Chinese Food in Minutes: Episode 8

Tuesday 30 March at 7.30pm

The series exploring the joys of Chinese cuisine continues. In each episode, chef and bestselling author Ching-He Huang coaches two students who are keen to learn more about Chinese food.

This instalment sees two surveyors introduced to new flavour combinations and spices. Ching
cooks sweet and smoky hong sao yu(red-cooked fish), crispy Mongolian lamb and Cantonese-style duck with pak choi and rice – before challenging the duo to recreate her recipes for their friends. Before she begins cooking, Ching takes her two students, surveyors David and David, to London’s Chinatown to do a spot of spice shopping. Both Davids are experienced cooks but are keen to learn new flavour combinations and recipes that can be thrown together in minutes. Ching decides to show them three recipes that have classic Chinese spices as their star ingredients.

Ching sets up her mobile kitchen and gets cracking with her first recipe: hong sao yu, or red-cooked fish. This mouthwatering creation uses Sichuan peppercorns, cinnamon bark and star anise in a smoky, sweet sauce over tender chunks of cod. Ching then shows the boys how to make her crispy Mongolian lamb. She marinates thin slices of neck fillet in a sauce featuring Chinese five-spice powder, then piles the meat into a flour tortilla filled with crunchy lettuce and cucumber. “Roll, eat and enjoy,” instructs Ching. “That’s not bad, if I say so myself!” The students agree, deeming the meat’s crispy and tender textures “incredible.”

Ching then challenges the boys to recreate one of the two recipes each, while she gets on with her third dish: Cantonese-style duck with pak choi and rice. While her students laughingly fling insults at each other, Ching marinates a duck breast in oyster sauce, rice wine, five-spice and groundnut oil before roasting it and serving with steamed pak choi and rice. How will the boys have managed in the meantime? A jury of their friends is about to arrive to find out. “Time to impress,” says Ching, ominously. “Or not…”

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