For 23 years, Ellen Chou ran a Chinese restaurant in Columbia, Missouri. It was a business that she and her husband had chosen as a means to an end, not because they had a passion for being restaurateurs but because they were investing in the futures of their three children. While she was a good home cook, she had never cooked in a professional kitchen. After the restaurant and the opening chef parted ways, Ellen taught herself how to handle the commercial woks while her husband managed the front of the house. Over the next two decades, the restaurant evolved and, after relocating, grew in size. Her family’s story was featured in the three-part PBS documentary “The Meaning of Food.” Retirement came calling in 2003 when her since deceased husband became too ill to work.

Prior to her life as a parent and restaurateur, Ellen had been a respected journalist in Taipei, Taiwan, first for China Daily News and then for the Central News Agency. She received a graduate degree from the University of Missouri School of Journalism. She filed away her skills as a writer after she and her husband moved to the United States at the end of 1974. The couple had a young daughter and son (they would have another son in 1978), whom they hoped would meet a more secure future than they would have in Taiwan. Currently, Ellen lives with her daughter and her family in Seattle, where she has immersed herself in modern technology and reconnected to her true passion of writing through blogging (in Chinese).

M.O.M. Menu


Pork Spring Rolls

crispy pastry filled with pork loin, shitake mushrooms, carrots & cabbage


Mongolian Beef

beef flank steak stir-fried with green onions & onions, soy & garlic, served with jasmine rice

“Lion’s Head” Meatball Stew

slow-cooked pork meatballs, chinese cabbage & rice vermicelli served in a flavorful broth


Green Tea Panna Cotta

Ellen’s specialty isn’t desserts, so we created this creamy eggless custard with a lovely hint of green tea, served topped with fresh strawberries

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