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How to Make Chinese Lotus Seed Buns to Rival Any Bakery's

Fluffy and sweet, lotus seed buns are a popular treat at Chinese bakeries. As the name implies, they're flavored with a paste made from lotus flower seeds, which have a light, chestnut-like flavor. This recipe for homemade buns has been perfected to work with either low-gluten flour, or all-purpose. Hot from the steamer, they're a confection not to be missed. The only thing that could make them either better is a cup of bubble tea. More

Chinese Velveting 101: An Introduction to Water-Velveting

Velveting meat is a common practice in Chinese stir-fries: By marinating strips of meat with egg white and cornstarch, then dipping then in a hot oil bath before finally stir-frying them, the meat develops a texture that is tender, silky, and smooth. But the hot oil bath is cumbersome for home cooks. Here's how to do it with water instead at home, with just-as-good results. More

Chinese Greens 101: Stir-Fried Beef With Kale and Frisée in Black Bean Sauce

This dish, which is made up of equal parts beef and greens in a light but flavor-packed black bean sauce with garlic doesn't quite qualify as a side dish, and seeing as I'm using a mixture of kale and frisée—two decidedly Western greens—it doesn't quite qualify as "Chinese greens" either. But the basic techniques I use in ut—just a quick stir-fry with no blanching—is a method that works with any kind of hearty green leafy vegetable, whether it's Chinese or not. More

Chinese Noodles 101: Crispy Pan-Fried Noodle Cakes With Seafood

Crispy and a little saucy, egg noodles pan-fried until they form a crispy-on-the-outside, tender-in-the-middle cake is a classic Hong Kong and Guangzhou dish. A nest of egg noodles are fried in a wok until golden brown and topped with a combination of stir-fried meat, seafood, or vegetables. Here's how to make my favorite version, topped with seafood in a light gravy. More

Chinese Noodles 101: The Chinese Egg Noodle Style Guide

From crispy pan-fried noodles to a bowl of wonton noodle soup, fresh Chinese egg noodles are a staple of Chinese restaurants. Just like Italian pasta or ramen, when cooked properly, they should have a firm bite and springy texture, and the wide variation in thickness and springiness makes Chinese egg noodles some of the most versatile to cook with. More

Chinese Noodles 101: How to Make Chow Mein With Four Vegetables

For me, a dim sum brunch isn't complete without a plate of Supreme Soy Sauce Chow Mein. A simple dish of stir-fried thin noodles cooked with bean sprouts and scallions, it's cooked with just a bit of thin, soy-based sauce that coats the noodles in a concentrated layer of flavor. I turn this snack into a meal by adding an array of colorful, crunchy vegetables and tofu. More

Chinese Cooking 101: How to Marinate Meat for Stir Fries

Anyone who's read our Wok Skills 101 Guide knows that with a stir-fry, having all of your ingredients prepped and ready to go is of utmost importance. Meat should be sliced. Vegetables should be chopped, sauces should be mixed, and aromatics should be minced before you turn the heat up. But there's another secret that will improve both the flavor and the texture of your proteins: proper marinating. Here's how you do it. More

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

Stir-Fried Chicken With Mushrooms and Oyster Sauce

@donnataj, I used dried wood ear mushrooms instead of the fresh variety for the texture. Once they are dehydrated, it has an almost crunchy texture.

Chinese Velveting 101: An Introduction to Water-Velveting

@Old Man of the Mountain, the little bit of oil in the water faintly coats the pieces of the meat to prevent it from clumping.

Stir-Fried Chicken With Mushrooms and Oyster Sauce

@BKF, thanks for the feedback and happy to hear you like the recipe. The hot bean paste sounds like a good addition. I'll have to try that next time!

Chinese Velveting 101: An Introduction to Water-Velveting

@Mad Cow, that's a good idea substituting rice wine with alcohol free mirin. I never thought about that. I will have to give that a try the next time I'm velveting meat.

Chinese Velveting 101: Stir-Fried Chicken With Mushrooms and Oyster Sauce

@engill, you can use both! White or dark meat will work in this recipe.

@Mad Cow, like @Daniel said it's just enough oil to leave a faint oily coating on the pieces of meat to prevent it from clumping it.

@cg_ups, thanks for the support! :)

Chinese Velveting 101: An Introduction to Water-Velveting

@Howard Li, this might not be a very scientific answer, but from my experiences on cooking velveted meat vs. non-velveted meat this is what I think. The coating (cornstarch, egg white, and wine) acts as a protective layer for the meat. It protects it from drying out and overcooking when it hits a hot surface like a wok. The method of oil blanching/passing through oil or water blanching, sets the coating on the meat. Velveting this way really just creates a moist protective layer, instead of actually changing the proteins in the meat to make it softer or tender. If you incorporate baking soda into velveting, which some recipes do call for, then the baking soda which is alkaline will change the texture of the meat, breaking it down, and making it tender and softer. Pretty sure The Food Lab has a more scientific answer, so I hope (at least I don't think I am) too far off from the truth.

Chinese Velveting 101: An Introduction to Water-Velveting

@ckiddoo, for stir-frying fish, also make sure your slices are at least a quarter inch thick. I find the thicker the slices, the better it holds up in the wok. Hope you try water velveting next time! :)

@Hoppocrates, @bluedog, thank you!

Chinese Velveting 101: An Introduction to Water-Velveting

@northofboston, there's another method that uses only cornstarch and cold water, no egg at all. I haven't tried that yet, so I can't say how well it works. It is something I would like to look into and test it out.

Easy Stir-Fried Beef With Mushrooms and Butter

@Saarah, I can't think of a non-alcoholic substitute. I have marinated the meat with the same recipe minus the wine before and it turned out fine. What I would do is replace the 1/2 teaspoon of wine with 1/2 teaspoon of oil so that the amount of liquid is the same.

Chinese Aromatics 101: Stir-Fried Tripe With Pickled Mustard Greens

@Howard Li, it is a carbon steel wok.

Chinese Aromatics 101: Stir-Fried Shrimp With Eggs and Chinese Chives

@naags, you can substitute the shrimp and pork with another protein like chicken or even try turkey. I don't think fish would work in this dish, unless you are using the small Chinese "white rice fish". I think it's also called silverfish or whitebait.

Spicy Stir-Fried Beef With Leeks and Onions

@OnceinDC, there's no need to rehydrate the dried chillies.

Chinese Aromatics 101: Kung Pao Fish With Dried Chilies and Sichuan Peppercorns

@VeganWithaYoYo, as @Daniel pointed out, I think the problem is most likely the sauce since it is very high in sugar. Instead of pouring the teriyaki sauce directly in the middle of the wok, how about drizzling it on top of the cooked vegetables, turn the flame off, mix everything, and then plate.

Chinese Aromatics 101: Spicy and Sour Stir-Fried Cabbage With Bacon

@ebgai, @sbertie, thank you! :) Chinese bacon, instead of regular thick cut bacon, is also great in this dish.

Chinese Spicy and Sour Stir-Fried Cabbage With Bacon

@amgross, you can also use 3 to 5 bird's eye chili as well.

Chinese Greens 101: Three Basic Cooking Techniques for Chinese Greens

@RealMenJulienne, my Cantonese is way better than my Mandarin so here's my best attempt in spelling out the Mandarin pinyin for the vegetables. Gai Lan/Chinese Broccoli/Mandarin pinyin remains the same; Choy Sum/Yau Choy/Cai Xin; Bok Choy/Bai Cai. Hope this helps!


@VeganWithaYoYo, regarding your question about ice water baths, that technique is use in Chinese cooking. Not sure how frequently it is used on vegetables, but it is sometimes called for when poaching a whole chicken. I think it's less applied when stir-frying with vegetables because right after the vegetable is blanched, it's usually stir-fry right away. Now if you were to stir-fry the vegetables an hour later, I would definitely suggest a ice water bath after poaching.

Yes, you can definitely cook the vegetables in vegetable broth or maybe even try using kombu (dried kelp). I've never tried this before, but I would think it could add some interesting flavors.

As for other sauces besides vegetarian oyster sauce to drizzle on top of vegetables, how about a ginger scallion oil or maybe toss it in a little bit of mushroom soy sauce and sprinkle fried garlic or shallots on top. @AnnieNT's suggestion on using fermented bean curd is good idea. I would mix the fermented bean curd with a little bit of sesame oil and a dash of sugar.


@V_for_Vendetta, I agree that steaming is a great way to cook vegetables as well. One of my favorite vegetables to steam cook is kabocha (Japanese pumpkin).


@Evelgest, yam leaves are fantastic and so is ong choy. My favorite way to prepare ong choy is to stir-fry it with fermented bean curd.


@AnnieNT, great idea to use fermented bean curd. I love eat it with rice as well and also in congee.


@JacobEstes, also try stir-frying iceberg lettuce! It's a pretty versatile vegetable.

Chinese Greens 101: Shanghai Baby Bok Choy With Black Bean Sauce

@rrazcueta, thank you!

@Shayrose, I find Shanghai bok choy are usually a little more tender than regular baby bok choy. I love on choy as well, especially stir-fried with fermented bean curd.

Chinese Greens 101: Spinach and Red Shen Choy in Garlicky Broth

@ebgai, it's more of an accompaniment to be serve along with rice.

Stir-Fried Choy Sum With Minced Garlic

@prpltrmpt, my parents standby seasoning are garlic, salt, and oil as well for this dish. I like to cook it both ways. :) Sometimes I like to add thinly slices of bird's eye chili in it as well.

Chinese Noodles 101: Crispy Pan-Fried Noodle Cakes With Seafood

@theotherworldly, I agree with @Double_J and would not recommend cooking the noodles in the oven to get them crispy. A large skillet or a cast iron pan would work. Do check the bottom of the noodles frequently to make sure they are not burning and are getting nice and golden brown. Glad you like the recipe!

@Howard_Li, yes it is a carbon steel wok and no worries on the gender misspell :) Hehe!

@just-eat-it, not all seafoods need to be parboiled but it really helps with ones that expels a lot of moisture when cooking, like bay scallops and squid.

@Suette, the noodles don't need to be deep fried at all. :) You want the noodles to be both crispy and a little chewy.

@Double_J, for the beef and pork version, I prefer a darker gravy as well.

Chinese Greens 101: Chinese Broccoli With Oyster Sauce and Fried Garlic

@theotherworldly, you want to cook the garlic at a low heat to prevent burning. The oil should still be sizzling but not rapidly and the garlic should turn golden brown slowly. More like shallow frying. Make sure to drain and blot the fried garlic with paper towels before storing. You can store the garlic at room temperature for about a week to a week and a half. You can also place it in the fridge for longer storage, 2 to 3 weeks. Once it starts getting oily and it's no longer crunchy, that's when you want to toss it out. Fried garlic is a great topping. I love sprinkling it on congee, noodles, and fried rice. Enjoy!

Adam Kuban's Bar Pie Pop-Up: Feeling Like a Proud Papa

Congrats Adam! Those pies look amazing. Hope to meet you and try a few slices soon.

Chinese Broccoli With Oyster Sauce and Fried Garlic

@rmarcus8, Lee Kum Kee makes a sauce call Vegetarian Stir-fry Sauce. There is also a mushroom variety too. The consistency is similar to oyster sauce.

@DrGaellon, most sturdy greens would be good prepare this way. My favorite is iceberg lettuce, regular broccoli would work too, and also baby bok choy.

Chinese Greens 101: Chinese Broccoli With Oyster Sauce and Fried Garlic

@zorazen, I love Leela's recipes! Sometimes I like to stir-fry Chinese broccoli with slices of Chinese sausage and little nam prik pao.

@naags, like @ebgai mentioned, Lee Kum Kee makes a sauce call Vegetarian Stir-Fry Sauce. It also comes in a mushroom flavor too.

Chinese Noodles 101: The Chinese Egg Noodle Style Guide

@bdcbbq, I know you can use the fresh thin wonton noodles to make pan-fried noodles. The process usually involves cooking it in water for about 30 to 40 seconds, rinse it under cold running water, draining it really well, and then air drying it or drying it out in a low heat wok. This process do take a while. I haven't tried it yet with the wider wonton noodle before, but I image it could work. I have seen wide version of the pan-fried noodle in Chinese supermarkets before. This is the brand that I've seen http://www.primefood-usa.com/en-us/pubproducts/noodlewrapper.aspx# It's the PN1120 Chow Mein Broad Noodle. Hope this helps!

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