Articles by Grace Young

Grace Young is an award-winning food writer and the author of Stir-Frying to the Sky’s Edge, The Wisdom of the Chinese Kitchen and The Breath of a Wok. Her work has appeared in Gourmet, Metropolitan Home, Copia, Gastronomica, and Eating Well magazine. You can find her online at

Long bean stir-fry (chow dul gock soong)

Mama and all her siblings attended boarding school in China. Returning home for the weekend, they would complain of the horrible food at school. So on Sunday nights each child would be sent back to school with two big jars of this stir-fry, meant to supplement their meals for a few days. Instead, Mama’s

Stir-fried long beans with red bell peppers (chow dul gock hoong ziu)

For the Cantonese, Chinese long beans are the only vegetable a woman is permitted to eat the first month after childbirth. Vegetables in general are said to be too cooling (too yin), but long beans are neutral — neither too yin nor too yang. Long beans are only available in Chinese produce stores and

Braised taro and Chinese bacon (lop yok mun woo tul)

Taro root has the same starchy quality as a potato, but the flavor is more unusual, sort of like a cross between a potato and a chestnut. It is a cylindrical root, about 6 to 10 inches long and about 3 to 4 inches wide. The skin is dark brown, hairy, and dusty. It

Stir-fried Chinese broccoli and bacon (lop yok chow gai lan)

Chinese broccoli is especially good stir-fried with mellow-flavored Chinese Bacon, a touch of rice wine, sugar, and a hint of garlic. Chinese Bacon is available in Chinese meat markets (though you can make it yourself). To cut thin slices, use a sharp cleaver or a heavy-duty cook’s knife, as it is hard and can

Stir-fried Chinese broccoli (chow gai lan)

Chinese broccoli (gai lan) looks like a cross between basic supermarket broccoli and the Italian broccoli rabe. The vegetable tastes more like broccoli rabe with its big green leaves and its pungent bite. Stir-frying is the best way to cook Chinese broccoli, as it brings out the natural flavor, accented here with a touch

Stir-fried five spice tofu and vegetables (nmm heung dul foo chow saw choy)

Stir-fries can be time consuming — finely shredding vegetables, soaking special ingredients, and measuring all the seasonings. But, in a stir-fry such as this, all the work is worth it when you taste the results. The tremendous array of vegetables and seasonings creates a range of textures, tastes, fragrances, and colors. Five spice tofu

Stir-fried egg and Chinese chives (gul choy chow dan)

There are three different kinds of Chinese chives; Chinese chives, yellow chives, and flowering garlic chives. This recipe uses Chinese chives (gul choy), which are green and look similar to Western chives, except that they are flat. They are said to san hoot, or remove old blood from your system. 1 large bunch Chinese

Lotus root stir-fry (leen gnul siu chow)

In Buddhist culture, the lotus is a sacred symbol of purity. The root, which grows in mud, emerges clean and pure, unchanged by the mud. My Uncle Sam remembers eating raw, sliced lotus root at the August Moon Festival — a time of year when lotus is plentiful in China. Its crisp texture is