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Shao Z.

Shao Z.

I was born in Guangzhou, the birthplace of dim sum, and raised in the Chinatown neighborhood of Philadelphia. As a sibling-less child, cooking was away to keep myself entertained. That’s how my love for food started and it continues to grow.

  • Website
  • Location: Philadelphia
  • Favorite foods: fried chicken, wonton noodle soup, kitsune udon, fresh tofu, perfectly grilled medium rare steak, mentaiko pasta, uni, west coast oysters, hot pot, cheetos, anything with mushrooms, pineapple ice cream
  • Last bite on earth: My family's version of Sunday brunch. A bowl of my mom's chicken congee with a plate of my dad's ginger scallion lo mein on the side.

Easy Stir-Fried Beef With Mushrooms and Butter

It may not be traditional in the strictest sense of the word, but the combination of soy sauce and butter is quickly becoming a favorite both in Asia and here at home. One of my favorite ways to combine them? In a stir-fry, like this simple recipe with marinated flank steak, stir-fried with mushrooms. More

Easy Stir-Fried Pork With String Beans

Pork loves sweet, snappy counterparts—think pulled pork and cole slaw, or pork chops with sautéed apples. Maybe that's why pork and beans are such a classic Chinese combination. In this version, I use sliced marinated pork loin stir-fried very quickly with some blanched green beans, all flavored with ginger, garlic, and a simple marinade. It comes together in just about the same time that it takes to steam a batch of rice, making this a perfect weeknight meal. More

Easy Stir-Fried Chicken With Ginger and Scallions

This simple and classic stir-fry combines tender strips of lean marinated chicken breast with scallions and ginger. With a marinade that enhances the natural flavor of the chicken while helping it stay moist and juicy, this is the kind of quick and easy meal that is custom-designed to be thrown together on a busy Tuesday night. More

Chinese-American Mashup: Silken Tofu With Spicy Sausage

There are many homey Chinese recipes based on simply steaming silken-style tofu and topping it with a simple sauce of sautéd meat with a light gravy. I wondered what would happen if I replaced that meat with some spicy Italian-style sausage from my local American supermarket. It works shockingly well. Here's how I make it. More

Easy Spicy Stir-Fried Beef With Leeks and Onions

Stir-fries are the ideal way to use up vegetables—or even parts of vegetables—that you'd otherwise not know what to do with. Take, for example, leek greens. They're ideal for stir-frying and wonderfully aromatic, with a chive-like flavor. In this recipe, I pair leek greens with onions and beef, stir-fried in a sauce flavored with fish sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil, dried chilies, and plenty of garlic. More

How to Make Pan-Fried Vegetable Dumplings

The key to perfect vegetable dumplings is picking fillings with a contrast of flavors and textures. Ours are stuffed with carrots, cabbage, five-spice tofu, and seitan, all packed into a steamed skin with a crisp, pan-fried bottom. Here's how to make them, step-by-step. More

Sautéed Root Vegetables With Soy Sauce and Honey

Glazed carrots are a classic holiday side dish and an easy stove-top preparation, but I like to mix it up a bit with some Asian flavors. For this recipe, I combine a medley of sweet root vegetables: carrots, sweet potatoes, and red beets. Instead of a traditional butter and sugar glaze, they're finished in a mixture of soy sauce, honey, and sesame oil, with a touch of ginger and lemon juice for flavoring. More

Spicy Stir-Fried Fennel, Celery, and Celery Root With Chinese Sausage

Sautéing a stalk or two of celery, plus a few slices of Chinese sausage, a little bit of chili pepper and lots of garlic, is my go-to dish to cook when I don't know what I want to eat. It is quick to make, economical, and perfect with a bowl of rice. This is a twist on my go-to dish, which combines celery with celery root, fennel, Chinese sausage, and tons of garlic. Thai-style nam prik pao—a roasted chili jam—adds heat and a savory, roasted aroma. More

Shredded Chicken Salad With Gochujang Dressing

If you've ever had bibimbap, the red sauce on the side is mainly comprised of gochujang, a fermented Korean chili paste. It's a great ingredient for marinades that need a little heat or in stir-fried dishes. Today, I'm using it in a salad dressing for a light salad of greens, vegetables, and chicken poached in sake. More

Bitter Greens Salad With Sesame Dressing

Everybody's heard of Kale Caesar Salads by now, right? In this recipe, I take that same concept and switch out the flavors for a creamy sesame and soy-based dressing made with creamy tahini, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, and black pepper. I also added some turnip greens and arugula to the salad mix to make things a bit more interesting. More

Easy Stir-Fried Beef With Mushrooms and Butter

@BeavisPeters, @J. Kenji López-Alt, I need to try the microwave technique next time. Never knew about it and it sounds handy.

@BeavisPeters, like Kenji explained just the salt from the soy sauce is not enough to season the beef. If you add too much soy sauce, or any liquid to the marinade, your beef will not brown.

@chanterelle, I really love the combo of soy sauce and butter. :) It's especially good on corn.

Easy Stir-Fried Chicken With Ginger and Scallions

@Prawo Jazdy, if you want this dish to be saucy, I don't recommend doubling the marinade but instead add this sauce instead towards the end: 2 teaspoon soy sauce + 1 teaspoon Shaoxing wine + 2 tablespoon water +2 teaspoon cornstarch + 1 teaspoon sesame oil. Mix it well and add it right after you add the chicken, julienned ginger, and minced garlic. Make sure your heat is on high so the sauce will thicken quickly. This should take about a minute or less. Serve immediately.

@animaux, so happy to hear you enjoyed the recipe! Thank you for the feedback!

Easy Stir-Fried Pork With String Beans

@ALRUI, thanks! This marinade works well with both pork and chicken. I'm thinking of trying it out with turkey soon.

Easy Stir-Fried Pork With String Beans

@BeavisPeters, yes snow peas would work and as @j.mei suggested, you don't need to par-boil it.

Easy Stir-Fried Chicken With Ginger and Scallions

@atombaby, @BeavisPeters, when the weather is warm I prefer stir-frying outside with a high BTU portable burner as well. Love that I don't have to worry about getting the kitchen and everything smokey when I'm outside.

@TheWeeknight Chef, @j.mei, @Hash86, thank you everyone for your support!

Easy Stir-Fried Chicken With Ginger and Scallions

@Tetrazzini, Shaoxing wine is a type of Chinese rice wine. It's amber in color and has a aromatic slightly nutty taste. You should be able to find it in most Chinese or Asian supermarkets. A substitute for Shaoxing wine would be dry sherry, but don't buy anything that's labeled cooking sherry or dry cooking sherry.

Easy Stir-Fried Chicken With Ginger and Scallions

@kggreenpoint, yes it would. This recipe works for both white meat and dark meat chicken.

Bok Choy and Kale Fried Rice With Fried Garlic

@MEDINACAFE, using brown rice instead sounds like a great idea. I think the fried garlic would go great with it.

@lbags, that's how my dad prefers to slice garlic and ginger too! That's usually how I slice garlic when I'm stir-frying vegetables and meat.

@lpnlizard, @saf2127, so glad to hear you both enjoyed the recipe!

Chinese-American Mashup: Silken Tofu With Spicy Sausage

@mcwolfe, great! Hope you'll like the recipe.

Silken Tofu With Spicy Sausage

@mwainer, the salt is optional. Depending on the sausage you use, after you sauté it, taste and see if it needs salt. Sorry about the confusion!

@NovaChild, @EatingVirgo, that is the same way I open mines too. Just use a a scissor and cut off the package.

@BKF, the sausage should be cooked all the way through when you are sautéing it.

Spicy Stir-Fried Beef With Leeks and Onions

@Fpitt66, you can use Bird's eye chili but be careful with the amount you use because they are pretty spicy. Also check the international aisle of your local supermarket. Sometimes I spot dried chili peppers near the Mexican food section.

Spicy Stir-Fried Beef With Leeks and Onions

@shivasprogeny, thank you! I think it's such a waste to throw out something that's perfectly good. I hope people will try to use leek greens in their cooking more.

Easy Spicy Stir-Fried Beef With Leeks and Onions

@AnnieNT, good tip! I will have to try that next time I make it.

Pan-Fried Vegetable Dumplings

@BigtimeBG I personally like to use Twin Marquis dumpling skins. If you go on their website they have a list of where to buy their products.

Pan-Fried Vegetable Dumplings

@arielleeve yes, you can freeze these. Lay them flat on a sheet pan or on a flat surface lined with wax paper and a sprinkle of flour. Make sure they are not touching each other and once they are frozen (about 2-3hrs) store them in ziplock bags or in a container. When you cook them, no need to defrost it first. Just pan-fried like the recipe notes. It just might take a little longer for them to brown at first and after you add the 1/4 cup of water, instead of steaming the dumplings for 2 minutes, I would steam them an additional 1 minute so 3 minutes total.

@Evelgest yup, seitan is just another way to say wheat gluten. Actually, I didn't know people called it seitan until a few years ago. Growing up, my mom frequently used the canned braised gluten sold in Asian markets. She would stir-fried them with vermicelli noodles.

Sautéed Root Vegetables With Soy Sauce and Honey

@KenV99 - Yes, that is purple shiso. I totally agree it is a very underutilized herb. I tend to use it more during the warmer season with fruits and and salads.

Shredded Chicken Salad With Gochujang Dressing

@QuizzicalJas, @adamos44, happy to hear you are both going to give the recipe a try! It's also great with turkey as well.

@linds774, the crispy rice at the bottom is my favorite part of dolsot bibimbap :)

@Lorenzo, I know what you mean. I like sriracha too but I feel gochujang is more versatile to cook with.

Roasted Kabocha Squash With Soy Sauce, Butter, and Shichimi Togarashi

@tinybanquetcommittee, I do the same thing but with pasta! Soy sauce and butter is such a perfect flavor combo.

Sautéed Root Vegetables With Soy Sauce and Honey

Glazed carrots are a classic holiday side dish and an easy stove-top preparation, but I like to mix it up a bit with some Asian flavors. For this recipe, I combine a medley of sweet root vegetables: carrots, sweet potatoes, and red beets. Instead of a traditional butter and sugar glaze, they're finished in a mixture of soy sauce, honey, and sesame oil, with a touch of ginger and lemon juice for flavoring. More

Spicy Stir-Fried Fennel, Celery, and Celery Root With Chinese Sausage

Sautéing a stalk or two of celery, plus a few slices of Chinese sausage, a little bit of chili pepper and lots of garlic, is my go-to dish to cook when I don't know what I want to eat. It is quick to make, economical, and perfect with a bowl of rice. This is a twist on my go-to dish, which combines celery with celery root, fennel, Chinese sausage, and tons of garlic. Thai-style nam prik pao—a roasted chili jam—adds heat and a savory, roasted aroma. More

Shredded Chicken Salad With Gochujang Dressing

If you've ever had bibimbap, the red sauce on the side is mainly comprised of gochujang, a fermented Korean chili paste. It's a great ingredient for marinades that need a little heat or in stir-fried dishes. Today, I'm using it in a salad dressing for a light salad of greens, vegetables, and chicken poached in sake. More

Bitter Greens Salad With Sesame Dressing

Everybody's heard of Kale Caesar Salads by now, right? In this recipe, I take that same concept and switch out the flavors for a creamy sesame and soy-based dressing made with creamy tahini, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, and black pepper. I also added some turnip greens and arugula to the salad mix to make things a bit more interesting. More