Chinese Five-Spice Lamb Chops


Easter always kind of gave me the creeps. The man-sized bunny, eating chocolate before lunch and hunting around the house for smelly hard-boiled eggs, struck me as tacky and bizarre. My mother would dress me up in a white straw bonnet, with patent leather shoes and gloves, tights, slips and crinolines under my fancy dress,… 

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Chinese New Year: Wonton Soup

Wonton Soup

I never want to make any sweeping, declarative statements on the internet that I might, one day, live to regret. But wonton soup is the best thing you could ever eat in the middle of a long winter and if you don’t agree with me you are a total numbskull and we aren’t even friends…. 

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Chinese New Year: Crispy Orange Beef

Crispy Orange Beef

Crispy orange-flavored beef (or chicken) is another staple dish from the world of picture-based Chinese takeout menus. Like General Tso’s, if the dish actually exists in China, it probably bears little resemblance to the aluminum tray filled with syrupy-sweet fried beef bits that we have grown accustomed to here in the States. It can be… 

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Chinese New Year: Vegetable Lo Mein


There isn’t much I like eating more than a big bowl of glistening, slippery noodles. Greasy lo mein is one of my favorite takeout choices. Yes, chicken and broccoli will always be my number one, but veggie lo mein is definitely in the canon of American-style Chinese dishes. It’s no secret that mall Chinese food,… 

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Chinese New Year: Chinese Spare Ribs

Chinese Style Spare Ribs

It’s been nearly two years since we performed our survey of the Chinese takeout landscape in Maine, and sadly, the picture hasn’t improved. With a few exceptions (we’re hearing good things about Zen Chinese Bistro, for example), each bag of Chinese takeout seems to be more depressing than the last. For every new “authentic taqueria”… 

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Chicken & Green Bean Stir-Fry


More than twenty years ago, bored suburban mothers made lopsided Christmas trees in ceramics class, and brought home a wok from Chinese cooking class at the adult learning annex. Stir-fry is as much a part of the American family dining lexicon as ground beef lasagna and ground beef tacos. My mom added pitted black olives to… 

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Chinese New Year: General Tso’s Chicken

How to Make General Tso's Chicken

It’s difficult to imagine that anyone in China has ever eaten anything even remotely resembling General Tso’s Chicken. Even the origins of the dish are a little murky. Ostensibly a delicacy with origins in the Hunan province (though Hunan cuisine doesn’t typically feature very much sweetness, opting instead for sour flavors), and named after General… 

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