Special Feature: Products Sally Recommends

An Interview with Martin Yan

Sally and Antonia interview Martin Yan (cooking teacher, cookbook author, and host of the popular television show "Yan Can Cook.")

MP3 Interview MP3

Interview Time (23:15)

Check out these recipes while enjoying the interview...


Wok Smoked Fish

1-1/2 pounds firm white fish fillets, such as sea bass or red snapper, about 1/2-inch thick


2 teaspoons minced ginger
1/4 cup rice wine or dry sherry
3 tablespoons regular soy sauce
3 tablespoons dark soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke (optional)
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon Chinese five-spice
1/2 teaspoon ground toasted Sichuan peppercorns

Smoking Mixture:

1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup uncooked long-grain rice
1/3 cup black or oolong tea leaves

Julienned honeydew melon and cantaloupe for garnish

Cut fish crosswise to make 3-inch square pieces. Combine marinade ingredients in a bowl. Add fish and stir to coat. Let stand for 10 minutes.

Combine smoking mixture ingredients and spread evenly in a foil-lined wok. Set a round cake rack over smoking mixture. Place fish on rack and place wok over high heat.

When mixture begins to smoke, cover wok with a foil-lined lid; reduce heat to medium-low and smoke until fish flakes with a fork, 7 to 8 minutes.

Turn off heat and allow to sit with lid on for 5 minutes. Serve fish hot or cold, garnished with melon.

Asparagus with Sweet and Pungent Dressing

1 pound asparagus, trimmed
1 teaspoon cooking oil
1/2 teaspoon salt


2 tablespoons plum sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon chili oil
2 teaspoons sugar and honey
1/2 teaspoon dried mustard

Chopped toasted walnuts for garnish

Cut asparagus diagonally into 1-l/2 inch slices. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add oil, salt, and asparagus. Cook until asparagus is crisp-tender, 1 to 2 minutes. Drain, rinse with cold water, and drain again. Pat dry with paper towels.

Combine dressing ingredients in a bowl. Add asparagus and toss to coat.

Arrange asparagus on a serving plate and garnish with walnuts.

Ginger-Date Wontons


1/3 cup chopped walnuts
6 Medjool dates, pitted and coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons chopped crystallized ginger
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
1 teaspoon butter, softened

24 wonton wrappers
Cooking oil for deep-frying

Combine filling ingredients in a bowl; mix well.

To make each wonton, place 1 teapsoon filling in center of a wonton wrapper; keep remaining wrappers covered to prevent drying. Brush edges of wrapper with water and fold wrapper in half to form a triangle. Pinch edges to seal. Pull two opposite corners together, moisten one corner, and overlap with the other corner; press to seal. Cover filled wontons with a dry towel to prevent drying.

Heat oil in a wok to 360°F over medium-high heat. Deep-fry wontons, half at a time, and cook, turning occasionally, until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove and drain on paper towels. Serve hot or cold.

A tip on serving wine or tea in China


In China, there's a whole code of etiquette surrounding the serving of wine and tea. If you're pouring wine for a guest, always fill the glass to the brim as a sign of respect. With tea, it's a different story: filling the cup more than half-way is a sign of disrespect. When it comes to toasting, show respect by clinking your glass below your guest's. If you get confused, just remember my first rule of dining etiquette: "be nice, and always offer to pick up the tab."

Note: This information was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the businesses in question before making your plans.

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