Main Plates

The Main Plate recipes listed here include Western-style entrées, standalone meals, and substantial dishes of the sort served at the banquet table

Spicy Beef with Daikon
Spicy Beef with Daikon

Spicy Beef with Daikon

The long, giant white radish most commonly known as Daikon is milder in flavor than other radish varieties, and what peppery bite it has when raw is diminished considerably by cooking. As such, the vegetable does well in dishes where it can take on, and be enhanced by the stronger flavors of other ingredients. In this dish, julienned Daikon is paired with tender strips of Beef in a hot and sour sauce aromatic with Ginger, Garlic and Scallion.


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Beef Stir-fried with Leek
Beef Stir-fried with Leek

Beef Stir-fried with Leek

This tasty little dish is very easy to prepare and uses a two-step cooking process, commonly used in Chinese restaurants, in which the main ingredient is marinated and then deep-fried before being cooked a second time with the other ingredients.

Here, Beef takes center stage, and the initial deep-fry not only shortens the cooking time, it produces a tender, succulent result when the meat is then stir-fried with julienned strips of fresh Leek.


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Filipino Pork Binagoongan
Filipino Pork Binagoongan

Filipino Pork Binagoongan

In the cuisine of the Philippines, a Binagoongan is a dish in which the primary ingredient is cooked with the Filipino fermented shrimp paste known as Bagoong Alamang. This particular version features pork as the main ingredient, and the tangy sweetness of the tomato based sauce is rounded out by both the umami depth of the shrimp paste, and just a touch of chili heat.


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Dry-fried Sour and Spicy Beef
Dry-fried Sour and Spicy Beef

Dry-fried Sour and Spicy Beef

Dry-frying, in Chinese cookery, can mean both that a dish is fast-fried with little or no sauce, and also that the main ingredient is fried, often in more than one step, to yield a dry, chewy result. In this recipe, both ends are achieved in that the beef is first deep-fried, stir-fried slowly until it is dark and bordering on crispy, then tossed with celery and carrot with lots of Garlic, Chili and Cumin.


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Restaurant-Style Honey Garlic Ribs
Restaurant-Style Honey Garlic Ribs

Honey Garlic Ribs are a standard on almost every westernized Chinese restaurant menu. There are endless permutations on the theme, of course, but the basic requirements are that they be garlicky and sticky sweet.  One characteristic they do share is that virtually none of them actually contain honey as an ingredient, and that the sweetness invariably comes from plain-old sugar. The following recipe keeps very much to that tradition and will let you easily   reproduce your own version of the ever-popular Restaurant-Style Honey Garlic Ribs.


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Spiced Eggs with Shrimp
Spiced Eggs with Shrimp

Spiced Eggs with Shrimp

Scrambled eggs with shrimp is one of those fairly common combinations in Chinese cuisine that can easily be served as a light repast, or as one of several dishes in a more substantial meal. The recipe here, builds on the basic theme by drawing from different Asian cuisines and enhancing the main ingredients with garlic, and the fiery and umami-rich flavors of Sambal Oelek and Fish Sauce.


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Chicken with Sichuan Preserved Vegetable
Chicken with Sichuan Preserved Vegetable

Chicken with Sichuan Preserved Vegetable

This simple little dish is very easy to prepare, but it packs a pretty potent flavor wallop from the addition of the spicy and sour Sichuan Preserved Vegetable, known as Zhà Cài (榨菜). I have augmented the usual heat and tanginess of the pickle with a little chili paste and vinegar, and then rounded out the flavors with just a dash of sugar. Cashews add a nice flavor and textural contrast to both the chicken and vegetable.


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Black Pepper Beef
Black Pepper Beef

Black Pepper Beef

The Chinese tend to prefer White Pepper for many preparations but Black Pepper does appear in some dishes, most notably Hot and Sour Soup, and it is not infrequently used in recipes that include beef. Here, I am doing a quick stir-fried dish using these two ingredients and I am also adding both zucchini and button mushrooms. You can, of course, easily replace these vegetables with any number of other combinations you like.


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