 cup), and two large garlic cloves sliced in thin rounds. Drizzle generously with olive oil and soy sauce.

Cook the broccoli 20-30 minutes, or until tender.

Chen Kenichi’s Chili Prawns

main course chinese shrimp


  • 18-20 peeled jumbo shrimp, about 12 oz
  • 1 tbl salt
  • 1 tbl minced garlic
  • 1 tbl minced fresh ginger
  • 1/4 tsp dried red pepper flakes
  • 2 tbl Heinz chili sauce or 1 tbl tomato paste
  • 2 tbl hoisin sauce
  • 2 tbl shaoshing rice wine or sherry
  • 1 tbl soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp Asian chili garlic sauce or Sriracha hot sauce
  • 1/4 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbl peanut oil
  • 1/4 c chopped scallions


Dissolve 1 tbl salt in 4 c warm water and put the shrimp in to brine for 10 to 15 min.

Peel and mince the garlic and ginger and set them aside in a small bowl with the dried red pepper flakes. Mix all the remaining ingredients except the peanut oil and scallions in a bowl.

Heat a wok or saute pan over high heat until it’s very hot, then put in the peanut oil and swirl to cover the bottom of the pan. When it sizzles, put in the garlic, ginger and red pepper mix and stir fry briefly, until the vegetables are translucent. Add the shrimp and chili sauce and stir fry just until shrimp are cooked through and pink, adding a small amount of water if the sauce becomes too thick and dry. Stir in the scallions and serve with plenty of steaming white rice.

Iron Chef Chen Kenichi

Asian Vegetable Soup

main course chinese soup


  • 32 oz. vegetable broth
  • 32 oz. chicken broth
  • 1/3 c. soy sauce
  • Leftover turkey (or other meats), around 1 lb.
  • 2 bunches kale
  • 2 heads bok choi
  • 1/4 c. sliced fresh ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 8 oz. sliced mushrooms
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • around 3-4 c. bean sprouts
  • 1 or 2 tsp. five spice powder
  • cilantro
  • sesame rolls or vermicelli noodles, for serving


Combine vegetable broth, chicken broth, soy sauce, and turkey. Heat the broth to a simmer, and add the kale and bok choi. Add enough water just to cover the greens. Cook until the greens have wilted and cooked down. Add the sliced ginger and the crushed red pepper. Cook until the greens are done.

While cooking, sauté the mushrooms in the olive oil until slightly reduced and they’ve released a bit of their liquid. Once the greens are done, add the mushrooms and the sprouts, and test the broth for seasoning (salt and pepper, mostly). Add the five spice powder, and cook for a few minutes to settle the flavors.

Serve, garnished with cilantro and a bit of chili oil (if desired).

C. Pence