A Good Life Needs Healthy and Delicious Food :)!
Most recipes are in English, with one or two in Chinese, for the more advanced chefs and bilinguals. If your Chinese is not up to scratch but would like to experiment anyway, use your Google Translator 🙂
Chinese New Year Treats: Tangyuan (汤圆，元宵)
The easiest thing to do is to buy ready made tangyuan (glutinous rice balls) from your local Chinese supermarket. There are different fillings to choose from, the most popular ones are sesame, peanuts, sweet bean past, dates, scented osmanthus flowers and tangerine peels. If you are adventurous, you can make your own sweet or savoury fillings. Personally, I prefer the sweet combination of peanuts, chocolate, jam of your choice and roasts nuts.
If you would like to start from scratch, buy the glutinous powder, mixed with water to make a pastry. Wrap them in a parcel and boil them for a few minutes, ready to serve when they float to the surface.
For extra taste, add an egg, a few spoonful of sweet fermented rice (甜酒釀 ‘tian jiu niang’ or 醪糟 ‘lao zao’), and sprinkle a few goji berries, as I usually do. Enjoy this sweet treat!
Junying’s Corn-fed Poussin with Mushrooms & Thai Curry
Ingredients & Preparation
- 1 corn-fed (or normal) poussin (for two) or a whole chicken (for 4-6 people)
- Cut into pieces, medium sizes (see picture)
- Ginger, chopped to small pieces
- Fresh chillies – amount depending how hot you like, I usually have 4-6 small green or red chillies
- a few spring onions, chopped
- fresh coriander, chopped
- One or more fresh tomatoes
- 2 tablespoon sunflower oil
- Thai red or green curry sauce (you can alternate and decide which you prefer)
- Dried mushrooms, soaked (for an hour or so) and chopped to size
- Fresh mushrooms (optional)
- cooking wine (Chinese rice wine or wine of your choice – I used a lemon flavoured liquor cooking the dish)
- Fresh parsley (optional)
Heat oil and fry the poussin/chicken in a pan, till golden;
- Add ginger and fresh chillies and stir fry a little more;
- Add Thai curry sauce, a tablespoonful or two, depending on how hot you like it;
- Add dry mushrooms and water, enough to cover the contents in the pot;
- Splash a spoonful of cooking wine or liquor, and bring it to the boil, then reduce the heat;
- Add tomatoes and parsley;
- Cover and simmer until the poussin is tender; 30 minutes, or longer if you prefer;
- Stir in spring onions and coriander pieces, and serve, with rice and vegetable/salad.
Junying’s Twice Cooked Pork 回锅肉 (for 4 people)
- 1kg pork (most people use pork belly, but I prefer lean pork chops), cut into small slices (see pictures below)
- Ginger, chopped
- Fresh chillies – amount depending on how hot you like, I usually have 4-6 small green or red chillies
- a few spring onions, chopped
- fresh coriander, chopped (optional)
- 1-2 tablespoon sunflower oil
- a few cloves of garlic, chopped(optional)
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon chilli sauce (any make, but Sichuan/China-made preferred)
- red/green/yellow pepper, chopped
- one leak, chopped
1 Put the pork in a pan and add water to cover the meat
2 Bring it to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer until the pork is tender
3 Remove the pork from the pan and let it cool
4 Slice the pork thinly into pieces – size does not matter 🙂
5 Heat the oil in a large frying pan/or wok until very hot, add a pinch of salt before the pork pieces and cook for a few minutes over a high heat, stirring constantly, until they turned brown.
6 Keep stirring with a wooden spoon, and add the chopped chili/ginger/garlic; stirring for a minute or two.
7 Add peppers of your choice and leak and continue to stir for another couple of minutes
8 Add chili sauce, soy sauce and mix well (you can also add a pinch of sugar or small amount of vinegar to add more flavours)
9 Stir in spring onions and coriander pieces, and serve.
Julie Posner’s Recipe of Tilapia Jhal
Indian, Side, Bengali fish curry, Tilapia spicy gravy
Cooks in 20 Minutes, Serves 2
Ingredients 1 whole tilapia, cut into 4 pieces 1 cup chopped onions 1 teaspoon turmeric powder ½ teaspoon chilli powder ¾ teaspoon cumin powder Salt to taste 1cup water 3 tablespoon of mustard oil 2 sprigs of coriander, finely chopped.
Directions • Clean the fish well and mix with ½ tsp turmeric powder and salt • Heat about 2 tablespoon of oil in a thick skillet and fry the fish till it turns golden brown in color • Heat about a teaspoon of mustard oil in a wok and throw in the onions, fry till they turn translucent • Add all the spices, season with salt and pour in water • Cook covered till the gravy thickens • Add in the fried fishes and cook for about 2-3 mins more • Garnish with fresh chopped coriander leaves • Serve with warm white rice.
Junying’s Spicy Chicken and Seafood Paella
- 500g Paella Rice
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- pieces of freerange chicken marinated with salt and pepper
- red/green pepper, chopped into chunks
- a red onoin, peeled & chopped
- gloves garlic, finally choped
- red or green chilli, chopped
- 3 tomatos, grated
- 6-8 tiger prowns, with shells
- 100g Spanish cooking corizo, diced
- a dozen or so mussles (optional)
- peas, either fresh or frozen
- chicken stock, boiled with saffron
- 1 lemon, cut into wedges
- sea salt
- parsley or corridader, chopped
- heat paella pan and pour olive oil
- add chicken pieces until golden, set aside
- fry chopped onions, chorizo, chillis, garlic and peppers, and saute until the onion is soft
- add grated tomatos and cook for 5 minutes, stiring occasionally
- stir in the rice with a pinch of sea salt; adding stock to cover the rice, simmering for 5 minutes
- add chicken, cover the pan and simmer for 10 minutes
- add tiger prowns, mussles and peas and simmer, with cover, for another 5 minutes
- remove the lid and turn over prawns and simmer for another 5 minutes
- on checking when cooked, swtich off heat, sprinkle with parsley or corriander
- serving with fresh lemon wedges after a few minutes
NB: If you don’t like it being spicy, don’t add chilli, or add as little or as much as you like. You can add other seafood, and follow the same instructions.
Craig Reynolds’ Korean Kimchi Pancake
Cooking Instructions for Easy Pancake-Making
1) Start with Korean pancake powder (mix).
2) Chop up in to small pieces your favorite Kimchi saving any sauce drippings and set aside.
3) Drain one can of solid white tuna (in water, not oil) saving liquid.
4) Follow the mixing instruction on the mix powder and substitute the saved tuna liquid and Kimchi sauce drippings for an equal amount of the required liquid.
5) After the mix is ready add in the Kimchi and tuna and fry it up.
Tip: Using a non stick pan without any oil works best.
Junying’s Special Fried Rice
- cooked plain rice;
- red or green chilli;
- sweet corns and peas (both or either)
- fish balls or prawns, or chicken pieces
- spring onions, or chives
- fresh coriander
Cutting chillies and ginger in small pieces
- Beating an egg or more, depending on how big the portion
- Slicing chicken pieces, fish balls or peeled prawns, or pork, beacon, or seasonal vegetables
- Chopping spring onions, coriander to small pieces
- Heating up the oil to a sizzling temperature;
- Adding eggs and scramble them until golden;
- Putting in fish ball pieces/meat and continue to fry for a minute or so;
- Adding chilli and ginger pieces and keep frying;
- Adding cooked rice, sweet corns/peas (optional) and continue to stir fry and mix;
- Garnishing with spring onions, coriander before serving. A simple dinner, or as a side dish to go with main courses 🙂
Sweet & Sour Spare Ribs 糖醋小排
* 猪肋排剁小块、葱打结、姜切片，切一些葱末备用 – Cut ribs into small cubes, slice ginger, and spring onions
* 锅内做凉水放入排骨块焯出血沫捞出温水冲净 – Boil ribs, then get rid of water
* 锅内做水，水开后放入排骨块，葱结、姜片 – Bring water to boil, add ribs, ginger and spring onions
* 水开后烹入绍酒，转中火炖30分钟排骨八成熟捞出控干水分 – Add Rice wine and turn down fire to simmer for 30 minutes; empty water
* 要想排骨颜色好将排骨放入锅内放少老抽或酱油上色 – Add Dark or Light soy sauce for colouring
* 锅烧热放少许油，排骨控干水分入油锅大火煎炸出焦香、上色 – Add cooking oil and stir fry ribs
* 控出少许油、排骨放入番茄酱、糖、 醋，盐, 酱油调味 – Add Tomato Sauce, Sugar，Vinegar and Salt
* 最后大火收汁即可 – Turn up fire and stop when the sauce starts to dry.
Julie Posner’s Indian Kadai Chicken
Ingredients• Chicken,10-12 pieces 1 kilogram • Coriander seeds 2 teaspoons • Cumin seeds 2 teaspoons • Black peppercorns 6 • Whole dry red chilli 6 • Ginger 2 inch piece • Ghee 2 tablespoons• Garlic 15 cloves • Oil 2 tablespoons • Onion, chopped, 1 large • Tomatoes, chopped, 4 large • Salt to taste • Fresh coriander leaves,chopped 2 tablespoons
1) Dry roast coriander seeds, cumin seeds and black peppercorns and grind to a coarse powder;
2) Grind red chillies, ginger and garlic to a fine paste;
3) Heat ghee and oil in a kadai, add onion and sauté till lightly browned;
4) Add half the coarsely ground spice powder and red chilli-ginger-garlic paste and continue to sauté for three to four minutes;
5) Add tomatoes and salt and continue to sauté till the tomatoes become soft;
7) Add coriander leaves and the remaining coarsely ground spice powder and mix;
8) Add half a cup of water and stir;
9) Cover and cook on medium heat till the chicken is done;
10) Serve hot with Naan or Rice.
Junying’s Meat Curry – Beef, Lamb, Pork or Chicken
- fresh meat – cut to pieces
- 1-3 large tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 1-3 garlic cloves, bashed, then chopped
- 1-2 onions, finely chopped
- red or green chillies, chopped
- thyme (or 1 tsp dried thyme)
- a bunch of coriander (leaves and roots)
- cooking oil
2). You can prepare your own curry blend, or you can ‘cheat’ by buying good curry sauce from the supermarket;
3) Heat the cooking oil, adding salt, and onions to fry until softened; add ginger, garlic and chilli to fry for a couple of minutes;
4) Add meat in the pot; and keep stirring till they turn brown, or the red colour is gone;
5). Pour a little water, just enough to cover the meat. Add the curry paste. Then add more water to bring it to the boil, before turning it down to simmer.
6) Add tomatos and let the meat cook on the hob, or if you prefer, you can transfer it to a pot and put in the oven (about 200°c or less), until the meat is very tender. For Thai style curry, add coconut powder or milk for that creamy effect 🙂
7) Depending on how much meat you are cooking and how big the pieces, it would normally take at least an hour or more before the meat is tender. Add vegetables of your choice, like potatoes, okra, green beans, and so on, which would only take about 20-30 minutes to cook, However,
8) If you prefer pulses, like chick peas or black eyed peas, you’ll need to add them to the meat earlier.
9) Serve – sprinkle with chopped coriander leaves, accompanied by plain boiled rice, or fried plantains, or Nan bread, and a salad 🙂
Tips: 1) No rules as to how many chillies you use, or the amount of any other ingredients – be flexible and try different combinations. Let your taste buds guide you :);
2) Of all the meat, beef takes longer time to cook, followed by lamb, pork and chicken.
Junying’s Summer Salad – Continental Style
There are so many different ways to make your salad, with wonderful colours, different tastes and textures, full of flavours and packed with healthiness. Be creative and bold in your choice of vegetables, fruits, herbs and dressings.
In the summer, I make salad as a side dish every day. All I have to do is to open my fridge and see what are there. Use anything to your fancy, follow a few simple steps and you’ll be rewarded with a divine salad, easy to make and delightful to your taste buds.
1) Green vegetables: spinach, rockets, celery, watercress, Chinese leaves etc;
2) Add something bright & colourful: tomatos, dried or fresh, cheery tomato or other kind; peppers of different colours;
4) For crunchiness: if you’re not allergic to nuts, add a handful of roast nuts of your choice, like cashews, pine nuts, pumpkins/sunflower seeds, or roast chick peas;
5) If you enjoy a more substantial salad and love meat, add Spanish chorizo, cheese of your choice, or ham or sausages. Boiled eggs also add protein to the dish;
6) For dressing: dried herbs, such as origano or mixed herbs; fresh coriander, spring onions, extra virgin olive oil and vinegar, especially the balsamic type, or lemon juice/juices of your choice;
Finally, I repeat: Be Innovative – try anything and see which ones work! You’ll be surprised how much fun you’ll have and how satisfied your diners will be, including you :)!
Junying’s Sichuan Gongbao Chicken 宫爆鸡
Step 1: Preparation: slice chicken breasts into small square pieces; cut peppers (and/or celery/leeks/cucumber) into small pieces, whichever shape you fancy; small amount of fresh chillies, gingers, spring onions and corianders and a handful of sichuan pepper;
Step 2: Bring oil to a boil, add salt, then pour chicken pieces into the wok. Stir-fry for 2-5 minutes, until golden, or when you think it’s cooked to your liking.
Step 3: Add pepper of your choice. Personally, I prefer a colourful choice of red, green, and yellow, which are cut into square pieces. Continue to fry for another minute or so.
Step 4: If you’re not allergic to nuts, add peanuts or cashews, before putting in a spoonful of chilli bean saurce, and continue to stir for a few seconds.
Step 5: Finally, sprinkle the wok with Spring onions and fresh coriander just before or after you empty the wok onto your serving dish.
水煮鱼 －Junying’s Water-Boiled Sea Bass, Sichuan Style
If you’d like to try one of the most popular Chinese dish, 水饺, dumplings, for festivals or simply a special treat with family and friends, follow instructions below and watch the demonstrations in the video 🙂
Junying’s Spicy Chinese Dumplings
- a packet of mince pork, chicken, beef, lamb, or turkey (I prefer mince pork);
- Vegetables, Jiucai (Chinese chives), Chinese leaves or other green vegetable of your choice;
- 2-5 fresh chillies (optional)
- slices of ginger
- sesame oil
- two eggs
- chop vegetables, ginger and chillies
- mix them with minced meat of your choice, adding eggs, salt and sesame oil
- wrap them in a parcel, wrappings are available in Chinese supermarket, or you can make your own wrappings
- once they are wrapped, put in boiling water in a deep pot for 8 minutes
- ready for consumption with extra sauce, see pictures above & below
- or boil for 5 minutes or so and put them in a pan to shallow fry, for pot sticklers.
We update our recipes from time to time – submissions of fabulous, exotic and easy-to-make recipes are welcome!
Happy Cooking & Have a Super Sweet Life!