A salad show stopper

April 1st, 2014

pork and pineapple saladIt’s effortless to turn a simple salad into a show stopper  with JADE sauces.

Start with lightly dressed crisp chilled salad greens. Mound fresh pineapple chunks on top. Brown ground pork or turkey and season with JADE Sichuan Peanut Sauce or JADE Mekong Ginger Sauce. Spoon the hot spiced meat mixture over the cold, refreshing chunks of fruit for a sunny salad that vibrates with contrasting textures and explosive flavors.

The inspiration for this salad comes from a Thai appetizer that pairs fresh pineapple with hot spiced pork and peanuts. The flavor marriage is magical. Try it in this salad for lunch or a light supper. It’s surprisingly easy for such a big payoff.

Hot and Cold Pork and Pineapple Salad

Use fresh pineapple (not canned) to get the  full effect of the  flavor and textural contrasts. Serve with sesame rolls or bread sticks.

Makes 2 main-dish servings

2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
6 cups (about 6 oz.) baby or bite-sized pieces salad greens, rinsed and crisped
2 cups fresh pineapple chunks (3/4- inch)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
8 ounces ground pork or ground turkey
1/2 cup chopped water chestnuts or jicama
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/4 cup Jade Sichuan Peanut Sauce or Mekong Ginger Sauce, or to taste

1. In a large bowl, mix the vinegar and sugar. Add the salad greens and lightly mix together. Place half the salad on each of 2 dinner plates. Mound half of the pineapple in center of each salad.

2. Set a 12-inch frying pan over high heat. When the pan is hot, add the oil and rotate the pan to spread oil Add the pork and stir-fry until the meat is browned and crumbly, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the water chestnuts and green onions. Stir until hot, about 30 seconds. Stir in Jade Sichuan Peanut Sauce or Mekong Ginger Sauce to taste. Spoon half of the meat mixture over each salad. If desired, drizzle with more JADE sauce to taste.


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    Ginger-glazed meatballs

    March 2nd, 2014

    Ginger-glazed meatballs


    Jade Mekong Ginger Sauce elevates these meatballs to party fare.

    Form a savory ground pork mixture into small meatballs, then bake in a hot oven for no-mess browning. Brush the bite-sized meatballs with the  sweet-tangy sauce to glaze them with a shiny coat of zesty flavor. These easy party appetizers will please any crowd.

    Reheat leftover meatballs and serve on a bed of salad greens for a satisfying salad. Drizzle with a dressing made with JADE Mekong Ginger Sauce thinned with with rice vinegar to taste.

    Ginger-Glazed Meatballs

    If you prefer to glaze the meatballs more heavily in sauce, place the baked meatballs and about 1/2 cup JADE Mekong Ginger Sauce in a 12-inch frying pan over medium heat. Shake pan often until meatballs are coated with sauce and hot.

    Makes 32 meatballs, 8 to 10 appetizer servings

    1 pound ground pork
    1 large egg
    1/2 cup finely chopped water chestnuts
    1/4 cup finely chopped green onion
    About 2/3 cup Jade Mekong Ginger Sauce
    1 tablespoon soy sauce
    1 tablespoon cornstarch
    Chopped cilantro or green onion

    1. Preheat oven to 450° F.

    2. In a bowl, mix the pork, egg, water chestnuts, onion, 1 tablespoon JADE Mekong Ginger Sauce, soy sauce, and cornstarch. Form the mixture into 1-inch balls and place 1 to 2 inches apart on a shallow baking pan coated with nonstick cooking spray.

    3. Bake in the 450° F oven until the meatballs are firm and lightly browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and brush generously with about 1/2 cup JADE Mekong Ginger Sauce. Return the pan to oven and bake until meatballs are browned and glazed, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a serving dish. If desired, drizzle with additional JADE Mekong Ginger Sauce to taste. Sprinkle with cilantro for garnish. Serve hot or warm.


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      Chinese New Year lettuce cups

      February 4th, 2014

      Sichuan Chicken Lettuce Cup

      Gung Hay Fat Choy! May your year be filled with prosperity and good fortune. The lunar year of the horse began January 31. Over the next two weeks families and friends will gather for festive feasts.

      During this time many foods are eaten because their name sounds like a word that means abundance, good fortune, or prosperity. Other foods are eaten because they resemble a symbol of wealth, longevity, fertility, or unity. Oranges and tangerines, symbols seen widely in stores and homes, are popular because they look like gold coins.

      For your dinner, consider these crisp lettuce cups filled with moist chicken shreds, seasoned with JADE Sichuan Peanut Sauce. The Cantonese word for lettuce is choy which sounds like the word for wealth. These delicious lettuce cups will start your meal in a fortuitous way.

      The chicken is steeped in hot water. It’s a Chinese technique that cooks chicken with the residual heat from boiling water rather than direct heat. This technique produces very moist succulent meat without overcooking. Use this foolproof technique to cook chicken for salads and sandwiches. The steeped chicken recipe is adapted from my book: The Hakka Cookbook: Chinese Soul Food from around the World.

       Jade Sichuan  Chicken in Lettuce Cups

      Rinse, drain, and wrap lettuce in a towel, and slip into a plastic bag. Chill until the lettuce is crisp, at least 30 minutes. Cook and shred chicken up to one day ahead, cover and chill. Shortly before serving, mix with the JADE Sichuan Peanut Sauce and place in lettuce cups.

      Makes 12 to 16 first course servings

      1 boned and skinned chicken breast half (12 to 16 oz.)
      1/2 cup Jade Sichuan Peanut Sauce, or to taste
      12 to 16 iceberg lettuce leaves, rinsed and crisped
      Fresh cilantro leaves and thinly sliced green onions

      1. In a 5- to 6-quart pan over high heat, bring about 3 quarts water to a boil. Cut the chicken in half lengthwise. When water boils, add chicken to water, stir to separate, and return water to a boil. Cover tightly and remove from heat. Let stand 14 to 16 minutes or until chicken is white in center of thickest part (cut to test). Drain off hot water and rinse or cover with cold water to cool chicken quickly.

      2. When the chicken is cool, drain, if needed. With your hands tear chicken into coarse shreds. Mix the chicken with JADE Sichuan Peanut Sauce to taste.

      3. Spoon about 1/4 cup of the chicken mixture into lettuce cups. Garnish with cilantro leaves and green onion. Wrap the lettuce around chicken to eat.



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        Jade sesame soy chicken

        January 5th, 2014

        Braised Sesame Soy Chicken“We are staying for dinner,” announce my two daughters as they arrive with their four young children. With the  increased number at the dinner table, I invented this braised chicken dish that pleases all ages. My sous chef was JADE Sesame Soy Marinade , an all-purpose sauce that instantly infuses all kinds of foods with deep flavors.

        Brown chicken drumsticks, then braise with soaked dried shiitake mushrooms (one of my pantry staples), carrots, and JADE Sesame Soy Marinade. In about 30 minutes, JADE Sesame Soy Marinade magically transforms a few ingredients into a comfort food stew that even young eaters like.

        Braised Sesame Soy Chicken

        Serve with hot cooked Jade Jasmine Rice and stir-fried green beans, spinach or bok choy. Chicken drumsticks are easy for young kids to pick up and eat, but bone-in chicken thighs will also work in this preparation.

        Makes 6 to 8 servings

        16 to 18 dried shiitake mushrooms (2 in. wide)
        4 1/2 pounds (15 or 16) chicken drumsticks
        2 tablespoons vegetable oil, or as needed
        2/3 cup JADE Sesame Soy Marinade
        1 tablespoon sugar
        4 large carrots, cut in 1/2-inch thick slices
        Thinly sliced green onions and/or fresh cilantro sprigs

        1. Rinse the mushrooms. Place the mushrooms in a bowl and soak in about 3 1/2 cups hot water until soft, about 20 minutes. Lift out the mushrooms and squeeze out water into the container with soaking liquid. Trim off and discard the stems and cut the mushroom caps in half. Reserve the soaking liquid.

        2. Set a 14-inch wok or 6- to 8-quart pan over high heat. When the pan is hot, add oil and rotate pan to spread. Add the chicken in a single layer (may not all fit in one batch) and cook until browned on both sides, 7 to 10 minutes. If all the chicken did not fit in the pan, remove the browned pieces and repeat, adding more oil, if needed, and browning remaining chicken.

        3. Return all the chicken to pan. Slowly add 2 1/2 cups of the reserved mushroom soaking liquid, leaving sediment behind. Add the JADE Sesame Soy Marinade, sugar, mushrooms, and carrots. Bring to a boil over high heat.  Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes. Turn the chicken over and cover and simmer until chicken is tender when pierced, about 15 minutes. Skim off and discard fat. Transfer the chicken and juices to a wide shallow serving bowl. Garnish with onions and/or cilantro.



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          3 easy appetizers for holiday parties

          December 4th, 2013

          Need an appetizer for a party? A delicious and stunning appetizer is in high demand during the holidays. It needs more than good looks. I look for ones that can be made ahead, hold up well, and are relatively easy to put together. Of course, they must also be delicious. With JADE sauces, ease and taste are guaranteed. These three appetizers fit my requirements.

          Easy vegetarian appetizer with Jade Peanut SauceEndive Spears with Sichuan Tofu and Vegetables: This is a great make-ahead vegetarian option that even carnivores will appreciate. There’s no cooking, so it is super easy. Mix diced tofu and vegetables with JADE Sichuan Peanut Sauce and fill Belgian endive spears.





          IMG_3417 ginger pork slidersJADE Ginger Pork Sliders: Simply marinate and glaze pork tenderloin with JADE Mekong Ginger Sauce. Slice the pork and tuck slices into small rolls for easy-to-eat mini sandwiches.







          Ginger Chicken in Belgian Endive LeavesChinese Ginger Chicken in Belgian Endive Leaves: Stir-fry ground chicken or turkey with water chestnuts and green onions. Season with JADE Mekong Ginger Sauce and spoon into Belgian endive spears. The endive leaves hold up well on a buffet table.

          Happy Holidays!

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            Jade Toasted Sesame Sauce gone

            November 30th, 2013

            Unfortunately, JADE Toasted Sesame Sauce will no longer be available. Please try our other sauces: JADE Sichuan Peanut Sauce, Mekong Ginger Sauce, or Sesame Soy Marinade.

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              Roasted Eggplant with Sichuan Pork

              November 3rd, 2013

              Roasted eggplant with Sichuan PorkLast week I bought a beautiful big shiny plump eggplant at the farmers market. I decided to roast the eggplant. When roasted, the flesh succumbs to a soft creamy mass that makes a perfect base to absorb the spicy flavors of browned ground pork seasoned with JADE Sichuan Peanut Sauce.

              Slice the eggplant in half lengthwise and cut a red bell pepper crosswise into thin rings. Roast both with a little oil. Meanwhile, brown ground pork and mix with JADE Sichuan Peanut Sauce. Spoon the luscious meat topping over the soft roasted eggplant, garnish with the colorful roasted red pepper rings and you have a comfort food supper for two. Best of all, it’s so easy to put together.

              Roasted Eggplant with Sichuan Pork

              You can easily double the amounts to make four servings. Use two baking pans and a 12-inch frying pan.

              Makes 2 servings

              1 large eggplant (1 1/2 lb.)
              1 red bell pepper (6 to 8 oz.)
              3 tablespoons vegetable oil
              8 ounces ground pork
              1 medium onion (8 oz.) chopped
              3 to 4 tablespoons JADE Sichuan Peanut Sauce, or to taste
              2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

              1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise. Cut the bell pepper crosswise into 1/4-inch thick rings, discard stems and seeds. Pour 2 tablespoons oil into a 10-by 15-inch rimmed baking pan, place eggplant, cut-sides down, in oil to coat. Place red pepper rings alongside eggplant and toss the pepper rings to coat with oil. Spread pepper rings out in a single layer. Bake in preheated oven until pepper rings are lightly browned, 15 to 20 minutes. Lift out pepper rings and continue baking until eggplant is soft when pressed, about 20 minutes longer.

              2. Meanwhile, set a 10- to 12-inch frying pan over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add 1 tablespoon oil and rotate pan to spread. Add pork and onion, stir until pork is browned and crumbly, 5 to 7 minutes. Drain off excess fat, if any. Just before serving, reheat pork, if needed, and stir in Jade Sichuan Peanut Sauce to taste.

              3.When eggplant is done, transfer to dinner plates, cut-side up. Spoon half the pork mixture over each eggplant. Garnish with roasted red pepper rings and cilantro.

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                JADE is back in Williams-Sonoma

                October 31st, 2013

                Jade Peanut SauceThanks to our loyal customers, JADE Sichuan Peanut Sauce is back in Williams-Sonoma. Although Williams-Sonoma carried JADE Sauces nationwide for more than 30 years, earlier this year they decided to discontinue it.

                Our customers must be very vocal and demanding, because they have started to reorder JADE Sichuan Peanut Sauce. Management said it should be back in the stores by late October.  So if you have been missing your peanut sauce,  call your local Williams-Sonoma store to see if JADE Sichuan Peanut Sauce is in stock. Warning: It may not be in all branches.

                Remember, if there is no store nearby, you can buy always buy JADE sauces online.

                We have also added some other new stores:

                Lambs Natures Choice Market
                1377 SW McVey Avenue
                Lake Oswego, OR 97034
                503. 636. 2213
                Mollie Stone’s Market
                4201 18th St. (Castro neighborhood)
                San Francisco, CA 94114
                415. 255. 8959

                 Thanks for all your great support.


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                  Learn how to cook Chinese

                  October 19th, 2013

                  Although JADE sauces gives you an instant shortcut to Asian flavors, it’s not that hard to cook authentic Chinese food from scratch. If you need a Chinese cooking teacher, follow me on videos. To see the whole videos, you need register with Grokker.com (easy and free for now).

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                    Korean beef and Asian pear salad

                    October 1st, 2013

                    Korean beef and pear saladA bumper crop from my Asian pear tree inspired the creation of this refreshing salad that merges JADE Sesame Soy Marinade with beef and sweet juicy fruit. The round pears sport a yellow or russet-colored skin cloaking crisp, slightly grainy flesh bursting with sweet juices. Koreans often mix the pears with beef, so it is a traditional and very compatible match.

                    With JADE Sesame Soy Marinade, this salad goes together easily. Marinate thin strips of beef, then stir-fry quickly with onions and red bell pepper. Place the hot beef mixture on a bed of lightly dressed salad greens with slivers of crisp Asian pear. With each bite, the contrast of textures, temperatures, and flavors will make your mouth water.

                    The salad feels light but is substantial enough to make a meal. For heartier appetites, place a scoop of hot rice in center of the plate, surround with salad, and top the rice with the hot beef.  Or serve the salad with slabs of garlic toast.Asian pears

                    Korean Beef and Asian Pear Salad

                    Asian pears may also be called apple pears. Look for them in farmers’ markets, Asian grocery stores, and the specialty produce section of supermarkets.  If you can’t find them, substitute firm-ripe bosc pears.

                    Makes 2 servings

                    8 ounces beef flank steak
                    2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons Jade Sesame Soy Marinade, or to taste
                    2 tablespoons rice vinegar
                    2 teaspoons sugar
                    1 cup matchstick-sized sticks of Asian pear
                    6 cups bite-sized or baby salad greens, rinsed and crisped
                    2 tablespoons vegetable oil
                    1 small onion (6 oz.) cut in thin slivers
                    1 small red bell pepper (6 oz.) cut in thin slivers
                    1/4 teaspoon salt
                    3 tablespoons thinly sliced green onion

                    1. Slice steak across the grain into thin slices 2 to 3 inches long. In a small bowl, mix the beef with 2 tablespoons Jade Sesame Soy Marinade. Let stand about 5 minutes.

                    2. Meanwhile in a large bowl, mix the vinegar, sugar, and 2 teaspoons JADE Sesame Soy Marinade. Reserve about 2 tablespoons of the pear for garnish. Add the remaining pear slivers and salad greens to vinegar mixture. Lightly toss together. Place half the salad on each of 2 dinner plates.

                    3. Set a 14-inch wok or 12-inch frying pan over high heat. When the pan is hot, add 1 tablespoon oil and rotate pan to spread oil. Add the onion, bell pepper, and salt. Stir-fry until onion is lightly browned, about 1 minute. Remove onion mixture from pan. Return the pan to high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil and rotate pan to spread oil Add the beef and stir-fry until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Stir in the onion mixture and cook until hot, about 30 seconds. Place half of the beef mixture over each salad. Sprinkle beef with green onions and reserved pear slivers.

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