‘Packed with delicious, easy-to-make dishes … Ching-He Huang is the new face of Chinese cooking.’
Heat magazine [five star review on 19/7/08]
'Once you have the top 10 ingredients in your store cupboard that are essential to cooking Chinese food, and a few favourites such as oyster or yellow bean sauce - the rest is easy. All you need is Ching-He Huang's Chinese Food Made Easy … Ching not only tells you all you need to know about using a wok, she shares her passion for Chinese food and Chinese culture too.'
From the Author
Is the Typical Chinese Takeaway menu really Chinese?
Its certainly not Chinese home cooking. Some of these dishes do come from Canton thats because of the British connection with Hong Kong but theyve been westernised. Wherever Chinese food has gone in the world, its been adapted to use healthy dishes at home that are not laden with monosodium glutamate.
So what should I keep in my Chinese store cupboard?
You may already have corn flour and good-quality stocks. Add dark and light soy sauces, five-spice powder, black rice vinegar, a good chilli sauce to get you going and toasted sesame oil for dressing for cooking I use groundnut oil. Some olive oils are too strongly flavoured and conflict with the Chinese flavours. Then the rest is fresh, including the typical flavourings: ginger, garlic, spring onion, chilli and coriander.
What about Stir-fry sauces that you can buy in jars?
I hate those. The only sauces that are OK in jars, if they are good quality, are oyster sauce and chilli bean sauce. Theyre both proper preserved sauces. For sweet and sour sauce, use pineapple juice, brown sugar and ketchup for colour.
Should I be looking for Chinese Supermarkets?
Im surprised and pleased to see authentic Asian products on some supermarket shelves. In general Id say you have to experiment. You often find that even good brands do only one excellent product. I can recommend Kikkoman soy sauce, for example. Thats my honest opinion they dont pay me!
Can you give an example of the sort of thing you cook?
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When I cook dinner at home, Ill make a one-pot meal, chao mian, meaning "stir noodle" or chow main as you probably call it. Marinate some sliced chicken in five-spice powder and minced garlic for a few minutes. Cook noodles in boiling water buy dried, long wheat-flour noodles; dont bother with ready cooked. Drain and put to one side; you can toss in a bit of sesame oil to stop them sticking. Chop red pepper, bok choi and spring onion. Mince some ginger. Get your wok nice and hot. Cook the chicken until its fully opaque. Put to one side. Add the other ingredients, stir then and add a splash of water to create steam to help cook the veg. After about 40 seconds return the chicken to the wok, season with soy sauce, sesame oil, and add the noodles. And thats it a modern, one-pot dish.