Friday, 11 July 2008

Chinese food, British ingredients

Chinese food gets a bit of a boost this month as an appetiser for the Beijing Olympics with two new TV series and books.

Ching-He Huang, a delicate new face among the grizzled mugs of celebrity chefs, has recast Chinese food as an msg-free blend of the traditional and modern. She uses seasonal pak choi grown in the Fenlands, fresh chillies from Chorley and even soy sauce brewed in Wales.

Gold-medal TV dinners she recommends for the Games (for viewers not athletes) include steamed sea bass in hot beer and ginger lime, refreshingly chilled drunken chicken soaked in Mijiu rice wine or gin or vodka, and the gloriously named and alcohol-free Empress Dowager Cixi’s longevity peach pudding. Chinese Food Made Easy is on Mondays on BBC2; watch exclusive videos at

Later in the month Gary Rhodes packs his wok for China where he guzzles snake bladders as he masters regional dishes, including pockmarked grandmother’s bean curd, to cook for a banquet back home (UKTV Food 28 July).

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