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Chronicle Books
updated 9/28/2005 2:20:05 AM ET 2005-09-28T06:20:05

From potstickers to pomelo fruit, Asian cuisine can become a part of anyone's everyday menu with a little planning. The key is to use authentic ingredients, which used to be hard to find but now are widely available at many neighborhood markets. Master chef Martin Yan was invited on the “Today” show to share some quick and easy Asian recipes.

Recipe: Pomelo, Radish, and Spinach Salad (on this page) Recipe: Marbled Tea Eggs (on this page) Recipe: Three-Alarm Firecracker Chicken (on this page) Recipe: Soybean Fried Rice (on this page) Recipe: Lychee Lemonade (on this page) Recipe: Twin Ginger Shortbread Cookies (on this page)

Recipes excerpted from “Martin Yan Quick and Easy,” by Martin Yan. Copyright © 2004 by Martin Yan. Published by Chronicle Books. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt can be used without permission of the publisher.

Recipe: Pomelo, Radish, and Spinach Salad

  • For dressing
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 3/4 teaspoon chili garlic sauce
  • For salad
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1 pomelo
  • 2-1/2 cups packed baby spinach
  • 3 red radishes, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 8-ounce can sliced water chestnuts, drained
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 2 tablespoons crystallized ginger

The pomelo symbolizes abundance in Chinese New Year's celebrations because the Chinese word for pomelo sounds like the word for "to have." Eating and sharing this ancestor to the grapefruit is said to bring you and your family an abundant life in the New Year.

In a small bowl, combine dressing ingredients, whisk to combine. Place pine nuts in a small frying pan over medium heat; cook, shaking pan frequently, until lightly browned, 3 to 4 minutes.

Segment pomelo by cutting away the thick peel and white pith; cut and lift out fruit segments.

In a large bowl, combine pomelo segments, spinach, radishes, water chestnuts, onion, crystallized ginger and pine nuts. Pour dressing over salad and toss.

Serving Size

Serves 4

Recipe: Marbled Tea Eggs

  • 8 eggs
  • 1 green onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons minced ginger
  • 1/4 cup regular soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup dark soy sauce
  • 4 bags black tea
  • 2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
  • 3 whole star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick

Here's something that looks cool and tastes great! Make a double batch and keep the eggs in the refrigerator for snacking, just store in an airtight container for up to a week. Dark soy sauce will give you a richer color and flavor, but using regular soy sauce will result in something just as delicious. Serve these tasty treats numerous ways: add to a noodle bowl, garnish a salad, or simply snack on it at a picnic.

Place eggs in a large saucepan, cover with cold water, and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes. Drain; rinse eggs with cold water until cool enough to handle. Gently tap each egg all over with a spoon until hairline cracks form over the entire shell.

Return eggs to pan. Add remaining ingredients; add extra water, if necessary, to completely cover eggs. Simmer, covered, over low heat for 15 minutes or for as long as 1 hour. Remove pan from heat; let eggs cool in the liquid, then refrigerate (still in the liquid) overnight or for up to 1 week. Just before serving, peel eggs and place in a serving bowl.

Serving Size

Serves 8

Recipe: Three-Alarm Firecracker Chicken

  • For the marinade
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • For the sauce
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon chili garlic sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • To cook
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 fresh jalapeno chile, cut into thin strips
  • 8 small dried red chiles
  • 1 red bell pepper, julienned
  • 1/2 medium onion, thinly sliced

In China, the dried chiles are eaten with the chicken, but unless you like very hot food, you may prefer to set them aside.

Combine marinade ingredients in a bowl. Cut chicken crosswise into 1/2-inch wide strips, place in marinade, and stir to coat. Let stand for 10 minutes.

Combine sauce ingredients in a small bowl; mix well.

Place a stir-fry pan over high heat until hot. Add oil, swirling to coat sides. Add fresh and dried chiles; cook, stirring, until dried chiles begin to brown, about 15 seconds. Add chicken, bell pepper, and onion; fry until chicken is no longer pink in center, 2 to 3 minutes. Add sauce and bring to a boil. Stir to evenly coat chicken and serve.

Serving Size

Serves 4

Recipe: Soybean Fried Rice

  • 1 cup shelled soybeans, thawed if frozen
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups cold cooked long-grain rice
  • 2 tablespoons chicken broth
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons oyster-flavored sauce
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 teaspoons Furikake or shredded nori

Join the soybean craze! They're an excellent source of protein, soluble fiber, iron, vitamin B, and other essentials. You'll find soybeans in the produce section of some supermarkets and frozen sections of others, purchased either in the pod or shelled.

In a small saucepan of boiling water, cook soybeans for 3 minutes; drain.  Place a stir-fry pan over high heat until hot. Add oil, swirling to coat sides. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 10 seconds.

Add rice, separating grains with back of a spoon. Stir in soybeans and cook until rice is heated through, 2 to 3 minutes.

Add broth and oyster-flavored sauce; stir to combine. Make a well in the center of rice; add eggs and gently stir eggs until they form soft curds, about 1 minute. Stir to mix eggs into rice.

Sprinkle with Furikake (a seasoned rice topping) or shredded nori (seasweed) and serve.

Serving Size

Serves 4

Recipe: Lychee Lemonade

  • 20-ounce can lychees with syrup
  • 12-ounce can frozen lemonade concentrate
  • 2-1/2 cups water
  • Ice cubes
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • 5 mint sprigs

You can keep this make-ahead lemonade base in the refrigerator for up to a week. To make an individual slushy, whirl two-thirds cup of the base with three or four ice cubes. If a party is in your plans, you could double this recipe and serve the lemonade base in a punch bowl over a block of ice.

Combine lychees (with syrup), lemonade concentrate, and water in blender. Whirl until smooth. Serve over ice. Garnish with lemon slices and mint sprigs.

Serving Size

Makes about 5-1/2 cups

Recipe: Twin Ginger Shortbread Cookies

  • 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped glazed walnuts
  • 1/3 cup chopped crystallized ginger
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

If you love ginger you will love these cookies!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In large bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.

Add crystallized ginger, ginger, and glazed walnuts; mix until incorporated. Add flour and salt; mix on low speed until mixture forms a dough.

Using hands, make 1-1/2-inch balls and place 2 inches apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Using fingers press balls into 1/3-inch thick circles. Bake until lightly browned, about 20 minutes.

Let cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a rack and let cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

Serving Size

Makes about 2 dozen cookies


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