My best Chinese Recipes of 2020. Why am I writing this post after a busy couple of family days and lots of Halloween baking? When I am not in a kitchen at work, I do quite a lot of administration sat at a computer. So you might ask why do I choose this as my downtime? I wish it was as easy to explain as some of the best food writers are able to make it. I want to share my joy and excitement when just a few ingredients come together to make something more as a whole dish. What’s more, you don’t have to a Michelin starred chef or culinary alchemist to experience this. The best way I can try to show you this is with my favourite food. With just a few basic staples and some herbs and aromatics you can make awesome Chinese food.*
Why Chinese Food?
I am just such a fan of Chinese cooking. I think it is the contrast in flavours to food styles and cuisines I learned at college. There is the simplicity I am writing about in wok-fried dishes. They are nutritious, quick to cook and great for an easy supper. At the other end of the scale, you can collate a series of dishes to create a multicourse awe-inspiring banquet. Chinese is not just one flavour but a series of distinct regional styles and use of ingredients. And what ingredients star anise, garlic, ginger, spring onions, soy sauce, seafood, pork and duck some of my all time favourites.
But what I really think about Chinese food is the wonderful mix of slightly sweet and salty soy. A little sour rice wine, some chilli and ginger bite. The crisp vegetables tossed in delicious sauces and succulent melt in the mouth meats. I am a very lucky chef to be able to cook with some fantastic ingredients and too have learnt my trade from some inspiring mentors. I am a very lucky foodie to have eaten in some of the best restaurants in the world. What’s more I have tasted some incredible dishes. However, if I had to choose a final meal, I’m not sure in what circumstances. My choice wouldn’t be some intense creation with numerous exotic ingredients. It would be Crispy Duck Pancakes with sweet, sticky Hoisin Sauce, some Crispy Beef and some Steamed Scallops with Ginger and Spring Onions.
*Other cultures and cuisines have simple great tasting recipes I love dishes from across Asia, India, Italy and Mexico to name but a few, which are all made from just a few excellent ingredients.
My Best Chinese Recipes
“I have done was an inspiring course in London with Ken Hom, equipped myself with numerous books, woks, steamers, and ingredients from quaint little Asian specialty suppliers and set to work as only a chef can and chopped, pounded, crushed, fried and ate my way through the Chinese canon. Cantonese, Shandong, Hunan and spicy Szechuan cuisine with noodles, rice, black beans, bok choi and lots of seasoning; garlic, chilli, cloves and ginger, and the wonderfully pungent star anise. Am I giving my little local take away a bit of a run for his money what do you think?”
“In China lamb or mutton is eaten mostly in the north and north west and is especially favoured by the Muslim and Mongol populations but it is available everywhere. The most popular street food in China are Xinjiang lamb skewers with fiery and fragrant with chilli and Szechuan peppercorns, which you can find in every major city throughout China. Chinese recipes mostly call for mutton or substitute goat rather than lamb mainly because traditionally lamb was scarce, and the cooking times would be longer. “
“I thought we need to look at how to cook the perfect bowl of light fluffy rice to eat with all the other dishes. If you follow the tips you don’t need a rice steamer cluttering up your work surface and I know you won’t go wrong with the perfect accompaniment.”