Monday 8 October 2018

Stir Crazy by Ching-He Huang

Stir Crazy by Ching-He Huang (Photo courtesy:

Mastering the wok with Ching-He Huang

This week, I was delighted to receive a copy of Ching He-Huang's latest cookbook in conjunction with the launch of her line of organic soybean and edamame noodles for Yutaka.

Stir Crazy is Ching's collection of everyday stir fry recipes written with the busy in mind.
In it, she offers plenty of tips on how to cook the perfect stir fry - with simple recipes that most people can try at home. 

The book doesn't just feature recipes with a Chinese origin. There are recipes inspired by Korean and Thai cuisine - in her version of Korean Beef Bulgogi, she uses Korean gochujang paste and gochugaru chilli flakes; then there is a beef stir fry which incorporates the very popular Korean fermented cabbage side dish, Kim Chee.

She stays true to her Chinese heritage though, and there are plenty of wok inspiring recipes making the most of Chinese ingredients, in particular, chilli bean paste which I am sure is Ching's favourite store cupboard ingredient! If you have ever seen her cooking show, you will know what I mean - her enthusiasm for it is quite contagious!

If you are a complete newbie at Chinese cooking, then you would be wise to make a trip to your local Chinese supermarket as you will need some basic store cupboard ingredients (although I should add that the book does provide alternatives where possible, like replacing ChinKiang vinegar with balsamic).

Being Chinese myself, I can vouch for the fact that most Chinese people (who cook) would typically stock most, if not all of the sauces that Ching uses in her recipes: sesame oil, Shao Hsing rice wine, cornflour, soy sauce, oyster sauce are all what I would consider Chinese cooking staples.

This is a cookbook that I personally will get great use out of - often you buy a cookbook only to find the recipes too elaborate or extravagant to be able to cook more than once.  This, right here, is what I would describe as a great "everyday cooking" cookbook, practical and authentic.

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