8 Essential Items for Easy Chinese Cooking

Kim Conte

Ching-He Huang
Photo from Cooking Channel
I can't wait for the Cooking Channel to launch this weekend (May 31)! One of the stars of the new network is Ching-He Huang, a talented, adorable cook from the UK and host of the new show Chinese Food Made Easy. Before you tune in to her show, check out which eight ingredients she thinks are necessary for Chinese cooking.

The Stir: What can you tell us about your show?

Ching-He Huang: I reinvent Chinese classics -- spicy Szechuan favorites, dim sum, noodles -- and make them quick, healthy, accessible, and modern for the home cook.

What are the essential items a home cook needs to prepare Chinese food?

I'm a believer in using the most natural and fresh ingredients possible. I stay away from products with MSG or that carry too many preservatives or colorings. Here's what you need.

  • Peanut oil (or any neutral oil; anything that isn't olive oil)
  • Light soy sauce
  • Pure sesame oil
  • Chili oil -- this adds spice
  • Oyster sauce
  • Hoisin sauce
  • Plum sauce
  • Nonstick or cast iron wok

What's an easy, healthy Chinese dish that we'd typically order in a restaurant but that you could teach us to make at home?

Crispy pancake. It's a thin wheat-style pancake that's steamed in a bamboo steamer. Then, you can do a stir-fry of finely shredded honey roast ham or pork with baby corn, chopped bell peppers, light soy, and sesame oil. Fold the pancake in a cone shape and stuff in the stir-fry -- like a pocket. You could also make it vegetarian.

Are you excited about the new Cooking Channel?

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