We wanted to know what our favourite Chinese chef, Andrew Wong, kept in his store cupboards at home. After a good nose around, we found a sizzling selection of staples that any aspiring Chinese cook should have.
Andrew’s beautiful new cookbook, The Cookbook by Andrew Wong, is out now, published by Mitchell Beazley, £17 Amazon
Fermented tofu – this is a very pungent ingredient that is not too dissimilar to blue cheese. It is either eaten as a condiment with porridge or made into a sauce for a variety of dishes.
Oyster sauce – depending on brand, ranging from no actual oyster to around 11%, osyter sauce is in essence reduced oyster liqour. It is an absolute gem at adding flavour to a dish. It is more powerful than a stock cube and actually gives a much richer result.
Sesame oil – there are different varieties from all over the world, some are roasted and some toasted. The aroma automatically makes me think of Chinese food.
Soy sauce – actually at home, I rarely use it apart from when i’m eating sushi (love adding it to wasabi), but i always have to have some in the cupboard.
Instant noodles – Chefs have horrific diets and these noodles are partly responsible for my midnight snacking.
Pickled chilli radish – effectively this is chinese radish that has been steeped in a chilli and vinegar mixture for a long time until it goes soft, but still with a crunch. It’s the perfectcondiment for noodles or congee.
Chinese chives (guw choy) – this looks like a large chive and it tastes a little garlicky. Steam and then drizzle with oyster sauce and sesame oil! It’s AMAZING and only takes around 1 min to cook.
Chinese tea – this has loads of uses, some dishes use it as a main ingredient. But for the most part I always have it readily available in case my mum or any of her friends come round!
Sichuan peppercorns – a Chinese ingredients that is highly addictive! the little berries gives off numbing sensation in the mouth. In its natural form (before roasting for exportation), they are bright pink in colour and make dishes vibrant, glowing red in colour.