Peking Duck and Mandarin Pancakes

For the duck:
4 boneless duck breasts (about 6-7 oz./170-200g each with the skin on; rinsed and thoroughly patted dry with a paper towel)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon light soy sauce
1 teaspoon Shaoxing wine
1/8 teaspoon five spice powder
1 tablespoon oil

For the mandarin pancakes:
1 1/2 cups flour (200g)
1/8 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup boiling water (160 ml)
1 teaspoon oil

For the fixings:
1 cucumber (de-seeded and julienned)
1/2 cup cantaloupe (julienned, optional)
2 scallions (julienned)
3 cloves garlic (finely minced and mixed with 1 teaspoon oil to make a paste, optional)
3 tablespoons hoisin sauce

Marinate the duck:

Mix the salt, soy sauce, wine, and five spice powder in a small bowl and massage into the duck. Leave the duck breasts skin side up on a plate uncovered, and let sit in the refrigerator overnight to marinate and to let the skin dry out. (If you don’t want to wait overnight, reduce the marinating time to 30 minutes).

Prepare mandarin pancakes:
Mix the flour and salt in a heatproof bowl. Pour the boiling hot water into the flour mixture and use chopsticks or a spatula to mix until a dough ball forms. Once it is cool enough to handle, knead the dough for 8 minutes until smooth, adding flour if the dough is too sticky.

Cover with plastic and allow the dough to rest at room temperature for at least 1 hour.

Roll the dough into a cylinder and cut into 12 equal pieces. Form each piece into a dough ball, then flatten them out into a small disc about 2 inches in diameter. Lightly brush 6 of the discs with oil, ensuring the sides of the discs are also brushed with oil.

Layer the remaining 6 discs over the 6 oiled discs so you have 6 pieces, each comprised of 2 discs.

Use a rolling pin to roll the discs into 7-inch circles, flipping the pancakes frequently so both of the dough discs are rolled into the same size.

Heat a wok or frying pan over medium low heat, and place one pancake into the pan. After 30 to 45 seconds, you should see air pockets begin to form between the two pancakes. Flip the pancake; it should be white with just a couple of faint brown patches. Any more than that, and they are overcooked.

After another 30 seconds, the air pockets should be large enough to separate the two pancakes. Remove the pancake to a plate, and let it cool for another 30 seconds. Now carefully pull apart the two pancakes at the seams. Place finished pancakes onto a plate and cover with a warm kitchen towel. Repeat until all pancakes are done.

The pancakes can be reheated in a steamer for about a minute when ready to serve. They also keep in the freezer for up to 3 weeks if you decide to make a larger batch.

Cook the duck and assemble:

Next, preheat the oven broiler on low heat. Heat an oven-proof pan over medium-high heat, and add 1 tablespoon of oil to coat the pan.

Sear the duck breasts, skin side down. Move them frequently so the skin crisps up and fries in the duck fat that renders out.

After 8 minutes, or when the duck skin is golden brown and a little bit crispy, carefully drain off the duck fat and discard (or save for later application to other recipes). In the pan, flip the duck breasts (so they are skin side up), and transfer them to the broiler for about 3 minutes. Be careful not to burn the skin, which at this point should be a bit crispy.

Remove the duck from the broiler and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes. The duck will be cooked about medium well and will be very juicy. Transfer to a cutting board and, using a sharp knife, cut into thin slices.

Serve the duck with your warmed pancakes, fixings, and sauce.

Hunan Beef

For the beef:
1 pound flank steak (sliced 1/4-inch thick)
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon oyster sauce
1/3 cup cornstarch

For the rest of the dish:
1 red Holland pepper (25g, deseeded; can substitute red Fresno peppers)
1 small green bell pepper or poblano pepper (100g, deseeded)
1 small red bell pepper (100g, deseeded)
2 banana peppers (80g, deseeded)
8 whole dried chili peppers
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
2 tablespoons hot water
1/2 teaspoon Chinese black vinegar
2 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/3 cup vegetable or canola oil (for frying)
1 tablespoon fresh ginger (8g, sliced)
1/2 cup shallots (thinly sliced, 40g)
2 tablespoons Shaoxing wine
5 cloves garlic (15g, sliced)
2 tablespoons fermented black beans (20g, rinsed)
2 scallions (60g, cut at an angle into 2-inch lengths)

In a medium bowl, combine the sliced flank steak with the baking soda, water and oyster sauce. Massage these ingredients into the beef until any liquid has been absorbed by the meat. Marinate for 30 minutes.

Lightly dredge all of the beef slices in cornstarch. Set aside until ready to fry.

Slice all the fresh peppers crosswise into thin slices on the diagonal. Set aside the dried red peppers. Do not break them open or chop unless you want a very spicy Hunan Beef!

Stir the sugar into 2 tablespoons of hot water until dissolved. Add the Chinese black vinegar, soy sauce, and ground white pepper. Mix until well combined and set aside.

Heat your wok over high heat until smoking. Spread ? cup oil around the wok, and sear the beef in three batches on both sides until browned and slightly crispy on the outside. Be sure the wok and oil are hot each time you add a batch of beef.
Drain the crispy beef by moving it up to the side of the wok. The oil will drain to the bottom and you can then transfer the beef to a sheet pan or plate. No need for paper towels or wire racks!

After frying the beef, leave about 2 tablespoons of the oil in the wok, and remove any excess. If your wok got burned in the frying process, this is a good time to wash it. While you want the beef flavor from frying, you definitely don’t want burned bits in the stir-fry if you got carried away with the heat during frying.

Assembling the stir-fry:

Set the wok over medium heat. Add the sliced ginger and fry until caramelized, about 30 seconds.

Next, add the shallots. Continue to fry for another 30 seconds, and add the fresh peppers (except for the red holland or fresno peppers). Turn the heat up to high and stir-fry for 1 minute to get a nice sear on the peppers.

Clear a section on the bottom of the wok, and add the dried chili peppers. Let them toast in the oil for 20 seconds. (If you want your dish spicier, add the dried chili peppers earlier, along with the shallots.)

Next, pour the Shaoxing wine around the perimeter of the wok. Add the sliced garlic, fermented black beans, and the red Holland or Fresno peppers. Stir-fry for another 30 to 60 seconds on high heat.

Next, add the fried beef and pour over the pre-prepared sauce. Maintain the highest heat possible and stir-fry everything together for 20 seconds. Add the scallions. Continue to stir fry until most––if not all––of the sauce has evaporated.

Chinese Cucumber Salad

6 cloves garlic (minced very finely, almost like a paste)
3 tablespoons oil
2 English cucumbers (or 6-8 Persian cucumbers; if you can’t find seedless cucumbers like these, just de-seed regular cucumbers)
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon MSG (optional)
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon rice vinegar

First prepare the garlic. When you’ve minced all of the garlic, set aside the equivalent of 1 clove.

Mix the oil and the rest of the garlic together, and set over medium-heat in a saucepan. Cook lightly for 2-3 minutes. Some foam will appear as the water in the garlic escapes. Do not let the garlic brown! This process takes about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.

Chop the cucumbers into quarters lengthwise and then into ½-inch chunks. Transfer to a bowl. Add the garlic oil, salt, sugar, pinch of MSG if using, sesame oil, and rice vinegar. Finally, add the reserved minced raw garlic. Stir thoroughly to coat everything.

For the best results, let sit for at least 20 in the refrigerator to let flavors meld.

Steamed Eggplant with Lao Gan Ma (Lady Sauce)

1 pound Japanese or Chinese eggplant (450g, about 3 eggplants)
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 teaspoon Chinese dark vinegar
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
2 teaspoon oyster sauce
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1-1 1/2 tablespoons Lao Gan Ma chili sauce (or any chili sauce or chili oil of your choice)
4 cloves garlic (minced)
1 scallion (minced)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil

Prepare your steamer. If you’re not sure how to set up a steaming apparatus, check our our post on how to set up a steamer, even without special equipment. Turn the heat on low to pre-heat the water in the steamer.

Cut each eggplant crosswise into 3 equal sections, then cut each section into 8-10 bite sized strips.

Fill a large container with about 2 quarts of water and 1/4 cup white vinegar. Soak the eggplant in the vinegar water for 3 minutes. Then remove the eggplant and squeeze as much liquid out as possible. Arrange them on a heat-proof rimmed dish and carefully lower it into the steamer. Cover and turn the heat on high. Steam the eggplant for 8-10 minutes.

Now make the sauce by combining the Chinese dark vinegar, light soy sauce, oyster sauce, sugar, sesame oil, and chili sauce.
Remove the eggplant from the steamer (no need to pour out the liquid in the dish), and evenly pour the sauce over the eggplant. Top it with the minced garlic and scallions. Try to keep garlic and scallions close together in a couple tight lines to make the next step easier.

Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a small saucepan until it starts to smoke lightly, and then carefully pour it over the garlic and scallion. Serve hot or cold. If serving as a cold appetizer, you can make this dish in advance.

Cantonese Eggplant Casserole (with Pork or Chicken)

4 oz. pork (or chicken, thinly sliced; 110g)
2 tablespoons cornstarch (plus 1/2 teaspoon)
1 1/2 pounds eggplant (680g, preferably Chinese/Japanese eggplant)
1 1/2 cups canola oil for frying (350 ml, plus 1 tablespoon)
3 slices ginger (minced)
4 cloves garlic (smashed and chopped)
2 scallions green parts and white parts separated and chopped
1 oz. Chinese salted fish (30g, deboned and minced; may substitute anchovy fillets)
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon Chinese black vinegar (look for the yellow bottle labeled, “Chinkiang Vinegar”)
1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
4 teaspoons light soy sauce
1/2-3/4 cup water (depending on how hot your stove can get and how quickly the liquid cooks off)

Toss your pork (or chicken) with 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch and set aside. Wash the eggplants and dry them off with a clean kitchen towel. Trim off the ends, and cut the eggplant into 2-inch x 1/2-inch pieces. Add the eggplant pieces to a large zip top bag and toss with 2 tablespoons cornstarch until evenly coated.

Heat 1 1/2 cups canola oil in a small pot (the oil should be about 3/4-inch deep) over medium heat. To test the oil temperature, stick a bamboo or wooden chopstick in the oil. If you see a good deal of bubbles forming around the chopstick, the oil is ready for frying. Fry the eggplant in batches, cooking each batch for about 2 minutes. Drain on paper towels and set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in your wok over medium heat. Add the ginger, garlic and the white parts of the scallions. Cook for 30 seconds, and then add the pork (or chicken) and the salted fish (or anchovies). Stir-fry until the meat is cooked through. Now add the eggplant, sugar, vinegar, dark soy sauce, light soy sauce, and the green parts of the scallion. Also add 1/2 cup water.

Turn up the heat to high and mix everything together. Because of the cornstarch used to coat the eggplant, the liquid should thicken into a sauce. Add a little more water if necessary to reach the desired sauce consistency. This dish should have some sauce, but shouldn’t be swimming in liquid. Also, remember not to cook the eggplant for too long; it shouldn’t lose its shape. Once the sauce is thickened, serve with steamed rice!

Poached Chicken with Ginger Scallion Sauce

For the chicken:
5 chicken drumsticks (or 4 chicken thighs––organic, kosher, or free-range chicken preferred; see note below about using breasts)
3 slices ginger
1 scallion

For the sauce:
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 scallions (white and green separated, with the green parts chopped)
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup water (the water you cooked the chicken in)
15 grams ginger (about 1 1/2 tablespoons, minced)

In a medium pot, bring about 4 cups water to a boil along with 3 slices ginger and 1 scallion. Lower the chicken into the pot, and bring to a boil again. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes. The heat level should be just high enough so the water is moving, without any big bubbles or rolling water.
After 10 minutes, turn off the heat, leave the lid on and let the chicken continue cooking in the warm pot for another 15 minutes.

If you use boneless, skinless chicken breast, you can reduce the cooking time to 5 minutes, but still keep the chicken in the pot for 15 minutes after turning off the heat. To test if the chicken is cooked, pierce the thickest part of the chicken to make sure the juices run clear.

Remove the chicken from the pot and place in ice water for 5 minutes to stop the cooking process and firm up the meat. Shred the meat onto a serving plate.
To make the sauce, heat 3 tablespoons oil in a saucepan over medium/low heat, and cook the scallion whites until crisp and lightly brown. Remove and place the scallion whites on top of the shredded chicken. Add 2 tablespoons light soy sauce, 1/2 teaspoon sugar and 1/2 cup of the water you used to cook the chicken to the remaining oil in the pan. Stir and bring it to boil. Add in the ginger and chopped scallion greens. Taste for seasoning and add more soy sauce or salt if desired. Bring to a boil again and pour it over the chicken.

Cantonese Steamed Fish with Ginger-Scallion Sauce

2 scallions
2 tablespoons ginger (julienned)
1 small bunch cilantro
1 1/2 tablespoons light soy sauce (or seasoned soy sauce)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons water
1 medium tilapia, grey sole, flounder or fluke filet
2 tablespoons oil

Julienne the scallion and ginger and set aside. Give the cilantro a rough chop and set that aside as well. Combine the soy sauce, salt, sugar and water into a small bowl and mix well.

Prepare your setup. If you do not have a steamer, what also works is a wok or large saucepan or pot with a cover and small a round metal elevated rack you can put the plate on.

Fill your wok or saucepan with about an inch of water, cover and bring it to a boil. Carefully place your plate with the fish on the rack. Cover and steam for about 10 minutes. You can check it for doneness by using a butter knife. If it easily cuts through to the bottom of the plate, your fish is done!

Turn off the heat. Carefully remove the plate from the pot and drain any remaining water off. At this point, you can also transfer the fish to a nice serving plate. Spread the cilantro and about one third of the scallion (use the green portions), directly onto the steamed fish.

Heat a small saucepan to medium to high heat and add 2 tbsp of canola oil. Add the ginger and let it brown lightly, about a minute. Then add the rest of the scallions. The mixture should be giving a good sizzle right about now…

Next, add your soy mixture to the saucepan and keep the heat on high to keep everything sizzling. Cook until the scallions are wilted – about 30 seconds. Take it off the heat and spoon the entire mixture over the fish. Serve immediately!

Tomato Egg Drop Soup

2 tablespoons oil
10 ounces tomatoes (1 large or 2 small, about 280g; cut into small chunks)
1 cup chicken stock (235 ml)
2 cups water (or more chicken stock; 470 ml)
2 teaspoons light soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
salt (to taste)
1 egg (beaten)
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch (mixed with 2 tablespoons water
1 scallion (finely chopped)
2 tablespoons cilantro (chopped, optional)

Heat the oil in a soup pot or wok over medium low heat. Add the tomato chunks and stir-fry for 5 minutes until the tomatoes are softened and start to fall apart.

Add in 1 cup chicken stock, 2 cups water, 2 teaspoons light soy sauce, 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil, 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper and salt to taste. Bring to a boil, and then lower the heat so that the soup is simmering with the lid on.

Now quickly beat the egg in a small bowl and prepare the cornstarch slurry in a separate bowl.

Use a ladle to slowly swirl the soup in a whirlpool motion. Keep swirling as you pour in the cornstarch slurry until well incorporated. Now pour a thin stream of egg into the middle of the whirlpool as you slowly swirl the soup. This is how you get that pretty egg drop effect.

Serve hot or at room temperature. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with chopped scallions and cilantro, if using.

Pineapple Fried Rice with Shrimp

8 ounces shrimp (225g, peeled, deveined, rinsed, and pat dry)
1 cup onion (150g, diced)
1/2 cup carrot (75g, diced)
4 ounces ham (or Chinese sausage; 115g, finely diced)
6 cups cooked rice (about 900g)
2/3 cup peas (100g)
1 cup pineapple (diced into 1/2-inch pieces)
1 scallion (chopped)
2 eggs (beaten)
1/4 teaspoon salt (more to taste)
1/2 teaspoon Shaoxing wine (plus 1 tablespoon, divided)
4 tablespoons vegetable oil (divided)
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon light soy sauce (or Thai thin soy sauce)
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil

First, prepare the shrimp, onion, carrot, ham/mChinese sausage, rice, peas, pineapple, and scallions. If using fresh pineapple, remember to trim away the pineapple core. If using canned pineapple, rinse away any syrup and pat dry with a clean kitchen towel.

Beat 2 eggs with ¼ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon Shaoxing wine. Heat your wok over medium heat until lightly smoking. Add 1 tablespoon oil, and scramble the eggs for 1 minute—until just cooked. Turn off the heat, break the egg into small pieces, transfer to a dish, and set aside.

Heat another 1 tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Cook the shrimp until they turn pink, about 1 minute. Remove from the wok and set aside.

Heat the last 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat. Cook the onion until translucent. Add the diced carrots and ham, and cook until the carrots are no longer crunchy. Add the rice and 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine. The steam from the wine will loosen the rice chunks!

Stir-fry everything together well, and add in the peas, 1 tablespoon fish sauce, 1 tablespoon light soy sauce, ½ teaspoon ground white pepper, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, the scrambled egg, and the cooked shrimp. Stir-fry everything together for a few minutes.

Finally, add the pineapple and scallions. Mix everything again for a minute or two. To crisp and warm the rice through, you can use your wok spatula to spread the rice in a single layer around the surface area of the wok, making use of all the heat and letting any excess liquid evaporate.

Salt to taste, and serve immediately!

Cashew Chicken

For the chicken and marinade:
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast (450g, cut into 1-inch pieces)
3 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons oyster sauce
1 teaspoon canola oil
1 tablespoon cornstarch

For the sauce:
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
1/2 cup low sodium chicken stock (or homemade)
1 teaspoon hoisin sauce
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper

For the rest of the dish:
3 tablespoons canola oil (divided)
1 teaspoon ginger (grated)
2 cloves garlic (minced)
1/2 cup red bell pepper (75g, chopped)
1/2 cup water chestnuts (80g, cut into 1/2 inch pieces)
1/2 cup scallions (45g, chopped)
1 1/2 tablespoons Shaoxing wine
1 cup unsalted cashews (roasted at 350 degrees F/180 degrees C for 5 mins)
2 tablespoons cornstarch (mixed with 2 tablespoons water)

Mix the chicken, 3 tablespoons water, 2 teaspoons oyster sauce, and ? teaspoon white pepper. Set aside for 5 to 10 minutes until all the liquid has been absorbed by the chicken. Adding the extra water will really keep your chicken moist and tender. Lastly, mix in 1 teaspoon canola oil and 1 tablespoon cornstarch, and set aside.

In a separate bowl, mix together all the sauce ingredients and set aside.

Heat your wok over high heat. Spread 2 tablespoons canola oil along the perimeter of the wok until just smoking.

Add the marinated chicken breast, spreading the pieces evenly in the wok. Fry for 1 minute on each side, and transfer back to the bowl. The chicken should be browned on the outside and will be about 80% cooked.

Add another tablespoon of oil to the wok, along with the ginger, and fry for 5 seconds before adding the minced garlic. Immediately add the red bell pepper and chopped water chestnuts. Stir fry for 30 seconds.

Next, add the scallions, and spread your Shaoxing wine around the perimeter of the wok. Give everything a quick stir fry for 10 seconds.

Pour in the sauce mixture you made earlier, using your wok spatula to deglaze the sides of the wok. Add the chicken and any juices that may have collected in the bowl. Once everything comes to a simmer, add your roasted cashews.

Stir up your cornstarch slurry, and add to the stir-fry. Add more cornstarch

Basic Steamed Eggs

3 eggs
Water (same volume as eggs)
Vegetable or chicken stock (same volume as eggs)
Salt, to taste
1 teaspoon sesame oil
Chopped scallion

Crack 3 eggs in a liquid measuring cup and note the volume.

Pour the eggs into a large bowl, add salt, and beat for at least 1 minute.

Now measure out water at the same volume as the eggs, and add it to the bowl.

Do the same with the broth. Whisk in the sesame oil, and make sure everything’s well combined.

Place 4 empty ramekins in a steamer over high heat. Be sure the water will not bubble and touch the ramekins during steaming.

Once the water boils, turn the heat down to a slow simmer. Then, divide the egg mixture into the ramekins, pouring it through a fine mesh strainer.

Cover the steamer, turn up the heat to high, and steam for 3 minutes. After 3 minutes have elapsed, shut off the heat but keep the steamer covered. Let stand for 14 minutes

Steamed Eggs with Crispy Pork

For the meat & marinade:
4 ounces ground pork (110g, can substitute ground chicken or beef)
1 1/2 teaspoons Shaoxing wine
1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon ginger (minced)
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
For the egg mixture:
3 eggs
water (same volume as eggs)
vegetable or chicken stock (same volume as eggs)
salt (to taste)
1 teaspoon sesame oil

To cook the ground meat:
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 scallion (finely chopped)

Marinate the ground meat:

Combine the ground meat with all the marinade ingredients. Stir until the meat has absorbed any standing liquid. Marinate for 15-20 minutes while you prepare the egg mixture.

Make the egg mixture:

To make the egg mixture, crack 3 eggs into a liquid measuring cup and note the volume. Pour the eggs into a large bowl, add salt, and beat for at least 1 minute.

Measure the same volume of water, and add it to the bowl. Do the same with the stock. Whisk the mixture all together along with 1 teaspoon sesame oil, and make sure everything’s well combined.

Steam the eggs:

Place a heat-proof shallow bowl in a steamer over high heat. Be sure any water in your steamer will not be able to bubble up and touch the bowl during the steaming process.

Once boiling, turn the heat down to a simmer. Then, pour the egg mixture into the heated bowl through a fine mesh strainer.
Cover the steamer, turn up the heat to high, and steam the eggs for 3 minutes. After 3 minutes have elapsed, shut off the heat, but keep the steamer covered. Let stand for 14 minutes with the lid firmly covered. Cook the meat during this time.

Brown the meat:

Heat a wok over high heat until it starts to smoke. Add 1 tablespoon oil. Brown the marinated meat over high heat until any liquid has cooked off and the bits of ground meat are crispy. Avoid stirring too much in order to give the meat a chance to brown and crisp.

Add in the chopped scallion, mix well and turn off the heat. Once the steamed eggs are done cooking, remove from the steamer, top with the cooked meat, and serve!

Stir-Fried Green Beans

For the pork & marinade:
8 ounces ground pork (225g, can substitute ground chicken or beef)
1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons ginger (minced)
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch

For the rest of the dish:
3 tablespoons oil (divided)
1 pound green beans (450g, chopped to ½-inch pieces)
2 tablespoons garlic (minced)
1/2 red bell pepper (diced finely)
4 red chilies (chopped, optional)
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt (a pinch, or to taste)
2 tablespoons water

Combine the ground meat with all the marinade ingredients. Stir until any standing liquid has been absorbed by the meat. Marinate for 15-20 minutes.

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a wok over medium heat. Add the chopped green beans. Stir and spread the beans into a single layer. Cook for 30 seconds. Then stir and repeat the spreading step several times until the green beans are slightly charred, wilted, and cooked through. Turn the heat lower if needed to avoid burning. It takes about 5-8 minutes to cook the green beans this way. (To speed up the cooking, add a few drops of water each you stir, to create some steam.) Transfer the cooked green beans to a dish and set aside.

Now add 1 tablespoon oil to the wok, with the heat turned up to high. Add the ground meat and brown it. Don’t stir too much; give the meat a chance to brown and crisp. Once the meat has browned, reduce the heat to medium.

Next, add the garlic, bell pepper and chilies. Stir-fry for 1 minute. Add in the cooked green beans, 1/4 teaspoon sugar, r, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, 1 tablespoon light soy sauce, ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper, a pinch of salt (to taste), and 2 tablespoons water. With the heat all the way up on high, stir-fry for a final 10-15 seconds and serve.

Tofu Skin Stir Fry

3 tablespoons oil
1 teaspoon minced ginger
5 cloves garlic, chopped
3/4 pound bok choy, thoroughly washed and drained (or vegetables of choice)
1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
2 tablespoons water
1/2 pack of fresh tofu skin, cut into bite-sized pieces (about 2 cups)
1 teaspoon cornstarch, dissolved in 2 tablespoons water

Heat the oil in a wok over medium heat. Add the ginger, and cook for about 30 seconds before adding the garlic.

After a few seconds, turn up the heat to high, and add the bok choy. Stir-fry everything together. When the bok choy has begun to wilt, stir in the salt, sugar, sesame oil, and white pepper.
Now add the water and fresh tofu skins. Do not stir! It’s important to keep the tofu skin on top of the bok choy so that it doesn’t touch the wok (or it will stick). Cover the wok with the lid, and steam for a minute.

Then open the lid, drizzle in the cornstarch mixture, and stir-fry gently to mix everything together.

Easy Scallion Pancakes

6-8 scallions
salt (to taste)
vegetable, canola, or light olive oil (for brushing and cooking your scallion pancakes)
1 pack store-bought round, white dumpling wrappers (1 lb or 450g)

Wash the scallions and pat them thoroughly dry with a clean kitchen towel. Slice the scallions in half lengthwise and finely chop them.

Prepare a small dish of salt and a dish of oil, along with a pastry brush.

On a clean work surface, take a dumpling wrapper, brush it with a thin layer of oil, and lightly sprinkle with salt. Then cover with a layer of scallions. Top it with another dumpling wrapper, and lightly press it down. Repeat the process until you have 4-7 layers of dumpling wrappers.

Use a rolling pin to roll the layered dumpling skins into a pancake––however thick or thin you like. Rotate the scallion pancake as you roll to get a perfect round shape.

Heat a flat-bottomed non-stick or cast iron pan over medium heat. Spread 1 tablespoon oil around in the pan, and add the scallion pancake. Cook each side until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes per side. (Avoid using high heat, as it will burn the pancake without cooking it through).

If the pan looks dry after flipping the pancake, you can add another tablespoon of oil.

Enjoy these plain or with a dipping sauce! We’ve found that they go great with our dumpling dipping sauce.

Notes
To pre-make and freeze any uncooked scallion pancakes:
After rolling out each pancake, place on a sheet of parchment or wax paper, and place another sheet of paper on top.

Layer the scallion pancakes between the wax paper or parchment paper.

Transfer to a large freezer bag, and place on a flat shelf in the freezer so they freeze flat.

To cook, add them directly to a pan with hot oil––no need to thaw beforehand.

Chicken and Green Bean Stir Fry

For the chicken and marinade:
12 oz. (340 g) boneless skinless chicken breast or thighs, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon soy sauce
½ teaspoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon vegetable oil

For the rest of the dish:
1/2 cup chicken stock or water
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons dark soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
Fresh ground white pepper
2 teaspoons cornstarch
4 tablespoons vegetable oil (divided)
1 pound string beans, ends trimmed and cut in half
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
Instructions
Add all the marinade ingredients to the chicken in a bowl, mix well with your hands so the chicken absorbs all the marinade liquid, and set aside.
Prepare the sauce by mixing together ½ cup stock or water, 1 teaspoon sugar, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 2 teaspoons dark soy sauce, ¼ teaspoon sesame oil, a pinch of freshly ground white pepper, and 2 teaspoons cornstarch.
When ready to cook, preheat your wok over medium high heat until it’s almost smoking. Add 2 tablespoons oil to the wok and sear the chicken until it’s just browned. If your wok is as hot as it should be, the chicken should not stick. Turn off the heat while you transfer the chicken to a separate bowl. Leave any oil/fat in the wok.
Add 2 additional tablespoons oil to the wok, and add the string beans in a single layer. Sear the string beans on one side, about 1 minute. Stir-fry the beans for 30 seconds, and then add ¼ cup water to the wok. Cover the wok and allow the green beans to steam for 60-90 seconds (still on medium high heat).
Add the garlic and stir-fry for another 30 seconds. Spread the Shaoxing wine around the wok to deglaze it, stir-frying for 15 seconds. Then add the sauce mixture and bring it to a simmer.

Add the chicken back to the wok and stir-fry everything together for another 30 seconds. The cornstarch in the sauce mixture will thicken it. When the sauce is at the consistency you’d like, plate and serve immediately with rice.

Perfect Dumpling Sauce

1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon hot water
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon chili oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

Dissolve 1 teaspoon sugar in 1 tablespoon hot water. Then add soy sauce, rice vinegar, chili oil, minced garlic, sesame seeds, and sesame oil. Stir to combine.

Serve with freshly cooked dumplings.

Shanghai Noodle Soup

8 ounces (225g) pork shoulder or boneless chicken thighs, julienned
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon Shaoxing wine
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon light soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
4 ounces dried wheat noodles
3 tablespoons oil
5 cups chicken and pork stock or just plain chicken stock
8 ounces (225g) leafy greens, coarsely chopped
Salt, to taste
Ground white pepper, to taste
2 scallions, chopped

Marinate the julienned pork (or chicken thighs) with 2 tablespoons water, 1 teaspoon Shaoxing wine, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon light soy sauce, 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil, and 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch for 15 minutes.

Cook the noodles in a pot of boiling water per the cooking instructions on the package. Drain and set aside. At this point, you can cut the noodles a few times by running a knife or scissors through them so they’re spoon-friendly, but this is optional. The reason for pre-cooking the noodles separately is to prevent the soup from becoming too starchy.

Preheat your wok or thick-bottomed pot until it just starts to smoke. Add 3 tablespoons oil, and cook the marinated meat until it turns opaque.

Add the stock and cooked noodles. Bring to a boil, and lower the heat to a simmer for 5 minutes, until the noodles are softened and expand slightly. Next, add the leafy greens and bring to a boil again. Add salt and white pepper to taste, and sprinkle with the chopped scallion before serving.

Pressure Cooker Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup

3 pounds beef shank, cut into 2-inch chunks
2 tablespoons oil
A 2-inch piece of ginger, smashed
6 cloves garlic, smashed
3 scallions, cut into 2-inch segments
1 onion, cut into wedges
1 tomato, cut into wedges
4 dried chilies, ripped in half
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 tablespoons spicy bean paste (douban jiang)
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup Shaoxing wine
Chinese aromatic herbs packet (lu bao) — do yourself a favor and hunt down the pre-packaged version; if you can’t access it though, see below for ingredients to create your own spice sachet).
Fresh white noodles
A small handful of bok choy for each serving
Cilantro, finely chopped
Scallions, finely chopped
Pickled mustard greens to taste

To create your own spice sachet, tie up the following ingredients in cheesecloth:
4 star anise
1 small cinnamon stick
3 bay leaves
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
2 tablespoons Sichuan peppercorns
1/4 teaspoon five spice powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Boil enough water in a pot to boil all of your beef. Once the water is boiling, add the beef. Let it come back up to a boil, and boil for 1 minute. Strain in a colander and rinse thoroughly with fresh water to remove any impurities.

Next, in your instant pot, turn on the saute setting. Add the oil, crushed ginger, garlic, scallions, and onions in that order. Stir to lightly caramelize. Let the onion turn translucent. Add the tomato and dried chilies.

Next, add the meat to the pot. Then add the tomato paste, spicy bean paste, sugar, soy sauce, and Shaoxing wine, and mix thoroughly.

Pour 8 cups of water into the instant pot. Add the spice packet. The instant pot should be filled to the 10-cup line; it shouldn’t be more than ? of the way full per safety instructions. Our instant pot is the largest size (8 quarts); if yours is smaller, you can halve the recipe accordingly.
Close the lid of the instant pot, and make sure you have your vent set so it is not venting. Cook for 100 minutes on the aromatic meat stew setting. If you don’t have an instant pot, you can use a regular pot on the stove, but instead, cook the soup on a low simmer for 3-4 hours.
When the instant pot timer is up, carefully release the pressure valve (wear an oven mitt, so you don’t scald yourself!). Boil some noodles per package instructions, and in the last minute or two of the noodles cooking, throw your bok choy in and blanch until just tender.

Serve each bowl of Taiwanese beef noodle soup with a serving of noodles, a few stalks of bok choy, and generous sprinklings of finely minced cilantro, scallions, and Chinese pickled mustard greens. Pro tip, buy the pre-seasoned spicy mustard greens and you can use them straight out of the package. If you are using the non-spicy version (from a can, for example), chop and saute with a little oil, a few chopped dried red chilies, and a pinch of sugar.

Lao Gan Ma Noodles

2 teaspoons light soy sauce
1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon Chinese black vinegar
2 tablespoons minced scallions
1 teaspoon minced ginger
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 1/2 tablespoons of your favorite “godmother” sauce (lao gan ma), or to taste
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
3 tablespoons finely chopped za-cai (pickled radish)
2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds (optional)
3 tablespoons oil
1/3 cup raw peanuts
200 grams dried rice noodles (this makes a big single serving or two small servings)
A large handful of your leafy greens of choice
A small handful chopped cilantro

First prepare the sauce base in a large bowl by mixing together the light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, Chinese black vinegar, scallion, ginger, garlic, “godmother” sauce, sesame oil, za-cai, and sesame seeds.

Heat the oil in a wok using medium heat, and wok fry the peanuts for 5 to 7 minutes until cooked through. Take out the peanuts and drizzle the hot oil left in the wok into the sauce base.

Boil the rice noodles per package instructions. Once the rice noodles are a minute away from done, add in the leafy greens to blanch. Cook for the remaining minute, and then drain the noodles and the greens. Pour the sauce base over the noodles, stir to combine, and top with chopped cilantro.