Happy Chinese New Year: Chinese Soul Food Cookbook Giveaway
Chinese Soul Food is classic comfort food you can’t resist, and in this cookbook you’ll find 80 recipes for favorites you can easily make any night of the week.
Chinese food is more popular than any other cuisine and yet it often intimidates North American home cooks. Chinese Soul Food draws cooks into the kitchen with recipes that include sizzling potstickers, stir-fries that are unbelievably easy to make, saucy braises, and soups that bring comfort with a sip. These are dishes that feed the belly and speak the universal language of “mmm!”
You’ll find approachable recipes and plenty of tips for favorite homestyle Chinese dishes, such as red-braised pork belly, dry-fried green beans, braised-beef noodle soup, green onion pancakes, garlic eggplant, and the author’s famous pot stickers, which consistently sell out her cooking classes in Seattle.
You will also find helpful tips and techniques, such as caring for and using a wok and how to cook rice properly, as well as a basic Chinese pantry list that also includes acceptable substitutions, making it even simpler for the busiest among us to cook their favorite Chinese dishes at home. Recipes are streamlined to minimize the fear factor of unfamiliar ingredients and techniques, and home cooks are gently guided toward becoming comfortable cooking satisfying Chinese meals.
The daughter of immigrants, Chou was raised in Columbia, Missouri, where her parents ran a Chinese restaurant, and is an award-winning food journalist, a cooking instructor, and is a member of the James Beard Foundation cookbook committee and Les Dames d’Escoffier.
You can find your favorites Chinese dishes in this cookbook, like General Tso’s Chicken, Cashew Chicken, Beef with Broccoli, along with pot stickers, dumplings, wontons, egg rolls, rice, noodles and sauces. I was intrigued by the Dry-Fried Green Beans recipe which was a popular dish at her parents’ restaurant.
Dry-Fried Green Beans
MAKES 4 SERVINGS
3/4 pound green beans (haricots verts or regular)
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, divided
4 ounces unseasoned ground pork or ground beef (about 1/4 cup)
1 stalk green onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 large clove garlic, finely minced
2 tablespoons soy sauce, plus more as needed
1 tablespoon water
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
Trim the green beans and cut them in half. Line a baking sheet with a few layers of paper towels. Set aside.
Preheat a wok over medium-high heat until wisps of smoke rise from the surface. Add 1/3 cup of the oil and heat for 30 to 60 seconds, or until it starts to shimmer. In batches, add the beans to the oil in a single layer. Quickly stir-fry the beans, gently swishing them around in the oil. The skins of the beans will start to blister. Once you see that most of the beans look lightly wrinkled but not necessarily browned, about 1 to 2 minutes, using a slotted spoon, transfer the beans to the prepared paper towel–lined baking sheet to absorb the residual oil. Repeat with the remaining beans. Use a wad of paper towels to absorb any residual oil in the wok and brush away any charred pieces.
Return the wok to the stove over high heat, and add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Add the pork and, using a spatula, break up the pork. Stir-fry for 1 to 2 minutes, or until brown and cooked through. Add the onions, ginger, and garlic, and stir and toss for a few seconds to combine. Add the soy sauce, water, and sugar, and stir to combine.
Add the beans, and stir and toss for a few seconds to combine. If it doesn’t taste salty enough, add an additional splash of soy sauce, and stir to incorporate. Serve with steamed rice.
There is a celebration section in the cookbook for Chinese New Year, along with a sample menu. Chinese New Year or Lunar New Year, (also known as Spring Festival), falls in the period from January 21 to February 20, beginning with the first new moon of the year. It is celebrated around the world, but the main festivities are in China as well as other Asian countries, including Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and Korea.
According to tradition, each year of the Chinese calendar is associated with one of the twelve zodiac signs: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog, or pig. You can read more about the attributes and the animals of the Chinese Zodiac, here.
2018 is the Year of the Dog with the New Year arriving February 16th. As the year ends with an eight, it’s been considered a lucky year by the Chinese, since eight is a lucky number.
Gracie wants to know if she gets some extra treats and it’s a lucky Year of the Dog for her. :)
Chinese New Year festivities start the day before the New Year and traditionally last 15 days, ending with the Lantern Festival. Family members are expected to return home, with businesses going on holiday and students getting extended time off.
In celebration of Chinese New Year, I pulled together a little table inspiration from the archives. You can see the entire table the Year of the Rooster, here, with Ralph Lauren Mandarin Blue and a themed Chinese New Year table runner with oranges, red votives, mini orchids, narcissus bulbs, fortune cookies, sparklers and Good Fortune chocolate coins, parading down the center of the table in celebration.
The Chinese New Year is full of dragon dances, fireworks, feasts, gift-giving, and lantern festivals. Red is the Chinese national color and represents happiness, beauty, success and good fortune. Red envelopes containing money are also given out to children by their families to wish them longevity and a happy New Year. Because eight is a lucky number, you will see eight represented in different ways, including dishes that include eight ingredients or menus that include eight dishes.
Here’s a fun fact that I learned in Chinese Soul Food:
In the U.S. you can order ‘lucky money’ from the Treasury Department, which are dollar bills printed with a serial number that starts with four eights. The bills arrive sheathed in plastic and set in a large red card and matching envelopes.
Orchids are considered to be symbolic of ‘many children’ or fertility and abundance in Chinese culture, and signify refinement, luxury and innocence.
Fish is considered a lucky food to eat during Chinese New Year, to bring an increase in prosperity and wish for a surplus in the new year.
Resembling the sun, oranges are aligned with the yang (positive) principle, being an auspicious symbol of abundance and happiness. Oranges and tangerines are among the good luck foods, said to bring wealth and luck.
Narcissus or Water Fairy Flowers are a symbol of good fortune and prosperity, and a common flower of the China New Year festival. The growth springing from the brown bulbs, symbolizes the beginning of a new year.
For a chance to win a copy of Chinese Soul Food, leave a comment telling me your favorite Chinese dish or restaurant.
This giveaway is open to those living in the continental US. A winner will be chosen February 23rd.
THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.
“Chinese New Year ultimately is about reuniting the family around the table, honoring the elders and the departed, and celebrating our collective good fortune to be in this world.” ~ Hsiao-Ching Chou, Chinese Soul Food
Excerpted from Chinese Soul Food by permission of Sasquatch Books.©2018 by Hsiao-Ching Chou. All rights reserved.
*Thank you to Sasquatch Books for providing a copy of Chinese Soul Food.
Happy Chinese New Year!
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Oh what a fun book to add to my cookbook collection! Thanks for the chance to win. I love PF Chang’s Orange Peel Shrimp. Happy Chinese New Year Mary!
Happy Chinese New Year Mary! I’d love to know how to prepare some of my favorite Chinese dishes with the help of this cookbook! Our favorite thing to order at our local Chinese restaurant is Triple Delight. It’s a combo of shrimp, scallops & chicken stir-fried with veggies!
Happy year of the dog. My two dogs also think some extra treats would be much appreciated!.My favorite Chinese dish is orange chicken and the best I have had is a little family run Chinese restaurant in our neighborhood.
I’m going to make the green beans. I would love this cookbook!
My favorite Chinese restaurant was Petals of Jade.
Unfortunately it no longer exists! Located in the Waverly Hotel, it was elegant with rose colored silk linens and beautiful arrangements of flowers. Between courses finger bowls were presented with warm, scented rose cloths for your hands! The ambiance prepared you for what you knew would be not only delicious food but presentation as well!
It was a place where you went for those special occasions.
Thanks for sharing so much from the cook book. I think it is one I would like to have. My favorite is General Tsao’s and the green beans!
What a fun book! I’ve never met a potsticker I didn’t love and would love to learn how to make them! Thanks for the fun giveaway.
Luv luv luv mu shu pork!
Your table setting is absolutely beautiful!!
I love anything made with black bean sauce. Definitely going to try that green bean recipe. Thanks for the chance to win this cookbook.
Think you for sharing this Cook book my mom and I will get some good food Respist I like Wong tong soup egg rolls white rice and moogoo guy pan and the fortune cookie
So colorful and happy! My favorite Chinese restaurant is First Chinese Bar-be-que in Plano, TX. Authentic Chinese food. I love their Green Pepper Beef. If you go they only take cash. I would be most grateful to win this cookbook and learn to make real Chinese food!
Gung hoy fat choy.
For years my Chinese teaching partner and I celebrated Chinese New Year in our second grade classes. Mrs. Pang did so many delicious foods for us as I marveled at her art with the wok. Our students made huge Lion Dragons and we would have a parade for the school followed by a Chinese feast. It was an event that second graders looked forward to each year. We are retired now but how I miss her fried rice, pot stickers, and other delicious dinners. I just contributed the orange slices and purchased fortune cookies. I would love to try my hand with your offer of a cookbook.
I am new to this blog and look forward to your posts. I even have a new potting shed lined up to be built this spring. I can’t wait to have my “She cave”.
Thank you for your many ideas and pictures. Your almond bark was a huge hit with the grand children.
Thanks for all the very interesting information about Chinese culture. We often eat at a place called King Buffet. Have often tried to make their green beans but they never taste right. That is one of the first things I will make out of the cookbook!
Love the table. Especially the cups with the red dog…my favorite food is the rices…any kind…I don’t know much about Asian food but maybe this Cookbook will help me expand that knowledge. Also, since this is the year of the dog, it might be a good year for us to replace our dog that we lost several years ago..HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR!! ❤️🐕🐩⛩
Beautiful table and oh, the recipes! Delicious. We have a great little Chinese restaurant nearby where we get take out almost every Friday night, especially in the winter months. Yen Ching is a family restaurant with a full selection of wonderful food. My favorite is their potstickers and Mandarin eggplant. I honestly don’t know if I could make those dishes as well but this cookbook suggestion might be worth a try. Thanks for posting. Love your blog.
Happy Chinese New Year! Thanks for all of the interesting information. One of our favorite Chinese restaurants is a buffet that we visit near Amish country. They have chicken in every sauce you can think of. My favorites are honey walnut and jalapeño. And I ❤️ Potstickers and Chinese pizza too. Love all your beautiful photos!
Oh what a beautiful post Mary! and Chloe must be excited about this year being all about her! Yes, even in the Japanese culture, the number 8 is revered. The sign of infinity…the 88th birthday is quite the celebration…double infinity! The cookbook looks amazing!!! Hmmm…fav Chinese dish….Beef and broccoli….with a side of pot stickers!
Have a great weekend Mary!
I WOULD LOVE TO WIN AND USE THE WOK MY GRANDDAUGHTER BOUGHT ME FOR CHRISTMAS!!! I LOVE YOUR EMAILS, THEY INSPIRE ME TO JUST GET UP AND DO IT!!! THANK YOU !
Love pot stickers!
Chinese Soul Food is just what we need to duplicate so many of our favorite foods from travels throughout Asia. Our favorite local restaurant was Yen Ching with their Chinese New Year’s Dinners featuring many authentic Chinese dishes.
Happy Chinese New Year, Mary!!! Another beautiful blog here…such a nice touch having that sparkler right there on the table:) Everything looks so fresh and organized, and that’s one thing I enjoy about eating at a Chinese restaurant…fresh and delicious…. PF Chang’s comes to mind…I enjoy the lettuce wraps with everything served…along with a glass of cold plum wine. Have a big celebration today!
My husband and I always share our favorites: Mongolian Beef, Ginger Chicken with Broccoli, and Chili-Garlic Green Beans when we eat at PF Chang’s. Thanks for the giveaway and Happy Chinese New Year!
Bonjour Mary, bonne année chinoise ! Hum j’adore la cuisine chinoise…mais vous êtes parfaite !!!!
J’adore aussi la petite coquine de votre chien….Il est adorable !
Hi Mary. Such a nice cookbook with recipes to guide me in creating delish meals. I like to order chicken egg foo young at Chinese restaurants. The perfect gravy makes it oh so good.
My favorite Chinese restaurant, because of the memorable experience, is a floating restaurant in Hong Kong. I got to go there when my husband was in the navy and several of us wives flew to Hong Kong to meet our sailors for Christmas. We took a tiny “taxi” boat out to the restaurant, were served hot towels to wipe our hands, and had my first Chinese food. I’ve been hooked on it since. That was in 1978 and I’ll never forget it.
My hubby bought me a big, beautiful wok for Christmas so beef and broccoli would look yummy in it! Wonderful recipes, so great meals are to be had. Good luck everyone!
You are so right, it isn’t that difficult to cook in the Asian style, and adds such variety to meals. I’ll be doing some Shumai for the fun of it!!
Hands down, my favorite Chinese dish is Wor Wonton Soup: a steaming delicious broth filled with tender wontons, tender crisp veggies, chicken, bbq pork and shrimp *drooling*. Nothing better than sharing time and soup with a friend on a snowy winter day 😊
The green bean dish looks so tasty, Mary! I’ve had the fried green beans at PF Changs, and oh my, are they ever good, and addictive! I do LOVE Mongolian Chicken with brown rice from Pei Wei. Thanks for the great giveaway opportunity, Mary. I hope Chloe and Gracie get some good treats in this year of the Dog.
Thanks for the giveaway. I’ve never made dumplings before, but I’m interested in knowing how to do that. Your table, by the way, is lovely! I particularly like those blue handled chopsticks. I’ve never seen chopsticks like that before.
Too many wonderful Asian restaurants here. But I usually go to Jimmy Wok — mainly because it is right across the street! Way too convenient. When I want something special, I visit Cafe Chino. Love fried green beans. Thanks for the chance. I bet this is not only a good cookbook, but also good reading!!!!!! Happy Year of the Dog. A big Woof to Chloe and Gracie.
Mary, what a beautiful post and insight into Chinese culture. The cookbook looks fabulous and such a nice give-away!
I am always amazed at your photos they are beautiful. I also try to imagine where and how you store everything 😉
The cookbook looks wonderful Chinese food is my favorite, but I am intimidated to make it myself. Would love to learn
Szechuan lobster. We had it in NYC at a Chinese restaurant years ago. Very spicy. Love your Mandarin plates. I have the salad plates so think I will set up a holiday table!! Thanks for all your great ideas. You are an inspiration
You certainly are fluent in Chinese tradition and symbolism Mary! Fascinating facts, so many deep traditions and meaningful symbols they use in their lives…your table is just beautiful and the cookbook sounds so thorough. My husband has mastered PF Chang’s lettuce wraps, and I want to try making pot stickers…as for a favorite, I don’t really have one, but I love how Chinese dishes always have a lot of vegetables and a tasty sauce! Happy Year of the Dog Chloe & Gracie!
Oh I love Chinese food! This cookbook would be a great one to add to my collection and I would love to try cooking some of the dishes. Cashew Chicken is one of my favorites as well as Buddah’s Delight (vegetables). Thank you for the lesson in Chinese New Year traditions. Fascinating.
i love love love the tomato egg soup….can have it all day every day
You are the best, and this post is all that! I don’t want to lessen others’ chance to win by entering, I but I sure wanted to say how gorgeous and informative this post was. Great collaboration with Chou and her cookbook.
My favorite restaurant is Tsing Tsao, a small business in our town … I love it because the owner is the sweetest man. When we go there and buy a quart of their hot and sour soup, he knows right away that someone in our house is sick and he asks who it is and wishes us well!
Loved the beautiful layout I’m a real fan of blue and white China and Chinese stir fry but especially beef and broccoli… I would love the cook book … I’m a bichon lover too … wonderful to see Flynn win at Westminster
Those green beans look amazing & I will be making them this weekend! My absolute favorite dish has to be pot stickers with chicken lo mein being a close second! Have a great weekeind.
How fun to learn all of these interesting facts about the Chinese, their culture and traditions. My favorite color is red so that made me happy learning about the meaning of that color. I always order Moo Goo Gai Pan, or Almond Chicken when I splurge, but the last time, I ordered the tender beef and broccolli with the loe mein noodles and it wonderful! I find it interesting that they believe the number 8 to be a lucky number, in the Christian faith, 8 is symbolic for new beginnings. I think we may have to get some Chinese food for supper! Lol Thanks Mary and we will all celebrate the year of the dog, my Buddy will be too happy! 😁❤🐶
There isn’t much Chinese food that I don’t like. It’s all so good and full of flavors, but I’d have to say my favorite is General Tao’s Chicken. I like it spicy! Would love to add this book to my collection. I’ve never made any Chinese dishes at home and it would be so fun to try.
I love Chinese food but have never made my own. This book is inspirational!
My favorite Chinese dish is Shrimp in Lobster sauce. I am just learning Chinese food recipes so this cookbook looks wonderful. Hoping the Year of the Dog is a lucky year for all.
My favorite Chinese dish is any mixture of beef, pork, chicken and seafood with vegetables. I usually order take out from a nearby restaurant, but my favorite Chinese restaurant on Staten Island (in New York City) is Jade Island, an old-style, mostly Cantonese, restaurant.
My favorite Chinese dish is Mu Shu Chicken. Love those pancakes. Mary , thanks for the contest & Happy Chinese New Year!
I enjoyed the interesting facts regarding the Chinese New Year. General Tso chicken or Mongolian beef are my go to dishes.
My favorite Chinese dish is Sweet and Sour Pork. I learned how to cook it while we were living in Taiwan It is a far cry from the red sticky stuff you sometimes find in Chinese restaurants.
Orange Chicken or Beef and Broccoli. Favorite place to eat it is at Canton Palace in Loveland, CO.
I love pork fried rice. Thanks for the chance to win!
Cashew chicken is always a favorite at our house!
What a great post, full of info and love the pictures! We love Baoding restaurant, Charlotte NC. The best dumplings in spicy peanut sauce and the curry is awesome too! Would love a copy of this beautiful book! Thank you
A friend, originally from China, advised me to always order mapo doufu when I’m eating at an unfamiliar Chinese restaurant. Even if it’s not on the menu, they ALWAYS have it, it’s always tast, and it’s a good way to judge the rest of the menu.
Mixed Vegetable Stir-fry is my favorite. Jade Kitchen in Murrieta, CA is where we go for authentic dishes. I was born under the Dog sign, so this is my year, hopefully!! I would love to win this cookbook in order to expand my recipe collection for stir-fry dishes and more.
My favorite Chinese restaurant is the Dumpling House in Boston. I love their Xiao Long Bao and spicy eggplant. I am always looking for recipes that I can make for my Chinese dinner the Friday after Thanksgiving.
PF Changs Lettuce Wraps! Yum! I love any kind of Asian food.
We don’t eat Chinese out very often ~ enjoy preparing favorite dishes that are not often offered in restaurants. Smoked tea chicken or master sauce chicken ~ both fragrant and delicious. One of our family’s favorite comfort dishes? Ants Climbing a Tree ~ such a fave that our oldest granddaughter stirs it up for her roommates on occasion. And dumplings? Shao Mai rank highest amongst our 3 generations. This time of year, our palates have a taste for Asian flavors. Thank you for the informative and colorful blog post.
I love pork fried rice. Your beautiful table made me want to celebrate!
Year of the dog, the best year ever if dogs are involved….I loved the comment by the author about celebrating the New Year with family, and loved ones that have gone on, and honoring them.
Family is everything……
I love lemon chicken. I went to China several years ago and took fortune cookies along and would give them to the workers as they do not have fortune cookies there. They loved them.
The only chinese resturant we would go to is Ding Ho’s , it was large with big round booth seats and waitress’s with uniforms, food would be served on traditional blue chinese plates. Some of my best family memories. were made in that resturant.Happy times always!!
What a great looking cookbook . It would fit nicely in my collection! So happy for year of the dog!
Thank you Mary for such a lovely blog!
Book looks beautiful. I love the Sunny Restaurant in Warminster, PA. Many happy memories of eating with my grands there when we visit!
I am delighted to see a book from a Missouri based author since that’s where I live. My favorite is General Tso’s Chicken, I would love to make it at home. Currently baking in my oven is Crab Rangoon chicken another favorite.
Love Sweet and Sour Chicken. Lovely book
Kung Pao Chicken! Thanks for the chance to win!
Thanks so much for the interesting facts about the Chinese New Year and the beautiful blue and white table setting. Just love to prepare sweet and sour pineapple shrimp in my wok.
Thank you so much for such a great giveaway opportunity! My favorite Chinese meal is wonton soup and pork lo mein.
Hi Mary, You have my taste buds all set for Chinese for breakfast this morning! My hubby and I eat Chinese takeout at least once a week. Our favorites are General Tso’s Chicken and Beef with Broccoli. Thanks for the giveaway!
I love Dry Fried Eggplant and Calarami at China Wok in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Love your blog Mary. I look forward to everyone.
As long I get an egg roll and a fortune cookie with my Chinese takeout I’m happy! Looks like a great cookbook, thanks for the giveaway!
Lovin’ the pic of Gracie Mary!!! Yes, please give her an extra goodie for me:@) Have a great weekend!
Delicious! I love Chinese food and am excited to learn about this book! Love all the traditional soups, Egg Drop, Hot and Sour, Wonton and I love me an egg roll or spring roll! Keeping my chopsticks crossed I win! ;)
My favorite Chinese dish is General Tso’s Chicken and the garlicky green beans! Yummy!
We love egg rolls and long green beans and also general tsao chicken..yummmmmeee..Happy year of the dog and your sweet doggie looks so adorable..It is suppose to snow here..I will order some egg rolls and hot and sour soup and some casher chicken I always make our own rice, if it snows we will have enough to be warm and full for a few days..love your blog, have a wonderful year..ciao mjs in the pacific northwest
I meant to say Cashew chicken and also I get some lettuce wraps we will have enough for several days, the place we go to always gives me almond cookies & I devour them with hot hot tea..have a most wonderful year and give your doggie a big hug and smooch from our home to yours!
My favorite Chinese dish is the beef and chicken teriyaki that I would love to learn how to make! Relatives of mine are having their 70th Anniversary on February 26! If I was fortunate to win this cookbook, I would make her fav moo goo gai pan and his fav chicken fingers. I think it’s important to make their favorite foods anytime of the year bc they deserve it!
Moo Shu Pork and Shrimp Toast for me! Thanks for the giveaway, you’re the best Mary!
Happy Chinese New Year. I would love to win the cookbook. Just to let you know- I found bronze chopsticks and spoons at GoodWill in anticipation. LOL I love Moo Shu Pork.
Beautiful dishes and photos as usual.
Well, believe it or not the dried fried green beans are my favorite! Everywhere we have lived that was the dish I would always look for on the menu of a Chinese restaurant. We have lived in Houston 5 years and just in the last month found a restaurant that we really like here and I think it is because they have the best green beans I’ve tried since moving here. I will have to try to make them at home now.
So sorry to hear about Chloe-I know how much you will miss her.
I love Lemon Chicken. Many years ago I was a flight attendant for TIA and then Pan Am. I flew to Hong Kong almost every month and always ordered Lemon Chicken. I also frequently enjoyed dim sum.
I also love Chinese stir fry vegetables.
I love your pictures, and especially love the blue/white dinnerware.
My 7 year old granddaughter has just discovered Chinese dumplings. She loves to cook with me and try new recipes. It would be so much fun to surprise her with the Chinese Soul Food cookbook. She gardens with me and loves to cook with the vegetables we grow. Its hard for me to pick a favorite because I love this style of cooking but I think the Dry Fried Green Beans would be at the top of the list – I always grow 2 or 3 varieties. I cannot wait to try this recipe with my French Fortex Green Beans – they are the best!
Wow, I like Walnut Shrimp, Chinese Green Beans and Moo Shu Pork. Makes me hungry.
The Chicken Pancit at Red Orchid’s China Bistro in Charleston is our favorite! Thanks for the giveaway!
What a beautiful setting! I have a love for cashew chicken. It is what my husband and I would share back when we were dating 34 years ago.
My favorite Chinese food is Beef & Broccoli. <3
Wow, you put so much work into this post!
Please check out my blog on vegetarianism and veganism in Chinese food in Canada
My favorite Chinese food is Beef & Broccoli.
My favorite Chinese restaurant is PF Changs