Chinese Ching-A-Ling

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Our family members all love Chinese foods, but there have been many times when it wasn't in our budget to go the whole 9 yards to get it. We came up with this recipe which seemed to satisfy our appetites for the great taste of "Chinese" until we could do better. It's quick and easy to prepare, and that was always a plus when I was working. It also accepts substitutions very gracefully.


We save the little packets of Soy Sauce and Hot Chinese Mustard when we get "take out" so that we have them if anyone would like to add them to their own plate.


  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped small
  • 6 green scallions chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped small
  • 4 large carrots, sliced very thinly
  • 4 Tbsp. (or to taste) Soy Sauce (low sodium if you can find it)
  • 1 Tbsp. Worchestershire Sauce
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 2 Cloves minced garlic (or 1/2 Tbsp. garlic powder)
  • 1 (29 oz.) can Chinese vegetables, drained (reserve liquid)
  • 1 (15 oz.) can bean sprouts, drained (reserve liquid)
  • enough water to make 2 cups when added to reserved liquid from vegetables and bean sprouts
  • 2 Tbsp. corn starch (mixed in a little of the water)
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  • 4 cups cooked rice
  • Chopped scallions for garnish.


Quickly brown ground beef in olive oil, then drain if necessary. If the meat is really lean, I'll leave the olive oil in as it's good for you. Add chopped onions, scallions, celery, carrots, salt, and pepper.

Add soy and Worchestershire sauces. Cover and cook on low for about 12-15 minutes to soften vegetables. Add garlic.

Add canned vegetables and water mixed with corn starch. Add the additional water and saved juices. Stir until everything starts to thicken. Cover and simmer for 15 more minutes.

Serve over cooked rice (brown or white) and top with chopped green scallions. This is almost as good as real Chinese food. :-)

Note: If you have leftover steamed broccoli, be sure to include that and you can leave out the bean sprouts if your family doesn't care for them. I have substituted bok choy for the bean sprouts too, and we all like that very well. Just roll up a few leaves at the time and slice thinly. It cooks very fast. Do the same for Napa or Chinese cabbage. Feel free to add cans of Chop Suey Vegetables, water chestnuts and/or bamboo shoots, whatever you have. Be as creative as you like.


Servings: 6
Time:20 Minutes Preparation Time
30-35 Minutes Cooking Time

Source: Our son gets the credit for coming up with this recipe. He would have eaten it every day for a week at the time, I think. He kept suggesting more things to add until this version emerged and he named it as well. The name stuck.

By Julia from Boca Raton, FL

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September 20, 20100 found this helpful

We have what we like to call "Saturday Night Specials" in our family. I think you've just given us our new "Saturday Night Special" for the next few weeks.


Sometimes, we get on a TexMex kick for a few weeks, then it might be Italian. I've not seen a recipe for anything Chinese that would lend itself better to the quick changes that we sometimes need to make with substitutions.

Thanks Pookarina. You'll be getting a thumbs up for this great idea. Kudos to your son.


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September 24, 20100 found this helpful

I think this would make a great "ANY" night special. It sounds so good that I might eat it for breakfast even, if there were any leftovers. Our kids love Chinese too.



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September 24, 20100 found this helpful

This is going to be our Sunday dinner day after tomorrow. I have a school play to plan, and 2 Halloween costumes to dream up. I need something fairly quick, easy and yummy. This is IT!


I appreciate the fact that I might can add more to the pot if I need to. Ha-Ha.

Thanks for sharing Pookarina.


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September 24, 20100 found this helpful

This sounds so good, and I love the catchy name. We like every ingredient, so getting them to eat it will not be difficult at all.

Ever since I mentioned it, the kids have been asking, "Is it Ching-A-Ling" time yet?

Tell your son that he did a good job. LOL

Thanks for sharing his recipe.


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September 25, 20100 found this helpful

We're all set to make your Chinese Ching-A-Ling tomorrow night Pookarina. I just know it's going to be a hit. Having to economize in a few places has made me give a lot of thought to the recipes like this which can be changed and substituted with other ingredients in a minute. Very little food that we buy on a regular basis is cheaper than rice, and La Choy has coupons available often enough to stock up on the cans of Chinese veggies.


I'm really looking forward to making your recipe. Will let you all know how it turns out. I did pick up bamboo shoots and the water chestnuts as they are favs, and I bought fresh celery and scallions. I'll also be using fresh broccoli instead of the bean sprouts.'
Definitely my kind of recipe.


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