- shortcut cantonese cocktail buns (gai mei bao)by smellylunchboxUsing pre-made bread rolls, you can make these shortcut Cantonese cocktail buns in less than an hour, start to finish. They're sweet, coconut-y, and such a treat!
- Chinese mustard green soup with salted eggby smellylunchboxA well-balanced, nutrient-packed soup made of hearty, slightly bitter mustard greens, sweet carrots, and salted eggs.
- mushroom longevity noodles (yi mein)by smellylunchboxMushroom longevity noodles, also known as braised efu noodles or yi mein (伊面), are a common dish eaten during Chinese holidays or special occasions to symbolize longevity
- Chinese roast pork bellyby smellylunchboxEnjoy this bubbly and crispy Chinese roast pork belly, a traditional dish my family makes every Lunar New Year!
- classic steamed tapioca cake (brown sugar only)by smellylunchboxWith its beautiful golden hue and many distinct layers, this chewy, fragrant, and lightly-sweet dessert is both stunning to look at and fun to eat!
- steamed tapioca cake (with coconut milk layers)by smellylunchboxWith its beautiful golden hue and many distinct layers, this chewy, fragrant, and lightly-sweet dessert is both stunning to look at and fun to eat!
- Chinese herbal chicken soupby smellylunchboxA comforting, savory, and earthy soup that's full of flavor and immune-boosting nutrients from various Chinese herbs.
- steamed egg with enoki mushroomsby smellylunchboxGarlicky enoki mushrooms top this silky steamed egg for the perfect pairing over some rice.
- Toisan savory tang yuan (glutinous rice ball soup)by smellylunchboxThis comforting, hearty soup we eat every winter solstice is not only a symbol of coming together with family, but is also incredibly delicious!
- pineapple buns with Chinese BBQ pork (shortcut!)by smellylunchboxThese pineapple buns are made even better with a filling of savory, Chinese BBQ pork -- a perfect sweet and savory combination that can be made in just an hour!
- snow fungus soup (with pear)by smellylunchboxThis lightly sweet dessert soup is not only delicious, but is incredibly beneficial and nourishing for your lungs, making it a tasty remedy during cough and cold season.
- char siu puff pastry (char siu sou)by smellylunchboxStore-bought flaky puff pastry and char siu (Chinese BBQ Pork) makes this iconic Cantonese bakery item easy to recreate home!
- chicken and corn egg drop soupby smellylunchboxIn less than 30 minutes, you can can make this comforting, classic Chicken and Corn Egg Drop Soup. It's thick and creamy like a chowder, but contains no dairy!
- seaweed egg drop soupby smellylunchboxThis Chinese seaweed egg drop soup is easy, nutritious, and comes together in just 10 minutes!
- steamed eggs with dried scallopsby smellylunchboxSo excited to share another variation of our steamed eggs: Chinese steamed eggs with dried scallops! The addition of dried… Read more: steamed eggs with dried scallops
- watercress and pork bone soupby smellylunchbox
- Hong Kong-style borscht (luo song tong)by smellylunchboxHong Kong-style borscht, or luo song tong (罗宋汤), is a comforting soup I grew up eating in HK-style cafes in… Read more: Hong Kong-style borscht (luo song tong)
- lotus root and pork bone soupby smellylunchbox
- ABC soup (carrot, tomato, & potato soup)by smellylunchbox
- fuzzy melon soup with pork ribsby smellylunchboxThis fuzzy melon soup is packed with nutrition, is lightly flavored by dried scallops and shrimp, and has tender pork ribs that easily fall off the bone.
- taro sagoby smellylunchboxOne of my absolute favorite desserts from my childhood is taro sago, a dessert soup filled with soft chunks of… Read more: taro sago
- spam musubi with tamagoyakiby smellylunchboxTake the classic Hawaiian snack up a notch with lightly sweet tamagoyaki -- a perfect pairing with the salty, sweet-glazed spam.
- steamed eggs with minced beefby smellylunchboxSilky, soft steamed eggs topped with a savory and saucy minced beef -- a combination that's perfectly delicious over a warm bed of rice.
- mango sticky riceby smellylunchboxThis classic Thai mango sticky rice combines ripe mangoes with sweet coconut sticky rice to make the most satisfying dessert!
- Din Tai Fung seaweed & beancurd saladby smellylunchboxThis refreshing appetizer inspired by Din Tai Fung's popular seaweed & beancurd salad is full of crisp textures and flavor. Perfect to pair with any savory meal!
- toisan-style joong (cantonese zongzi)by smellylunchboxHow to make my parents' Toisan-style joong, filled with delicious savory ingredients like pork belly, Chinese sausage, salted egg yolk, mung beans, peanuts, dried shrimp, and dried scallop.
- stir fry sweet potato leaves with garlicby smellylunchboxStir fry sweet potato leaves with garlic are a classic Chinese restaurant dish that's easy to replicate at home!
- stir fry glass noodles (mung bean vermicelli)by smellylunchboxStir fry glass noodles (mung bean vermicelli) is a comforting dish that's filled with springy, chewy noodles, slightly crunchy veggies,… Read more: stir fry glass noodles (mung bean vermicelli)
- creamy mango sagoby smellylunchboxYou only need 5 ingredients to make this easy, creamy mango sago -- the best summer dessert!
- Chinese veggie spring rollsby smellylunchboxThese crispy Chinese veggie spring rolls might be one of the most underrated delicious appetizers that you can easily make… Read more: Chinese veggie spring rolls
- homemade Chinese pineapple buns (shortcut version!)by smellylunchboxThese delicious homemade pineapple buns are made EXTRA easy with a shortcut: using store-bought fluffy sweet rolls as the "bun." No need to fuss with a dough, and they turn out so good!
- chicken katsu with tomato egg sauceby smellylunchboxThis luscious tomato egg sauce coats every piece of crispy, juicy chicken katsu -- making this an addicting combination that will have you going back for more after each bite!
- tender chicken and broccoliby smellylunchboxEven though we're using chicken breast, the marinade will keep this incredibly tender and juicy -- perfect to pair with broccoli and this savory sauce.
- crispy pumpkin with salted egg yolkby smellylunchboxThese crispy pieces of sweet fried pumpkin coated in savory salted egg yolks make a combination that's incredibly addicting!
- mama smelly's kohlrabi riceby smellylunchboxThis unassuming dish is one of my family's absolute favorite dishes that my mom makes. Packed with savory Chinese cured meats, aromatics, and delightful bites of kohlrabi. A must try!
- Chinese steamed eggs with shrimpby smellylunchboxOne of the best variations of this dish, this Chinese steamed eggs with shrimp is one of the most delicious pantry recipes you can make!
- Chinese Pantry Essentials: 7 seasonings you need to cook Chinese foodby smellylunchboxA list of the must-have, Chinese Pantry Essentials you need to cook ~90% of all my recipes (and most Chinese food)!
- Chinese beef and broccoliby smellylunchboxThis addicting and satisfying classic Chinese beef and broccoli dish features tender pieces of beef and crisp broccoli covered in a savory, delicious sauce!
- Cantonese steamed chicken and mushroomsby smellylunchboxTender, juicy chicken, umami shiitake mushrooms, and savory Chinese sausages make this a cozy Cantonese dish that's simple enough for a weekday meal.
- golden egg fried riceby smellylunchboxThis rich, egg yolk-coated golden egg fried rice is made from ingredients you probably already have in your pantry!
- shrimp and chive patties (no eggs needed!)by smellylunchboxPerfect for a healthy and satisfying meal, these juicy shrimp and chive patties are easy, customizable, and can be served as an appetizer or main course!
- Chinese steamed pork patty with preserved vegetablesby smellylunchboxChinese steamed pork patty with preserved vegetables is probably one of the least aesthetic, but most comforting and nostalgic dishes… Read more: Chinese steamed pork patty with preserved vegetables
- Chinese steamed eggs with clamsby smellylunchboxAn expectedly delicious combination of flavors, I promise this silky Chinese steamed eggs with clams will leave you so pleasantly surprised!
- Cantonese fried fish with cream cornby smellylunchboxCrispy, fried pieces of white fish smothered in a savory and naturally sweet corn sauce! This Cantonese fried fish with cream corn is a delicious restaurant classic that's easy to replicate at home.
- Chinese steamed eggsby smellylunchboxChinese steamed eggs were a staple in our home growing up — we used to eat them 1-2x per week… Read more: Chinese steamed eggs
- Panda Express mushroom chickenby smellylunchboxPanda Express mushroom chicken is one of the most underrated choices among their entrees! I get it every time I… Read more: Panda Express mushroom chicken
- chirashi bowlby smellylunchboxRecreating my favorite chirashi bowls inspired by the ones at my local Japanese supermarket, Suruki Supermarket in San Mateo! Chirashi… Read more: chirashi bowl
- kimchi dan dan noodlesby smellylunchboxKimchi dan dan noodles aren't a real thing (as far as I know)! However, I was inspired by the Chinese… Read more: kimchi dan dan noodles
- Chinese turnip cakes (lo bak go)by smellylunchboxChinese turnip cakes (known to some as radish cakes), or lo bak go, are some of the most popular and… Read more: Chinese turnip cakes (lo bak go)
- stir-fried rice cakes (for Lunar New Year)by smellylunchboxStir-fried rice cakes, also known as Shanghai stir-fried rice cakes, is a great dish to celebrate the upcoming Lunar New… Read more: stir-fried rice cakes (for Lunar New Year)
- saucy beef lo meinby smellylunchboxThis saucy beef lo mein is easily customizable with whatever protein and veggies you have sitting in your fridge! Perfect… Read more: saucy beef lo mein
- honey walnut shrimp (no deep-frying)by smellylunchboxHoney walnut shrimp has become a Chinese banquet dinner and takeout classic in the US. I know many of you… Read more: honey walnut shrimp (no deep-frying)
- steamed kimchi mandu (Korean kimchi dumplings)by smellylunchboxSteamed kimchi mandu, or Korean kimchi dumplings, were one of the common street foods I encountered a lot during my… Read more: steamed kimchi mandu (Korean kimchi dumplings)
- Sichuan-style hot & sour shredded potatoesby smellylunchboxSichuan-style hot & sour shredded potatoes is a classic appetizer that’s slightly crunchy and very addicting! The best part: it… Read more: Sichuan-style hot & sour shredded potatoes
- steamed pork spare ribs with kabocha squashby smellylunchboxSteamed pork spare ribs are a classic dish at dim sum! It’s also a dish my parents would often make… Read more: steamed pork spare ribs with kabocha squash
- char siu (Chinese BBQ pork)by smellylunchboxChar siu (cha siu in Cantonese), or Chinese BBQ pork, is a staple you'd find at most Chinese restaurants and butcher shops. It's savory, lightly sweet, and my favorite ones are slightly fatty to keep the slices tender and juicy.
- crispy chive egg dumplingsby smellylunchboxAn easier, crispier version of Chinese chive boxes, these crispy chive egg dumplings made with rice paper are so addicting to make and eat!
- kimchi fried riceby smellylunchboxAn easy weeknight meal that comes together in under 30 minutes and satisfies the craving for comfort food! With the right tips and ingredients, you can make it even better than most restaurants'.
- mooncake filling: white lotus paste from scratchby smellylunchboxDon't want to use store-bought mooncake filling or can't find it at your local Asian supermarket? Here's how you can make your own lotus paste mooncake filling from scratch!
- Chinese lettuce wraps with hoisin (san choy bow)by smellylunchbox
- mooncakes with salted egg yolk and lotus pasteby smellylunchboxCelebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival by making your own salted egg yolk lotus paste mooncakes this year! I share my best… Read more: mooncakes with salted egg yolk and lotus paste
- pan-fried crispy chow mein with shrimpby smellylunchbox
A bed of light and crispy noodles topped with a savory gravy — a classic Chinese restaurant dish! You’d be surprised at how easy it is to make at home.
- Din Tai Fung garlic green beansby smellylunchbox
One of my favorites from Din Tai Fung is their perfectly executed green beans! With a few key tips, you can make this easily at home.
- pork and shrimp wonton noodle soupby smellylunchboxMy family’s wonton noodle soup recipe is one we’ve iterated on over the years — it’s packed with some special ingredients for extra flavor! I share my best tips to get the juiciest and bounciest wontons.
- steamed rice rolls with beef (cheung fun)by smellylunchbox
The beef version of this classic and must-order at dim sum! Check my earlier post for the popular shrimp version.
- shrimp rice noodle rolls (cheung fun)by smellylunchboxShrimp rice noodle rolls are a classic and must-order at dim sum! I share all my learnings and tips here — I promise it’s not as intimidating to make at home as it may seem.
- cantonese soy braised chicken wingsby smellylunchboxThe juiciest, most tender Cantonese soy braised chicken wings you'll eat!
- stuffed egg tofu with shrimpby smellylunchboxSilky, egg tofu paired with juicy and snappy shrimp makes a perfect pairing that's both nutritious and delicious!
- Chinese mapo tofuby smellylunchbox
Spicy, savory, and a bit numbing — this dish goes perfectly with a warm bowl of rice!
- Chinese eggplant & minced pork with garlic sauceby smellylunchboxThis delicious Chinese Eggplant & Minced Pork with Garlic Sauce will have you reaching for a second bowl of rice -- make this in 5 easy steps!
- yu choy with garlic sauceby smellylunchbox
Also know as choy sum, this light and sweet veggie pairs perfectly with a savory, garlicky sauce.
- kung pao chicken (better than Panda Express!)by smellylunchbox
Move over Panda Express — you can make better kung pao chicken at home!
- zhajiangmian (fried sauce noodles)by smellylunchbox
A hearty and satisfying noodle dish balanced by the refreshing crunch of thinly sliced cucumbers and carrots!
- shrimp chow meinby smellylunchboxClean out the veggies in your fridge to create this delicious chow mein that comes together in less than 30 minutes!
- fresh spring rolls with peanut sauceby smellylunchbox
Fresh spring rolls are a perfectly refreshing appetizer with an addictive peanut sauce! Also just kind of fun to roll.
- braised chashu pork belly with marinated eggsby smellylunchbox
A great weekend project that will reward you some of the tastiest chashu you can eat over white rice or in a soup with ramen!
- stir-fry garlic bok choyby smellylunchbox
Chinese stir-fry veggies is one of the best ways to incorporate more vegetables into your meals. Try this easy and delicious stir-fry garlic bok choy!
- tofu katsu curryby smellylunchbox
A great vegetarian option for katsu curry!
- cantonese beef chow fun (dry)by smellylunchboxBaking soda is commonly used in marinades for Chinese stir fries for certain meats. It helps tenderize the meat, especially tougher and leaner cuts like flank steak.
- San Francisco-style (the BEST) garlic noodlesby smellylunchbox
Garlicky, creamy, and satisfying — you HAVE to try these SF-style garlic noodles!
- easy Hainan chicken & riceby smellylunchbox
Tender pieces of chicken, fragrant rice, and a warm bowl of chicken broth. No need to fuss with a whole chicken to get this dish!
- chicken katsu curryby smellylunchbox
Shallow-fried, crispy and juicy chicken over a bed of rice and curry.
- stir-fry tomato & eggsby smellylunchbox
This comfort dish comes together in less than 15 minutes!
- clay pot riceby smellylunchbox
A non-traditional take on a classic! Clay pot not required — any small, heavy bottomed pot will work.
- why I'm starting smelly lunchboxby smellylunchbox
The story behind the blog.
I grew up being embarrassed by my smelly lunchbox… I wanted nothing more than for my parents to pack me a ham & cheese sandwich or lunchables! Now, my life-long love for food & cooking combined with my desire to reconnect with and celebrate these Chinese & Asian flavors from my heritage bring you this smellylunchbox that I’m excited and proud to share. I hope you enjoy them!