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WIFE CAKE (LAO PO BING, 老婆饼)
A Wife Cake (lǎopó bìng in Mandarin or lou po beng in Cantonese), is a Chinese dessert with a flaky pastry crust and a sweet winter melon filling. The filling is mildly sweet, with refreshing and light winter melon and coconut flavor. Usually, it includes both fresh and candied winter melon. Coconut and vanilla are supporting flavors. This Cantonese treat can be found as a shadow of their former selves in Chinese bakeries today. This recipe recaptures what a wife cake is supposed to taste like!
THE HOST OR HOSTESS’S GIFT GUIDE
Host or Hostess gifts can be so much more than a bottle of wine or other alcohol! A gift for the host of your evening (whatever gender they may be) is a lovely opportunity to preemptively thank them for the fun you’ll have and retroactively thank them for the time, thought, and effort that went into planning and preparing. Read on for thoughtful (and useful!) gift ideas for the host or hostess of the party. As Judy always says, never show up to a party empty handed!
KITCHEN AND GARDEN GO-TO’S GIFT GUIDE
It’s our Kitchen and Garden gift guide, full of the select items we reach for again and again—for that cooking and/or gardening enthusiast in your life. Around the holidays, we often get questions from family and friends on the “best of” cooking tools. What’s worth it, what’s not, and where to begin when buying a gift for an avid cook or if you’re filling out your own wishlist. So consider these our kitchen and garden GOATs, that is, Greatest Of All Time picks.
2023 Holiday Gift Guide
If your mind is turning to holiday shopping and gifting, we’ve got a gift guide for every kind of person in your life, whether they be unfailingly practical, a constant traveler, a little artsy, a homebody, or fashion-forward.
We finally have a wrapper recipe to make gluten-free dumplings! The dough can be thrown together with a few ingredients from your gluten-free baking arsenal. Rolling them out is easy, and you can pleat them as you would with regular dumpling wrappers! These wrappers are totally wheat and gluten-free. Choose from any of our fillings to make your perfect dumpling! They pan-fry, boil, and steam well! Most importantly, you can still freeze any uncooked dumplings for later!
Chinese Lemon Chicken
Chinese lemon chicken is a delicious, refreshing alternative to the usual sweet and sour chicken. Fresh lemons really make this Chinese takeout chicken dish, and although our sweet and sour chicken recipe nails it every time, this lemon chicken may just become your new favorite. We’ve gotten many requests for this recipe over the years. Crispy on the outside and coated with a sticky lemony sauce with fresh lemon juice, zest, and slices, all you lemon lovers will love it!
Chinese Takeout Egg Rolls
Egg rolls—quintessential Chinese takeout food. This easy egg roll recipe is a copycat of basic takeout or Chinese buffet versions, with cabbage, shrimp, and roast pork. With today's cost-cutting measures, it's hard to find a place that puts lots of shrimp/pork in the filling! In my parents’ takeout restaurant, we’d crank out hundreds of egg rolls at a time. Here we’ve recorded the ingredients and method we used—to make them anytime at home! They're freezer-friendly, so you can make them ahead!
Pork & Shrimp Siu Mai: Homemade Dim Sum
This siu mai recipe, with pork and shrimp, stand up to any from a Chinese dim sum restaurant! They’ll transport you to those big dim sum halls of old, filled with push carts, the smell of warm aromatic steam, and the din of dozens of families enjoying a weekend brunch together. They're so easy—mix the filling in a stand mixer! Our aunt, who is notoriously critical of any recipe she encounters, had no changes to make and said they were some of the best she’s ever had—a hearty endorsement!
Chinese Postpartum Confinement Porridge
This freezer-friendly recipe is a lightly sweet postpartum porridge made with 7 nourishing Chinese ingredients. The porridge is called yuè zi zhōu (月子粥), which translates to postpartum confinement porridge, and it’s especially meant for the first month after giving birth! While a sweet soup or porridge may not sound like a dessert, its light sweetness makes it a delicious, satisfying, and nutritious end to a meal, snack, or breakfast. You can make it ahead and freeze single serving portions.
Beef Stir-fry with Vegetables
This Beef Stir-Fry recipe with vegetables is one of those quick and easy dishes that you can throw together in minutes if you prepare properly ahead of time. Tender beef, crunchy vegetables, and that perfectly flavored sauce you expect from really solid Chinese food (the right amount and the right consistency!) make this stir-fry an ideal weeknight dinner. We decided to use bok choy, bunashimeji mushrooms, and whole snap peas, but the flexibility and simplicity of this dish is the beauty of it!
Chicken Chow Mein Recipe
We make this chicken chow mein recipe with real Chinese chow mein noodles, crunchy vegetables, and lots of juicy chicken. “Chow mein,” or more accurately pronounced, “chow meen” in Cantonese, translates to “fried noodles” or “pan-fried noodles.” The term has gotten a bit muddy over the years. We’ll talk about the different dishes that share the name, so you can decide to make this version or take a look at our recipes for the Americanized or Hong Kong versions!
Low-Sodium Chinese Cooking
We’ve gotten lots of questions over the years about how to cook low sodium Chinese food, especially as it pertains to the many fermented and salted ingredients you might encounter, from soy sauce to spicy bean paste. In this post, we’re going to talk about keeping sodium levels down in Chinese cooking—and recipes that are more suitable for a low sodium diet, from soups and steamed dishes to Asian-style salads and stir-fries.
Panda Express Super Greens
This Panda Express Super Greens mix of kale, cabbage, and broccoli is a beloved side from the popular chain, but my mom has been making a version of it for years when we have odds and ends of leafy greens left in the refrigerator. This is a great healthy side dish! The special ingredient that we’ve added here is vegetarian oyster sauce. It gives the dish a much needed flavor kick that takes it beyond just garlic and salt! If you’re not vegetarian, you can also use regular oyster sauce.
This recipe for pickled daikon with carrots is a classic appetizer once often served as a freebie in Cantonese restaurants, along with fried peanuts. While pickling things sounds complicated, rest assured that you won’t need many ingredients (just sugar, white vinegar, rice vinegar, salt, daikon, and carrot), or time (48 hours). That’s really all there is to it. While you can pickle the vegetables for even less time (say, 24 hours), we feel the optimal flavor is achieved after 2 days.
Tangerine beef is a Chinese restaurant dish with big flavors. This recipe replicates the restaurant versions we've had! The key to a good plate of tangerine beef is the aromatic dried tangerine peels, as well as the candied slivers of tangerine peel that you should have with every bite of beef. In addition, we add aromatics like chilies, star anise, ginger, and scallion. Serve with steamed rice and a vegetable for a better-than-takeout meal that you can make yourself at home!