My Chinese version of the Sunday roast

On Sunday I gave our roast dinner a distinctly Chinese flavour – five spice roast belly pork, steamed rice, braised mushrooms in oyster sauce and stir-fried choi sum with beansprouts and chilli bean paste. Continue reading


Fuchsia Dunlop’s “Every Grain Of Rice”.

A Chinese feast

This post is all about a book a bought recently, “Every Grain Of Rice” by Fuchsia Dunlop.

As she says herself, it is a book of simple everyday recipes from across mainly Southern China and concentrates on vegetables, although there are meat and fish recipes.

The book has a lot of information about ingredients, how to cook different things, alternatives and how to get flavour into your dishes. It is also lavishly illustrated, which allows you to compare your efforts with Ms Dunlop’s.

I love Chinese food but much as I enjoy going out for a Chinese meal, I often wish that I could eat the kind of things that Chinese people cook for themselves rather than the standardised restaurant dishes we get in the UK.

As this is a new book, I won’t post any of the recipes, because I think that it is a book that people should go out and buy. However, here are a couple of her lovely fresh-tasting vegetable dishes;

Stir-fried choi sum

Beansprouts with Chinese chives

I included both of these dishes in my Sunday night dinner, which was belly pork rubbed with five spice powder and roasted for about three hours on a rack over a pan of water. The rind wasn’t scored but was tightened up by pouring boiling water over it and then dried, rubbed with groundnut oil and salted before roasting.

I served some plain Thai fragrant rice with the meal and created a dish of my own, based upon the principles in Ms Dunlop’s book. This was broccoli stir-fried with soaked dried shitake mushrooms and fresh chestnut mushrooms. This was the only dish that contained any soy sauce, and also had spring onions, ginger and garlic. I think that it worked pretty well.

I know that I am going to be using this book at lot in the future and there are all manner of dishes that I am sure will become part of my standard repertoire.