Chinese Food in Minutes

Tuesday 4 May, 7:30pm on Five

The last episode in the series that explores the joys of Chinese cuisine sees a pair of rugby players experiment with dishes centred around tofu. Ching cooks saucy beef tofu, oriental mushroom tofu in black bean sauce and lobster in garlic and spinach sauce. It is then the turn of her two proteges to recreate her recipes. Before she starts cooking, Ching-He Huang takes her latest students, semi-professional ruby players and best friends Simon and Phil, to London’s Chinatown for a spot of ingredients shopping. Today she is focusing on the varieties of fresh tofu that can now be easily purchased. Although Simon and Phil both love good food, their training means they have little time to cook for themselves. Neither has ever tried to cook Chinese food from scratch. As they are sportsmen, healthy food that provides plenty of energy is a must. Ching aims to teach them some speedy meals that will give them a boost without piling on the pounds. Ching takes the pair to her outdoor kitchen to prepare the first recipe, saucy beef tofu. She cuts a ginger stem into thin sticks, and fries it in a little groundnut oil. She then chops up some beef into small pieces with a cleaver, and adds it to the ginger in the wok. She adds cubed tofu pieces, a slug of rice wine and a cup of stock, then seasons with light soy sauce, chilli flakes and sliced spring onion. The ingredients are then bound together with cornflower and water, and spinach is added to give the dish flavour and texture. The lads enjoy the recipe, but seem apprehensive about using the sharp knives. “How are you both with a cleaver?” Ching asks Simon. “Well, we’ll see later!” he nervously replies. The second dish on the menu is oriental mushroom tofu in garlic and black bean sauce. Ching takes a handful of fermented black beans and several cloves of garlic, along with a roughly chopped chilli, and bruises them all with a pestle and mortar. She then fries pieces of tofu in the mixture, and adds shitake and oyster mushrooms for texture, along with some stock. She allows the tofu to soak up the various flavours of the dish, then serves immediately. Now it is the boys’ turn to attempt Ching’s recipes. Phil tackles the mushroom tofu dish, while Simon has a stab at recreating the saucy beef recipe. Since both men are very competitive, the banter soon starts flying. “There’s definitely a bit of gamesmanship going on here,” Phil says. As the pair get cooking, Ching makes her third dish. She takes a medium pre-cooked lobster, declaws it and chops the tail into three pieces. For her sauce, she roughly chops up garlic and a chilli, blends with spinach, coriander and poaching liquid, then heats the sauce in a large wok, coating the lobster pieces until the mixture is heated through. She then seasons with light soy sauce and serves. Back in the kitchen, Simon has finished his dish first. “Do you want a little sniff of the winning dish?” he asks Phil. Both have strayed slightly from Ching’s original recipes. As the three sit down to eat the fruits of their labours, who will Ching crown as this week’s winner?

Tuesday 27 April, 7:30pm on Five

The series exploring the joys of Chinese cuisine continues. This instalment sees a pair of professional figure skaters experiment with dishes centred around Sichuan peppercorns and other hot spices. Ching cooks peppercorn chicken, prawn fried rice and wok-fried crispy scallops. It is then the turn of her two proteges to recreate her recipes for their friends. Before she starts cooking, Ching-He Huang takes her latest students, professional ice skaters Fred and Maria, to London’s Chinatown for a spot of ingredients shopping. Today she is focusing on some hot varieties of store cupboard spices, including the Sichuan and pink varieties of peppercorns, and sun-dried chillies. Although Fred and Maria both love good food, their long hours of training mean they have little time to cook for themselves. As they are professional athletes, healthy food is a must. Ching aims to teach them some delicious and speedy suppers that will give them energy without piling on the pounds. Ching takes the pair to her outdoor kitchen to prepare the first recipe, her fast and fiery hot pink peppercorn chicken. She first skins some chicken drumsticks and chops them with a sharp cleaver. She then wok-fries the chicken pieces in groundnut oil, chopped ginger, crushed pink peppercorns and sliced sun-dried chillies. After adding a splash of rice wine for smokiness, she seasons with light soy sauce, chunkily chopped spring onions and chilli oil. Maria then reveals that she does not like hot food. “I’m worried for you, Maria – I’m really sorry!” Ching says as she serves the food. However, both love the bold flavours of the dish. Fred thinks that it will be just the thing to warm them up after a long day at the ice rink. The second dish on the menu is spicy Sichuan pepper prawn fried rice. This recipe combines elements of traditional Chinese cooking with western culinary methods. Ching roughly crushes cloves of garlic and peppercorns, then de-seeds and dices two bird’s-eye chillies to remove some of their spiciness. She then wok-fries the mixture in groundnut oil, and adds pre-cooked tiger prawns, soybeans and chopped cherry tomatoes. She then spoons in some cooked rice, before seasoning with ground white pepper, coriander, light soy sauce and the juice of one lime to give the dish a tangy edge. Now it is the skaters’ turn to attempt Ching’s recipes. Maria tackles the hot pink pepper chicken, while Fred takes on the prawn fried rice dish. While they are both nervous, they are also very competitive. “I’ve got a really sharp knife, so watch out!” Maria warns. As the pair get cooking, Ching makes her third dish. She shreds some Chinese cabbage leaves and a leek, then deep fries them and tosses sugar and salt on the mixture to create crispy ‘seaweed’. She then sears fresh scallops in crushed peppercorns and sliced chillies and adds a drop of rice wine and lemon juice. She then puts both elements back in the half-shells of the scallops to serve. It is then the moment of truth, as the pals plate up their food to serve to their friends and family. Fred finishes before Maria, so occupies himself by playfully flicking her with a rolled-up tea towel. Which dish will their party prefer, and who will Ching crown as this week’s winner?

Tuesday 20 April, 7:30pm on Five

The series exploring the joys of Chinese cuisine continues.

This instalment sees two Manchester nurses experiment with dishes centred around the steaming process. Ching cooks a traditional Taiwanese chicken recipe, soy-steamed cod with special egg-fried rice and steamed chicken with sour and spicy dressing. It is then the turn of her two proteges to recreate the recipes for their friends and family.

Before she starts cooking, Ching-He Huang takes her latest students, nurses Jennifer and Rebecca, to London’s Chinatown for some ingredients shopping. Today she is focusing on the wide variety of rice that is available, and its different uses. Ching explains that because rice is so vital to Chinese cooking, the terms for ‘rice’ and ‘food’ are often interchangeable in China and Taiwan. Although Jennifer and Rebecca both love good food and know how to cook, their long shifts at the hospital mean that they have become reliant on takeaways and quick snacks.

They are looking to add a touch of excitement to their repertoires and are keen to learn some quick and healthy new recipes. Ching’s aim is to teach them some fast, fresh and tasty meals to revive their flagging inspiration. Ching takes the pair to her outdoor kitchen to prepare her first recipe, a traditional Taiwanese chicken and rice dish passed down from her grandmother. She first chops up chicken thighs using a cleaver. “After a long day at work, nothing relieves stress better,” she tells the girls. She fries ginger slices and earthy Chinese mushrooms in groundnut oil, then adds the chopped chicken. She then pours in some rice wine to achieve a bitter sweetness, before adding fragrant jasmine rice and water. This combination is brought to the boil and covered for 20 minutes to create a dish similar to an Italian risotto. To garnish, Ching adds baby leaf spinach, then serves immediately.

The second dish Ching makes is ginger, chilli and soy-steamed cod with special egg-fried rice. After creating a rub of diced garlic, chilli and grated ginger, she adds the mixture to the cod fillet along with a splash of rice wine and soy sauce. As the fish steams, she scrambles an egg with prawns, peas and cooked jasmine rice, then seasons with soy sauce and ground pepper. She then puts the fried rice and the fish together in a dish and dresses it with coriander. The food is a big hit with the pair, who agree that the combination is delicious. Now it is the girls’ turn to attempt Ching’s recipes. Jennifer tackles the chicken dish while Rebecca is assigned the cod. Although both are a little nervous, Rebecca’s concerns seem more immediate. “I’m just trying to not chop my finger off,” she tells her friend as she slices the chillies.

As the pair try to avoid serious lacerations, Ching makes her third dish. She places chicken thigh pieces in a bowl, then coats them with ginger, spring onions, salt, rice wine and ground Sichuan peppercorns. She then steams the chicken for 20 minutes and starts on her dressing. She mixes diced red and green chillies with finely chopped garlic and ginger, then adds lime juice for sharpness, light soy sauce and some of the cooked chicken juices. She then puts the meat on a bed of baby spinach leaves and pours the dressing over it. She garnishes the dish with fresh orange segments and spring onions to serve.

Then the moment of truth comes as the pals plate up their food to serve to their friends and family. There is a last-minute crisis as Jennifer reveals that she forgot to add an important ingredient to her dish. “It tastes better than it looks,” Ching says, trying to reassure her. Will Jennifer’s error lead to Rebecca being crowned this week’s winner?

Tuesday 13 April 2010 at 7.30pm on Five

The series exploring the joys of Chinese cuisine continues. This instalment sees two Yorkshire estate agents experiment with groundnut and sesame oil. Ching cooks crispy king prawns in a sweet-and-sour sauce, Taiwanese three-cup chicken and spicy pork and prawn wontons. It is then the turn of her two proteges to recreate the recipes for their friends and family.

Before she starts cooking, Ching-He Huang takes her latest students, Bridlington estate agents and friends Lianne and Nicky, to London’s Chinatown for some ingredients shopping. Today she is focusing on the store-cupboard staples of groundnut oil and sesame oil. Although Lianne and Nicky both love good food, they spend more time showing clients new houses than they do in their own kitchens. After long days at work, they have both picked up the habit of eating regular takeaways, and are keen to learn some fresh and healthy new recipes.

Ching takes the pair to her outdoor kitchen to prepare her first recipe of Sichuan-style sweetand- sour prawns. She coats fresh juicy prawns in a light batter made from eggs and potato flour, then fries them until they are golden brown. She then makes a base for the sweet-and-sour sauce from garlic, ginger and chillies. Ching believes these three elements are so vital to Chinese cookery that she refers to them as “the holy trinity”. To this base she adds tomato ketchup and brown sugar to sweeten, then lime and spring onions to sharpen the taste. She then drizzles the sauce over the prawns to serve.

The second dish Ching makes is called three-cup chicken. This recipe is very close to her heart, as it comes from her birthplace of Thailand. She chops and fries chicken thighs in ginger and garlic, then adds rice wine, soy sauce and sesame oil in equal measure – the ‘three cups’ to which the name refers. She then sweetens the dish with brown sugar and garnishes with chopped chillies and fresh basil leaves. Ching takes the couple’s silence as a sign that they are savouring the food. Nicky uses this as an excuse to have a light-hearted dig at her friend. “The only time Lianne’s quiet is when her mouth’s full!” she says.

The two estate agents clearly have the gift of the gab, but can they cook as well as they talk? Lianne tackles the three-cup chicken while Nicky tries the sweet-and-sour prawns. Both are confident that they will win the competition, so Ching leaves them to it as she prepares her wontons. She mixes finely chopped prawns with pork mince, rice wine and spring onions, then fills her pre-made wonton cases and boils them for five minutes.

Meanwhile, Nicky’s prawn dish is coming along nicely until she overdoes it with the fiery Sichuan peppercorns. As the pals plate up their food to serve to their friends and family, it appears Lianne has the upper hand. “Don’t worry Nicky, they can eat mine instead!” she jokes. Is her confidence justified, or is she about to learn some harsh truths about her cooking skills?

Tuesday 6 April 2010 at 7.30pm on Five

The series exploring the joys of Chinese cuisine continues. This instalment sees two London taxi drivers experiment with spicy flavours and chillibased ingredients. Ching cooks prawn and chilli bamboo shoot stir-fry, breaded haddock with Sichuan pepper and roast beef with four-spice chilli oil. It is then the turn of her two proteges to recreate the recipes for their friends and family.

Before she starts cooking, Ching-He Huang takes her latest students, cab drivers and friends Alex and Bernice, to London’s Chinatown to show them the vast array of chilli-based products on the market. Both Bernice and Alex are confident cooks but are keen to learn how to prepare what Ching describes as “fast, fresh and flavoursome Chinese food”.

However, their tastes differ greatly – Bernice likes dishes with added spice, whereas Alex’s palate is a little more conservative and he tends to shy away from hot or curried food. Ching tries to change Alex’s mind about spicy dishes by producing a mouthwatering recipe from her mobile kitchen. She fries juicy tiger prawns with fresh shiitake mushrooms in garlic and rice wine, then adds pickled chilli bamboo shoots to create a quick, light stir-fry. Both Bernice and Alex agree that it is “quick and tasty”.

The second dish Ching whips up is a Chinese take on a British classic, fish and chips. After coating fresh chunks of haddock in breadcrumbs, she flash-fries the fish then seasons with ground toasted Sichuan peppercorns, dried chillies and salt. The fish pieces are then served on a bed of crispy lettuce leaves and shredded carrots. The dish gets Bernice’s seal of approval, but is a bit too spicy for Alex, who turns down a second portion. Ching jokingly rolls her eyes at Alex’s lack of stamina and brands him “a chilli wimp”.

It is then the turn of the two cheeky cabbies to try to replicate Ching’s recipes. Alex takes on the fried fish, toned down to his tastes, while Bernice tackles the prawn stir-fry. While the banter flies in the kitchen between the two friends, Ching makes her roast beef dish. She takes a thick sirloin joint and rubs it in a mixture of crushed dried chilli flakes, Sichuan peppercorns and salt. The beef is then propped on Cassia bark so that the hot air can circulate around it in the oven. The bark’s cinnamon overtones will also add flavour to the meat. She then oven-cooks the beef and prepares a four-spice chilli oil using fennel seeds, cloves, star anise and long green chillies, crushed in groundnut oil. After thinly slicing the beef she dresses it with the oil before serving.

In the meantime, Alex is having some difficulty with his recipe, and appears to be sending Ching smoke signals from his over-heated wok. Bernice, who has already finished her stir-fry, has the luxury of standing back and enjoying the show. Will Alex’s burnt fish and lack of spicing flair give Bernice the edge in their cook-off? As the pair plate up their food to serve to their family and friends, they are reminded that Ching’s winning decision is final. Who will she crown the week’s winner?

 

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…”

Tuesday 16th February 7.30pm

The series focusing on the joys of Chinese cookery continues. In each episode, Ching-He Huang coaches two novices who have never before cooked Chinese food. Can she separate the Szechuan supremos from the dumpling dunces? In this episode, two barmen tackle a chicken and snake bean stir-fry.

Chinese food was recently declared the nation’s favourite takeaway. With more and more people turning to the joys of cooking at home, chef and bestselling author Ching-He Huang is set to bring her mouthwatering recipes into British homes.

In each episode, Ching prepares three delicious versions of authentic Chinese dishes and takeaway classics. Watching her are two participants who have never attempted to cook Chinese cuisine before. Ching’s students will try to reproduce the recipes they have been taught and cook a fabulous feast to serve to their friends at the end of the show.

Ching begins by visiting London’s Chinatown to source her ingredients, and teaches her pupils how to select the best products. Armed with her trusty wok, gas canister and cool bags, Ching then sets up her outdoor kitchen and cooks two recipes. She explains every step of the process, from storage and preparation to the various cooking styles.

Next, Ching takes her students to a warehouse kitchen where they have the chance to recreate their mentor’s dishes. Once they have collected the ingredients and utensils they need, they set to work. Ching then makes a third course designed to complement the meal. She also gives viewers at home her own tips, tackling a different aspect of Chinese cookery each week.

When the volunteers are ready to entertain their friends and family, everybody tucks in. Ching then delivers her final verdict, identifying the best dish of the bunch – and the bottom of the class…

In this instalment, two busy barmen want to ditch their late-night takeaways and learn some fast, fresh wok classics. On the menu is a saucy chicken and snake bean stir-fry, sweet-and-sour duck and sizzling yellow bean scallops with wild rice salad.

Wednesday 10th February 7.30pm

Beginning on Five this week is a brand new series focusing on the joys of Chinese cookery, presented by glamorous young chef Ching-He Huang. In each episode, Ching coaches two novices who have never before cooked Chinese food. Can she separate the Szechuan supremos from the dumpling dunces? In the first instalment, two gospel singers cook up a storm.

Chinese food was recently declared the nation’s favourite takeaway. With more and more people turning to the joys of cooking at home, chef and bestselling author Ching-He Huang is set to bring her mouthwatering recipes into British homes.

In each episode, Ching prepares three delicious versions of authentic Chinese dishes and takeaway classics. Watching her are two participants who have never attempted to cook Chinese cuisine before. Ching’s students will try to reproduce the recipes they have been taught and cook a fabulous feast to serve to their friends at the end of the show.

Ching begins by visiting Chinatown in London to source her ingredients, and teaches her pupils how to select the best products. Armed with her trusty wok, gas canister and cool bags, Ching then sets up her outdoor kitchen and cooks two recipes. She explains every step of the process, from storage and preparation to the various cooking styles.

Next, Ching takes her students to a warehouse kitchen where they have the chance to recreate their mentor’s dishes. Once they have collected the ingredients and utensils they need, they set to work. Ching then makes a third course designed to complement the meal. She also gives viewers at home her own tips, tackling a different aspect of Chinese cookery each week.

When the volunteers are ready to entertain their friends and family, everybody tucks in. Ching then delivers her final verdict, identifying the best dish of the bunch – and the bottom of the class…

In the first instalment, two gospel singers cook up a feast for their choir. On the menu is a sizzling chicken and black bean stir-fry and succulent sweet-and-sour ribs. Will the singers prove to be gifted Chinese chefs?

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