Homemade Chinese Take-Away

Now this was a bit full on. Create five dishes in less time than it takes to holler ‘I’m starving, feed me noooooooooooooow!’

Holler? What the hell kind of word is holler? Let’s change that to ‘yell’. Or scream. In Hell’s Kitchen (and I would have called this blog Hell’s Kitchen if I’d thought of it at the time, but I didn’t so there you go) you sometimes have to cook fast and cook clever. Generally that happens when a) children are around and b) wine is not flowing too quickly.

Chinese food is characterised by salty, sweet flavours. It’s also supposed to be made fast.

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So for Chinese Night we had:

  • Stir-fried Beef with Oyster Sauce
  • Chow Mein
  • Spicy Sichuan-style Prawns
  • Cashew Chicken
  • Fried Tofu in Black Bean Sauce

These recipes are based on those in the Good Food Magazine courtesy of Ken Hom, a proper celebrity chef if ever there was one.

Now here is a shot of all the ingredients…

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That’s a lot of ingredients. How we got this lot and turned it into five dishes is beyond me. The main thing is you have to try and make all this at the same time. Start with the Cashew Chicken.

Cashew Chicken

  • 4 skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp cornflour
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 4oz cashew nuts
  • 1 tbsp Shaoxing rice wine
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • spring onion to garnish

First you need to velvet the chicken. Velveting the chicken makes it all soft and squishy, just like from a takeaway. I will go into velveting in another Chinese-food related recipe later in the month. Suffice to say for now, combine the diced chicken in a bowl with the egg white, cornflour, sesame oil and 1 tbsp soy sauce, and leave to marinate for 1/2 an hour…

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Bring a pan of water to the boil, add the chicken and simmer for 2 mins, until the chicken goes white. Drain the chicken and set aside. In a wok, heat some oil. Add the chicken, cashews, rice wine and soy sauce and stir fry. Sprinkle over some chopped spring onion and maybe a bit of coriander. That’s it.

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Stir-fried Beef with Oyster Sauce

  • 2 sirloin steaks, trimmed of fat
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp Shaoxing rice wine
  • 2 tsp cornflour
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 green pepper
  • 3 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 2 spring onions, shredded

First slice up the beef and marinate in the soy sauce, rice wine, sesame oil and cornflour for 20 mins…

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Next, heat some oil in a wok. Add the beef and stir-fry for a minute or two. Remove and set aside…

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Now stir-fry the peppers. Once softened add the oyster sauce and beef back in the wok and heat through…

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And your done…

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Next up…Spicy Sichuan-style Prawns

Spicy Sichuan-style Prawns

  • 2 tbsp oil
  • thumb sized piece of ginger, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 large spring onion, chopped
  • 1lb prawns
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 3 tsp chilli bean sauce
  • 2 tsp Chinese black vinegar
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp sesame oil

Stir-fry the ginger, garlic and spring onion in some oil. Add the prawns and cook for a min…

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Add all the other ingredients and stir-fry for a couple of mins…

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Done! (This is easy).

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Three down, two to go. Next the Chow Mein.

Chow Mein

  • Pack of egg noodles
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 chicken breast, sliced up thin
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp Shaoxing rice wine
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper
  • some more oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • handful mangetout, sliced
  • pack of Param ham, or similar, sliced up
  • 4 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp Shaoxing rice wine
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper
  • 1/2 tsp sugar

Marinate the chicken in 2 tsp soy sauce, 2 tsp Shaoxing rice wine, 1 tsp sesame oil and 1/2 tsp white pepper for 20 mins.

Fry the chicken in a wok for a minute and then set aside. Cook the noodles in boiling water and drain. Fry the garlic in the wok, add the mangetout and ham and fry for a minute. Then add everything else and heat through…

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Easy-peasy!

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Last, but not least, the Fried Tofu in Black Bean Sauce. Now we found these little gems in the local Wing Yip. In a bag. All we did was heat them in a wok with some black bean sauce. And they were damned delicious…

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I think we stuck some mushroom in there too…

And that, friends, is it. We had a proper banquet.

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Favourites – the Cashew Chicken and the Fried Tofu. Will have that again.

27 thoughts on “Homemade Chinese Take-Away

  1. “What the hell kind of word is holler?”

    I used to play golf with a gentleman from the South (US of A).
    Occasionally he would hit his ball and it would land “over in the ‘holler”.

    If you think I speak funny English, visit Alabama the next time you come to America !!!

  2. Pingback: My food photography lighting setup

  3. Wow, that’s impressive. You must have had things all lined up to get it all on the table at the same time. I’m afraid I’d work on one dish, eat it, cook up the next one, etc. it all looks great.
    I always thought holler was an American word, mostly used in the southern states. Never knew you used it over there – unless you picked it up in your travels.

    • Wrexham. Now there’s a town which doesn’t sound right. Wrexham sounds like it should be near Manchester. Always wondered. You know Wales is all Abergyddanenenan and that kind of thing. I hope you enjoyed Wales, I think its a bit of a hidden treasure, away from the towns.

  4. “Holler” — now there’s a good backwoods word for you. I rather like it. Probably because I’m a bit of a hollerer myself. All that farm upbringing and playing around the ‘crick’ as a kid, I guess. There was lots of hollerin’ just to be heard.

    Anyhoo, about your meal — it looks fantastic! So much better than the bowl of Kraft Dinner (think suspiciously orange boxed macaroni and “cheese”) that I ate with my granddaughter tonight. Hey, not my choice! Anyhoo again, your post reminds me of a show I’ve been watching on Gusto Network (love that network!) called Chinese Food Made Easy. I think it’s time for me to get another wok and then follow your good example.

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