4 Chefs On How To Make Great Chinese Food At Home
4 Chefs On How To Make Great Chinese Food At Home

4 Chefs On How To Make Great Chinese Food At Home

Making great Chinese food at home doesn’t have to be difficult. Just in time for Lunar New Year this weekend, we asked four chefs for the essential ingredients you’ll need – and their favourite dishes. From simple dumplings to crispy Taiwanese chicken, here’s what they gave us…

Chong Yew

Three Uncles

“There are seven ingredients that will allow you to make hundreds of Chinese dishes at home: garlic, ginger, spring onions (the base ingredients to many recipes), soy sauce, sesame oil, Chinese rice wine and corn flour. I also couldn’t live without a wok, rice cooker or a steaming basket.

“One of my favourite recipes is Cantonese steamed fish, which you can make with any whole fish, like seabass. Layer your fish on top of thin slices of ginger and spring onions, and steam for 15-20 minutes. For a larger piece of fish, you can steam it in a wok with a steamer basket and lid. Meanwhile, make the sauce by mixing light soy sauce, sesame oil and sugar to your taste. Once the fish is cooked, place it on a serving platter, add extra slithers of ginger and spring onion, then heat a tablespoon of oil until smoking and pour over the fish to ‘cook’ them and release the aromas. Pour over the sauce and serve with steamed rice and veg. 

“To make easy dumplings at home, mince chicken or pork shoulder with a Chinese cleaver (or large knife) into very fine pieces. Combine with Chinese leaf, wood ear mushrooms, spring onions, fresh coriander, sesame oil, white pepper, sugar, light soy and corn starch. Take a sheet of dumpling pastry (readily available in Asian supermarkets), pop in a teaspoon of filling and fold into a half-moon shape, sealing with a little water. These can then be boiled or steamed to cook – or fried if you like them crispy.

“Finally, there are three common mistakes to avoid in Chinese cooking: don’t overload your wok with ingredients, don’t stir fry with sesame oil (it should only be used at the end of the cooking process as a fragrant addition); and don’t rush the cooking of each ingredient in recipes, – make sure they release the fragrance.”

Visit ThreeUncles.co.uk

Ching He Huang

“My store cupboard staples include Shaoxing rice wine, light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, sesame oil, five spice, oyster sauce, chilli bean sauce, chilli oil, black or clear rice vinegar and ground white pepper.

“I like to make a batch of my Chinese-style salsa verde as a condiment to enjoy with various dishes. I blitz together ginger, chillies, spring onions, soy sauce and sesame oil, which is a delicious dipping sauce or served with meat or fish. For dumplings, I mix together equal parts black rice vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, and coriander stems and blitz for a zingy sauce.

“One of my favourite dishes is Shanghai wonton dumpling soup. To make the wontons (this recipe serves 4), mix together 75g of minced prawns, 100g of minced pork, 1 large spring onion (finely chopped), 1 teaspoon of grated ginger, 1 tablespoon of light soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of rice wine, 1 teaspoon of sesame oil, and 2 teaspoons of cornflour. Put 1 teaspoon of filling in the centre of the wonton wrapper – you will need about 16 – gather the corners into the centre, and twist to form a small, sealed parcel dumpling. To make the soup, pour 500ml of boiling water into a large saucepan with a chicken stock cube. Add ½ a Chinese lettuce leaf, 6 fresh shiitake mushrooms (sliced), and the wontons. Season to taste using 1-2 tablespoons of light soy sauce, 1-2 tablespoons of rice vinegar and a teaspoon of toasted sesame oil. Allow to simmer for five minutes. Divide the soup between 4 bowls, scatter with spring onions and serve with chilli oil.”

Visit ChingHeHuang.com


Kwoklyn Wan

“To make great Chinese food at home, you only need a few ingredients: light soy sauce to season; dark soy sauce for its rich umami flavour and colour; oyster sauce to elevate vegetables; sesame oil for marinades; and chicken powder which you can use instead of stock.

“One of my favourite recipes is Chinese chicken curry – one of the most popular items on a takeaway menu. To make two portions, start by heating a little oil in a non-stick pan, before adding two diced onions and five cloves of garlic. Cook until softened, then add in two carrots, sliced into small discs. Cook on a low heat for 10 to 12 minutes, then add in 2 tablespoons of flour, 4 teaspoons of curry powder, and cook for another minute. Gradually stir in 600ml of chicken stock, followed by 2 teaspoons of honey, 4 teaspoons of soy sauce and 1 bay leaf. Slowly bring to the boil, then simmer for 15 minutes or until the sauce thickens. Stir in a teaspoon of garam masala, then pour the curry sauce through a sieve and set to one side. Place a wok over a medium heat and add a tablespoon of oil. Once the oil is hot, add two chicken breasts and stir fry for 2 minutes. Add a diced onion and 4 sliced mushrooms, and fry for a further 2 to 3 minutes, ensuring the chicken is cooked thoroughly. Now add ¼ teaspoon of salt and ¼ teaspoon of sugar, mix well and add the curry sauce with around 100g of frozen peas. Bring to the boil, then turn down to simmer for 3 minutes, allowing the curry sauce to thicken again. Transfer to a plate and serve with rice.”

Visit KwoklynWan.com

Tong Chee Hwee


“I’d start by investing in a good wok. Wok cooking is the most widely used technique in Chinese food, and it’s a hero piece of equipment, providing consistent, high temperatures and a smoky flavour (called wok Hei in Cantonese) that you cannot get from anything else.

“One of my favourite dishes is crispy Taiwanese chicken with Thai basil. To make a portion for two, start with the chicken. Mix together 1 free-range egg white with 1 teaspoon of oyster sauce and ½ teaspoon of cornflour. Add 240g of boneless chicken thighs and marinate for 20 minutes. Heat a glug a vegetable or peanut oil in a wok, add the chicken carefully and fry for a minute. Add half a diced onion, six dried chillies, 2 crushed garlic cloves, a 2cm piece of finely chopped ginger, and 2 spring onions, cut into batons. Fry for a further 30 seconds before removing with a slotted spoon to allow the oil to drain away. Set aside the oil in a different bowl and clean the wok. To make the sauce, mix together 1 teaspoon of chilli bean sauce, 2 teaspoons of rice vinegar, 1 teaspoon of oyster sauce, 1 tablespoon of light soy sauce, 1 teaspoon of dark soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of Shaoxing rice wine, 1 tablespoon of caster sugar and ½ a teaspoon of cornflour. Heat the wok again over a high heat; add 1 tablespoon of the reserved oil back into the wok and add a handful of Thai basil. Gently stir fry for 10 seconds, then add the chicken mixture back to the wok. Add the three-cup sauce and stir fry until the sauce is reduced and sticky. Garnish with the remaining basil and serve.”

Visit Gouqi-Restaurants.co.uk

Fashion. Beauty. Culture. Life. Home
Delivered to your inbox, daily