Chinese Chicken Salad

This isn’t your grandfather’s Chinese Chicken Salad recipe…

chinese chicken salad 2010

…probably because your grandfather never heard of Chinese chicken salad in his hey day. The Chinese chicken salad that we’re familiar with – shredded chicken, raw lettuce, crispy fried noodles, and a sweet, sesame-based dressing – wasn’t popular until the 1970’s.

The Chinese in Asia typically don’t eat raw-leaf lettuce salads. They prefer their greens cooked. Chinese chicken salad as we know it was probably invented in California as a “fusion” of Oriental flavors with Western ingredients.

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Stir-Fried Cangkuk Manis

Here’s another quick and easy dish I learned to make here in Kuching.

Stir-Fried Cangkuk Manis

stir-fried cangkuk manis

Cangkuk Manis (“Chong-cook Ma-Niss”, meaning sweet leaf) or Mani chai in Hokkien is a vegetable that is very common here in Kuching. As a matter of fact, the same day that we arrived here and were introduced to paku, we also got introduced to Cangkuk Manis. Its texture when cooked is like spinach, but without the bitterness. This vegetable has a natural sweetness to it (which is why it’s name has the word “manis” – meaning sweet – in it).

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Belacan Fried Chicken

“Guess what I’m craving?”

Belacan Fried Chicken

belacan fried chicken

I asked Nate this the other day. The only time I say this is when I’m craving fried chicken so it was a no-brainer that Nate responded with, “Fried chicken! …KFC?”

I almost said yes to KFC but when I thought about it, I responded, “maybe I’ll just fry some chicken at home. Some belacan fried chicken?” “Yum!” was his reply. (yeah, he’s so not typically American—doncha just love him?!?).

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Chinese Beef Stew with Tendon

Stewed beef tendon has hearty flavor with a wonderful mouthfeel.

Chinese Beef and Tendon Stew

Well, I’ve been working for two weeks now and I’m beginning to feel a bit better although I’m still overwhelmed by the amount of work I have to do every week. The hardest part has been coming home to cook after a long day at work. Some days, it’s really rough trying to get into cooking mode when all I want to do is lie down and veg! I have a new respect for all you working moms out there. If you have any tips for me on how to cope, I sure could use them.

Anyway, because of that, my weekends are now my major cooking days. Or at least one of the days, I try to make into a cooking day. The other day (usually Saturday), I put my foot down and insist on some rest—which means no cooking!

Yesterday, I decided I was going to make Chinese Beef Stew. It is something I’ve not made before but I remember distinctly having it at a friend’s house. She had used oxtail so it had a lovely beefy flavor along with the wonderful fragrance of cinnamon and star anise in the broth. She also told me that it was quite easy to make.

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About Us

My Photo Annie is mistress of the kitchen while Nate is the master of the grill and smoker. We cook the homestyle Asian and Hawaiian foods of our younger days while also exploring the wider worlds of Western foods.

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