Thursday, April 02, 2009

Ode To Mrs. Chen

(Well, ok. Not *quite* an ode ~ but kudos and appreciations nonetheless!)

I'd been experimenting for some time - trying to find that perfectly seasoned, authentic tasting Chinese dish that I could recreate in my kitchen. After successfully failing a multitude of times, I was about to give up. Give in. Call it quits.

That's when I happened across a 'chinese cooking' thread on an online forum I frequent. Gingerly [no pun intended!] opening the conversation, I hoped a recipe or two might be imbedded within. My disappointment was on my sleeve when I did not find my desired result.

What I DID discover instead was a friend who knew my old stomping grounds ~ the very Nebraska plain upon which I grew up ~ because she herself had lived there, too - participating in the thread. (We'll call her Erin.) Erin casually mentioned she had a 'cook book' that her daughter had compiled while under the tutelage of none other than a friend of her family: a Chinese woman.

Would I be interested in it?

My enthusiastic "YES!" renewed my hope that I could recreate an authentic dish, and leave the buffet line behind.
What I was unprepared for was the amazing story of Erin's husbands' heart cry for the nation of China, to share the Gospel with that people group. When plans to go as a missionary to the region fell through, the Lord purposely crafted a meeting between Mr. Erin and Mrs. Chen.

The story line of what transpired next, was beautiful. The lifelong family connection that Mr. and Mrs. Erin, along with thier children have with the entire Chen family warms the most stoic heart.

And I? I am the proud owner of a gift that now mean much more than words and measurements on paper.

Now that I have been given the right tools, I have been able to create numerous delicious dishes, many of which have become staples in our home without hesitation.

So, perhaps I've been able to convey today why I've a song in my heart full of love toward Mrs. Chen.
An ode, if you will.

After all, that's what sisters are for: sharing.

My circle of friends, including Erin and Mrs. Chen, make my life a rich, full place.
So, to share the Love, Choosers, I present to you today:

Mrs. Chen's Fried Rice

cold cooked rice (2 bowls)

1/2 onion, chopped
2 eggs, beaten with a little salt
1 T. green onion
1/2 cup barbequed pork, cut into tiny pieces
1/2 cup small shrimp (the frozen ones thawed work well)
1/2 cup
white wine
1 T. soy sauce
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper

Heat wok hot. Add oil. Stirfry onion. When onion is cooked remove and add to beaten eggs and return to pan. Cook. Remove to bowl. Stirfry barbequed pork. Add a little water to the pan. This will help the barbeque flavor permeate the other ingredients. Add shrimp, salt and white wine while stirfrying. Remove to the bowl holding the eggs. At this point you will probably need to add more oil to the pan. Add cold cooked rice and green onion. Season with salt. Add juice that collects from the already cooked things. Smooth down the rice into the pan and lift from the bottom. Continue to do this to fry the rice and break up any large clumps. Add soy sauce. Mrs. Chen says to use a light hand with the soy sauce. When the rice is warm, add the peas. Add sesame oil. Add cooked things back into pan. Pepper to taste.

Enjoy! :D


Charlotte said...

My husband says it should be 'owed' to Mrs. Chen!

Anonymous said...


Dawn Sodini said...

You have saved the day! I wonder if there happen to be any almond chicken recipes in the famous collection?!?

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