Chinese New Year: How to Make Fortune Cookies

How to Make Fortune Cookies

I have never been big on setting New Year’s resolutions. One the few occasions that I have, they have been giant, lofty, unattainable goals that I inevitably did not reach, leaving me sad and defeated. Not the greatest way to go into a new year. I have learned instead to try to focus on little… 

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Chinese New Year: Kung Pao Chicken

Kung Pao Chicken

Unlike many of the dishes we feature during Chinese New Year, American-Chinese classics that make much more sense on the broken, back-lit plastic photo menu board of the dingiest Chinese restaurants, Kung Pao Chicken actually has roots in honest-to-goodness Chinese cooking. Like, the kind you might see in China, even. The Szechuan dish was named… 

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Chinese New Year: Crab Rangoon

How to Make Crab Rangoon

When I was a teenager, my father would occasionally take me to lunch at a Thai restaurant in Rockland, Maine. I can’t quite remember what it was called, or even exactly where it was. But it’s not there anymore, so it hardly matters. These lunches meant a lot to me. Not because the food was… 

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Chinese New Year: Chinese Roast Pork (Siu Yuk)

Chinese Roast Pork

For anyone that digs on swine, Chinese roast pork may just be a nearly perfect exploration of the finer points of the animal: A crunchy outer layer of blistered, puffy, crispy skin, stacked atop a layer of warm, barely-solid fat that liquefies the instant it hits your mouth, and another layer of tender, lightly-spiced meat. It’s… 

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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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