the appetizer:

Chinese cooking, like most of Asia, focuses first on a starch like rice or noodles, then adds an accompaniment of meat or seafood, rather than meat first, starch and vegetables second, as found in European-influenced cuisines. Recipes in China are as diverse as the language, with its 80,000 characters, and Chinese immigrants have brought this complex culinary heritage to almost every region of the world.

Global Destinations


Tangerine Peel Beef

by Martin Yan

Makes 4 servings

A lighter; home-style version of the Sichuanese restaurant favorite, in which the beef is usually deep-fried and glazed with a thick sauce. I've turned it into a stir-fry with a light, sweet sauce that's every bit as tasty as the original.

2 pieces (each about 1-l/2-inches square) dried tangerine peel

2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon cornstarch

3/4 pound flank steak, thinly sliced

1/3 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons rice wine or dry sherry
1 tablespoon soy sauce
l/2 teaspoon chili garlic sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
l-l/2 teaspoons cornstarch

2-1/2 tablespoons cooking oil
6 small dried red chiles
1 small onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
Orange slices for garnish


1. Soak tangerine peel in warm water to cover until softened, about 15 minutes; drain. Thinly slice tangerine peel. Combine marinade ingredients in a bowl.

2. Add beef and stir to coat. Let stand for 10 minutes. Combine sauce ingredients in a bowl; set aside.

3. Place a wok over high heat until hot. Add 2 tablespoons oil, swirling to coat sides. Add chiles and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 10 seconds. Add beef and stir-fry until barely pink, about 2 minutes. Remove the beef and chiles from the wok.

4. Add remaining 1/2 tablespoon oil to wok, swirling to coat sides. Add tangerine peel and onion; stir-fry for 1 minute. Add sauce and cook, Stirring, until sauce boils and thickens.

5. Return beef and chiles to wok and cook until heated through. Remove to a serving plate and garnish with orange slices.

Reprinted by permission from Martin Yan's Culinary Journey Through China by Martin Yan (KQED Books).


Chinese Cuisines and Customs

Chinese and Lunar New Year Handbook

from Kate's Global Kitchen:

Chinese Cookbooks

Chinese Recipes


China on Wikipedia

Hong Kong on Global Gourmet's Destinations

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This page modified January 2007