Shun Lee Cookbook: Recipes from a Chinese Restaurant Dynasty

Overview

Until the 1960s, nearly all Chinese food served in the United States was Cantonese. Egg Foo Yung. Barbecued Spareribs. Egg Drop Soup. But with the opening of his Shun Lee restaurants more than forty years ago, Michael Tong and his chefs introduced the spicy regional foods of Sichuan and Hunan and the red-cooked dishes of Shanghai to New Yorkers—and eventually to all of the United States. Crispy Orange Beef. Lake Tung Ting Prawns. Crispy Sea Bass. Dry Sautéed String Beans. Hot and Sour Cabbage. Scallion Pancakes. ...

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The Shun Lee Cookbook

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Overview

Until the 1960s, nearly all Chinese food served in the United States was Cantonese. Egg Foo Yung. Barbecued Spareribs. Egg Drop Soup. But with the opening of his Shun Lee restaurants more than forty years ago, Michael Tong and his chefs introduced the spicy regional foods of Sichuan and Hunan and the red-cooked dishes of Shanghai to New Yorkers—and eventually to all of the United States. Crispy Orange Beef. Lake Tung Ting Prawns. Crispy Sea Bass. Dry Sautéed String Beans. Hot and Sour Cabbage. Scallion Pancakes. These dishes originated at Shun Lee, and are now on nearly every Chinese restaurant menu across North America.

Now, in his first cookbook, Tong shares his most popular recipes from the Hunan, Sichuan, and Shanghai regions of China. Who says Chinese food is difficult to prepare at home? With The Shun Lee Cookbook, even novices have nothing to worry about. All the recipes have been tested and modified for home kitchens. If adapting a recipe for the home—like Beijing duck—proved to be impossible, Tong omitted it. The result is a collection of easy-to-make but dazzling dishes. And perhaps the best part is that they can all be made with ingredients found in supermarkets everywhere.

Chinese favorites such as Hot and Sour Soup, Sichuan Boiled Dumplings, Dry Sautéed Green Beans, and Kung Pao Shrimp are included. There are also new dishes such as Peppery Dungeness Crab, Singapore-Style Rice Noodles with Curry, Red-Cooked Beef Short Ribs, and Hunan Lamb with Scallions.

In addition to the recipes The Shun Lee Cookbook includes tips for stocking home pantries with Chinese staples, and there are more than fifty color photographs of the finished dishes throughout.

Why order take-out when you can take home The Shun Lee Cookbook?

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
When Tong and his business partner opened Shun Lee Palace in New York City in 1967, it was one of the first upscale Chinese restaurants in the country and the first to offer regional Shanghai and Sichuan cuisine (Cantonese food was the only type most Americans had ever tasted at the time). The original Shun Lee and its equally elegant spin-off, Shun Lee West, remain enduringly popular, and now Tong has collected 100 favorite recipes, modified as appropriate for the home kitchen, in his first cookbook. With coauthor Louie, he provides a thorough introduction to ingredients, equipment, and techniques. Recipes include both Chinese classics and Tong's interpretations of traditional dishes; head notes provide culinary background and serving suggestions. Chinese cookbooks are something of a rarity these days, and Tong's is recommended for all subject collections. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060854072
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 2/6/2007
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 7.70 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Tong is the owner and executive chef of the popular Shun Lee West and Shun Lee Palace in New York City. In forty years, the Shun Lee restaurants have served about ten million people and have won two four-star ratings from the New York Times. Tong has appeared and cooked on the Late Show with David Letterman, and his restaurants have been reviewed in the New York Times, Time Out, Zagat Survey, New York magazine, and the Michelin Guide to New York City. For introducing Chinese culture to America, he has been honored by the China Institute in America, and was awarded the 2006 Ellis Island Medal of Honor. He lives in Manhattan.

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Read an Excerpt

The Shun Lee Cookbook

Recipes from a Chinese Restaurant Dynasty
By Michael Tong

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2007 Michael Tong
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780060854072

Chicken Soong in Lettuce Wrap

Serves 4

In both Mandarin and Cantonese, the word soong means "minced." This delicate dish of minced chicken and finely diced vegetables served in lettuce cups is an adaptation of a Cantonese banquet dish of minced squab served in lettuce. It makes a fine light lunch dish, too.

Ingredients:

Chicken
8 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into ¼-inch cubes
1½ teaspoons egg white (beat the white until foamy, then measure)
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1⁄8 teaspoon salt
Vegetable oil, for passing through
Sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon rice wine or dry sherry
½ tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 teaspoon cornstarch 4 celery ribs, strings removed with a vegetable peeler, finely diced (1 cup)
4 scallions, white and green parts, trimmed and minced (¾ cup)
3 carrots, finely diced (1⁄2 cup)
1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
2 teaspoons hoisin sauce
8 whole Bibb or iceberg lettuce leaves
2 tablespoons lightly toasted pine nuts (see Note)

Instructions:

To prepare the chicken, place the diced chicken in a medium bowl. Addthe egg white, cornstarch, and salt; toss to coat.

To prepare the sauce, whisk the soy sauce, vinegar, rice wine, sugar, and white pepper in a small bowl. Dissolve the cornstarch in 1 tablespoon water in another small bowl. Set the bowls aside.

Heat a large wok over high heat. Add enough oil to come 1 inch up the sides of the wok and heat it to 300°F. Add the chicken and stir gently, keeping the pieces from sticking together, until they turn white, about 45 seconds. Using a wide wire-mesh skimmer, transfer the chicken to a colander to drain. Discard all the oil except for 2 tablespoons.

Heat the wok with the oil over high heat. Add the celery, scallions, and carrots, and stir-fry until crisp-tender, about 45 seconds. Return the chicken to the wok. Stir the sauce, add it to the wok, and stir-fry for 20 seconds. Add the cornstarch mixture and stir-fry until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce has thickened, about 30 seconds. Stir in the sesame oil. Transfer the chicken mixture to a serving bowl.

To serve, spread about ¼ teaspoon hoisin sauce in the center of each lettuce leaf. Add 3 tablespoons of the chicken mixture, and sprinkle with a few pine nuts. Place 2 filled lettuce leaves on each plate and serve immediately.

Note: To toast pine nuts, heat an empty wok or skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pine nuts and cook, stirring often, until golden and lightly toasted. Immediately turn the nuts out onto a plate to cool.


Steamed Lobster with Garlic over Bean Thread Vermicelli

Serves 2 to 4

On a visit to Positano, I ate a dish of spaghetti with langoustines, a small member of the lobster family, and had a minor epiphany. Why not create a Chinese version? This is the result. The soaked-until-softened bean threads can steam with the lobster for 7 minutes and still remain al dente. You will need a heatproof serving bowl that is large enough to hold the ingredients and fit into a steamer.

If you cannot find the bean thread vermicelli, substitute angel hair pasta, which should be cooked in boiling water for 30 seconds, then drained. The pasta will be quite firm, but remember that it will be steamed with the lobster to finish cooking. In most dishes featuring noodles, the Chinese traditionally do not cut them. Since noodles signify longevity, cutting them might bring bad luck.

Ingredients:

4 ounces bean thread vermicelli (mung bean flour noodles)
1⁄3 cup olive oil
12 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
2 tablespoons soy sauce
¼ cup rice wine or dry sherry
1 teaspoon sugar
One 1½-pound lobster: 2 claws, the tail cut in half lengthwise, and the body chopped into 4 pieces (see Note)
1½ teaspoons ground white pepper

Instructions:

Heat 4 cups of water in a small saucepan over high heat until just steaming. Remove the pan from the heat and add the bean thread vermicelli. Soak until the vermicelli are softened, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, add 2 inches of water to the bottom of an Asian-style steamer, and bring it to a boil over high heat.

Heat the olive oil in a small skillet over medium-low heat until the it is hot and shimmering but not smoking. Add the garlic and cook until it is pale gold, about 2 minutes. Transfer the garlic and oil to a small bowl, and set it aside. Mix the soy sauce, rice wine, and sugar in another small bowl, and set it aside.

Drain the vermicelli well in a wire sieve. Place the noodles in a heatproof bowl with a cover that is large enough to hold the lobster pieces and will fit inside the steamer. Place the lobster on top of the vermicelli, and top with the garlic in olive oil. Sprinkle with the white pepper, and pour the soy sauce mixture over the top. Place the bowl in the steamer, cover, and steam over high heat until the lobster meat is white, 7 to 9 minutes. Serve immediately. Note: Have the fishmonger cut up the lobster for you, and use it within a few hours of purchase.



Continues...

Excerpted from The Shun Lee Cookbook by Michael Tong Copyright © 2007 by Michael Tong. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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Table of Contents


Introduction     vii
The Chinese Pantry     1
Equipment     12
Cooking Chinese Food at Home     15
Hot Appetizers     23
Cold Appetizers     51
Soups     69
Fish and Shellfish     87
Poultry     131
Beef, Lamb, and Pork     163
Vegetables     207
Noodles and Rice     229
Desserts     247
Acknowledgments     254
Sources     255
Index     256
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