How to make charcuterie

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Want to know how make your own homemade charcuterie board? With a few simple steps you can create your own charcuterie meats, from easy beef jerky to duck cured ham and Italian bresaola. Check out our how-to guide and create the best cold meat platter.

Plus, we’ve compiled all the best British cheeses and classic cheeses for the ultimate meat and cheese platter. 

Expert guide to cheese: new-style cheeseboard


Good things come to those who wait, and charcuterie is all about waiting. Think of classics like Spanish jamón, French saucisson, Italian prosciutto and British bacon – they’ve all been preserved in some way, requiring time and patience as they are elevated from a raw piece of meat to something truly unique and wonderful to taste.

There are countless methods of preservation, including dry curing (think gravadlax and salt cod), air drying (chorizo and salami), smoking (pastrami (check out how-to-make pastrami at home, here), kippers and smoked cheese) and brining (salt beef and rollmops). These techniques have been used for centuries, primarily as a way to stop food spoiling. Today, with modern refrigeration, preservation is now mostly used to transform ingredients by imparting on them distinct flavours and textures. Some of these processes can seem pretty daunting to the home cook, often involving specialist equipment, plenty of space and lots and lots of patience – some top-grade jamón ibérico hangs for up to four years.


Having said that, if you fancy giving charcuterie a try at home, there are a number of simple and relatively quick projects to get started with. Depending on how much time you’re prepared to dedicate, here are three delicious recipes to try out.

For the quickest return, try out the beef jerky – dried strips of lean, marinated beef – which can be made in just three days. Jerky, originating from the Americas, makes the perfect beer snack, and our recipe will give you a jarful that’ll last a good couple of weeks, depending on how many people have access to the jar.

Try our beef jerky recipes here…

Homemade Beef Jerky
Homemade Beef Jerky

Equally quick (relatively speaking) is duck ham – duck breast cured to resemble prosciutto – simple to make, with minimal intervention, and also taking three days from start to finish. The fatty duck skin becomes beautifully sweet, and, sliced thinly, duck ham is delicious as it is, or served as part of a salad.

Try our duck ham recipe here…

Cured Duck Recipe
Cured Duck Recipe

Last up is bresaola, a thinly sliced, air-dried, salted beef originating in the Italian Alps. Although the process is straightforward and requires very little upkeep, it does take four to five weeks from start to finish. Trust us when we say it is well worth the time and effort – wafer thin, deeply purple, fat-marbled bresaola looks and tastes spectacular, eaten as an antipasto with a little extra-virgin olive oil and squeeze of lemon juice, or served with a rocket and parmesan salad.

Here’s our bresaola recipe to try…

Bresaola Recipe
Bresaola Recipe

There are few things more satisfying in the kitchen than carefully preparing something and, over days, weeks and even months, watching it slowly transform into a delicious delicacy to share with family and friends. And, what’s more, your creation won’t taste like it came from a shop – its flavour profile will be unique to the cut of meat chosen, the time given, the preserving environment and your personal choice of aromatics. After your first success, we guarantee you’ll be hooked.


HOW DOES SALTING WORK?

As well as flavouring food, salt also works to preserve meat by creating an environment hostile to bacteria and fungi – essentially the salt draws water from these potentially harmful organisms, slowing their growth or killing them off altogether.


SURFACE MOULD ON CHARCUTERIE

Sometimes a white mould might bloom on the surface of meat while it is curing. Don’t worry, this is quite harmless and can be wiped off using a cloth dabbed in a little vinegar. Black mould, on the other hand, unfortunately means that the meat has gone off, and must be discarded.

 

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Best ever pork belly recipes

Slow Cooked Pork Belly Recipe with Creamed Corn

Our easy pork belly recipes are cheap and easy to make. Want to make the best crisp pork belly? Looking for the perfect Sunday roast centrepiece? Make one of our recipes with our expert guide to the perfect crackling for your pork belly.

Pork Crackling Recipe

We have slow cooked pork belly recipes, roast pork belly recipes (think rolled ‘nduja-stuffed pork belly, slow-roast pork belly and smoked salt-crusted pork belly), Chinese pork belly recipes and a recipe for rich pork belly ramen. We even have a recipe to make homemade pork scratchings! Roast it, braise it, fry it – the choice is yours…


Roast pork belly with potatoes baked in milk

Our roast pork belly recipe is inspired by an Italian dish which would usually use rolled loin. Pork belly cooked in milk is tender and succulent and, this pork belly makes for an easy and impressive main to feed a hungry crowd. For optimum crackling, cook for longer at the higher temperature before reducing.

Roast Pork Belly Recipe With Potatoes Baked in Milk

Crispy five-spice sriracha pork belly

Check out this punchy, easy, crispy pork belly with Chinese five-spice. This flavoursome pork recipe is great with rice, noodles or bao buns.

Roast Pork Belly Recipe With Pork Belly Marinade

Low and slow pork belly with jalapeño creamed corn

This recipe for slow cooked pork belly with jalapeño creamed corn is really easy to make but packs in a lot of flavour. This family friendly pork belly recipe is gluten free and simple to make. 

Slow Cooked Pork Belly Recipe with Creamed Corn

Rolled ’nduja-stuffed pork belly

If you’re looking for a pork belly recipe why not try our rolled ‘nduja-stuffed pork belly for an impressive centre piece. ’ is a spicy spreadable salami from Calabria and it adds a special twist to Tom Adams’ pork belly recipe. This impressive recipe is worth the effort. Use ‘nduja in this linguine recipe, too.


Fennel rubbed pork belly

Enjoy a special Sunday roast with our fennel rubbed pork belly. This roast is perfect for feeding friends and family.  Looking for roast potato recipes to go with you pork belly? Click the link for our best ever roast potatoes recipes…

Roast Pork Belly Recipe With Fennel Rub

Twice-cooked Chinese pork

Check out our delicious twice-cooked Chinese pork belly. This sticky pork recipe is really tender and packed with great flavours. Serve with green vegetables and steamed rice for a flavoursome evening meal.

If you’re looking for more Chinese recipes, click the link and find many more here…

Twice-Cooked Chinese Pork Belly Recipe

Cheat’s spicy pork ramen

Pork belly ramen, anyone? Ramen may seem like one of those dishes you can’t recreate at home, but this recipe for cheat’s spicy pork ramen changes that. Rather than spending hours making stock, we buy a good flavoured one and spike it with Asian aromatics. Here are our favourite noodle soup recipes if you don’t fancy this one…

spicy pork ramen


Slow-roast pork belly with black pudding mash and grain mustard sauce

This pork belly dish takes a little time but really is worth making. The brine makes the pork taste amazing and helps the crackling along. The mash is incredibly luxurious and the sauce cuts through the richness of the dish.

Slow Roast Pork Belly Recipe with Creamy Mashed Potatoes

Chinese braised belly pork with greens

This really easy Chinese pork belly recipe cooks pork low and slow in soy, 5 spice and star anise. It’s all cooked in one pot so you can just put it in the oven and forget about it. Serve with rice and greens.

Click the link for more one-pot dinner ideas… 

Braised Pork Belly Recipe with Greens

Steamed pork buns (Hirata buns)

Check out out recipe for sticky pork buns. These sweet, pillowy Hirata buns are popping up on menus all over at the moment. Try this recipe at home with our step-by-step guide. The secret to steamed buns is adding extra raising agent and double rising, which gives you a pillowy bun to stuff your pork belly into.

This is one of our top Asian street food recipes…

Pork Buns Recipe (Bao Buns)

Chifa chicharonnes

What’s not to love about fried pork belly? This recipe is from Señor Ceviche and comes with an Asian sauce. You can cook the pork the day before and chill overnight if you like. Try one of these smart Asian dinner party ideas for main course and sharing dishes.


Crisp pork belly with spiced apricots

Transform this relatively cheap cut of pork and feed the family for Sunday lunch. A fantastic sweet and savoury combination, spiced apricot and pork belly is well worth the wait. Perfect served with kale and roasties.


Dan Doherty’s pork belly and quince with sage and black pudding stuffing, and borlotti bean ragout

This is Dan Dohery’s take on class roast pork belly. The fruity-meaty stuffing works really well, and the borlotti bean ragout, enriched with all the roasting juices, finishes it all off nicely.

pork belly and quince with sage and black pudding stuffing and borlotti bean ragout


Pork-belly skewers with Vietnamese caramel sauce

Our pork-belly skewers with Vietnamese caramel sauce make easy but impressive canapés for your next drinks party.

Pork-belly skewers with Vietnamese caramel sauce


Roast pork belly with star anise plum sauce

Pork belly is a brilliant budget cut for feeding the family. Try it roasted with Asian spices like star anise, coriander seed and ginger and served up with a sticky sauce made from fresh sweet plums, cinnamon and brown sugar.


Bibigo’s bo-saam pork belly

This Korean dish of slow-cooked pork gets a smart makeover at Bibigo. To make very neat pork slices, press it after cooking.

Bibigo's bo-saam pork belly


Smoked salt-crusted pork with lentils and caper sauce

Pork belly, braised lentils and caper sauce: gastro pub-style comfort food. Put them all together in this weekend lunch recipe: designed to make everyone feel glad to be at home.

Best ever pork belly recipes

Homemade pork scratchings

Got some pork belly skin left over? The ultimate bar snack is much easier to make than you think. Create your own super-crunchy pork scratchings then serve with a sprinkle of smoky paprika or celery salt for extra flavour. 

Homemade pork scratchings


Looking for more pork recipes? Click the link and check out our best ever pork recipes from pork schnitzel and pork ramen to pork buns and slow-roast shoulder of pork…

Steamed Pork Buns (Hirata buns)

 

 

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Top 10 places to eat and drink in York

York: Top 10 places to eat and drink

Looking for the best restaurants in York? Check out our 10 favourite places to eat and drink in York. This medieval town has always offered plenty to history buffs and café-goers, but a quiet foodie revolution, too, has recently been taking place. Wander down one of the higgledy-piggledy backstreets and you’ll find a new crop of young chefs putting the city’s food in the spotlight.


Skosh

One of York’s newest restaurants has been causing quite a stir across the UK. After seriously starry stints at Northcote, Pipe and Glass and The Star Inn at Harome (along with extensive travels in Asia) half-Indian chef Neil Bentinck has returned to his hometown of York to open contemporary small plates restaurant, Skosh (the name is a reference to the Japanese word ‘sukoshi’, meaning ‘a small amount’).

The restaurant’s modern interiors combine pine tables with bold yellow and grey paintwork and fabrics. Bag the table in the middle of the restaurant that’s framed by a striking, jade coloured arch, or perch on a high seat overlooking Neil’s open kitchen.

Hand-finished ceramic plates arrived in swift succession, each one framing its own little delicacy – crisp square nuggets of saddleback pork were accompanied with a tangy gooseberry ketchup, jewel-like granola-fried Skosh chicken was dipped in a delicate sorrel emulsion, and molasses-cured wild sea trout came on little sticks with peanuts and lime.

Larger dishes were also excellent. Crisp-topped Suffolk lamb belly fell apart beautifully and was livened up with bursts of pomegranate seeds, pickled onion, charred baby gem lettuce and a dash of yogurt.

Baked hake was topped with finely sliced cauliflower and dukkah on an umami-packed miso cauliflower rice bed – the highlight of the meal. Summer veg, brought over from local Brunswick Nursery the very same day, was tarted up with creamy burrata, black olives and a rapeseed oil emulsion.

In a nod to Neil’s Indian roots, the dessert menu includes mango lassis. Shot glasses of smooth and creamy mango were flecked with cardamom and served with mini doughnuts that opened to reveal an intensely yellow saffron custard centre.

Neil’s speciality dessert uses goat’s curd from nearby Yellison Farm to create fluffy toasted marshmallows served with raspberry sorbet and lychee granita. Or go for the richer 76% chocolate slice, which comes with a brittle-like black olive crisp, a light fennel foam and a chocolate-fennel sauce.

Read our full review of Skosh here


Mannion & Co.

A European-style café and deli, Mannion’s specialises in platters from the deli counter. Yorkshire produce is paired with expertly sourced charcuterie, cheeses, olives and artichokes from France and Italy.

The café’s suntrap courtyard is a tiny oasis where you can enjoy a pork pie, homemade piccalilli and salad grazing platter. Or take away your sarnie of choice made with bread baked fresh on site every morning.

Super-light scones piled with jams and clotted cream, patisseries and home baked brownies make perfect pairings for Jeeves & Jericho loose leaf teas and wood-roast artisan coffee from Ue Coffee Roasters.

mannionandco.co.uk


Betty’s Stonegate, York

Betty’s is far from a secret; the queue of tourists peering into the room of scones, tea and fat rascals is a giveaway. Five minutes down the street, however, Betty’s Stonegate (known to locals as Little Betty’s) is the Swiss tearooms’ (moderately) quieter little sister. Skip the scone paparazzi and enjoy creamy hot chocolate, rostis ladened with Gruyere cheese and indulgent Swiss macaroni.

Stick a pinkie out with a bone china cup of Betty’s delicately floral Assam and Darjeeling blend and take your pick from the immaculately presented cake trolley (the chocolate swiss roll is, unfathomably, rich and light all at the same time).

Coffee and cake at Betty’s is always a treat but the Lady Betty afternoon tea is even more so. Miniature savouries include Yorkshire pork and Bramley apple pies, smoked salmon and dill roulade, and succulent roast Yorkshire ham and tomato pâté sandwiches. A traditional silver cake stand bursts with aromatic Yorkshire lavender scones, sweet ‘n’ sticky toffee-apple macarons and a light choux pastry with whipped coffee cream.

bettys.co.uk


Le Cochon Aveugle

This is one of our favourite restaurants in York. Joshua Overington’s six-course seasonal tasting menu at intimate French neighbourhood bistro, Le Cochon Aveuglerotates with the seasons to make the most out of fresh produce when it’s at its prime. Think refreshing carpaccio of octopus, 12 hour short-rib and homemade black pudding, and charcoaled crème brûlée with made-to-order ice cream and crunchy rosemary sugar. On-trend mini canelés with a burnt-sugar crust were delicious, and served with a rum-spiked banana milkshake: a grown-up alternative to milk and cookies.

Freshly baked pain de campagne with beurre noisette, as light as angel delight, is a permanent fixture, as are the show-stopping balance syphon coffee makers and the heaving gin cabinet. We loved The Botanist gin and tonic with cardamom and kumquat syrup (it came with whole kumquats and a sprig of fresh rosemary).

You can tell this is a local favourite. A warm welcome from co-owner Victoria and a wave from Joshua in his tiny kitchen behind the gin cabinet makes you feel like you’ve been coming to this tiny, neighbourhood restaurant for years.

lecochonaveugle.uk


Love Cheese

Locals Harry and Phoebe Baines have sourced cheeses from near and far to create an award-winning counter. The selection covers continental as well as British cheeses but this is your chance to taste some of the county’s best, and most unusual, varieties (try the Ribblesdale smoked goat’s cheese, Botton Creamery cheddars or intense Yorkshire blue).

There’s also a small café on site. Sit on a picnic bench on the terrace at the back of the shop and sip a Huddersfield-roasted Dark Wood coffee while you wait for a toastie. As you might expect, toasties here are a step above the norm (though try our toastie recipes for serious comfort). We liked ours made with Haxby Baker granary and filled with mature cheddar and spiced tomato or manchego with chorizo and chilli chutney.

lovecheese.co.uk


Henshelwoods Delicatessen

Jam-packed with Yorkshire produce, this corner shop is the ideal spot to pick up foodie souvenirs to take home with you. Choose from over 70 exceptional cheeses (including Wensleydale and Swaledale), homemade vegetable preserves that date back to medieval times, and sweet treats such as Yorkshire parkin and Cartwright and Butcher biscuits.

Henshelwoods also makes up bespoke hampers, so if you’re staying with a friend in the area you can treat them to a selection of fine foods, including The Cheese Lover or a Perfectly Practical hamper of herbs, spices and oils. The Country Gentleman hamper is a great accompaniment for a long country walk – relishes, chutneys, pates and cheese with fine ginger wine.

deliyork.co.uk


Cafe No.8 Bistro

This tiny bistro on Gillygate is the kind of place only the locals know about. Take a table in its hidden garden to enjoy lunch in the shadow of York Minster (delicious soups and sandwiches are great value at lunchtime), or go in the evening and try the slow-cooked lamb, home oak-smoked salmon fillet or fresh fig and blue cheese salad.

no8york.co.uk


Partisan

Partisan & the French House is a young and vibrant independent coffee shop on Micklegate serving breakfast, brunch, lunch and afternoon tea.

The seasonal menu has its roots in global cuisine – everything from Scandinavian-style open sandwiches on rye to Korean Bibimbap – as well as offering plenty of vegan dishes. There’s a focus on local produce, and the owners even grow herbs and vegetables on their farm just outside York. 

Partisan offers a wide selection of homemade seasonal cakes, tarts, and scones, all baked fresh everyday. Think squidgy brownies, delicate financiers and indulgent donuts to enjoy with Monmouth coffee. 

Chocolate cake topped with raspberries

Rattle Owl

Named, peculiarly, after a toy (the owners both bought the same one on the same day), this small independent restaurant sits on historic Mickelgate, right in the centre of York. The structure might be 17th century but inside the style is contemporary: wooden tables have copper legs, walls are exposed brick, wooden chairs are sculptural and light fittings mix industrial chic with Art Deco glitz. Choose from a table in the bright conservatory area at the back or a high-backed grey banquette in the more atmospheric front section.

Haxby Bakehouse bread sets a precedent for the championing of local ingredients. Whitby crab is served with an intense avocado and fennel cream, buttery sable biscuits and cherry tomatoes. Pickled grapes, almonds and balsamic cubes add depth to an heirloom tomato dish, with a jar of tomato compote reduction on the side that has the punch of a Bloody Mary.

Local sourcing continues with the mains, the highlight of which was seared Scarborough woof (catfish) served with a deep-fried goujon, confit potato cylinders and a creamy bacon foam topped with charred baby gem lettuce, garden peas and an intense lemon purée. Yorkshire duck breast came perfectly pink with pak choi, spiced peach and a burnt orange sauce.

The organic-focused wine list majors on small producer wines. Bottles include subtly aromatic Sancerre ‘Clos du Roy’, rich Moonambel Syrah from Australia and, for special occasions, a refreshing ‘Les Reuchaux’ Puligny-Montrachet.

You can also buy bottles off the shelf at The Owlet, a tiny off-licence in the window of the restaurant that claims to be Yorkshire’s smallest. Prefer your beers? Go for Yorkshire Heart lager, Little Brew porter or York Brewery ale, all brewed in York and the surrounding area.

rattleowl.co.uk


Yorkshire Food Finder

Join York’s recently launched food trail Treks in the City, to visit artisan breadmaker Phil Clayton, local coffee roasters York Coffee Emporium, and Sarah Puckett, who makes her Puckett’s Pickles within a mile of York Minster, before enjoying a specially designed menu at The Star Inn The City.

Don’t fancy a tour? Many of these producers can be found at York’s Shambles Market (Parliament Street), which re-opened after a £1.6 million refurbishment last year. Or book a trip to coincide with the York Food and Drink Festival, which runs in June and September.

yorkshirefoodfinder.org

Visited all of the restaurants in York and fancy venturing a bit further from the city? Read our foodie guide to Ryedale for country pubs, Michelin-starred chefs and cream tea in a walled garden.


For more information visit visityork.org/adventure and be sure to get hold of a York Pass for free entry to attractions in and around York, with discounts at cafes and restaurants.

Written by Alex Crossley

First published July 2016


This week on the podcast we celebrate Yorkshire Day with web editor Alex Crossley (who also happens to be from Yorkshire!). Alex returns to her home county to explore the independent food scene in Leeds including a lesson in British charcuterie from Friends of Ham as well as matching speciality coffee with Yorkshire-made sweet treats at North Star.

olive magazine podcast ep63 – Leeds independent food scene special

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Jack Solomons Club, Soho: cocktail bar review

A dark room with high ceilings, armchairs and an illuminated bar

Jack Solomons Club in a nutshell: Legendary 1950s Soho boxing promoter Jack Solomons provides the inspiration for this speakeasy-style bar on Great Windmill Street, in what was once Jack’s old boxing gym.

Where is it? A two-minute walk from Piccadilly Circus tube station.


What’s the vibe?

A cavernous, dimly lit basement doesn’t seem a likely setting for a chic cocktail lair but Jack Solomons Club, located in the bowels of Sophie’s Steakhouse, is just that. Enter via a ‘secret’ entrance through a takeaway kiosk owned by Sophie’s and descend a staircase down into the club, where the décor swerves away from anything boxing related and instead invokes the life and times of Jack through its slightly louche mid-century stylings.

High ceilings and a mixture of bare-brick and red-leather walls are offset by capacious velvet and leather chairs in jewel tones that cluster around low tables. Booths line one side of the room and it’s very dark, so much so that aside from the dim lamps on tables the only real source of illumination comes from the pewter-topped bar, whose tall shelves of bottles are brilliantly illuminated. The overall effect is slinky, sexy and snug.

A room with booths lined with dark curtains
Curtained booths line the wall at Jack Solomons Club

What’s the drinks menu like?

In tribute to Solomons’ favourite tipple, scotch, the drinks menu includes an extensive roster of whiskies (scotch, Japanese and bourbon) and many of the cocktails are whisky based, with names inspired by Solomons’ life and career, from his favourite greyhound (Black Jack: peat whisky, maraschino liqueur and lime) to his journalist nemesis Charlie Rose (Old Guard: bourbon, plum reduction and lemon). Find out more about whisky here.


Which cocktails to order at Jack Solomons Club?

The Nipper Morris (a bantam-weight boxer promoted by Solomons) featured Woodford Reserve, orange bitters, apricot purée and champagne, and had well-balanced dry, fruity and smoky notes.

A glass with orange-coloured liquid inside
The Nipper Morris

On the Ropes was a punchier whisky cocktail; here, the sweetness of maple syrup and fruitiness of Hennessy VS was tempered by spicy cardamom bitters and a proper alcoholic kick thanks to Nikka from the Barrel whisky.

A glass with orange-coloured liquid inside next to a small glass bottle
On the Ropes

The bar also does a fine line in non-whisky cocktails, too: in the delicate, elegant Yorkshire Lady, lavender provided a pleasingly restrained floral backdrop to sour lemon and dry, fragrant tea-infused Sipsmith gin.

A coupe glass with white and orange liquid inside
The Yorkshire Lady

Is there any food?

The bar has a small-plates menu – we enjoyed well-made beef rib croquettes and a smoky burnt aubergine dip with toasted pitta bread.


Anything else?

Live jazz bands perform regularly in the bar and doors lead to a large dance floor where, on weekends, DJs play until the early hours.


Where to go nearby for dinner: Soho is packed with restaurants so you’re spoilt for choice – on Great Windmill Street there’s obviously Sophie’s upstairs or head to Blacklock for lusciously cooked chops piled high on flatbreads (check out more Soho restaurants here).

Insider tip: Snag one of the booths, which have curtains you can draw for extra privacy.

Price: Cocktails start at £13


jacksolomons.com

Photographs by David Loftus

Written by Hannah Guinness

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Best Szechuan recipes

Dan Dan Noodles Recipe

Looking for Szechuan recipes? Add some Szechuan sauce and peppercorns to your dishes to create zingy meals, including Szechuan chicken and Szechuan beef. We’ve got plenty of ideas for noodles, including quick and easy stir fries and spicy soups.


Szechuan chicken stir fry

Check out our Szechuan chicken stir-fry recipe. This low calorie dish is super easy to make and packed with fragrant, Szechuan flavour. Here are our favourite stir fry recipes to try.

a bowl of szechuan Chicken Stir Fry Recipe

Dan dan noodles

This recipe gives you takeaway-style noodles, with the heat of a Szechuan peppercorn base, in just 20 minutes. It’s so easy to make that you’ll never go back. Find our quick and easy noodles recipes here.

Dan Dan Noodles Recipe

Szechuan aubergines

This is a version of yu xiang qie zi, fish flavoured aubergine, so called because the flavours are usually used with fish. Here the Szechuan flavour comes not in its usual peppercorn form but in a Szechuan chilli bean paste. Buy Chinese black vinegar from Waitrose, souschef.co.uk, or Asian supermarkets. Leave the pork out to make this vegetarian. Looking for aubergine recipes? We’ve got more here.

Szechuan aubergines

Cold Szechuan noodles

Check out our recipe for punchy cold Szechuan noodles. This easy vegan dish is super simple to make and it’s low in calories.

Cold Szechuan Noodles Recipe

Chargrilled baby squid and prawns with Szechuan sauce

Try our easy chargrilled baby squid and prawns with crispy bits. In this recipe we’ve used Szechuan peppercorns which aren’t a traditional Vietnamese ingredient, but they give this dish some citrussy heat. You can make the crispy bits ahead of time.

Chargrilled Baby Squid and Prawns

Szechuan dry-fried green beans

We love the zing of Szechaun peppercorns – this is one of the most popular takeaways among our team, but only takes minutes to recreate.

Szechuan Green Beans

Mapo tofu

Check out this easy vegan mapo tofu recipe from the new Taiwanese restaurant XU in London’s Chinatown. This super simple recipe takes no time at all to make and is packed with flavour with the use of both whole and ground Szechuan peppercorns. Try our tofu recipes here.

Tofu Recipe from XU Taiwanese Restaurant

Stir-fried pork with spicy black bean sauce

This stir-fried pork with spicy and citrussy Szechuan black bean sauce is low in calories and super easy to make. Ready in just 20 minutes, this dish is a great midweek meal.

Stir-Fried pork with spicy black bean sauce

Sticky Chinese ribs

These sticky Chinese pork ribs, slathered in a Szechuan peppercorn glaze, are really easy to make and a great dish to treat your family and friends at the weekend. Serve with some rice and tuck in!

Sticky ribs

Szechuan prawn noodles

Our hot and spicy Chinese-style noodles, seasoned with ground Szechuan peppercorns, only take 15 minutes to whip up so they’d make a great quick and easy mid-week meal if you’re stuck for time or craving some healthy, low cal fast food.

Szechuan Noodles Recipe With Prawns

Kung pao prawns

This Kung Pao shrimp recipe is a really low calorie stir-fry and is served in a homemade sauce with noodles or rice. The Szechuan peppercorns and chilli flakes add some spice to the prawns while the cashew nuts add a crunchy texture to the dish. Here are our top prawn recipes to try.

Kung Pao Prawn Stir Fry

Szechuan lamb skewers with carrot salad

A quick lamb recipe for the BBQ. Thread onto skewers, coat with a spicy Szeuchan and chilli rub and pop on the grill. Serve with the carrot and coriander salad.

Szechuan spice-crusted lamb skewers with carrot salad

Stir-fried smacked cucumbers

Regional Chinese cuisines are slowly spreading across the UK, breaking the hold of Hong Kong style Cantonese cuisine. In this recipe the smacked cucumber is stir fried with whole Szechuan peppercorns and chilli. It is traditionally a beer snack, so you can serve it with drinks, or use it as a side dish.

Stir-fried smacked cucumber

Nasu dengaku (miso grilled aubergine)

This riff on sweet ‘n’ sour miso grilled aubergine from Kurobuta, a tiny café-like space on Chelsea’s King’s Road, makes the perfect easy starter or side dish that looks impressive, finished with a sprinkle of walnuts, sesame seeds ground Szechuan pepper.

Nasu dengaku (miso grilled aubergine)

Szechuan beef and red pepper stir fry

Stir-fries make the best quick recipe. This Szechuan-marinated beef dish is ready in just 20 minutes, is a healthy meal for two but could easily be doubled for a family.

Beef and red pepper stir-fry

 

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Boxcar, Marylebone: restaurant review

Boxcar Burger and Chips

Boxcar in a nutshell

A friendly butcher-cum-restaurant with a large butcher’s counter, deli and grill focussing on burgers, pies and steaks made with ethically reared meat sourced from small British farms.


What’s the vibe like?

Boxcar has got the laid back, stylish neighbourhood vibe spot on. Slick black tiled walls run through from the bench seating at the front to the large butcher’s counter where fresh cuts are prepared, right through to a pretty, plant-filled seating area at the back with a skylight. Sleek ceramics from Normann Copenhagen line the shelves on one side, while produce-packed fridges dominate the other, forming a deli/butcher area.

Tables in a restaurant with black tiled walls

How does the menu work?

There are the usual starters, mains and puddings, with Boxcar Bites if you fancy popping in for a glass of wine and some snacks. On a Sunday, Boxcar offers a shorter menu, but adds on its Sunday roast special – 28-day-aged North Yorkshire Galloway sirloin steak with crisp roast potatoes, seasonal veg (carrot and swede mash, greens and parsnips on our visit), fluffy homemade Yorkshire puddings and a rich bone marrow gravy. There’s also charcoal-grilled steaks and 45-day-aged burgers (here are our top homemade burger recipes).


What should we order at Boxcar?

Our chargrilled sirloin heritage steak came with a choice of sauces. We opted for the mushroom butter – intense and full of umami, it added a new depth of flavour to the perfectly pink steak. 

The hearty butcher’s board was a masterclass in British antipasti – little discs of ham hock terrine packed together with honey and wholegrain mustard, deep-fried lamb scrumpets (soft meat made from lamb shoulder), a runny scotch egg packed with sausage meat, slices of salt beef brisket, and a fragrant and creamy celeriac coleslaw with Bread Factory sourdough on the side.

Boxcar Butcher and Grill Marylebone: Restaurant Review

Misfires

Tenderstem broccoli side was verging on soggy rather than crunchy and tender, while the slices of fried garlic were not crisp enough. Opt for super-crisp rosemary fries instead.


What’s dessert like?

Traditional British puds are executed very well – homemade sticky toffee pudding with silky butterscotch sauce and a thick dollop of clotted cream was extremely comforting. We also had our eye on the treacle tart with salted caramel popcorn and popcorn ice cream but we were too full, so if you’re a pud fan, save some room.

Boxcar also has a great selection of Sussex farmhouse cheeses from Alsop & Walker, served with apple and grape chutney.


What are the drinks like at Boxcar?

There are nine cocktails to choose from, with themed names such as Miss Piggy (gin, Suze, ginger beer and lime) and Farm House (vodka, elderflower, basil and lemon juice). Craft beers from Wimbledon Brewery and Crate Brewery are available to grab from the fridges, and the wine list includes plenty of choice by the glass. We loved the soft and silky Guardia Rios from the Alentejo region of Portugal, with plenty of bright fruit flavours.


What else should we know?

Boxcar also acts as a butcher and deli to pick up British produce – Luscombe soft drinks from Devon, The Estate Dairy milk (the chocolate milk collab with Pump Street Bakery is heavenly), crumbly Sussex cheeses and plenty of sausages and bacon to make a full English at home. You can even take part in expert master classes with the butcher, so you can learn to chop your own steak for next time.

A large uncooked steak at Boxcar Marylebone

olive tip…

The casual neighbourhood vibe is perfectly fitting for a long, lazy breakfast. Pop in for bacon or sausage butties and stay for crumpets with smoked butter and braised short rib with Reads coffee roasted in Dorset.

Birds eye view of breakfast with three plates of eggs

boxcar.co.uk

Written by Alex Crossley

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Best ever peanut butter recipes

Banana Bread with Peanut Butter Frosting

Want to make peanut butter cookies? Looking for a peanut butter brownies recipe? We always seem to have a jar of peanut butter in the store cupboard, so give it some love and make one of our epic peanut butter recipes.

Our sweet peanut butter recipes add a salty hit to baking and desserts. Our peanut butter layer cake is great for a special occasion, and our chocolate, peanut butter and banana self-saucing pudding is perfect for feeding a crowd. If you’re a fan of the classic peanut butter and jelly combo, we have recipes for peanut butter and jelly scones, terrine and thumbprint cookies.

You can also use peanut butter to create savoury dishes such as rich and creamy curries and noodles.


Sweet peanut butter recipes

Peanut butter cookies

Our peanut butter thumbprint cookies use the classic peanut butter and jam (or jelly) combination in a fun new way. They’re best eaten the day they’re made.


Chocolate and peanut butter snack cakes

Impress your friends and family with these fun and quirky chocolate snack cakes with peanut butter. These individual mini cakes may take a bit of time to make, but they’re well worth the wait. Plus, keep them in an airtight container, and they’ll last for up to 3 days.

Chocolate Snack Cake Recipe with Peanut Butter

Peanut butter brownies

This is the best peanut butter brownies recipe, as they are super fudgy and indulgent. Our easy decadent brownies are the ideal dinner party treat to serve with coffee, or an indulgent afternoon snack.

Peanut butter brownies

Peanut butter cake

Our peanut butter layer cake is a little effort to make but looks stunning and will satisfy the fussiest peanut butter fiends. If you get addicted to layers, try our other layer cake recipes here.


Peanut butter and banana self-saucing pudding

This chocolate self-saucing pudding, also known as surprise pudding, uses smooth peanut butter and banana to create this deliciously rich cake. Serve with some vanilla ice cream and enjoy!

Peanut butter and banana self saucing pudding

Easy banana bread with peanut butter frosting

It’s hard to improve on a classic banana bread, but we think the peanut butter icing addition just edges it! A real nutty twist on everyone’s favourite. Serve with your freshly brewed morning coffee.

Banana Bread with Peanut Butter Frosting

Peanut butter and jelly scones

Peanut butter and jelly is a classic American flavour combination. This combined with an English classic to make peanut butter and jelly scones is sure to be a new favourite. Perfect your scone skills with our expert scones recipes.

Best scones recipes

Chocolate, peanut butter and jam terrine

This cake by Hannah Miles is the ultimate in kitsch. Drizzle the ganache on top so that the pretty striped layers of peanut butter and jam show through.

Chocolate, Peanut Butter And Jam Terrine Recipe

Peanut butter cookies

Try our easy peanut butter cookies recipe. Chocolate and peanut butter is a classic combo, so we’ve created the best peanut butter cookies with extra chocolate.

Best ever biscuit recipes - Double-dipped peanut biscuits recipe

Peanut butter ice cream with salted caramel

This luxurious frozen pud combines two of the trendiest new flavours on dessert menus: smooth peanut butter and the delicious sweet and salty combo of salted caramel.


Peanut butter pretzel truffles

So much nutty, crunchy, chocolatey goodness rolled into one bite-sized truffle. We love giving edible gifts for special occasions, and these truffles make lovely Christmas gifts, birthday or Valentine’s Day treats.

Peanut Butter Truffles Recipe Peanut Butter Truffles Recipe boxed up and ready to be gifted

Peanut butter, chocolate and pretzel tart 

We love the combo of salted pretzels and chocolate. Made with an easy crushed pretzel base, choc filling and peanut butter topping this recipe is from Manuka Kitchen in Fulham, London.


Salted peanut butter caramel parfait

Salted caramel is a very trendy ingredient on restaurant menus. This silky frozen ice-cream parfait adds peanut butter into the mix for a really indulgent pudding.


Nut and oat breakfast bars

A healthy on-the-go breakfast or anytime snack, these nut and oat breakfast bars are packed with goodness and provide a real energy boost. You can add a sprinkling of chia, flax or other seeds too.


Savoury peanut butter recipes

Coconut, aubergine and peanut butter curry

This creamy coconut and peanut aubergine curry is vegetarian, under 300 calories and ready in just 30 minutes, making it the perfect comforting meal to make midweek. For more vegetarian curry inspiration, click here.


African chicken, sweet potato and peanut curry

This African curry makes for a delicious family meal, using peanut butter to make it extra creamy. It also freezes well: Cool the curry completely, then transfer to freezer containers or food bags to freeze completely. The night before eating, defrost in the fridge overnight.

African Chicken Curry Recipe With Sweet Potato and Peanuts

Broccoli and peanut soba noodles

Our recipe for broccoli and peanut soba noodles is really easy to make and ready in 20 minutes or less. The fresh greens are a great combination with the noodles while the roasted peanuts adds a crunchy texture to the dish.

Soba Noodle Recipe with Broccoli and Peanuts

 

 

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Best ever omelette and frittata recipes

20 Easy Omelette Recipes and Frittata Recipes

Check out our quick and easy omelette recipes for easy lunch and dinner ideas to use up leftover eggs. We’ve come up with a simple base omelette recipe with easy filling ideas. Or make one of our more elaborate omelette and frittata recipes including crab and chilli, ginger and spring onion, and even kedgeree.


How to make an omelette – base omelette recipe (serves one)

  1. Whisk 3 eggs and season.
  2. Heat a large knob of butter in a small frying pan until foaming and pour in the eggs.
  3. Cook over a medium heat, drawing in the edges with a spatula so the raw egg runs into the gaps and cooks.
  4. Keep cooking until the omelette is set but still a little oozy on top. Fill, fold and serve.

Omelette fillings ideas

Gruyère, avocado, spring onion and chive omelette recipe

  • Mix ¼ diced avocado with 2 chopped spring onions and 1 tbsp chopped chives.
  • Scatter the omelette with a handful of finely grated gruyère as it cooks.
  • Spoon the avo mix over the top and fold over.
  • Leave for 1 minute before serving.
Gruyère, avocado, spring onion and chive recipe
Gruyère, avocado, spring onion and chive recipe

Garlic mushroom, chilli and spinach omelette recipe

  • Heat a large knob of butter in a pan and add 75g sliced chestnut mushrooms.
  • Cook until softened and browned, then stir in ½ a crushed garlic clove and some dried chilli flakes.
  • Cook for 1 minute, stir in 2 handfuls of baby spinach until wilted, then season.
  • Cook the omelette as described above then spoon over the mushroom/spinach mix, fold over and leave for 1 minute before serving.
Garlic mushroom, chilli and spinach recipe
Garlic mushroom, chilli and spinach recipe

Hot smoked salmon, lemon crème fraîche and dill omelette recipe

  • Cook the omelette as above, scatter over a handful of flaked hot smoked salmon, 1-2 tbsp of crème fraîche mixed with a little lemon zest and a little chopped dill.
  • Fold over the top and leave for 1 minute to warm everything through.
Hot smoked salmon, lemon crème fraîche and dill recipe
Hot smoked salmon, lemon crème fraîche and dill recipe

Asian spicy prawn omelette recipe

  • Heat 1 tsp of sesame oil in a small pan.
  • Add 50g chopped raw prawns, ½ chopped red chilli, 1 tsp finely chopped ginger and a handful of edamame beans (defrosted if frozen).
  • Cook until the prawns are pink, then add a splash of soy sauce.
  • Cook the omelette as described, opposite, whisking 1 tsp sesame oil into the eggs before cooking.
  • Spoon the prawn mix on top and fold over. Leave for 1 minute before serving.
Asian spicy prawn recipe
Asian spicy prawn recipe

More omelette recipes

Smoked trout and gruyère omelette

Try our smoked trout and gruyère cheese omelette for a speedy midweek meal. This recipe is quick and easy to make and it’s low in calories.

Smoked Trout and Gruyere Omelette


Crab, chilli and herb omelette

This crab, chilli and herb omelette is low calorie, gluten-free, high-protein and ready in just 20 minutes – perfect for a midweek meal.

Crab, chilli and herb omelette

Classic tortilla

A well-made tortilla is the best addition to a tapas menu. This easy recipe with just four ingredients is typically Spanish. Serve with a  selection of other dishes for a Spanish feast. Here are our other Spanish ideas.

Classic Tortilla Recipe

Courgette soufflé omelette

This courgette soufflé omelette recipe is really easy, ready in under 30 minutes and just 350 calories, but still tastes delicious.


Ginger, spring onion and mushroom omelette

This recipe for ginger, spring onion and mushroom omelette makes a speedy midweek meal for one.


Soft-baked asparagus frittata

Asparagus is generally in season and plentiful in spring and what better way to use them than in this soft-baked frittata with ricotta and parmesan. An ideal dish for breakfast or brunch. More asparagus ideas here.

asparagus frittata

 


Mini picnic frittatas

These mini picnic frittatas are really quick to whip up as a last minute picnic treat. To make them even easier to make, we have used Two Chicks liquid whole eggs. Make a large batch and then enjoy throughout the week for a snack or with a salad for a speedy meal.


Oven baked frittata

This super simple recipe for oven baked fritata serves 4 in 35 minutes – perfect for an easy midweek meal.

Oven Baked Frittata Recipe

Chilli, cheese and garlic mushroom omelette

Our omelette recipe with chilli, cheese and garlic mushrooms is easy, vegetarian and ready in under 30 minutes making it a perfect midweek meal for one.

Chilli, Cheese and Garlic Mushroom Omelette Recipe

Smoked trout and pea frittata with parsley and red onion salad

Ready in under 30 minutes, this smoked trout frittata is quick and easy to make and doesn’t require many ingredients.

Smoked trout and pea frittata with parsley and red onion salad

Spanish pepper and potato omelette

The ultimate comfort food which clears out the fridge too, try our best Spanish omelette recipe with red onion, red pepper and new potatoes. Serve with a rocket salad.

Spanish Pepper and Potato Omelette Recipe

Smoked salmon and dill frittata

This filling Italian-style egg recipe with smoked salmon is perfect for quick midweek cooking and any leftovers can be eaten cold for lunch the next day.

Smoked Salmon and Dill Frittata Recipe

Kale and feta tortilla

Tortilla is our go-to easy meal. Eggs are cheap and convenient, we always have some at home, and paired with leafy green kale and feta this is a fast, effortless recipe for two. Serve with salad or bread.

Kale and feta tortilla recipe

Mini chorizo and tomato frittatas

These easy canapés can be made ahead then reheated in a warm oven to serve. Chorizo, tomatoes and eggs are a classic Spanish combination that works so well together.

Mini Chorizo and Tomato Frittatas Recipes

Kedgeree omelette

Kedgeree is a classic dish of curried rice, flaked, smoked fish and hard-boiled eggs. In this version, we’ve updated the classic by substituting the boiled eggs for an omelette to wrap the Kedgeree in.


Spring onion and roasted red pepper frittata

Frittata is an Italian-style omelette. This one, with its peppers, spring onions and new potatoes is a quick and easy meal for two. All it needs is salad on the side. This is good served cold for lunch the next day if there are any leftovers. 

Spring onion and red pepper frittata recipe


If you’re looking for more quick dinner or lunch ideas for one, check out our best ever recipes for one, here. Plus, we’ve got lots of delicious quick and easy dinner ideas, too. From salmon with pesto to ravioli with buttered lemon greens, there’s plenty to choose from.

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James Cross: chef interview

James Cross, Lake Road Kitchen

Check out our expert interview with chef James Cross of The Lake Road Kitchen in Ambleside, Cumbria. Interview conducted by Hilary Armstrong.

If you’re looking for more of the best places to eat, drink and stay in The Lake District, check out our round up of where to eat, drink and stay in The Lake District here.


James Cross made his bid for telly stardom early on in his career. It was on MasterChef in 2005, he was 25, an eager, young law graduate from Birmingham and he risked a soufflé (check out our step-by-step guide to making soufflés here) in the quarter finals. The soufflé flopped, the title fell to Thomasina Miers, and “that was the end of that”.

Except it wasn’t. For what MasterChef did for James, now the chef and owner of Lake Road Kitchen in Ambleside, Cumbria (read our review here), was to prod him into recognising that he was far more interested in the industry than he had previously acknowledged. “It lit a spark,” he says.

Ever the high flyer, the new recruit was straight in at Michelin-starred Simpson’s in Birmingham for four formative years. “You walk into a kitchen like that, you don’t learn any bad habits.” Then a celebratory meal with his parents at Heinz Beck’s three-Michelin-starred La Pergola in Rome upended everything again. “You think you can cook, you think you understand what deliciousness is,” he recalls, “then you eat a meal like that and you realise that you haven’t got a clue.”

Check out out top five Italian foodie trips here, including La Pergola in Rome…

Lake Road Kitchen, garden salad
Lake Road Kitchen, garden salad

Not speaking a word of Italian, he went to work at La Pergola for a year as a commis (the only Brit in a brigade composed almost entirely of Italians) before New York and a stage at Thomas Keller’s Per Se beckoned. Another giant leap forward.“It felt like starting from scratch again,” he says. “It’s not often in your career that you can go into a world-class kitchen and be a nobody. This is something that I think is lacking in the industry at the moment. Everybody wants to be a somebody before they’ve had a chance to be a nobody. Just enjoying being part of something special without the intense pressure is very beneficial.”

How to top this? With two brilliant years at Noma in Copenhagen, then the World’s No 1 restaurant, after which it was time to bring this experience of “the pointy end of the pyramid” to bear on James’s own place. In 2014, he relocated to the Lake District to open Lake Road Kitchen.

His aim was to establish “a humble restaurant where the food was delicious and people would come to eat”. Mission accomplished. Lake Road Kitchen’s first years have gone swimmingly. The ace reviews and top awards haven’t stopped coming: a rare 10/10 from Marina O’Loughlin in her Guardian days, five stars from The Sunday Times, the ‘Best New Restaurant in the UK’ from The Good Food Guide, and – a point of personal pride for James – Sustainable Restaurant of the Year in the National Restaurant Awards 2017. But lest anyone think that a chef’s life is all glamour, think again. James and his partner, the restaurant’s general manager Sally Wilson, run the place on a skeleton staff, no gardener, no linen company. Expansion plans, TV appearances and lucrative brand tie-ins are not happening any time soon.

“Sally and I come home from work, we do three loads of laundry and drying before we go to sleep at night,” he tells me. On their days off, they’re in the garden or “going through data”.

“That sounds a bit boring I suppose,” he admits. It does a bit, but the all-work, no-play approach is a sound strategy. James sees himself as much a businessman as a chef, and all the number-crunching and hard graft is to support his passion for the long term. Tales of talented chefs falling at the first hurdle are legion. James has no intention of being one of them.

Lake Road Kitchen, crab
Lake Road Kitchen, crab

In common with Noma, Lake Road Kitchen forgoes olive oil, lemons and chocolate for food that is “representative of the climatic locality”. One might encounter cloudberries (in sorbet form with soft whipped cream and hazelnuts toasted gently over charcoal), Icelandic sea urchins (with aged ham consommé), Norwegian king crab (lightly steamed with shredded Hispi cabbage in a cultured butter emulsion with dulse and dill oil) alongside great local produce.

“If a product grows in this weather zone, we’ll use it. England is very similar to Scandinavia (check out our best Scandi food tips), especially in the north. I felt it was the only part of the country where I could do this style of cooking legitimately. I could never cook like this in London.”

James also serves “the oldest beef in Europe”, as a supplement to the five- and eight-course tasting menus (£65/£85). Aged for up to 430 days, the beef (a collaboration with Lake District farmers) is characterised by a high degree of marbling – the equivalent of A4 wagyu, reckons James – and an incredibly complex flavour profile.

Around 90 per cent of the green produce comes from the restaurant garden (aka James and Sally’s Winster Valley back garden), where every square inch is devoted to raised beds, polytunnels and planters. Menus are planned a year ahead, seed catalogues in hand. This affords a level of freedom he wouldn’t otherwise have – some nights there can be as many as a dozen different menus running across eight tables. One regular has had 110 dishes over the course of 12 months.

“We say to all our guests that, unless they want a repeat dish, they will have a completely different menu next time they come back, even if they come back tomorrow.

“We work very, very hard. That’s the bottom line.”

James Cross, Lake Road Kitchen
James Cross, Lake Road Kitchen

lakeroadkitchen.co.uk


JAMES CROSS IN SHORT

Favourite dish Tonkatsu (here’s our recipe).

Favourite drink Gevrey-Chambertin.

Most memorable meal La Pergola in 2009.

Chef or food person you most admire Andrew Zimmern of Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern.

Guilty pleasure A day off.


Photographs: Mike Poloway, Jim Tanfield

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Best ever Chinese recipes

Shanghai beef noodles

We all have our favourite Chinese recipe, whether it be crispy peking duck, dim sum or five-spice pork belly. On Chinese New Year, the Chinese serve particular Chinese New Year food according to their symbolic meaning. We have pulled together our favourite recipes to make sure you have a prosperous year, from noodles to dumplings, Chinese chicken to easy fish recipes. 


Chinese dumplings – wealth

Pan fried soup dumplings (sheng jian bao)

Try our soup dumplings recipe for the best Chinese dumpling recipe. A pork, and sometimes prawn, filling is encased in a thin, chewy dough, crisped on the bottom, beautifully pleated at the top, and the first bite unleashes a torrent of heady, fragrant stock. The dumplings are served with chilli oil and black vinegar. 

soup dumplings

Pork and prawn dumplings

Small, delicious parcels of succulent meat and fish with a kick of chilli and ginger, pork and prawn dumplings are a dim sum favourite. Learn how to make them with step-by-step help from our test kitchen. 


Chicken and sweetcorn dumpling soup

Easy-to-follow recipe for chicken soup at its heartwarming best. With noodles and wanton dumplings, this Asian-flavoured broth is both light and filling.

Chicken and sweetcorn dumpling soup

Open-top pork and scallop dumpling

Dumplings are a symbol of wealth, so serve this light and impressive appetiser to celebrate good fortune. Filled with scallops and pork mince in an oyster sauce, these little parcels are a delicious burst of flavour.


Noodles – longevity

Looking for more noodles recipes? Try our other ideas here.

Shanghai fried beef noodles

Ready in just 30 minutes, our Shanghai fried beef noodles make a great, easy meal for two midweek.


Szechuan prawn noodles

These hot and spicy Chinese-style noodles only take 15 minutes to whip up so they’d make a great quick and easy mid-week meal if you’re stuck for time or craving some healthy, low cal fast food.

Szechuan Noodles Recipe With Prawns

Sweet soy aubergine noodles

Ditch the take away menu and grab a pan, these low calorie vegetarian noodles are a quick and easy mid-week meal idea guaranteed to hit the spot.

Sweet soy aubergine noodles

Seared sesame tofu with noodle salad

A great vegetarian option, the sesame seeds and red chilli liven up this tofu dish. According to the Chinese, the noodles bring longevity, bonus!


Fish – prosperity

Want to cook fish for Chinese New Year? Try one of our easy fish recipes here.

Ginger lemon sole with Chinese greens

A quick, easy and healthy recipe for mid-week flavour. Fish celebrates prosperity and greens symbolise longevity, so you are sure to eat your good fortune’s worth.


Five-spice – just because we love it

Crispy five-spice and sriracha pork belly

Check out this punchy, easy, crispy pork belly with Chinese five-spice. This flavoursome pork recipe is great with rice, noodles or bao buns.

3 Ways Pork Belly

Five-spice roast duck with clementines and port

This easy five-spice duck is a great roast for when there’s just a few of you for dinner. It feels celebratory to bring out a whole roast bird to the table and the clementines and spices will make the kitchen smell really festive.

Roast Duck Recipe With Orange Sauce

Five-spice beef with sesame greens 

An easy-to-follow recipe for slow-cooking a cheap cut of beef. With Asian flavours and sesame greens, this is a one-pot that friends and family will enjoy together.


Chinese duck recipes – for a Chinese banquet

Crispy duck and peach pancakes

Tangy peach sauce makes a great, simple twist to classic crispy duck pancakes. It’s so much more satisfying than calling a takeaway.

Crispy duck and peach pancakes

Sticky duck with cucumber and spring onion salad

This recipe for sticky duck with cucumber and spring onion salad takes a little extra time but is easy to make and under 500 calories, so it’s great for midweek.


Slow-roast duck with sweet tamarind

This tender and sticky duck serves four and would make for a great centre pieces for a casual dinner party. Get everyone involved and carve this one on the table before you serve it up with basmati rice and pay choy.

Slow-roasted duck with sweet tamarind

Other Chinese recipes

Crispy Chinese chicken

Check out this crispy Chinese chicken recipe with crunchy greens. This super easy meal for 3 is packed with punchy flavour and comes in at just over 400 calories.

Chinese Chicken Recipe

Crispy chilli beef stir-fry

No need to order from your local Chinese takeaway when you can rustle up this flavorsome beef stir-fry in less than 30 minutes. This recipe is not only quick and easy to make, it’s also low in calories too.

Crispy Beef Stir Fry

Sticky Chinese ribs

These sticky Chinese pork ribs are really easy to make and a great dish to treat your family and friends at the weekend. Serve with some rice and tuck in!

Sticky ribs

Kung pao prawns

This Kung Pao shrimp recipe is a really low calorie stir-fry and is served in a homemade sauce with noodles or rice. The Szechuan peppercorns and chilli flakes add some spice to the prawns while the cashew nuts add a crunchy texture to the dish.

Kung Pao Prawn Stir Fry

Twice-cooked Chinese pork

This delicious twice-cooked Chinese pork belly is really tender and packed with great flavours. Serve with green vegetables and steamed rice.

chinese pork

Chinese style purple sprouting broccoli with tofu

This Chinese-style purple sprouting broccoli with tofu recipe is easy, vegan and under 500 calories.

Chinese-style purple sprouting broccoli with tofu

Smacked cucumber

Check out our recipe for buffalo smacked cucumbers. ‘Smacking’ cucumbers is a Chinese technique allowing them to absorb more flavour. Their cool crunch tempers the hot buffalo sauce.

Chopped cucumbers with homemade buffalo sauce and blue cheese

Stir-fried smacked cucumber

Regional Chinese cuisines are slowly spreading across the UK, breaking the hold of Hong Kong style Cantonese cuisine. This recipe for stir-fried smacked cucumber is traditionally a beer snack, so you can serve it with drinks, or use it as a side dish. 

Stir-fried smacked cucumber

Chinese red-braised chicken

This Chinese-inspired chicken dish is quick, easy and perfect for a midweek meal. It’s called red-braised because of the colour that is infused by the spices. 

Chinese red-braised chicken

Chinese red-cooked pork

This Chinese recipe from John Torode takes time but the result you get will be well worth it – sweet, juicy, delicious pork that will be so addictive you’ll want some in the fridge at all times.

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