Week 7 – lunch with Ching-He Huang for Chinese new year

img_5680.jpgHey, it says it’s week 7, and it was week 7. I have finally caught up with the year on It’s Not Easy Being Greedy, although I can’t promise to stay up to date …

This week included pancake day – one of my favourites, as I love pancakes. Instead of the usual crepes, I made crempogs, which are Welsh pancakes. You can find my recipe for crempogs here – this time I didn’t have any buttermilk in the house so used greek yoghurt, and that worked well too.

My Canadian friend Steph had kindly treated me to some proper maple syrup all the way from back home, so I drowned my crempogs in that, while Andrew was more restrained with lemon and sugar.


Then when I arrived in the office on Ash Wednesday (after a trip to Paris) I discovered that those kind people at Teapigs had sent me a lovely package of pancake day goodies, including their matcha tea and some pancake mixture. This was so I could make my own matcha tea pancakes, but unfortunately I am off the caffeine at the moment, and also had already eaten more than my fair share of pancakes, so I’ll have to try my new treats another time.


The week also included the celebrations for Chinese New Year, and I was invited to an event by JML Direct to mark the launch of their new wok, in collaboration with one of my favourite Chinese cookery writers and presenters, Ching-He Huang.

Ching is a regular on Saturday Kitchen, and travelled around China with Ken Hom a couple of years ago for a fascinating show about Chinese food and culture. So when JML invited me along to meet her and try some of her new recipes, I didn’t have to think too much before I answered yes.


The event was hosted at a cookery school near Oxford Circus, so I hopped onto the central line during my lunch break and was treated to a cookery demonstration by Ching of some of her deliciously light and healthy Chinese recipes, plus some Chinese canapes and fortune cookies (I may have taken a couple back to the office for my colleagues …!).


Ching was, as you  might expect from how she appears on TV, absolutely lovely, and went out of her way to spend time with each of us and answer our questions about her new wok.


I am always a little bit dubious when a culinary celebrity puts their name to a piece of cooking equipment, but there’s no doubt that Ching believes in the lotus wok and she explained in great detail why the wok was shaped in such a way, what coating was used to protect it and maintain its non-stick nature, and how little oil we’d need to use to cook our healthy Chinese food.


Ching cooked us a feast of vegetable and egg fried rice (top tip: add white pepper at the end for an authentic taste), smoked tofu stirfry, and grilled chicken. I tried a little bit of everything, and was then presented with my own wok to go home and practice Chinese recipes.


I’ll be doing that tonight by making prawns and pak-choi with brown rice, so I’ll let you know how I get on, but judging by the weight and sturdiness of the wok it seems like it would be a very reasonable investment in your kitchen – currently the recommended retail price is £49.99. More on their website here.

So what about for the rest of the week? Well, apart from munching through these delicious chocolates which I have, courtesy of Andrew, I’ll be having the following meals:

  • Monday – prawns with pak-choi
  • Tuesday – chicken and leek stew with pearl barley
  • Wednesday – I’ll be out with Jo tonight so not eating at home
  • Thursday – Swedish meatballs
  • Friday – fishfingers
  • Saturday – pasta with mince (debating between lasagne and spag bol)
  • Sunday – roast duck (with maybe something else cooked in my new wok).

Do you have anything nice planned for this week?


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