Cookbook author Helen Chen honors her Chinese mother by cooking simple stir-fries for family suppers.
When Helen Chen wrote Easy Chinese Stir-Fries (Wiley, 2009), she looked no further than the simple dishes her mom, Chinese restaurateur and entrepreneur Joyce Chen, made for family suppers at their home in Cambridge, Mass.
“When I was growing up, my mother did all the cooking at home. It was her everyday Chinese home cooking that I remember best—the stir-fry dishes that are simple, easy, delicious,” Chen says.
To make your stir-fries equally memorable, Chen suggests:
- Measure and chop all ingredients before starting to stir-fry. Once you start, it goes fast.
- Cornstarch in the marinade helps seal in the juices, keeping the ingredients moist and tender. It also helps thicken the sauce.
- Use a stir-fry pan or wok with plenty of room and sloped sides.
- Make sure the oil is hot, hot hot. Food should sizzle when added.
- Do not overload the pan or your ingredients will steam and not sauté.
Recipe adapted with permission from Helen Chen’s Easy Chinese Stir-Fries (Wiley, 2009).
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