This simple recipe for hot and sour soup is the perfect choice for a cold day or an oncoming flu. It can be put together in a matter of minutes from ingredients you probably already have on hand.
Although hot and sour soups typically contain bamboo shoots, I don’t like the canned variety, so I’ve substituted water chestnuts, which have a nice crunch to them. You can also drizzle in a lightly beaten egg at the very end of cooking, if you so desire.
The city of Yangzhou in eastern Jiangsu Province is one of the ancient centers of Chinese gastronomy and the heartland of what is known as Huaiyang Cuisine. Strangely, only one of its dishes is widely known in the West and that is Yangzhou fried rice, which is on the menu of almost every overseas Cantonese restaurant. A colorful mixture of fragrant rice with diced meat, seafood, and vegetables, it traditionally includes a little sea cucumber and crabmeat as well as fresh bamboo shoots. Many versions, even some of those cooked up in Yangzhou itself, make this dish as a simple fried rice, but the classic recipe, upon which mine is based, includes an injection of chicken stock that adds an extra deliciousness. I have omitted hard-to-find ingredients, such as sea cucumber.
I first wrote this recipe for a Chinese New Year's feature in a magazine. One friend told me afterward that it had been such a hit with her children that she had been making it almost once a week ever since, so I've included it here in her honor.
Don't worry if you don’t have every ingredient: The key is to have a tempting selection of colors and tastes amid the rice. There's no need to weigh them exactly; just aim to have a small pile (about 3 tablespoons when chopped) of each. Yangzhou fried rice can be served as part of a special Chinese meal, or as a whole meal in itself, perhaps with simply a salad or a lightly cooked green vegetable on the side.
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This rich, earthy soup is given the perfect amount of tang from soy sauce and ginger. To make it vegetarian, substitute the chicken stock with vegetable stock.
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This salmon recipe is adapted from one of my favorite dishes to make, Thai Green Curry Chicken. It's a great, easy dinner-for-two weeknight option.
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This popular dish is often served at Chinese restaurants with hot pancakes or crepes. It's easier to make at home than you think — and you can even replace the pork with chicken or shrimp. Hoisin sauce is the key to this dish with its depth of color and sweet and salty taste. It can be found in the Asian section of your grocery store.
Originally eaten by Buddhists in Chinese culture, this dish is served in most Chinese households during the first few days of the new year. There are regional differences depending upon which part of China your family originates from, but most of the dried ingredients remain consistent since they symbolize good luck. A number of the ingredients like the black fungus (fat choy), lily buds (jinzhen), and gingko nuts (bai guo) all symbolize wealth and good fortune. Eating vegetarian the first day of new year also symbolizes purification of the body and upholds the tradition of having no animal slaughter on the first day of the new year.Authentically, this dish contains 18 ingredients. The number symbolizes wealth and prosperity. The stew requires quite a bit of time for reconstituting, boiling, and braising. Most of the prep time is spent rinsing and soaking dried ingredients and then slowly braising the ingredients until the flavor melds.Click here to see The Ultimate Chinese New Year Dinner.