Archive for January, 2012

postheadericon Pepper Steak Recipe

I can’t think of anything more satisfying on a weekend night than Pepper Steak.  Bursting with color from the bell peppers, this yummy dish marries simple ingredients like ginger,  garlic, tomatoes and onions with flank or sirloin steak resulting in a tender and flavorful dish the whole family will love.  This recipe proves that sometimes less can definitely be more.  I like to place the beef in the freezer for about 30 minutes for easier slicing.

You can add a little hot sauce for some kick.  Serve with a hot, steaming bowl of white rice.  I usually double this recipe because my hubby loves to bring the leftovers to work for lunch. 

Pepper Steak Recipe


  • 1 pound flank or sirloin steak
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon soy sauce, divided
  • dash of white pepper
  • 3 small tomatoes
  • 1 medium green bell pepper
  • 1 medium red bell pepper
  • 1 medium white onion
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, finely minced
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced


  1. Trim fat from beef; cut beef with grain into 2-inch strips. Cut strips across garin into 1/8-inch slices. Toss beef, 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, 1 teaspoon cornstarch, the salt, 1 teaspoon soy sauce and the white pepper in glass bowl. Refrigerate 30 minutes.
  2. Cut each tomato into 8 wedges. Cut bell peppers into 1-inch pieces. Cut onion into 3/4-inch pieces. Mix 1/4 cup chicken broth, 2 tablespoons cornstarch, 2 tablespoons soy sauce and the sugar.
  3. Heat wok until 2 drops of water bubble and skitter. Add 3 tablespoons vegetable oil; rotate to coat. Add onion, gingerroot and garlic; stir-fry until beef is brown, about 3 minutes. Remove beef from wok.
  4. Add 2 tablespoons vegetable oil; rotate to coat side. Add tomatoes; stir-fry 30 seconds. Stir in 1/2 cup chicken broth; heat to boiling. Stir in cornstarch mixture; cook and stir until thickened. Add peppers and beef; stir-fry 30 seconds.

postheadericon Chinese New Year Whole Steamed Fish with Black Bean Sauce Recipe

Gung Hay Fat Choy!!   Chinese New Year is Monday, January 23rd and it’s the Year of the Dragon.  My mother, Leeann, was my hero.  A true inspiration on every level who taught me to cook, love life and cherish your family and friends.  Growing up in the Midwest, she did her best to teach us traditional Chinese customs.  The Chinese believe that everything you eat and everything you do on Chinese New Year will dictate how your entire year will unfold so it is a hugely significant holiday and time-honored tradition celebrating the sacredness of the family and representing a time of renewal.  Food plays a major role in the celebration and every dish prepared holds auspicious meaning and is believed to directly affect one’s fortune for the coming year.  For example, you must eat a whole fish as the word for fish in Chinese, “Yu,” is also the word for abundance.  I’ve included my mother’s famous Steamed Fish with Black Bean Sauce recipe for you today in her memory.  But first, here are a few traditional customs you can practice for your own Chinese New Year celebration to ensure good luck, happiness, prosperity and health in the coming year.  All the best to you and your family in the New Year, Katie.

Customary Chinese New Year Foods:

-Eggrolls – symbolizing prosperity as they’re shaped like gold bars
-Shrimp – served at celebratory occasions as the Chinese word for shrimp resembles laughter – “har”
-Whole Fish – symbolizing abundance
-Whole Chicken – symbolizing a favorable start and finish
-Black Mushrooms – symbolizing prosperity because of their coin-like shape

-Lotus Seed – signifies having many male offspring

Chinese New Year Customs:

-Refrain from using foul language or bad words on New Year’s Day or they will follow you throughout the year
-Washing hair is not allowed because you will wash away your good luck for the year
-Greeting friends with oranges or tangerines during the New Year will ensure that your friendships remain intact
-No sweeping on New Year’s Day as you’ll sweep all your good luck out the door
-Stepping into new shoes on New Year’s morning to start your year off on the right foot My personal favorite)
-Distribution of Red Envelopes (signifying Joy and Luck) filled with money to start the year with prosperity

Chinese New Year Whole Steamed Fish with Black Bean Sauce Recipe


  • 2 tbsp fermented black beans
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp minced gingerroot
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1⁄4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1⁄2 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 to 3 lb whole sea bass or red snapper
  • 2 green onions (white and green parts), cut 2
  • into 2-inch pieces and finely
  • shredded lengthwise


  1. Soak beans in warm water for 15 minutes. Rinse beans with cold water to remove skins. Drain and transfer to a small bowl. Mash beans.
  2. Add garlic, ginger, salt, vegetable oil, soy sauce and sesame oil to beans and stir to combine.
  3. Rinse sea bass and pat dry with paper towels. Place fish on a heatproof plate that will fit in your steamer basket and make 3 crosswise slashes on each side. Rub the cavity and outside of the fish with bean mixture. Cover and refrigerate for 40 minutes.
  4. Place plate on a rack in steamer, cover and steam over boiling water until the fish flakes easily with a fork, about 10 minutes. Add more boiling water (if necessary). Garnish with green onions.


postheadericon Quinoa, Roasted Corn and Edamame Salad Recipe

It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s….Super Food salad!  Quinoa is all the rage and for good reason.  This Super Food is on everyone’s lips because it’s a complete protein (meaning it contains 9 essential amino acids), is gluten-free and contains lysine to help repair tissue and is rich in magnesium.   No wonder this ancient grain was considered the “gold of the Incas.”  I made this salad from my cookbook tonight for my cooking class at Let’s Get Cookin in Calabassas.  Quinoa cooks up light and fluffy and its nutty flavor compliments many flavors such as the sweet roasted corn,  cilantro, mint and red onion in this dish.  It also contains red pepper which is chock full of vitamin c and the anti-oxidant powerhouse edamame.

Quinoa, Roasted Corn &

Edamame Salad Salad Recipe

3 ears corn, husked

3 tbsp water

Melted butter

3 cups cooked quinoa, cooled

1 cup frozen shelled edamame, cooked

3⁄4 cup finely chopped red onion

1⁄2 cup finely chopped red bell pepper


1 clove garlic, smashed

1 bunch fresh cilantro, including stems

(about 2 cups/)

2 tbsp packed fresh mint leaves

2 tsp packed golden brown sugar

2 tbsp rice vinegar

1 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice

1⁄4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Additional finely chopped fresh cilantro

and mint

1.  Salad: Place each cob on a sheet of heavy-duty foil. Drizzle

with 1 tbsp water and spread evenly with butter.

Wrap very tightly, so the packages will not leak. Place over

unlit side of barbecue and grill for 45 minutes or until tender.

2.  Let cool, then cut off kernels and place in a large bowl.

Add quinoa, edamame, red onion and red pepper to the corn.

Toss to combine.

 3.  Dressing: In blender, combine garlic, cilantro, mint, brown

sugar, vinegar and lime juice; purée until smooth. With the

motor running, through the feed tube, drizzle in oil; process

until incorporated.

4.  Add dressing to the quinoa mixture and toss well to combine.

Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving platter and sprinkle with cilantro and mint.


Welcome to The Sweet
and Sour Chronicles!

Hi! I’m Katie Chin, an Asian food expert, cookbook author, tv host and food blogger. I'm also a mom, so I know what it takes to get dinner on the table in a busy household. I specialize in everyday Asian recipes for real people on real schedules and real budgets. more

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