Simple Recipe: Inspirations of Alternative Chinese Mains in 30 Minutes

IMAG1934Rice is an essential element in Chinese dinning however, I’m not much of a rice person. Since my family is not a very traditional one, they won’t force me to have rice in every meal, so I prefer having mains with very small portion or even without rice. After I’ve been studying aboard, it became even harder to cook the right proportion of rice that I always ended up eating the same pot for few days. So here are some inspirations mains that sorted a meal for one:

Tiger Prawn in Two Ways (Steamed with shredded garlic and in tomato stew)

I’m a seafood lover, prawns, crab, fish, oyster…are all my  favourite. I found that the way of cooking seafood had much more variety in Asia than in the west, and here are two of my favourite ways to handle a whole tiger prawn (from head to tail!):


1/2 kg whole prawn

Tomato stew:

2 tomatoes


sugar and salt

chopped garlic

Steam with garlic:

shredded garlic

2 t/s rice wine/white wine

salt and black pepper

Preparation: Clean the prawn and leave the shell on, put them into a cold salted water for 10 minutes that will make the  prawn more chewy textured

How to(tomato stew):

  1. Pan fried the half of the chopped garlic with butter. Then add half of the prawn in. Take them out when you see the prawn started to change into orange colour for later.
  2. Added the tomato in, flavouring with ketchup, salt and sugar, taste it for your own preference. Pour bit of boiled water till the sauce became thicker.
  3. Add the prawn in and stir until they are wrapped in sauce and fully cooked.

How to(steam prawn):

  1. Prepare a pot of boiling water and a metal tray that higher than the water level.
  2. Place the rest of the prawn on a plate and topped with shredded garlic, salt and pepper. Evenly pour the wine on the prawn.
  3. Place the plate on the metal tray and cover the pot with it lid (this method is call water steaming, that apply to many other Chinese dishes as well).
  4. Steam around 7-10 minutes until cooked (varies with prawn size) and dip with soya sauce.

Homemade Dumpling

IMAG1932Alternative choice of nutritious meal, with starch, meat and vegetable. Homemade one is much cheaper and tastier than those you buy from any Chinese supermarket, simply frozen and save for the next meal when you fancy some dumplings!


300g minced pork

1 pack of Chinese dumpling pastry (30 slices in white colour)

1 Pak choi (large) or 4 (small)

plain flour

How to:

  1. Marinated the minced pork for 10-15 minutes How to marinate*
  2. Spraying some plain flour on a plate that make the pastry dry and separated from each other.
  3. Chopped the pak choi into fine pieces and mix well with the minced pork.
  4. Take out a 10p coin sized portion of meat filling and placed it in the middle of the round pastry.
  5. Folded it halved, stick the edge of the pastry with water and flour. Making small fold along sides bit by bit to seal the dumpling.
  6. Put the dumplings into a boiling pot of water until they all float. Serve them will you favourite sauce!

Dip suggestions:

– soya sauce with fresh chopped chilli

– soya sauce with sesame oil and vinegar

– soya sauce, sesame paste, vinegar and chilli oil

Special Congee in Winter Melon Broth

Serving rice in soup is perfect for those day that you don’t fill like eating a lot and suitable for dieting. Winter melon is summer seasonal vegetable that can cool down your inner body heat.


1 slice of winter melon (3-4cm thick, can be found in any Chinese supermarket)

1 portion of boiled rice

1 cube of chicken cube

Any other ingredients you want, ham, chicken slices, mushroom, mixed seafood…

How to:

  1. Pealed the skin of the winter melon and chopped it into 2cm cube size. Chopped any other ingredients you want
  2. Add the chicken cube to a boiled pot of water and the melon in and cover with lid then boiling it for 10-15 minutes. Added other ingredients.
  3. Pour the soup into the rice bowl and it’s done!

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