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Chinese cookbooks eggs recipes

Cook the Book: The Chinese Cook Book – Egg Foo Yong


Egg Foo Yong

One of my earliest Chinese food memories is enjoying my fair share of egg foo yong and sweet and sour pork from Empress Pavilion, China Palace, and my favorite, Lui’s Kitchen (Facebook fan page) in Saugus, CA. Lui’s was the closest of these restaurants to my house and my gateway Chinese restaurant, but in my mostly white suburb, I had no idea we really eating American Chinese cuisine. Today, despite my expanded knowledge and appreciation of “real” Chinese cuisine, I’ll never give up my love for the Americanized subgenre.

I recently started buying old cookbooks at a used book sale that’s held biannually at work, and one of my favorites is “The Chinese Cook Book” by Wallace Hee Yong. I picked it purely for the kitsch factor since it was published in 1952 and is an encyclopedia of Chinese American classics that most of us have eaten at some time in our lives. The book has been sitting around since I got it, but yesterday I decided that I was going to use it to make some dinner.

chinesecookbook

The egg foo yong recipe is pretty simple, but I did make a few changes. One change most people will probably make is to eliminate the “seasoning salt,” the 1950s word for MSG. I chose to leave it in but will probably leave it out next time I make it (even though my wife loves the stuff). I also left out the bean sprouts and celery because I just don’t like them. Just add a little more of the other ingredients to compensate.

I used ground beef in this version, but any kind of meat or fish can be used. The recipe also says to cook the egg foo yong in 1-1.5 inches of oil or lard, which I found a bit excessive, so we used a thin layer of bacon fat leftover from breakfast and mixed with peanut oil.

INGREDIENTS
4 eggs, beaten
½ cup cooked ground beef (or use your favorite protein – chicken, pork, fish, etc.)
½ cup onion, chopped
½ cup bean sprouts
¼ cup green onion, chopped
¼ cup mushrooms, chopped
¼ cup celery, chopped
1 teaspoon MSG (optional)
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon garlic powder

DIRECTIONS

  1. Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl
  2. Heat desired amount of oil or lard in a small frying pan until it just starts to smoke
  3. Divide the batter into 3 or 4 portions or use a ladle to dispense desired amount into the frying pan.
  4. Fry until both sides of egg foo yong are golden brown
  5. Dry on paper towels and serve with brown gravy and steamed rice.

I also made the book’s stir-fried beef with tomatoes, which turned out nicely even though I cooked it out of order. I’ll make it again before writing about it, and I expect to be cooking a lot more recipes from this book so stay tuned for more!

Egg Foo Young on Foodista

Categories
Chinese noodles Northern California reviews

QQ Noodle

People tend to give Fremont a hard time for not having great places to eat, but I don’t think they’re looking hard enough. Maybe it’s the lack of real fine dining or the plethora of national chain restaurants, but there’s a great selection of hole-in-the-wall ethnic food joints in town that more than make up for these “deficiencies.” In fact, ethnic diversity, both in people and food, was one of the reasons we decided to settle in Fremont.

QQ Noodle is one of Fremont’s gems. Noodles are hand-pulled on site by a chef from Beijing and there’s 19 different ways to order them. The dine-in menu is great, too, because it features huge, full-bleed pictures of all the dishes so you know exactly what you’re ordering.



I ordered the #1, the house special sour & spicy pork sauce noodles, and it was great. It’s basically noodles, pork, eggs, tomatoes and onions with a spicy sauce. I didn’t specify a level of spiciness, so I guess I just got the default, and it had a pretty good kick and lingered on my tongue for awhile. The noodles were really chewy and delicious. My wife ordered the #4, tomato & eggs sauce noodles. The noodles were thicker than in my order, and the sweet tomato sauce with eggs was a delicious, irresistible combination. The eggs were soft and light, kind of like what you’d get in egg flower soup. On subsequent visits, we’ve had the #2 San Hao soy bean paste sauce noodles and #10 beef stew noodle soup, and they were both delicious and hearty..

I still want to go up to SF or Oakland and try some of the hand-pulled noodle places up there, but with QQ Noodle in town. I can get my hand-pulled noodle fix just down the road.

INFORMATION
QQ Noodle
3625 Thornton Ave.
Fremont, CA 94536 map
510.713-0228

Categories
Chinese Northern California reviews

Koi Palace

I’ve been wanting to go to Koi Palace for a while now, and I finally got my chance at an unofficial Yelp Sunday brunch outing. After a bit of a wait, we waded through the mass of humanity huddled in the ridiculously small lobby and were escorted into the main room, which was beautiful and bright, and the way it’s designed you almost felt like you were eating outdoors in someone’s courtyard.

I have to say that food wise, Koi Palace is probably the best dim sum I’ve ever had. Bella and Tinna did a great job making sure we had plenty of food, as well as explaining what was in the dishes that I normally wouldn’t order. I tried a lot of new things and all of it was good, except for the duck tongue, which really wasn’t my style. I loved the tripe, but that’s really all about the dipping sauce and the weird texture. The roasted suckling pig was amazing…better than most lechon I’ve ever had. I also learned the proper way to eat Peking Duck, which I normally don’t order because I’m not a big duck fan. I never knew it was all about the skin! Even rather innocuous dishes like the steamed spare ribs were excellent.

One of the highlights were the desserts, which included mango custards served with evaporated milk. I’d never had this before, and it was explained to me that you pour the milk on the custard and then eat it. Well, there was very little milk left in the dish and I jokingly said I should just shoot the remaining milk after eating the custard. So I popped the mango custard into my mouth, shook my head to let it swish around a little and then finished it off with the evaporated milk chaser. We also had this mochi filled with sweet sesame paste and dusted with peanut powder. It’s best eaten warm, and it was amazing. It melted in my mouth and was highlighted by the sesame spooge that you get when you bite into it.


Sugar Egg Puffs

But the king of the desserts was the Chinese doughnuts, which were almost as good as the malasadas I love so much in Hawaii. They’re denser and a little more eggy, and they were the best way to finish off the meal. I even brought a couple home for my wife and she devoured them faster than I can blink.

Despite the incredible dim sum Koi Palace has to offer, it loses a star because the service leaves something to be desired. To say the place is a madhouse is an understatement. It’s borderline ridiculous, and I don’t think having reservations matters. And although our table was in the middle of the main room, it was still hard for us to get a constant supply of food on our table. It wasn’t until we placed our menu order that the food really started rolling in, but this might also have been a good thing since we were eating so much that we really need some breaks between courses.

So If you can brave the crowds and don’t mind waiting, Koi Palace is a place you definitely have to try. Or maybe go during the week if you can so you can avoid the madhouse.

INFORMATION
Koi Palace Restaurant
365 Gellert Blvd
Daly City, CA 94015
650.992.9000
Web site