If you're missing your favourite Chinese takeaway or restaurant and are keen to master some of your favourite dishes at home, Ken Hom's Complete Chinese Cookbook is a brilliant resource to get you started. Widely regarded as one of the world's leading authorities on the diverse regional culinary styles that make up modern Chinese cookery, in this seminal cookbook, Ken shares a comprehensive and accessible collection of recipes to help home cooks master the many flavours of this revered cuisine. Featuring in-depth guides to essential ingredients, equipment and techniques, this collection of 250 recipes spans much-loved classics and lesser-known dishes to try, all with Ken's failsafe instructions, making this the ultimate guide to recreating the flavours of China at home.
Keen to see what's in store? Here are ten recipes from the book to give you a taste of what to expect.
Chicken Fried Rice
This recipe is based on the best chicken fried rice Ken has ever tasted, from a street food stall in China. With an emphasis on ensuring the chicken is as tender as possiblem the resulting dish boasts melt-in-the-mouth chicken and bags of flavour thanks to a combination of ginger, shrimp paste and sesame, and is also the perfect way to use up leftover rice.
Sichuan Dumplings in Spicy Sauce
If one of the elements of Chinese cookery you enjoy most is the dumplings, this recipe is one to try. Filled with minced pork and mushrooms and delicately spiced, they are a great opener to a Sichuan feast or can make for a lighter standalone meal in themselves.
Stir-fried Rice Noodles with Beef Chilli Bean Sauce
A popular dish in Canton, this stir fry of wide rice noodles and tender beef fillet brings together layers of flavours and textures in one wok. A serious level up on your average stir fry!
Curried Vegetarian Spring Rolls
Inspired by a version he discovered in Shanghai, in this twist on a much-loved classic starter Ken adds curry powder to the vegetable filling, making for a spring roll with a difference.
In China, barbecued pork is typically sold in speciality shops, but with this recipe Ken teaches you how to unlock the secrets of this revered dish at home. With its trademark sweet and aromatic sauce, it is delicious served on a simple bed of rice, but, as Ken points out, the leftovers are also wonderful in sandwiches, wonton soups or in fried rice and can also be frozen so you have a stash to call on whenever a craving strikes.
Stir-fried Pepper Beef with Mangetout
If black pepper beef is your go-to Chinese dish, this recipe will not disappoint and it also couldn't be simpler or quicker. After a quick marinade, strips of beef fillet are seared in the wok and then finished alongside green pepper and mangetout in an oyster sauce. Best of all, this flexible recipe allows you to switch up the mangetout for whatever you have access to.
Bean Sauce Chicken
Listen up, lovers of chicken in yellow bean sauce, this is the recipe to help you master your dish of choice at home. Rich with the aroma of yellow bean paste and crunchy with peanuts, this tender chicken dish is another quick and simple wok-based dish that you could easily whip up on a weeknight.
Crispy Sichuan Duck
Ken's authentic crispy duck recipe will help you master this all-time favourite dish at home. A classic example of a recipe that requires a little bit of extra effort but is guaranteed to reward your hard work, many of the stages can be done in advance and the final outcome is a fitting centrepiece for even the most special of occasions.
Sichuan Prawns in Chilli Sauce
Every weeknight repertoire needs a quick prawn stir fry, and this authentic Sichuan recipe has gone straight to the top of our list of favourites. Featuring just the right amount of punch and not too much sweetness, the chilli sauce is the perfect addition to plump prawns.
Aubergine with Sesame Sauce
Inspired by the street markets in Beijing and Chengdu, this aubergine dish is packed with flavours of sesame and chilli and is deceptively easy to make. Serve as an impressive starter or alongside rice as a main vegetarian-friendly meal.