How to Make Chinese Soul Food at Home

Hsiao-Ching Chou shares tips and techniques for making Chinese soul feed for the Chinese New Year and beyond, right in your home kitchen.

Kara Rota
2-minute read
Episode #186

chinese sould food cookbook coverAccording to Parade Magazine, Chinese food is the most craved food in the world with more than 76% of Americans eating it regularly. So why do you have to get take-out when it is so easy and inexpensive to make at home? Chinese Soul Food: A Friendly Guide for Homemade Dumplings, Stir-Fries, Soups, and More is a collection of classic comfort food recipes that Chou grew up eating, her family made at their restaurant, and that are straight-forward and easy to make at home. Like the below recipe, perfect for Chinese New Year.

Stir-Fried Noodles with Shrimp and Vegetables


  • ¾ pound dried Chinese noodles
  • ½ pound raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch

For the sauce:

  • ½ cup water
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 stalk green onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 stalk green onion, cut into 2-inch segments
  • ½ medium carrot, julienned (about ½ cup)
  • 3 to 4 cups roughly chopped greens, such as baby bok choy, yu choy, or Chinese broccoli
  • ½ teaspoon sesame oil
  • Kosher salt (optional)


  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil over high heat. It’s not necessary to salt the water, since the sauce is quite savory. Add the noodles and cook for 9 to 11 minutes, or until the noodles are soft but not mushy on the outside, and have a little chew on the inside. The cooking time will depend on the thickness of the noodles.
  2. In a small bowl, put the shrimp and the soy sauce, and mix well. Add the cornstarch and mix well again. Set aside.
  3. To make the sauce, in a small bowl, put the water, soy sauce, ginger, onions, and garlic, and stir to combine. Set aside.
  4. Drain the noodles and set aside. If you are not using the noodles within 5 minutes, to prevent sticking, add 1 tablespoon oil to the noodles and incorporate with tongs.
  5. Preheat a wok over high heat until wisps of smoke rise from the surface. Add 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil and heat until it starts to shimmer. Add the shrimp in a single layer to the bowl of the wok and sear for 30 to 40 seconds, or until the shrimp have begun to turn pink. Flip the shrimp and sear for 30 to 40 seconds more. Remove the pan from the heat, transfer the shrimp to a small bowl, and set aside. If there are any charred bits in the wok, gently scrape them out.
  6. Return the wok to the stove over high heat. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon vegetable oil, immediately add the onions, and stir for about 5 seconds to release the aroma. Add the carrots and stir for a few seconds. Add the greens and continue stirring and scooping to mix for about 1 minute. Add the shrimp and the sauce, and stir again to combine. Add the noodles and carefully stir and scoop to mix. It may be helpful to use tongs. Once well combined, drizzle on the sesame oil. Remove the wok from the heat. Add a dash more soy sauce or salt to taste. Serve.

*(c)2018 by Hsiao-Ching Chou. All rights reserved. Excerpted from Chinese Soul Food by permission of Sasquatch Books.

About the Author

Kara Rota

Kara Rota headed children’s programming at Chicago’s Green City Market and studied food politics at Sarah Lawrence College. Kara has been a featured speaker at numerous venues including Food Book Fair, the Roger Smith Food Conference, and the Brooklyn Food Conference. She has written about food for Irish America Magazine, West Side Rag, Recipe Relay, and Food + Tech Connect, and is the former Director of Editorial & Partnerships at Cookstr.com.