From movies to quick meals Cooking: Her Stoneleigh video store was her family's bread and butter, but Bella Chou always stirred up something tastier for dinner.

Kitchen Encounters

September 18, 1996|By Elizabeth Large | Elizabeth Large,SUN STAFF

When Bella Chou left Taiwan in 1971 to come to the U.S., she had no idea she'd end up running the Video Center, a mini-mart and video store in Stoneleigh. She had graduated from college with a degree in home economics.

But her husband Edward, a chemist, decided to switch careers when research grants dried up in the '80s. He set up his wife in the video rental business and started his own company marketing scientific equipment. "Meanwhile Bella was keeping us alive," he jokes.

She would work until 9 p.m. and then go home to cook dinner. "It needed to be quick," she says -- an understatement with three kids. That usually meant stir-frys created with lots of vegetables and small pieces of meat.

"You can put them over rice or regular needles, egg noodles, or spinach noodles," she says. "It's pretty healthy because it's cooked a short time with not much oil and not much meat."

You could call the recipe Bella Chou gave us "stir-fried noodles" or even "lo mein," but because it's made with ordinary ingredients found in the supermarket we named it

Stir-fried spaghetti

Makes 4 to 6 servings

16 ounces spaghetti

3 tablespoons of vegetable oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

7 ounces boneless pork or chicken, sliced

1 tablespoon cornstarch

soy sauce, salt, pepper

1 1/2 cups mixed vegetables such as snow peas, baby corn, bamboo shoots, thinly sliced carrots, mushrooms, sliced onions

sliced green onion for decoration

Cook the spaghetti according to package directions, drain and set aside.

Meanwhile heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Stir-fry the garlic briefly. Add the meat and cook, stirring constantly, until it turns whitish. Add the vegetables, stir-fry until tender-crisp, and season to taste with soy sauce, salt and pepper.

Stir in the spaghetti and top with sliced green onions.

Pub Date: 9/18/96

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