Chinese cooking is one of the most popular in the world and in Hawai‘i it’s undoubtedly the favorite cuisine.

After two years of gathering recipes from family, friends, and the community, Hawai‘i food writer Lynette Lo Tom has captured the delicious cooking of her mother Lorna Lee Lo, extended family, and friends. There is a wide range of dishes to satisfy not only the novice, but professional chefs as well. Most of the recipes, not surprisingly, are Cantonese, as three-quarters of the Chinese workers who came to Hawai‘i to work on the plantations were from Zhongshan, an area in Guangdong province (formerly called Canton).

Lynette, a Hawai‘i born, fifth-generation Chinese, explains some of the unique foods in Hawai‘i such as “cake” noodle. The book’s 112 recipes includes popular dishes such as Boiled Peanuts with Star Anise, Chinatown-style Crispy Skin Roast Pork, and Mongolian Beef. More traditional recipes are also included: Prune Apricot Mui, Winter Melon Soup, and Chicken Soup with Ginger and Whiskey (called Gai Jow).

A Chinese Kitchen goes behind the scenes explaining the recipes, providing insights into Chinese food traditions, culture and experience in Hawai‘i. The many stories interspersed throughout the book give colorful insights into Chinese life in Hawai‘i from the 1950s until the present.


About the Author

Lynette Claire Lian Fu Lo Tom is the eldest child of Richard Cheong Lo and Lorna Lee Lo. Her grandparents were Tan and Louise Ho Lo and John (Duck) Sau and Florence Wong Lee. Growing up in Makiki and M?noa with her sisters Joanne and Charlene and her brothers Russell and Barry, she ate Chinese food almost every day and always appreciated its variety. She is an enthusiastic home cook. Lynette is a proud graduate of M?noa Elementary, Stevenson Intermediate and Punahou School. She earned a journalism degree from University of Colorado at Boulder and an MBA from the University of California at Berkeley. A former reporter, she created a successful public relations and marketing firm, Bright Light Marketing. Now she is focusing on the culinary world with her company Bright Light Cookery and is especially fascinated by foods cooked “back in the day.”




Cola Soy Sauce Chicken Wings
Jellyfish Salad
Tripe “Poke”
Stuffed Black Mushrooms
Boiled Peanuts
Lup Cheong Gau Gee
Old-fashioned Pickled Mango
Dried Five-Spice Star Fruit Mui
Prune Apricot Mui
Mandarin Pancakes
Green Onion Fried Bread


Chicken Feet Soup
Silk Squash with Fish Cake Soup
Oxtail Soup for a Crowd
Lotus Root Soup
Chicken Long Rice
Hot and Sour Soup
Dried Scallop Soup
Winter Melon Soup
Won Ton Soup
Chicken Napa Cabbage Ginger Soup
Chinese Hot Pot Soup and Dipping Sauces
Chicken Soup with Ginger and Whiskey
Watercress and Pork Soup


Sweet and Sour Pork Spareribs
Sweet and Sour Spareribs with Pineapple and Green Pepper
Char Siu / Chinese Barbecued Pork
Char Siu Pork Belly
Char Siu Spareribs
Crispy Skin Roast Pork
Black Bean Spareribs
Pepper Salt Pork Chops
Steamed Pork Hash with Dried Squid
Kau Yuk with Taro / Chinese Pot Roast Pork
Mu Shu Pork / Shredded Pork and Vegetables
Lion’s Head
Sweet and Sour Pig’s Feet

Fish and Seafood

Chinese-style Poached Whole Fish
Steamed Fish Fillets
‘O‘io Fish Cake from Scratch
Fish Cake Appetizers
Fish Cake Egg Rolls
Raw Fish Salad
Fish Cake Stuffed Peppers
Fried Oyster Rolls
Fresh Oysters with Ginger and Green Onion
Pepper Salt Calamari
Black Bean Seafood
Abalone Stew
Dried Oyster, Abalone, Roast Pork Chopped Stew
Honey Walnut Shrimp
Curried Lobster with Fried Haupia


Ginger Chicken with Jade Pesto
Lup Cheong Chicken
Soy Sauce Chicken
Minute Chicken
Chicken Salad
Tea-Smoked Chicken
Pressed Almond Duck with Sweet and Sour Sauce
Barley Duck
Duck with Gingko Nut and Dried Orange Peel
Lemon Chicken

Tofu & Eggs

Steamed Stuffed Tofu
Cold Tofu with Dried Shrimp
Tossed Foo Jook Salad
Ma Po Dou Foo / Spicy Cooked Tofu
Easy Tofu and Gluten
M?noa Valley Stuffed Fried Bean Curd
Shrimp Fried Dried Bean Curd Roll
Steamed Eggs
Salted Eggs
Preserved or 1,000-Year-Old Eggs
Pei Dan with Chives and Egg
Chinese Tea Eggs


Beef Tomato
Tripe Stew
Beef with Bitter Melon
Mongolian Beef
Oxtail Stew
Beef Broccoli or Chinese Broccoli
Stewed Beef Tongue

Rice and Noodles

Chicken Rice
Bacon Spam® Fried Rice
No Mai Fan / Chinese Sticky Rice with Sausage and Mushrooms
No Mai Gai / Sticky Rice with Chicken
Joong / Savory Glutinous Rice “Tamale”
Rice Noodle with Tsin Choy
Turkey Jook / Turkey Rice Porridge
Hawai‘i-style Cake Noodle
Chow Mein / Fried Noodles
E-Mein with Mushrooms and Yellow Chives
Easy Homemade Dumplings in Soup
Singapore Rice Noodles
Char Siu Chow Funn / Stir-Fried Rice Noodles with Char Siu and Vegetables


Watercress with Fermented Tofu Sauce
Ham Ha Ong Choy / Chinese Water ?Spinach with Preserved Shrimp Sauce
Quick-Fried String Beans
Hakka Ham Choy / Chinese Salted Vegetables Hakka Style
Tsin Choy / Pickled Mustard Cabbage
Tsin Choy with Squid
Cucumbers and Dried Shrimp
Taro with Roast Pork
Long Beans with Chinese Sausage
Lo Han Jai / New Year’s Monks Food
Taiwan-style Pickled Cucumber


Sesame Cookies
Paper Thin Sesame Seed Cookies
Flaky Almond Cookies
Almond Gelatin Dessert
Nien Gao / New Year’s Gao
Dau Lau / Chinese Sweet Rice Balls in Peanut, Coconut, Sesame Coating
Black Sesame Pudding


Author: Lynette Lo Tom