Until recently, "eating Chinese" meant bringing home a takeout meal from a nearby Chinese restaurant. Now, more and more home cooks enjoy preparing their own Chinese-style dishes.
These home-cooked meals do not strive to be authentic reproductions of classic Chinese dinners. Rather, like the dishes featured here, they combine Western ingredients and cooking techniques with those of the East to produce delicious Chinese-American food. To prepare this meal you should have these staples already in your kitchen: vegetable oil, salt and pepper.
EXPRESS LANE LIST: Rice, soy sauce, white wine vinegar, dijon-style mustard, scallions, snow peas, fresh ginger, eggs. CHINESE STIRRED EGGS (2 to 3 servings) 1/2 cup uncooked rice 1 tablespoon peeled fresh ginger 1/2 cup scallions (about 4) 8 eggs 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 1 tablespoon soy sauce
In a medium saucepan, cook the rice according to package directions.
Meanwhile, peel and mince the ginger. Cut the scallions on the diagonal into thin julienne strips. In a large bowl, beat the eggs until blended.
When the rice is cooked, spoon it into a large bowl to cool; measure out 1 1/4 cups of cooked rice.
In a large, heavy skillet, warm the oil over moderately high heat. Add the ginger and saute', stirring, for 1 minute. Reduce the heat to low and pour in the eggs. Cook, scraping the bottom of the skillet frequently with a spatula, until about half the eggs form soft curds, about 8 minutes. Gently stir in the scallions and the 1 1/4 cup cooked rice until blended, and continue to cook until the eggs form large soft curds, about 5 minutes. Stir in the soy sauce. Serve hot. SNOW PEAS WITH MUSTARD VINAIGRETTE (2 to 3 servings) 1/2 pound snow peas 1/2 teaspoon dijon-style mustard 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar 4 tablespoons vegetable oil Salt and freshly ground pepper 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
In a medium saucepan bring 2 cups of water to a boil over high heat. Cook the snow peas in two batches, just until they turn a bright green, about 1 minute. Drain and refresh the snow peas under cold running water; drain again. Place them in a serving bowl.
In a small bowl whisk together the mustard and vinegar. Gradually add the oil in a thin stream, whisking until the vinaigrette is creamy. Season with salt, pepper and ginger and pour over the snow peas, tossing gently to mix. Serve at room temperature.