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Double happiness beans

5 Apr

Easy to make, pretty to look at, tasty to eat – this dish could be called triple happiness beans.

I assume the “double” refers to the two types of bean involved – Chinese black beans and fresh green beans.

These are not the same black beans that feature in Mexican recipes like sweet potato and black bean tacos, but soybeans that have been dried and fermented with salt.

Pungent and intensely salty, Chinese black beans should be soaked before use to avoid overpowering the other ingredients.

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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.

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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