National Day is celebrated every year on Aug. 29 to recognize the American Chinese culinary cuisine.
Legend has it that in 1896, a panicked Chinese-American chef attempted to find something to serve to both the Chinese and American guests and ended up throwing in a load of leftovers in a wok and creating the dish, which is made of meat, eggs and loads of vegetables.
Soon, the dish became a rage in the country and many American Chinese restaurants started calling themselves houses.
Here are a few facts about the popular dish:
- originated in the mid to late 19th century in San Francisco
- It is believed that there are similar recipes in the Toisan region of China
- After its creation, Americans began to visit Chinese restaurants in New York in large numbers for the first time
- The dish consists of small pieces of meat, stir-fried with celery, onions, water chestnuts, mushrooms and/or other vegetables. It is usually served with rice and soy sauce
- Most Chinese servers in the 1890s wore yellow jackets
You can enjoy National Day by going to a local American Chinese restaurant and enjoying the dish or making it yourself at home. Here’s a quick recipe:
- Soy sauce
- Dash vinegar
- 3 hardboiled eggs, peeled and sliced
- Cooking oil
- Minces onion
- Green onion
- Chinese 5-Spice
- Green bell pepper
- Cooked shrimp
- Cooked chicken
- Carrot (shredded)
- Shredded cabbage
Take a skillet and heat oil. Add onion and garlic to the oil and saute for a while. Add Chinese 5-spice, bell pepper and continue to cook for several minutes before adding shrimp chicken and vegetables. Add a little of the hot liquid to the cornstarch, then pour the mixture into the dish. Cook until the liquid begins to thicken before adding vinegar and soy sauce to taste. Finally, add slices of hard-boiled eggs and serve.