I told you I was going to continue the story of my book club Shanghai Girls menu so here it is! As a reminder, here’s the menu from my Asian-inspired dinner.

Shanghai Girl’s Book Club Menu

Appetizers: Jiaozi- Chinese Dumplings, egg rolls, Chinese noodles with La Choy duck sauce and Wasabi Peas

Main Course: Red Cooked Beef, Pineapple Fried Rice, Shanghai Stir-Fry (all recipes below)

Dessert:  Pomegranate Sorbet with Kumquat Mandarin Citrus Salad


This beef stir-fry is perfect for a cold winter’s day! There are a lot of ingredients but the recipe is actually pretty simple. Just slice, stir-fry and simmer!

makes 6-8 servings

10 (1 package) dried Oyster or Shitake mushrooms

2 lbs. boneless stewing beef, sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 Tbsp ginger, minced

3 Tbsp vegetable oil

2 cups water, or as needed

3/4 cup low sodium soy sauce

1/4 cup dry sherry

1 tsp star anise extract

2 Tbsp brown sugar

2 Tbsp ketchup

2 tsp honey

1 tsp Sriracha hot sauce

8 oz can baby corn, chopped

2 carrots, chopped

2-3 cups bok choy, finely sliced

5 kumquat, sliced

salt and pepper to taste

I reconstituted the dried mushrooms by soaking them in hot water for around 20-30 minutes, until softened, then chopped and set aside.

I heated the oil in a preheated wok (you can also use a large saucepan) at medium-high heat and added the garlic and ginger. I stir-fried until aromatic then added half of the beef to the wok. I browned the beef briefly then cooked until around 80 percent cooked.

I drained the mostly cooked meat and repeated the process with the remaining beef. You will notice in my pictures that I forgot to slice the beef before cooking it in the wok. I highly suggest not following my lead. Please slice your beef before beginning to cook. I had to slice mine (actually, my dad sliced it) later on in the process.

I added all of the beef back in to the wok, along with the water, soy sauce, sherry, anise extract, brown sugar, ketchup, honey and Sriracha then brought everything to a boil. I reduced the heat  and simmered uncovered for 1 hour. The liquid developed in to a beautiful dark broth that could taste delicious on its own, but I planned to make it even better…

I added the baby corn, mushrooms, carrots, 1/2 of the bok choy and kumquat and simmered for at least another hour.

I added salt and pepper to taste. Right before serving, I add the rest of the bok choy for extra crunch and stirred to combine.


This is a very simple and easy rice dish and can feed up to 10 people. You can cut the recipe in half for a weeknight meal.

2 Tbsp vegetable oil, for stir-frying

1 tsp garlic, minced

1 tsp ginger, minced

2 Tbsp jalapeno pepper, finely chopped

1 onion, chopped

1/2 carrot, chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

8 rings canned pineapple, cut in to small wedges

2-3 cups cold cooked basmati rice

2 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce

1 tsp curry powder

1 tsp sugar

1 green onion, diced

I heated the wok on medium, added the oil and rotated the pan sot hat it coated the bottom and sides. When the oil was hot, I added the garlic, ginger and jalapeno and stir-fried for 30 seconds. I added the onion and stir-fried for 1 minute, then added the red bell pepper, carrots and pineapple and I stir-fried very briefly.

I added the rice and cooked for another 2 minutes, continuously tossing. I then added the soy sauce and the whole mixture took on a beautiful color.

I stirred in the curry powder and sugar, then added the green onion. Done! See, wasn’t that easy?!?


This stir-fry is even easier than the rice and just as delicious!

2 Tbsp vegetable oil

1 cup chopped carrots

1 cup chopped or sliced onions

1 large bunch fresh broccoli, stems removed

8 oz fresh button mushrooms, sliced

1 can (8 oz) water chesnuts

1 can (8 oz) bamboo shoots

stir-fry sauce of your choice

I heated the wok on medium, added the oil and rotated the pan sot hat it coated the bottom and sides. When the oil was hot, I added the carrots and stirred occasionally. I then added the onion and stirred again. I added the broccoli and continued to cook for a few minutes, then added the sliced mushrooms and stirred. I raised the heat to high and cooked the vegetables until tender but still crisp. I added the water chestnuts, bamboo shoots and stir-fry sauce and mixed well until the sauce was slightly thick, around 1 minute.

So there you have it. My Shanghai menu! I hope you’re inspired to be adventurous in the kitchen at your next Book Club meeting, or even just fun!