BREAK out the wok and the bamboo steamer and bring a Chinese meal to the table featuring these three simple dishes.
Three dishes rate
Hiroe Ebesu asked for recipes from Silver Dragon Restaurant in the Kamehameha Shopping Center -- for a beef/eggplant dish and a pork/ong choi platter served with harm ha, the flavorful baby shrimp.
"They are both out of this world! So ono," Ebesu wrote.
Helen Wong, meanwhile, is hungry for beef balls like those served at Hee Hing Restaurant. "Oh boy! Are they delicious."
Who can question exclamations like those?
Linda Choy, a partner at Silver Dragon, provided the first two recipes off the top of her head in a phone call. They are simplified versions of what the restaurant serves and in my home test they provided flavorful, light dishes.
At first glance, the recipes don't seem to provide enough liquid, but the end result was quite successful -- although you don't get a lot of sauce.
Tasted at the restaurant, the same dishes had prodigious quantities of cornstarch-thickened sauce, a bit on the salty side. I actually prefer these home versions.
James H.Q. Lee of Hee Hing in Kapahulu granted Wong's request for the recipe for beef balls. They are served on the restaurant's dim sum menu.
PORK WITH ONG CHOI AND HARM HASilver Dragon Restaurant
1 tablespoon salad oil
1 teaspoon harm ha
1 teaspoon minced garlic
4 ounces sliced pork
1/2 bunch ong choi, in 1-inch pieces, about 1/2 pound
Heat oil in a wok. Add harm ha and garlic and cook until aroma is released. Add pork and stir-fry until half-cooked. Add ong choi, stems first, and stir-fry, adding a little water if necessary. Cover and steam for 5 minutes. Serves 2.
Approximate nutritional information, per serving: 165 calories, 10 g total fat, 1.5 g saturated fat, 37.5 mg cholesterol, 265 mg sodium.*
EGGPLANT WITH BEEFSilver Dragon Restaurant
1/2 pound Japanese eggplant
2 tablespoons oil
1/2 teaspoon chile sauce
4 ounces sliced beef
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
Salt to taste (optional)
Partially peel eggplant and cut into 2-inch lengths. Soak in water 5-10 minutes; drain.
Heat oil in a wok and mix in chile sauce. Add meat and stir-fry until partially cooked. Add eggplant and cook 7-10 minutes. If mixture appears too dry, add a little water. Stir in oyster sauce and salt to taste. Serves 2.
Approximate nutritional information, per serving: (not including salt to taste) 285 calories, 21 g total fat, 4 g saturated fat, 35 mg cholesterol, 700 mg sodium.*
STEAMED BEEF BALLSHee Hing Restaurant
1 pound ground beef
24 sprigs watercress
1 tablespoon sake
1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
2 tablespoons finely chopped Chinese parsley
1 tablespoon chopped orange peel
Mix the ground beef with the seasonings until meat is sticky. Let sit for 15 minutes.
Form mixture into 24 3/4-ounce meatballs. Place each meatball on a watercress sprig in a steamer. Steam over high heat 8 minutes.
Serve with Worcestershire or chile-shoyu sauce.
Approximate nutritional information, per meatball: 55 calories, 4.5 g total fat, 1.5 g saturated fat, 15 mg cholesterol, 80 mg sodium.*
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Asterisk (*) after nutritional analyses in the
Body & Soul section indicates calculations by
Joannie Dobbs of Exploring New Concepts,
a nutritional consulting firm.