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KCBS Foodie Chap Podcast:
As he has done for over 30 years, Celebrity Chef Martin Yan shares the best of what he loves from traveling, cooking, and eating in China through a unique, multi-sensory dining experience. Chef Yan aspires to excite American palates and ignite a passion for Chinese culture and tradition, integrating elements from his extensive travels through China into his newest restaurant, M.Y. China. His culinary vision, shaped by over 3,500 culinary TV shows, 30 cookbooks, and the founding of a professional culinary academy in China, makes the appreciation of modern Chinese food an interactive experience. He brings the same engaging, charismatic qualities that make him a global icon to life at M.Y China.
I met the great master chef in the kitchen at M.Y.China in San Francisco.
He ran around the kitchen like a wild ferret on the loose, the energy of a teenager – that’s Martin Yan.
Enjoy the chat.
5 Tasty Questions with Chef Martin Yan: M.Y. China
1. Cooking to you is about…?
It is about family and sharing. It is about the appreciation of our environment and earth and also a sign of our civilization. China’s cooking and food have been involved through 5,000 years of history.
2. What dish reminds you of home?
Definitely steamed rice! When I see a bowl of steamed rice it reminds me of my childhood. It reminds me of my mother cooking rice in a clay pot. It reminds me of my sweet romantic childhood growing up in the suburbs of Guangzhou China full of rice paddies with frogs jumping all over.
3. What kitchen utensil can you not live without?
Definitely my clever! I use my clever to shave, bone a chicken in 18 seconds, to cut my crab, for everything. Without the clever there is no Chinese kitchen!
4. If not a Chef in a second life you come back what might you be?
I’d love to be a gardener because I love to see things grow. In fact in my home down in the South Bay I have a vegetable garden and a herb garden. I love to see things grow. It inspires me because life is like your career, your job, and like everybody and all the children we learn to grow. Grow healthily and in a good environment and that’s why I’d like to be a gardener.
5. Your last super you can have a couple of guests famous or not, dead or alive who will they be and what would you eat?
I would love to have something that I rarely eat a big giant juicy double triple cheese burger. I would love to dine with my mentor Julia Child because she is the ultimate of all grand game gourmets dinning. She is sweet, charming, nurturing, and she always reminds me that Martin you are yourself don’t try to please someone else. I miss her dearly. Julia Child would be my ultimate dining companion.
Kung Pao Chicken
Makes 4 servings
12oz boneless skinless chicken breast and/or thigh
1 tbsp shaoxing wine
2 tsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. cornstarch
3 tbsp. chicken broth
1 tbsp. shaoxing wine
1 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. chili garlic sauce
1 tsp. sesame oil
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. Sichuan peppercorn oil
3 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 tsp. minced ginger
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 jalapeno, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 small red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 tsp. cornstarch dissolved in 2 tsp. water
1/2 cup Wong Fei Hung dried chiles
1/4 cup roasted peanuts
1. Cut chicken into 1-inch pieces. Combine marinade ingredients together, add chicken stir until well combined. Set aside to let marinade for 10 minutes, up to 1 hour.
2. Combine sauce ingredients into small bowl and set aside.
3. Heat a wok over high heat. Add 2 tbsp. vegetable oil, swirling to coat sides. Add chicken and stir-fry until chicken is opaque. Remove chicken to a bowl and set aside.
4. Add remaining 1 tbsp. vegetable oil to hot wok. Add ginger, garlic, and jalapeno, stirring until fragrant, about 10 seconds add bell peppers and stir-fry for 30 seconds.
Return chicken and add sauce, bring to a boil. Add cornstarch solution and stir until thickened. Add dried chiles and peanuts and stir to coat.
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