Tag Archives: Chinese food

On the Menu at The BamaSteelMagnolia”s™ Bistro–Cashew Chicken

We’ve been doing a lot of cooking over at The BamaSteelMagnolia’s™ Bistro. No, really…a whole lot!

I’m really sorry I haven’t been giving you a heads up on what’s cooking over there, but around the time I posted my last recipe reference post a tornado hit our area (once again!) and Tall & Handsome and I have been busy helping the folks repair a home they own. That and other really busy, crazy life stuff…it’s like we’ve been caught up in one of those twirling vortexes…

Today’s menu item is Cashew Chicken, a yummy Chinese dish we love. You can check out the full recipe over at The BamaSteelMagnolia’s™ Bistro.

Chicken with Cashews

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Filed under Chicken, Chinese food, Stir Fry, The BamaSteelMagnolia's(TM) Bistro

On the Menu at The BamaSteelMagnolia’s Bistro–Stir Fried Pork with Honey, Ginger and Lime

Today I’m sharing a new Chinese stir fry over at The BamaSteelMagnolia’s Bistro. Chinese New Year started on Jan. 23 and it just happened to coincide with a strong hankering Tall & Handsome and I had for Chinese. T & H gave Stir Fried Pork with Honey, Ginger and Lime a thumbs up, so we’ll probably be having it again.

Stir Fried Pork with Honey Ginger and Line


Filed under Chinese food, Cooking, food, recipes, The BamaSteelMagnolia's(TM) Bistro

On the Menu at The BamaSteelMagnolia’s™ Bistro–Mongolian Beef Updated

If you’re looking for a yummy updated version of Mongolian Beef I’m serving that up on the menu over at The BamaSteelMagnolia’s™ Bistro. Stop on by over there and check out the recipe. T & H and I had it for dinner this evening…and will probably enjoy leftovers tomorrow. Yay for not having to cook!

Mongolian Beef Served

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Filed under Chinese food, Cooking, food, recipes, Tall & Handsome, The BamaSteelMagnolia's(TM) Bistro

On the Menu at The BamaSteelMagnolia’s Bistro – Hot and Sour Soup

One of my favorite Chinese soups is Hot and Sour Soup. If you’re like me and love this soup check out the recipe I have today at The BamaSteelMagnolia’s™ Bistro. It’s an easy and yummy recipe for this Chinese standard.

Hot and Sour soup

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Filed under Chicken, Chinese food, Cooking, food, recipes, Soup

On the menu at The BamaSteelMagnolia’s(TM) Bistro – An Asian Culinary Fantasy, by Beverly Hicks Burch

Today over at The BamaSteelMagnolia’s(TM) Bistro I’m serving up several Chinese recipes that have kept Tall & Handsome and I busy and full since the first of the year.

I start out with Asian Fantasy that gives a little background and suggestions for the recipes that follow.

I follow that with recipes for Mongolian Beef, Chinese Sweet Corn Soup, Stir Fried Asparagus with Garlic and Thai Fried Bananas.

Click over and give the recipes a try…I promise you won’t be disappointed!

© 2009 Beverly Hicks Burch All Rights Reserved.


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Filed under Asian Cooking, Chinese food, food, recipes, The BamaSteelMagnolia's(TM) Bistro

Kung Pau USA, by Beverly Hicks Burch

Kung Pau USA

By Beverly Hicks Burch

Tell the children to leave the room. Their eyes just may be too young and tender to read and accept the following…the Fortune Cookie is not Chinese. If you travel to mainland China, good chances are, you will have a hard time finding a fortune cookie. In Hong Kong they are marketed as “genuine American fortune cookies”.

In reality, fortune cookies were introduced by an immigrant named David Jung in the city of Los Angles. The recipe was based on a Japanese cracker.

And that, my friends, is a very good example of the homogenization of Asian and Oriental food in the USA. Most large cities have very defined “Chinatowns”. I will never forget the exotic sights and smells of “Chinatown” in New York City when I was living in Westchester Co., NY in the early 1980’s. The upper West Side of Manhattan near Broadway is called Szechuan Alley because there are so many Chinese restaurants.

Today it’s not uncommon for even small, little, tucked-away hamlets in the most obscure places in the United States to have Chinese eateries. When Tall & Handsome and I lived in northwest Alabama in a small little town called Winfield there was a Chinese buffet there. They served up some pretty good Chinese food and it was a pleasant surprise to find them after moving from the big city of Birmingham.

Americans have assimilated and adapted Chinese food as their own. According to Jennifer 8. Lee, author of the book and blog The Fortune Cookie Chronicles: Adventures in the World of Chinese Food there are more Chinese restaurants in the US than McDonald’s, Burger King’s and KFC’s combined. In my finite mind, that’s a pretty heady fact! (Ms Lee shares another little juicy tidbit…there is no real P.F. Chang. The PF represents Paul Fleming who is the creator of Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar and P. F. Chang’s Chinese Bistro.)

Born of immigrant parents, Ms Lee has a fascination with Chinese and Chinese-American food. Her family was like any other…they bought take-out Chinese in the little cardboard boxes, but she had play-by-play critique from her parents on Chinese-American and “real” Chinese. Real Chinese food is full of more exotic ingredients than we would normally find or use here in the States.

I can attest to that. I’ve mentioned before I took a Chinese cooking class in the 1980’s at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. I took the class with my sister. Our instructor was a little slip of gal named Thanh Madeleine Maring. Thanh also had a food column in our newspaper. Thanh was Vietnamese and was well trained, having received some of her chef training from some of the finest cooking schools in France.

Thanh’s recipes used some of the more exotic ingredients of Chinese cooking…snow peas, Chinese five spice, fresh ginger root, sesame oil, Chinese cabbage, Hoisin sauce, lotus root, different types of soy sauce, fish sauce and fermented black beans. We may find many of these ingredients in our mega supermarkets nowadays in the ethnic food section…right along with the selection for another of my favorite Asian foods…Thai. Some of the more exotic items still have to be sought out at specialty markets.

Back in the `80’s Pam and I had to go to a little Asian/Oriental market in downtown Birmingham in the Southside not too far from the UAB campus. We had to go there if we wanted even a half pound of snow peas! So you could see how preparing homemade Chinese for us would have been a big presentation. When you walked into this little market you were instantly hit with a cacophony of transcendental aromas. It was an instant trip through China, India, Africa and parts unknown.

I learned a lot from Thanh. How to make a good pot of rice…wash the rice before cooking it until the water runs clear. My personal Bevizing? I cook the rice in chicken broth with a pinch of kosher salt unless I’m making the rice for a sweet dish like rice pudding. Thanh recommended a wok…flat bottomed and never buy one that sits on one of those rings. She sold some she had imported from China and I still use it to this day.

Thanh also knew something Jennifer 8. Lee confirms in her book. Real Chinese food is not smothered in thick batter when it’s stir fried. My recipes of Sweet and Sour Pork/Chicken Thanh taught in the class is a classic example and is one of the reason I won’t order Sweet and Sour anything when I eat Chinese out…I’ve been spoiled by the real deal. It’s like I told T & H…once you’ve had mine…you’ll never go back.

Of course Thanh used ingredients available to her in America. One dish many Americans are very fond of is Beef and Broccoli, but broccoli is not a traditionally used ingredient in “real” Chinese food. So, I guess we could say it is Chinese-American. Nonetheless, it’s one of my favorites and this past weekend I made my adapted version of Thanh recipe for Tall & Handsome. So, without further ado I’ll be glad to share my real adapted version of real Chinese-American food…Bev Burch’s Beef and Broccoli.

Welcome to the melting pot!

© 2008 Beverly Hicks Burch All Right Reserved.


Filed under Birmingham, Chinese food, Chinese-American Food History, Cooking, food, Fortune Cookies, New York City, Tall & Handsome, University of Alabama at Birmingham

Bev Burch’s Beef and Broccoli, by Beverly Hicks Burch

Bev Burch’s Beef and Broccoli

Real Chinese-American Food

By Beverly Hicks Burch

1 pound lean beef sirloin tip, trimmed of fat

1 tablespoon soy sauce – may use low sodium

2 tablespoons dry sherry, divided – do not use cooking sherry because it is too high in sodium

2 teaspoons sugar

1 teaspoon cornstarch

2 cups broccoli florettes – may use fresh, blanched or thawed frozen broccoli

¾ cup chicken broth

1 tablespoon cornstarch

2 – 3 stalks green onions cut into 2 inch sections

1 slice ginger root, peeled and minced, about a quarter in size

1 teaspoon sesame seed oil

2 – 3 tablespoons oil

Slice beef across the grain in very thin slices. (It will be easier to slice if you place it in the freezer before slicing for about 1 hour.)

Place beef in a medium bowl. Mix together 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon dry sherry, 2 teaspoons sugar and 1 teaspoon cornstarch. Pour over beef and marinate about 15 – 20 minutes on the counter (longer if in the refrigerator).

Mix together chicken broth, 1 tablespoon sherry and 1 tablespoon cornstarch. Set aside.

Heat oil in wok on high heat. When it begins to sizzle and smoke, add green onions and minced ginger root and stir fry until onions are slightly brown. Add beef and stir fry until meat looses its redness and is almost done.

Add broccoli and continue stir frying for 30 – 60 more seconds.

Next add chicken broth mixture. Cook and stir until the mixture is heated though and thickened. Stir in 1 teaspoon sesame seed oil. Adjust seasoning. Serve with rice or fried rice.


© 2008 Beverly Hicks Burch All Rights Reserved.

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Filed under Beef, Chinese food, Cooking, food, Meat, recipes, Vegetables

Welcome to B. F. Burch’s…or

Welcome to B. F. Burch’s…or “Let

us” Wrap It Up,

By Beverly Hicks Burch

Who you may be asking is B. F. Burch? Well, me of course!

You see when my mother was a young slip of a thing, she decided she would name three daughters Faith, Hope and Charity…I’m the Faith of the bunch and the sisters are Hope and Charity. I’ve teased Mom for years and said if we had been boys we would have been Matthew, Mark, Luke and John…

So, am I writing about names today? Nope! Read on…

From time to time Tall and Handsome and his co-workers participate in dinner after work with the client. And being the thoughtful, sweet hubby he is, he usually calls and brings me something home for dinner…his dime, of course. He’ll tell me where he’s at and if the place has an internet menu I’m able to look it over and decide what I want as if I was there.

Not too long ago T & H, a group of co-workers and the client went to a fairly well known Chinese eatery. They have an internet menu, so I was able to pick what I wanted and T & H brought it home.

On item he brought me was something I’ve wanted to try for some time…lettuce wraps. I have one word to say…Yum!

Well, of course that sent T & H and me on a quest…to make lettuce wraps at home…but, just not any lettuce wraps. We wanted great lettuce wraps. T & H found some pre-packaged filling at the store and it wasn’t bad and it will do in a pinch…but, we still wanted something with that extra oomph…

Research hound (me) went into mode and I found a recipe and “Bevized” it and we prepared in Sunday night after a weekend of unpacking and shaping up the house. There was enough left over for dinner Monday night. We are a team of course and all of the above is done with my favorite “team mate”…Tall & Handsome…

Most of the “work” in the lettuce wraps is in the pre-time, but after that they come together in a breeze. One of the “Bevizing” additions was to add walnuts for the added health benefits and added crunch.

In 1980 I took a Chinese cooking class with my sister at UAB (University of Alabama at Birmingham). I purchased a bonafide wok at the beginning of the class, and the addition of our pot rack has given me easy access to this old friend…it is well used and shows it. If you don’t have a wok, you can stir this up in a large skillet.

B. F. Burch’s Lettuce Wraps

By Beverly (Faith) Hicks Burch

1 tablespoon oil – you can use a vegetable oil like canola or a peanut oil which would add an extra Asian touch

1 medium onion, finely chopped

2 teaspoons – 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, finely chopped

1 pound ground chicken

½ teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon ground pepper

¼ cup finely chopped fresh mushrooms

1 teaspoon minced garlic

¼ cup finely chopped bamboo shoots

¼ cup chopped walnuts

1- 8 0z. can water chestnuts, finely chopped

¾ cup Hoisin/chicken broth sauce (see below)

2 – 3 dashes hot Chinese chili paste/sauce

Lime wedges

In a wok or large skillet heat oil on high until hot. Add onions and ginger and cook until the onions are translucent.

Next add the chicken and cook until the chicken is lightly brown. When browned, season with the salt and pepper.

Add the mushrooms and cook them until they are tender.

Add garlic, bamboo shoots, walnuts and water chestnuts and stir fry about 1 – 2 minutes.

Add ¾ cup Hoisin/chicken broth sauce and 2 – 3 dashes Chinese hot chili paste. Cook until mixture boils.

Serve with cold, crisp lettuce leaves. Spoon desired amount of mixture onto the center on a lettuce leaf. Spoon some Hoisin/chicken broth sauce over the filling and squeeze some fresh lime juice onto the mixture. Roll up the lettuce leaf and enjoy!


4 tablespoons Hoisin sauce

4 tablespoons soy sauce (I use low sodium)

4 tablespoons dry sherry

4 tablespoons oyster sauce

4 teaspoons sesame seed oil

4 teaspoon cornstarch

1 cup chicken broth, you can use low – fat, low – sodium, etc.

Combine all ingredients and mix well. ¾ cup will be used in cooking the chicken filling and the remainder will be used for dipping sauce or to spoon over the filling of the lettuce wraps.


© 2008 Beverly Hicks Burch All Rights Reserved.

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Filed under Chinese Food; Lettuce wraps, Cooking, food, Life, Mothers, recipes, Tall & Handsome, University of Alabama at Birmingham