Despite our best efforts at recreating the dishes from the most authentic-appearing cookbooks, homemade Chinese food always eludes us. Printed recipes invariably use the same few ingredients to make the same inauthentic, Americanized sauces. Even our many Chinese friends keep their mothers’ and grandmothers’ secret recipes well guarded, so that we leave it up to the master restaurant chefs and private chefs in our stable to create those dishes for us.
We are therefore especially grateful to one of our private chefs in the San Francisco Bay Area, Chef Rommel, to whom none other than famed master chef Martin Yan has been a mentor for many years, for sharing a few of his favorite Chinese dishes for you to recreate at home. We hope you try and enjoy these wonderful dishes. Of course, if you’d prefer to let Chef Rommel prepare this or other authentic Asian dishes in your home, along with the wonderful stories behind his culinary experiences, please contact us to hire a private chef for a dinner party.
Traditional Pork Potstickers
I package of pot sticker wrappers
1 pound lean ground pork
1/4 c finely chopped green onions
1 egg white
1 tsp sesame oil
1/8 tsp white pepper
¼ c TBS oyster sauce
For the Dipping Sauce:
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 tsp Sesame oil
½ tsp sambal olek ( Asian Chili garlic sauce )
3 tbs of vegetable oil
Preparation: In a large bowl, mix pork, green onions, egg white, oyster sauce , sesame oil, and the white pepper.
Fill 1 wrapper of meat mixture in the middle of wrapper not too much, ½ tsp, moisten edge and close the pouch and pinch 4-5 pleats up to create a pouch to encase the mixture. Pinch the top together and continue with the remaining wrappers and filling.
Add 1/2 cup water to nonstick skillet, bring to a boil place pot stickers and cook 8 minutes, check to see if filling is cooked, test one. Drain water and add oil, be careful it may splatter, tilting the wok to coat the sides. Make sure dumplings are in a single layer not to crowd them and pan sear 2 minutes, or until the bottoms are golden brown. To make a dipping sauce, in a small bowl, mix the soy sauce with sesame oil and chili garlic sauce. Serve with the dumplings.
Ginger Beef with Vegetables
Marinade • 1 ½ Tbsp unseasoned rice vinegar • 4 Tbsp soy sauce (lee kum kee brand) • 1 Tbsp sugar • 1 ½ Tbsp peeled, grated fresh ginger • 1 teaspoon ground white pepper • 1 tsp corn starch • 1 egg white
Beef and stir-fry • 2 lbs. to 1 1/2 lb top sirloin or skirt steak • 1 Tbsp corn starch (make slurry with water) • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil • 1 Tbsp sesame oil • 3-4 green onions, cut on a diagonal, 1/2-inch apart, including the greens • 1 clove garlic, thinly sliced • 2-3 thai hot chiles, (optional) • 1-inch knob of ginger, peeled, cut lengthwise into matchstick shapes • Add desired vegetables, such as baby bok choy, green beans , or what’s in season.
• 1 Freeze steak for 30 minutes before you slice it, this will make it much easier cut into thin slices. Slice the steak first crosswise in 1/2-inch thick slices. The cut each slice lengthwise into thin strips. • 2 In a medium bowl, whisk together the marinade ingredients and chill for 3 hours. • 3 In a small bowl, mix the corn starch with 2 tablespoons of cold water to make a slurry. • 4 Heat the oil in a wok, or a large sauté pan, over high heat until it is nearly smoking. As the oil is heating up, separate it into small batches no larger than what can fit into the palm of your hand. Working in batches, sauté beef until just brown outside but slightly rare inside, no more than 1 minute. Transfer beef to a bowl. • 5 When all of the beef is cooked, put the chiles and garlic into the pan and stir-fry 30-45 seconds. Add the julienned ginger and cook for 30-40 seconds more. Add the beef back to the pan. Add the cornstarch slurry. Add the scallions and mix everything together. Cook for 1 minute. • Serve at once with steamed white rice.