11-9: Fried Jumbo Shrimp

11-9: Fried Jumbo Shrimp

As I mentioned in my last post, this project just passed the 6-year mark, and a lot has changed since I first started it–careers, cities, kitchens, vehicles, family, presidents, even dietary preferences.

For the last two years, we’ve been sticking to a plant-based diet, with the very occasional seafood or dairy indulgence (however, traditional meat itself is totally gone). We’ll still go out for a real sushi dinner here and there (although, not lately due to coronavirus), and every so often, I’ll make a recipe like 11-9: Fried Jumbo Shrimp with real shrimp as a treat.

Fruit from the sea” as a description for shrimp seems strange to me, even though I know Simply Delicious didn’t coin the term. “Fried Jumbo Shrimp” is what they use to lure you into mediocre chain restaurants–it’s not quite haute cuisine.

I’m not doing a good job of selling you on this dish, am I? Well, since fried food doesn’t travel well as takeout, maybe you’d like to take this “opportunity” to learn how to fry your own?


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7-37: Easy Sweet-and-Sour Pork

7-37: Easy Sweet-and-Sour Pork

Sweet-and-sour is not new for Simply Delicious–there’s already 6-27: Sweet-and-Sour Chicken and 11-6: Sweet and Sour Shrimp if you’re in the mood for a different protein besides pork. However, 7-37: Easy Sweet-and-Sour Pork is the only one to advertise itself as “easy”.

Pork is probably the most common version of sweet-and-sour that you see in Chinese restaurants–there’s even a vegan version of it you can buy in most stores. In case you’re looking for something more refined (but maybe not as easy or meatless), here’s Serious Eats’ take on it.


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1-15: Chinese Spring Rolls

1-15: Chinese Spring Rolls

Simply Delicious has made numerous attempts at Chinese-American cuisine, and we can add 1-15: Chinese Spring Rolls to that list as well. There’s some interesting history behind the terms spring roll and egg roll–it goes much deeper than just what the wrapper is made of.

The terms are used interchangeably here, and seemingly in most other places as well. The biggest takeaway from the spring vs. egg roll debate is that spring rolls are originally from China, but have been Americanized along the way (while egg rolls were always American).

They tend to have a thinner wrapper than egg rolls, and are often also associated with the transparent rice paper rolls you tend to see in Vietnamese and Thai restaurants.


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8-43: Chinese Beef and Rice

8-43: Chinese Beef and Rice

8-43: Chinese Beef and Rice is essentially beef stir-fry served with some rice, but it’s done in less than 30 minutes, which is a big plus. This one goes along with several other Chinese restaurant-style dishes that Simply Delicious has featured, including 6-11: Chinese Duck and 11-36: Hong Kong Shrimp.

Chinese cuisine is a lot more prevalent today in the United States than it was 30-40 years ago when Simply Delicious was being written & printed. I suppose we have cookbooks like this to thank in some small part for introducing many 1980s American families to a more global palate.

Speaking of a global palate–I made this dish vegan. Yes, that picture above is vegan–keep reading to find out how. #clickbait


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11-6: Sweet and Sour Shrimp

11-6: Sweet and Sour Shrimp

11-6: Sweet and Sour Shrimp is another of those dishes that I’d love to order from a restaurant and would not think to make at home. Simply Delicious has quite a few Chinese restaurant-style dishes, including 6-27: Sweet-and-Sour Chicken, 6-11: Chinese Duck, and 11-36: Hong Kong Shrimp.

It just so happens that Sweet and Sour Sauce is my favorite version of any dish on a Chinese menu. Shrimp is a decent choice.


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11-36: Hong Kong Shrimp

11-36: Hong Kong Shrimp

Sometimes when you use recipes from old cookbooks, they can seem a bit “tone-deaf” when it comes to modern-day sensibilities about race and culture. Despite a questionable name, 11-36: Hong Kong Shrimp contains many ingredients commonly found in Chinese food.

I love the porcelain bowls they served the example dish in. The wooden chopsticks are also a great touch. What a great photo!


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6-27: Sweet-and-Sour Chicken

6-27: Sweet-and-Sour Chicken

The quote from the front of the recipe card for 6-27: Sweet-and-Sour Chicken is as true as anything I could write about this recipe:

Cook chicken legs and thighs the Chinese way, in a sweet-and-sour sauce. This is such a simple way of preparing bargain chicken and the result is just terrific.

Sweet-and-sour sauce tastes great when you make it fresh, but it’s just as easy to buy the thick, red sauce in a jar and call it good.


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6-39: Chicken Pot Stickers

6-39: Chicken Pot Stickers

6-39: Chicken Pot Stickers are another case of a food that I “can” make, but would choose not to after seeing all of the mess and work involved.

“Steamed, stuffed dumplings” sound delicious. Mine came out a little more fried than steamed, still delicious.


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7-8: Chinese Pork Casserole

7-8: Chinese Pork Casserole

Whosoever it was that the editors of Simply Delicious hired to name these dishes deserves some kind of award.  And the award for naming-the-most-dishes-a-casserole-that-are-not-actually-a-casserole goes to….SIMPLY DELICIOUS. A casserole is defined as “a kind of stew or side dish that is cooked slowly in an oven.” 7-8: Chinese Pork Casserole is cooked relatively fast on a stove top. Doesn’t exactly sound like a casserole to me.

This recipe card is great because it basically teaches you to make a version of Chop Suey at home.


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6-11: Chinese Duck

6-11: Chinese Duck

Here’s a first for me: I’ve never attempted to break down a duck before this recipe, 6-11: Chinese Duck. I’ve cooked with duck a handful of times, but this is definitely the most involved with it that I’ve ever gotten. There’s one more duck recipe in this book, so expect a return sometime in the future.

I found myself with a duck after my husband took a trip past a local butcher a few weeks ago, so I decided to take a stab at one of the two recipes in the book. I assumed this would be similar to the Chinese dish Peking duck, and in true Simply Delicious style, it doesn’t quite come as close as recipes today can get you.


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