Tag Archives: pf changs

Dynamite shrimp copycat

26 Jan

dynamite shrimp

Further along in the P.F. Chang’s project:

Menu says: Dynamite Shrimp. Tempura-battered, tossed in a light, spicy sriracha aioli.

Their twitter account says:  The perfect mix of sweet and spicy.4516_107753535574_5652992_n

Old recipe forum comment says this: “I have worked for PF Changs at several locations for many years, and although similar in a few ingredients the dynamite shrimp differs from the crispy green bean sauce. Perhaps they have the dynamite shrimp sauce confused with the sichuan flatbread sauce, which includes the green bean sauce in its dipping sauce. dont waste your time making the dynamite shrimp, its a mayo-chipotle sauce…where the green bean dip is a sriracha mayo…good luck!”

Some online copy cat versions we found are calling for Kewpie mayo, sriracha, honey, chipotle powder and green onion for the top. But keen on either chipotle powder or a shake of chipotle hot sauce.

How lazy is this: we purchased popcorn shrimp from a local take out joint and tumbled it in this P.F. Chang’s sauce clone at home.

First time out, we blended some mayo with sriracha, sesame oil and a dash of rice wine vinegar. It was fantastic. But so rich!

Next time: We’ll ditch the oil and vinegar and go for sweet/rice wine tasting Kewpie with a shake of chipotle hot sauce and sriracha.

PF Chang’s Spicy Chicken

17 Jan

spicy chic 2A winner. How fun this copycat recipe project has been. There is a common clone version of P.F. Chang’s Spicy Chicken floating around the web. You can spot it when you see the pineapple juice listed among the ingredients. It’s wrong.

The menu says: Lightly dusted and stir-fried in a sweet Sichuan sauce. Our version of General Tso’s and always a favorite.

Seeing is believing. Theirs looks amazing:


This clone version is a delight. You’ll feel the tingle on your lips long after you’ve eaten. We like that the sauce isn’t too saucy: just enough to cling to the chicken. And we like how clean the flavours are: no overly-salty soy here. We served with rice and steamed carrots and broccoli and it was heavenly.

Plus, we love the insider feel of the “house white sauce” and “Chang’s sauce” we found in recipe forums. Enjoy!

Adapted from cooks.com LladyRusty “from P.F. Chang’s, Roseville, California – Executive Chef D. J. Cheeks”

10 oz chicken breasts or a regular package of thighs, cut into big bite sized chunks
potato starch
canola oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup green onion
2 teaspoons sriracha or sambel olek
2 tbsp Chang’s house white sauce (chicken stock with a touch of oyster sauce)
Chang’s sauce: 2 tbsp sugar with 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 teaspoons sesame oil

Lightly coat chicken with potato starch.
Mix sauce and stir to melt sugar.
Brown chicken on both sides in batches.
Remove from pan, pour in sauce, stir, add chicken back to pan. Sauce should cling to chicken.

P.F. Chang’s China Bistro

18 Feb

We don’t know what in the hell is wrong with us, but we have tendency to hoard restaurant recipes found online. Surely they must make pills for this, no?
2  cups mango, sliced lengthwise thinly
2 tbsp soy bean oil or vegetable oil
2 tsp chili paste, (sambal brand)
1 tbsp grape seed oil
1 tbsp lime juice, fresh
2 tbsp orange juice, fresh
1 tbsp zest from lime and orange mixed
4 heads butter lettuce, ripped into pieces
1 head romaine lettuce, cut into pieces
1.5 lbs shrimp, cooked in seasoned water (21-25ct-size of shrimps)
1 cup thai basil, mint, and cilantro
1 cup scallions, cut into rings
1 cup roma tomatoes, sliced in half
¼ tsp  white pepper, ground (or to taste)
1 tbsp honey
2 each avocado, ripe (small diced – 1.5 cups)
3 tbsp  soy sauce, or to taste
1 tbsp  rice wine vinegar

In a blender, puree the oil, juices, chili paste, soy, ½ cup mango, and honey. Prepare ahead to let chill, and flavor develop.
Place the other ingredients in a bowl (shrimps are best served chilled), and pour dressing over ingredients. Toss the salad in a folding motion, ensuring they are coated but not ‘drenched’…reserve remaining dressing to dip the shrimp into if you wish.
Mound on a platter, being sure to get all the good stuff on top to see. Garnish with orange or lime wedges. Enjoy!
This may also be done with grilled skirt/flank steak, with a great warm/cold contrast. After grilling, slice the beef thinly against the grain (marinate the beef with oil and honey well beforehand to tenderize the meat-or make extra dressing, and use 1 cup to marinade 1 ½ lbs meat for 12 hours).


2 lbs chicken, boned dark and white
1 lb shanghai or Chinese noodles
1 cucumber, chinese
2 tbsp chili paste, sambal
4 tbsp tahini paste
1/4 cup soy bean oil
2 tbsp rice vinegar
3 tbsp soy sauce
1/4 cup peanut butter
2 tbsp sugar
1/4 bunch cilantro
10 mint leaves
2 tbsp hoisen sauce
1/4 tsp fish sauce
1 tsp ginger, fresh grated
5 tbsp scallions

In a pot of boiling seasoned water, place the boned chicken, bring back to a boil, and simmer for 5 minutes, then turn heat off and let sit uncovered for 25 minutes.
While the chicken is cooking, in a bowl, add the tahini paste, rice vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, grated fresh ginger, fish sauce, peanut butter, and 1 tbsp of chili paste. Mix together with a rubber spatula or whip to incorporate well. After the mixture is well incorporated, add about 2 tablespoons water to “smooth” out the dressing. It will lighten, and become thin enough to spoon (you may need to add a touch more water as it sits, and adjust just before you use with the dish.
In a separate pot of seasoned boiling water, place the Chinese noodles and cook until ‘al dente’ about 5-7 minutes. (this may be done ahead of time, and blanched to stop the cooking process… then easier to time the dish when your ingredients are all ready). Reserve the noodles chilled, and keep the water for when you are ready to plate your lunch/dinner/snack).
Cut the cucumbers in disks, then cut into julienne “strips” (easier to eat), and reserve chilled.
When the chicken is done, cooked just to 165 degrees, or in the dark meat no “pink”, remove and place into the refrigerator to chill. The chicken may be done ahead of time, but make sure to keep covered so the chicken does not dry out… you may keep some of the poaching liquid with the chicken to keep it moist.
Once the chicken is chilled, “pull the meat along the grain of the muscle, it will come apart into ‘strings’. These should be roughly pulled, and better if they are different sizes, thickness, and lengths. If you have to, you may use a knife on the dark meat to get the pulling started.
Plating your dish: With all the ingredients done, now place the cooked noodles into a strainer in the boiling water for just a minute (to heat them up), and place on a platter or individual bowls/plates.
Now make sure your Tahini dressing is the right consistency…and adjust if needed, and spoon about 4-5 tbsp of dressing over noodles…. You may always add more! Now place the chicken in a ‘pile on one side of the top of the noodles, and the julienne cucumbers on the other. Garnish with chopped scallions, and put the hoisen sauce as a side offering for you to spoon onto the noodles.
Serve with a nice rice beer, or something with bubbles… Ginger beer, or Ale… Enjoy!!!


1 lb ground chicken
3 tbsp ginger
1 tbsp garlic
1/2 tsp chili flakes
3 tbsp soy bean oil
2 heads romaine lettuce
1/2 cup orange juice
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tbsp hoisen sauce
1 oz scallions
1 tbsp soy sauce

Makes about 8-10 servings of ‘one spear’ each
Dice the Chicken into tiny pieces, not minced, but small diced…about ¼” rough squares.
Place the chicken into a mixing bowl, and add 2 tbsp of soy bean oil, ginger, garlic, chili flakes, and 2 tablespoons of soy sauce. Mix together in circular motion until well mixed. Let marinate in refrigerator for 2-4 hours.
Mix together the citrus juices, soy, and hoisen sauce with a whisk. Reserve until needed.
Clean the romaine lettuce, chopping off the stem, peeling each ‘spear’ and running under clean cold water. Reserve in Refrigerator until ready to use. Chop scallions into rings and reserve chilled.
In a very hot sauté pan, coat lightly with the soy bean oil, make sure the pan is very hot! Evenly lay the chicken around the sauté pan, being sure not to lay too much on top of each other. We are trying to get a good searing of the chicken to get it crispy and golden brown…about 2 ½ minutes.
When the chicken is browned, toss gently in pan (or fold with spoon). Repeat for another two minutes and fold again. The pan will appear to ‘burn’ a bit, but that is the ‘Fond’ (which is the caramelization, and where all the magic flavor comes from.
When the chicken has cooked for 4-5 minutes, add ½ of the citrus-soy mixture, and toss well. Let the sauce coat the chicken until it is ‘glazed’, and thickens on the chicken. Add more or less depending on how “wet” you want your mixture.
When coated, the chicken should be cooked (165 degrees), then spoon onto a plate.
Whats fun is to put plates of each ingredient on the table or bar top, and let people build their own Romaine wraps, sprinkling the scallion rings on top as a garnish, and great light onion taste. Sesame seeds also make a great finish to the mixture.
Eat and enjoy! A Tsing Tao would be a perfect compliment to this dish, it’s spicy, smoky, bright and sweet, and fun to eat!
This can also be done with baby shrimps, fish, or beef.


3 each 12 oz  NY Strip Steak Each
1 tbsp  Soy bean oil
1 tsp  salt and black pepper mixed
1 tbsp sweet unsalted butter,

Place the steak on a hot sizzle plate in your oven.  You can get the plate hot over your range (being careful, and using tongs/kitchen mitts). Sear on for about 3-4 minutes.
Pull the sizzle plate from the oven or grill, and brush on a generous coating of your sweet soy, or molassas.
Return to oven or grill and broil for another minute, or until a caramelized look throughout the beef.
Flip and repeat steps 1 and 2.
If possible, let the steak rest for 1-2 minutes, allowing the meat to relax.
The finished product should be medium-rare.
Orange Chili Vinaigrette
1 ½ cup Orange juice
1/3 cup OranGe zest, grated
2 T. Ginger, chopped fine
¼ cup Sugar, granulated
½ cup Ginger Vinegar
1 cup Orange Chili Oil

Put all ingredients in a small sauce pot and reduce by half.  Transfer to a stainless steel mixing bowl.  Whisk in the vinegar and oil to emulsify.

Carrot Slaw
4.5 oz Shredded carrots, matchstick
.5 oz Green onion, slivered
.05 oz Mint, julienne
.05 oz Cilantro, julienne
.05 oz Sweet basil, julienne

In a mixing bowl, place all ingredients, and incorporate well.  Check seasoning, and adjust if needed with kosher salt.  Best if eaten fresh.

Spicy Peanut Dressing
1 lb Peanut butter
1 fl oz Soy sauce
2 tbsp Lemon juice, fresh
2 fl oz Sake, dry
1 tbsp Lime juice, fresh
Pinch Pepper, ground white
2 tbsp Cilantro, chopped rough
½ tsp Chipotle, tobasco sauce
2 oz Rice wine vinegar
2 oz Water

In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients well.  Be sure to mix with a whip, in a circular and figure 8 motion, to incorporate.  The dressing should be slightly thick, but able to coat a spoon well.  If the dressing is slightly thick, thin it out with water, little by little.  If you like it thicker, thicken it with more peanut butter.
When you are serving the beef, place the beef on a cutting board, and using a sharp knife, slice into very thin slices all the way along the beef. “Re-arrange the meat” fanning along a plate, or into a circle around your carrot slaw with peanut dressing, or other favorite compliment.  Now drizzle the orange chili vinaigrette over the beef, as desired, and enjoy!
A crisp Savignon Blanc, or a Pinot Noir will go beautifully with this dish!


Shanghai Noodles, (egg based) lb 1
2 lb rib eye steak
1 lb broccoli florets
1 onion, white julienne
2 tbsp garlic, minced
2 tbsp ginger, fresh
1 tsp chili flakes
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 cup hoisen sauce
1/4 cup dry white wine
3 oz butter, unsalted
4 tbsp soy bean oil
kosher salt, and white pepper
1/4 cup fresh orange juice

Combine the hoisin, orange juice and soy sauce with a whisk and reserve. In a small bowl, combine ginger, chili flakes and garlic with 2 tablespoons soy bean oil. Add salt and pepper to the mixture and combine well. Add rib eye steaks to marinade and refrigerate for 2 hours.

While steaks are marinating, blanch the noodles and broccoli. Bring large pot of water to a boil. Place the broccoli in a wire basket and cook for about 4 minutes at a slow boil. Remove from pot and place in ice water to stop the cooking process. Let sit in ice bath for a couple minutes until chilled.

In the same pot, cook Shanghai noodles until al dente, about 5 or 6 minutes. Remove and pour into colan der. Once the excess water is removed, place the noodles on a sheet tray, and lightly coat with soy bean oil, being sure to move the noodles to prevent them from sticking. Let cool to room temperature, moving occasionally.

Remove beef from refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature for about 5 minutes before cooking. Season with salt and pepper. In a very hot oiled sauté pan, place the steaks and let cook for 5 minutes on each side (to medium-rare).

While the steaks are cooking, place 1 tablespoon of soy bean oil in a warm sauté pan and sweat the onions with 1 teaspoon of garlic, ginger and chili flakes. Once the onions are translucent, add the white wine and allow to reduce by 3⁄4. Add hoisinmixture and stir. Let simmer for 3-4 minutes then add noodles. Toss the noodles with the sauce and allow the noodles to get hot, about 4 minutes. Add the blanched broccoli and continue to cook until noodles and broccoli are hot. Add the butter and continue to toss until noodles and broccoli are coated.

Divide the noodles unto four separate plates. Place the beef on a cutting board and cut into thin strips. Lay the rib eye slices on top of the noodles. Serve and enjoy!

Recipe courtesy of P.F. Chang’s China Bistro

Sauce: combine the hoisen, orange juice, and soy sauce with a whisk and reserve.
In a small bowl, combine ginger, chili flakes, and garlic with 2 tbsp of soy bean oil.  Add 1 tsp of kosher salt to the mixture, and a pinch of white pepper…combine well and reserve.
Rib Eye: Ask the butcher or meat dept to give you four 8 oz steaks. The better ‘marbling’ the better. In a bowl, add the chili-ginger-garlic goop to the steaks, making sure you evenly distribute around the steaks. Let sit in the fridge for a few hours to get the flavor into the steaks.
While the Steaks are marinating, you can blanch the noodles and broccoli. Get a pot of water going, and season with kosher salt (about 1 tbsp per gallon).  Get another bowl of ice water ready, which will be used to ‘shock’ the broccoli (stops the cooking process).
With the water to a boil, place the broccoli in a wire basket and cook for about 4 minutes at a slow boil.  Remove from pot, and place in ice water.  Let sit in ice bath for only a few minutes, until just chilled (letting it sit in the water will make the broccoli mushy and take on too much water).  Reserve until ready to make the dish.
In the same water, place the Shanghai noodles, and cook until al dente…about 5-6 minutes.  Remove and pour into a colander. Once the excess water is removed, place the noodles on a sheet tray, and lightly coat with soy bean oil, being sure to move the noodles (this prevents ‘sticking’.  Let cool to room temp, moving occasionally (we do this so we don’t lose the starch in the noodles…do not rinse or shock in water!  This is a big “noodle sin”).
Get your beef ready, and allow to come to room temp for about 5 minutes before cooking.  Season with Kosher salt, about ½ tsp per steak both sides.  In a very hot sauté pan (or grill), place the steaks and let cook for 5 minutes on each side (to medium-rare).  If using the sauté pan, place a bit of soy bean oil just before placing steaks…the pan should be VERY hot!  We are trying to ‘caramelize’ the beef, which gives flavor and locks in all the great juices, and gives a nice ‘crunch’ texture’.
While the steaks are cooking, in a large warm sauté pan, place 1 tbsp of soy bean oil, and sweat the onions with 1 tsp of garlic, ginger, and chili flakes. Once the onions are translucent, add the white wine (or michu wine), and allow to reduce by ¾).  Now add the hoisen sauce mixture and stir.  Let the sauce simmer for 3-4 minutes, then add the noodles.  Toss the noodles with the sauce, and allow the noodles to take the sauce in and get hot…about 4 minutes.  This may take two pans, or a strong ‘single pan’. Add the blanched Broccoli, and continue to cook until noodles and broccoli are hot.  Add the butter and continue to toss until the butter has ‘tightened’ and the sauce is coating the noodles and broccoli well.
Place the noodles on a big platter, or four individual plate-bowls. Garnish with scallion rings, and/or toasted sesame seeds.
The Beef should be done by now, and nicely caramelized (dark brown in color on the outside).  Place on a cutting board, and with a very sharp knife slice into thin strips. Once done, lay the rib eye slices on top of the noodles, or arrange around them, or put back together and lay in front of the noodles.
Serve and enjoy!!!


From P.F.Chang’s “Flavors of Yunnan” menu, Zodiac Noodles combines rice noodles with pork loin, ham, cabbage and shiitake mushrooms in a spicy Kung Pao-style sauce.

•5 ounces Guilin Rice Vermicelli (or substitute spaghetti, follow recipe on package for cooking)
•1 teaspoon any vegetable oil
•2 teaspoons any vegetable oil
•8 each chili pods
•3 ounces pork loin, cut into thin strips
•1 teaspoon garlic
•1 1/2 ounces Yunnan ham, cut into thin strips (substitute Proscuttio or Serrano)
•2 each green onion, cut into 2-3 inch sticks
•1/4 cup sliced cabbage, cut into thin strips
•1/4 cup Shiitake mushrooms, sliced (substitute any mushrooms)
•1/8 teaspoon salt
•2 tablespoons soy sauce
•1 teaspoon oyster sauce
•1 teaspoon sugar
•1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1. Soak vermicelli in very hot water for 1 hour.
2. Bring a pot of water to a boil, add Vermicelli and boil for one minute.
3. Rinse under warm water for one minute, drain well then mix with 1 teaspoon vegetable oil.
4. Heat a wok over high heat until it begins to smoke (can substitute cast iron skillet or saute pan).
5. Add 2 teaspoons vegetable oil, then chili pods and pork. Then stir-fry until pork is almost done.
6. Add garlic, ham, green onion, cabbage and mushrooms then stir for 10 to 15 seconds.
7. Add vermicelli, salt, soy sauce, oyster sauce, sugar and sesame oil then stir-fry until all ingredients are mixed well.


•8 dried Shiitake mushrooms
•2 teaspoons cooking sherry
•2 teaspoons water
•1 teaspoon soy sauce
•1 teaspoon cornstarch
•salt and pepper to taste
•1 1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, chopped into bite size pieces
•5 tablespoons vegetable oil
•1 teaspoon fresh minced ginger
•2 cloves minced garlic
•2 chopped green onions
•8 oz can bamboo shoots, chopped up
•8 oz can water chestnuts, chopped
•2 small dried chilies (optional)
•1 package of Chinese cellophane rice noodles, cooked according to instructions on the package
•Iceberg lettuce leaves

Lettuce Wrap Sauce:
•2 tablespoons oyster sauce
•1 1/2 tablespoons water
•1 tablespoon cooking sherry
•1 tablespoon soy sauce
•1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
•2 teaspoons cornstarch
•1 teaspoon sugar
•1 teaspoon sesame oil

Pour enough boiling water over dried mushrooms to cover. Let soak for 30 minutes, then drain. After the mushrooms have soaked, remove any woody stems and chop up the mushrooms.
While waitng for the mushrooms to finish soaking, combine all of the ingredients for the sauce.
In a separate bowl, mix together the sherry, water, soy sauce, cornstarch, salt, pepper, and chicken. Stir together until chicken is well coated.
Heat large skillet over medium high heat. Add 3 tablespoons of oil. After the oil gets hots, add the chicken mixture. Fry quickly for about 3 minutes, or til chicken is no longer pink. Stir constantly to prevent burning. Remove chicken.
To the same skillet, add 2 more tablespoons of oil. Add the fresh ginger, garlic, green onions, and optional chilies, if desired. Fry quickly for 45-60 seconds, or til garlic is a golden color. Do not overcook garlic, or it will taste bitter. Add the dried mushrooms, bamboo shoots and water chestnuts. Fry quickly for about 2 minutes.
Return chicken to the skillet. Add the sauce ingredients to the same skillet. Cook until the sauce thickens.
Break the cooked cellophane noodles into small pieces. Spread the noodles onto the bottom of a platter. Pour the chicken mixture on top of the noodles. Spoon into lettuce leafs. Roll up chicken lettuce wraps and secure with toothpicks. See if this doesn’t taste just like the PF Chang lettuce wrap recipe to you.


P.F. Chang’s® Coconut-Curry Vegetables
For the Tofu
2 tablespoons sesame oil
12 ounces package extra firm water-packed tofu
1 small onion, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1 small red bell pepper, cubed
1 cup halved mushrooms
4 ounces (3 cups) cauliflower or broccoli florets
1 cup thinly sliced carrots or whole sugar snap peas

Coconut-Curry Sauce:
1/2 cup canned coconut milk
2 Tbl. soy sauce
1/2 tsp. curry powder
1 – 2 Tbl. packed brown sugar
2 tsp. unseasoned rice vinegar or cider vinegar
1/2 cup peanuts

2 Tbl. canola oil for stir-frying

2 tsp. cornstarch dissolved in 1 1/2 Tbl. cold water mixed together in small bowl.

Drain the tofu, cube and fry in 1 tablespoon oil until brown. Set aside.
Separately blanch the broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and sugar snap peas until tender-crisp in plain boiling water. Drain and flush with cold water to stop the cooking. Drain again.
Combine the coconut-curry sauce ingredients. Taste and adjust the sugar to your liking.
Heat a wok or wide skillet over high heat until hot. Add the canola oil, swirl to glaze the pan, then add the onions and bell pepper. Stir-fry until tender-crisp, 3-4 minutes. Add the mushrooms and stir until hot, a few minutes more. Add the blanched vegetables and toss to mix.
Stir the sauce and add it to the pan. Bring to a simmer, tossing to combine.
Stir the cornstarch mixture to recombine and add it to the pan. Stir until the sauce turns glossy, about 10 seconds (a bit longer if you`re doubling the sauce).
Add the peanuts.
Serve with rice, noodles, or a warm loaf of bread.
Use a milder or hotter curry powder to vary the spice.
For a really saucy dish to serve over rice or noodles, double the sauce ingredients and the cornstarch mixture.


P. F. Chang`s China Bistro Firecracker Shrimp Recipe
2 tablespoons canola oil
8 ounces 36-40 shrimp
7 baby carrots, halved lengthwise
1/2 cup water chestnut slices
24 snow peas
1 large scallion – white part – 1/4-inch minced
1 large garlic clove, chopped fine
2 tablespoons sherry
1 tablespoon sambal chili paste
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
2 teaspoons ground bean sauce
Cilantro (for garnish)
***Cornstarch slurry***
1 teaspoon cornstarch
blended with
1 ounce water
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
2 ounces water
2 teaspoons white vinegar
Assemble sauce ingredients and put aside. Heat a large saute pan, cast iron skillet, or electric wok until smoking. Add oil and baby carrots, saute until the color of carrots brightens. Add shrimp and stir fry until about half way cooked. Add water chestnuts, snow peas and garlic. Saute briefly. Add scallions. Add chili paste, ground white pepper, ground bean sauce, when you smell the “nuttiness: of the ground bean sauce, reduce heat and add sherry. Introduce sauce mixture, let boil briefly. Add cornstarch slurry and stir until thickened (approximately 30 seconds). Serve with steamed rice on platter or in large bowl, garnish with cilantro.

Year of the Tiger (rawr)

12 Feb

The lunar new year begins Sunday… that means the Year of the Tiger.

We are certifiably koo-koo crazy for dumplings. Delicate shrimp har gow, sweet pork siu mai, and the holy grail of steamed dumplings at Jing Fong. We memorably munched on dumplings and washed them down with a pot of hot tea at the Hong Kong dim sum palace in Manhattan’s Chinatown. Walking in by ourselves off Elizabeth Street and up the escalator, wait staff in yellow jackets seated us at the singles’s table, inhabited by a trio of wisened men hunched over steaming bowls.

We must be hallucinating the flavour — despite our intrepid online sleuthing, we have yet to encounter a similar recipe. It tasted delicately of scallops steamed boy choy and celery. Rejuvenating.

Speaking of Big Apple Chinese New Year, here are two more New York items.

Moving on to less authentic fare — but no less compelling — we live with regret for running out of time to encounter Kenny Shopsin. The great Calvin Trillin introduced us to crazy Kenny through the New Yorker.

Trillin’s children were regulars and frequently ordered items that weren’t on the menu. And so, we’ve pined for his Chow Fun without ever tasting a morsel. We were thrilled to pick up Shopsin’s memoir/cookbook Eat Me, which features some chicken and bok choy funness: stir fry dredged chicken strips “the size of a baby’s finger,” add a mix of bok choy, jicama, snow peas, scallions, shitake, broccoli, long beans etc, and two cups of fresh chow fun noodles.

Squeeze the juice of a lemon over everything, drizzle with soy sauce and add 1/4 cup chicken stock.

P.F. Chang’s China Bistro
4 ounces ground chicken (cooked)
14 ounces chow fun noodles (wide rice noodle)
2 teaspoons minced scallions
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon chili paste
1 teaspoon Szechwan preserved vegetables (can be found at Asian market)
2 teaspoons shredded black fungus mushrooms
1 teaspoon Sesame oil

3 teaspoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon oyster sauce
1 teaspoon mushroom soy sauce
2 teaspoons water
Directions: Separate the chow fun noodles and cover with plastic wrap until ready for use. Heat the wok and add 2 teaspoons vegetable oil. Stir fry garlic and chill paste for about 6 seconds. Add ground chicken and stir fry with garlic and chill paste. Add black fungus mushrooms and sauce stir-fry for about 10 seconds. Separate the noodles and mix into the wok a handful at a time. Continue cooking for 2 to 4 minutes or until the noodles are hot.
Mix in sesame oil before serving.
Serve on plates.
Garnish with Szechwan preserved vegetables and minced scallions.



Ming Tsai

2 cups master seafood mixture, recipe follows

1 egg

2 ounces chopped, frozen butter

1 package shumai wrappers

Lemongrass Broth, recipe follows

In a food processor, add seafood mixture, egg, and butter. Pulse until the butter is incorporated but still visible (small pieces). Place 1 tablespoon of mixture on a wrapper and bring up the sides going around the mound. Continue with the remaining mixture and wrappers. Drop, open side up, from 6 inches on a flat surface to flatten the shumai bottoms. Steam shumai for 8 minutes.

Into 4 soup plates, place 3 shumai each. Ladle 4 ounces broth around the shumai. Serve and enjoy.



  • 1 pound rock shrimp, diced
  • 1 pound Chilean sea bass, diced
  • 1 pound bay scallops, diced
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped scallions
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • Salt and white pepper

In a food processor, add shrimp, bass, scallops, egg, ginger, and sesame oil. Pulse only a little bit to bring ingredients together. Transfer to a large bowl and fold in scallions and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper.


  • • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 jalapeno sliced with the seeds
  • 4 slices peeled ginger
  • 6 stalks lemongrass, sliced, white part only
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • Dash white pepper
  • 1 lemon, juiced

In a 2-quart casserole, saute onions, jalapeno, ginger, and lemongrass. Deglaze with fish sauce and reduce by 80 per cent. Add stock and dash of white pepper. Reduce by 20 per cent on a slow simmer, about 45 minutes. Strain and keep hot. Check for seasoning. Squeeze in lemon juice right before serving.

Shanghai Noon at Midnight

5 Jul

When weary, bleary-eyed Stampede-goers leave the chuckwagons, midway, beer and bars behind in the early morning hours, they make way for a post-midnight snack at Singapore Sam’s on 11th Avenue and 5th Street S.W.

But take heed, late night revellers: If you’re not here before midnight, you’ll be waiting in a lineup that snakes out the door and down the sidewalk.

For these 10 days of excess, locals and visitors alike will line up until 3 a.m., largely for the ginger fried beef and its storied reputation as preventative medicine for hangovers.

More than a hundred patrons drum their chopsticks at once on tabletops and glasses in time to Queen’s We Will Rock You or whatever is blaring over the speakers. The chopstick cacophony is part of the party.
The mahogany slivers of crunchy, deep-fried meat in a pool of sweet, spicy sauce is said to have first surfaced in Calgary at the Silver Inn restaurant at 2702 Centre St. N.E. during the 1970s.

K.W. Cheung started serving the dish shortly after the Peking restaurant opened in 1974. The dish was introduced by George Wong, who had been a cook in England.

In a research project on Chinese-Canadian cuisine and cultural identity a few years ago, University of Calgary anthropologist Josephine Smart discovered most people in Eastern Canada and the United States had never heard of ginger beef.

We love the charm of regional specialties. North American inventions blending Hunan and Szechuan styles are as firmly rooted on takeout menus now as they ever were. New York claims General Tso’s chicken, Phoenix, Arizona-based P.F. Chang’s orange peel beef  (chicken or shrimp also) has the same devoted following. A legion of loyal fans in Springfield, Missouri swoon for cashew chicken.

We recently a Pacific Northwest take on ginger beef at Victoria, B.C.’s J & J Wonton Noodle House. Thin, square slabs of marinated flank steak were deep fried, but not battered in an eggy coating. The sauce was sticky and sweet and brightly flavoured with ginger. Not a candied carrot sliver in sight. Dare we say it rivals our homegrown ginger beef? It’s a worthy contender and one we’ll take for a spin.

Calgary’s beloved dish has become a phenomonen. Be careful when ordering ginger beef outside of the city. Deep-fried shredded ginger beef is what you’re after. Ask for ginger beef, and you’re taking a gamble. You might get a very different dish. Or a blank stare.

Recipe from The Best of Bridge: Grand Slam
These Calgary moms say this is “a ‘must’ for out-of-towners.'” If you love real Calgary-style ginger beef, do give this version a try. Be patient, and cook it in batches, otherwise you’ll end up with a mess. Take the time to have the ingredients chopped and ready to go. Try it once to get the technique down, and make note of any tweaks to suite your tastes if you like things spicier, or an extra punch of ginger. This could be your new famous dish!

1 lb. flank steak
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup water
vegetable oil
2/3 cup grated carrots
2 Tbsp. chopped green onion (or more to taste)
4 Tbsp.(1/4 cup) minced ginger root (or more)
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 Tbsp. cooking wine – Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
2 Tbsp. white vinegar
1 Tbsp. sesame oil
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp hot chili oil or crushed red chili flakes
Slice steak while partially frozen into narrow strips. Mix beef and eggs. Dissolve cornstarch in water and mix with beef. Pour ample oil in wok. Heat to boiling hot, but not smoking. Add beef to oil, 1/4 at a time. Separate with a fork (or chopsticks if you’re talented) and cook, stirring frequently until crispy. Remove, drain and set aside. (This much can be done in advance)
Put 1 Tbsp. oil in wok. Add carrots, onion, ginger and garlic and stir fry over high heat. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.

Add beef, mix well and serve. If your steak is over one pound, cook it all anyway.

Serve with steamed rice.
Serves 4

Does this look familiar? Those Best of Bridge ladies loved lifting a recipe!

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