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Excerpt: 'From Lokshen to Lo Mein'

Book Cover: From Lokshen to Lo Mein


Enough filling for ~40 dumplings

My banquet patrons love vegetarian dumplings, which are also terrific as wontons in soup.


1/2 pound bok choy, chopped medium fine
5 Dried shitake mushrooms
1 ounce dried cellophane noodles
1/4 pound of extra firm tofu or dried tofu
1 Tablespoon Asian sesame oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon of grated fresh ginger
1 Package of round wonton or pot sticker skins

1. Sprinkle a bit of salt on the chopped bok choy and let it sit for 30 minutes. Then take your hands and squeeze out the rendered water.

2. Add mushrooms to boiling water in a small bowl, turn off the heat, and cover until they soften (~ 30 minutes), drain, remove stems, finely dice, and then squeeze out the water with your hands.

3. In another pot, put noodles in hot boiled water, turn off heat, and let sit a few minutes to soften. Drain, chop, and add to the mushrooms and greens.

4. Finely dice the tofu and add with sesame oil, salt and ginger to vegetable mixture as filling.

5. Put a teaspoon of filling in the middle of the wonton skin. Moisten the edges of the skin with water and then fold over. You can crimp the dumpling in pleats if you like to get a more authentic look.

6. Bring a 2-quart pot of water to a boil and drop in dumplings. Cook for 5 minutes and then remove with slotted spoon. Serve with soy sauce or a favorite dipping sauce.

Chef's Hint: Use dried shitaki mushrooms, not fresh. They are the secret "meaty" ingredients that make these dumplings so delicious. Squeezing out the water prevents the dumplings from getting soggy inside.


4-6 servings

This simple, fresh-tasting, fish dish is one of my most requested items at my Chinese dinners and banquets. Once, I invited an undergraduate Chinese exchange student for lunch at China Road Restaurant. She said she despaired of ever getting good Chinese food in America. I told her she could order anything from the menu, and she ordered steamed fish with ginger and scallions. It was what her grandmother made her back in Malaysia.

1-2 pounds of whole fish or fish fillets
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 Tablespoons of rice wine or sherry


1 Tablespoon Asian sesame oil
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 cup fresh ginger, finely shredded
1/4 cup scallions, finely shredded
3 Tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 Tablespoons white vinegar or rice wine vinegar
Chopped cilantro for garnish

1. Take fish, smear with wine and salt, and let sit 5 minutes.

2. Steam fish until done (7-12 minutes) in a serving plate.

3. While fish is steaming, heat oils until they are very hot, and stir-fry ginger for 15 seconds; add scallions, stir-fry for 5 seconds and turn off heat.

4. Add soy sauce, vinegar, and sugar and stir until the sugar dissolves. Keep hot until fish is ready

5. Top the fish with the sauce, and then the cilantro.

Chef's Hint: You can put the fish in aluminum foil and bake it for 7 minutes or until done at 350 degrees, and then sauce it after. I've even baked the fish without the aluminum foil and the results have been excellent.


4-6 servings

This recipe is so good, that when I first made it, everyone ate so much they just about got sick. We couldn't stop.

1 1/2 pound lamb, cut into thin strips or julienne


2 Tablespoon soy sauce
2 Tablespoon water
1 1/2 Tablespoon minced ginger root
1 Tablespoon rice wine or sherry
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons of cornstarch
5 Tablespoons vegetable oil
2 leeks shredded


2 Tablespoon soy sauce
2 Tablespoon rice wine or sherry
2 Tablespoon rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup Hoisen sauce mixed with water to light cream consistency

1. Marinate lamb for at least one hour.

2. Dust lamb with cornstarch and stir fry in hot oil until it loses its color and add sauce and stir-fry for another minute.

3. Remove lamb, clean wok, and then stir-fry leeks in 1 Tablespoon oil until they just get soft.

4. Add and toss with lamb and serve with mandarin pancakes or thin bread "wraps" with one Tablespoon of the Hoisen sauce drizzled on top.

Chef's Hint: Partially freeze the lamb and then cut it into strips. It is easier this way.


This is an excellent dessert, a winner.

Crepes Batter:

3 large eggs, well beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon sugar
2 Tablespoons melted butter or oil
1 cup water
3/4 cup flour

1. Stir and mix all ingredients until smooth. If foamy, let stand until the foam has subsided, about 15 30 minutes.

2. Heat a 6 inch pan until a drop of water sizzles. Lower the heat to medium.

3. Brush the pan with melted butter or oil and continue to do so before each use.

4. Pour 2 Tablespoons of batter into the pan.

5. Quickly turn and shake the pan until the batter is evenly distributed. Pour off any excess.

6. Brown until the edges appear dry. Turn out onto a dish towel. Do not stack. Stir batter often while making leaves.


2 pounds of whole canned apricots
1/4 cups water
3 Tablespoons oil
2 Tablespoons cornstarch

1. Drain apricots and reserve 1/2 cup liquid.

2. Cook in pot with liquid and mash down for 3 minutes.

3. Add oil and cook until there is a paste. Blend in cornstarch to thicken


1. Grind 2 cups peanuts, shelled and hulled, with 1 cup sugar

2. Place 2 Tablespoons of filling onto crepe and roll as an egg roll.

3. Sprinkle 1 Tablespoon of ground peanuts and sugar on top and serve.

Excerpted from From Lokshen to Lo Mein by Donald Siegel by permission of Gefen Publishing House. Cover art by Tony Gordon.

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Donald Siegel