Of all the foods in all the world, Chinese is the one I am least comfortable cooking.

I can get my fingers around a lot of different cuisines, but Chinese has always alluded me.  Possibly (or probably) because it’s the one type of food I virtually always ate out.  I remember my first experience with Chinese Food was in the mid-50s at a restaurant in San Francisco called Kwan’s.  It was on Geary Blvd around Arguello.  My parents would take us there when there were only the three kids.  Mike would eat a hamburger, Judy wouldn’t eat anything, and I ate anything put in front of me.

Over the ensuing 50+ years, I’ve really never had to cook Chinese.  When I worked at the Hyatt Regency Cambridge, we had The Empress Room where I could gorge on gourmet Chinese offerings.  At home, I could pick up the phone and have Andy’s Excellent Chow Mein delivered to the door.  And now I’m in the Philadelphia suburbs where nothing is convenient and the best Chinese food is just not dim sum from Yank Sing – or Andy’s Excellent Chow Mein.  I’m spoiled.

So… I attempt a Chinese meal now and again, but let’s face it – it just ain’t San Francisco. I’m very spoiled.

Enter Frozen Food.

I don’t buy a lot of frozen entrees.  In fact, I really don’t buy any.  But I will pick up frozen Asian foods from time to time.    I have my standards and I have my exceptions.  Love the Assi store in North Wales.

Tonight, a doctored up bag of Chinese Chicken worked.  I added sauteed peppers, diced papayas (thawed, with the juice), and lots of Sambal Oelek.  It was a spicy and sweet dinner in a mere 20 minutes.

I do have a couple of Chinese cook books – and lord knows I have the spices and sauces necessary to do the job.  One of these days I’m just going to have to get serious.