Chilli & garlic prawns; Sweet & sour pork

I received Ching-He Huang’s Chinese Food Made Easy cook book for my birthday a few weeks ago and so last weekend decided it was high time to try out a few recipes. For starters, I plumped for the “zesty chilli & garlic tiger prawns” followed by the sweet and sour pork.

The prawns are from the spicy sichuan section of the book, and were really flavoursome, tasty and juicy. I will definitely be making these again!

To serve two –

  • Around 200g raw prawns
  • 2 tbsps groundnut oil
  • 5 (yes, 5!) finely chopped cloves of garlic
  • 1 medium red chilli, finely chopped (the recipe calls for it to be de-seeded but we left some in as we like a bit of a kick)
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • chopped French beans
  • 1 tbsp rice wine
  • 1 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • pinch sea salt

Before starting, butterfly the prawns (cut in half down the middle of the back), which somehow seems to make them more satisfying! Heat the oil in a wok and stir fry for the garlic and chilli. Add the prawns, rice wine and lime juice and keep stir frying until the prawns are beginning to turn pink. Add the beans (we had par-boiled ours just for a few minutes first). Once the prawns have cooked through, season with the salt and chilli flakes and tuck in! These were so tasty, really moreish, and the sauce that formed in the bottom of the bowl was eaten afterwards with a spoon!!



Moving onto Ching-He’s Sweet and Sour Pork, the recipe calls for the following, to serve two;

  • 2 pork loin chops
  • 2 tbsp groundnut oil
  • few dashes light soy sauce
  • dash of rice wine
  • steamed jasmine rice

For the pork coating;

  • 3 tbsps roasted whole soya beans (Which we couldn’t get), or dry-roasted peanuts
  • Few pinches of ground white pepper
  • 1 tsp crushed dried chillies

For the sauce;

  • 4oz tinned pineapple in natural juice
  • 4fl oz pineapple juice
  • 3 tbps freshly squeezed lime juice (we almost doubled this as it just tasted too sweet for our tastes)

Grind all the ingredients for the pork coating in a pestle and morter then sprinkle onto a plate or board and press the pork into the mix so that it sticks to the meat.



Put the ingredients for the sweet and sour sauce into a blender and blitz into a paste. Heat the oil in a wok on a high heat and add the pork. Cook on one side until browned then turn over.  Once cooked, remove the pork from the pan and keep warm. Pour the blended pineapple and lime into the wok and simmer for a few minutes until reduced and thickened, season with the soy sauce, rice wine, salt and pepper. We served this with pak choi stir fried with soy sauce, rice wine and a little garlic.




This dish was nice enough, but, I have to say, a bit of a disappointment. I didn’t think the sauce was that great, maybe we did something wrong, but the flavour just didn’t seem quite right. Having tried a few of Ching-He’s recipes in the past I expected this to be as tasty as everything else of hers!

There are still plenty of great sounding recipes in this book though which I am looking forward to trying out!

Sticky Vietnamese Pork

I’m currently nearing the end of a long, busy, ridiculously hectic and all round fairly crappy week and my brain seems to have turned to mulch. I can’t string any sentences together to say anything particularly coherent but I can still share a very tasty recipe 🙂 We made this on Sunday which I later found out was Vietnamese Independence Day, how apt!

This serves two;

  • thinly sliced pork tenderloin
  • 2 tbsps fish sauce
  • 1/2 tsp tumeric
  • 2 stalks chopped lemongrass
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 120g caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 200ml rice wine vinegar
  • 2 red chillis
  • 3 tbsps roasted salted peanuts
  • flat rice noodles
  • small bunch chopped coriander
  • small bunch chopped mint

I also added some pak choi and red pepper to get some veggies in!

Make a marinade for the pork by mixing the fish sauce, tumeric, lemongrass, crushed garlic, 20g of sugar, sesame oil and most of the coriander together. Leave the pork to marinade for around an hour.

Heat the vinegar and remaining sugar in a pan and boil until thickened, this creates the sticky sauce. Allow to cool then add the chilli and peanuts.

Stir fry the pork until browned and  the pak choi and pepper if using. Serve on a bed of noodles and pour over the sticky sauce. Garnish with the remaining coriander and some chopped mint. Delicious!