Home and Kitchen


Easy to Make Homemade Chinese “Takeout”

I absolutely love Chinese fast food but where I live, good Chinese restaurants are few and far between. Because of this, I have learned how to make several of my favorite Asian dishes at home. I was surprised to find that many of these dishes are really easy to make. Once you get the hang of it, you could be like me and prefer your own versions of the dishes to the ones at the restaurant. However, before you start with the preparation of any of the dishes doing a food tolerance test can be helpful. Food Intolerance Test is designed to help detect the food that you body is capable of handling. This way you can avoid ingestion and other digestive problems. 

Many Chinese restaurants start the meal with egg rolls and soup. My favorite soup is egg drop soup. After much research, I finally found a recipe for egg drop soup that is delicious and so easy, you won’t believe it. Bring four cups of water to a boil. Once the water is boiling, add three cubes of chicken bouillon and let them dissolve. While you’re waiting, break two eggs into a cup or bowl and scramble them with a fork. When all the bouillon has dissolved, turn the broth down to a slow boil. Then slowly pour in the scrambled egg mixture. You should see the egg turn into noodles as it hits the water. (If it doesn’t, pour it all out and try again.) Allow the soup to continue to cook for another minute or two, season with salt and pepper to taste and top with chopped green onions.

Lots of people love fried rice but have absolutely no idea how to make it properly. For four servings, make the appropriate amount of rice and allow it to dry out slightly (for best results, use something other than minute rice. I like jasmine rice.) You can even do this the night or a couple of days beforehand. Once you’re ready to cook, take a large wok or deep nonstick pan, set to medium heat and pour three tablespoons of sesame oil into the pan. Next, add your meat of choice and season accordingly (try a pound of chopped chicken with a little ginger, minced garlic, chopped onion, pepper, and soy sauce). Once the meat is completely cooked, add the rice and mix thoroughly. Season the mixture with salt, pepper, garlic powder (if you didn’t already add minced garlic), a dash of ginger, and soy sauce to taste. Mix the rice well again and add vegetables. Add as many of the following as you like: peas, carrots, baby corn, broccoli, red peppers, mushrooms, water chestnuts, bean sprouts, and bamboo shoots.

Finally, end your meal with a favorite Chinese takeout dessert: sugar biscuits. Just grab a 12-ounce can of regular biscuits from the grocery store (don’t get the flaky kind, they won’t turn out right) and separate the biscuits. Heat about two cups of vegetable oil in a deep pan to 350 degrees. Place several biscuits in the oil then fry until golden brown. Once one side is done, flip to fry the other side. Remove the biscuits from the oil and allow them to drain on paper towels for a couple of minutes. Then, dip them in a bowl of sugar to coat all sides. Once they’re cool enough to handle, eat and enjoy!


Knife Wielding in the Home Kitchen for cooking different recipes

Being left-handed is probably the only thing I would have in common with a famous chef like Paul Prudhomme or Gordon Brown. However, through the years of my professional cooking career I have noticed that a very large number of professional cooks are southpaws. Left-handed cooks must make adjustments and be patient with their right-handed counterparts. It’s a right-handed world, especially in the kitchen.

For everyone, right- or left-handed, keeping a favorite knife sharp is fundamental to its ease of use and safe use. Therefore, it is important for a left-handed cook be the only one using that preferred knife. A right-handed person’s use of a lefty’s knife dulls the blade. This goes for potato peelers, too. Once a right-handed person uses a potato peeler, it’s ruined for a lefty, in my opinion. The thing is, right-handed people don’t seem to care about this sensitive issue, and so it is necessary to have a knife sharpener nearby (and hide your potato peeler) if you happen to be left-handed. This whole issue works in reverse if you’re a right-handed cook dealing with the occasional southpaw in your kitchen territory.

My hands are small, so I have to make adjustments when using knives. My preferred knife, as shown in the photos above, is a French knife. This knife has a six-inch blade and is actually called a French vegetable knife. The photo demonstrates how to hold a knife if you have small hands. I grip the knife as far up the handle toward the blade as I can. My thumb is actually against the knife blade. This gives improved stability. Holding it with the hand back further causes it to wobble when cutting and makes the user have to grip it with a tighter hold.

Because of my hand size I also have difficulty using a sharpening steel. Someone stronger and bigger can hold the steel rod steady in mid air while swiping a knife blade back and forth across it. Poking the steel against something, which allows me to hold it firmly at about a 45° angle, makes it possible for me to sharpen my knives this way. Generally, an inexpensive handheld sharpener works great, though. Just swipe a knife across it three or four times. It will feel a little rough on the first swipe and then it will glide smoother as it gets sharp. A knife that is used a lot should be sharpened frequently. So keep your sharpener close at hand.

Another way to dull a knife blade is to use it as a scraper. For instance, most cooks use the blade to scrape cut onions together as they are transferred to a cooking pan. The second photo above shows a technique that saves the knife blade. Without moving your grip on the knife, simply rotate blade inward as far as you comfortably can until the unsharpened edge of the knife is against your cutting surface. I do move my thumb a little as shown because I hold the knife close to the blade. Anyway, it instantly becomes a scraper, saves the blade and sets you a notch above amateur cooks. I have never heard of anyone cutting themselves doing this.

In the first photo, I have the blade tip down against the cutting surface. This is “old school,” but the blade tip actually should stay still while the back of the knife does the cutting. It’s as though the knife blade is half of a pair of scissors moving up and down. Wildly chopping, while looking away, is showing off and is crazy and dangerous. The blade tip should not move up and down when using this type of knife.

Serrated knives work best when cutting bread of all sorts and tomatoes. This type of blade will tear and bruise many things so it should not be used for everything. The worst cuts I have seen have been from serrated knives. Be very careful when using one. The chopped vegetables can be cooked in the best pressure cooker 2020. The chopping of the vegetables should be nice

If you need to slice prime rib, a long slender blade is best if it is wider than the meat you’re cutting. I prefer a straight blade for this. Some other cooks like a very long curved blade that looks like one Sinbad the Sailor might wield. The longer blade aids the cutter’s control for nice looking uniform slices.

Paring knives are versatile. They are great for small jobs like removing a tomato stem or a cabbage core. A French knife in this instance is overkill and a serrated knife could be lethal. I, of course, use a paring knife to peel potatoes as my potato peelers are always useless (!).

The best thing about knives these days is that even the inexpensive ones are of fairly good quality. It is, therefore, not necessary to spend a lot of money to own decent knives. Just keep them sharp for safe cutting.