Sticky Ribs

An out of standard response to Izy’s Out of Standard Prompt – Living in a Fallout Shelter.  We had a fallout shelter when I was growing up.  It was a selling feature and was designed to house comfortably, six people.  By the time the house had sold when I was an adult, it had become a storage facility for apples and taters, canned foods, a groovy place to go and smoke dope.  An American sentence – complete sentence with exactly 17 syllables.  Created by Allen Ginsberg because for some reason, he couldn’t follow the rules for classic haiku.

Sticky Ribs
“I just love Chinese food. My favourite dish is number 27.”  Clement Attlee

One year alone in a shelter, I miss Chinese sticky  ribs the most.


Chinese red ribs

Restaurant Review – CC Wok Cafe

I don’t usually do this sort of thing, review something. But I decided to do something different. In part of a strip mall is a treasure – CC Wok Café, here in Richmond, VA. One of the best Chinese restaurants in which I have dined. I have dined in many: Philadelphia, New York, San Francisco, London…this place just shines among higher priced and fancier establishments. It is small but nice ambiance, unpretentious, friendly, reasonably priced, immaculately clean. Attentive but unobtrusive wait staff who remember you after the second visit. I don’t have to ask for chopsticks anymore.

Today, we state workers were allowed to escape for the Thanksgiving holiday at noon. It was a raw, blustery day with a mix of rain/sleet/snow. Perfect day for a pot of hot tea and excellent Chinese food. The chef at CC Wok has crafting excellent food for 39 years. The sauces are all made from scratch, housemade stocks, and no MSG. Lunches are smaller portions but include beverage, plain fried rice or steamed rice, soup, or spring roll.

Today I chose Governor Chicken with steamed rice, egg drop soup, and hot tea. The soup was thick and golden as July sun full of delicate egg “flowers”.  Still warm deep fried strips of wonton wrapper were served with the soup – delicate flavor but rich on the tongue and warm in the tummy. The wonton strips were crispy and not greasy and were a nice accompaniment to the soup. The pot of tea brought to me today was Jasmine. I opened the lid to find lovely jasmine blooms floating in the hot tea. I sniffed in the aroma and felt at peace.  The tea was freshly brewed and not stewed – full flavored but not bitter.

The Governor chicken was superb. Chunks of velveted thigh meat tossed in corn starch and fried to perfect crispy bites.  These chunks were quickly tossed with a sauce that truly made me happy – deep brown sauce, smoky with pan roasted Szechuan peppers, tongue numbing with plenty of chili oil, and fragrant with fresh ginger.  Crispy broccoli and carrots, earthy mushrooms and chunks of scallion finished the dish.

You will note in the picture, I used a paper wrap from a straw to create a chopstick rest. those cheap wooden chopsticks are not used; rather, chopsticks like I would use at home were given to me to use. I ate every bite and thoroughly enjoyed. My only reqret was that I could not order seconds to eat as the serving I was given filled me to the point of almost uncomfortable.

I am sorry that you all cannot enjoy CC Wok. Their website is:  should you want to check it out. I give this place 5 drool points out of 5.

cc wok         cc wok 2

Shrimp Fried Rice

1 cup shrimp
1 teaspoon corn starch
1/4 c. rice cooking wine
1 tsp. soy sauce
1/4 c. vegetable oil
2 eggs, scrambled
1/2 tsp. sesame oil
2 tablespoons vegetable oil or olive oil
¼ cup white onion, chopped
½ cup frozen peas and carrots
2 ½ cups of cold, day old rice
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
½ teaspoon Chicken Bouillon
½ cup green scallions, finely chopped
Marinate the shrimp with shrimp, cornstarch, cooking wine, soy sauce.  The oil will be for later use.  Refrigerate the shrimp for 30 minutes.  Meanwhile, gently break apart the rice into small clumps using your hands and set aside.  Chop the onion, green onion and scramble your eggs. Add the sesame oil to the eggs.
Set a metal strainer and a bowl aside to catch the excess oil from cooking the shrimp.  Heat the oil in a large skillet or wok at high heat until the oil just begins to smoke.  Add the shrimp mixture and quickly sauté the shrimp, making sure all surfaces of the shrimp hits the hot oil.  Cook for about 1 ½ -2 minutes or until shrimp are almost cooked through (the surfaces will turn entirely pink), turn off heat and allow shrimp to cook the rest of the way for an additional minute.  Strain shrimp through strainer and set aside and save the oil for the rice.
In the same skillet or wok, heat a tablespoon of the reserved oil over medium high heat until hot.  Sautee onions for 2 minutes and then add the frozen vegetables.  Add another tablespoon of oil and add the rice.  Gently break up the rice with the vegetable mixture by shaking the skillet or wok, or moving it around with a heat-proof spoon.  Add the soy sauce and mix thoroughly and then add the shrimp.  Sprinkle with chicken bouillon and a pinch of white pepper, taste and salt accordingly.  When ready to serve, sprinkle finely chopped green scallions on the rice.
  1. Use cold day old cooked rice
  2. Fry ingredients separately – rice, veggies, shrimp, eggs so tastes stay individual and rice doesn’t get mushy.
  3. Use high heat.
  4. Use right amount of oil.
  5. Marinating the shrimp makes a big difference.
  6. Taste at the end to adjust seasonings.

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