If you’re a fan of innovative twists on classic dishes, Molly Yeh is a name you can depend on. Her approach to traditional Chinese cooking is no different. In this culinary journey, we’ll explore not only her creative take on crispy-chewy sesame fritters but also delve into a variety of other Chinese delicacies. From classic lo mein to Kung Pao chicken, we’ve got it all. So, buckle up, and let’s embark on a delightful gastronomic adventure.
1. Chocolate Sesame Balls: A Sweet Revelation
Molly Yeh puts a delightful spin on the traditional Chinese sesame balls by replacing the classic red bean filling with Nutella. These crispy-chewy treats aren’t just delicious; they’re also vegan and gluten-free, making them an all-around crowd-pleaser. The luscious Nutella oozes out with every bite, creating a tantalizing blend of chocolate and sesame flavors. Whether you’re a dessert enthusiast or just someone with a sweet tooth, these Chocolate Sesame Balls are bound to be a hit.
2. Classic Lo Mein: A Chinese-American Staple
Lo Mein, a beloved stir-fried noodle dish, has become a staple in Chinese-American restaurants. Forget searching for “lo mein noodles” – instead, look for thick noodles resembling spaghetti. Jet Tila’s adaptation of this American takeout favorite ensures a satisfying experience. The savory sauce coats each strand of these thick, satisfying noodles, while the vegetables and proteins complement the dish perfectly. It’s a Chinese-American classic that you can now recreate in your own kitchen.
3. Grandma’s Tepong Pork: A Simplified Chinese Classic
Molly Yeh’s take on traditional Chinese braised pork simplifies the recipe by using readily available ingredients. It also substitutes sherry for Chinese rice wine, providing similar flavors. For an authentic touch, use liaojiu, also known as Shaoxing cooking wine, if available. This dish is a heartwarming reminder of comforting, home-cooked Chinese meals. The tender, flavorful pork, coupled with aromatic sherry, will transport your taste buds to the heart of Chinese cuisine.
4. Chinese Almond Cookies: Year-Round Delights
These almond cookies, reminiscent of ancient Chinese coins, are popular year-round in Chinese bakeries. Molly Yeh’s recipe swaps lard for butter, making them a delectable treat for any occasion. The rich, buttery aroma that wafts from the oven as these cookies bake is simply irresistible. With their crisp exterior and soft, chewy center, these Chinese Almond Cookies are a delightful blend of tradition and innovation.
5. Dan-Dan Noodles: A Sichuan Sensation
Dan-dan noodles, hailing from the Sichuan province, offer a spicy culinary adventure. In addition to the noodles, Molly Yeh’s recipe guides you in creating your homemade chili oil. The moment you take your first bite, the Sichuan peppercorns unleash their distinctive numbing sensation, followed by the fiery kick of red chilies. These Dan-Dan Noodles are a flavorful journey through the heart of Sichuan cuisine, right in the comfort of your own kitchen.
6. Easy Stir-Fry Sauce: A Shortcut to Flavorful Stir-Fries
Stir-fried dishes are a cornerstone of Chinese cuisine, each boasting a unique combination of seasonings. Molly Yeh offers a convenient shortcut for creating delicious stir-fries, ensuring you can whip up a meal in no time. With Molly’s Easy Stir-Fry Sauce on hand, you can effortlessly elevate your stir-fry game. It’s the secret weapon that turns a simple stir-fry into a gourmet delight. Say goodbye to bland weeknight dinners and hello to mouthwatering stir-fried perfection.
7. Bai Qie Ji: Celebrating the Flavor of Chicken
Bai Qie Ji is a simple poached chicken dish served with a scallion and ginger dipping sauce. To savor the true flavor of chicken, opt for a high-quality heirloom variety. If possible, source it from a local Chinese poultry vendor for the freshest experience. The simplicity of Bai Qie Ji allows the chicken’s natural flavor to shine. The dipping sauce, with its zesty scallions and aromatic ginger, elevates the dish to a culinary masterpiece.
8. Carrot Steamed Buns: A Hearty Vegetarian Option
Chinese steamed buns, similar to dumplings but with fluffy exteriors, make for a filling meal. Try the vegetarian version with carrots and roasted peanuts for a delightful twist. These Carrot Steamed Buns are a celebration of texture and flavor. The fluffy, yeast-infused bun encapsulates a fragrant, savory filling. They are a perfect blend of tradition and innovation in Chinese cuisine.
9. Smashed Chinese Cucumber Salad: A Tangy Delight
This cucumber salad, popular across China, gets its unique texture by smashing the cucumbers. The tangy dressing complements the dish, with the cucumber’s juices enhancing the overall flavor. The Smashed Chinese Cucumber Salad is a study in contrasts. The crispness of the smashed cucumbers pairs perfectly with the tangy dressing. It’s a refreshing side dish that adds zing to any Chinese meal.
10. Law Bak Go: A Chinese New Year Delicacy
This dish features daikon radish and a medley of umami ingredients like dried scallops, shiitake mushrooms, Chinese bacon, dried shrimp, and Chinese sausage. It’s a must-try during Chinese New Year celebrations. Law Bak Go is a symphony of flavors and textures. The mild daikon radish absorbs the richness of the umami ingredients, creating a harmonious blend of savory delights. It’s a celebratory dish that symbolizes good fortune and abundance.
11. Beef Chow Fun: A Southern Chinese Favorite
Beef Chow Fun is a beloved dish from southern China, featuring wide, thick rice noodles tossed with beef and veggies, creating a smoky, charred noodle delight. If you can’t find the right noodles, Molly Yeh’s recipe includes instructions to make them from scratch. The beauty of Beef Chow Fun lies in its simplicity. The searing wok heat imparts a smoky essence to the dish, while the wide noodles provide a satisfying chew. It’s a quintessential Chinese comfort food that’s easy to recreate at home.
12. Mooncakes: Festive and Flavorful
During the Mid-Autumn Festival, mooncakes take center stage. These palm-sized delicacies feature rich dough encasing various fillings. Learn how to make the classic lotus seed paste moon cake and become the star of the festival. Mooncakes are a work of art. The intricately designed exteriors give way to sumptuous fillings, creating a delightful contrast. Making the classic lotus seed paste moon cake is not just a culinary experience; it’s a creative expression of Chinese tradition.
13. Kung Pao Chicken: A Spicy Sichuan Delight
Kung Pao chicken, a Sichuan specialty, tantalizes the taste buds with its spicy and numbing flavors. Molly Yeh’s recipe strikes a perfect balance between traditional Chinese preparation and the American takeout version, making it a favorite Chinese-American staple. Kung Pao Chicken is a flavor explosion. The fiery chilies, the numbing Sichuan peppercorns, and the succulent chicken create a symphony in your mouth. Molly Yeh’s version preserves the authenticity of this dish while making it accessible to a wider audience.
14. Shanghai Stir-Fried Chunky Noodles: A Filling Feast
This noodle dish, featuring Shanghai-style thick and bouncy noodles, promises a hearty and complete meal. For a vegetarian option, simply omit the pork. Shanghai Stir-Fried Chunky Noodles is a hearty meal that satisfies on all fronts. The thick noodles soak up the savory flavors of the sauce, while the vegetables add a delightful crunch. Whether you’re a meat lover or a vegetarian, this dish is a celebration of Chinese culinary excellence.