The Wisdom of the Chinese Kitchen: Classic Family Recipes for Celebration and Healing by Grace Young

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Notes about this book

  • Eat Your Books

    2000 James Beard Award Nominee, International Association of Culinary Professionals Award Winner

Notes about Recipes in this book

  • Clear soup noodles

    • jaelsne on January 22, 2013

      This is the first recipe that I cooked from this book, and I'm very happy that I made it. My daughter, adopted from China, often complains that I can't cook Chinese food. This recipe changed all that. If you buy ready made soy sauce chicken from the Chinese deli, there are few ingredients and it takes little time (if you have made the stock ahead of time!) Delicious and home-style. I followed the recipe and my daughter and her Asian-American friend told me to add more soy sauce and fewer noodles next time around. They loved it.

  • Won ton

    • jzanger on June 21, 2013

      Wow, so good! Very forgiving recipe. I used bok choy stems in place of water chestnuts and added about 1/3 cup thinly sliced bok choy leaves to the mixture as well. Used sake instead of chinese cooking wine, and about 8 medium dried shiitake mushrooms instead of the 4 chinese mushrooms called for in the recipe. i upped the pork (last minute shopping--used bratwurst) to 6 oz. and the shrimp to 8 oz. The mixture filled all of the wonton skins in my Nasoya wonton package with a little left over. Great use for homemade chicken broth, and the technique for adding the seasonings to the bowl was a revelation. I look forward to making this again!

  • Stir-fried garlic lettuce

    • wester on July 06, 2019

      Who would have thought to use iceberg lettuce for a stir-fry? It works too. A pretty straightforward stir-fry otherwise, and excellent for when you have too much iceberg lettuce.

  • Pepper and salt shrimp

    • JoanN on March 15, 2019

      I probably tripled the amount of ginger and garlic. Might more rightly be called Ginger and Garlic Shrimp. But whatever you call it, it was outstanding. Be sure to use enough oil for frying to get shells crispy if cooking shell on, but worth trying shell off just to see if flavor is still as good.

  • Tomato beef

    • MHLandSDZ on December 09, 2010

      This is an excellent recipe but I wouldn't suggest making it unless you grow your own tomatoes. If you freeze your tomatoes like I do then you can also use them.

    • chawkins on August 27, 2013

      Made this with a mixed varieties of tomatoes from the garden. Served it over rice with a fried egg each on top - Chinese comfort food. This is slightly different from my mom's but still good. My mom did not use oyster sauce in hers, and she would cook the tomato with copious amount of chopped garlic and chopped ginger and no scallions. I usually add basil to my mom's version just because I have them in the garden.

    • minerva on November 09, 2013

      I'd prefer this with about half the quantity of tomatoes specified, but the flavor is pretty boring so I might not make again.

    • peachy on November 24, 2013

      My children love this recipe.

  • Stir-fried asparagus with shrimp

    • lorloff on May 07, 2016

      This dish was really great added onions and used black bean chili sauce combined this with ideas from Patricia Tanumihardja's Asian Grandmother's Cookbook with a similar recipe that I used as the base recipe and added from here.

    • mcvl on March 11, 2020

      OK, kind of ordinary.

    • PinchOfSalt on April 20, 2013

      Left out the jalapeno. This is a dry-fry dish - flavorful but no sauce to speak of. It is tasty and extremely quick to put together, but I prefer Irene Kuo's version.

  • Stir-fried bok choy

    • lorloff on July 03, 2015

      Very good. Added shiitake mushrooms with the garlic and reduced the corn starch to one teaspoon. With baby bok choy it was really tasty. Will make again.

    • hillsboroks on January 27, 2015

      Intense flavor and quick easy prep. Perfect side dish for a weeknight dinner.

    • excurvatus on December 10, 2019

      This is good. I made it to go with the beef and broccoli from one of Grace's other books. It was great with the sauce, but I think I was in the mood for it without the sauce stirred in at the end. would definitely make again. I made it with the shortest and most tender Shanghai bok choy.

  • Chicken with cashews

    • given22fly on July 19, 2011

      Excellent dish! Followed the recipe exactly and it turned out great. The chicken is tender and juicy, cashews add nice crunch, and mushrooms absorb a lot of the flavor.

    • minerva on November 15, 2013

      Perfect. Added a couple dried chiles but would have been fine without.

  • Beef chow fun

    • chawkins on December 29, 2013

      Excellent chow fun. I cut the hardened ho fun slab into 3/4" strips, microwaved them at high for 2.5 minutes, then separated them into strands. I then partially cooked the beef and added the other ingredients in the sequence called out in the recipe, without first removing the beef, cleaning the wok and cooking the noodle in 2 tablespoon of oil by itself first. This way, I saved myself the chore of washing the wok in the middle of cooking and the resulting dish is less greasy.

  • Braised fuzzy melon with scallops

    • chawkins on October 09, 2013

      I used dried shrimps instead of the dried scallops because that was what my mother always used for this and she never used mushrooms in it either; I did not add mushroom because my husband claimed to be allergic to them, I'm sure that would have been a great addition to the dish. My package of cellophane noodle was about 1/2 oz short of what the recipe called for, so as a result, it was a little bit soupy. Nonetheless, it was still a great dish for my home-grown fuzzy melon.

  • Braised nom yu and taro duck

    • chawkins on September 30, 2012

      Made this for the mid autumn festival. Replaced part of the nom yu (fermented red bean curd) with a mixture of bean paste, hoisin and sesame paste because I was trying to duplicate my mom's version. I just use the recipe to gauge the amount of seasoning. All nom yu would have been okay too because I make a potato and chicken stew with all nom yu that is always tasty. The amount of taro used was way too much for the two of us. Would have been fine if I were making several other dishes to feed more mouths.

  • Buddha's delight

    • chawkins on February 20, 2015

      I made this for Chinese new years. Very good, very similar to my mom's. Quite labor intensive, as you have to soak and clean quite a few items and then you are supposed to tie every single one of the dried lily buds in a knot (my mom never did that and I won't again). I increased the napa by 50%, but felt that you could still use a lot more, I like to have a lot of that in my buddah's delight. I would decrease the cellophane noodle by half as I think there was too much of that. Also, the sea moss I got was not good, they disintegrated upon cooking. As usual, my husband would not touch it as it is chock full of fungi which he claims to be allergic to.

  • Chestnuts and mushrooms braised with chicken

    • chawkins on January 02, 2013

      Very similar to my mom's. Used packaged cooked chestnuts from the Asian store instead of dried chestnuts.

  • Dried fig, apple, and almond soup

    • chawkins on April 13, 2014

      I got these tiny little dried white figs from the Chinese grocery store and a piece of boneless pork loin chop instead of the pork tenderloin. Per Grace Young, this should be used as a tonic to combat tough cough. It could just be the normal progress of the healing process, but I choose to believe that soup help. Both me and my husband still cough quite a bit especially at night as a result of this terrible virus and I coughed only once last night after having the soup mid afternoon yesterday.

  • Eggplant in garlic sauce

    • chawkins on November 19, 2017

      Very good to me, but not to my husband who is adverse to vinegar.

    • minerva on November 15, 2013

      Used dry spice tofu instead of pork, it was good.

  • Lemon chicken

    • chawkins on January 21, 2014

      Very good. Unlike most other Chinese lemon chicken, this is not deep-fried. I used 4 whole chicken thighs. Unfortunately, the thighs were still slightly frozen, so I had to simmer a lot longer than called for and the pith of the lemon imparted a little bitterness to the dish. It would have been perfect if I had cooked it for a shorter period of time.

  • Lemongrass pork chops

    • chawkins on August 11, 2017

      Other than the two hours of marinating time, this is quick and easy. The pork chops were flavorful and tender.

  • Chinese barbecued pork

    • chawkins on June 23, 2012

      Taste is good. This is the recipe for you is you want a lot of char on your char siu. Unlike other recipes that brush honey on after baking, this one rubs honey on before broiling so it needs to be watched closely while in the oven.

  • Nom yu spareribs

    • chawkins on July 11, 2017

      Quite simple and very flavorful as anything braised with nom yu usually is. I braised in IP for 10 mins with NR.

  • Steamed spareribs with black bean sauce

    • chawkins on January 14, 2014

      Do not like the addition of tofu to the dish, the tofu exuded a lot of water during steaming thinning the sauce and made the whole dish too watery. The flavor is good though.

  • Steamed spareribs with plum sauce

    • chawkins on January 23, 2014

      Quite good but a tad sweet for my taste, I'll use less sugar next time. It is not as good as my normal recipe which adds lemon slices that surprisingly goes real well with the preserved plums, and uses preserved whole plums rather than pre-made plum sauce.

  • Steamed tangerine beef

    • chawkins on March 01, 2014

      A quick and easy dish, quite good. The tangerine peel taste is very subtle, I might have put in a tad more ginger than called for, which could have overshadowed the tangerine peel a bit. It took me about 4 minutes to get the beef cooked, doubled the time called for, but I also had 10 oz of beef instead of the 8 oz called for.

  • Pot stickers

    • chawkins on March 25, 2013

      I did not make the dough for the wrappers. I used store bought wrappers and doubled the recipe for the filling, I also skipped the gelled reduced homemade chicken broth because I didn't have any, the filling was still very moist and tasty. A single recipe of the filling is supposed to be enough for 30 dumplings, the package contains 44 wrappers and I have leftover filling, so the amount seem to be fairly spot on. I also did not cook the dumpling per instruction, she told you to cook the dumpling 8 at a time. I cook a whole skillet-ful at a time, never heard of cooking dumplings a few at a time, very non-traditional, waste of fuel for the ancient Chinese.

  • Savory rice tamales

    • chawkins on May 31, 2014

      I only followed her instruction for prepping the bamboo leaves, the rice, the mung bean, the way to wrap the tamales and the cooking time. For the tamales themselves, I used 60 oz of sweet rice, 35 oz of mung beans, 3.85 lb of pork belly (weighed before skin removed), 550 gm of roasted chestnuts and 37 salty egg yolks. I seasoned the rice with 2T each of kosher salt and canola oil, the mung beans with 2t kosher salt and 1T canola oil and the pork belly with 21/4T low sodium soy sauce, 2T kosher salt, 1T sugar, 3T canola oil and 3T five spice powder. I got 37 tamales.

  • Singapore rice noodles

    • chawkins on May 03, 2014

      There is an error for the recipe on my copy of the book: the Chinese characters for the recipe is "tomato beef" not "Singapore rice noodles". Regardless, the recipe is good. I only used about 7 oz of rice noodle, used left-over from my Spanish roast pork shoulder for the char siu, omitted the mushroom, substituted orange bell pepper and sweet onion for the celery, actually the amount of my pepper and onion doubled the amount of celery called for, I kept everything else the same, Next time, I'll increase the pork, shrimp and vegetables and increase the curry to compensate, just a personal preference to make it lower in carbohydrates.

  • Soy sauce chicken

    • chawkins on May 03, 2012

      Just like the soy sauce chicken you get from the chinese deli, but cooked to your desired doneness. Only if I could chop it up like they do at the deli.

  • Steamed egg custard

    • chawkins on August 22, 2013

      Silky savory custard, very similar to my mom's. She used to add bean thread noodles to hers, I would have done that if I know how to compensate for the absorption of liquid by the noodles. Time to experiment.

  • Steamed oyster and water chestnut pork cake

    • chawkins on December 19, 2013

      My steamed meat patty is usually pretty dense but not this time. The soaking liquids incorporated into the meat mixture, not only added flavor to the patty, they also made the patty light, soft and fluffy. Very nice indeed.

  • Steamed pork cake with salted duck egg

    • chawkins on September 11, 2013

      The addition of vegetable oil, sesame oil, wine and water to the pork mixture made this a tad better than my mom's.

  • Stir-fried eggs with barbecued pork

    • chawkins on December 30, 2013

      I substituted ham for the barbecued pork because that's what I have. And since I had some bean sprouts that needed to be used also, I added them to the ham right before I poured in the eggs. With the slightly salty ham, I did not add more salt to compensate for the bean sprouts which provided fibre to the dish. Good way to use up some leftover items in the fridge.

  • Stir-fried scallops with snow peas and peppers

    • chawkins on June 23, 2015

      Very good, the sauce was a little bit too thick for my liking, but then I used tapioca starch rather than corn starch, next time I'll cut the starch in the sauce by half. I used bay scallops instead of sea scallops and roasted red pepper in place of the red bell pepper. I added the roasted red pepper in at the very end before dishing it up.

  • Sweet rice tamales

    • chawkins on May 27, 2014

      Joong making is quite an undertaking, but the sweet ones are easier, because there are no or less filling to be prepped. Grace Young's version has no filling. But I added sweet red bean paste to mine because I got a canned sitting in my pantry for a while. Making my own would have been better. Anyway, I made mine real small, using one leaf per joong when possible (no perforation on the leaf at all) and I got 25 tamales instead of 10. With the bean paste in there, some of them got real sticky and did not unwrap beautifully when served, but the last few that I made when I was low on the filling turned out perfect. So if I were to overstuffed them again, I probably should add more oil to the rice. With the filling in, it was already quite sweet, no need to dip them in sugar or syrup.

  • Turnip cake

    • chawkins on May 03, 2012

      I skipped the dry mushroom because my mom never had them in hers. Very good, just like my mom's.

    • chawkins on January 30, 2017

      Usually made this in an eight inch push pan in the steamer on the stove top. Halved the recipe to make it in a six inch souffle dish in the instant pot. As it turned out, a full recipe would fit in the dish but would probably require more pressure time. Used saute mode to cook bacon, shrimp and mushroom. Deglazed with wine, cooked turnip HP for 15 minutes in its own juice plus a bit of soaking liquid, NR. Steamed cake with 1C of water, HP for 25 minutes, NR.

  • Fried rice

    • hillsboroks on January 27, 2015

      Good flavor! We loved the hint of ginger along with garlic and the other sauces added to the rice. We used Chinese barbecued pork purchased at the grocery store and white rice but otherwise followed the recipe as written. This will be our go-to recipe for fried rice from here on.

  • Steamed sole with black bean sauce

    • minerva on November 15, 2013

      We couldn't find a whole sole small enough for our steamer, but it worked great with sole fillets.

  • Long bean stir-fry

    • minerva on November 15, 2013

      Used dry spiced tofu instead of pork, left out the sausage. Still flavorful.

  • Braised cabbage and mushrooms

    • minerva on November 09, 2013

      Good general-purpose recipe to go with pretty much any Chinese meal.

  • Sweet and sour pork

    • excurvatus on November 16, 2019

      Sublime. this might be more a note for myself since I have an electric coil stove but at the end it took a long time for the pork to reach temp so maybe deep fry it for slightly longer. Carbon steel wok owners: if you care, this really really really stripped my wok's seasoning, but I think it's worth it!

  • Scallion cakes

    • excurvatus on December 06, 2019

      One of these makes an ample lunch. I substituted 1/2 cup of the AP flour for whole wheat pastry with no issues. Once the oil was much hotter I got good results, so it's worth waiting, and it did good things for my wok's patina!

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  • ISBN 10 0684847396
  • ISBN 13 9780684847399
  • Linked ISBNs
  • Published Oct 26 1999
  • Format Hardcover
  • Page Count 304
  • Language English
  • Countries United States
  • Publisher Simon & Schuster
  • Imprint Simon & Schuster

Publishers Text

These 150 recipes culled from a lifetime of family meals and culinary instruction is much more than a cookbook. It is a daughter's tribute - a collection of personal memories of the philosophies and superstitions passed down through her Cantonese family, in which each ingredient, each preparation, each dish has its own singular importance.

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