Guilt-free Chinese food

January 16, 2008 5:59:38 PM PST
The owner and chef of Jennie Low's Chinese Cuisine makes healthy chicken and broccoli.

Always dreamed of cooking Chinese Food for your family but worried about the fat content? Rest assured there are low-cal cooking alternatives when making Chinese foods for your family. Jennie Low is the owner of Jennie Low's Chinese Food in Petaluma and Novato.

Jennie Low's Healthy Chicken with Broccoli
(Gai Chow Guy Lon)
Serves 6

1 ¼ lb. broccoli (about 3 cups)
1 chicken breast (cut into 1 ½" x ½" pieces)
1 Tablespoon of chopped garlic
1 green onion, slivered
3 Tablespoons oil (for lower fat, use chicken broth or white wine)
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons soy sauce
2/3 cup chicken stock

Seasoning for Chicken
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 Tablespoon Oyster sauce
1 Tablespoon white wine
Dash of pepper
1 Tablespoon cornstarch

2 teaspoons cornstarch mixed well with:
1 Tablespoon cold water and
1 Tablespoon oyster sauce


  1. Peel off tough covering of broccoli stems. Cut stems and flowerets into thin slices on the diagonal.
  2. Add seasoning ingredients, garlic and green onion to chicken, mix well. Set aside.
  3. Heat wok and add 1 Tablespoon oil. Add broccoli and stir-fry for 2 minutes over high heat.
  4. Add salt, sugar, soy sauce and 1/3 cup chicken stock and bring to a boil. Cook uncovered for 2 minutes. Removed from wok and set aside.
  5. Heat a clean wok and add 2 Tablespoons oil. Add chicken and stir-fry for 2 minutes over high heat.
  6. Add 1/3 cup chicken stock. Cover and cook for 2 minutes over high heat.
  7. Add broccoli, mix thoroughly.
  8. Stir in thickener. Cook for 30 more seconds, then serve.

Web site:

    Two Locations:
    1. Theatre Square
      140 2nd Street, Suite 120
      Petaluma, CA
      Phone: (707) 762-6888
      Monday through Saturday: 11:30 AM to 9:15 PM
      Sunday: 4:00 PM to 9:15 PM

    2. Vintage Oaks Mall
      Next to Target
      Novato, CA 94945
      Phone: (415) 892-8838
      Monday through Saturday: 11:30 AM to 9:30 PM
      Sunday: 3:30 PM to 9:30 PM

Chinese Home Cooking Now Available in Downtown Petaluma Jennie Low's Far East Flavors Expand North One of the Bay Area's best-loved Chinese restaurants has opened a new location in downtown Petaluma. Jennie Low's Chinese Cuisine is now located at 140 Second Street in Petaluma's trendy Theatre District. The restaurant is open daily for lunch and dinner and specializes in home-style Chinese, Cantonese, Mandarin, Hunan and Szechuan cuisine. All of the recipes used in the restaurant have been created by Jennie Low herself, who personally supervises the preparation of nine sauces used daily in her restaurants. "I think food should be fresh and simple," says Low. "Although I use only quality ingredients in my sauces, my dishes are never fancy. My sauces are made with ingredients like premium oyster sauce and home-made chicken stock. It really makes a difference."

The menu features Asian favorites such as Hand-made Pot Stickers, Hot and Sour Soup and crispy, tangy Lemon Chicken. Signature dishes include Jennie's Noodle Soup with shrimp, chicken, fresh vegetables and egg drop with noodles in a thick chicken broth. Jennie's Calamari is made from fresh calamari dipped in a light batter, deep fried and glazed with a honey coating. Prices range from $5.88 to $12.88. Low's prices intentionally end with an "8" because she considers it a lucky number. Diners concerned with eating healthy will find full-flavored options in Jennie's Light Creations which come steamed or stir-fried without oil and served with sauces on the side.

Low never uses MSG and is currently using low-sodium soy sauce in her cooking in addition to Chinese brown sugar instead refined white sugar. Customers are greeted by a laughing Buddha and beautiful purple orchid plants as they enter the new Jennie Low's. Inside, the restaurant is spacious and tastefully decorated in comforting hues of purple and green. It is a casual family-style restaurant that seats 106 in its 3,000 square foot space. Many of the lamps and pictures in the restaurant are Chinese antiques from Low's personal collection. "Bringing in my own antiques makes me feel as if I'm welcoming customers into my home," says Low. The seating area is illuminated by large windows that allow guests to observe and enjoy the new, hip area of downtown Petaluma.

About Jennie Low:
With 20 years experience as a cooking instructor, Low dreamed of owning her own restaurant for years. In 1987 she realized that dream and opened the first Jennie Low's in Mill Valley. She developed a loyal following and only recently closed that restaurant due to a high rent increase.

Currently she owns two restaurants, one in Novato's Vintage Oaks Shopping Center off Highway 101, and the new Petaluma location. Low believes in keeping her restaurants small so she can be hands-on in the kitchen, meticulously training chefs to duplicate her dishes. She enjoys visiting with customers, many of whom have been dining at her restaurants for years. Low's staff also is a dedicated group. Many employees have been with the company since her first restaurant opened. Much of the help comes from her two daughters, Cindy and Denise. "None of my restaurants would be possible without their talents and dedication," says Low. "I couldn't ask for two more hard working, devoted children." Low is the author of two cookbooks, Chopsticks, Cleaver, and Wok and The Szechuan Cookbook. She also has written a guidebook entitled A Taste of Chinatown based on tours of San Francisco's China Town she has given to help her culinary students better understand Chinese culture.

Web site: