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Tea eggs

8 Feb

Tea eggs

We love to celebrate Chinese New Year in our house with a special Chinese meal. The menu varies from year to year, but we always start things off with edamame, prawn crackers and these tea eggs.

Carefully cracked hard-boiled eggs are simmered in their shells in a mixture of tea, soy sauce and spices, then left to steep until flavourful. When peeled, the cracks in the shell create a beautiful marbled effect.

Gung hay fat choy! Continue reading

Chicken and tofu

26 Jun

Chicken and tofu
I’ve been making this classic Chinese dish for years – sometimes using prawns instead of chicken, or a  veggie version with just tofu and mushrooms  – and it’s always delicious. Continue reading

Crystal chicken

4 Jun

Crystal chicken

This is one of the simplest, tastiest and useful ways to cook chicken that I know. Crystal chicken is a meal in its own right, or perfect for adding to salads, sandwiches, stirfries and other dishes. I also make an Asian-flavoured chicken rice soup from the cooking liquid. Continue reading

Hong Kong green beans

14 May

Hong Kong green beans

Last November in Hong Kong we ate the most delicious stir-fried green beans one evening. Finding ourselves without dinner reservations on Saturday night, we were turned away from several places before finally landing a table in one of the many restaurants in the iSquare building on Nathan Road.

Continue reading

Szechuan celery with beef

2 May

Szechuan celery with beef

Szechuan celery with beef has become a family standby. As a lapsed vegetarian, I’m drawn to recipes where meat plays a supporting roles, and the celery is definitely the star here.

While there’s a bit of faffing around up front – peeling and blanching the celery, mainly – it comes together very quickly after that. Continue reading

Chicken with Szechuan pepper and star anise

7 Dec

chinese chicken

I love to cook, and am happy to make my own bread, stock, ice cream, sushi or whatever. So long as the effort justifies the end result, I consider it time well spent.

But I equally love it when a only small amount of effort is needed to produce something delicious. Along with Barbados cream, Grasmere gingerbread, and sardine pesto, chicken with Szechuan pepper and star anise is one of those recipes. Continue reading

Mapo tofu

20 Oct

Mapo tofu

Mapo tofu stirs up a lot of memories for me… Many years ago, I spent the best part of a month in China. It had only recently opened its borders to independent travellers, and hadn’t quite worked out what to do with them. This resulted in a mind-bending mixture of bewildering petty controls and anarchic freedom.

Prevented from disembarking with the other passengers on a long-distance bus journey because a particular town was off limits, we were left free to wander off along the Great Wall with a sack full of bedding and sleep overnight in a watch tower. Continue reading